african refugee wants to be my friend

crueltyfre(Tampa 9a heat 10 sunset 26)October 31, 2011

The other day I got an email from someone named Cynthia. She said she saw my profile on GW and wanted to be friends. Not sure what to make of it, I checked and she did not have a profile. I wondered if this was some one local who just moved here, an invalid/elderly person truly looking for friends, or what. I finally wrote back with two lines, asking where she lived and what type of gardening she did. This morning I get this reply...complete with three sexy photos, lol...

Hello, how are you ?

I am glad to get your message, ! i will start by introducing my self first, my full name is miss Cynthia Chizizy Appiah, 24yr old,fair in complexion,173cm tall,black eyes and black long hair. I was a nursing student from University of Ivory Coast college of health science, i m writing you from Republic of Senegal where i have been residing in a refugee home,after the brutal murder of my parents by some rebels,during the political crisis in my country Ivory Coast some years ago. i hope you will still like me after hearing all this because i know,a lot of people do not like hearing matters like this,i do not even like telling people the story ,but i guess i have to be real open to whom ever will have to be my friend, because what i really need in this period of my life is a real friend whom i can share secrets with,i just hope you are the one.So,this is my world,now you tell me more about yourself OK. In my next letter, i will tell you what i like,and enjoy most and more about me, not now because i know some people do not like long letters or probably do not have the time. Attached here is my photograph right now,i hope you will like it, sorry i do not have plenty of photographs because of my living condition,hope to hear from you soon. !!!!

regards Cynthia.

These people are cruising the GW profiles for suckers now????

Lori

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starryrider(9)

Before you know it she will be asking for money!

    Bookmark   October 31, 2011 at 11:09AM
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coffeemom(Broward z10)

maybe she has a rich Uncle in Nigeria who needs to move millions out of the country and will pay you to help.

    Bookmark   October 31, 2011 at 3:06PM
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crueltyfre(Tampa 9a heat 10 sunset 26)

Well, I didn't win powerball, so maybe her uncle can help, lol. But what about a refugee camp with computers and internet and people with the time to surf GW profiles, amazing!
Lori

    Bookmark   October 31, 2011 at 5:52PM
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starryrider(9)

Actually you have won the canadian lottery and only have to send $3000 to collect the money.

    Bookmark   October 31, 2011 at 7:31PM
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billbrandi(9)

Be careful opening emails like that. I deal with this every day in my business. Someone sends in an unsolicited email, someone opens and reads it, and unknowingly a virus or malware gets into the system. Now, it may be that your "Cynthia" is just a person looking for someone to appeal to and send them money (they send out thousands upon thousands of such emails; it costs them nothing and even if they get one out of a million to respond and send money they are ahead).

But it also could be an email with something hidden on it. Make sure you have a good virus protector and use a program that 'washes' your internet browser cache clean whenever you end your internet session. Take it from someone who has been hacked. And had to cancel all credit cards, and change innumerable passwords.

    Bookmark   October 31, 2011 at 7:33PM
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garyfla_gw(10 Florida)

Hi
anybody besides me that is getting these types of posts
that are actually threatening?? They started seveal years ago when "Money was being transferred to my account from money in several African countries" Since that time there have been several letters from the "FBI" Saying i am moving money from known terrorists .I've generally ignored them but the last two suggest that I will soon have "visitors in the night" if I don't respond.. I turned copies over to the local police but they say they are unable to locate the perpetrators .
The last ones have been rather "comical" in that if I don't respond "The mayor of Palm Beach gardens will cause me bodily harm if I don't respond within 48 hours"
How serious should i take these and what to do??
gary

    Bookmark   November 1, 2011 at 6:38AM
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saldut

Hi Gary- That is scarey !! My question is -- how would- could they know your address ? is that possible ?? pls. some PC guru, answer this !! Is it possible for creeps like that to find you where you live ?? and how ???? thanx, sally

    Bookmark   November 1, 2011 at 2:26PM
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garyfla_gw(10 Florida)

Hi
In my case they have mentioned the city where I live several times but didn't give a street address.
Most of the posts come through "spam" though over the last year they have my web addy. i have never responded to any of the posts. The ones from the "FBI" are supposedly from the "Director" Robert Mueller lol. These say that I'm "laundering" money from various terrorist organizations. The money came from an "inheiratence " from donors in Lagos Nigeria as well as from a bank account in Iraq."Only hope of avoiding serious consequences is to respond and follow the directions."
Was rather surprised by the local police response that they can't locate them. They give full web addys as well as street addresses . Why isn't this simple extortion. Not to mention they are posing as police officials.??
I figured they were sending these to a lot of people in the hope of getting a response ??. Have no idea where they got my address though I suspect from buying on line??
You can easily get my web addy from the GW of course.
I have never taken them to seriously as whoever is sending them is not too fluent in English. The wording and composition are humorous. Such as . "An immediate response is not only requested it is demanded. We can cause the mayor to visit you during the night as well as confiscate ALL your holdings in overseas banks." By following the simple directions you will not only avoid much heartache but possibly physical AND monetary results."
Don't know much about the operations of the FBI but feel certain that's not the way it works?? lol gary

