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Since we’ve all read Gurak this week you’ve probably already dismissed my blog post as a hoax based upon the hook in the title alone (p. 88). But I hope you’ll read on anyway.

I have only had one personal experience with Internet crime. A few years ago I was in the midst of selling a used computer on eBay. A couple of days before the auction closed an individual had begun asking me questions about the used computer. The individual, a guy based upon his name, then began phishing for my personal contact information saying that he wanted to make me an offer outside of the eBay auction. This is clearly not permitted and I refused. He then became more aggressive and said that I could call him and he wouldn’t know who I was. Of course that isn’t true because of Caller ID and I declined. As the auction was coming to a close he began making threats that I was logged on as another user jacking up the price and that he was going to report me to eBay and that he was going to file criminal charges against me. Luckily he did not have the winning bid and the sale went through smoothly from that point forward. I reported the individual to eBay. However, it turned a pleasant experience into an awful one.

Since that phishing trip, I have taken more precautions to shield myself from Internet crime and identity theft. As we have discussed in previous weeks, I do not have many Internet sites that I visit that are not well-established commercial entities and I have to think critically about giving private information. Even then, I only give the minimum amount of private information needed to create an account.

I not only think that it is unethical that people in developing countries like Nigeria are scamming people from wealthier countries, I think it is criminal. It again stresses the necessity of cyberliteracy so people can better protect themselves from crime on the Internet.

I do not think tweaking Wikipedia or information vandalism counts as a crime. It is important for individuals to acquire a basic level of cyberliteracy in order to learn how to critically evaluate information from Internet sites like Wikipedia (p. 94-96).


Wow. The story regarding your computer and eBay was a good description of phishing. You stated that you reported this individual to eBay. Did you receive follow-up. Also, you must of read the eBay policy regarding outside negotiations which helped to prevent this from being a situation of identity theft. Good job!

Wow, your eBay experience must have really sucked. I'm sorry to hear that.
I agree with you that the people in Nigeria that are involved in computer scamming are creating a crime. I agree with you that it is totally unethical. The people who profit from that money are doing it in unhonest ways and are only benefiting themselves. They're making money to support their mansions and cars. I don't see it as anything different from pickpocketing.

Wow. I have heard many similar complaints such as yours when it comes to Ebay. Your post made me think about how many people would very easily fall for the same trick that you were able to sniff out. Waita go, I'm proud of you.

I agree with your comment on Nigerians stealing being just like anyone else's, it's still stealing. I have always wondered what it would be like (but am happy I am not) to live in another culture where something we see wrong here is the norm, such as the Nigerian hoaxes or being trained as a soldier at a very young age.