Archive for the Web Category

Be wary of Nigerian email scams

A few days back, I saw an email in my inbox. Below is the snippet of the e-mail.

Dear Friend,

I am interested in building and operating a very viable business as a means of investment abroad. I do not know too well on how this is done in your country, so I will need you to help me in this regard. My preference is any good profit yielding business and I would appreciate any viable ideas you could come up with. I will also need you to help me look for properties like homes and lands for sale as I am proposing to invest the sum of Twenty Million United States Dollars($20,000,000.00 USD) for this. I do not know if you can and will be of help to me.I will brief you on my personality; my name is Ali Mustapha Kamaradin, a Morrocan business man based in Nigeria. I am a retired Business man, I was formally into private Shipping Business. I am 52 years of age, married with a wife and 4 lovely kids.

I didnot continue with my Shipping business because it wasn't producing profitable income. The Nigerian Authority are not cooperating with me because I am a foreigner. My need for this business proposition and to acquire these properties is very urgent as I am planning to move out of this country with my family down to your country. I want you to also aid me in finding a good home where my family and I will live in. (Mini Estate)Please I expect your good and prompt reply so that we can proceed swiftly. I will need your phone and fax numbers for easier communication with you incase I am unable to access my emails.


Best Regards,
Mustapha Kamaradin.

Tel : +234 802 291 7664

Such emails are scams run by con artists. Remember, do not give out your personal info to anybody whom you do not know.

[tags] email scam, phishing, scam[/tags]

Written by admin

June 08th 2008 10:22:42 pm

Posted in web

Ban on anonymous web postings. China failed, can Kentucky pass? Is it becoming a trend?

"No more (anonymous) comments on blogs. No (anonymous) forum posts in debt forums." Does it sound like our web future? A year back it reflected as the future of Chinese bloggers but thanks to the efforts of bloggers across the globe forcing the Chinese government to convert it to a self-discipline code.

Blog era was an era of shift from anonymity (Internet’s original strength) to identity. It was a shift by choice not by forceful laws. Internet/Web still has its own charm with its anonymity (for good and bad). This month an Eastern Kentucky lawmaker wanted to ban Kentuckians from anonymously posting information on the Internet.

Is it becoming a trend? First NY and now KY

Last month (Jan, 2008), New Jersey became the first state to enact a law requiring the dating sites to disclose whether they perform background checks. Ban on anonymous web postings is very different from the law that was passed on NJ’s online dating sites as dating is an act where two people make personal relationship while forum/blog is a place where a community meets as a group, the individuality doesn’t come into play at all. At many forums like debtcc forums, the community members are connected because of some common topic of interest and making personal relationship is not mandatory. It is up to the members whether they want to personally interact with others or not.

Now, let's see what the proposed law says.

Kentucky posting error

According to the proposed law:

  1. Anyone who contributes to a website needs to register their full name, address and email address with that site. (How is one supposed to verify it?)
  2. Their full name would be used everytime a comment is posted.

Punishment for violation:

  1. $500 for a first offense.
  2. $1000 for each offense after that.

Did Rep. Tim couch hear of his fellow member Publius? I know that it is practically impossible to impose such a law. We went ahead and asked our community members about it (Post 1: "Feedback about proposed law" and Post 2: "About disclosing their identity on debtcc forums").

Some of the feedbacks from our community members:

  • I can not have my "true name" out there because of my work. There are other people who have posted that they were in the same position. They have actually posted that they could lose their jobs over their financial difficulties. One person who worked in an accounting firm did, over her pdl issues. As JCEMT said about google-ing your name..that could really hurt some of the members and has the potential to keep others from getting the help they need- RoxyNY (not the real name)
  • If posting under actual names became a requirement, I'd be gone. I've grown to love this place, and I consider some of you as 'really-extended family'. But I have valid reasons, both personal and professional, to keep my private life private.I deal with sensitive data on behalf of my clients. As an IT consultant, I have their businesses literally in the palm of my hand. While my financial woes are older than dirt and all but insignificant compared to many I read here, would you want me hacking on your servers, knowing I was an active member of a site like this? Think about it.... - Says unclewulf (not the real name)
  • I totally agree. I would never have posted any of my problems here and because of that I would not have gotten where I am today. I hope that makes sense … - says spatterson_40 (not the real name)

The last comment is real worrying and can be considered as an opinion availed by almost 50% of the masses with debt problems.

Will the proposed law reduce the criminal activities or increases it?

It will probably increase stalking and real crimes as folks will now be able to actually find the person they are pissed at (says a member at WMW, another forum). Remember the case of Kathy Sierra, blogger and author, who got death threats over her blog. Some people want to avoid it while enjoying the same status as of Kathy on blogosphere esp the financial knowledge-o-sphere.

Other factors to consider

  1. The cost involved in verifying the identity of the user.
  2. How is one supposed to know that this is the same person who claims it to be behind the name? The accuracy is almost impossible.
  3. Will bloggers be ever interested in doing such a level of interrogation while accepting a comment?
  4. Will I ever respond to the emails/phone calls asking for verification?
  5. How would KY succeed where China failed? Internet is controlled by KY webmasters alone. Will KY have a restricted use of Internet participation?
  6. This would be a dream come true for marketers and spammers. They will get some more information in public and more information from website owners.
  7. Then what will happen to services like blogger,, who will verify the user’s commenter?

I am just hoping that we aren’t seeing a trend here (Will Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama will raise such issues too?). Earlier China, then NY and now KY. If it continues to influence other representatives then Web would lose it original strength of being anonymous. As webmasters most of us are very carefully about user privacy but a law might make it impossible to survive esp for community websites.

Let's raise our opinion!!!!

[tag]politics, human rights, china, freedom of speech, freedom-of-speech, media, blogging, web, forum,Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama[/tag]

Written by admin

March 24th 2008 11:47:10 pm

Posted in web

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