Time Doesn’t Equal Money

My previous post about a British man found guilty of stealing of stealing electronic poker chips from the Zynga Corporation shows that there are real-world repercussiosn to online theft.

At least, when it comes to stealing money from a corporation.

If you steal the time and dreams from an individual, however, the law might not really know what to do with you or have much interest in tracking you down.

Case in point: A Florida man recently fell for a facebook hoax perpetrated by someone claiming to be country singer-songwriter Luke Bryan.

Ken Webb, the victim, thought that he had scored a spot backing up Bryan on an upcoming tour. Webb’s daughter had been in contact with Bryan through facebook. She’d shared recordings with Bryan of her father playing guitar. Turns out the profile was completely fake. Still, the fake Luke Bryan claimed to like Webb’s style and asked him to join his touring group.

The excited Webb thought that his dreams had come true. He put in his two-week notice at work and prepared to hit the road with one of country’s biggest stars. It didn’t take long, though, before he and his daughter realized that it was a sham. No such tour even existed.

When Webb contacted police in Tennessee, they were unsure of what to do. Perhaps it’s s a federal problem, they advised. The feds, however, haven’t made any steps toward solving the crime or even determining whether a crime took place.

If this was simply a case of some guy online going along with a case of mistaken identity, then that would be one thing. The fake Bryan, however, went to great extremes to convince Webb and his daughter that he was legit. He even gave them the home phone number to Bryan’s touring manager and rerouted texts elsewhere so that he could intercept them.

That’s more than just a little prank. It’s unclear what the payoff would have been. The fact remains, though, that the law focuses on money rather than other important parts of life. Steal someone’s money, and you go to jail. Steal their time and dreams, though, and no one really cares. It just ends up as a sad story told on the evening news channel of a small town in Florida.

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~ by facebookhoaxes on February 9, 2011.

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