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Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Don't Be Naive!

My in-box is no stranger to forwards of all kinds... Children dying of cancer or the greed of less than technology-savvy people are meant to urge me to forward them on. The claim is that the e-mail is being tracked so that moneys can be awarded according to how many people are forced to endure the presence of such shite in their mailboxes. Obviously, no such tracking is taking place.
While I may forgive my mother for sending me such forwards in the past, even she has learned what bull they are now that she is wiser in the ways of the Internet. I would forgive her anyway, because she's my mum and she can kick my arse.
Others are not so quick on the uptake and they still believe they're going to get a slice of Gates' squillions of dollars or that the nice Nigerian chap is going to thank them for the use of their bank account with a nice lump of inherited money.
Yesterday, I was sent a forward for one of those well-meaning, but troublingly naive people in the form of a story about little Theodore Stallard and how his teacher's actions changed his life for ever. The story is that his teacher looked into his file and realized that little Teddy was behaving apathetically towards school because his mother had passed away and so she took the time to work with him and, long story short, he becomes a big shot doctor. I've been sent this message before, though not as well-produced (this one had a slideshow of well taken photos to go along with the story), but I decided that this time I was look into it.
Which brings me to my point. For God's sake, people, look things up. It takes barely a moment to find out if the reason something smells suspiciously fishy is because it's a big stinking fish. Anytime there is mention of a last name, use your favorite search engine and find out if the person even exists.
Little Teddy never existed. It's a cute story, sure, and fragments of it are BASED on true events, but please don't believe in everything you're sent.

On the other hand... If you really believe in the honesty and goodness of man, I've got a few million dollars that need a place to stay, so if you'd be so kind... All I need is your social security number, bank account number, and home address.

By the way, baiting scammers has become a source of much amusement and here's an example of the scammer being the one made to look the fool. Here's another. I love it!


humble simpleton said...

Couple of years ago, there was a case of ripped pensioner, who went and shot nigerian ambassador, here in Czech rep.

TeacherLady said...

Wow, geez... I feel sorry for everyone involved in that story. How dreadful... It's a shame that a whole country has become synonymous with rip off artists, but stereotypes come about for a reason.