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African scam on Proz.com
Thread poster: Csaba Ban

Csaba Ban  Identity Verified
Hungary
Local time: 16:57
Member (2002)
English to Hungarian
+ ...
Mar 8, 2004

A coupl of hours ago I received a message via the Proz.com mail system about a wonderful opportunity in an African country.
I have received dozens of similar ones before in my regular inbox, but this is the first time someone approaches me through this site.
I am sure I am not the only one to have received this letter.
Would there be any way of blocking such messages from being sent through the mailing system of ProZ.com?
Perhaps either filtering each message for certain words or blocking abusive users from the site.
regards from snow-covered Budapest,
Csaba


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Trudy Peters  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 10:57
German to English
+ ...
African scam Mar 8, 2004

I must have received the same message.
From Mr. Frank KONE, right?

Trudy

[Edited at 2004-03-08 19:55]


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Claudia Iglesias  Identity Verified
Chile
Local time: 10:57
Member (2002)
Spanish to French
+ ...
How could him be banned if he's not a member Mar 8, 2004

The only thing that we can do if we want to be sure of avoiding such e-mails or "proposals" is blocking "all messages from unlogged people". This way we would receive through ProZ only messages from ProZ members. But remember that our profiles can be found in Google thanks to our key words and that our address is not visible to the sender.
I prefer to keep my box open and trash them directly.


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Jason Grimes
Local time: 10:57
SITE STAFF
You can control who contacts you through your profile Mar 8, 2004

Blocking certain kinds of mail from effectively anonymous senders is a tricky and error-prone business, with various tradeoffs between reachability and anonymity. As a consequence, ProZ.com leaves the choice of profile mail filtering up to each individual member, allowing them to choose the tradeoffs they find most appropriate.

You can completely control the types of mail you receive via your profile from this page:

http://www.proz.com/?sp=ef&show_mode=profmail

You can allow only logged in ProZ.com members to contact you, and you can ban contact from certain senders based on their username or IP address. It is also possible to disable the profile mailing feature altogether.

If you choose to allow anonymous (non-logged-in) senders to contact you, you can expect to receive some degree of unsolicited communication, possibly including spam or scams. This is the tradeoff for allowing unfettered communication through your profile.

On the other hand, if you choose to allow only logged-in members to contact you through your profile, you can easily block unwanted senders (and we can remove profile mailing privileges from members who abuse the service). But you run the risk of missing out on an important communication from someone who is not a ProZ.com member. Whether or not that tradeoff is acceptable is up to each member individually.

I hope this helps.

Regards,

Jason


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Csaba Ban  Identity Verified
Hungary
Local time: 16:57
Member (2002)
English to Hungarian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
scams and spams Mar 8, 2004

I do no really bother about such scams - I receive them anyway in my Outlook Express mailbox.
What bothers me is that this persons must have used Proz.com to send out a large number of similar messages.

I do not intend to disable this feature as I may be approached by a prospective client as you explained. Actually, this is the first time I experience such an abuse, whereas I have received several direct emails from prospective clients.
Anyway, protection against scams in really difficult: the same message may be sent from apparently different e-mail addresses, or the details of the scam are different: once it's a deceased oil millionaire from Nigeria, then it's a deposed prime minister from Ghana, etc.
Once I even received an African scam letter from an email address that was obviously from India (@rediffmail.com)


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Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 08:57
English to Spanish
+ ...
Also Mar 9, 2004

I also received it; I brought it to the attention of Proz staff.

Such junk can come in many ways, I just trash it.

I really don't know what anyone can do about it except that.


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Doru Voin  Identity Verified
Romania
Local time: 17:57
English to Romanian
+ ...
There are some things one can do Mar 9, 2004

Henry Hinds wrote:
I really don't know what anyone can do about it except that.


I've written about a year ago an article about Fighting spam, you can find it on here

On page 5, there are some tips for users of Outlook, Outlook Explorer and Mozilla mail clients.

The article is still useful, IMHO.

Regards from Bucharest,
Doru Voin


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PAS  Identity Verified
Local time: 16:57
English to Polish
+ ...
There's still one problem Mar 9, 2004

You can make rules in Outlook till you're blue in the face, but _you still downloaded the stuff_, and that, as far as my lamer brain knows, is enough for somebody to know that there is an active mailbox waiting at the other end.
There are programs that can block e-mails and actually bounce them back to the sender in the slim hope they will give up if they are fooled into thinking they hit a dead address.

