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Mankato Hot Springs

A couple of years ago my credit card company called to inform me that they put a temporary hold on my card because of a huge Internet purchase of over $3,000 on my account. I confirmed that I didn’t approve the purchase and they started an investigation.
Turns out someone had gotten a hold of my card number (to this day, I don’t know how) and went on an online spending spree. I was relieved of the charges, but it left me feeling violated and extremely vulnerable. Unfortunately, for convenience sake, a lot of my bills are set up on online auto-pay. While I am not entirely comfortable with this, I do take my chances, as we all do on a day-to-day basis. I just make sure that the website contains the Verisign Secured and Hacker Safe symbols. Whether or not we’re on or off-line, scammers will always find a way to find us regardless of how Internet savvy we are, or our age, “ neither education, age, sex, previous experience, nor hours of computer use, showed a significant correlation with vulnerability to phishing,? (Why Phishing Works, Dhamija, pg. 2).

The video of 429 Scams in Nigeria was both sad and alarming. I have viewed these types of scams via my ‘spam’ box. But I am astonished that people (Americans) actually send in money! I am not judging anyone who has, I am surprised of the power that scammers have over hopeful victims. In terms of a Robin Hood sort of ethic- didn’t Robin Hood steal from the rich to give to the poor? In the video, ABC displayed one of the scammers estates fitted with a pool and tennis court. It appears that the scammer is giving to himself- and no one else. At the root of all of this is an epidemic that is worldwide called greed.

Unless it’s from a valid source, I take online ‘encyclopedias’ with a grain of salt.
Wikipedia is a collaboration of information from random people. Most of which do not have the credentials to be dishing out scholarly facts. It is stated on their website that it is a “the free encyclopedia that anyone can edit? including their editors, (Wikepedia.com). Therefore because they set that precedent – I believe that tweaking is not a crime. And no, Steve Colbert is a comedian, not a criminal.

My favorite excerpt from Gurak’s book was the hoax website about Mankato, Minnesota. The site invites people to come explore the area and visit the Farr/Sclare Fissure. “Trouble is there is no such thing as the ‘Farr/Sclare Fissure?, (Gurak, pg. 92). This makes me wonder how many false websites I have visited to seek out things to do on my vacation. So far the Grand Canyon and the Black Hills are real places to see and go :)

Comments

I see we have similiar comments on the Mankato scam. I found it quite hilarious. I also like the point you make about the Nigerians not necessarily being modern day Robin Hoods as they are just pocketing their own plundering.

I completely agree with your wikipedia comments. I believe it should be their responsibility if they want to provide a scholarly site, and that we as users of the internet should be aware that not everything on the net is true.

I have received those emails that were trying to steal from me and I am surprised that people give their information. However, Americans are greedy or need the money and I can see why many that were uninformed would try it. That is terrible that you had money taken from you. I had my AOL ID and password stolen and someone looked at pornographic sites with it! I felt terrible and have tried harder not give my information out. While sites like wikipedia may not be very reliable, they are supposed to be factual to benefit others. I believe purposely lying hurts the reputation of these sites and makes us not want to trust them. If people were more reputable and cautious with their posts, would people be more willing to accept the sites?