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As a Security Consultant and Public Safety professional I have often warned people in my writings and in the security seminars that I do, about the dangers and darkside of the internet. While there is obviously a lot of benefits to such a powerful tool, there are many areas of the web that can be anyone’s nightmare.
The constant phising of personal information to be used later for identification theft, credit fraud and worse, personal assaults. The deception, promises unfilled, deceit and outright abuse along with the newwest wave of online bullying has left millions to wonder if the internet is safe at all.
This week, comes two more such concerns that triggered emotional abuse when someone posted a crank ad on the popular Craigslist that said that the woman in Lebanon Oregon was selling her baby for $1,000! The ad, spotted by a local TV station and ran locally and national in headline news said that the parents of the child were drug addicts and were out “tweaking” and were not coming back. An email attached to the ad included the name Birdie Avery but the woman who lives in that city with the same name has no baby and doesn’t even own a computer!
“I don’t know if this is somebody’s really sick April fools joke,” she said.
Avery and her husband said they have raised children and grandchildren and would never do such a thing.
“When we find out who did this and who is using my name, I will make sure they get prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law,” Avery said. “This is not funny, it’s malicious and it’s not me.”
Avery said she learned of the ad Tuesday afternoon when a detective contacted her.
The couple is working with Salem and Lebanon police to track down the person responsible for the ad, which has been taken off craigslist.
Another scam showed up in the Nashville Tennessee suburb of Nolensville where a resident said she wants the public to be aware of a rental scam that is showing up on Craigslist.com.
The resident said scammers are reposting legitimate properties that were previously placed on Craigslist and directing users to send them their personal data.
The thieves will often ask users to fill out an online application and provide their credit and bank account numbers.
A recent bogus posting on the Web site said they wanted to rent out an upscale home for $750 a month. However, the property was already occupied and being rented out at a cost of nearly $2,000 a month.
The renter said she became suspicious when people started showing up to her home and were asking about a posting on Craigslist.
Craigslist’s representatives said users of their site should scroll down the page for previous listings because often fake postings are posted multiple times on their site.
They also advise users to deal locally with people that they can meet in person. According to Craigslist, if users follow this one simple rule, they can avoid 99 percent of the scam attempts on Craigslist.
Again, the sirens are sounding and We’re screaming to be cautious because you have netered the waters with sharks and those sharks will bump into you from time to time until they have you right where they want you and you become the next victim. Don’t give out personal information on the web, don’t post identifying pictures that show your kids school names, city name or address, work location or even pet info and don’t go into uncharted waters on the web where you’ve never been, and listen to your sith sense because there is danger out there on the web! When on the web have fun, think smart and choose your keystrokes wisely!
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