Crime du Jour: 31 Days of Malfeasance, Misconduct, and Immorality
One crime story per day, all the way through October. Ebook to be published Nov 1. This will be under my mystery/crime pen name, Diane R. Thompson!
Crime du Jour #13: Harassment
SELL ME YOUR SHADOW
Gibs Hanscam received the following message from an anonymous email account, at one of his anonymous email accounts: Sell me your shadow, Samiscam.
Samiscam was a handle that he often used on the dark web. Sam-I-Scam. It sounded like something out of Dr. Seuss.
But that was just the start of the message. Sell me your shadow, Samiscam. I want full use of your ID to undertake some illegal activity. I want you to take the blame for what I’m about to do for a short period, say three to six months max, after which you will be free and clear. No prison will be involved but your real-life identity might get dragged into the spotlight. I’m not going to rape, murder, or assault anyone. No drugs, no bodily harm. Just freak them the fuck out. What do you get in return? Bitcoins.
Five hundred bitcoins. No questions asked or answered. Just five hundred bitcoins.
Hit reply to confirm.
The worth of a bitcoin, at the time that Gibs received the message, was US $8444 and change. Five hundred bitcoins was over US$4 million. He did some research to try to find out who had sent the email but came up dry.
Setting aside the question of whether he wanted to play cat-and-mouse with the IRS, did he want to do it?
Point number one: why ask?
There was always somebody who could hack your identity. Gibs was small fry, no serious security set up. He was just a guy who liked to prank people. Not people he knew. People who were like people he knew, but not the same actual people. He’d discovered who he hurt didn’t matter. A woman named Tiffany was rude to him on the phone, he’d find another Tiffany and use her credit card to buy a bunch of adult diapers and have them shipped to a third Tiffany, just to fuck up both their days.
Point number two: was this just a scam?
As in, was some kid screwing around? What if one of his “victims” had tracked him down? What if it was the cops or the FBI? Wouldn’t that be entrapment?
Point number three: why not come up with your own ID? People on the dark web did it every day.
The rules were no murder, no rape, no bodily harm. Gibs tried to work out what was left. Hate crimes, libel or slander, stalking, harassment…? Arson, burglary, child pornography?
The Mr. Anonymous had said no questions, but that last one was too big to ignore. Even a guy like Gibs had limits.
Gibs typed No child pornography and hit reply.
He received an almost immediate response: No fucking kiddie porn. Or animal porn. Or feces/piss porn. That’s your one exemption to the no-question rule, buddy. Out or in?
In, Gibs replied.
I like to just follow them around, the first poster said. I don’t do anything to them. I just follow them around.
The second one said, I like to go up to their doors and leave them delivery boxes, with cadaverine stink bombs inside.
I like to stand on the sidewalk. I just stand there in a hoodie. It’s not dangerous, because I’m white. I just pull the hoodie down if the cops pull up.
I used to send them things through the mail. Now it’s self-deleting attachments to text messages. Never dick pics, though. Low open rates on that shit.
I wrote an algorithm that takes their search results and flags anyone who might be pregnant. I send them pregnancy tests and tell them that I’m watching them.
I mail them pictures of their boyfriends cheating on them. Photoshop is not their friend.
Fun times, LOL. But did you hear about Samiscam?
That guy’s brilliant. I wondered what happened to him. He hasn’t been on in over a week.
It came out that he worked for a debt collection company in real life. He spent all day harassing people to get them to pay their bills. Guy named Gibs Hanscom.
No shit? I can’t believe it. Those debt collection dudes are scum. He was better than that.
Ethical Recovery Associates, his company, decided to downsize their staff without paying unemployment. They selected a bunch of their best performers to harass their own fucking staff. They demoted people, moved their jobs to other states without a moving allowance, fined them for not getting high enough conversion rates…this one chick was $84,000 in debt to her boss for not making her quota. Like eighteen people killed themselves.
I still don’t believe it. What happened to Samiscam?
Get this, he was in charge of the special harassment division. His boss paid him under the table. Five hundred bitcoins.
No shit? Like four million bucks?
He killed himself this morning. He left a note saying he was depressed and couldn’t take it anymore. Once people found out what he did, they wouldn’t leave him alone. He was sick of the harassment.
Would you do it? For five hundred bitcoins? Drive your coworkers to suicide?
LOL, said poster number two. For four million bucks? Sure.
Ethical Recovery Associates claimed that neither it, nor its employees, had any connection to the Bitcoin payment was made to Gibson Hanscam, or to any policies that would constitute harassment of its own employees. Nobody believed them. Their head lawyer quit.
A week later, an anonymous email showed up on poster number two’s account.
Sell me your shadow, it began, and ended, Out or in?
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