A new twist on paying for Internet porn
December 29, 2003 6:52 AM   Subscribe

A new twist on paying for Internet porn Although no mention of porn in the CNN story. Anyone ever been threatened like this?
posted by Samuel Farrow (18 comments total)


 
Idiot tax. I'm all for it.
posted by nthdegx at 6:54 AM on December 29, 2003


And people actually pay this?

How many of them?

Why?

I mean, if the bully is holding you up by your collar asking for your lunch money... but, I would think my first reaction, if I didn't know enough to just hit delete and despair civilization, would be to go the the "computer guy" and tell him someone was threatening his network. Or something.
posted by jon_kill at 7:15 AM on December 29, 2003


How many AOL users are going to fall for this I wonder?
posted by a3matrix at 7:28 AM on December 29, 2003


What I find more disturbing is how a widespread epidemic of this scam could end up benefitting actual child pornographers.

If enough people start hearing about this scam, then there's just as much plausibility in some co-worker being caught with kiddie porn on his workstation thinking quick and saying to the boss, "see? It's that damn virus again!"

If you don't buy that, believe me, I've seen enough bosses ignorant of how the internet works to believe that "it's some kind of virus" when, umm, someone, you know, let's say a friend of mine, forgets to delete the hack of Unreal he put on the network during lunch hour or something.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 7:33 AM on December 29, 2003


Idiot tax. --nthdegx

Yeah...I have to agree.
posted by dejah420 at 7:33 AM on December 29, 2003


It's not an idiot tax, it's a public health problem. The 0.0001% of recipients who fall for this make it a very profitable business, thereby increasing the amount of spam that all of us get.
posted by alms at 7:45 AM on December 29, 2003


Erm... and why exactly is broadband making this easier for extortionists?
posted by twine42 at 7:46 AM on December 29, 2003


I wonder how many of these get deleted as spam unwittingly rather than opened and read.
posted by mischief at 7:47 AM on December 29, 2003


I've received a bunch of similar emails, childporn and credit card charging threats. I laugh and spamcop them.
posted by dabitch at 8:03 AM on December 29, 2003


"They prey on the nice secretary who wouldn't do anything wrong. When she gets one of these e-mails she thinks 'Oh, my goodness what am I going to do?' So she puts it on her credit card and transfers the funds to the (suspect's online bank) account and hopes it goes away," a British detective specializing in cyber-crime told Reuters.

As opposed to telling her boss?

Maybe they should put something like this in the interview process for new recruits? Y'know to sort the wheat from the retards?
posted by Blue Stone at 8:03 AM on December 29, 2003


Pay me or I'll tell your boss you read Metafilter!
posted by pmurray63 at 8:03 AM on December 29, 2003


Do they accept checks?
posted by strangeleftydoublethink at 8:36 AM on December 29, 2003


I'm sure once they've paid them, the scammers will forever leave them alone.

I wonder what step 2 is after they've paid up. "Download this to remove our virus." Which would actually download a real trojan?

Also, whats with the attack on porn webmasters in the FPP? Porn pioneered ecommerce and in general the industry has to keep its nose extra clean because of privacy concerns, state laws, and anti-porn zealots.
posted by skallas at 9:04 AM on December 29, 2003


I worked in a company where some people might be concerned about receiving an email like this. Often, I'd refer someone to an explanatory website to calm their fears. The problem with this is that a lot of people are unable to understand relatively simple written sentences, especially when they are strung together to form paragraphs containing more than one concept or idea. Then they come back with some assumed notion about the content of the explanation that has managed to increase their fears rather than helping them.

This is what frustrates me most when British people have a perception of Americans as stupid. Idiocy is rife in Britain - especially in the office.
posted by nthdegx at 9:23 AM on December 29, 2003


Idiot tax? I don't think so. Ignorant tax, maybe.
posted by tomplus2 at 10:19 AM on December 29, 2003


Idiocy is rife in Britain - especially in the office.

Of course it is, we've seen The Office over here you know!
posted by billsaysthis at 10:57 AM on December 29, 2003


My company has a facility in Britain. They're at least 2 years behind in system upgrades because management there was afraid giving them Win XP would be too much for them to handle. My experiences have been that they're not at all like that, but I can't claim to have interacted with anyone other than engineers.
posted by tommasz at 1:20 PM on December 29, 2003


XQ: Trojan horse found responsible for child porn, this last August, the 2nd such exoneration in Britain.
posted by dhartung at 11:00 PM on December 29, 2003


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