What happens when blocking profile messages from a sender?
Thread poster: aslimnb

aslimnb  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 13:02
Member (2009)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Oct 24, 2011

What does this really mean? That I am blocking that particular sender but the other ProZ users can still receive their messages ?

What about when declaring that message "spam"?

Thank you.


 

Michael Grant
Japan
Local time: 20:02
Japanese to English
Check the FAQ Oct 25, 2011

Hi Marilena,

It's in FAQ 3.7:

Any user in your block list who tries to send you a profile message will get the following error notification:

Error...
You are on this user's block list--he or she does not wish to receive mail from you


Here:
http://www.proz.com/faq/email_and_notifications/profile_email.html#how_can_i_block_a_particular_site_user_from_sending_me_messages_through_my_profile_



What does this really mean? That I am blocking that particular sender but the other ProZ users can still receive their messages ?


YES. You are blocking them from sending e-mail to you. Other Proz members who have not blocked that person will still receive their e-mails.

What about when declaring that message "spam"?


Again, check the FAQ, in particular 3.6:


To report any abuse or email spam/scams/phishing through your ProZ.com mail service, submit a support request via the support system. Just remember to add a copy of the message received, including headers, to help support staff handle the problem more efficiently.

You can also do this in a quicker and more efficient way as follows:

If you are receiving Spam in the form of a profile message you simply have to click on the link next to
"Unsolicited advertising? Spam? click here: line at the bottom of the email you received in your email inbox.

If you are receiving Spam as an instant message you simply have to click on the "Report Spam" button at the bottom of the message.
...

In both cases a support request will be automatically generated containing all the necessary information ProZ.com support staff needs to take appropriate action.


Hope this helps.
MGrant


 

aslimnb  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 13:02
Member (2009)
English to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you, Michael Oct 25, 2011

for the information provided.

The problem is that I've submitted a support request on a scam e-mail I've received but it seems that there are some colleagues on ProZ who still receive messages from that particular scammer (who actually use even the same e-mail address). So, my question for the ProZ staff is whether real measures are taken against these scammers who are not registered ProZ.com users or are not logged in when sending the messages, but they could be tracked down when using their IP or the same e-mail address.


[Edited at 2011-10-25 15:06 GMT]


 

Michael Grant
Japan
Local time: 20:02
Japanese to English
Total protection against scams would come at a price... Oct 26, 2011

The problem is that I've submitted a support request on a scam e-mail I've received but it seems that there are some colleagues on ProZ who still receive messages from that particular scammer (who actually use even the same e-mail address). So, my question for the ProZ staff is whether real measures are taken against these scammers who are not registered ProZ.com users or are not logged in when sending the messages, but they could be tracked down when using their IP or the same e-mail address.


I hear you on that, Marilena!

I can't speak for the Proz staff, so I can't tell you what actual measures they take against scammers to prevent them from bothering our fellow colleagues on Proz (Proz staff: any comments?). They could probably set up a black list of IP addresses (as you are suggesting), however in many cases IP addresses are allocated dynamically and change every time the user reboots their computer. So Proz would end up "chasing" bad IP addresses to no end...

Similarly, e-mail addresses are a dime a dozen(think free mail systems like Gmail, Hotmail, etc.), and can be changed, so there too, they would have to chase an ever-growing/ever-changing list of banned e-mail addresses. It could become quite unwieldy managing this over time.

Unfortunately, the "freedom" the Internet brings to you and me, is also available to(and all too easily abused by) scammers. Protecting ourselves from these criminals often comes at the price of curtailing our freedom, i.e. Proz.com could restrict all e-mail to just Proz users who are logged in, but then that would mean taking our freedom to choose that option or not. Personally, it wouldn't bother me one bit, but then, how do you feel about it?

I choose to avoid these types of criminals by setting my Proz e-mail preferences to receive mail only from Proz users who are logged in. And, while this may prevent some legitimate potential clients from contacting me(so I miss out on their business), in my mind it is worth it not to have to deal with scammers who would just waste my time.

My purpose for joining Proz was to be able to have access to a pool of potential jobs that are offered by legitimate clients. And in most cases, those potential clients will be Proz users who are logged in. I am happy with that.

To the Proz staff: may we hear from you on this, please?

MGrant


 

aslimnb  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 13:02
Member (2009)
English to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Well, it seems Oct 28, 2011

that I'll have no answer to my question.

Thank you again, Michael for the explanation and I agree with you that we should consider the possibility of not accepting messages from other people than ProZ users. The thing is that I will assume that risk, but as a paying member of this site I expected to be more protected.

