Beware Antispam Hoaxes

Everyone hates spam. It’s not only annoying to see it in your inbox (or posted to your Facebook wall), but it’s angering to think that someone out there will fall for the prank, potentially losing a lot of money to some thief.

Protecting yourself from spam is important. Seeking revenge with the help of someone online, though, is a but much. In fact, antispam “professionals” might just be conducting hoaxes of their own.

Consider this scenario:

You get an email claiming that you can make $70,000 by sending $1,000 to a foreign address. No, you didn’t win the Tunisian lottery. It’s spam, and almost everyone knows by now that this is spam. But let’s say that you fall for it. You send in the $1,000 and wait for your reward. AndĀ  you wait, and wait. Then you wait a little more. And then you realize that someone has scammed you. So, you get on Facebook and post a message telling everyone to avoid this hoax. Maybe you post it on your wall. Or maybe you post it on one of the many Fb pages devoted to identifying hoaxes.

Later that day, someone replies to your post saying that they can help you identify the person who took your money.

What do you do?

You don’t do anything. You report the original scam to Facebook, count your loss as a lesson that you had to learn sooner or later, and use a really good piece of antivirus software to make sure that your computer didn’t contract anything in the process.

Why turn the other cheek?

Scammers know how to spot a sucker. If you’ve fallen for the hoax, then you’re just the sucker they’re looking for. By posing as online detectives, these individuals can scam you out of even more money and time.

That doesn’t mean that real professionals don’t exist. They do. But they don’t solicit work on Facebook posts.

If you decide to hire someone, then do your research. Read some reviews of that person’s work and talk to several other people to help prevent yourself from falling victim to yet another scam.


~ by facebookhoaxes on April 18, 2011.

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