Not so hot a topic, but kind of a sensitive one. Several times over the past few years there have been threads started by new members that go wonky. Some of them, it becomes obvious that the original posts are fiction. It's touchy, because sometimes life is stranger than fiction and you never want to ignore or, worse, call out someone who really is relaying a personal need. At the same time, folks who predatorily make up a story to illicit emotional responses and then sit back to watch the fireworks -- well, I don't like to reward that kind of nastiness when it's just mean, and I don't like to encourage that kind of unhealthy behavior if there's social dysfunction there. So I thought I'd start a thread. Please don't be specific about any members or any threads. Keep this to generalities, if you will. But maybe we can help each other not spend our energy on these odd folks. I usually start to have suspicions when. . . . 1. The OP gets advice that she dismisses over and over again, telling her advisers that she cannot do what they recommend or is somehow blocked from doing anything to help herself like they suggest. 2. The situation escalates within the thread, becoming more urgent and drawing more and more emotional responses as it goes on. Eventually, the situation becomes an emergency and yet no attempts to help seem to work. 3. The OP disappears for a long period of time during which folks banter back and forth about what she should do and eventually turn to questioning the OP and sometimes appealing to the OP to return. 4. Lots of technical terms get thrown about, but their usage is not quite correct. 5. The OP leaves the impression that folks in this forum are her only resource, no one else can help her, we are indispensable and her tragedy will spin out of control if she doesn't get her answers here. Again, I'm not encouraging any witch hunts here, ever, and I think we should err on the side of helping someone who potentially needs it. But the first time I saw this behavior I had no idea folks pulled this stuff, and I think it's fair to give some tips on when to think about being wary that you're being used.