A Community Devoted to the Preservation and Practice of Celestial Navigation and Other Methods of Traditional Wayfinding
From: Frank Reed
Date: 2020 Sep 18, 20:44 -0700
David C, you wrote:
"one of those annoying sites that claims downloads are free, allows you to register, and then as you are about to download the document asks for credit card details."
Right. Those things are annoying. There's a standard design to them so there's clearly a "kit" that one can buy to operate this scam. For anyone else reading along, if you reach a message board on a search for an obscure file, and there appears to be "social traffic" where person A says, "Oh my gosh, thank you, thank you! I have been looking all day for a PDF of [insert title here], and you have it. I just downloaded it, and it has really solved my problem!" Then person B says, "That's great. I want [insert title here], and I'm so happy to find that other people are downloading and reading this great resource." And in a follow-up, B writes, "Oh, but hey, the site says I need to enter my credit card details. That seems sketchy. Is it safe?" Then person A comes back and says, "Yeah, I thought it was strange but I entered my details, and I guess they just need that to make sure people aren't abusing the system. You can safely enter you details here. They use SSL for security. It's totally legit and secure." Of course, this "archived" conversation that seems to be occurring over the course of several days a few weeks before you arrived (based on the visible timestamps) has actually been software-generated on the spot in an attempt to con you. So if you see that pattern, get out quick. It's damn pathetic major search engines still generate results from sites like that.
A little complaint: it's fine to point out that such scam search results exist, but why, oh why, did you post the link?! Please bear in mind that this is exactly how social scams run. Not everyone reading your post would have understood what you were saying. Some would have innocently assumed that anything posted by a "fellow NavList member" is as clean as the new-fallen snow... "Ooo! I want that book, and I think trustworthy David was saying it's OK to enter my credit card details!". Seriously. That's how it happens. So don't do that again, OK? It's no big deal, but I had to edit out your link, as you can see.
Meanwhile, I found your missing Towson book inside ten seconds of searching. Where do these miracles come from??Get thee to a hathery! The book search at hathitrust.com is the best thing you'll find, and it includes many documents not available elsewhere. The catch? You have to download one page at a time. And sometimes you have to wait five minutes to continue a multi-page download. Here's your book: Towson's Tables to Facilitate...
Two notes on hathitrust: 1) Continuing thanks to Dave Walden for discovering it and bringing it to the group's attention, 2) the name "hathi", pronounced like "hottie," is a reference to the long memory of an elephant (and "haathi" is Hindi for elephant).