I am one of Yahoo Messenger(YM) user. One of the benefits of YM that I love is I can chat with anyone that in my contact list no matter where they are. Whenever I knew someone new from a social network site such as Facebook or Myspace, I’ll add them to my YM contact list and wait for them to approve me. This is an advantage of YM that I like. It’s connect me to my new friends without cost me an arm. However, recently I read an article about scam using YM.
Brandon De Hoyos’s article Falling In Love with a Scam Artist are basically about how scammers use fake identity on YM and try to scam for money from the victims. Most of the YM users thought YM are a safe site. Little that they know, not all the new friends they have approved on the contact list are real. Alison Boyer says that 60 percent of the identity thieves are people that you don’t know. That means, around 40 percent are people that you know (2008). It can be your family members, you co-worker or even you friends.
The scammers will use fake name and put up a fake picture for the account. they will try to have the victim to believe in them and trust them. After that, they will try to ask for money and offer you thousand of sweet promises. They will try to look for potential victim at online dating side. It is because they try to make the victim believe that both of them are after the same thing; a relationship.
YM is a great tool to connect with friends and meet new people. But, we have to always be careful and take pre-conscious step. Why wait until we are one of the victim to be aware of the crime? Why give chance of others to take advantage of us? What can we do to stop the crime?
Never trust any conversation you have online. It might say your friends’ friend, but how sure are you? Never give out personal information online. No mather how good it might sound or how honest the conversation looks like, it is not! The recipients are not the only one that will know. Anyone with the skills of hacking can get the information.
It’s good to have new friends, but always becareful in what you sharing. A little awareness won’t do any harm. In fact, it do us good!