Understanding the Law
July 15, 2011
That flood of e-mail

The Internet has been one of the best inventions of this information age. It has brought knowledge literally to our fingertips. We do not have to travel great distances to find a library as we have it right in our homes when we have the Internet. We can read a book on the Kindle and now with Apple’s Ipad, information could be obtained on the go if Wi fi facility is available.{{more}} The Internet on smart phones is another way of being in touch with information on the go. The speed in communication that the Internet affords has made letter writing on paper via the post office obsolete. The social networks have revolutionized the way friends communicate and e-mail has made it possible in a cheaper way compared to telephone, to be connected to friends and family. E-mail comes free of cost once you have Internet connection. Good as it may be it comes with its evil. Every day when we open up our e-mail we are confronted with a barrage of uninvited mail and if we open our mail, while we are in the USA the volume is even greater.


We are privileged to have spam facilities to filter out unsolicited e-mail, but some of the legitimate mail sometimes find their way into the spam box so we have to pay attention to that box to make sure that a first time correspondent is not thrown out. However, sometimes the unwelcome mail finds its way into our Inbox. It is really a shame at the nature of some of the mail that we receive as if we have to suffer the consequences of being an e-mail receiver.

The scammers

Some of the advertisements that are forced on us are sometimes outrageous. They do not care whether we are male or female or whether we are interested in their products or not. E- mail originates from scam artist with messages that play on our sympathy and ravish our sensibilities. How can a total stranger write to you telling you that she was on the way to the airport and lost money and ask you to send some of yours for her. In some instances the writer tells you that there is some inheritance money, which she would share with you but she needs money from you to claim it. I really wonder if these people think that others are so gullible and would take them seriously. What bothers me is that this type of mail comes frequently and there is very little we can do to prevent it. However, we must not allow these people to scam us. We have to resist the temptation to open mail from persons we do not know.

The problem is compounded when the e-mail comes from persons whom you know. The scammer so often sends a bulk mail with other familiar names so that is seems legitimate. You don’t know what bug might be contained in it. I know that my son does not forward those types of e-mail, so I called him to ask if he had sent me the mail. He did not, so I did not open it. My advice is to be careful with the e-mail you receive. I also ask the scammers to put their skills to better use and not to abuse this communication system that has brought us closer to our family and friends.

Ada Johnson is a solicitor and barrister-at-law.
E-mail address is: exploringthelaw@yahoo.com