Originally posted August 22, 2010 on MJTP and Worth Re-reading.
*Rumors, Scammers, Spammers, Trollers and Phishers, Oh My!
In an effort to help keep this site safe and enjoyable for everyone, we are addressing three uncommon but important issues which are mentioned in our Terms of Service and/or FAQs.
1. A Note about Website Safety – Don’t Be Scammed: You should easily be able to trust 99.99% of the members on this site. However, until they’ve truly earned your trust, and you’ve built a friendship with them, you should use caution. Some people come to the site – or any website – to try to get personal information from or otherwise scam members, and are not really here for the right reasons. This is very rare, though it does happen! When we find out about such confirmed activity occurring on this website, we will terminate their account, as scamming, spamming, trolling, and phishing are violations of our Terms of Service (scam attempts often contain a combination of these offenses).
If someone on this site whom you don’t really know contacts you and asks you to contact them offline or provide personal information, you should beware. If you get a note like that and are not sure what to think, you can always report them to us, and we’ll look into it. Click the “Report” link on the page containing the content you wish to report. Select the reason for the report, and please include a description of what you’re reporting. If it’s a note you’re reporting (as is often the case in this instance), go to that person’s profile, and click “Report this person.” Include a copy of the note in your report. Or, you can report them by sending an Email to our Help Desk: HelpDesk@MichaelJacksonTributePortrait.com.
If you’re contacted by someone offsite after you’ve given them your personal email address, and you realize this person is up to no good, maybe asking for money or personal information they probably shouldn’t be asking for, be wise. Ask questions, get details, make sure you understand and are comfortable with the answers, and that you’re not bullied or coerced into anything. If it doesn’t feel right or seem to make sense, that could be your instinct alerting you. As a first step, you can usually report them to their email provider. Go to their email provider’s website to find out how to report them. If fraud is suspected or has occurred, consider contacting your local authorities for help.
Many countries have laws against Internet fraud, which is often a crime at the national level, since state or territory lines are frequently crossed when communicating over the Internet. In the US, the FBI, with offices throughout the US and in several US embassies, investigates Internet crimes and other forms of fraud, and has tons of information on their website about fraud: http://www.fbi.gov/scams-safety/fraud
and cyber crime: http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/investigate/cyber.
Other helpful links from the Internet Crime Complaint Center:
http://www.ic3.gov/default.aspx , http://www.ic3.gov/media/MassMarketFraud.pdf (contains useful tips on how to protect yourself from cyber crime, with more links).
Also see http://www.lookstoogoodtobetrue.com/fraud.aspx, which contains information in easy-to-understand terms.
Scam or no scam, please be careful about giving out your personal information anywhere online (or off); be safe!
2. A Note about Rumors: Michael spent most of his life dealing with rumors. We don’t want them spread about Michael, members or us. We don’t want them on our site at all. Put yourself in the shoes of the people who are having rumors spread about them. If you want to know if something is true, go to the source. If you hear something about or involving two people, go to both people. If you hear something having to do with the Tribute Portrait and you want to know the truth, please come to us. We would do the same for you.
3. A Note about Spam: A definition of spam may be found on our FAQs page. We have been practicing a somewhat loose spam policy here – if it’s positive, pro-Michael, isn’t soliciting commercial items or services not approved by the MJTP, doesn’t get out of hand (sending too much to too many strangers – or even friends who don’t want it), and isn’t bothersome/people don’t complain, then we usually let it go. Everyone here wants to help Michael and his causes, including us.
There’s no problem with sharing information with people who ask you for it – that’s not spam. Spam is sending out messages, often multiple messages, sometimes even duplicate messages to the same people, impersonal copy/paste messages, to people you don’t know, have no relationship with, etc. It’s just like when you get junk messages to your personal email address.
We kindly ask that you please use sound judgement when sending messages or posting anywhere on this site, ensuring that you know the people you’re sending messages/posting to, so they are not receiving unsolicited or unwanted messages from someone. Really, it comes down to making sure you’re sending messages to people you know – and that these people, whom you know, don’t mind receiving those messages. All it takes is one complaint to make it spam.
Another form of spam is posting completely unrelated nonsense anywhere on the site, such as meaningless garbage about handbags, gold, shoes, etc., with links to all sorts of offsite websites that have nothing to do with Michael Jackson or anything on this site. If you see this, please report it.
Courtesy of Michael Jackson Tribute Portrait