Waking early one morning, I looked across at my iPhone, as is generally my habit, to read any messages received over the course of the night. On opening my Echofon Twitter account I was greeted by a DM (direct message). The familiar radiant smile of one of my American Twitter friends beamed up at me from the screen. The accompanying message read.
lol ur famous now (link).
Assuming that this instant fame could only be the result of a sudden surge in sales of my book, Charles Middleworth, I dropped the iPhone and ran jubilantly downstairs to check the sales figures on my Amazon.kdp account. The report stated there had been zero sales over night. Coming to the realisation that I had been somewhat gullible in my assumption; I typed the message I had received into the Google search engine and discovered that it was a virus masquerading as a tantalising message, tempting one to click on the link. Had I clicked on the link it is likely my account would have been hacked. I trudged back upstairs disconsolately, though with a modicum of relief that I hadn’t clicked it.
Over the forthcoming days there were further sporadic suspicious DM’s. Including:
Rumour about you (with a link)
Somebody is posting nasty updates on their Twitter about you.
These were evidently attempts to hack my account and I ignored them, adamant that I would never be deceived by a malignant DM again. Several days later I awoke abruptly shortly after dawn, my breathing harried and brow damp with sweat. The night had been punctuated with unexplainable nightmares that left me confused and alarmed. Some moments later I reached for the iPhone. There was a DM in my Twitter account from a childhood friend. The message said something to the affect of:
You even see them taping u (link) that’s nasty
I stare transfixed in horror at the screen, convinced that the nightmares were a premonition of this devastating news. The horrendous video had come back yet again to haunt me. A horrible debacle I thought I had left behind me years before. Momentarily I wondered why I had spent all that money on lawyer fees. I then hastily phoned the friend from which the message had come. After several rings a sleepy voice answered the phone. Immediately I demanded to know who had sent him the video and who else had been sent it, the words coming out as a torrent, devoid of any pauses. The friend now fully awake, denied all knowledge of sending me the link and insisted it must be a virus. I terminated the conversation abruptly just as he begun to make enquiries about what video I was referring to. Overwhelmed with relief that it was merely paranoia on my part, I returned upstairs, relieved that I had not clicked on the link. Within minutes I had been engulfed by a contented lethargy.
The first two chapters of my book, Charles Middleworth, a humorous tale of the unexpected are available for free. Click on the link below to read.