Monday, February 25, 2008

Falling for a Scam

Okay, I would like to think I'm not gullible and that I wouldn't fall for any online scam. And in fact, I almost got away with NOT falling for a recent scam, but then I let my heart get in the way of my head.

Someone spammed my Second Life Women's Club list, asking for some Linden. L$25 to be exact. Not a lot of money, of course, but I had two reactions:

1. I sensed a scam so wanted to protect my members from this old trick of IMing groups asking for a little Linden and getting a lot of it;

2. I didn't like someone spamming my group.

So I did what any good moderator would do - I immediately removed them from the list. Okay, maybe I should have first said: You are violating this group. Off with your head!

Anyway, I figured that was that.

Then I get a private IM from this person - Pam Caudron to be exact about his/her avatar name - and it said simply:

"Thanks a LOT!!!"

Sarcasm? Real disappointment and resentment?

Then I got to thinking: "Wow, that was sure abrupt and mean of me. Maybe they are really a nice newbie who needs a little Linden. And heck, it is only L$25. Maybe they didn't know it was bad to spam someone else's group."

So I IM'd back and apologized, explaining what I did and why. I then asked them if they still needed the Linden.

No answer.

Still angry? Embarrassed? On to the next scam? I began to overthink their motives.

Damn, it was only L$25, I thought. I give way more than that to newbies I meet inworld and take shopping for nice clothes.

So I paid Pam Caudron L$25.

And never heard from him/her again.

I fell for the scam. I admit it. I talk about it here so others can learn from my mistakes rather than making the same ones.

Yeah, it was only L$25, but I'm sure they got that from a lot of other people who either:

a) didn't realize it was a scam;
b) had that soft spot in their heart that negated the scam warning signals.

I'm sure I'm not the only one.

1 comment:

Alja Sulčič said...

Seems like asking unknown people for Lindens through IMs is getting popular. Just a few days ago I got an IM from an unknown person asking me for 75 L$ to help her pay her tier or she will loose everything. Of course, it's not a lot of money, but it got me thinking of a scam immediately. It isn't THAT hard to buy Lindens (and if you're tight on money iRL, why are you spending it in SL?!?), and surely everyone that has been in SL for a while has friends that can help if needed. So, my policy is simply not to reply to such IMs from strangers, although it isn't always easy.