Everyday is Halloween

Although there is a special day for all people to celebrate Halloween, everyday is Halloween for criminals who need a disguise physically and online in order to execute their master plans. However, criminals can greatly benefit from the Halloween day as they can execute their plans while disguised and without being initially noticed since many people dress up and disguise their faces for fun on this special day.

As we prepare to celebrate Halloween in the US on October 31st, the tradition is also celebrated in other parts of the world on different days of the year and under different names. Halloween is about trick or treating, guising and symbols such as carving pumpkins in the US. Although, most people especially kids excitedly celebrate this tradition on Halloween day, some people practice the Halloween tradition of guising and one-way tricking without treating on all other days of the year to rob banks and stores, pretend to be someone else while on the run from authorities by cutting and coloring their hair and undergoing plastic surgery, or claiming to be someone desirable on the Internet by changing their age, gender, picture and name. Some guising and pretexting is innocent and fun while others are malicious such as pretending to be someone else in job applications and during job interviews, at the bars and other public places when meeting new people, and the streets of Beverly Hills to impress upon others for personal benefit. Other times, pretexting takes the form of identity theft where the criminal-to-be uses another innocent person’s identity to commit a variety of criminal acts under the victim’s identity which the criminals have stolen for specific purposes.

On Halloween day, everyone has a choice to become any other person or beast, and as long as we are not entering into some kind of partnership whether it is marriage or business, we can give away candies without any expectation of returned favor. However, if we decide to enter into a business transaction with other people, we have to assume everyday is Halloween and everyone may be disguised physically or online. Therefore, we must identify the true identity and intentions of our potential life and business partners which might be hidden beyond their bodily features and digital identity. In my opinion, it is much easier to judge the trueness of a person’s identity and plans when we are meeting with them face to face. There are many behavioral giveaways which can help us determine whether additional background checks are necessary in order to give us sufficient confidence regarding the person’s identity and intentions before we formally enter into a partnership. On the other hand, validating a person’s online identity based on false pictures, age, gender and name is much more difficult let alone discovering his or her true character as well as short and long term intentions. Digital identities are typically much more trusted by people because we not only like what we hear but also what we see. To trust others and protect ourselves against fraud, we have to assume everyday is Halloween and assume people we deal with might have a visible or invisible mask on which we must lift for ensuring long lasting and trustworthy relationships.

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