Mike Cam, Lacey Mosley, Facebook discussed on ICYMI

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Awkward. Like the awkward like, oh, well, this is not what we agreed upon. Yes. But we're talking, we're talking about scam scams. I'm taking your money scams, right? Oh, totally. I mean, I think they're all in a continuum because we talked about earlier, like with Mike cam and stuff. That definitely is more of the misleading who you are versus just trying to steal from you. And so yeah, I think they're all sorts of those have been going on for years. Ever since we got social media, people have been using it to pretend that they are other people. And I've been getting asked for iTunes gift cards on grindr, since I joined it. So like, I get it. Okay, so let me ask you what pictures you're using because what if you just look rich? Oh, okay. Wow, I love the idea that I might look rich. Multiple people are asking. I would say I would say like maybe I know that's like correlation versus causation. But what if the picture you just look extremely, very, very wealthy in your profile photo? After the pod, we can look at my profile and figure out what photos I shouldn't be using. Anyway, these scams fall under the larger umbrella of romance scans, which we've definitely talked about before, the tender swindler is classic example of that. And according to the FTC, $547 million was reported lost in 2021 due to romance scams. And that's up 80% from 2020. And adds up to a total of $1.3 billion lost in the last 5 years on these alone. And of course, like this is just a small subset of them. The grinder scams in the gay scams like this, but this is a problem that everybody's dealing with. And it's unnerving. And in doing research for this episode, one of the first things I came across was a post from the AARP warning about sextortion scams on dating and hookup apps. And that was a bummer. When I was at home for the holidays, I was watching the local news, and it was like, I think there was a local news story of a woman that was like, oh, I fell in love with a man, and I sent him $30,000. She's older, obviously. And I'm like, and then I immediately looked at my mom and I looked at my dad and I was like, I can not let these people scam. Heaven forbid that something happens when my parents and one of them has to start dating again. In their older age, I can not let them get stamped like this because these people just throw away a life. It's like the same kind of story. It's like Facebook Messenger or someone on Facebook and then it's just like you have an older person wiring them like $80,000 and liquidating their savings and you're just like, well, this is super depressing, 'cause there's nothing that can be done about it. But it's also like to the other things depressingly is like older people are lonely. Yeah, really lonely. And I listened to scam got us a lot, Lacey Mosley, host of that show. Was a guest on our pod and she's always telling listeners to call your grandparents. Check in on them. Because scammers definitely are calling them and checking on them if you're not. So that's such an important thing to remember. But the thing that really gets to me is thinking about this in the specifically gay context is like all of the older gays who don't have these family support systems possibly. Like they don't have these younger generations that are related to to offer that support. And so I just worry about them even more. Yeah, I mean, I hope my nephew checks in on me. Because there's not going to be anyone else. Yeah, I'm definitely going to be telling my sister's kids that they've got a job to do. I would just be like, just sign me out of my thing, right? Like at some point, just like sign me off of the Internet. Let me just watch Golden Girls in my old age. Take me to a little bar once in a while. I don't need because it is terrifying when you think about what were the numbers you were putting. Those were in the billions. It's not just like people are making a killing off of this. And that's so insane. I mean, not that I would, not that I would know anything about killings with our adrenaline salaries. Right, Alex, if only we had fewer scruples. We could get in on this. Anyway, so these dangers don't just exist online. They are very real world dangers too. Something that I think would be important to talk about is the string of robberies and murders of gay men, this past year in New York City. Right. Just this past weekend, my friend was like, yeah, this happened to one of my friends at the eagle, a bar in Chelsea that is very, very famous. And I wouldn't say that it's particularly any, I don't know. I wouldn't consider it a violent or a place where people get robbed or people get their bank account straight. But I mean, isn't the whole scam right is it's someone gets super drunk. They're slipped something or someone in this case. There's this rash of gay men that basically it's all a very similar story. It's like they go out, they're having a great time. They go home with a couple of strangers, maybe once or maybe two strangers. And then sometimes they wake up and it's like all their bank accounts have been drained. And it's like they've been all venmo'd out or Zelda. And then us a couple of cases, I think there's been a couple murders. There have been. Julio Ramirez and John umberger are two gay men who are murdered last year by these men committing these crimes. And it's very sad and heartbreaking to lose them. And especially because these are, these are all bars that I'm so familiar with, and that I know all of my Friends are so familiar with. And so it's terrifying to even think about, but also like where else are we going to go, you know? Right, and I think a little bit of it is just like you kind of, for me, I want to know who's doing it, and it's just like, is this just, is it just, is it a ring of people? Because there's something kind of insidious about if this is gay men doing this to gay men, not that it would be okay in any other instance or some kind. But it's like the whole idea of like, it's like, are we a community? Is this that? I can't believe that someone is doing this to our community. It hurts even more a little bit. If you, if these perpetrators are gay men who are taking advantage of it. But I mean, the whole idea, and I was talking about this with someone else, what they're doing or what's happening in New York City is isn't that different than what happened in hustlers, right? Like when the famous J.Lo movie that was based on a New York mag article of these exotic dancers who were drugging men and then maxing out their credit cards, stealing stuff in their bank account, and then letting them go. And then being like, okay, well, we took all of this money. And I think the whole idea there is that they're both inherently the same scam, but there's something worse when the victims are you're scamming up. Yeah, yeah, right. I think in hustlers. I was talking with my friend. I was just like, I don't know why this one feels so much worse and I'm like, yes, obviously the body count and people are dying. But it's just like there's something that feels so gross about this. And what is happening to gay men in the city and it's happening like weekend after weekend? Yeah, and I was reading one story that they quoted one of the men who experiences and he said that he didn't even realize he didn't even think about that this could happen to men that like he knows that women are so aware of this and that it's not a thing that men necessarily

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