Saturday, November 10, 2012

Internet Fraud

A Twitter scam
Recently, security researchers at Internet security firm Sophos identified an account suspension scam on Twitter. Internet users receive an e-mail, which appears to arrive from Twitter. The e-mail seeks users to re-verify their Twitter account within two days to avoid suspension. The e-mail also attempts to lure users to click on the e-mail by offering free offers. The e-mail reportedly carries an embedded image, which if clicked redirects Internet users to survey pages. The survey pages seek personally identifiable information from Internet users. Cybercriminals may use the collected information for fraudulent purposes.
Security Experts Identify Twitter Account Suspension Scam, Peter Martin, 6/25/2011

The FTC tells you how to avoid charity fraud.
Ask for the charity’s name, address, and phone number, and written information about its programs.
Before Giving to a Charity, Federal Trade Commission, June 2012

How to tell a scammer
99% of the time, you can avoid being scammed if you can DEAL LOCALLY WITH MEMBERS YOU CAN MEET IN PERSON!
How NOT to be scammed and how to distinguish a scammer!

About Lying
10. They become exasperated, sarcastic or even aggressive if you challenge their statements or claims, or if you persist in asking them questions.
12 Ways to Tell When Someone is Lying (in Addition to the Ones You Should Already Know!), Scambusters
Update 11/26/2012
In Greek mythology there is a story about a boy named Narcissus who saw his reflection in a pond and fell in love. Greek myths often end badly, which is what makes them so much fun.
The National Library of Medicine talks about a personality type named after Narcissus. They call it a disorder, but I think they're exaggerating a little. Just because you don't get along with someone doesn't mean they're sick, right?
A person with may:
  • React to criticism with rage, shame, or humiliation
  • Take advantage of other people to achieve his or her own goals
The NLM is run by the U.S. Government and helps doctors keep up with the latest treatments. Things will get ugly when it goes away.
End Update

Types of fraud.
Fraudsters will create a fake relationship with the victim who believes it’s real, perhaps ‎through online communication. At some point the fraudster will request money for a ‎number of reasons such as travel, medical, etc. In the end the fraudster is only ‎attempting to gain funds and not a relationship.‎
Common Fraud Types, Western Union
Damsels and Dudess in Distress
The con artist claims either to be sick (often supposedly suffering from cancer or other terminal illness) and unable to pay for treatment, or to be raising money for another person similarly afflicted or perhaps for a disabled child.
It takes many forms, most often in the workplace or a social group such as church or a club. An individual, sometimes even a person who has been well known to the group for years but more likely a newcomer, announces the sickness and asks acquaintances for financial support.
How Distress Scam Storylines Aim To Win Your Sympathy, Scambusters

Do you think you've been a victim of fraud? Here are places to report it.
Learn more:
Stop Fraud: A Veteran Police Investigator Shows You How (Google Affiliate Ad)


Expanding the article.

There has been a lot of talk on the innerwebs as to whether one individual or another is running a "confidence game." The way to tell a con man vs. a true distress story is very simple... they run distress stories over and over with new, good-hearted people who haven't heard of them.
Con Artists - They steal from you by sneaking in through your emotions instead of through your window...
BEWARE OF THE CON ARTIST has some great information.
  • Beware of threats. Sometimes a con can turn into murder when the victim shows suspicion.
  • How can you tell a genuinely loving person to be suspicious of everyone?
  • By definition, when you are conned it means you had a personal relationship with the con artist.
  • Beware of the person who says, "We're almost there," over and over and over and over, or any variation of this concept, such as "Any day now,"
  • A signed contract is only enforceable if you have the money to pursue it in court.
  • He may even become belligerent at times in the hopes of intimidating you into compliance.
  • If a con artist uses you as a "middle man" in a scam, he will tell you that you are as "guilty as I am" in this.
  • There IS no better con artist repellent than a thorough background check.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Why I Unfollow or Block

Twitter is a lot of fun and I want to keep it that way. So sometimes I unfollow and sometimes I block. Unfollowing means I don't have much in common with you but I'm happy to talk to you when mention me. Blocking usually means you aren't an anipal. This doesn't mean I think you're a bad person, it only means I don't share your enthusiasm for your Twitter raison d'ĂȘtre. There is no need to be offended. You have hundreds of other followers who hang on your every word.

I just used a web page called Blocked By Me to show the users I have blocked on twitter. One does occasionally block someone by accident.

To use Blocked By Me, log in with twitter and click the Show my blocked users button. The results page is a list of everyone you've blocked. Scan the list and unblock anyone who shouldn't be blocked.


Then I went to a site called Twitblock which examined all my followers for common signs of junk accounts. To use Twitblock, log in with twitter. The results page is a list of followers who act like spammers. Scan the list and unfollow or block anyone who you believe is actually a spammer.


I also use TwitterCounter which shows how many users have followed and unfollowed. If you are concerned with sheer number of followers, you can use this information to make yourself more palatable. Pfffft!!!