This happened in 2014…..
Remember Justina? I went to the Justina protests myself, since mostly the protests were happening in Boston, and that was where I lived at the time. During that time, I was blogging about the protests and sometimes, similar cases popped into the news headlines. I blogged about those child-snatching cases also. I provided links and my commentary.
I was also quietly preparing to leave the country…..
One day I received an email from an attorney. I believe if I searched long and hard enough I would be able to locate the email.
The email was from someone claiming to be an attorney. This person did not contact me through my blog, but via email. He stated that he was an attorney representing the family of the child who was snatched. His signature looked valid. I was in such a tizzy, trying to get myself prepared to move that I didn’t have time to double-check his IP. Anyone can make an email address that looks valid (Yahoo, gmail…) and make it look like they are that attorney. And even checking the IP doesn’t say much as the attorney working on the case might very well be in Newark on a business trip, or work in both NJ and MA. I have known attorneys who use gmail, after all. They don’t necessarily use their website URL email company addresses all the time, such as Robert@Dugoni.com (just sayin’, I only invented that).
So the email, which I took very seriously, stated politely that he represented the family. The family, he said, “wanted privacy” and he asked me to take the blog entry and the link down. I suppose all links and the associated news articles about the child were now going to have to be tracked down and taken down, if that is what the family wanted.
What if he was not who he said he was, but hired by the hospital that had snatched the child? What if the hospital wanted all stories taken down. Easy. Hire a fake attorney to get the job done. Hire this fake to coerce writers, who own the copyright of the stories, to take down their own work. I did it out of courtesy, without even considering that he might be fake. I don’t believe he was. However, this would be a great way to stop the news from spreading, wouldn’t it?
Faking it that you are someone else, even via email, is a crime. Did you know that? It is called SPOOFING. You can’t do it over the phone of course. You cannot call someone and claim you’re the IRS or the FBI. You can’t send an email claiming you’re an attorney to try to scare anyone. You can’t email someone claiming to be an employer when you are not (remember?). This is illegal.
However, I actually think this lawyer was legit. Just toying with the thought that he may not have been, simply because I never questioned the validity of it all.