The latest CBS The Inspectors episode titled “A Friend You Know” focused on the dangers of sharing personal information on social media with people you don’t know.
Amanda (Jessica Lundy) and Mitch question a person of interest named Brian Boyd (Tyler Cravens) in a case of identity theft they are pursuing. Boyd insists that he has nothing to do with it and as the postal inspectors don’t have sufficient evidence, they can’t bring him in.
Meanwhile, Veronica is talking with Preston (Bret Green) and Noah (Harrison Knight) about her friend Henry that she met on her social media app Buddy Friends. She’s really enjoying getting to know Henry as he seems like a really cool guy. So, when Henry appears to have gone missing as he hasn’t contacted her online in a while, Veronica begins to get worried. She is happy when she bumps into him at University Grind but is confused when Henry says that isn’t his name. He makes a remark that he just has one of those faces in which he seems to always be getting confused with someone else. When he asks for her number, Veronica suggests that he give her his instead; her radar is now on alert. He asks for her phone but Veronica says that she is old fashioned and gives him a pad of paper in which to write his name and number down on; including last name. The guy’s name is Chad, not Henry. When Veronica later tells Preston and Noah what happened with Henry/Chad, Preston is surprised that Veronica was so trusting online with someone she hardly knew. Veronica admits that she needed someone to talk with since Preston now seems to rely on Grace.
Amanda and Georgia (Charmin Lee) are working on the case. Amanda asks Georgia to check the evidence to see where Brian Boyd could be stashing the money he’s stolen through his identity theft scam i.e. any offshore accounts. She shows Georgia the hidden flash drive Mitch found in the man’s home and says Mitch said that his gut is telling him that there is something important stored on it. Later, Georgia uncovers information that reveals Brian Boyd is no longer going after the elderly. He is now targeting college students by posing as one and befriending them through social media in order to gain their trust. Then, Boyd steals their identities. Georgia shows Amanda a familiar name on his list of student marks: Veronica Ruiz. Apparently, Brian Boyd was Veronica’s online Henry.
Amanda speaks with Veronica later. Ms. Ruiz is embarrassed that she was duped. Amanda reminds Veronica the importance of really knowing who she is talking with online and to never give personal information to anyone she doesn’t know. Veronica comments to Preston that she doesn’t know how she could have been so trusting. Preston encourages her to tell her story on her show so other students can learn from her mistake and protect themselves. But Veronica isn’t sure because she doesn’t want to look like a fool for falling for a scammer.
Mitch tells Amanda that he’s uncovered more students in which Brian Boyd has stolen identities. They get a tangible lead to arrest Boyd when Emily Jerome (Gabrielle Byndloss) comes in to tell the postal investigators that her identity was recently stolen. She discovered it when she wanted to buy a new computer for school and attempted to open a charge account with the store but was declined due to bad credit. Emily learned that someone had stolen her identity and had already opened several accounts. The person had maxed out all the credit cards leaving unpaid charges. Amanda questions Emily about whether she knows Henry. And when the postal inspectors shows her a photograph of Henry, Emily identifies him as her friend Sara’s father Brian Boyd. Mitch and Amanda now have the evidence they need along with a positive identification from a witness to make their arrest.
Mitch and Amanda go to the Boyd residence. Sara opens the door and lets her dad know that he has visitors. Brian Boyd is not happy to see the postal inspectors again. Mitch arrests him for the identity thefts. Sara is furious to know that one of his victims was her friend Emily.
The episode closes with Veronica taking Preston’s advice and telling her story on the air so other students are warned on the dangers of giving information out through social media.
“A Friend You Know” was an extremely important episode of The Inspectors as in this age of social media, more and more people run the risk of having their identities stolen. Posting pictures online and revealing personal information is risky, especially when it’s to someone you only know online. It’s easy for someone to say they’re someone else behind the identity masking safety of a computer. But as we become more computer savvy, we have to be smart too and take the necessary precautions to protect ourselves.
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