Internet Scams – How I Make A Difference.

This week the Hump Day Hmmm topic is a tricky one. How I Matter is this week’s topic. There are many subjects I could have written about but I chose the one I’ve been involved in for almost three years now – online scams, scammers, and how to protect yourself.

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A Scammer Poses To Join The Holy Church Of The Sacred Butterfly

Snoskred Is Educational –

There are many email scams out there in the world. I try to educate people about some of them in order to stop them from being scammed. These scammers are criminals. If there is something I can do to stop them, I’m sure as heck going to try.

What Is An Email Scam?

There are many types of email scams but let me sum it up simply for you.

Someone you don’t know and never heard of before is contacting you by email to tell you they have money for you.

An Important Point To Remember –

NO MONEY is coming to your email inbox as a surprise.

Variations On A Scam –

Someone you don’t know and never heard of before is contacting you by email to tell you you have won the lottery.
Someone you don’t know and never heard of before is contacting you by email to tell you they need to borrow your bank account and they’ll pay you a large sum of money to do this.

Stay At Home Moms Watch Out!

Someone you don’t know is contacting you by email to tell you they have a job for you, or you apply for a work at home job on a legitimate job seeking website. You may have heard of the company because the scammers use legitimate companies to make their scams seem real. I know you want to be able to stay at home with the kids but getting scammed out of money is not going to achieve that. Always check independently if you can – don’t use the number the scammer gives you.

Online Sellers Watch Out!

Scammers often use Ebay, Craigslist and others in order to find people they can scam. Usually this will be a fake check scam but sometimes they may try to wire stolen funds into your account, use stolen paypal accounts or stolen credit cards and the list does go on. Be very careful. Get educated on the scams they try to use and how to protect yourself before you start selling.

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A Scammer Poses To Show His Love For My Character

What Does Snoskred Do About It?

The number one thing I do –

is talk and get the word out – here on the blog, in the media via radio and press interviews which I have done many times in the past, on various scam victim support websites.

The second thing I do –

is hook the scammers up with a special *baiting tool, which keeps them busy with fake victims rather than real ones. Recently I have been a little busy and neglected this somewhat but I intend to get back into this over the next couple of months. It isn’t difficult. I have the tools all set up and ready to bait, I just need to hook scammers up to the machine.

The third thing I do –

is bait fake checks out of the scammers. I then contact the companies on the checks and warn them that the scammers are using their account details. Do not try this at home, ya’all. I use a safe PO box which my name is not attached to in any way to receive the mail. These scammers are criminals who have been known to kill their victims.

The fourth thing I have done –

in the past but currently am not involved in is warning actual scam victims. Some of the victim support websites receive information about people being scammed – from friends or family of the victims, law enforcement, web hosts who take down the scammers websites and sometimes from very brave people on the inside of these scammer gangs who do not like what they see – they email us victim email addresses, phone numbers or street addresses.

Some might say that I do this one to feel good about myself, that’s baloney but occasionally it does feel good when you have called at the right time to stop someone being scammed. Some might say I do it to help the victims, well that is partly true – it is a side effect.

Sometimes it works and the victims listen to me. Sometimes it does NOT work and the victims get angry and abusive towards me because they have grown to trust their scammer. That is tough to take. That is one reason I am taking a break from it right now. You can only do it so long before you burn out.

The real, deep at the heart of it, reason that I do this? To stop the scammers from making money out of people who are vulnerable. I don’t want them getting a cent from their scamming.

The fifth thing I did –

I took three months out to volunteer full time to assist when the Fraudwatchers website was launched. I truly believed in what they were doing – I still believe in it, I just had a falling out with the management there about the best way to do things – and the Fraudwatchers site sadly no longer exists.

Why We Know Our Actions Are Working –

Currently there is a major denial of service attack against several of the sites which bait scammers and sites that support scam victims. It has been going on for roughly two weeks now. They would not go to all this effort if we weren’t putting a major dent in their income. Unfortunately this means many of the scam baiting and scam victim support websites have been offline for extended amounts of time.

