New Scammer and Fraudster listing system

Polemus

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Aug 12, 2009
Messages
1,059
Hi peeps,

Just to let you know, we launched a listing system for possible scammers and fraudsters.

The system allows you to input details, and it will return results of previously encountered users / entities.

There is also an API if you want to integrate with it.

Right now we have around 13k possible scammers listed. Any help with growing that database will be appreciated.

Oh... the link:) ....... http://www.scamlista.com
 
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skimread

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Oct 18, 2010
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8,533
Do they need to be convicted or can their company be liquidated or criminal/civil cases pending?
 

Polemus

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Aug 12, 2009
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Do they need to be convicted or can their company be liquidated or criminal/civil cases pending?
For obvious reasons, we cannot claim that the person / company listed on the system IS in fact a scammer or a fraudster. we can only say that someone reported that specific entity as a possible scammer. we then give yo additional info, so you can make an informed decision.
 

Hamster

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Site is not mobile friendly. You should consider a different layout when the screen size is less than x
 

MKFrost

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Oct 23, 2012
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For obvious reasons, we cannot claim that the person / company listed on the system IS in fact a scammer or a fraudster.
But you allow for such person/company to be listed as a scammer/fraudster thus implying that you agree with the opinion of the person listing such?

Not sure about the legalities around this but as it is now basically any person can list another if they have a gripe with them and the other person will be none the wiser that they are listed on a scammer/fraudster database.

Do you keep a full record of the person providing the initial listing so that the listed parties will have some form of recourse should false details be listed?

EDIT: Also, I see no policies and or terms and conditions. What is the procedure to follow for a listed party should they have proof that the listed details are false etc... How do they get their details removed?
 
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Polemus

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But you allow for such person/company to be listed as a scammer/fraudster thus implying that you agree with the opinion of the person listing such?

Not sure about the legalities around this but as it is now basically any person can list another if they have a gripe with them and the other person will be none the wiser that they are listed on a scammer/fraudster database.

Do you keep a full record of the person providing the initial listing so that the listed parties will have some form of recourse should false details be listed?

EDIT: Also, I see no policies and or terms and conditions. What is the procedure to follow for a listed party should they have proof that the listed details are false etc... How do they get their details removed?
We track details of the person listing the potential scammer.

If there is an objection the system will eventually send out a request to the initial lister asking for some sort of proof that they encountered this person, if the do not respond with valid proof within 48 hours, the listing will be removed.

I understand there might be legal issues here, but i am working on it. TOP PRIORITY.

Please understand, it is not the purpose of listing a person of as a scammer. it is community driven, so people can say if they think someone is a spammer. it only helps other people dealing with the entities aware that they should do so with caution.

I have been scammed more than once before, and just wished there was some form of system that i could use to help me spot a potential criminal.

I still need to work on the terms and conditions, as well as the disclaimer. I am hoping that by the time word gets out i am fully covered, however, i am not a document writer, so this takes some time. If anyone knows of someone that could help, please drop me a PM.

just to stress the point, i am not trying to make scammers of people, i am trying to give a headsup to the unsuspecting internet users out there like my parents and yours... even our cousins that is not internet savvy
 

nand

Senior Member
Joined
Nov 2, 2012
Messages
742
You are entering a very dark valley with this.

Do you have any assistance with this? SAPS, aa419, etc?

The people committing these acts do not have human sympathy, in the least severe cases you may receive death threats. You are playing with fire.

I highly suggest you rethink this project of yours.
 

MKFrost

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Oct 23, 2012
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You should check the facts before something is listed and not once somebody complains. By that time the damage has been done. Also, by that time an extract of the posting will be in Google's archive for all to see for years to come, even after you removed such listing.

I have no problem with the concept and will even support it but it has to be done right.

The way it's done here is to presume guilt, without any proof, based on unverified sources.
 

