Updates from April, 2018 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Geebo 9:13 am on April 30, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Facebook lottery, , , Sheryl Sandberg   

    The Facebook lottery is a lie 

    The Facebook lottery is a lie

    Back in the early days of the internet, there was an infamous hoax that said if you forward an email from Microsoft founder Bill Gates you’ll get cash for each time the email is forwarded. That hoax was largely harmless and mostly resulted in annoyance and some susceptible people wondering where their money was. Now there’s another impersonation hoax that’s causing its victims to lose thousands of dollars apiece. It’s colloquially known as the Facebook lottery scam.

    The way the scam works is that Facebook users will receive texts or Facebook messages claiming to be from Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg or COO Sheryl Sandberg. These messages will say that the user has won a Facebook lottery that only a small number of people have ever won. They’ll claim the prize is anywhere from $500,000 to $500,000,000, but as you might expect, there’s a catch. In order to claim the alleged winnings you’ll need to either wire a processing fee, or give the processing fee in gift cards.

    This is not a new scam with some reports stating that it’s been around since 2011, however, it seems to have really ramped up in the past month with stories about it being reported all over the country, most notably in the New York Times. While each story has some differences, they all have the same result, an elderly person being scammed out of large sums of money.

    While some may easily spot this scam before they fall victim, there are still others who are not as educated in these matters. If you know someone who thinks the Facebook lottery is real show them this blog post and the other stories where people have fallen victim to the scam. Reason with them that if Facebook was giving away money, which they don’t do, they wouldn’t need money for so-called processing fees. Also remind them that wiring money or sending gift cards to strangers is the sure sign of a scam.

     
  • Geebo 9:22 am on April 27, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , ,   

    Leading Backpage opponent wants lawsuit dropped 

    Leading Backpage opponent wants lawsuit dropped

    Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart

    Cook County (Ill.) Sheriff Tom Dart was one of the leading voices in the fight against Backpage. Not only did Sheriff Dart do everything within his power to combat the human trafficking committed through Backpage by conducting various stings and rescue operations, but he also stepped outside of his job to convince credit card companies to stop accepting payments for Backpage ads. While it wasn’t a deathblow for Backpage, it did hurt them where it mattered most, in the wallet. Backpage fought back against Dart by filing a lawsuit over lost profits due to Dart’s interference and had a restraining order placed against him which prevented Dart from further contacting the credit card companies.

    Now, with the federal seizure of Backpage, Sheriff Dart is asking that the lawsuit against him be dismissed. Dart is now arguing that since Backpage CEO Carl Ferrer has admitted that Backpage was predicated on human trafficking and money laundering this should render Backpage’s lawsuit against Dart null and void. Dart himself called the lawsuit a fraud and that it was not based in fact or law.

    While some of Sheriff Dart’s tactics can be considered questionable, the closure of Backpage could not have been done without him. Because of his constant vocal opposition to Backpage in the country’s second most populous county, the Backpage situation may never have received the media attention it did and we would still probably be trying to make people more aware of the problem. Sheriff Dart should be commended for his work against Backpage trafficking and this suit should be dropped immediately since it came to light that Backpage was complicit in the sex trade all along.

     
  • Geebo 9:02 am on April 26, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , ,   

    Victory for Journalism: Peter Thiel agrees not to buy Gawker 

    Victory for Journalism: Peter Thiel agrees not to buy Gawker

    Back in January, billionaire venture capitalist, and possible real life super villain, Peter Thiel made it known that he had plans to bid for Gawker’s remaining asset, that being the website itself. As you may recall, Thiel bankrolled the lawsuit against Gawker filed by former pro-wrestler Hulk Hogan, the same lawsuit that bankrupted Gawker. Most of Gawker’s assets were sold to television network Univision, however, the website itself was not part of that sale. Previously, we speculated that Thiel maybe trying to buy the website in order to erase Gawker’s negative coverage of him and for him to have the ability to sue anyone who may try to republish the Gawker articles. Now, Thiel has reached a legal agreement where he has promised not to buy the now defunct but still online website.

