Sunday, December 30, 2007

Mioritic achievements of bad renown. And their primary causes.

No one, it turns out, does Internet auction fraud like the Romanians. [...]
when it comes to online auctions, particularly for big-ticket items such as cars that can yield $5,000 a scam, Romanians own the game. Romanian police estimate that cyber-crime is now a multimillion-dollar national industry, as important to organized criminals here as drug smuggling or human trafficking. [...]
The Internet Crime Complaint Center, a partnership between the FBI and the National White Collar Crime Center, ranks Romania fifth in its table of naughty nations. But most experts agree that doesn't give Romanian criminals their due. Much of the cash being made on auction fraud reported as originating in the U.S., Canada, Britain, Spain or Italy is actually being picked up in those countries by Romanian money mules. An EBay fraud ring busted last year in Chicago, for example, has been traced to Pitesti, Romania. [...]
EBay, which doesn't even operate a site in Romania, won't talk dollar figures but acknowledges that the country is the No. 1 source of "professional fraud." On a November 2006 visit to the Romanian capital, Bucharest, FBI Director Robert Mueller said the vast majority of Internet fraud committed on "one prominent U.S. online auction website is connected to Romania or Romanians."

Read more here.

All well said, except this part that simply doesn't fit at all the story or the point or anything, though it raises a far more important issue. Here's the nonsense: "The respect for math is inside every family, even simple families, who are very proud to say their children are good at mathematics," said Radu Gologan, a senior research scientist at the Institute of Mathematics in downtown Bucharest." This is a myth that some Romanians still believe in (including, surprinsingly, the 'insider' interviewed above). Unfortunately, recent data reveals the very sad, but expected, truth (link in Romanian)... It is primarily the LACK of mathematics, logic, of good education/good job opportunities/ good preparation for (economic & social) life in general etc., in Romania, that determines such criminal behaviour as mentioned above, and not their (overwhelming- LOL!) presence (or respect for them and all the rest of the blahblah). But some still need to wake up. Including (or better: especially) those that are part of the Romanian education system.

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