By Meg Owens
“Someone complimented you! See more on IRL,” is a widespread chain message that many students across the nation are receiving. A tweet about these messages went viral on August 24th, ever since there has been word that this message has been associated with sex trafficking. Said tweet reads,
“LADIES, if you have received a text recently saying ‘a friend has complimented you in IRL’ With a link attached below it, DO NOT open the link! It is linked to sex trafficking. All your information, (including location) can be taken simply by clicking on the link. SO DON’T DO IT!”
This text includes two links: one that connects you to the Apple store and one that connects you to the Google Play store. Supposedly, once you click the link, hackers have access to all of your personal information, including your IP address, which gives them the ability to track you. Despite allegations, an IRL spokesman claims that this tweet is completely false. The purpose of this app is to get people to communicate in real life rather than over the phone. Nevertheless, the app isn’t completely secured. Installing the “IRL” app allows the software to gain access to your contacts list. Even if you don’t have the app, you’ll receive a text if someone in your contacts list has it downloaded. If you create an account, it asks you to enter your email, phone number, gender, age, etc. which is slightly invasive but nothing more than standard procedure for creating an account on any other app. Just be aware that if you do receive this text, you are not being dragged into the sex ring, you are just being dragged into spam.