General Internet Safety Tips:
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recognize fraud emails
and phishing scams ]
wants you to have a fun and safe online experience.
Don't forget that your profile and Usociable forums are public spaces. Don't
post anything you wouldn't want the world to know (e.g., your phone number,
address, IM screens name, or specific whereabouts). Avoid posting anything
that would make it easy for a stranger to find you, such as where you hang
out every day after school.
People aren't always who they say they are. Be careful about adding
strangers to your friends list. It's fun to connect with new Usociable friends
from all over the world, but avoid meeting people in person whom you do not
fully know. If you must meet someone, do it in a public place and bring a
friend or trusted adult.
Harassment, hate speech and inappropriate content should be reported. If you
feel someone's behavior is inappropriate, react. Talk with a trusted adult,
or report it to Usociable or the authorities.
Don't post anything that would embarrass you later. Think twice before
posting a photo or info you wouldn't want your parents or boss to see!
Don't mislead people into thinking that you're older or younger. If you are
under 18 and pretend to be older, customer service will delete your profile.
If you are over 18 and pretend to be a teenager to contact underage users,
customer service will delete your profile.
One of the attractions of the Internet is the anonymity of the user, and
this is why it can be so dangerous. A child doesn't always know with whom he
or she is interacting. Children may think they know, but unless it's a
school friend or a relative, they really can't be sure. Often we think of
pedophiles as having access to children out on the playground and other
places, but because of the way the Internet works, children can actually be
interacting on their home computers with adults who pretend to be children.
Child sexual exploitation occurs in every economic, social, ethnic, and
religious group. With the explosion of the Internet into a powerful,
worldwide medium, the danger to children, whether they are from New York or
New Zealand, has drastically increased. Pedophiles and other sexual
predators can use the Internet, with no precautions, to exchange names and
addresses of other pedophiles and of potential child victims. Hidden behind
screen names that are pseudonyms, they gather online and swap child
pornography with amazing speed and in amounts beyond our wildest
imagination, which excites them to molest even more.
Offline, pedophiles typically operate in isolation. Never before have
pedophiles had the opportunity to communicate so freely and directly with
each other as they do online. Their communication on the Internet provides
validation, or virtual validation, for their behavior. They share their
conquests, real and imagined. They discuss ways to contact and lure children
online and exchange tips on seduction techniques. They are using the
technology of the Internet to train and encourage each other to act out
sexually with children. The Internet also serves as a tool for predators to
exchange tips on the avoidance of law enforcement detection.
The most common means by which sexual predators contact children over the
Internet is through chat rooms, instant messages and email. In fact, 89% of
sexual solicitations were made in either chat rooms or instant messages and
1 in 5 youth (ages 10-17 years) has been sexually solicited online (JAMA,
2001). Considering that 25% of kids online participate in real time chat and
13 million use instant messaging, the risks of such children, either
knowingly or unknowingly, interacting with a predator is alarming. See
Parents Safety Guide section.
To Report Illegal Online Activity
The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) provides
excellent resources concerning sexual exploitation of children and related
issues for the lay public, counseling community, and law enforcement
agencies. NCMEC has created an extensive web presence for its Exploited
Child Unit: http://www.missingkids.com. These web pages provide background
information on laws and legislation, tips and pointers for parents and
children, and lists of preventive resources on the various aspects of child
In addition to its Web pages, NCMEC, in partnership with the U.S. Postal
Inspection Service, U.S. Customs Service, and the Federal Bureau of
Investigation, serves as the National CyberTipline. To report possible
illegal online activity related to child pornography, predation, or any
other type of child sexual exploitation, call the CyberTipline: 800-843-5678
(800-TheLost) or contact their Web site:
Don’t get hooked by a phishing scam. Phishing is a method used by fraudsters
to try to get your personal information, such as your username and password,
by pretending to be a site you trust. See below to learn more...
Recognize Phishing Scams and
Phishing is a type of
deception designed to steal your valuable personal data, such as credit card
numbers, passwords, account data, or other information. Con artists might
send millions of fraudulent e-mail messages that appear to come from Web
sites you trust, like your bank or credit card company, and request that you
provide personal information.
What does a phishing scam look like?
As scam artists become more sophisticated, so do their phishing e-mail
messages and pop-up windows. They often include official-looking logos from
real organizations and other identifying information taken directly from
legitimate Web sites. The following is an example of what a phishing scam
e-mail message might look like.
Example of a phishing e-mail message, including a deceptive URL address
linking to a scam Web site
To make these phishing e-mail messages look even more legitimate, the scam
artists may place a link in them that appears to go to the legitimate Web
site (1), but it actually takes you to a phony scam site (2) or possibly a
pop-up window that looks exactly like the official site.
