I got this email notification today from Meetup, under the completely fictitious name of Chris Tomkinson and for local events on the other side of the country. It took a few minutes to remember why I would have something like this set up, but I finally remembered a certain hilarious Sunday in 2005 where I spent the entire day hacking into accounts and harassing some guy online.
A certain girlfriend of mine was being constantly harassed online by a guy who was in her various circles of friends. He would join any online community she joined and post mean comments on her pictures and on her Livejournal posts. This went on for years and I don’t remember why it started, just that it was annoying to see his mean-spirited posts on everything she did. This guy was actually a relative of hers, so it wasn’t that he was interested in her or anything. The main site he did this on was a photo sharing website that existed years before things like Myspace/Facebook/Flickr/etc came around. As far as I know, there wasn’t a reason for the harassment of this girl. The guy was just nuts or something. He was in his mid-20′s and most of his posts were feces-themed, so that should give you an idea of his character. For the purposes of this story, we’ll call him Jerry.
One day I ask this girl if I can screw with Jerry and she gave me her blessing. I can’t remember if it was a reluctant blessing or not, because she knew about some of the things I’ve done in the past. Shortly after, Jerry decided to throw a party at his house and he used Meetup to organize it. This was the first I’d heard of Meetup and I signed up for an account, just so I could watch his party event. His event included his phone number.
I can’t remember exactly what I said to Jerry and I’m hoping my ex-girlfriend will read this and remind me. I called him late at night, though, and assured him that I would be attending his party. I don’t think I told him my name and I don’t remember what else I said, but soon after that he completely canceled his party because he was so freaked out by my call. I doubt I made any actual threats to him, because that’s just not something I ever do. I guess I’m just really good at being creepy. Me and Girlfriend laughed hysterically about the cancellation. I think all this happened on a Saturday night. It was the next morning when things got crazy.
Jerry was using Sprint PCS as his wireless provider. I happened to know that Sprint PCS was the only wireless company where the service reps could actually look on their screens and SEE a customers password. I was really good at lying to Sprint reps, so it didn’t take much effort for me to get Jerry’s password. Me and Girlfriend used it to log into his Sprint PCS account online and look at the giant list of people he called. It also told us his address information and other things. I can’t remember if we found anything scandalous in his list of dialed numbers.
I decided to try using his Sprint PCS password to log into his Yahoo email. It worked. The photo sharing site where he constantly harassed my girlfriend? Yep, same password. Meetup? Same password. Every single thing he did online used the same password. I scrolled through years of his emails on Yahoo, finding tons of other online services he used and I was able to log into all of them using that same password. This, readers, is exactly why you never ever use the same password on anything.
I spent most of that Sunday alone, getting into all of his accounts and doing hysterically horrible things to Jerry. My girlfriend was busy most of that day, but we’d occasionally call each other and laugh constantly about whatever new things I’d done to Jerry. I locked him out of most of the accounts and had started posting crazy things as him everywhere. On the photo sharing site where he’d been posting nonstop feces jokes on all of Girlfriend’s pictures, I began posting brand new feces jokes on EVERYONE’S pictures. This was a very small photo sharing community, with maybe just a few hundred members, and most of them all knew each other. I really can’t remember if there was much backlash from this community because of my hundreds of posts, but I definitely had fun making them.
He was on the dating site match.com and I had the ability to charge his credit card for another year or so of service through them, but I don’t think Girlfriend would give me clearance to do that. She also wouldn’t allow me to buy $1,000 in phone equipment through his Sprint PCS account and have it shipped to random addresses in bad neighborhoods. Not that I would do things like that anyway. That would be illegal!
Even though this guy had been harassing my girlfriend for years, he didn’t seem to have a problem calling her up and asking if she knew who was harassing him. He suspected that she knew something about it, probably because of all the feces posts I made on the photo site, but Girlfriend played dumb and told him that he was really good at pissing people off and it could be just about anyone doing these things to him. I listened in on one of the calls and he was really upset at everything that was happening to him. He was completely devastated by the loss of all his accounts and on top of that, people were getting pissed at him because of the things I was doing with his accounts.
There are certain days where I can remember laughing nonstop for hours at a time and this event was definitely one of those times. I think that day I probably laughed constantly from morning until bedtime, because of all the crazy things I did to Jerry, then getting to relive them on the phone with Girlfriend. That single Sunday was the end of it. I’m sure I wanted to do a few more things, but was probably discouraged by Girlfriend, either because she felt bad for the guy or because she didn’t want us to get in trouble over it all. Since that day, Jerry has stayed far away from her online. I just looked on Facebook and he’s not even friends with her on there.
There’s a lot to this story that I’m sure I’m forgetting because I’m so old and decrepit. Hopefully ex-girlfriend will make a bunch of corrections and additions for me.
Next day edit: I’m too lazy to go back through this to add/change things, so I’ll just paste the chat log of my ex-girlfriend correcting a few things…
ex-girlfriend: let’s see… i think his phone number was on the [photo sharing site] boards
ex-girlfriend: and you immediately knew it was sprint and got the password
ex-girlfriend: so you got everyone’s contact info and then cancelled the party and had it mass send emails to everyone or something like that
ex-girlfriend: then he said it wasn’t cancelled
ex-girlfriend: and you called him and i think his mom answered or something and i think you actually did threaten him or her
rbcp: no way
rbcp: not me
ex-girlfriend: and she made him cancel the party anyway because you’re nuts
ex-girlfriend: i think you did! like you said you were gonna show up and beat him up or something
ex-girlfriend: you may have told his mom that
ex-girlfriend: either way she shut down the party
ex-girlfriend: so he had to recancel it
ex-girlfriend: then you logged on his AIM and spoke to his friends and said terrible things
rbcp: i rule
ex-girlfriend: pretending to be him
ex-girlfriend: and you told me all the weird sites he was on
ex-girlfriend: like some yahoo group about chicks with dirty boots on
ex-girlfriend: and you changed his [photo sharing site] profile picture to his picture with ‘PWNED’ on it
ex-girlfriend: and he called me asked me to tell whoever it was to call it off
ex-girlfriend: i was in the middle of studying so i said i didnt have time for that bullshit
ex-girlfriend: and he said “who hates me that much?”
ex-girlfriend: and i said “who doesn’t?”
ex-girlfriend: and he then thought it was this dude greg who was the boyfriend of some chick on [the photo sharing site] and jerry had been mean to him
ex-girlfriend: so he was convinced it was greg
ex-girlfriend: i think he got his accounts back a couple of weeks later but he stayed away from [the photo sharing site]
ex-girlfriend: and yes he’s been out of contact with me since