How You Can Help –

– Tell your family and friends about the scams, and ask them to speak to you if they ever wonder if an email might be legitimate.
– Stumble this post to get the word out about these scams to more people, if you’re a stumbler.
– Link to this article in my internet safety series which speaks about these scams.
– Ask me via email to guest post on your blog on the topic of scams to help educate your readers.
– If you know anyone who has any questions about these scams I am only an email away. However there are some great websites on the internet that try to help as well though some of them are currently offline due to denial of service attacks – Scam Victims UnitedFraud AidScamwarners Is This A Scam Forum.
– Let the readers of your blog know about the Scam-O-Matic – a web form which can look at an email and tell you if the email looks like a known scam. Is this email a scam? Ask the Scam-O-Matic
– Become a scambaiter. 419eater has a mentor program where they will train you to bait scammers safely and with no danger to yourself. I will warn you, it is an addictive hobby. :)

Further Reading –

Snoskred Made 5 MILLION DOLLARS Online This Year!
Snoskred on Fake Check Scams and Scambaiting

Snoskred’s Internet Safety Series –

Part OnePart TwoPart ThreePart FourPart FivePart Six

Over To You –

Have you ever received an email you thought might be a scam? What did you do about it? Have you known someone who was scammed out of money?

*Note – these aren’t tools that regular humans can get access to – this is something only long time scambaiters can use. So if you want to use it, get into baiting – when the time is right you’ll be given access.

Similar Posts:

fake checks, Internet Safety, job scams, scambaiting

8 thoughts on “Internet Scams – How I Make A Difference.

  1. I’ve gotten dozens of those letters and usually blow them off.

    I wish I knew the solution to educating people so that they’d never respond to those things.

    You’re doing it.. and, yes, it matters. Thanks for your work on that.

    Peace,

    ~Chani
    http://thailandgal.blogspot.com

  2. I am very, very careful about giving out my personal e-mail address. I also maintain a separate AOL account that I only use online on my blog and such. It seems to be a good strategy, as I get almost no unwanted e-mail at either addy.

    I wish I could say the same for my e-mail address at work. It’s on the company Web site, it’s on various mailing lists, it basically appears on almost everything I write. Being in the media, I guess it is an occupational hazard. Our e-mail addresses have to be out there so people can get ahold of us.

    I get tons of scam mail. I never open these e-mails, ever. I set my e-mail so I can view the first couple of lines of text, and I just delete the stuff as soon as it hits my in-box.

    For me, personally, it’s a nuisance more than anything. It’s one more thing to manage in an already busy day. If I happen to be gone for a week, I have to wade through as many as 300 e-mails when I get back.

    It often surprises me when people fall for these scams. But maybe I am just more skeptical by nature or have somehow acquired more street smarts to be able to recognize when something might be a scam. Some people, I think, are just more innocent or more trusting, or simply unaware. And I don’t think they deserve to be preyed on by the sharks who would take advantage of this.

  3. I’m just appalled at all those fake checks. I basically read no mail that’s not from a name I know, and never click on links, and never open attachments. Your work has been very impressive on this front.

  4. what you’re doing is very important! there are some nasty scams out there and we need more people like you helping us out.

  5. Your passion for this is awesome. This is on of those things where people are out on the front doing what they can to help the greater population, and most of it is Unsung Hero stuff, like this. Thanks!

    Julie
    Using My Words

  6. Chani – I wish I knew the solution to that as well. I truly think the answer is education but even then some people still get scammed because the scammers change their tactics so often. ;(

    Pieces Of Mind – Many victims have sent me their entire correspondance with the scammer. It is surprising how many times I have seen the victim say “Is this some kind of scam?”, in the first or second email – when reassured by the scammer that it is not a scam, they commit fully to going ahead.

    The logic behind thinking the person is going to tell you “Yes, it IS a scam!” – I just don’t get it myself.

    Tornwordo – You’re way ahead of the average internet user there. ;) Most people do read emails from people they don’t know, they do click on links, and they do open attachments. ;( Thanks for the compliment! ;)

    Christine – I do believe it is important which is why I have invested so much time into it. Thanks! ;)

    Liv – lucky for me with the baiting tool, once you set it up the work does itself for the most part. It’s just one mouse click to get a lad talking to the computer. ;) So if I spennd five minutes there I can hook up 100 lads or so in 5 minutes. ;) I also type really fast! ;) hehe

    Julie – There’s a story behind the passion, which I will tell here one day. ;)

    Thanks everyone for the comments! ;)
    Snoskred

  7. Wow – you ARE amazing. I love seeing how we all take a different slant on Julie’s topics – it shows who we are by exhibiting how we are alike, yet different.

    Oh, I’ve gotten the scams. I used to have my work email address very visibly on the web, and I’d delete dozens to hundreds daily…

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