From the moment I've submitted that support request (reporting a particular e-mail address as spam, to be understood "scam"), at least two or three people were ripped off by that same scammer (according to some forum threads reporting scams, I can give examples). I think this is a rather serious issue and I don't understand how the system works. If making these requests changes nothing, we should at least know it.


 

Michael Grant
Japan
Local time: 20:02
Japanese to English
Yes, more protection and more aggressive measures against abusers would be nice! Oct 28, 2011

The thing is that I will assume that risk, but as a paying member of this site I expected to be more protected.

From the moment I've submitted that support request (reporting a particular e-mail address as spam, to be understood "scam"), at least two or three people were ripped off by that same scammer (according to some forum threads reporting scams, I can give examples). I think this is a rather serious issue and I don't understand how the system works. If making these requests changes nothing, we should at least know it.


Yes, I agree with you! It would be nice if PROZ would go after scammers/abusers more actively and aggressively. However, that would require a lot of time and resources considering the sheer number of these unsavory-types there are out here on the Internet...icon_frown.gif

If they made PROZ a completely closed system, where you had to be a paying member and log in before being able to see or do anything on the site, they could avoid most, if not all, abuse of the site. (I don't think many spammers would pay for the privilege to spam us, right?!icon_smile.gif) But I don't think PROZ wants to go that far...

Short of that, they could always hide all contact links, contact forms, and forums on the site, and make it so that only paying members who are logged in could access that information/functionality. I wonder why they haven't done that already...?


 

Alejandro Cavalitto
Local time: 08:02
SITE STAFF
Spammers and scammers are banned from ProZ.com when identified Oct 28, 2011

Hello, and sorry for the delay in my reply.

Reports of spammers made through the support system or by other means are handled by site staff by blocking the email address sending the messages and removing offending profiles if the spammer has registered an account.

In the case of scammers, site staff acts reactively and blocks them when they are reported. Of course, no action can be taken unless they are reported, because communication through ProZ.com is not monitored, except for the messages sent to members that ask to have their messages reviewed by site staff before they receive them.

On the question of limiting who can send messages, the position of ProZ.com in this is to make communication as easy and unobstructed as possible through the site. The idea behind this is that most messages sent and received are business-related, and any blocks on communications are more likely to discourage potential clients from contacting translators than doing the same to spammers/scammers.

Along with the principle of enabling easy and free communication on ProZ.com, every user is encouraged to perform thorough risk management when dealing with potential clients. There are articles in ProZ.com's translation industry wiki about detecting scams and risk management in general. The "Scams" forum was created as well, to give a place for translators to share information about scammers that have contacted them.

Marilena Berca said:
From the moment I've submitted that support request (reporting a particular e-mail address as spam, to be understood "scam"), at least two or three people were ripped off by that same scammer (according to some forum threads reporting scams, I can give examples). I think this is a rather serious issue and I don't understand how the system works. If making these requests changes nothing, we should at least know it.


I see you reported a message you received from a ProZ.com profile on 2010 and you were informed the sender was blocked from sending mail through ProZ.com profiles. That is the action site staff took. If other translators were contacted by the same scammer, they must have been contacted by a different profile, or even outside ProZ.com. Not much can be done to protect the community from scammers other than blocking them on the site when they are spotted and educating people to identify them.

By the way, all my comments about scammers refer to "Nigerian scam" proposals and similar fraudulent offers. If translation work is related in any way to the cases you refer to, the Blue Board is the place where reports are stored, and its rules determine what action is taken and when. You can find information on how the Blue Board works here: http://www.proz.com/faq/blue_board_outsourcer_database_.html

Hope this explains! Please let me know if you have any questions.

Best regards,
Alejandro


 

Michael Grant
Japan
Local time: 20:02
Japanese to English
Thank you! Oct 28, 2011

Alejandro Cavalitto wrote:

I see you reported a message you received from a ProZ.com profile on 2010 and you were informed the sender was blocked from sending mail through ProZ.com profiles. That is the action site staff took... Not much can be done to protect the community from scammers other than blocking them on the site when they are spotted and educating people to identify them.


That's pretty much what I thought...Unfortunately, until they find a way to make spammers and scammers pay the recipient for each mail they send(I'd LOVE to see THAT!!!), there's no way to curtail their actions without limiting on our own...

Thank you for your response, Alejandro!


 

aslimnb  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 13:02
Member (2009)
English to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Hi Alejandro Oct 28, 2011

Thank you for your reply, but I was referring to a situation that has happened this month and the scammer is not a logged in user.

