a/ka/: "The Hall of Shame"
This thread will have a couple of purposes:
1. Provide the Moderators a single place to list the usernames being banned. Most of these (we hope) are pre-emptive strikes on scammers/spammers. Although, they could be for other reasons as well.
2. Give the general Membership a heads-up on usernames to be wary of (scams). Please check this list as it's updated.
3. Give the membership an idea of the volume of pest control we average on here.
We strive to head scammers off prior to them doing damage, but we're not able to know motives in advance. However, we are trying to do what we can before they can even strike. For example, if someone's not passing the sniff test, their IP can be checked. This isn't always the answer, but when they slip up and use an IP from Nigeria (for example), they go to the hot-watch (or ban now) list. Their IP can also be checked to see if they share it with a known "banned" username.
The forum owners have a forum for Moderators/Administrators. On that forum, I've been sharing with them the username/email/IP of scoundrels banned here. The 68Admin folks have then posted the list of activity on their various forums for usernames/emails/IPs (sometimes there are multiple) blended together. This allows a heads-up to Moderators/Admins for other forums to feel more confident of looking closer at their Membership list. Sometimes the info shared there aren't "banned", but on my hot-list of suspect characters, and it can pay-off (or at times not). This is one more layer of protection for the general Membership we're trying to proactively implement. Since that's a closed community of Admins/Moderators, that's why additional can be shared, it's in-house of Vertical Scope.
1. New Members MUST post an introduction of themselves to the Membership in this sub-forum to begin unlocking layers of access to the forum. Many folks like to join and then lurk, and that's ok, nothing wrong with folks who want to quietly read and gather without mixing it up.
a. Failure to do so means you're very limited in access to the site. You may read/reply PMs, but may NOT initiate a PM. Scammer types often read a post in the EE and then launch a PM to that Member they're targeting with a deal too good to refuse ("My brother has one of those for sale, email him at..."). IF we hear about this type of activity, we often hear of it after it's too late to be of help. About all we can do is ban them.
b. You must have introduced yourself with a post in order to unlock viewing access to the other sub-forums. This is why we're seeing many new introductions, from (not only new members, but "lurkers" who've been registered for a long time, even years). Once that's done, those folks can resume lurking.
c. I try to reply to every new member, to make folks feel welcome here. I use the same "Welcome to the fray"... UNLESS they're not passing the sniff test initially, then I'll make an inquiry, such as "how did you find us and what brings you here?" If you see the follow-up questions, that's a flag to pay attention to.
d. IF YOU FORGOT YOUR LOG IN, AND HAVE OPENED A NEW ACCOUNT TO GAIN ACCESS, TELL US IN THE INTRODUCTION. I'll try to help you get things back to normal. But I can't help if I don't know there's a problem. Sometimes people join, go away for a while, then when they come back, find their old email address hinders them.
2. You must have at least 5 legitimate posts to unlock the PM launching tool. Until someone begins to show good intentions with participation, they're being watched/vetted, so to speak.
a. This is also why asking for help in your introductory post helps us to help you. If you can't PM a Moderator, you're stuck, but if you ask for help in the introductory post, we can begin to help you.
b. This also cuts off access to Members via PM to scam. Most of those don't post, or find an old thread to reply with a single word, or "thanks for sharing" comment.
c. If/when we see a lot of obvious attempts to pad one's post count with single word replies, thanks for sharing, "welcome" to other brand new Members, we delete those attempts and warn folks away from Post Padding efforts. Ignoring that warning is a red flag to us.
3. You must have at least 50 legitimate posts to unlock post in the EE sub-forum.
The above has been implemented by the 68Admin staff. We're doing this step "in-house" to try and streamline our efforts, so the left hand knows what the right hand is doing, and to strive to give the Membership a little peace of mind that we're doing some things behind the scenes to keep riff-raff at bay. To that end, when a Moderator bans someone for nefarious reasons, the plan is we'll unlock/reply the following as an update to the list of "The Hall of Shame" (good title Greentick). I'm not going to go back and add a slew of previously banned pests, but am starting it now. For fun, we'll treat it like the hog kill/coyote kill thread (my input to the task at hand). When we've updated/replied to the thread we'll lock it again. This thread is a read-only thread for the Membership. If you're contacted in private by a new member who doesn't have EE access yet, please check this list before deciding to give them your hard earned money.
jonjamse3456 Nigerian IP 1 kill, 1 total (as of yesterday)
Note to Moderators, post what you have... thanks all.
Ok, thus far, been told by 68Admin that we can NOT post a scammer's/spammer's email address on the forum. I have the Ok to post the username/IP origin as above. Not a fan of criminals having rights protected, but I have to play by the rules set forth by the forum owners. If society can know where a sex offender lives, I believe honest people should have the right to know where a fraud/criminal lives (electronically). The answer I got for that question is that the email used/IP used may've been hacked/hi-jacked, so we protect unintended victims. Ok, that's fair.