Fighting with computers

Computers are not always friendly.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Supress belief

After returning from holidays I've came across two different stories that somehow did not look right and turned out to be a scam or a hoax.

First one was a person who told me about a recent e-mail she got from a friend who, interestingly, claimed to be in Nigeria and lost her wallet in a cab. The twist was that the message was apparently coming from a real person that she knew.

I tend to be quite suspicious whenever somebody asks me money by email, specially if the requester is based in Nigeria (419 scam is a classic).

This time it was a new variation, based on hijacking a person's email account (gmail, hotmail, etc) so they take control of that person's email and they use his/her address book contacts. This way the person receiving the scam email believe they are talking to a person they know. If they are lucky you will rush to Western Union to wire the money trying to help your friend.

The second weird news came from a good friend who was worried about the news that spread over the 'net claiming something fishy was going on with certain index in the futures market. If you are like me, the futures market is something as well known as the pop singers of North Korea. So we tend not to question certain claims we do not understand.

I was surprised none of the press acknowledge this news, so I get suspicious too. After a few days I could find that nothing seems wrong. So, once again, it's a good idea to triple check the data you receive, specially when it seems a hard to swallow one.

The fact the internet can help news move faster does not mean it is making them any more reliable.

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