Friday, November 12, 2010

Facebook Problems 4 {Fact or Fiction?}

Joseph on fiddle, Peter on mandolin in character on the Cub Scouts' Old Settlers' Parade float, which won first place.

Zachary as color guard for the Old Settlers' Parade in Ferndale, 2006

Waiting for Father Luke's contact in Uganda to report the findings, I remained hopeful that the truth would reveal my Facebook "friend" to be everything she claimed to be.  Likewise, my "friend" remained hopeful that we would be the answer to her prayers for a better life:
Sister, let me hope that your Husband is doing nicely and others? here life is just on try, am ever worried that am going to fail to sit for the national exams and again i will have to repeat when i fail this year and it will be next year again while my friends are going to University.
Sister, i always pray for you and i really do appreciate your plans towards to me. you always in my prayers and your family. thank you for having such a heart. God bless you and family. 
yours young sister _____

Within about a week, our answer from Father Luke's contact arrived:
About the girl in question, She is not there. That is an impostor. I have called the principal of the school and he has taken his time on the same issue. He finally called me up and told me that he does not have that name in the school. I believe the name that was given to us as the teacher is the real person who calls himself or is writing to you as the girl. Incidentally, the teacher is there in that school.
The tuition is _______ and not 181500 as stated. And also at that level students do not sit for national exams so as to attract a fee. National exams here attract a fee of about (minimum) ________.
I think this will be useful information for you. In case of any questions you are welcome, and feel free to ask.   All the best.God bless you.
A kind message followed from Father Luke:
Dear Bridget and Tim,  Good morning.  Thanks again for showing compassion and for being wise and vigilant.   Blessings.
I felt violated and naive for having been taken in by a scam artist... by someone who had found me through a Catholic link on my Facebook page and intended to deceive me and steal from me.  I also felt deeply grateful for the whole experience, and offered up prayers for my "friend" asking God's mercy upon him/her.

Of course it occurred to me that Tim's intuition was correct from the beginning.  His scam radar works well.  How humbling.  I love my husband!  I appreciate his patience with me as I took the time and trouble to go through with the investigative process, just to be certain that we were not turning our backs on someone that perhaps God had put into our lives for a reason.  I have often wondered what that reason might be.  Although tempted to just ignore the person (un-friend?) and forget the whole embarrassing situation, I felt called to 'admonish the sinner,' a Spiritual Work of Mercy.

I replied to the person, my former friend:
It has come to my attention that you are not who you claim to be.
Reports from my friend in Uganda (who investigated the school you claimed to attend, and spoke to the principal of the school) revealed that you have a false identity.  Your story did not hold up.  There were many contradictions and it was clear that you have lied to me.
I am sad that the person whom I have befriended, and who called me 'sister' does not exist.  Whomever you are, you are a person, and you were created in God's image and likeness.  Whomever you are, I pray that you will repent and change your ways.  You yourself wrote:
                     "i fear to be punished on sides of God when lying is not accepted." 
I have prayed for God's mercy on your soul, and that you would confess your sins and seek God's forgiveness.  
God's mercy is endless!   God's judgement is just.   
With that, the Facebook "fictitious friend" saga ends.
But problems with Facebook do continue, that's a fact!

Posted in the hour of Divine Mercy...

The Corporal Works of Mercy
                 To feed the hungry
                To give drink to the thirsty
                To clothe the naked
                To visit and ransom the captives
                To shelter the homeless
                To visit the sick
                To bury the dead

The Spiritual Works of Mercy
                To admonish sinners
                To instruct the ignorant
                To counsel the doubtful
                To comfort the sorrowful
                To bear wrongs patiently
                To forgive all injuries
                To pray for the living and the dead


Ryan O'Donnell said...

It might be worth posting your findings on your "friend's" wall, to disuade anyone else who might be likewise deceived. Of course, it would only mean that he or she would have to create a new profile with a new name, but it might save someone a few bucks. Maybe also post to the Catholic group(s) you belong to where (s)he may have found you, if you haven't already.

Thanks for sharing your story.

Anonymous said...

Sorry Bridget! However, you did show something beautiful throughout this whole "friend" scam and that was how you first trusted, then discerned, used your intellect to investigate, found truth and admonished the sin. You did this with tact and love. To love our enemies is one of Jesus' most challenging requests of humanity. In regard to the end of this saga, I would say, well done good and faithful servant!