|Thursday Thoughts and Thank You's
By Michael Dorausch, DC
Looking at an earlier post today regarding classified advertisements I noticed an address being used was similar to one I'd seen in the past. In fact, it turned out to be the same exact address I'd seen used before in the United Kingdom. Thanks to those that have continued pushing forward.
A news article from earlier today regarding separating people from their money with classified ad scams, had me thinking about an address I'd seen before in the United Kingdom. After performing a quick search I found the post I was looking for, Community Minimizes Classified Ad Fraud Activity, which included a name and address of an individual involved in suspected scams targeted at people selling items online.
(photo: chiropractic assistant holding an Eee box PC from ASUS - very cool product)
The previous post was from July and the individuals name in question was Tom Marley. E-mails being sent to people selling products on classified ad systems included that name and the address: Flat 62 Reward Rd, 12 Monsal Court E 05 JJ, London UK. I noticed today that the address was identical to one being used in posts sent to users on our website early this morning. After further investigation it appears the e-mail template was also the same. The only thing that changed was the IP address and e-mail address used by the sender. In previous scam attempts they were using a yahoo.com e-mail address but have recently switched to a gmail.com account. While this all may seem rather ho-hum it's a fairly big deal to a number of people.
Thankfully a number of chiropractors had been e-mailing me during the previous months with complaints and concerns regarding attempted e-mail scams. Even though I've reminded people more times than I can remember that scams like these are a regular part of the Internet (they happen on every popular classified ad web site I am aware of) there's always someone that's going to want to believe these e-mails are legitimate, which gives the scammers enough motivation to continue pursuing new targets.
What was fortunate for us was a great number of chiropractors that remained steadily active in reporting any suspicious activity related to anything they've posted to the Web. It was more work for us, but it was motivating to work on developing new features that better identified who was using the services, and which users to the site were most likely to engage in fraudulent activity.
The result has forced potential scammers and spammers to jump through additional hoops when trying to contact those that have items posted for sale. Our work is by no way done but it's been getting more exciting, since we're committed to continuing to provide a valuable service for the chiropractic industry.
There's been added unexpected bonuses for the work we've been doing. Other webmasters and administrators for classified ad networks across the globe have been in contact sharing their IP blacklists, names of suspected scammers and fraudsters, and other tips and advice on better serving a classified ad community. We've also received a number of e-mails from individuals that took the simple extra step and typed in names, phone numbers and addresses of those parties wanting them to send product or funds (or both) overseas. Those e-mails have been rewarding since people told me they nearly shipped their laptops or other valuable merchandise but had an innate sense to investigate those they were mailing items to before doing so.
So thank you everyone that's been active in participating, buying, and selling items via the chiropractic classifieds. Congratulations to those that have found new chiropractic practices thanks to the classified ad system. Congratulations to those that have landed new jobs as a result of ads that were posted. Congratulations to those that hired new employees that have become a perfect fit for the office. Thanks also for the great stories I've been hearing when attending chiropractic conferences. I think I like those most of all.