Dear Facebook …

Dear Facebook,

I’ve been meaning to write you for a while about the large number of beautiful young women who want to “friend” me on Facebook. I get these requests on a regular basis. The ladies who send them seem fond of using pin-up glam photos in their profiles. Otherwise, their profiles are oddly barren of background details or notices about other posts. Stranger yet, when I don’t respond, these requests seem to vanish after a day or two.

While it might seem flattering so many attractive young women want to befriend a 50 year-old crime writer, I’m starting to suspect a ruse.

You see, I wrote a book called The Big Con: Great Hoaxes, Frauds, Grifts and Swindles in American History that talks about this very thing.

Back in 2011, University of North Carolina physics professor Paul Frampton made an unusual match on an online dating site. Frampton, in his 60s, received an invite from a 32 year-old Bolivian bikini model named Denise.

Communication ensued between the smitten Frampton and the luscious model. Denise told Frampton she wanted a mature man in her life. Men her age only cared about her body (prominently displayed in her profile pictures).

Frampton agreed to visit Denise in Bolivia. So excited was he, Frampton didn’t even bother talking to his sweetie over the phone in advance of his trip.

Frampton arrived in Bolivia to discover Denise had left for a last-minute model shoot in Belgium. She left an apologetic note asking him to meet her there, and bring a suitcase she foolishly left behind. Frampton obliged and was promptly busted when customs officials discovered two kilos of cocaine in the suitcase. He served several months in an awful prison and no longer works for the University of North Carolina.

It’s safe to say he was set up by an international drug gang.

Frampton wrote about his experiences in a book you can buy here.

Now, Facebook, I’m not suggesting there’s any similar malarkey going on with all these invites I keep getting from lovely young women with come-hither profile photos.

Just don’t expect me to travel anywhere soon and pick up any suitcases.

The Big Con is available through publisher ABC-CLIO, Amazon and Barnes and Noble among other outlets.

(Nate Hendley is a Toronto writer and author of several books, primarily in the true-crime genre. His website at www.natehendley.com offers more details about his professional and personal background).

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