    Bookmark   November 2, 2011 at 6:02AM
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crueltyfre(Tampa 9a heat 10 sunset 26)

Gary, those are just more scams from the same African nations. Do a search on some of those scam busting sites and you'll see your "letters" verbatim. so it's not just you!
Lori
http://federalism.typepad.com/crime_federalism/2008/09/fbi-scam-e-mail.html

Here is a link that might be useful: your scam

    Bookmark   November 2, 2011 at 9:06AM
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writersblock

In my case they have mentioned the city where I live several times but didn't give a street address.

Your computer tells them your general location--they don't even have to look it up, just use a program that fills it in for them. Go to google news, for instance, and look at the left side of the page, or the state-specific info on the right. It knows roughly where you are, unless you are using a browser in stealth mode.

    Bookmark   November 2, 2011 at 9:30AM
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L_in_FL(8B/9A Border, NW FL)

I'm NOT a computer guru, but I know that many websites can find out your city from your computer's ISP address (they are assigned geographically). I don't know how this could be done through email.

However, websites gather a lot of information on you unless you take steps to prevent it. If you give any website your email address they can put it together with your city (from your ISP address). A lot of websites compile databases of these known valid email addresses and SELL them. If you also give them your name they may sell that along with your email and city, too. They may also sell anything else they can get about you - physical address, what products you look at and buy, and if you fill out those forms that ask your gender, age, income, etc., it will also be included. Building and selling extremely detailed databases on individuals is a huge industry.

Each website has a privacy statement that is supposed to disclose exactly what information they collect and whether they sell it. (Of course, almost no one reads those.) Some websites are unethical and collect information without disclosure. Even ethical websites that don't sell user information can have their data stolen by hackers from the outside or by an employee looking to make some extra cash.

Most consumer databases are legally used by advertisers, but cyber-criminals buy/steal them, too. So, most likely this spammer is using a program to spam everyone on a list - probably thousands of people. The spammers use personalization programs which generate form emails using the correct city for each email address. This accounts for statements that include the recipient's city, such as, "The mayor of Palm Beach gardens will cause you bodily harm if you don't respond within 48 hours."

A computer security expert could tell us a lot of other ways that spammers, hackers, and criminals can get creepy amounts of information on us without our knowledge. The web is a scary place.

    Bookmark   November 2, 2011 at 9:32AM
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writersblock

I know that many websites can find out your city from your computer's ISP address (they are assigned geographically). I don't know how this could be done through email.

Sorry I wasn't more clear. I meant that spammers have programs that automatically insert the data gotten from the IP address into the emails they send out.

If you use Facebook, every move you make on your computer is known to many, even what you do on other sites when not logged into FB itself:

Here is a link that might be useful: control some of your privacy on facebook

    Bookmark   November 2, 2011 at 12:21PM
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julieyankfan(z9FL Pasco Cty.)

And that's why I don't go on Facebook. I email the people I want to. I don't need the whole world to know my business or see every vacation pic I take.

Have you notified anyone at GW about the emails?

    Bookmark   November 2, 2011 at 12:35PM
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garyfla_gw(10 Florida)

Hi
Guess I will continue to ignore the posts lol Was warned long ago about "buying"on line but so far have had no trouble. Love shopping on line due to the convenience.
i do worry somewhat about "electronic transfer" of funds
but WOW it's such a great way to shop and pay bills.
But ,so far , everything i've bought was exactly as represented. Guess the "delete button is there for a reason?? gary

    Bookmark   November 3, 2011 at 6:13AM
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gatormomx2(9a)

Make sure you see the https at the top of the web address (URL) you are using.
Look up at the one right now and you will see there is no https.
iVillage , that owns Garden Web is notorious for selling our info.
Here is a Wiki definition:
The main idea of HTTPS is to create a secure channel over an insecure network.
This ensures reasonable protection from eavesdroppers and man-in-the-middle attacks,
provided that adequate cipher suites are used and that the server certificate is verified and trusted.

    Bookmark   November 3, 2011 at 6:30AM
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crueltyfre(Tampa 9a heat 10 sunset 26)

Gary, if you use Mozilla Firefox as your browser, there are options to keep you private and not let yourself be tracked. I love it and it's free.
Lori

    Bookmark   November 3, 2011 at 8:49AM
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writersblock

>there are options to keep you private and not let yourself be tracked

This is in most browsers (maybe not IE--haven't checked recent versions, but all others I can think of), but its effectiveness varies substantially, and it won't protect you from places like facebook where you automatically grant them permission for all sorts of things just by signing up.

It's better than nothing, though. There are more substantial programs just for this, like Ghoster for mac, but none of them are 100%.

    Bookmark   November 3, 2011 at 9:17AM
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