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Find the idioms 1-4 in the article and choose the correct definition, a or b.
1 take the bait
a) accept what is offered b) refuse what is offered
2 putting up a fight
a) not trying to achieve something b) trying hard to achieve something
3 play someone at their own game
a) do someone what they have done to you b) make a lot of money
4 give them more teeth
a) make them less powerful b) make them more powerful
1)It is estimated that scam victims in the US are ripped off to the tune of 200 million dollars every year. Many of them are fooled by an email that has got through their anti-spam system. It informs them that they have been singled out to receive a very large sum of money. All they have to do is send their postal addresses and bank details to a ‘government official’ in some distant country. Those who take the bait exchange emails for a few days before being told that the money is almost ready for transfer to their account. The only slight problem is that the small sum of the US$80 is needed for bank charges. Hundreds of optimists around the world have the US$80 transferred to the
ago that she would never see her money again, other victims have been more fortunate and have had their money handed back. In the US, internet service providers claim to be winning the war on scam after seeing a drop of 75% in the last two years. The war may not be over, but it has most certainly begun.
a codeword on a piece of card and hold it in the photo. Amazingly, many of the conmen fall for the scam baiters’ tricks. These photos are then posted on the websites in ‘Halls of Shame’. The website galleries are full of photos of men and women holding pieces of card with ridiculous code words or, worse still, who have had their arms tattooed with something silly. Other scam baiters have actually managed to get the would-be conmen to pay – for bank charges and the like. The emails from the conmen
other side of the world. They will never see it again. The lucky ones stop there, but others will continue to pay advance fees, administrative sots, legal expenses and credit card charges in the desperate belief that they will soon be enormously rich. Winnie Mitchell, a divorced mother of six from San Fernando, lost her life savings when she gave away her bank details after falling for one email scam. But Winnie’s eldest daughter, Paloma, was not prepared to see her mother ripped off without putting up a fight. Paloma, a games programmer in nearby Mission Hills, joined a group of online scam baiters. The sport of scam baiting is to play the scammers on their own computers and wait, with pleasure, for the next email that offers them US$8 million and the
are also forwarded to government agencies that are involved in the fight against internet crime. They have the emails traced so that the accounts can be shut down and the photographs are sent to the local police forces who can make arrests. Anti-scam campaigners in many countries have got their governments to introduce tougher anti-scamming laws and these have given the police more teeth. Although Winnie Mitchell accepted long
chance to get their own back on the gangs that run the scams. The scam baiters’ achievements are posted on websites devoted to their hobby. Their stories are happy reminders that the bad guys don’t always get away with it. One email exchange between a scam baiter and a would-be conman begins in typical fashion with a mail from a ‘development commission’ asking for help in transferring a large sum of money. The scam baiter replied that he was sure he could get his ‘board of directors’ to agree to help. He made up a story about how his directors wanted more information about the representatives of the ‘development commission’. Could he please have his photograph taken with a digital camera and attached to the next email? For ‘security purposes’, he asked the would-be conman to write
Work in pairs. Discuss these questions:
- Have you ever received emails asking for money? What did you do?
- Do you know of any other scams, email or otherwise?
- What punishments do you think scammers should get?
- What is the most effective way to prevent such kind of crimes?
Prepare a presentation about punishments in the past. Illustrate your project with charts, pictures and photographs.
Text C. The Netherlands: a Land without Prisons
Holland is the most advanced country in its approach to offenders. The Dutch hold the view that harsh treatment only aggravates the problems that lead a person to crime. ‘A prison sentence does little to resocialise a person,’ says the vice-president of the Hague Court. ‘It more likely leads to rancor and bitterness. A mild sentence, possibly even just s fine, shows an offender that society cares about him.’ Because of this benevolent concept fewer and fewer people are serving time in Holland.
Whenever possible, the Dutch prefer to fine law-breakers rather than clap them in jail. But even for those imprisoned, every effort is made to provide an environment that will rehabilitate the convicts. While Dutch prisons are not Hilton hotels, neither are they fortresses full of cellblocks and harassment. Several prisons in Holland are country villas with only a handful of prisoners. In many institutions prisoners are allowed to wear their own clothes and keep personal possessions. They are given comfortably furnished rooms with homey curtains, and they are often allowed to work outside the prison or leave from time to time to visit their families.
Moreover, Holland has an extraordinary one-to-one ratio between prisoner staff members and inmates. ‘Our objective,’ says the Deputy Prison Director, ‘is not to make life pleasant for prisoners, but to normalize it as much as possible to prepare the prisoners for a return to society.’
Dutch officials maintain that their philosophy of short prison sentences and humanitarian treatment is essential if convicts are not to become repeaters. ‘A heavy sentence,’ they say, ‘keeps a person out of possible mischief longer, but it merely postpones and aggravates the problem of recidivism.’
Given that kind of success, it is not surprising that Holland’s liberal penal philosophy has won applause. 
- Compare the situation with prisons in Russia and in Holland.
- What are positive and negative aspects of the Dutch system?
- Is it possible to use some aspects of this system in Russia? Why? Why not?
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