"the officer went to Facebook.com…Not only did it help him identify Chiles, it also showed that Chiles and Gartner listed each other as friends, suggesting Gartner had lied to police. Chiles’ ticket for public urination: $145. Gartner’s ticket for obstructing justice: $195."
Cop snares college pals in own Web - Chicago Tribune (3 August 2006)
This is one of the first reported incidents in which Facebook was used to identify a person who broke the law (picked up from this JCMC article from 2009. More recently, a Facebook photo was used as partial evidence to arrest a man for attempted murder.
When Monica Whitty and I connected for an interview for this blog, she also told me about some ESRC-funded research that she is conducting looking at an online dating scam (pdf).
Practically, the scenario’s pretty standard: scammers extract money from victims. However, the implications reach beyond personal finance; it tells us something about the intensity of the online environment as a field for the development of interpersonal trust and emotional commitment. It even helps us peer into the nature of love.
Here, Monica describes what it is and some of the early results - including who’s most at risk.