Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Looking for love in wrong places?

Feeling lonely or adventurous tonight? Someone in Facebook has contacted you recently and shows some possible interest in your personal profile? Be careful, the net is full of holes and caveats that you can fall in. If it's too good to be true, IT'S A TRAP!

Nevertheless, you're saying "Mind your own business, old man!", I'm much smarter than Larry... Yeah, right...

Keep in mind that scammers are trained professionals and they know how you get you into deep trouble. Until you realized what happened, you'll wonder why you're bend over, pants down...

Okay, enough bad jokes and back to a more serious post. Here's a few tips that may help you detect a scammer sniffing your butt (ahhh, again, I couldn't resist).

- If someone wants to be your friend and you never heard of that person, there is something fishy going. In general, you'll get new friends on the net because they are at least friends with one of your friend...
- A nice looking lady that just opened her Facebook account a few weeks ago is really suspicious. More if she has only one photo, no history or posts and only guys are friends with her.
- Anyone asking for your password, whatever the reason is after more than a good friendship.
- Money is never, never, never free and falling from the sky. Any promises related to money has a big pink elephant painted on it saying "I'll get you!"
- When a web page is asking to verify your password, make sure that it's legitimate. A simple look at the URL at the top of your browser often reveals misspelled known websites like "Facebooks.com.pe" or "Twyyter.com.jp".
- No major social network will shut down your account if you don't "Click here".
- Misspelled words often indicate text translated thru Babelfish. That means that your new friend does not speak your language.
- Profiles showing no picture are a big no-no!
- Shortened URLs shared in a chat room often leads somewhere else.
- There is no way to make money really fast. You have to work hard and for a long time. Or win at the lottery, official ones...
- If webcam sessions are involved, you can be pretty sure that it will be recorded. If it's showing on the screen, you can record it. Believe me, I spent 5 years on WebcamStudio working on that feature.
- If the new friend's webcam is broken, but next time, a new one will let you see... IT'S A TRAP!
- Profile picture are rarely taken by a professional. Be suspicious if everything is looking perfect, like in a magazine.
- A girl normally has female friends also, not just male friends
- If a girl is proposing to move to Skype after only 5 minutes of chatting, something's wrong. In general, they'll want to double-check if you're a creep and know a bit more about you.
- Always add at least 20 pounds when profile pictures only show the face.
- When a girl "nearby" wanna chat with you, don't get all fuzzy in you head. They can figure out your location by the IP address you are using.
- Nobody has a picture of you on some random weird website.
- Nobody has heard about you and publishing rumours about your sex life.
- A "Check this out!" means "Pull your pants down!"
- Be careful with comments in forums, saying "I agree" with some links below it.
- Check the link destination before clicking it. Simply hovering your mouse over the link will show the real URL at the bottom of your browser. Otherwise, just copy the link, and paste it in a simple text editor to reveal the website destination.
- Shared pictures in a PowerPoint will get you more than you were expecting in your computer.
- You don't need a downloader, your browser can do the job.
- Any email ending with numbers like melissa.45673@hotmail.com can be suspicious... Not always, but people will generally use their real name or a nickname that seems to mean something. A sexy email address like foxysue@hotmail.com also shows promises for troubles.
- If the new friend says that he/she is a friend of one of your friend, validate with your friend. You'll thank me later...
- Anyone claiming that you have an amazing smile after a few minutes of chatting is after something more than friendship.
- Basically, if it's too good to be true, it's a trap!

Now that you have been warned, be careful. Follow those tips and you'll avoid troubles most of the time. But remember, scammers are really smart people, just having a really bad habit of framing people...

Patrick Balleux

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