Wednesday, 10 February 2010

Preserve our elders

Someone I care about recently got conned by a person with a fake internet identity. He did not manage to get any of her money but he dragged out a relationship over many months and took from her a huge emotional investment and precious time. She had no money to give him any way, all she had was love, which sure as hell was wasted on him. I want to kick him in the nads and wish him a plague of aphids.

But that aside, we need to protect people of the older generations. They who come from the days of morals and verified information that came from books. They who are not always very good at using computers.

They don't seem to realise that it takes a person roughly three minutes (depending on your bandwidth) to create a believable fake internet presence. One minute to google "American white army officer" (or whomever you wish to be), one minute to download a photo, one minute to upload the photo to whichever profile, and you can start preying on vulnerable women.

Many older people I know could not do any of the above in three days, or ever. So they seem to believe that people are who they say they are.

And who are the ones that send on those interminable email forwards warning of the evils of canola oil and aliens in your boot and tokoloshes learning how to get past bricks? Ballies, that's who. They believe credible sounding information because in their day information was more reliable.

All of the forwards I have bothered to read before deleting sound like they have been sucked out of a 15 year old's bum thumb . But if you throw in some words like "genetically modified" and "statistically vulnerable" and "police reports recently show" then it seems many ballies will fall for it every time.

We need to protect our elders. The times have changed, and they need educating. They don't take to it kindly but it is for their own good. They are just too good and honest and gullible. They need their nasty, cynical, scheming, lyingkids to teach them a thing or two.

*parents and general old timers


Tara said...

And we need to protect them from games like Farmville - it becomes a scary addiction.

One of my parents oldest friends needed neighbours to beat some chick in the States...for some reason...and now she's continually bitching at me about not watering my crops.


Funnily enough though, it's mainly the 20-something girls I have to continually explain to that the email is bollocks and little Annie the 6 year old dying of Fork-Stuck-In-Arm disease, doesn't really exist. The old folks on my email list are remarkably tuned in to catching the BS.

Oh, and also, is always your friend.

Anonymous said...

Shame. My dad is like that. First time he got one of those YOU HAVE WON 10373892728 BAJILLION POUND emails he got excited and I was like, no - that's a scam Daddy. Now he calls me everytime he gets and email like that and I have to tell him that IT'S NOT GONNA HAPPEN. haha

Anonymous said...

Typo alert. Sorry!

Helen said...

I have the same issue with the 20-something girls who are bored and must send a million stupid emails... generally involving animations and puppies doing silly things.

And they wnder why I spam-block them

Anonymous said...

Woah that's hectic. But even us young ones can fall for it. A friend of a friend gave her bank details but luckily it wasn't the kind of account you can really take out of.

But its so true about people being able to just make up pages like some messed up game. It's like some people are not happy to just be and wanna mess up other people's lives.

You can only hope someone would con them back so that they learn to stop.

Damaria Senne said...

You are so right. I've been targeted on the Internet. Someone would visit my client sites, start a conversation about topics on the site, and before I know it, the person is on all my fan pages and is my new best friend. Then comes suggestions that they could help me with my online work; we could go into business together, or flowery compliments about what a wonderful woman I am and would I happen to be single? It's very annoying, because when you know the signs, you can see the scam coming a mile off.

Cam said...

Po my dad still takes about 30 minutes to send an sms....and he still writes "Dear Cam, how you my boy?" Hilarious.

6000 said...

I think that there are more vulnerable groups out there than old women.
It's a bit blinkered to suggest that those are the only demographic to be preyed on by online conmen and weirdos.

But yes - save them and everyone else.

Spear The Almighty said...


Gillian said...

Frikken scarey shite out there...guard your credit cards and virgins.

po said...

Hehehehe Aw you guys I know it is not only ballies who are victims of gullibility. Young girls are vulnerable to online paedophiles and dof people everywhere are vulnerable. But I am worried about ballies as a whole demographic cos in my experience they tend to be very vulnerable.

Tara: LOL. Water you bloody crops, mkay? I am plagued by Farmville invitations, but all from young people. I have never had any young person pass on an email forward though. Always the oldies.

sleepyjane: hehe my dad is so cynical he would never believe he won anything. But he is the first to forward me anything with the words "danger" or "scientific proof". My mom on the other hand believes ANYTHING that says "free" and "won". They worry me.

Helen: again, it is my parents that send me those. I have never had younger folks sending me that stuff. Young people just send me annoying invites on Facebook :)

Paula: I know, anyone inexpereinced could fall for it. But my ballies never seem to learn...

Damaria: it makes me sad that there are so many dodgy people out there. Where is their sense of dignity?

Cam: awwww that is so endearing. Shame man, parents are sweet.

6000: ballies, I said ballies, not just old women. Wait a minute, aren't you a ballie? :) hehe I know not only old people fall for it, but all the old people I happen to know seem to be very vulnerable, and it worries me. The younger folk I know would never even read a forward.

Spear: do you know anyone who got preyed on?

po said...

Gillian: haha lock up your daughters and parents!

Shannon said...

If my dad sends one more email about how the Obama health care plan is a socialist threat hatched in Moscow or how someone can attack you in your car by making you smell perfume that is really poison, I'm going to go Amish and dismantle my email account.

He's gotten slightly better only because every time I send him the (inevitable) Snopes refutation, I add to it, "YOU ARE A COMMUNITY LEADER WHOM PEOPLE RESPECT. PLEASE STOP DEFILING YOURSELF IN THIS WAY. WE WILL ALL START TO THINK YOU ARE SOME CRANK POSTING TO THE INTERNET FROM THE BASEMENT IN YOUR UNDERWEAR." It seems to be getting through.

Kirsty said...

Off topic - but what/where/who is that gorgeous sculpture??? I must know!

EEbEE said...

After watching far too many episodes of 'The Real Hustle', i find myself feeling less and less sorry for people who have fallen for get rich quick scams...

Do agree that we should help our ballies though. Fortunately mine don't even have email addys

po said...

Shannon: lol. Maybe I should try that on my parents.

Kirsty: that is a picture taken at the Owl House in Nieu Bethsesda. Did you ever hear of it? It is this woman's house, she covered the yard in sculptures and covered her house in colourful glass. It is totally awesome.

EEbEE: then they are safe! Although they would probably be super trusting if they ever got one, so look out for your ballies!

Tamara said...

Yup. My mother's best friend sends along every "send on this chain email to six million people in the next two seconds or you will DIE from an aphid attack of ginormous proportions" piece of crap ever written "just in case".

po said...

Tamara: heeeheee. Does she really believe she will get 10 years of bad luck if she does not send a mail? Actually to be honest when I fist started using computers I sent those forwards too. But I stopped. The difference is, my parents keep sending them!

tattytiara said...

Agreed strongly. I know it just wasn't in my mother's make up to be able to believe that someone she was dealing with in any fashion was untrustworthy. She was intelligent, but she definitely came from a different time and place.

Champagne Heathen said...

Even the famous "technologically powerful" guys need technological advice, it would seem!

This article made me think of this post of yours: