Well here it is April 2, and I managed to resist the temptation to pull any April Fool’s pranks. I’m proud of myself, and at the same time dissappointed. What happened to that care free spirit that once felt a good joke was worth a verbal (or physical) beating?
It has been over 4 months since I mentioned scammers, and more than 16 since I directly addressed how to help keep them at bay. Recently I received an email along the lines of:
I’m so tired of people posting free animals then when you email them they delete their ad off. They are scammers and should not be allowed to do this.
Well I’m right there with you. Unfortunately none of them ask me for permission. And just for the record, they rarely delete their own ads, their ads are pulled when they get reported as scams.
Most of these probably originate from Korea, Cameroon, etc. So of course I block
those countries from the site. Then they find virally compromised
computers on major cable, dsl, and even dialup networks. It is virtually
impossible for me to tell the difference between them and a legitimate
Fortunately the ad is usually pretty obvious. No one gives away a $1200
bulldog or yorkie for free. No one gives away a $5000 parrot for
free. When you see these ads, hit the report ad button in the lower
right of the ad. When a number of people report an ad, it removes the ad.
If the account has multiple ads that get reported that way, ALL of
the ads for that account are removed and the email address for that
account is locked out of the system.
I also regularly review removed ads and lock out the ipaddress they came in from.
means I am constantly banning ipaddresses on domestic networks
and thus potential legitimate users of the classifieds can’t sign up, so eventually I have to deal with that when a legitimate user tries to sign up.
Of course there is a never ending source of infected computers out
there, so all I’ve really done is made the job of the scammers harder.
It doesn’t end it, it only slows them down. You can help me slow
them down and thwart them by reporting obvious scams when you find