To be filed under POA Dirty Tricks: The case of the Diamondhead Facebook Impostor (at least one we know of).
Update: After this story appeared on this site, all references to NASA and subsequent claims of employment as an aerospace engineer at Stennis Space Center has been removed form “Bobby Short’s” Facebook profile.
A relatively benign Facebook post, if any can be deemed as such in this age, was made touting the value of a Diamondhead residence. Chuck Clark, a resident since 1986, waxed nostalgic about the early days of living in Diamondhead. He chronicled the evolution of the community such as proximity of the local grocery and post office, all adding to the value of living in the Mississippi resort community and how all residents should be grateful. Then came the interloper. A Facebook user posing as Bobby Short chimed in with obvious deference, an agenda and a clandestine defense of the Diamondhead Country Club and Property Owners Association by utilizing the same worn out cheer leading and dubious assertion that has been heard in the community for over twenty five years.
The masquerade became apparent when “Bobby Short” commenced contradicting himself in his posts, claiming to be a new resident but having an uncanny knowledge of local politics, history and current events, begging for kindness from the people who “serve the community” by declaring that “Diamondhead is a great place” and instructing readers that everything that happens is not a conspiracy. If his comments were not enough to unmask the intentions of the masquerade, certain claims were easily found to be fiction. “Short” claimed to be a aerospace engineer with NASA. A quick phone call to the security office at Stennis Space Center refuted that claim. He also claimed on his Facebook page, to be a Tulane graduate. That was easily found to be fiction with a single call to the Alumni Office in New Orleans who stated emphatically that no one by the name of “Bobby Short” ever graduated from the esteemed university, ever, since 1834.
The ultimate invulnerable proof of the fraud are the photos that appear on the Facebook “profile” page. The photos were purloined from various sites and locales to create a persona, that was a preposterously transparent deception, to advocate the honesty of the community. Irony has never been Diamondhead’s strong point. The photographs originated on commercial sites such as Shutter Stock, Pinterest and GulfCoast.org. Another is from Geelong, Australia’s Festival of Sails.
“Short”‘s Facebook profile photo is of a professional model. The same technique is used in other instances of cyber-crime to solicit minors and sex over the internet. Facebook is a favored site for such activity. It is not known how many other sites or threads the account has been used but the Diamondhead News Online that an account for “Bobby Short” has been used for at least two other Facebook sites with the Diamondhead name.
Diamondhead has been embroiled in numerous lawsuits concerning restrictive covenants, which are scheduled to begin expiring next year. The covenants bring in over $1.5 million dollars in dues to help subsidize most of the recreational activities in the community. When the dues begin to expire so will forced dues which fund the subsidies. Two lawsuits are pending concerning the covenants. One suit is attempting to lower the required consent to extend the covenants past the current time period. It is not known if this was an attempt to sway property owners to approve the proposed change. The suits can be found here: https://diamondheadnews.com/marthouse-nutting-becker-vs-dhccpoa/ and https://diamondheadnews.com/elliot-homes-vs-state-of-mississippi-et-al/
Many Diamondhead residents and property owners rely on Facebook to get their news, advertise and communicate within the community. It is not known how many other fake or fraudulent accounts are being used with in the area but security experts advise caution. The incident has been reported to Facebook and NASA security at Stennis Space Center.
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