Sunday, November 16, 2008

ASL Expo, Funny Stuff

Earlier Saturday, I went with Jamie out to the ASL Expo at the Show Place Arena in Upper Marlboro, MD. We arrived just before noon due to a previous engagement.

I thought it was interesting that it was in arena near a horse stable. Usually, most expos like this are crowded, but this one wasn't as crowded. It looked more like a demo and social sort of event, more social than sales/demo. I managed to pick out Deaf Sherlock out of a small group in the arena seating what with his shiny head and text him. It took him a minute or two to find us. Maybe he should have worn that Sherlock or PSU hat of his?

The vendor tables were fewer than before, with T-Mobile, Viable, Sorenson, and a few other well-known places as well as other smaller vendors selling various things. The place could easily have held at least twice the crowd we had for the stage shows. Interestingly enough, facing the stage was an area for kids entertainment, making stuff or just plain playing some.

For the $10 admission, things could probably have been better even though we left a bit early.

There's bound to be days when someone pops out a oneliner to a lecturer's serious question and causes the entire audience to fall over laughing. We've heard of the biology instructor who answers the question of why semen tastes salty in Snopes' Salt of the Mirth.

But in this case, Jeff Carlson posts something called Funny Thing Happened in College. Ah, total hilarity. Just something I did awhile ago that killed my entire class in my Bringing Down The House post.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Nigerian Scam Targets Deaf Youngsters

I just returned tonight from having to deal with someone's teenager who was about to get scammed. I got a copy of the chat log and knew just what was going on. I fired off a response email to all involved including the teen's teachers.

This is what I sent;

I've seen this conversation and this is EXACTLY the thing I have been seeing and hearing about all over the place.

To begin, the screen names they hit/contact can be found in two places.

The first would be from DeafVP, as it has been a major source of live AIM screen names. They would hit you with invites to a website to enter your phone number or similar info. If not DeafVP, it would be found in other places like Facebook.

The second is what I have been seeing more and more often, what you saw with the teen.

What they would do is get the AIM SN owner's password somehow. The first would be either through force or through telling them false stories. If they got it through force, they would have you visit a "poisoned" website which would install something to capture your passwords or other information. This last option I've rarely seen.

When they try to get the person's password, they would tell them that they've won money and tell them other stories. They will say they need your AIM password "to open the briefcase" or to help them in getting their money better.

Once they get the password, they take over the account by changing the password and then abuse it. How exactly they abuse it, I don't know. First, they use one of their own accounts, known as Account A, to make first contact using the "taken" account's buddy list. Then the "taken" account, known as Account B, is used to help fool other people if needed.

Account A has been known to refer to Account B, to gain the trust of the person they're talking with, making it seem like they are talking with their friend on their buddy list. Now and then this is used, but I don't see this often.

If they don't go for the password, like you saw with the teen, they would tell the person stories as to how they need to pay a fee to FedEx on delivery of the "money cash" or winnings. They will ALWAYS ask for your name and address, and to send the fee somewhere or wait for the FedEx or other delivery company.

If you try to tell them that they can take the "fee" out of the money you've "won," they will always tell you that's not how it works. It MUST be cash or something made out to the delivery company. They will not stop, just harassing you. Putting them on ignore is only a temporary measure til they get another IM name.

I received something similar some time ago, but in this case, they said they were a police officer in another state and gave me a URL. When I contacted the real person's office, they were VERY interested in getting the chat log. Another one tried to have me send an employment application to a place in the United Kingdom. When I checked the place of business out, I found they were only located here in the United States.

I have blogged about this before, and you can read it here;

Give Out Your Password? NOT! NEVER!

NEVER Give Out Your Password! (Part two)

For the second posting, there is a link to another article of interest.

Internet scammers target deaf community

If you pass all this around, it would help in reducing the number of people being scammed by these idiots.