Neglecting my blog has become a bad habit that I need to overcome. I have been busy working on several video projects, articles, reviews and profiles, and have actually been pouring my heart and soul out on personal blogs in light of this depressing economic times. Frankly, I haven't had much emotional energy for this sort of commentatorship. Sure, I'll chew the fat about it over coffee with an intellectually elevated colleague or friend, but formulating ideas that I think are worth something in writing takes a lot out of a person. Besides, most of my other spare time is taken up by scouring online ads for full time work.
Speaking of online job ads, leave it to scammers to take full advantage that every other human being in this country is looking for work. Via Craigslist especially, I will apply to a position, only to receive an email shortly thereafter prompting me to follow a link to "complete my application online." Perhaps some of these sorts of human resource websites are legitimate, but somehow I doubt it. Somehow I wonder if it's all a ploy to get people's addresses, phone numbers and other such information. To me, it seems like quite a hassel to go through to get people's info, but you never know. Anything's possible in this day and age. I have yet to find any significant "buyer beware" articles online regarding this sort of thing. However, when someone I don't know directs me to an unfamiliar link and asks me to put in my information, I have every right, as a web-savvy consumer, to be wary.
It's taxing on the mind and emotions to constantly be looking over one's digitized shoulder, but nowadays, with the free-wheeling information exchange of the Internet, we have no choice. I feel increasingly pained for those individuals who lived through the era of handshakes and heartfelt promises. The Harold Hills were few and far between, and a man or woman's word was just as good as signatures and certificates. Now we practically have to require a blood test for every transaction. And, thanks to people like Bernie Madoff, our trust in friends, colleagues and business people is in even more of a shambles.
It disgusts me that scammers prey on people's emotions and seek to kick them while they are down. One recent scamming ring would call elderly folks pretending to be their grandchildren, claiming to be stranded in a foreign country needing money to get home. It's crazy what these people will do. I've heard of some shameful phishing scams in my life, but this one was probably one of the worst.
We'll never be able to avoid these scams completely. A sucker is born every minute, as they say. People will run to the broken back window and forget about the front door. Here's a good site that offers SOME hints on avoiding these crazy schemes online: http://www.fightidentitytheft.com/sucker.html.
Also, if you haven't already, check out www.snopes.com for information on chain emails, fake giveaways, and other stories that sound too surreal to be true (usually they are).