On October the 13rd I received a message via Proz:

You have been sent a message via ProZ.com.
Author: Juanjo, Ed. Tikal [NOTE: The author is not a registered ProZ.com user or was not logged in when sending this message.]
Author's IP address: 80.58.205.44
Message type: Request for quote
-----------

Necesito una traducción simple de los documentos adjuntos
al español porque se me ha pasado el plazo y ya no llego,
¿me puede ayudar? ¿que cuesta? Juanjo

A month ago I was victim of a scam and the message Juanjo sent was very similar to the other one. So, my first action was to block profile messages from the sender and to declare it spam using the links at the end of the e-mail.

Next, I warned my colleagues on a forum thread: http://www.proz.com/forum/scams/209113-rfpaloma@livecom_another_scam.html

But, to my surprise, people were still receiving messages from him: On Oct. 23rd someone said she was scammed by that person, on Oct. 24th another user received a message from him requesting the translation of some books, on Oct. 26th another translator said he was scammed by Juanjo, from Tikal Ediciones, tikalediciones@hotmail.com:

http://www.proz.com/forum/spanish/201709-cuidado_estafa_-page4.html

I'm intrigued how can this be possible.





[Edited at 2011-10-28 11:07 GMT]


 

Tony M
France
Local time: 13:02
Member
French to English
+ ...
Just quickly... Oct 28, 2011

Not wishing to jump the gun, and I'm sure Alejandro will give a definitive answer, but I just want to explain, Marilena

Marilena Berca wrote:

I'm intrigued how can this be possible.



The problem is, the system can block IP addresses, but the user may be using a connection where the IP address changes all the time; alternatively, if it is a general IP address for a ISP, then obviously messages from a whole ISP can't be blocked, otherwise whole swathes of people wouldn't be able to communicate with ProZ.com.

I don't know if the system is able to block at e-mail address level (apparently it is, as confirmed by Alejandro above), but in any case, many of these scammers change e-mail address very often; I have myself received the same scam purporting to be from the same person, but using 3 different e-mail addresses. You may need to check that this scammer was in fact using identical e-mail addresses in each case — very often, they look similar, but if you check more closely, they are in fact slightly different.

So inevitably, any automatic blocking system is likely to have loopholes.

It looks like the member-only option of having ones e-mails vetted by staff is probably a good bet for those people who are worried about receiving potential scam in this way.

[Modifié le 2011-10-28 11:13 GMT]


 

aslimnb  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 13:02
Member (2009)
English to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
I agree Oct 28, 2011

with you Tony, actually this scammer uses a lot of names and e-mail addresses and he changes them whenever things don't work out anymore, but I am referring to the strict situation when he uses the exact same e-mail address.

 

Tony M
France
Local time: 13:02
Member
French to English
+ ...
Support request Oct 28, 2011

It sounds then as if you ought to submit a specific support request on this issue, giving the fullest possible details of the specific instances, including the full headers from the original messages.

I feel sure Alejandro will have it looked into for you.


 

aslimnb  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 13:02
Member (2009)
English to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
OK, I will do that Oct 28, 2011

Thank you, Tony.

 

Suzanne Blangsted (X)  Identity Verified
Local time: 04:02
Danish to English
+ ...
Result of my warning and posting on proz.com Nov 22, 2011

I posted a notice on a scammer who had an account on proz.com. This fellow became a member this month of November 2011. I notified proz.com and posted a note about the scammer on this site giving all the information I could about him so no-one else would get caught - this after extensive research of that person.

When I sent proz.com my information about this scammer, I had e-mail exchanges with Russ at proz.com who managed this issue very well by having the scammers page removed from proz.com. But I also received a response from someone else in proz.com's administration stating that I had no right to post a URL for a provider, and was told to make changes to my text.

Since the scammer is not a provider, I got really mad and removed my text completely.

Thanks to Russ, the scammer is no longer having a page on proz.com. So I don't have to worry about that.

The responders in proz.com administration should read a text completely before they respond with a "boilderplate" answer? It was obvious that he was not a "provider" but a scammer.

suz


 

Alejandro Cavalitto
Local time: 08:02
SITE STAFF
Reports of fraudulent outsourcer must be made directly to site staff Nov 23, 2011

Dear Suzanne,

Your post was properly removed as it is not allowed to identify outsourcers, legitimate or not, on ProZ.com forums. This is stated on forums rule #8, http://www.proz.com/siterules/forum/8#8 .

Instead, reports of fraudulent outsourcer must be made directly to site staff through the support system. When you forum post was hidden, it was also brought to the attention of site staff and appropriate action was taken.

In the future, please submit a support request to report any fraudulent outsourcer you find on ProZ.com. Thank you.

Best regards,
Alejandro


 


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