How Low Can You Go? New Community Web Site Is Doing You No Favors

 
 
By Larry Seltzer  |  Posted 2003-05-29 Email Print this article Print
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Beware e-mails warning you that someone has filed a report on you. Supersite Editor Larry Seltzer says that all indications are that it's a sucker play.

I take it as a positive trait in myself that Im constantly appalled at the gall of some people conducting scams on the Internet. It would be sad to take such things in stride.

The latest cheap trick comes as an automated e-mail from a site called word-of-mouth.org. Purporting to come from the "Word-of-Mouth.Org Report Awareness System" it informs the reader that some unnamed person has posted information about them at the web site for others to see. It doesnt say what that information is. Couched in pseudo-legalisms it implies that the e-mail is some sort of legally-required disclosure.

Heres an example:

    Word-of-Mouth.Org Report Awareness System To add this e-mail address to our Do Not E-mail List click here - http://www.Word-of-Mouth.Org/DNEL.asp?EA=sample_e-mail@sample_isp.com

    Word-of-Mouth.Org is obligated to inform you via e-mail (if possible) that a report has just been submitted about the person or persons associated with this e-mail address (sample_e-mail@sample_isp.com). *Please find a link to the report below. The Word-of-Mouth.Org Report Awareness System will continue to inform you when and if reports regarding this e-mail address are submitted in the future unless you add this e-mail address to our Do Not E-mail List and, in doing so, agree to give up any right you may or may not have to be informed when reports are submitted in the future.

    Word-of-Mouth.Org is a background research tool that allows users to access the valuable information source known as "word-of-mouth" on an International scale.

    Do not reply to this e-mail; it has been automatically generated.

    ********************************************************
    Click here to view all reports in our system regarding this e-mail address - http://www.Word-of-Mouth.Org/srea.asp?ea=sample_e-mail@sample_isp.com
    ********************************************************

    Word-of-Mouth.Org is an online meeting place where users from around the world can perform background research on individuals and businesses using the powerful information source known as "word-of-mouth". A user that has had experience with or has opinions regarding an individual or business will submit an "Identification Report" whose purpose is only to identify the individual or business in question. Other users are then immediately able to search through and review these "Identification Reports." When an interesting report (typically regarding an individual or business that the user knows) is found by a user, he/she may then begin to communicate with the report author through our Anonymous E-mail System to learn the experiences and opinions of the report author regarding the report subject.

    *Important! - Word-of-Mouth.Org "Identification Reports" are only for the purpose of identifying the report subject. They do not contain information additional to that which is viewable at no charge by any and all users. "Identification Reports" do not contain fields into which report authors can possibly enter any information aside from that which is for the purpose of identification. "Identification Reports" do not contain and cannot possibly contain any potentially defamatory information and "Identification Reports" are not to be construed as positive or negative.

    If you decide to contact the report author through our Anonymous E-mail System, do so by using the links that clearly appear in each report.

    For additonal information regarding how our site works please our FAQ at - http://Word-of-Mouth.Org/FAQ.asp

    If you have any questions or comments please e-mail us at - http://www.Word-of-Mouth.Org/ContactUs.asp

    Legal Disclaimer: Word-of-Mouth.Org is only a meeting place for its users. Word-of-Mouth.Org has no control over the content of reports nor the actions of its users. Reports found at Word-of-Mouth.Org should not be construed as positive or negative. Use our Anonymous E-mail System to contact report authors and find out what they know. Each report author owns his/her reports as well as the pages on which said reports are published.

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Larry Seltzer has been writing software for and English about computers ever since—,much to his own amazement—,he graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 1983.

He was one of the authors of NPL and NPL-R, fourth-generation languages for microcomputers by the now-defunct DeskTop Software Corporation. (Larry is sad to find absolutely no hits on any of these +products on Google.) His work at Desktop Software included programming the UCSD p-System, a virtual machine-based operating system with portable binaries that pre-dated Java by more than 10 years.

For several years, he wrote corporate software for Mathematica Policy Research (they're still in business!) and Chase Econometrics (not so lucky) before being forcibly thrown into the consulting market. He bummed around the Philadelphia consulting and contract-programming scenes for a year or two before taking a job at NSTL (National Software Testing Labs) developing product tests and managing contract testing for the computer industry, governments and publication.

In 1991 Larry moved to Massachusetts to become Technical Director of PC Week Labs (now eWeek Labs). He moved within Ziff Davis to New York in 1994 to run testing at Windows Sources. In 1995, he became Technical Director for Internet product testing at PC Magazine and stayed there till 1998.

Since then, he has been writing for numerous other publications, including Fortune Small Business, Windows 2000 Magazine (now Windows and .NET Magazine), ZDNet and Sam Whitmore's Media Survey.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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