Scam received through Proz mail
Thread poster: Catherine Bolton

Catherine Bolton  Identity Verified
Local time: 03:06
Member (2002)
Italian to English
+ ...
Sep 8, 2004

Hi folks,
I'm not sure if this is the right forum, but I just received an invitation to join a million-dollar scam... through my Proz page.
I never open e-mail if I don't know the sender, but I DO open mail when I see it came through my Proz profile.
Which moderator do I contact about this? The sender obviously needs to be stopped.
TIA
Catherine


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Sarah Downing  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:06
German to English
+ ...
The same one that I received? Sep 8, 2004

Hi Catherine,

As I have just written in my forum posting, I also received a scam through proz - was it the same one as you received?

ATB,

Sarah


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Ralf Lemster  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 03:06
English to German
+ ...
Change your e-mail settings Sep 8, 2004

Hi Catherine,
This was discussed before, for example, in
this thread.

I take it that message was sent by someone who is not a ProZ.com member, right? In that case, I'm afraid there's not much you can do to "stop" this - the 'Nigerian' scam (which is what I would guess you received) is one of the oldest around (in fact, it pre-dates electronic mail). If the message was sent using a profile, please contact me directly, with the details.

In essence, your profile is another e-mail address: the difference is that people like this will not find out the address behind your profile (unless you respond, which I obviously wouldn't advise). In terms of security, it's impossible to send attachments or HTML code with a profile message, so there's no risk of malicious content.

What you can do is to block your profile against messages by non-members (go to My ProZ.com - My Settings - Email Preferences). Bear in mind that this will also prevent potential customers from contacting you.

I keep receiving this stuff through my normal addresses as well as my ProZ.com profile (even showing my own address as the sender...) - just get rid of it.

HTH, Ralf


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Catherine Bolton  Identity Verified
Local time: 03:06
Member (2002)
Italian to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Just wondering... Sep 8, 2004

Hi Ralf,
I was just wondering if there is any way for the Proz system to prevent certain e-mailers from going through Proz. It would be interesting to see if Sarah and I received these emails from the same source address. At that point, wouldn't it be simple to block these folks?
Catherine


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Magda Dziadosz  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 03:06
Member (2004)
English to Polish
+ ...
You may contact support Sep 8, 2004

cbolton wrote:

I was just wondering if there is any way for the Proz system to prevent certain e-mailers from going through Proz. It would be interesting to see if Sarah and I received these emails from the same source address. At that point, wouldn't it be simple to block these folks?


Hi Catherine,

If you forward the e-mail you received together with FULL headers to Support, they might try to block the sender, however, bear in mind that spammers usually know enough about blocking so they use different (frequently spoofed) e-mail addresses and common ISP's. The result might be either blocking someone totally innocent (it happened to me once! My address was blocked from my client server because it was stolen by spammers!!) or the spammer would use different address everytime.

All together I'm not sure if the efort is worth all our time: just delete it and forget. At least you won't waste any more time with this

HTH
Magda


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Ralf Lemster  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 03:06
English to German
+ ...
Yes, in theory... Sep 8, 2004

Hi again,
At that point, wouldn't it be simple to block these folks?


Sure - if they were using the same address next time... which they won't, for obvious reasons. If you like, you can forward the message to me, and I'll block the sender's address, but this won't solve it, I'm afraid (to be perfectly honest, it's a wasted effort in this case). Compare this to the snail mail variant of this scam: what would you do if you were to receive a letter with the same content (I got a few of these before they switched to e-mail)? Get in touch with the Nigerian postal service? Of course not - exactly.

What could be a bit more effective is to have a look at the IP data. Therefore, could you please also forward the full IP headers of that message (a description of how to retrieve them is here).

Best regards, Ralf


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Ralf Lemster  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 03:06
English to German
+ ...
Not such a good idea... Sep 8, 2004

Hi Sarah,
Sarah Downing wrote:

For your information: Here is the header of the email - maybe the two emails have the same IP address.

Openly showing your address is an invitation for spammers - may I therefore suggest to remove it...

That's precisely why I suggested to forward these details privately.

Another good solution if it is not possible for proz to block such senders is to block it yourself via junkmail (my Outlook has a list of "blocked" senders).

Blocking it by sender will only protect you against that particular sender's address - I have yet to receive two messages from the same sender. Using a keywords-based filter might do the job, but I'm afraid there is no perfect solution.

Best regards, Ralf


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Sarah Downing  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:06
German to English
+ ...
Thank you for your suggestion - address removed Sep 8, 2004

Openly showing your address is an invitation for spammers - may I therefore suggest to remove it...

That's precisely why I suggested to forward these details privately.

Well, I actually considered doing just that so I guess I should have listened to my instincts.

Blocking it by sender will only protect you against that particular sender's address - I have yet to receive two messages from the same sender. Using a keywords-based filter might do the job, but I'm afraid there is no perfect solution.

Well, I have actually just received two messages from the very sender I listed, so go figure.

Thank you for your suggestion (next time I'll listen to my instincts to be more careful).

Best regards,

Sarah

[Edited at 2004-09-08 10:37]


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Ralf Lemster  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 03:06
English to German
+ ...
IP address blocked Sep 8, 2004

Hi again,
Thanks for sending the information - Jason at ProZ.com could trace the source of these messages, and has blocked the IP address.

As much as I would wish to tell you that this isn't going to happen again - that would be wishful thinking, I'm afraid...

Best regards,
Ralf


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Catherine Bolton  Identity Verified
Local time: 03:06
Member (2002)
Italian to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks! Sep 8, 2004

Thanks so much, Ralf - and Jason!
I'm glad you could trace that and stop it... even though it may be the modern equivalent of the little Dutch boy putting his finger in the hole in the dike to prevent a deluge.
And thanks, Ralf, for your instructions on finding the full heading, because I never would have figured that out on my own!
Catherine


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Harmen Rijks  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 02:06
Member (2004)
English to Dutch
Spam Oct 8, 2004

Hi,

There is a small technical solution Support can implement. They can wrap some coding around an e-mail button so that spammers can not 'rip' it of a page automatically. They will have to enter it manually, which is too much hassle.

I had this problem with my website and solved it this way. The number of spam messages went down from nearly 1000 to 20 a day.

The other thing you can do is use MailWasher Pro. This program will filter out all senders you don't know and will grade the others based on filters you can set yourself. That way you can delete unwanted messages from your mailserver without having to download them. You can even send a message back indicating that your e-mail account does not exist. (Not that that will put them of your scent too much...)

Regards
Harmen Rijks
www.eurojobs.com


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