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July 6, 2011

How to avoid being a victim of a Twitter hoax

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Some things are just too juicy not to Tweet or re-Tweet.  There is the thrill of thinking that one is the first or at least among the first to tell the world about something that seems monumentally important at the moment.  Then there is the chance of becoming somewhat famous on twitter for a couple of hours, days or weeks. And if you’re an online traffic junkie, well, nothing beats the stats of a well crafted post launched at the right time — it’s like lighting up a huge pile of kindling.

It would be great if it turned out that your Tweet or re-Tweet was actually spot on, but what if you end up unknowingly passing off something that is not only false but malicious as well?

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September 12, 2010

Spam, Scams Plague Ping

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Apple PingWith Apple’s new iTunes-based social network Ping skyrocketing past 1 million users in its first two days, it was perhaps inevitable that it come strongly across the radar of hackers, spammers, and scammers. In fact, it took less than 24 hours for the first wave to spam to appear. Now the same problems that have long plagued other popular networks like Facebook and Twitter have taken root in Ping.

The million dollar question is: how effectively, and quickly, can Apple not only eradicate existing spam, but prevent future spam from occurring?

According to eSecurity Planet, Bradley Anstis of M86 Security suggests Apple could begin by effectively disabling links in comments, since comments are the offending medium. “It would be too much to manage comment approvals, but implementing some form of automation to strip out links from comments is a good starting point,” he said. read more

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July 17, 2009

Beware Fake Retweets

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Personalities on Twitter are being hijacked to spread spam, scams and malware – look out! read more

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May 27, 2009

Beware Twitter Phishers!

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One of the best aspects of the Twitter toolset is the fact the team allowed external programmers access to the service so that 3rd party applications and tools could be created. The downside of course is that not everyone has end users best interests at heart, and therefore there are trojan tools out there aiming just to grab your user account details for their own nasty ends … read more

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February 18, 2009

This is the Year of Original Content

This blog has no brain - use your own - caution signI’m working on my annual Things I Want Gone from the Web article and I’ve personally designated this “The Year of Original Content.” We’re done playing around with feed scraping and autoblogging.

The blog echo chamber effect of someone blockquoting and linking the same content as a recommendation, echoing through the web without original content, is a beginner’s mistake. Don’t do it. Always add your original voice and content to your recommendations, telling your readers why it is important to leave this blog and go to another, then come back for more.

Google took action to penalize duplicate content within a site and between sites, and added bonus points for original and unique, appropriate and relevant keywords around links, especially link lists, rewarding original content providers with nicer PageRank scores. Similar actions are being taken by other major search engines, directories, and legitimate content aggregators.

As a serious blogger, you’ve learned the lesson and stay focused on creating original content. You link to other people’s content appropriately, taking care to protect their copyrights and not confuse your reader’s, putting other people’s content in blockquotes with clearly indicated links and credits.

For scammers, scrapers, and plagiarists, other people’s content has turned into a major money-maker as they use other people’s content for financial gain and misdirection. read more

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October 7, 2008

Blog Scams: How Do You Know If The Hype is a Scam?

With the line between a legit blog and scam blog getting harder to detect, how do you really know when the blog you are reading is a scam blog? As part of this ongoing series on blog scams, we’ve covered how blog scams are growing and the impact on the economy and job market for stay-at-home workers. Learning to tell the difference between a legit blog and a scam blog is becoming more and more important as the work force moves online looking for jobs.

You begin the process of detection of a scam blog by checking the facts. I covered a lot of information previously on how to check the facts in:

Some of the sites I recommend you use to check your facts when it comes to the hoaxes, scams, and snake oil claims some blogs can make include: read more

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October 6, 2008

Blog Scams: Look Before You Click

As part of my research into blog scams, I ran across a new video by Consumer Reports WebWatch called “Look Before You Click”.


Consumer Reports WebWatch – Look Before You Click

The WebWatch’s ‘Look Before You Click’ Campaign was created with a grant from the New York State Office of Attorney General and uses a cartoon animation and satrical musical verse to educate Internet users about Internet fraud that comes in through email, blogs, and websites. read more

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Blog Scams: Get Rich Quick and Work From Home Scams

In Flipping Blog Scams MMO Niche is Full of Jerks, Garry Conn takes on the scams associated with Make Money Online Niches (MMON) and reselling domain names and sites:

It takes a lot to get me upset; however, when I witness people within the MMO niche that act like a bunch of middle school kids making fun of the ugly girl who dropped her books in the hall it pisses me off and without a doubt shows me the true colors of many of the individuals out here. Not only do these people scam, take money and trick their readers but now they make fun of them when they get the courage to step foot into the MMO arena.

While Garry is talking about the quick flipping of MMON blogs, where people buy good named domains, launch it with a nice blog, manipulate the stats, then resell it leading the buyer on. read more

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Blog Scams: Blog Scams Are a Growing Business

While I can excuse those who overhype their Plugins, Themes, and contests on their blog, I have a hard time forgiving those who use their blogs as scams. As the blog platform becomes more ubiquitous and easier to use with a lot of automatic content generating tools and comment and trackback spam tools, blogs are being used more and more for the dark side of blogging.

In The Thin Line Between Legitimate Blog Models and Scams, Weblog Scout writes that there is a think line between a scan and legitimate blog model as scammers tend to use the same tools as legit blogs do, such as autoblogging WordPress Plugins, auto-pings, mass site submission tools, and feed scrapers: read more

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September 30, 2008

Blog Scams: There Is Nothing Like This Anywhere

I hate hyperbole, and what really infuriates me are claims that “there is nothing like this anywhere!” Oh, really.

With the modern treasure trove called search engines, there is little left in the world that can’t be found, and odds are that your original, can’t be found anywhere, is findable. Have you looked?

A few months ago, a WordPress Plugin author claimed that he had the first Plugin of this kind. I knew of three others published over the past few years that did the same thing, and two did it better. I didn’t need a search engine to find that out, but why didn’t he search first before making the claim?

A day later, a WordPress Theme designer told me that he’d designed a Theme that was such an original, he bet me I couldn’t find anything similar. I found over twenty five similar Themes with a Google search before calling it quits.

Another blogger bragged to me that he was going to hold a contest unlike any other contest. No one in the world had ever done anything like it. When I told him that two similar contests were held over the past couple years exactly like his, one was a success and the other a failure, he was really angry at me for taking the wind out of his sails. I wished him good luck anyway. Maybe his would work, but bragging about it as the “only one of its kind” isn’t the truth. read more

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