    The administrator of Gawker’s estate sought to block Thiel from bidding in the website claiming that “the auction could have a “chilling effect” on bidding and that the auction would “elicit greater interest and higher bids” without Thiel’s participation.” Thiel agreed not to bid on Gawker after the Gawker estate promised not to further investigate Thiel in order to bring legal action against Thiel for secretly funding several lawsuits against Gawker.

    This is a big deal because it shows that not all media outlets can be bought by billionaires looking to silence any criticism against them. While Gawker may not have been the quintessential bastion of journalism, without curtailing actions against them like Thiel had allegedly planned where would it have stopped? What if it led to someone buying an outlet like the New York Times in order to quash any criticism against them? At that point we may have witnessed the death of objective journalism.

     
  • Geebo 9:13 am on April 25, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , delivery, Key In Car,   

    Amazon now wants access into your car 

    Amazon now wants access into your car

    Recently, it was announced that Amazon has started a new delivery program called Amazon Key in Car. It’s similar to their Amazon Key service which allows delivery people to leave your packages inside your house, except now deliveries are left in your car. Once again, Amazon is asking you to put a lot of trust in them for the sake of convenience.

    This is an idea that Amazon has been toying with for some time now as previously they were said to be working with some kind of smart license plate holder in order to gain access to your car. However, Key In Car relies on existing service in order to open your car. In order to get Key In Car deliveries you need to have a late-model GM vehicle with the OnStar service or a Volvo with their On Call service. Of course, you’ll also need an Amazon Prime account and the service is only available in 37 cities so far.

    While many people will no doubt consider Key In Car as a viable option for them, to me it seems like it has too many points of failure to be trustworthy, not to mention the privacy issues. In a lot of cases, cars can contain more personal information than homes as many of us spend an inordinate amount of time in our cars due to long commutes or other circumstances. That’s not even taking into account the information Amazon could gain access to through the OnStar and On Call services. We’re all up in arms about Facebook’s privacy leaks but since Amazon is sending us creature comforts we’re more than willing to give up our privacy.

     
  • Geebo 9:04 am on April 24, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Long Island, rice,   

    LetGo users scammed into buying boxes of rice 

    LetGo users scammed into buying boxes of rice

    Most of us have heard the tip that when you accidentally drop your phone in water, you should then place it in a bag of rice. But what do you do when your phone is a bag of rice? That’s what happened recently to some users of the mobile marketplace app LetGo when they were trying to purchase iPhones.

    In Suffolk County in New York on Long Island, three people were arrested recently for selling iPhone boxes full of rice to people who thought they were buying the renowned smart phone through LetGo. The scammers allegedly claimed that they were selling brand new iPhones still in the box and factory sealed when in reality the boxes were filled with nothing but rice to simulate the weight of an iPhone and its accessories. When police investigated the residence where the operation was taking place, they reportedly found an industrial sealer, a heat gun, and a roll of clear plastic wrap among the packages of rice.

    If you’re buying something from a classifieds site or app always be skeptical of anything listed as sealed in box. As you can see, it doesn’t take much to reseal a box and there have been many stories over the years where people have been sold sealed boxes that have been filled with bricks, carpet samples, and many other bits of detritus. This is yet another reason to use safe exchange zones such as police stations to make your transactions. Not only do these zones go a long way in helping to protect your safety, but they also go a long way in preventing you from getting ripped off.

     
  • Geebo 9:08 am on April 23, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: ethnic violence, , Sri Lanka   

    Is Facebook a flashpoint for violence in yet another country? 

    Is Facebook a flashpoint for violence in yet another country?

    For those of us who use Facebook, we all have that friend or relative who is so entrenched in their beliefs they can’t be talked out of making discriminatory posts against some ethnicity, religion, or other groups that they may find objectionable. Now imagine that person made a Facebook post inciting violence against a particular group based on misleading information. Here in the U.S. we have laws against threatening speech and our culture is mostly one that doesn’t form into anti-whatever death squads. Other countries in the world do not have such luxuries. Previously, we’ve posted about the violence and disenfranchisement of the Rohingya minority in Myanmar. More recently, The New York Times has published an article detailing a similar situation currently happening in Sri Lanka.

