The latest case of “just because you can try something, doesn’t mean you should try something” has emerged with another social media trend.
The “number neighbour challenge” is one of the sillier ones we’ve seen.
It goes like this: you text a number that’s almost your own phone number, except it's one digit off. You introduce yourself as this new contact’s number neighbour, and get the ball rolling on what could — best-case scenario — turn into an interesting conversation to post on social media for the laughs and the likes.
Latest fad fails
The worst-case scenarios are less lighthearted, and a few have already happened in the short time since the fad hit the internet.
For example, what if your number neighbour is a child? We won’t get into all that can go wrong in this situation, but keep in mind that the person you’re imagining may not match the person you’re texting.
What if the number you text belongs to someone who’s recently passed away? You could be causing even more distress to an already grieving family.
What if you’re texting a tech-savvy stalker? Your innocent text could put you on the radar of some creep who now has your phone number, knows you’re out there, and could start attacking your phone.
Neighbour turned nightmare
This is precisely what happened to an L.A. woman who texted her number neighbour and almost immediately started receiving death threats back. The stranger threatened to show up at her house and kill her; they sent videos of guns being loaded; they called her phone dozens of times and even when she blocked that number, more calls streamed in from a different number.
She eventually filed a police report, but we’re betting she wishes she had skipped the whole ordeal!
Think before you text or call
There’s nothing wrong with taking part in fun fads online, but make sure to think about what you’re signing up for. So many of these viral social media trends ask you to sacrifice your security for a few minutes of entertainment.
Our best advice? Don’t do it!
To get the right information at the right time, contact the Beauceron Security Team @ firstname.lastname@example.org or 1-877-516-9245.