- Internet & the Web
How to Report Internet Spam, Unwanted Calls, YouTube Harassment and More
WHAT IS ONLINE SPAM / SCAMS?
As I have always said, "If it sounds too good to be true..." - this saying is still very true, but as I pointed out in my last article, spammers continue to find new and innovative ways to harass and trick everyone from the stay-at-home-mom to the business owner.
My latest article was about an online company that is using "WhoIs" (a database that shows who owns domain names) to "illegally" harass the domain owners with fraudulent letters that mislead the domain name owner and make the owner believer his/her domain is in jeopardy of not being renewed and/or being "banned" from "Google searches".
While this is just one of many scams, it is important that you know how to report spam and online scams. Every report made helps take down these companies (or at least force them to invest their time into continually "staying on the run")
TAKE OUR POLL THEN KEEP READING
Have You Fallen For An Online Scam / Spam?
HOW TO DETERMINE IF IT'S "SPAM"
Getting an email you don't recall requesting doesn't mean it qualifies as "spam" per say. For example, if you register for a mailing list, many mailing lists have a clause in them that says something like "Do you agree to accept communications from our affiliates?" - in plain terms, this means "We are going to send you advertisements from other companies, ok?" - and the moment you check-mark the box or click "submit", you have agreed to accept these emails. So as a word of caution, just skim through the "fine print" before you register for things with your email. Of course if you are registering with a company you know is legitimate, like LinkShare for making money off advertisements, then you don't have to worry about "spam").
BUT, on the other hand, if you begin seeing things in you "inbox" that you know are total "junk" then it's likely SPAM / SCAMS.
SCAMS typically consist of anything that offers you "jobs" that are unrealistic; "MAKE $10,000 IN ONE DAY!" or "LOSE 20 POUNDS TONIGHT!".
SPAM can consist of SCAMS but can also be people trying to "hack" your computer by trying to get you to download PHP scripts or other things that will harm your computer.
Editors Note: It is important that you DO NOT falsely report "Spam" or "Scams" that are not such.
EXAMPLES OF "SCAMS"
Below are just four of many different SCAM - Spam emails. As you will see, SCAMS can come in numerous different forms; from fake emails pretending to be from your credit card company to scams posing as "jobs" or even your own email provider!
SCAM 1: FAKE CREDIT CARD COMMUNICATIONS
SCAM 2: "GET FREEBIES" SCAM EMAIL
SCAM 3: UPDATE YOUR BILLING INFORMATION
DOMAIN RENEWAL SCAMS
How to Report YouTube.com SPAM and Users
Having problems with Spam on YouTube? Check out this video and learn how to report spam with ease:
How to Stop Unwanted Phone Calls
Be sure to sign up with the National Do Not Call Registry.
Quote: "The National Do Not Call Registry gives you a choice about whether to receive telemarketing calls at home. Most telemarketers should not call your number once it has been on the registry for 31 days. If they do, you can file a complaint at this Website. You can register your home or mobile phone for free."
MY PERSONAL ADVICE: Do NOT just rely on the Do Not Call Registry. I, personally keep a log of "annoying callers". For example, I have been non-stop harassed by a popular local phone / internet / television provider who has called my PLACE OF BUSINESS at least 3 times per week with the goal of selling me television service. Not only have I continually told them that they are calling a BUSINESS but I have also asked them to "take me off the list" over and over. Nothing seemed to work until I began asking for the employees name AND "ID NUMBER". After I log this info I then tell them "(Insert employees name here), I have told your company six times now to cease calling me. If I receive another call from your company, my attorney will be contacting you." - you would be AMAZED how fast you are removed from "the list".
WHY THIS WORKS: In my "previous life" (LOL), I used to be a telemarketer for a large company. I kid you not, as a telemarketer, we were directed to basically "harass" people who were "potential leads" (meaning someone who "might" make a purchase). I would have to call the same people DAILY. Even if they asked me politely NOT to call, I still had to call them...but once a threat was made then we would rip up the "lead" (back then we used to use index cards...that's how long ago this was!)
How to Report Business Scams to the FTC
The FTC has many roles. One is to job is to protect consumers against unfair, deceptive, or false business practices in the marketplace. In addition, the FTC makes sure that consumers have access to quality goods and services, that businesses can compete on the merits of their work, and that markets stay open and free.
