Alibi clubs are loose collections of people willing to help each other out with alibis for every occasion: skipping work for the day, travelling to another country with your mistress, or getting out of a blind date. Your imaginationâ€”and moralityâ€”is your only barrier.
There is nothing new about making excuses or telling fibs. But the lure of alibi networks, their members say, lies partly with the anonymity of the Internet, which lets people find collaborators who disappear as quickly as they appeared. Engaging a freelance deceiver is also less risky than dragging a friend into a ruse. Cellphone-based alibi clubs, which have sprung up in the United States, Europe and Asia, allow people to send out mass text messages to thousands of potential collaborators asking for help. When a willing helper responds, the sender and the helper devise a lie, and the helper then calls the victim with the excuse â€” not unlike having a friend forge a doctor’s note for a teacher in the pre-digital age.