Blogging Insights #29


Spammers and Scammers

Today, Dr Tanya offers a quote about spam. We all know what spam is, the electronic kind at least. We won’t discuss the tinned version that amazingly some people still like to eat.

Like Dr Tanya I have the Askimet filter on my blogs and it catches the vast majority of spam. I sometimes check to make sure that no real comments have mistakenly gone into the spam file the same as I do with my emails. While the occasional genuine email might slip into spam the blog comments that are filtered out are I might say 100% rubbish. Usually, it’s a sales site. In addition to Askimet, I have my settings so that all new commenters have to be approved before they are published so if I do see one that looks suspect, I can send it to trash without it even being published.

The quote is interesting because it says “Successful people don’t spam” yet at least one business blogging course that I know of tells students to do exactly that. “Engage with other people’s blogs by commenting and leave a link to your own.” In my book that’s spamming. The person giving the course did comment that many bloggers did not like the practice but that it was a way to get your blog noticed.

When I was a new blogger, I was taught that this is bad blogging etiquette. You don’t leave links to your own blog in the comments section of somebody’s else’s post. Maybe things have changed in the past ten years. When I see that type of comment in my pending list, I check out the link first and if it is to a sales website or a commercial blog, I trash it.

I think if we’re talking about making money that kind of spam is not going to do it alone. It’s really trying to get free advertising. You see a lot of this sort of advertising on Facebook too but at least you can turn it off. If you do happen to click on a link to a product you like the look of Facebook will show you those ads forever unless you do.

Photo by Luca Sammarco on Pexels.com

Scammers

Photo by Moose Photos on Pexels.com

These are individuals or companies that set out to steal money by false pretences. They operate in all countries.

Sadly, a lot of people do get fleeced by scammers. They buy a product that never arrives or is a piece of junk. They are fooled by phishing scams where they receive a letter or phone call from what looks like a real organisation, bank, phone company or the tax office and it is so believable that they part with their money. It can be frightening for vulnerable people and some of these scammers are really nasty bullies. More should be done to close down their operations.

Remember

  • If someone rings you up claiming to be from “Windows”. it’s a scam.
  • If someone claiming to be from your Telco rings you up to say your account may be closed it’s probably a scam. Hang up and call the Telco yourself.
  • If someone wants to put money in your bank account and then says they have put in too much and need you to pay them back it’s a scam.
  • If someone wants you to pay them with Gift Cards it’s a scam.
  • If you owed the Tax Office money, don’t you think they would write you a letter first? Hang up and call the Tax Office yourself.
  • If you get a call from a robot voice it might be a scam but not always. However, better safe than sorry I say. Don’t give personal details to robots.

I’ve included links to a couple of scam baiting sites I enjoy watching from time to time. These YouTubers give the scammers a hard time and, in some cases, may be instrumental in saving people from being scammed.

https://www.youtube.com/c/JimBrowning – This guy does a lot of good work to stop scammers

Taswegian1957

I was born in England in 1957 and lived there until our family came to Australia in 1966. I grew up in Adelaide, South Australia, where I met and married my husband, David. We came together over a mutual love of trains. Both of us worked for the railways for many years, his job was with Australian National Railways, while I spent 12 years working for the STA, later TransAdelaide the Adelaide city transit system. After leaving that job I worked in hospitality until 2008. We moved to Tasmania in 2002 to live in the beautiful Huon Valley. In 2015 David became ill and passed away in October of that year. I currently co-write two blogs on WordPress.com with my sister Naomi. Our doll blog "Dolls, Dolls, Dolls", and "Our Other Blog" which is about everything else but with a focus on photographs and places in Tasmania. In November 2019 I began a new life in the house that Naomi and I intend to make our retirement home at Sisters Beach in Tasmania's northwest. Currently we have five pets between us. Naomi's two dogs Toby and Teddy and cats, Tigerwoods and Panther and my cat Polly. My dog Cindy passed away aged 16 in April 2022.

2 comments

  1. Recently my sister received several phone calls from a robot voice claiming to be her bank. We decided that it could possibly be a scam and would just hang up on the calls. Eventually she got an email, the calls had been from her bank after all. However, how could we be sure? Banks should not use robots as their first means of communication when they are always warning us about scammers. I feel that if an organisation really needs to contact you eventually, they will email you, write you a letter or an actual human will call you. I don’t feel the least bit guilty about waiting until that happens before doing anything.

    Like

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