Saturday, May 30, 2009

Realtionship made via My Space, Orkut, Facebook, social networking site can lead to Internet Fraud

relationship on MySpace, Bebo, Orkut, facebook
Question: I am emotionally involved with a man I met at one of the chat rooms on the internet. A couple of days ago, he asked me to leave India behind and settle in Japan, where he stays. Do you think it would be wise to do so?

Answer: The internet has indeed changed our worldview, and relationships made on the internet are no more considered absurd. However, before taking a step that you might regret the rest of your life, it would be better for you to ensure the credentials of your cyber-friend. The anonymity that the internet provides is such that you can never know or tell whom you are interacting with. Since you have communicated with your friend only through internet chats, it is difficult to say whether your cyber friend has been telling you the truth. These are problems that occur in the actual world too, but in the cyber world it becomes impossible to ascertain the truth.
Take the case of the American who came all the way to India in search of a woman in Delhi after meeting her on a chat website. She has already duped him of $1,400 which she said she needed to come and visit him in the States. On asking for her photographs, she sent him pictures of Aishwarya Rai, former miss world from India.
This was clearly a case of Internet fraud. There are in fact, all kinds of dangers lurking. Paedophiles and perverts find the internet a great place for contacting vulnerable children or women because of the anonymity it provides. Recently, a 31-year-old American ex-marine who carried on a year-long relationship with a 12-year-UK girl through internet chat rooms and e-mails, and eventually ran off with her, and was arrested on charges of abduction by the German Police. There are claims that the marine believed that the person he was chatting with was 19 years old. Whether or not this claim is true is something to be proved on trial. However, the case is a clear example of the problems that internet can cause.

You also need to understand that the Indian law is in reality applicable only in India. If you go to Japan in search of your cyber friend and become the victim of any evil design, you will not be able to avail of the benefits of the Indian law. Besides, even if you do identify your cyber friend, it will be difficult to take action against someone who is under foreign jurisdiction.

Relationships over the internet often disguise a financial scam. You must ensure that before you take any drastic steps you must find out your cyber-friend's antecedents, and test his genuineness in whatever manner you please.

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