    In an article entitled “Where Countries Are Tinderboxes and Facebook Is a Match” the Times details the role Facebook plays in the violence perpetrated by some of the Sinhalese Buddhist majority in Facebook against Muslim minorities, and just like in Myanmar, Facebook is seen as the de facto internet in the country where any rumor or conspiracy theory about the Sri Lankan Muslims are seen as fact. The violence reached such a peak that the Sri Lankan government even blocked Facebook from the country for a time but millions of Sri Lankans would get around the ban using virtual private networks known as VPNs. When other Sri Lankans would try to flag hateful posts on Facebook, the social media giant would once again respond to the complaints by saying the posts didn’t violate their seemingly arbitrary community guidelines. As one government official put it “The germs are ours, but Facebook is the wind, you know?”

    With Facebook holding virtual information monopolies in so many countries they need to do more than just offering platitudes to the press and government officials. If Facebook wants to be a real agent of change in this world it needs to concentrate on how its platform is abused rather than just expanding. In too many cases when Facebook expands into a country, it is akin to dropping a formidable weapon in the middle of a country and letting any majority wield it as they see fit.

     
  • Geebo 9:01 am on April 20, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , Radcliffe Haughton, Zina Daniel Haughton   

    Court rules lawsuit can continue against Armslist 

    Court rules lawsuit can continue against Armslist

    Image via the New York Post

    We originally posted about Armslist here. Armslist is known as ‘the craigslist of guns’ as it allows private sales of guns between owners and buyers. The site is not without controversy as it has been seen by some as an avenue of illegal gun sales. In many states, private gun sales do not need a background check to be completed. This has led to a number of criminals circumventing the background checks by using Armslist to obtain their firearms. Much like Backpage used to, Armslist has been held relatively harmless in these matters due to the Communications Decency Act of 1996. However, a recent court ruling may see Armslist lose that protection.

    In 2012, Radcliffe Haughton stormed his estranged wife’s workplace in Brookfield, Wisconsin, shooting and killing his wife, Zina Daniel Haughton, and two other victims before turning the gun on himself and taking his own life. Haughton had a domestic violence injunction against him which prevented him from legally owning a gun. He is said to have purchased the gun used in the killings off of Armslist in order to evade any kind of background check. Zina’s daughter, Yasmeen Daniel, had previously tried to sue Armslist for their role in facilitating the gun sale but the suit was dismissed due to the CDA which stated that Armslist was not responsible for what their users may or may not do. Yesterday, However, the Court of Appeals reinstated the lawsuit stating that it can be argued that Armslist is designed to facilitate illegal gun sales.

    Again, all Armslist does to discourage illegal gun sales is to make users click on a button that says they’re over 18 and they’re legally able to purchase a gun and that’s it. While that may be enough to legally absolve them from any wrongdoing it doesn’t absolve them from the fact that by allegedly turning a blind eye to illegal sales there is blood on their hands.

     
    • Jesus Christ 9:33 pm on June 4, 2018 Permalink

      Armslist Rocks. If you do not like ittenrun to your safe place or cry closet and **** a ****.

    • Geebo 9:10 am on June 5, 2018 Permalink

      If you’re representative of the typical Armslist user then there’s no wonder background checks are required for guns.

  • Geebo 9:00 am on April 19, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , Johnny Barker, Kevin Garcia-Boettler, , , ,   

    Arrests made in the craigslist disappearance of Okla. men 

    Arrests made in the craigslist disappearance of Okla. men

    There’s been an update to yesterday’s story about the disappearance of two men from Moore, Oklahoma, who went missing after an alleged craigslist transaction. Sadly, the bodies of 21-year-olds Alize Smith and Jarron Moreland were found in a pond with both men having been shot to death. Three suspects have been arrested and charged in their murders, and they are 22-year-old Kevin Garcia-Boettler, 43-year-old Johnny Barker, and the 16-year-old brother of Garcia-Boettler.

