Tuesday, June 27, 2006


Bernie J., other than keeping his readers up to date with mobile gadgetry and computing innovations, would sometimes post insightful commentaries about human frailties as in his Social Engineering 101.

Supposedly, social engineering is nothing more than the art or science of deception, or as Bernie has plainly defined it, a scam. He illustrated a few examples of which such as shoulder surfing, dugo-dugo, phishing, and Nigerian email to name a few. Although you may already know about some of the modus operandi involved, it wouldn’t hurt to find out more about the others.

In response, I posted a comment and made mention of a recent incident—which was just as insidious as those he had outlined—in which I was the intended victim. I wasn’t sure, however, if this would be classified as social engineering, but to me, it surely reeks of it.

What happened was I received a series of lengthy text messages from an anonymous sender. Hiding behind a prepaid Globe SIM card, the sender went on to lambaste my sister; even accusing her of certain wrongdoings—which borders on criminality—in the company that she manages, but owned by a cousin.

The sender also accused her of spreading vile rumors about me. In other words, he was trying to win my confidence by revealing acts of betrayal perpetrated by my sister. Obviously, this anonymous sender was trying to manipulate me into getting just as angry as he/she was with my sister.

My immediate response was to reply with the following message:

I forgive you. And in so doing, I free myself from the bond I might have with you through hatred, anger, resentment, or fear. In the process, I also keep the power and continue to enjoy the freedom that only forgiveness can bring. I refuse to allow you to hurt me or control me. I forgive for myself.

Every time I would receive any more messages from this person, I would resend this same exact message of forgiveness. Shortly thereafter, it stopped coming.

My sister was very appreciative of my response, as well as when I didn’t dignify any of those rumors she supposedly fabricated against me. I only made mention of this whole thing to her so as to give her a head’s up about someone harboring a great deal of animosity against us.

In our brief discussion about this matter, we decided to let it go at that and not even waste any time trying to figure out who the culprit was.

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posted by Señor Enrique at 6:53 AM


Blogger vina said...

i'm sure at one point of that culprit's life, he or she will realize...what a waste of text messaging.

June 27, 2006 2:48 PM  

Blogger NeiLDC said...

i mean many people are sometimes being swindle in this kind of incident, so we should be aware of it and lets use our intelligence, we have studied also SOCIAL Engineering, its pros and cons.

June 28, 2006 2:10 AM  

Blogger j said...

Don't these people have anything better to do? Grrr...

June 28, 2006 3:11 AM  

Blogger BW said...

That's cowardly for someone to harass people that way behind an anonymous identity. The best response to these crank callers is - no reponse or say I don't have time to entertain you - period
and never respond again.

Just curious though. If one uses a prepaid SIM card, is it impossible to track him down with the help of the carrier?

June 28, 2006 4:27 AM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

Even if the carriers have the technology to track down these prepaid SIMs, BW, I'm sure they wouldn't disclose it; considering there must be millions in circulation. And for every harassment case, there must be at least 50 cases of spamming. This would truly be a major headache for the carriers' customer service people.

Apparently, you're right, JAIRAM --these people have nothing better to do with their time. Huwag lang naman sana mapasma ang mga daliri nila, di ba, VINA?

Be that as it may, as NEIL had suggested, better we know as much as we can about various scams so we avoid becoming a victim.

June 28, 2006 6:27 AM  

Blogger dondon said...

Oh, my. Bad souls lurk everywhere, really. I am so impressed by your reply. I hope I could be as cool as you.

June 28, 2006 6:44 PM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

When you get to be my age, Dondon, you tend to become more dismissive of things that only annoy instead of enhance your life.

Actually, while having lunch with my brother and his boss (the director of Pathology Dept. at Cabrini Medical Center) many years ago, his boss gave me a piece of advice on to minimize stress in one's life (which I now try to live by as much as I possibly could).

That is, whenever someone or something proved bothersome, say to yourself: "A hundred years from now, this won't mean sh*t!"

And then go ahead and forgive the culprit or forget that something. :)

June 28, 2006 10:52 PM  

Anonymous myepinoy said...

Talking about internet scams, here is something that happened recently. The blog of our fellow Pinoy blogger, http://sunshinepinay.com went off air for almost a week. Later she learned that her blog was blogjacked (hijacked) and the name was changed to something else.

This post reminds us all that there are crazy people out there waiting for a chance to do bad things for fun or for whatever reasons known only to them.

In life, age really matters.

July 02, 2006 1:43 AM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

All the more reason that we must take extra precaution.

That incident, Myepinoy, reminds me of similar instances in the past; much talked about by our fellow Pinoy bloggers. An effective rule of thumb here is to never divulge your blogsite password to anyone.


July 03, 2006 12:19 PM  

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Life in Manila as observed by a former New Yorker who with a laptop and camera has reinvented himself as a storyteller. Winner of the PHILIPPINE BLOG AWARDS: Best Photo Blog in 2007 and three Best Single Post awards in 2008.


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