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Saintclare2009

Be cautious!

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Saintclare2009

I joined phatmass in the early summer. I think its a great way to get advice, thoughts and ideas from fellow catholics on an open forum. However if someone you dont know personally on here messages you... Etc.. Be careful. As sadly, anyone can pretend to be someone they are not... Especially on a computer. I know first hand as its a long story, but im trying genuinely to help out to give catholic advice. Last summer my brother died suddenly. I use to be on facebook, but i am not anylonger. Last september i get a text from a person, who i didnt know personally saying they were impressed with my statement about a certain saint i quoted about. Honestly at the time i didnt see any red flags. So i wrote back saying thank you. Then she texted me on my phone ( something of that nature and said if i wanted to join a certain group i would have to add the person as friend... I thought that was a little strange but nothing major. Once i became part of the group i was getting inudated with messages.  I suddenly thought " this is weird! I announced kindly. Thanks but no thanks.... Then i get a message from someone i only knew online briefly... " the person was angry that i left the group. ( huge red flag. ) this is scary.. But its  all true!  The person texted me saying something along the lines .. What did they do for me to ignore them. I told my family in case as well. Then they sent another text a couple of weeks later. I prayed about it asking for wisdom and god laid upon my heart 3 people who i thought could be doing this.... One was a stalker that stalked me for over a year! The other two unfortunately were aquaintences that i had nothing in common with. Just telling my story to help others that fraud exists every where... You have to be sharp these days. Its great to make new friends. But be very cautious. .. It doesnt matter if the site is catholic or not. Sadly there are people who try to dupe others. When in doubt pray! The lord will give you clear guidance and shed light on the situation in his time!

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OnlySunshine

Yes, it is an unfortunate situation.  I've had something similar happen to me, as well, but I've taken steps to prevent it.  It's a good idea to not put yourself "out there" so perfect strangers know everything about you and make it seem like they are your friends.  I always make sure I know the person well enough before adding them to my Facebook page or any social media account.  You never know who could be following you and cause you trouble.  I personally had an online stalker for well over a year and I've managed to separate myself totally from that person but I still am very cautious about what I post.  Sometimes, it takes getting into trouble for you to learn, unfortunately. :(

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Saintclare2009

Yes, i definitely agree. I joined a specific saint group on social media well over a year ago. I didnt think much of it with caution because i never added a friend to my account that i didnt know personally. It was actually strange someone texted my phone. So to me that made no sense. Like i mentioned with time and prayer and red flags... God showed me who it was. By politely ignoring them and deleting the group, the person eventually left me alone. Common sense is if it doesnt seem right... Then its not. It was a person that liked me in a manner that is unacceptable for me as a catholic person, when i ignored the person they joined a site (catholic) that i liked. What gave the clue was how the person spoke to me sending me messages.. That i caught on. Like i mentioned my whole family knew of the details. No one going through anything weather in person or on the computer should ignore anything like what i mentioned. I dont wish it on anyone. God is good and he knows everything about us. When we are obedient to him and love him and are honest.. He fights our battles so when we go through the fire so to speak... We come out gold! 

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tinytherese

Just a little advice. When you post on here, please separate your posts into paragraphs so it's easier for people to read.

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Francis Clare

And please.....just use good old common sense when divulging personal information.  Not a good idea EVER!

 

And a question.....how in the world did the person text you on your phone if you hadn't yourself divulged that information?  I got off Facebook years ago and don't know the inner workings anymore.

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beatitude

When I was young (gosh, I sound like a grandmother, writing that!) I shared far too much info about myself online and I had a few bitter experiences before I finally learnt my lesson and realised that no matter how intimate a forum or a blog may seem, it's still open to the eyes of anyone who has Internet. I also didn't even realise quite how much info I was giving out; it's amazing what people can piece together about you from just a few scattered clues when they're really determined. I've had two cyber-stalkers, one of whom even turned up at my workplace one day - the police were called. I try to think of them with compassion, because all the evidence suggested they weren't very well mentally,  but it was still creepy and beyond stressful. Now I have a professional website for my work, but after my experiences I'm reluctant to keep a personal blog. If I did it would be anonymous.

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Nunsuch

What does this conversation have to do with Vocations? If it belongs on Phatmass, isn't there a more appropriate Phorum for it?

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Carmelite4christ

This is my last time on here. But wanted to add The person was a chiropractor that obviously had my phone number, so the dr made up a character on one of my social media likes....when i was on their. Thats how the person got my phone number. I understand this is a vocation station. I am fairly new on here. So i apologize as this is my last time on here. I thought people would be more kind like what beautitude posted.But here i find criticism on many things that people post. Not only my posts. So i get an opinion on how i should write and what category i should write in. I dont have time for catiness. I thank everyone on here though who was kind. I wish you all the best! Now on to my friends.... Got to catch up with them.They tbought it was sillly that i joined. Blessings!!! Those of you with a future vocation, i would try to practice kindness! ( i couldnt log on my saint clare email. So i had two accounts . carmelite4christ and saintclare. )

Edited by Carmelite4christ
Forgot to add a comment

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BarbaraTherese

Sadly at times we all fall down no matter who or what we are.  We fall down and we can let each other down by some unkind remark etc.  This is why we are all without any exceptions whatsoever very justly termed sinners in need of redemption and repentance.   Unkindness of one kind or another can happen on Phatmass too.  But I do think despite unkind comments here in Vocations forum at times, far more often indeed really valuable information is shared.

I think too that one should always be very careful indeed about personal information shared when on the internet no matter where one is on the internet.........including in Vocations forum on Phatmass.

Expectations and reality very often do contradict - and reality wins always hands down and sometimes sadly so. 

Viva le Pham! :) 

Edited by BarbaraTherese

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beatitude
12 hours ago, Nunsuch said:

What does this conversation have to do with Vocations? If it belongs on Phatmass, isn't there a more appropriate Phorum for it?

I will leave it here for now, as while the OP's story is a bit garbled, sadly I think the main point does apply particularly to VS. There have been at least two instances of discerners posting which communities they were visiting and a stranger then writing to that community to criticise the discerner. There was also another incident when someone sincerely believed their online correspondence meant they were very close friends with a former Phatmasser who had joined a community, and that person kept contacting the community in a way that was intrusive and unhelpful. It helps to be reminded that if you name your community and it isn't one that has lots of houses, it's as good as giving out your new address.

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Carmelite4christ

Thank you kindly beautitude and barbara therese, all i was trying to was to help others. I agree wholeheartedly with what you both have said. I am fairly new on here as i mentioned, this is a vocation station and i started a new topic to tell other catholics on here to be careful. It is sad how if we try to give advice to be cautious how it can get turned around into something unkind, i dont think jesus likes any of us to try to be little others. With that said also i shouldn't be surprised if that happens even on a "vocation forum". I wanted to thank you both for being stand up and kind at the same time! Remember it is what jesus thinks of us... Thats all that matters! :)

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