Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Scams on the Internet

This is not my general blog - but important.

Last week my Yahoo email account was hacked and lots of people (more than 300 were  part of emails in that account) thought I was in Scotland - stranded, with no money, no passport, no cell phone, no way to get home and no person that I could call to help me out of the mess I apparently found myself in. Now, lest anyone think that I was in Scotland, please be assured that I was at home. Working. Going to Scotland would be nice - Iona calls me in my dreams - but I don’t have time or money to travel.

But there are parts that worry me:

Quite a few people emailed me to be sure that it was not me - I am happy for their concern. Thank you. Some, though, may have sent money - a dollar or two or five thinking that if I needed it, then they were helping.

This scam revitalizes itself every few (days, months or years) so there must be those who help out. Bless them for their love and concern, but if you read about me being stranded someplace, you would want to hear my voice in your ear before you considered helping in any way. And, then you would have to be family or very close friend before you would get such a call. So ignore any pleas from me. Someone even said my picture was in a photo in Scotland (n a pub? or in a monastery?). Remember, photoshop is available even to those who have nefarious schemes up their collective sleeves.

Another thing that concerns me: all of the email addresses that I had associated with that email account are wiped out (by Yahoo, I am told) so I won’t be able to contact those folk, even with happy news. Telephone still works, so I will use that. But it is interesting that when Yahoo wiped out my online email addresses that also affected email addresses on my iPhone. So those email addresses really are gone.

Another thing: I cannot count all the time that I spent assuring people that I am OK - perhaps this should be in the first concern, but I choose to count it separately. I value the relationships and friendships I have so when an email is sent or a question asked, I take the time to respond. Monday and Tuesday of last week were pretty much a total loss.

To sum this up - I remember being told as a child that if one spent as much time doing something worthwhile as the time invested in doing something shady, the world would be a better place. And it would.

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