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How Scammers Can Ruin Your Reputation by John Abbot

This week someone’s membership was hijacked by a Nigerian Scammer group. They changed his password and his registered email so he was locked out, then proceeded to write dozens of letters to Chinese women members. Pretending to be him they set about to scam these innocent women, some of whom were already his online friends. His personal reputation and honour were about to be lost.

This happened for only one reason, he had used a portion of his username as his password. Scammers are evil, vile and despicable, but they are not stupid. They spend their working hours scouring all the dating sites and social networks trying out easy passwords to break into accounts. This is how they make their living and they’re good at it. They are creeps for sure, but some are clever creeps. 

A password is something you use to protect yourself; a personal code that only you can know and no one else can guess. Is “111111” a password? Is “123456” a password? On the contrary, these are keys attached to invitations to come and steal your identity. You might as well post a headline saying “Here I am. Come and be me. Come and read my letters to women and steal all my personal information. Come and ruin my reputation and my life”.

This is you after a Scammer has hijacked your membership on an online dating or social networking website.

Yet you would not believe how many members we have who are using those exact “passwords”, or “8888” or “4242” or hundreds of other completely useless terms. Many others use their usernames for their passwords. If your username is “cupid” and your password is “cupid” how long do you think it will take for some slime ball to discover that and laugh himself silly while he ruins your life.
The affected member has adopted the following description of how this affected him:
"I am a member of and recently my membership was compromised when a Scammer apparently guessed my password and hijacked my profile. For a few days, presenting himself as me, he wrote countless letters to other members and, once he had them on MSN or other private means of communication, started trying to Scam them for money. This has really been a long and exhausting week as CLM and I have been trying to sort it all out and I've worked to regain control of my personal identity and also my good standing with the ladies I had been in contact with.
In my case my password was a part of my username. I understand from CLM that many people use extremely simple and easy to guess passwords. I want to tell you, don't do it. These Scammers are everywhere and they are out to get you. As I learned, it is nothing for them to take advantage of an easy password. If your password is not private to you, something that only you could guess, then go change it now. Don't learn the hard way like I did."
At we are desperately trying to protect our members from Scammers, but we can’t protect you if you won’t protect yourself. If you have a weak password then please GO LOG IN NOW and change it to something that only you could know and nobody could guess. Make it a minimum of 8 digits, mixing letters and numbers and symbols. You can change your password on your “Account Settings” page which is listed on the left side menu of your My Space page when you first log in. Please help us keep your personal information and your reputation safe and secure.

From: Original         Author: John Abbot         Time: 3/5/2010 4:28:57 PM

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