Paul Hjul

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Aug 31, 2006
Messages
14,902
you are essentially publishing adverse information without any form of verification, in my opinion (and the IANAL disclaimer applies here) the ordinary scope of liability as applied to newspapers applies here and not performing even the slightest of fact checking creates problems. Moreover you aren't simply a repository of posts by individuals and the origin of the claims are unknown to the person using your service. In order to enter this sort of service you really need to model your business on a verification process. I am damn sure though that there was a discussion on this on MyBB a while back but I can't find the thread

Even if the SCA or Constitutional Court come to your rescue you still will have a nightmare of litigation to reach that point
 

House

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Aug 17, 2006
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you are essentially publishing adverse information without any form of verification, in my opinion (and the IANAL disclaimer applies here) the ordinary scope of liability as applied to newspapers applies here and not performing even the slightest of fact checking creates problems. Moreover you aren't simply a repository of posts by individuals and the origin of the claims are unknown to the person using your service. In order to enter this sort of service you really need to model your business on a verification process. I am damn sure though that there was a discussion on this on MyBB a while back but I can't find the thread

Even if the SCA or Constitutional Court come to your rescue you still will have a nightmare of litigation to reach that point
Although this website is a nice idea, there are many of them on the Internet, and the majority mostly focus on advance fee fraud - Nigerian scam letters or lottery scams. Keeping a database with information on these scams are fine, and legally you should face no consequences at all.

The moment you start allowing people to report any individual for any type of scam, you open yourself to a world of hurt. As an example, I am selling a product in the junkmail and I get a call from John X who deposits a stolen cheque into my account. I now list him and his cellphone number on your website.

Firstly, in accordance with the new POPI act, his names and surname and cellphone number amounts to identifiable information, which you are not allowed to collect or process without his permission. So, firstly, the POPI act should come in play with your website the moment you go that route. But, you can get by this and register with the regulator as a data service aimed at fraud identification and prevention and also for the purposes of crime investigation and see if they accept that. However, making the data publicly available, I highly doubt will be acceptable.

Secondly, that person has not been convicted as yet and classifying him as a scammer may even lead to him suing you. You provide the public resource where these scams can be reported, so you can be held responsible along with the person reporting it to your website. Like Paul said, there is a chance that courts may side with you, if you have sufficient grounds for listing such information, but I think this chance is small and in addition to millions of rands in legal costs, you may face a huge civil claim if courts do not side with you.

Although these type of websites are nice and more often than not prevent some people from falling prey to scams, they attract a large number of visitors, but the legal risks are big.

Edit, I just need to add as well, that it is not that easy even to list a database of convicted individuals. Even government struggles to do this. They need to get a court order and bypass the Constitution to publicly list people convicted of offences, and this still has not happened here in SA. Just take a look at sexual offences, which is still a closed 'register'. They still can't publish this publicly. Then, there is a DB of millions of fraud convictions, which another groups wants to publish. This has also been denied. And, lastly, even the POPI act refuse people the opportunity to compile a DB of criminal convictions, as this is also protected information.
 
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Polemus

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Aug 12, 2009
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thanx for the heads up... lemme take it down for a few weeks to work on a better model... i'll let you guys know as soon as i have sommin to work with.
 

supersunbird

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Oct 1, 2005
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48,005
you are essentially publishing adverse information without any form of verification, in my opinion (and the IANAL disclaimer applies here) the ordinary scope of liability as applied to newspapers applies here and not performing even the slightest of fact checking creates problems. Moreover you aren't simply a repository of posts by individuals and the origin of the claims are unknown to the person using your service. In order to enter this sort of service you really need to model your business on a verification process. I am damn sure though that there was a discussion on this on MyBB a while back but I can't find the thread

Even if the SCA or Constitutional Court come to your rescue you still will have a nightmare of litigation to reach that point
How does hellopeter verify information I wonder...
 

supersunbird

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Joined
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Messages
48,005
Edit, I just need to add as well, that it is not that easy even to list a database of convicted individuals. Even government struggles to do this. They need to get a court order and bypass the Constitution to publicly list people convicted of offences, and this still has not happened here in SA. Just take a look at sexual offences, which is still a closed 'register'. They still can't publish this publicly. Then, there is a DB of millions of fraud convictions, which another groups wants to publish. This has also been denied. And, lastly, even the POPI act refuse people the opportunity to compile a DB of criminal convictions, as this is also protected information.
The laws and courts are a hinderance to having a crime free SA, protecting themselves from going out of business maybe?
 

Paul Hjul

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Aug 31, 2006
Messages
14,902
How does hellopeter verify information I wonder...
hellopeter works on the "repository of posts" approach I mentioned - and individuals posting defamatory statements there may well be taken up

I also am not sure how safe hellopeter is in the greater scheme of things - especially when you move outside of the realm of consumer complaints about ****ty service and into claims of illegality
 

Totempole

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