Friday, March 10, 2006



It is no wonder we do not want to open our email on the Internet today. As so much of it is filled with SPAM, SCAM, FRAUD and THEFT and so much more. It is hard to tell what is real, good and positive (no matter how exciting it sounds) without having to do hours of research to tell if it is a good thing or not. So discouraging. Sadly, this really hurts the really exciting and productive things on the Internet.

My husband (and I help a great deal) are POWERSELLERS on eBay, which makes us a direct target. Recently, our eBay was high jacked, (second time around) and PAYPAL was also included. Thankfully, we have learned in hours of research how to avoid this to a hopefull high degree. Trust me, it is very time consuming, not to mention frustrating. And, I wanted to write a great deal on this, and eventually will, but until then~let me just give some education (and advise) that I have learned without links right now, to help you with this, and I start with eBay. eBay now has a protective toolbar that is free to download, which can help you stay updated with what is going on with your eBay as a protective measure. And, this is needed NO MATTER if you buy or sell on eBay.

Also, eBay has incorporated a "MY MESSAGES" which can be found on any eBay account, buyer or seller. USE it, if you get a "uh, that is not right" or frightful message, go to your eBay personal page and read that before you respond to any email.

Concerning PAYPAL, which is a horror story in itself, especially if you are new to it, you can be captured and stolen from. Internet Thief's are so good at what they do now. They are able to duplicate pages to make it look so real, and can scare you to death! I sometimes think I have a cardboard tag on the front of me (as if walking around the street) saying "I am going to get to you eventually, signed- PAYPAL theif." Not this time buddy, I wised up to you, regardless of who you and your scam, fraud, thief friends are. I NOW get sometimes 10 a day from PAYPAL schemes (to my personal email account), and I send all of them to spoof to Paypal. Here is just a hint on how to recognize a fraud email from PAYPAL. It does not have your registered name as PAYPAL always sends to you in their messages (and sometimes you still have to be careful on that), it says that your account has been violated, it says that you bought something you know you did not, it says they are updating records, and so much more. GOOD GRIEF!! Don't trust any of it. Send it direct to PAYPAL spoof, even if you are not sure. They will get right back to you, and you will recognize their response.

I have been meaning to write on this for a VERY long time, and something today made me sure I WOULD write on this. Today I got an email from a fraud concerning, a place where I did submit and entered some pictures on my pets, and they were included in a few books with This email got me so excited. AT FIRST, as I was told I won so much, and included links to prove so, and on and on, which was very exciting, and then wanted money. Yea, right. I know a lot about this site, and I remember it well, and the last thing they asked was for MONEY! Not only that, the REAL site has ALL my email addresses, and other snail mail addresses (which is how they informed me the pictures would be included in books.)

I have gotten pretty good at this. If it sounds to good to be true, sadly, it more than likely is. And as a protection measure, if not sure, google it, yahoo it, research it. Type keywords in of the site and signature of the major signature in question, that was in your email. (That you got so excited about!)

OK, I am now done with my RANT AND RAVE and MADNESS of this blog, but am still pissed, but can probably sleep better tonight. (today?) I hope the example below helps, written to me, SCAM, FRAUD, THEFT!


Dear Katie,
In the past, we informed you that you and your artistic accomplishments could have been honored at the International Society of Photographers Convention and Symposium in Las Vegas, Nevada -- even though you were unable to attend.
Please note that because so many people took advantage of this opportunity, we have extended the time for you to elect to receive your awards, and benefits of ISP membership, provided that you will allow us to present your photo "Premature Kitten~2 Weeks Old~Sweet"
(see your photo here) at our next convention and that you have elected to receive all of the awards and benefits of ISP membership that we have scheduled for you. Your awards, which will be shipped to you at this time, include your custom engraved Outstanding Achievement in Photography Silver Award Bowl (see it here), your bronze Commemorative Award Medallion, and your Full Basic Membership into the International Society of Photographers for 2006.

In this regard, we have arranged for your photographic artistry to be prominently displayed at a future international gathering of photographers. Your photograph, along with your name, will be presented exactly as you created it, so that your artistry receives the exposure it deserves. In this way, hundreds of attending photographers and their guests, who come from all over the world to attend the convention, will appreciate your photograph.

And let me tell you a little about the actual awards and ISP membership benefits that you will receive by mail immediately after you confirm your participation in this prestigious event by
allowing us to showcase your photo:
Your Outstanding Achievement in Photography Silver Award Bowl (a $200.00 value) is a magnificent work of art in itself that measures over 10 inches across and over 11 inches high. It is handcrafted in silver and has your name custom-engraved on a beautiful cherry-wood base (see it here). It is certain to enjoy a special place of pride in your home and will serve as a fitting symbol of your unique photographic artistry.

-- Your bronze Commemorative Award Medallion is a deeply etched bronze medal (a $40.00 value) brilliantly displayed on a 25-inch red, white and blue satin ribbon. -- And your Full Basic Membership into the International Society of Photographers for 2006 (a $60.00 value) entitles you to a personalized membership card, special discounts and contests, and a free subscription to our quarterly newsletter. Please note, if you are already an ISP member, your benefits will be extended an additional year.

Katie, all that's required for us to immediately send you all of these Awards is for you to
allow us to formally display your photograph "Premature Kitten~2 Weeks Old~Sweet" at the next convention. Additionally, because you were not present at our last convention, we must also ask you for the necessary funds ($169.00 plus p+h) to cover the costs of the time and effort required to present your photography before future convention attendees, and to cover the costs incurred in insuring and shipping to you these extremely bulky and heavy awards.
Katie, we are, of course, ultimately most interested in meeting you and having you personally present your artistry in front of the thousands of other photographers who attend these live events. Unfortunately, this is was not the case, so we're trying to do the next best thing. But we sincerely hope to personally present you with your most deserved awards in the future.

Sincerely,Craig FosterInternational Society of PhotographersConvention Awards Chairperson

P.S. Your Outstanding Achievement in Photography Silver Award Bowl, bronze Commemorative Award Medallion, and personalized membership card, will be shipped to you by Federal Express (your subscription to our newsletter will arrive separately) and will be accompanied by a 100% money back guarantee of your complete satisfaction. If for any reason you're not 100% delighted with your Awards, simply return them any time within 60 days of receipt for a full refund, no questions asked.

P.P.S. You'll also receive a $100.00 gift certificate off the registration of a future ISP convention so that we can formally recognize your photographic accomplishments in person at a date that's convenient to you.

Writing Scams ~NOW, click this link to see exact same letter, without my name. (but , I am sure someone else was included and probably fell for it.)


  1. That sounds a lot like the scam that has been going on for years. Unfortunatly people still fall for the scams, and the people who set up the scams are benefitting on a daily basis. That is a cute picture, and there are several LEGITIMENT photo contests out there. Try picking up a photography magezine and checking out the contests in there.

    Blessed Be.

  2. Hi, and thank you for the post. There are so many scams and frauds out there, but, I did want to point out one thing, it is not PICTURE.COM that is the problem, as they are legit, it is a place that uses there LOGO (like so many sites in fraud use PAYPAL & EBAY) to get these people to buy, give information, etc. The picture is already in the book, which is how they found me, (plus other innocent people who probably fell for this since their picture was in the book as well.)

    Thank you for your comment.