Author Topic: Writers beware  (Read 6968 times)

Lin

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Writers beware
« on: January 10, 2006, 08:29:46 AM »
Hi Everyone,

What I am about to say is really a word of advice for new writers and those who are not that computer friendly, but I rather suspect most of you are well switched on to the following practice already, but here is a point for you to consider.

With the New Year in front of us, once again,  unfortunately Spam Mail never ceases.   I registered with two other sites for personal tour guiding two years ago.  I regularly guide British birdwatchers  to our nature reserve in North Holland and folks who want to see the tulips. (no this is not a devious advert)  Its a kind of hobby job.

Well, last year one of the  web sites I used,  had to close down,  after numerous warnings of bogus people from strange places requesting tours, the  personal guides had eagerly sent out information in return thinking it was genuine.

The e-mails were so genuine it was often difficult to tell who really wanted a tour and who wanted our bank account number!    For example, we had a gentleman who requested all the details of my tours and said he wanted his wife and family to come to Amsterdam and have a personal guide.   The only thing I found suspicious was why should Mr Helarious Umbogo living in Africa want to go birdwatching with his family in Holland - to some of you that may sound genuine, but to me it was alarm bells and I was right.   It was a hoax.   Then my web moderator gave out loads of warnings and eventually we became so inundated with Bishops and Lords of the Realm booking bogus tours that the site had to close.  It was so sad because it was a good site and it was building well.  Someone  wanted to spoil things for us!  Most of the tour guides gave up wanting to be on the site and the whole thing collapsed.

  The same applies to writing, it could be that there are bogus sites out there waiting to spring their surprises on us. Sites who promise us publishing or spam mail which looks genuine and offering us good money to publish.  I would say that if you are the least suspicious, talk to your site moderator.  Never give bank details and only reply (if you have any suspicions)after talking to someone else you can trust about it.

I dont want to teach granny to suck eggs here, but we can all get taken in, so take care.

Regards

Lin




Offline aelfwin

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Re: Writers beware
« Reply #1 on: January 10, 2006, 09:25:13 AM »
Hi Lin, Thanks for the "heads up" advice. Yeah, they're out there all right. I've grown suspicious to the point that I have several spam control programs running and make it a point to never, never click on a link that I'm unaquainted with. When I want info, I go shopping for it. I have always dreamed of devising a program that, when it receives spam, sends a blast of energy to the spammer that destroys their computer >:(. Oh well, dream on I guess. Regards, aelf :)

SuzieHarris

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Re: Writers beware
« Reply #2 on: January 10, 2006, 09:28:18 AM »
LIn,

I couldn't agree more. The ones I get regularly are from eBay, wanting me to 'update my details' and from PayPal, wanting to 'check & update my card details'. Completely fake.

Whatever you do, NEVER open the link in an email to a site that contains, or requests, any personal details. Go to the site via your usual bookmark or such like.

I myself was a victim of indentity theft a couple of years back, and it's not pleasant.

Suzie x


Offline Nick

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Re: Writers beware
« Reply #3 on: January 10, 2006, 12:47:52 PM »
I agree with all these comments. There's no doubt you need to be on your guard these days. "Phishing" e-mails, in particular, seem to be reaching epidemic proportions. These e-mails purport to be from your bank or a service such as Paypal and ask you to go to their (spoof) site and confirm your log-in details. Once they have these, of course, they can log-in to your real account and empty it. As Suzie says, you should never give out your password and related info in response to an unsolicited e-mail. If in doubt, contact your bank and query it with them. Chances are, they won't have sent the e-mail in question.

By the way, I have an anti-spam site at www.stop-spam-email.co.uk which has a range of advice on tackling the spam problem.

Nick GM
Check out my writing blog at www.entrepreneurwriter.net. I also have a new UK personal finance blog called Pounds and Sense.

Jayel

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Re: Writers beware
« Reply #4 on: January 11, 2006, 08:19:37 PM »
It is a shame that so many seek to 'get rich quick' at our expense.  There are many sites that would like to part a writer with his money.  Unfortunately, some are literary agents, publishers and slick book advertising schemes.  Thanks for the reminder that we should remain alert and cautious.  It really does pay to take the extra time to research companies before signing on the contractual dotted line.


milli-thornton

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Re: Writers beware
« Reply #5 on: January 11, 2006, 11:35:48 PM »
Hi Lin,

It's very sad to hear about a perfectly good bird-watching site being taken down because of scams. What more innocent thing can you do in the world these days than bird watching? And yet the scam artists cannot even leave that untouched.

In terms of writing scams, I just heard about a new book called "The Street-Smart Writer" by Jenna Glatzer that addresses this very topic. I haven't read it yet, but perhaps it's one of those books we all need to own. It's just a shame such a book even needs to be written.

Best Wishes - Milli

Lin

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Re: Writers beware
« Reply #6 on: January 12, 2006, 10:34:14 AM »
Thanks for your comments Milli - welcome to the board and by the way I love the photo!

Lin

Offline Rodders

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Re: Writers beware
« Reply #7 on: January 13, 2006, 02:25:41 PM »
I've had the Ebay spoof letter and quite enjoy making up new user names and paswords. They aren't re-printable here but suffice to say they are always accepted by the bogus site. :D

Offline Nick

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Re: Writers beware
« Reply #8 on: January 14, 2006, 07:55:43 AM »
I've had the Ebay spoof letter and quite enjoy making up new user names and paswords. They aren't re-printable here but suffice to say they are always accepted by the bogus site. :D

That's a good idea. I must try that myself the next time I get one of those!  :)

I would just say, though, you need to be careful about visiting these spoof websites, as I have heard that some of them have the potential to infect your PC with a virus.

Nick GM
Check out my writing blog at www.entrepreneurwriter.net. I also have a new UK personal finance blog called Pounds and Sense.

Lin

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Re: Writers beware
« Reply #9 on: January 14, 2006, 09:09:30 AM »
I have to say that since I have been blocking all my spam mailers I dont seem to get half the mail I used to get I only receive about 2 per day now instead of 10 - 20,   perhaps it really does work even though they find alternative addresses.
I now automatically block each one before I delete it.   Something is happening to cut it all down, but not sure if its my method or not.

Lin