NJ-SOM-RARITAN-L ArchivesArchiver > NJ-SOM-RARITAN > 2002-07 > 1027847375
From: Colleen Pustola <>
Subject: [NJ-SOM-RARITAN] FROM COLLEEN ~ PLEASE READ
Date: Sun, 28 Jul 2002 03:14:38 -0600
This week I received two messages from two different researchers, each
parallelling the other. The first message was from a list member
regarding another new alias of our old nemesis, Family Discovery. Then,
I received a second message from a researcher on another list regarding
scam/spam. In lieu of these new messages, I decided somebody must be
telling me something! So, today I'll bring you all up to speed on the
newest of the bad side of the Web to ensure you're all protected with
the necessary knowledge.
ALL of my lists are receiving this message, including those city, county
and state that I maintain. So, if you happen to be on more than one of
them, I apologize in advance for your having to receive this more than
This message includes the following topics:
1. Genealogyexperts.com ~ is it familydiscovery.com?
3. Recommended sites
GENEALOGYEXPERTS.COM ~ IS IT FAMILYDISCOVERY.COM?
Most of us know all about these shysters. However, there are some of
you who are new to the Web and don't know. This is for you:
This is going to read just like my January warning! I'm sorry... but
the words don't want to change... I guess it's always the same story
with these people. :(
"Genealogy Experts ~ it's a new commercial enterprise!"
No, it isn't. This has the same trappings of Family Discovery using yet
a another new alias; the same ploy as before ~ just with a new
wrapping. Avoid them like you would any of Family Discovery's other
Tender newbies, the subject of Family Discovery is NOT new and yes, they
are rip-offs. This is an old subject among those of us who have been
doing online genealogy for at least the last two years. The storyline
changes a little, but the players are all the same, and you should be
Family Discovery and their alias sites (below) links their pages to free
Rootsweb <http://www.rootsweb.com> sites and archive pages, USGenWeb
sites, and privately owned sites by way of frames ... sites on which all
the information is already free. Unless the attached site has some sort
of identifier on each page, you the viewer, will not realize that you're
viewing free pages and *paying* for the "privilege" of doing so! Family
Discovery is doing this without permission and have been under
investigation by at least two states' attorneys for the past two years.
Now, while I'm at it, you need to know those other aliases so you're not
taken in. Following is a list of sites associated with Family Discovery
domain owners in one way or another:
Most of the above sites bill themselves as "the most comprehensive easy
to use collection of online records ever compiled," or something close
to it. Of course it is, if they link to every free website they can
find! Save your money and do the search yourself! You DO NOT need to
pay for a service that is already free if you know where to look. If
you need assistance, send a message to the list and state in the top
line of your message that you're a newbie needing help; you'll probably
get more than you can handle! :)
Census Diggins <http://www.censusdiggins.com/familydiscovery.html> has
messages online from quite a few people who have stepped forward to tell
you of their dealings with Family Discovery and some of their aliases.
If you haven't done it already, it would be in your best interests to
check it out, if only for a quick look. You newbies to online genealogy
would be especially wise to go to this site and read what others are
saying so you won't be ripped off.
Jeff Scism has a lot of this in BIG, BLACK, BOLD lettering (really) on
this page <http://blacksheep.rootsweb.com/shame/genealogyexperts.htm>.
Between Census Diggins and Jeff's Blacksheep page, you'll certainly
understand why I'm devoting half of this Coffee to a warning.
Just please, remember the above list of aliases. These people will take
your money, giving you little to nothing in return, and from their past
history will not answer any of your messages. Hide your wallet,
checkbook, credit card, and run! :)
This subject is one that, if not careful, could cost you your life
savings. The second message I received said: "Larry Elder <KABC Talk
Radio host> mentioned the Nigerian spam and how people ARE actually
being taken in by it." If you receive this spam, the government wants
you to send it to them at one of two addresses <> or
<>. They are doing an investigation to get these
people shut down. You'll need to forward the received message WITH THE
FULL HEADERS. See the link to Gene Olson's site (below) where you can
find instructions on how to open the full headers in a message.
A site called Internet Scambusters
<http://www.scambusters.org/Scambusters52.html> is dedicated to
spreading the word about every scam they find out about. It's one you
definitely want to visit. They have a newsletter that I receive that
helps me stay ahead of these ripoffs; you might want to begin receiving
EIGHT TIPS TO AVOID BEING TAKEN:
1.) Don't ever buy an item that you learn about via bulk email ("spam").
Your chances of receiving the item *at all* are only 45%, and the
chance of your getting what you think at a reasonable price (so
you're happy with the transaction) is less than 5%. In other words,
"If it's spam, it's scam."
2. Always use a credit card to purchase online. This protects you.
Your maximum exposure is $50, and often you won't even lose that
amount if you get scammed.
3. If you are buying something at a reputable online auction site,
always check out the references for the seller and only buy from
sellers who have good references. Take advantage of online
auction guarantees, such as those offered by amazon.com.
4. Don't conduct business with an anonymous user. Get the person's
real name, business name (if applicable), address, and phone
number. Verify this information before buying. And don't send your
payment to a post office box.
5. Be more cautious if the seller uses a free email service, such as
hotmail, yahoo, etc. Of course, most people who use these free
services are honest. However, most problems occur when a free
service is used. After all, with a free email service, it is very easy
for the seller to keep his or her real identity and information hidden.
6. If the unsubscribe address is at a generic domain like Yahoo or
Hotmail, chances are that your request will never be opened. On the
other hand, if the site the spam mail is advertising has a quality
domain, and the return address is within that domain, it's much more
likely that the message will be read and may even be acted upon.
7. Save copies of all of the emails and other documents involved in the
transaction. Then, if you discover that an item is counterfeit or not as
advertised, you have documentation to help you deal with the problem.
8. Use common sense and trust your intuition. If you have a funny
feeling about an item, don't buy it. You're very likely right that it is
Bad Business Web Site <http://www.compuright.net/EWOlson/badbusiness/>
will give you instructions on how to forward an e-mail with the complete
headers ~ something you need to know in order to forward spam/scam
messages to the government and spam- or scam-reporting sites.
Internet Fraud Complaint Center <http://www.ifccfbi.gov> is a
partnership between the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the National
White Collar Crime Center which addresses fraud committed over the
Internet by providing an easy to use way of alerting the authorities.
ScamWatch <http://www.scamwatch.com> provides complete fraud Protection
services for the entire Web community. These services include
investigation, tracking, recording and removal of fraudulent activities
(scams) on the Internet. Most services are available 24 hours a day and
are cost free. [NOTE: Due to inadequate funding for their sites, Web
Police, InterGOV, and all related agencies curtailed "all non-essential"
services to the Internet community on July 22nd. It appears though,
that you can still report a scam.]
Victim-Assistance Online <http://www.vaonline.org> is a non-profit
organization serving the international community. They are an on-line
reference and communications resource for victim assistance service and
support organizations, the staff and volunteers of these organizations,
professionals in related fields and the general public.
Our ancestors didn't have to put up with shysters in the same way we do
today. Today we are almost required for our own survival to be one step
ahead of "them" and certainly to be aware. It's my hope that this
message, if you didn't already know, has done that for you.
I wish you all a SUPER, SUNNY Sunday! :)
|[NJ-SOM-RARITAN] FROM COLLEEN ~ PLEASE READ by Colleen Pustola <>|