Whenever someone forwards me e-mails that purports to be 100% or more truth and tells me to pass it on to x number of people, I look it up first. I don’t jump in blindly. The online site, Snopes.com, keeps a database of a lot of these Internet messages and tells whether they are true or false, fact or fiction. They then provide details if any. I like that. Many people do not research.
There is no software that will tell you something is a scam
Likewise, there’s no software that will tell you something is legitimate.
What happens when you don’t research?
(1) You jump into the water without assessing the depth or temperature and drown or freeze.
(2) You become “follow-fashion monkey” (You say, “… it’s legitimate because my friend said his lawyer friend reports this as true, so it must be true“) and we know what happens to [follow-fashion monkey], don’t we? For the sake of those who were expecting an answer to the rhetorical question, “fowllow-fashion monkey] cut its tail off a barrel.”
(3) You become way too cynical for your own good and miss out on a good opportunity.
Hundreds of millions of people are online everyday. Only a small few are out to get you… minuscule if I were to guess. Still you need to exercise common sense when online, because they are out there and some are actually very crafty. That’s why it’s encouraged that parents have the passwords to their under-age children’s accounts. What? Yes, it is recommended. In fact 16-17 year-olds are required to get parental permission before using Yowlink.com and logging in.
Facebook has perhaps 600 million registered accounts, and reportedly about 350 million active.
Because of this, it’s no surprise that scammers and “bad people” abound. The goals of different scammers vary but, they typically are:
1. To separate you from your money
2. To clone your identity (so-called “identity theft“) by phishing for info… That is, they try to get info like social security numbers, bank accounts, etc. from you or your computer.
3. To infect your computer with malware (spyware, viruses, trojans, worms, etc.). In some cases, they use these malware to take over your computer without you knowing. Your machine becomes an agent used to perpetuate some criminal activity… all the time you may not notice or you may think your computer is just “acting slow.”
What ends up happening because of these scammers and “bad guys”?
1. They hurt the normal experience of users by getting inside their heads.
2. They bank on using fear (e.g. telling you FB will charge $3.99 per month) to cause confusion while cashing in or destroying your computer with malware.
3. They hurt the many legitimate groups, fan clubs, and business promotions on FB and other social networks
4. They hurt legitimate Web sites, Web communities, and social networks like Yowlink.com. That is, they make a small number become so cynical that they miss out on good, legitimate opportunity.
Someone asked me the other day, “what money are you giving me to visit Yowlink?” My response was “Huh? I don’t understand. We are a legitimate online social network. We will NEVER charge you anything to be a visitor or member and will NEVER pay you anything to be a visitor or member. It’s an experience, which could make us ‘One Caribbean’.”
But, after seeing all the scams, I understand why they were so cynical.
5. They waste people’s time more so than people waste time today.
Let’s investigate 4 of the common scams.
SCAM: Join or donate to the group “THERE IS NO WAY I’M PAYING 3.99$ A MONTH FOR FACEBOOKK! JOIN!”
Aim: to create panic among FB users and send them into a frenzy to join some group or give
money to a scammer.
Common sense: Facebook made about $550 million last year with an estimated $300 million coming from
their targeted ads. They don’t need your $3.99 per month for their regular (“main”) services.
What you should do: Check it out by doing a search on the Internet.
Get multiple sources… like school research?
YowLink recommendation: Do not join. Ignore. It doesn’t add up.
SCAM: IQ Quiz Ads – these are not limited to FB only. These are all over the Internet.
Background: you’ll be brought to a site where you’re asked up to 10 questions which are relatively easy to answer. You will then be prompted to enter your phone number to view the results.
AIM: to charge money to your your phone bill… Can you imagine if they get 1000 gullible people?
Common Sense: Don’t give some clown site your Telephone# just because they claim you have the intelligence of Albert Einstein. Some people use flattery to induce vulnerability. Tell an ordinary person how beautiful/handsome he/she is and they melt like butter… Not that you are ordinary. You may be a genius but not if you fall for this scam.
SCAM: You visit a site and get a popup that says your computer is infected
Background: This is one of the most popular scams where you visit a Web page and get a page that looks like a Windows application running a virus scan which says, “your computer is infected…” and asks you to take action.
AIM: To infect your computer with malware or to get you to purchase their software. When the latter, it’s a really bad tactic.
Common Sense: Unless you request a scan on a legitimate Web site, NO Website knows whether your computer is infected or not.
What you should do: click the outermost X (close) which is the real browser window to close or terminate the browser session. Don’t click scan or fix or whatever.
SCAM: IMs from a FB “friend” requesting money
Background: You get a message from one of your 1000 FB friends saying “I’ve Been Robbed! Western Union Me Money!
” or something like that.
Aim: To separate you from your money.
Common Sense: “How about No!“. Don’t reply or reply and tell them to call you since they should have your number… Hahahaaaaaaa! You do know your friend’s voice, don’t you. Or better yet, tell your “friends” not to send IMs like that to you or they will be ignored.
What you should do: Call up your friend… if it’s a true friend, you know how to get in touch with the person and inquire about it. More than likely it’s a scam. Your friend’s account was hijacked.
“If yuh caan hear, yuh must feel.” Remember Noah and the flood? Some of you may not believe that particular event in history but I’m sure ALL of you know the story and the moral thereof.
Why we need to write this
Yowlink.com is a niche site that aims to bring Yawdies, people with ties to the English-speaking Caribbean and Haiti, together, and at the same time help them use their God-given common sense. The Internet generation has become way too “brain dead” and allow people to scam them easily. One of the administrators of Yowlink is a techie and an educator. Our goal is to educate and be educated. We don’t want a foolish community or a “smart-alec” community. We want an informed Yawdie community, not a paranoid community.
From targeted FB ad campaigns, we estimate that Facebook has about 500,000+ people living in those countries on their network and we estimate another 500,000+ not living there but have some tie. Thats over ONE million Yawdies!!!
That’s roughly the size of T&T!!! We want you to have a great online experience everywhere just like we do on Yowlink.com. Internet-savvy is the new “street wise”…
Yeah Yeah Yeah. But get to the point nuh man!
We live in an Internet age. Five years ago, perhaps half of the number of Yawdies were using the Internet vs today. Ten years ago, there was no Facebook. Twenty years ago, there were no Web browsers… Five years from now, there will be twice the number of Yawdies using the Internet vs today. That’s just the reality. So, with more people, more opportunists (bad guys and scammers) arise. Do like Sizzla Kalonji and “shake them down, break them down, take them down… Do it right… Do it right… Do it right now…” How do you do that? Be careful, be educated, take heed.
We do not want to see our bredren and sistren in any of those predicaments. We do not want to see a single Yawdie being taken by these scams (ones listed and others), whether the intention is to destroy your computer, take your money, hack your account or anything like that. Be careful, yuh hear. When you cross the street you are not “scared” but you are “aware” and exercise “caution”. That’s the same we expect from you online, whether visiting some site, e-mail attachments and links, clicking on the results of a search engine, Facebook, LinkedIn, Yowlink, etc. Yow!