The FTC can investigate individual companies or entire industries.
Quote: "The Federal Trade Commission, the nation's consumer protection agency, collects complaints about companies, business practices, identity theft, and episodes of violence in the media.
Why: Your complaints can help us detect patterns of wrong-doing, and lead to investigations and prosecutions. The FTC enters all complaints it receives into Consumer Sentinel, a secure online database that is used by thousands of civil and criminal law enforcement authorities worldwide. The FTC does not resolve individual consumer complaints"
Report a complaint with the FTC (Federal Trade Commission).
How to Report International Business Scams / Fraud
The eConsumer.gov website allows you to report international "crimes". This is a great way to solve e-commerce (internet shopping crimes / fraud).
You can also refer to above and go directly to the FTC if you are located in the United States and so is the "scammer".
How eConsumer.Gov works:
Quote from website:
"Before trying ADR, ask yourself the following questions:
- What remedy would satisfy me?
Clearly identify what solution would be acceptable to you. For example: Do you want your money back? Do you want the product to be replaced? Do you want the business to take other action?
- Have I tried to resolve the problem directly with the business myself?
Usually, the best first step is to contact the business directly. Businesses often have internal complaint handling systems that will help solve your problem quickly and efficiently.
- Can my payment card issuer provide assistance?
If you paid for goods or services using a credit or debit card, you may benefit from special protections. Carefully read your payment card statements for information on contesting charges, and check with your local consumer protection agency to see whether any special protections apply in your country.
- Do I suspect fraud or some other unlawful conduct?
If so, file a complaint through the econsumer.gov complaint form, and contact your national or local consumer protection or data protection authorities."
How to Report YAHOO Email Spam
Yahoo has set up a system for spam-reporting and yahoo requests reports for the following types of "spam":
Spam includes the following types of emails:
- Lottery scam emails
- Fraudulent emails impersonating Yahoo! or another company asking for personal information
- Stranded traveler emails (Stuck in London or Spain and asking for money)
- Unsolicited offers for Canadian Pharmacy, Viagra, Cialis, or Rolex
- Unsolicited explicit messages
You can also report email spam directly to Yahoo by using this form.
Small Claims Lawsuit Help
How to Report Gmail Spam
Reporting Gmail spam is super simple - just use this form and enter the senders email address, Header and the content of the email.
How to Report Google Voice Harassment / Spam
Google Voice Forms suggest using this complaint form to report harassing calls from Google Voice Numbers, since Google Voice numbers are "real numbers" that make "real calls".
According to Google (Voice)
"What number will show in caller ID when I place calls?
If you are utilizing a Google Voice account with the same username as your Gmail account, then your Google Voice number will show in caller ID to those you call.
If you do not use Google Voice, then (760) 705-8888 will show to those you call in caller ID. You canupgrade to a full Google Voice account for free if you are in the United States and pick a new number to display to those you call."
So, every phone call made through Google Voice is recorded under a Google Voice Account. If your harassment is very severe, you can have a subpoena sent to Google to retain this information. (A subpoena costs roughly $300 per hour and you will need some form of an open court case in order to send the subpoena. A Small Claims case with the identity of the individual being listed as "Unknown / Pending Investigation" is sufficient to have a subpoena sent.
How to Report Facebook Stalking / Spam
Before you file a report, you first need to determine:
1. Was the post / message a THREAT? A threat is something that involves HARM, such as "I am going to burn down your house" or "I will cut off your arm".
2. Was the post Harassment? Harassment can be sexual ("You have nice tits"), outright "mean" but NOT a threat (i.e; "You're ugly. You suck. Go kill yourself") or harassment can be ongoing, UNWANTED messages. In order for the messages to be UNWANTED, you MUST ask the person to STOP contacting you.
3. Is the post a violation of Facebook rules? Is it drug, race, sex or child-pornography related? If so, then REPORT IT using this form.
***NOTE: If you are already involved with law enforcement, then you want to use THIS LINK.
Read All of My Articles About Stalking and Harassment
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- How to Stop and Report Facebook Harassment Stalking
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- How to Stop and Report Youtube Harassment Stalking
Cyberbulling isn't just related to teens. From co-workers to employees to relationships-gone-south; internet harassment comes in many forms, including YouTube. Learn how to Report and Stop it today!