    According to police, Moreland and Smith were said to be selling a gun on craigslist and the trio of suspects were meeting with the two men to purchase the gun. Once Moreland and Smith approached the suspects’ van, one of the suspects claims they heard a gun being cocked by one of the victims. This resulted in one of the suspects firing on the two men, killing them both. Tragically, this could have all been prevented.

    Craigslist’s terms of service forbids firearms from being sold or traded on their site, yet it happens all the time. The problem with craigslist is the usual one as they hardly ever do any kind of moderation on their site for any kind of illegal items or sales. Instead, they rely on their users to flag any kind of inappropriate ad, the same users who are posting the illegal ads to begin with. This is akin to the inmates running the asylum. Craigslist has the ability to screen for ads like this as they have done so in the past with unlocked iPhones when that was still illegal. Yet they allow guns to change hands without even batting an eye.

     
  • Geebo 9:01 am on April 18, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , ,   

    Two men missing after possible craigslist abduction 

    Two men missing after possible craigslist abduction

    Over this past weekend, two Oklahoma families are experiencing their worst nightmares after members of their families disappeared during what was believed to be a craigslist transaction. 21-year-olds Alize Smith and Jarron Moreland were reportedly abducted from a supermarket parking lot in Moore, Oklahoma, by two men in a white van. Shots were also said to have been fired during the abduction and a bloody gun was found at the scene.

    This was no midnight meeting either as the two men met their purported abductors at 6:00 PM on a Saturday in a busy parking lot. This is the definition of a well-lit public place during the day. Sadly, these precautions weren’t enough as their captors committed a brazen daylight attack against the two victims. Police are looking to the public for help in finding the two victims.

    Anyone who knows the whereabouts of Smith and Moreland is asked to call the Moore Police Department at (405)793-5171.

    As we have stated in the past, we believe the safest place to conduct any kind of classifieds transaction is at your local police department as many stations across the country are now encouraging citizens to use their locations to conduct business safely. I understand there are segments of the population who don’t trust police and many have good reason to be fearful. However, it may be worth putting those fears aside in order to be able to go home to your family.

    Our thoughts go out to the families of Mr. Smith and Mr. Moreland, and we are hoping for their safe return.

     
  • Geebo 9:11 am on April 17, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , romance scam   

    Fake Facebook profiles a problem for the military 

    Fake Facebook profiles a problem for the military

    One of the other issues discussed with Mark Zuckerberg by Congress was not just that of privacy, but that of identity theft. US Representative Adam Kinzinger from Illinois, mentioned to Zuckerberg that the Congressman had his own information stolen by scammers who had created fake profiles in order to extort money from victims. According to CBS Marketwatch, this is not a new problem on Facebook and often targets members of the military to steal their identity.

    Members of the military often have their profiles copied to make fake Facebook profiles by overseas scammers. The scammers then use the fake profiles to try to get someone romantically interested in the fake profile. This is hen usually followed up by some request for money from the victim. These scams have claimed anywhere from hundreds to millions of dollars from victims, and it’s believed the crime is underreported due to the number of victims who are too embarrassed to come forward.

    Facebook is usually not a big help when it comes to these fake profiles. When the military reports these profiles, Facebook will have them removed, but then they’ll just pop right back up soon after. As in the video shown above, the serviceman whose profile was copied again and again couldn’t get the fakes removed due to Facebook claiming that the fake profiles did not violate their ever-vague ‘community guidelines’.

    Now you may be savvy enough to not fall for such a scam, but think of all your friends on Facebook who may not be. If they’re suddenly head over heels for someone in the military they’ve met online, warn them that this may be a scam, especially if they ask for money. As a military spokesperson put it to CBS…

    Members of the military shouldn’t be asking for money, said Heusdens. “If they say they need help paying for a medical bill, the military pays for medical treatment for soldiers,” she said. Likewise, asking for help to buy food is a red flag.

    “We get fed very well,” she said.

     
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