Schoolgirl Tracks Down Internet Identity Thief

from the makes-for-such-a-good-headline dept

Unfortunately, the BBC article is a little short on details, but police who were trying to track down someone who hacked into a family’s computer and stole the father’s credit card, mentioned to the family that the thief used the online identity “Gafferboy”. The 15-year-old daughter in the famile went online searching for Gafferboy and apparently found him in a chat room, where she convinced him to give up his real name, address, and phone number by giving him a “star-sign quiz”. It makes for a good story, but I have plenty of questions (not the least of which is what the hell is a “star-sign quiz”, and how does it make you give up your name, address, and phone number?). Other questions though, are how the police figured out the thief used the name Gafferboy – but couldn’t track him down themselves and how the teenager just happened to find the right Gafferboy in “a chat room”. Update: Aha. The internet to the rescue. Here’s a version of the story with many more details. The scammer had made the original contact with the schoolgirl, and sent her a “picture” of himself, which was really a trojan horse so he could steal her father’s credit card. So, she knew how to find him. As for filling out the quiz, it sounds like he was just a typical teenaged boy who was doing anything to get a girl to like him, forgetting that he’d stolen from her family. He also, upon hearing what the girl had done, proceeded to mailbomb her, which probably didn’t help his case.

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