These copycat sites are also called "spoofed" Web sites. Once you're at one
of these spoofed sites, you might unwittingly send personal information to
the con artists.
How to tell if an e-mail message is fraudulent?
Here are a few phrases to look for if you think an e-mail message is a
"Hello..." Usociable.com email message... (from a random stranger or
friend asking you to contact them directly at some other email address or
phone number) - Scam
You have a received the following message from jenny smith (some random
Date/Time: 5/7/2007 11:16:36 PM
Message Body: Hello
I am jenny smith (some random name) of good looking girl i am
humble and cool
above all i am loving and caring i have gone through your profile treuly it
is quite intresting to me i will like to have a good relationship with you
so kindly get incontact with me through this address jennysmith@(somesite).com so
that i can tell you more about myself and also give you my picture hope to
hear from you soon jenny
Ave, dear (some random
member name or your name)
am looking for a strong, kind, caring man. In my life I have almost
everything except love. Evrything I want is to be loved by a man like you.
You seemed to me very interesting and different from others. And I think you
are the man I was looking for sch a long time.You can be sure, I make you
the happiest man in the world! I will make true all your fantasies. And I
can be for you not only a perfect lover, but the best friend and good wife.
We will spend all our free time together. I need you here. I need you like
my lungs need air. I do not find strange that my second half is so far away,
my destiny and
life has been all over the world, but
now that I found you, I really need
you near me as soon as possible. pleese write me. I will be waiting for your
letter. ( with
some random website name, Usociable name variation or site external link)
The best of luck
Juliana K. (some random name
or members name)
You have a received the
following message from
Date/Time: 5/16/2007 6:39:48 AM
Message Body: mamush_babyXXXX@(somesite).com
I'm miss mamush i came across
your profile today and became much interested to know you more,you sound so
gentle to me,please love is a continues journey in life,i will be happy if
we can give love a chance to have his position in our life,please contact me
personal so we can move forward(mamush_babyXXXX@(somesite).com)pleeese
i will be waiting to read from your mail soonest so i can sent to you my
pictures,remember age or color even distance cannot separatee a genuine
love,pleeese I'm waiting to read from your mail soonest, MISS mamush
You have a received the
following message from
Date/Time: 5/25/2007 2:10:04 PM
Message Body: no subject
Hello my dear friend
I was looking through the web few weeks ago and found
your profile. Now I decided to email you to get to know
you beatter. I am coming to your country ibn few weeks
and thought may be we can meet each other. I am pretbty looaking girl.a I am
25. Do not reply to this abddress
directly. Email me back at wyart@(somesite).sjd.nigeria.uk
Notice the misspellings in the above
emails and the urgency to "talk" but not through the website. Never respond
to any email like this and if you receive a suspicious email from a real
site member, click on Report Abuse from their profile and we will check it
out and delete them. IMMEDIATELY. Never contact anyone directly or click on any links that you suspect may
not be real or from Usociable. Always respond to people through the system by
logging in directly at
and never give out an real email addresses or phone numbers. Spammers and
scammers like this gain your email then hit you with even more junk or
"Verify your account." - Scam
Businesses should not ask you to send passwords, login names, Social
Security numbers, or other personal information through e-mail.
If you receive an e-mail from Usociable asking you to update your credit card
information, do not respond: this phishing scam. To learn more, read
Fraudulent e-mail that requests credit card information sent to Usociable
customers. We never need or ask for credit card numbers for this site.
"If you don't respond within 48 hours, your account will be closed."
These messages convey a sense of urgency so that you'll respond immediately
without thinking. Phishing e-mail might even claim that your response is
required because your account might have been compromised.
"Dear Valued Customer." - Scam
Phishing e-mail messages are usually sent out in bulk and often do not
contain your first or last name.
"Click the link below to gain access to your account." - Scam
HTML-formatted messages can contain links or forms that you can fill out
just as you'd fill out a form on a Web site. The links that you are urged to
click may contain all or part of a real company's name and are usually
"masked," meaning that the link you see does not take you to that address
but somewhere different, usually a phony Web site. If you are ever unsure of
a email link, always open a web browser and go directly to
http://www.Usociable.com to be sure.
Use the latest products and services to help warn and protect you from
• Install the Microsoft Phishing Filter using Internet Explorer 7 or Windows
Live Toolbar . Phishing Filter helps protect you from Web fraud and the
risks of personal data theft by warning or blocking you from reported
phishing Web sites. Learn more about how to get Phishing Filter .
• Install up-to-date antivirus and anti-spyware software . Some phishing
e-mail contains malicious or unwanted software that can track your
activities or simply slow your computer. Try new antivirus and comprehensive
computer health services like Windows Live OneCare. To help prevent spyware
or other unwanted software, download Windows Defender.