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Your comments: Sex offenders and scams

Kevin Anderson | 18:03 UK time, Friday, 23 June 2006

We're talking about paedophiles. It's a large talking point in the UK, with the tabloid newspapers spearheading a campaign to implement a form of Megan's Law, a law in the US that allows parents to know if paedophiles had moved into their neighbourhoods.

In the second half of the programme, we'll talk about scams. Have you been a victim? We have a former scammer coming on the programme.

Bilal in London said that if Megan's law was implemented in the UK it might cause a violent backlash against offenders. He said that most offenders were relatives of abused children. In the UK, "people don't know the difference between paedophiles and paedatricians," he said, and added that some paedatricians, doctors for children, had been attacked by vigilantes.

Abdelilah Boukili in Marrakesh Morocco said that parents needed to take some responsibility for their children.

Roberta, Arizona, USA echoed his sentiment that parents need to be vigilant and educate their chidren:

The internet has become a meeting house for pedophiles. My husband and I have had many frank conversations with our kids about bad things some people will do to children. We have a rule that the computer is not a toy. Our computer is kept in a high-traffic room in the house. Vigilance on the part of parents is just so important.

Many of the comments that received were quite angry. Kathryn in Atlanta sent us this text message:

Child predators cannot b rehabilitated, no more than they should be allowed to roam our streets. they should b put down like the dogs they r.

Roberta called from Arizona. She is selling her home, and she said that they had to put on the seller's form whether a convicted sex offender lived in the area. It was something new to her. She attributed it to high-profile cases in the media. She has two daughters, aged 8 and 3. Using government run websites, she can see the location of sex offenders in her area.

Patrick in Luxembourg left a comment on the blog. He included his phone number so we called him. We won't publish your phone number, but we will try to call you. Patrick worked with a UN group in Laos to counter sex tourism, men coming to the country to take advantage of lax child protection laws.

While many developing countries have signed on to UN Conventions on the Rights of the Child, many countries still need support to put this into domestic legislation.
That's where developed countries need to support developing countries, also in terms of signing legal agreements for perpetrators to be able to be prosecuted in the country of origin. It's important, too, to prevent these crimes from happening, for instance by monitoring the internet regarding pornography - ideas that often start crimes such as these.

And we got this text message from Idrissa from Yuma:

I have had enough of west talking about sex abuse when they them self created it with de naked girls in magazins & porn ln de computers. May god save us!

Have you been scammed?

Ascot Larry living in the Ivory Coast used to run several scams. He ran several internet scams. It works he says. The most important thing he says is to ignore strange e-mails. He says that if you contact the e-mailer, you'll pay the price.

Peter Franklin, the Gabby Cabby from New York, tried to sell Anu the Brooklyn Bridge. A steal at $25.

He says that New York had foreign scammers and a fair number of domestic scammers as well. In New York, scammers willl rent the same apartment to seven people, collecting deposits from all seven.

Derek runs a site that gives tips on scam baiting. About three years ago, he set up a website to expose scammers. He turns the tables giving tips on how to waste the time and money of scammers. But as they say on many of these sites, it may seem like fun. But remember, these scammers are criminals. But here is one such site giving tips on scam baiting.

A lot of text messages on this subject. Susan sent us this text:

London is a con capital and the conmen are NIGERIAN. I know. I lived in London for 4 years.

But Nonso Ezenwa in Nigeria defended his country:

How come the West sees Lagos as a degenerate city of forgers? Con men are everywhere, even in the West. Pls spare my country.

Sandowah Asankrangwa in Ghana sent us this message:

Sex offenders and paedophiles shd be given a special universally accepted tatoo on the forehead so that they can be easily identified.

Azeem in Malaysia talked about how he was conned out of the equivalent of two and a half months of his own salary. He was told that he had won a lot of money, but first he had to pay a large fee. He is taking his case to the consumer complaints tribunal.

Joel, in London, has written a book on con artists. He said that all of these 419, a section of the Nigerian legal code, and advance fee scams are similar. Be careful if something seems too good to be true. If you get an e-mail or a letter saying that you had won a lottery you never entered, beware.


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