A 17-year-old boy in Portland, Oregon, is accused of setting up a fake Facebook profile to lure his victims to a public park, where he robbed them at gunpoint and stole their expensive shoes.
According to police, the boy set up a fake Facebook account under the name “Karl Stevens” and messaged people on the “Sneakerheads Portland” Facebook page. He pretended to be interested in buying their Air Jordan sneakers, and when the victims met up with him, he robbed them at gunpoint using a silver revolver. (All of the robbery victims involved in the case noted this fact to police.) When police questioned the teen, he was wearing shoes matching the description of one of the stolen pairs, while his friend was wearing the other one.
Incidents like this prove how valuable it is to treat skeptically anyone reaching out to you on social media who you don’t already know. Though you can’t blame the victims for falling into the teenager’s robbery trap, it’s likely that if they had examined the “Karl Stevens” Facebook account closely they may have noticed some red flags, like a noticeable lack of “Karl’s” past history on the site. It’s sad that this kind of suspicion is necessary, but it’s better to be safe than sorry when meeting up with someone you only know from online.