I have a "public" address that I use to register on the web (when asked). My private address I keep private. I still get worms via contacts' address books, but there are never as many as spam. The public address is spammed. The private isn't - so far.

Pawel Skalinski


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Sandra Alboum  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 10:57
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
I've been getting these emails lately, too... Mar 11, 2004

But not through my ProZ.com box. In any case, here's what I do:

I visit the webpage of the service provider for the person who sent me the message. The other day, for example, it was someone at irangate.net. So I went to irangate.net. Of course, they've got a "Contact Us" button, so I clicked on that and was given the option of emailing sales, admin, etc etc. I sent an email to every single address that seemed to be pertinent on that page (i.e., not sales). It said, "Dear Sirs: Please find below a copy of an email I received from _______ user of your internet service. This is a well-known scam, and this person is violating the rules of proper use of the Internet. I request that you remove this person's Internet permissions immediately... [blah blah blah]".

And I make sure to copy the sender on the email.

I had a someone send this to me from a yahoo.fr address last week. I forwarded the first message to the Yahoo people. She responded, insisting that she was for real. I forwarded that copy to the Yahoo people. She wrote back and begged me to help her, and I forwarded THAT one to the Yahoo people.

Eventually, I think she got the hint.


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Ralf Lemster  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 16:57
English to German
+ ...
You're confirming your address... Mar 12, 2004

Sandra,
Your strategy might backfire, as it confirms to the spammers that your e-mail address is genuine...

Ralf


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angielin  Identity Verified
Singapore
Local time: 22:57
English to Chinese
+ ...
I received scam too Sep 13, 2004

Csaba Ban wrote:

A coupl of hours ago I received a message via the Proz.com mail system about a wonderful opportunity in an African country.
I have received dozens of similar ones before in my regular inbox, but this is the first time someone approaches me through this site.
I am sure I am not the only one to have received this letter.
Would there be any way of blocking such messages from being sent through the mailing system of ProZ.com?
Perhaps either filtering each message for certain words or blocking abusive users from the site.
regards from snow-covered Budapest,
Csaba



I opened the email and I am keeping it until I finish reporting the abuse to the website and Yahoo keepers. The email address I received the scam from is "stella98mane@yahoo.fr", and the profile on this website is "http://www.proz.com/pro/85392".

I noticed that no one really posted the scammer's specific information, so I hope this is not in violation of the website policy. If it is, please feel free to remove my message as the next I am going to do is to report the abuse using the appropriate facility on this website.


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Jason Grimes
Local time: 10:57
SITE STAFF
Removed abusing accounts and notified ISP Sep 13, 2004

I have removed stellamane's profile, along with a couple other aliases, and notified the abuser's ISP. When such abuse is perpetrated by a ProZ.com member, please forward the message to support@proz.com and site staff will remove the offending account.

Regards,

Jason


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Aoife Kennedy  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 15:57
Portuguese to English
+ ...
I received the same message - asking me to take part in banking fraud. Aug 2, 2005

I received a message from a man calling himself Mr. Mohamed Yussuf, supposedly the head of the Audit Department of the continental Bank, Cotonou, Benin Republic.

I really think that the Proz.com staff should report these emails to the relevant authorities.


Csaba Ban wrote:

A coupl of hours ago I received a message via the Proz.com mail system about a wonderful opportunity in an African country.
I have received dozens of similar ones before in my regular inbox, but this is the first time someone approaches me through this site.
I am sure I am not the only one to have received this letter.
Would there be any way of blocking such messages from being sent through the mailing system of ProZ.com?
Perhaps either filtering each message for certain words or blocking abusive users from the site.
regards from snow-covered Budapest,
Csaba


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Ralf Lemster  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 16:57
English to German
+ ...
That's exactly what ProZ.com staff are doing... Aug 2, 2005

Hi Aoife,
I really think that the Proz.com staff should report these emails to the relevant authorities.

See Jason's last message right above yours:

I have removed stellamane's profile, along with a couple other aliases, and notified the abuser's ISP.

I'm afraid there is no 'relevant authority' - the only thing you can do is to notify the ISP, and maybe an organisation like Spamcop. But that's about it, I'm afraid.

Best regards,
Ralf


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