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A warning to all ShiaChat members

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Guest Penguin

This is warning to all members, guests, and sisters on ShiaChat.

A WhatsApp group that is dedicated for converts (sisters) has been demanding that its members fill out a form. This form insists on you stating your name, email address, phone number, and even your home address. Someone who was posing as a convert, who is from Iran based on the area code and length of the number, was threatening to delete all members who refused or forgot to fill out the forum for the sake of "safety". When I had stated that I was uncomfortable about handing out my personal information to a bunch of strangers, she insisted that no one from the group was going to read or have access to our information. When I pressed further and said that she could not force anyone to state their personal info, she said vaguely that two people would be reading our forms and that they are "trusted people from the shrine".

Brothers and sisters, never, EVER hand out your personal information to anyone. Anyone who asks you to do so are scammers and you really have no idea who is on the other side. Be safe.

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Guest Penguin
46 minutes ago, Guest window said:

 

And could you name the group and the owner?

I don’t know exactly who owner is but the group is called “Muslim Convert Sisters”.

Also, the Iranian admin kept pestering me in private after I left the group. To which I blocked and reported. 

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Guest Penguin

I don’t know if this helps, but an admin by the name of “Zainab” (She could possibly be the owner of the group. Either that, or the Iranian admin.) insisted that if people carry out discussion privately, that they should call each other. Very suspect and nosy, especially with all the other issues like asking for personal information. 

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Someone recently told me about a group/telegram channel that offers Islamic medical advise and services and claims to have "experts in the field" dealing with the queries refused completely to name the experts who are behind the online clinic/classes nor to state how/where they have qualified. apparently some of these experts are claimed to be medical practitioners and PhD holders, so it is strange to keep it all so hush hush if indeed the services offered are as legitimate as claimed. The group admins also refused to share their licensing details yet claim to be licensed and authorized to operate by the Iranian government.

Fraudsters and cons thrive on the ignorance of the masses. Very few people insist on getting clear answers but willingly give up a lot of information and money to people they hardly know.

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When it comes to these types of things, sisters in Islam are more vulnerable and should always pay caution. Even get a mahram family member involved to be honest so they are aware. But since they are converts, I don't know how it works. 

 

Good thing that you acted smart and didn't leave information. What's next, asking for photo for safety measures? 

If you know the other sisters, maybe you should warn them too. But be aware they can have multiple accounts, some which might not be who you think it's. 

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Guest Penguin
Quote

with all due respect you have to be a total idiot to give such information to any person on the internet even if you know them personally , how naive and gullible must a person be to share such information with anyone?

There are probably around 50-60 members on that group. The admins of that group had rationalized that stating your home address was only to “get a gift from the shrine of Imam Reza”.

Most of the sisters had shared their personal information, and those who did not, were called out by their WhatsApp name. 

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20 hours ago, Guest Penguin said:

I don’t know exactly who owner is

There are limitless groups out there and joining a group is at your own discretion. Whatever you post on the Internet will be read by scammers and spammers. Even people with pious intentions might allow someone join their group and that person wants your data in order to sell you something.  

9 hours ago, Guest Penguin said:

The admins of that group had rationalized that stating your home address was only to “get a gift from the shrine of Imam Reza”.

Some people have received free books. That is a known charity and if you were distressed in any way from the behavior of any one person, it is that person's shortcoming, not the charity itself.  

[Mod Note: If someone posts personal information (name, email, phone, WhatsApp. etc.), a Mod can edit the post to remove that part. Members should be careful not to post anything that can be used to identify yourself or someone else.] 

[Mod Note: A guest or new member who posts personal information will run the risk of their post not being approved.]

Edited by Hameedeh
Mod Notes

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Guest Penguin
4 hours ago, Hameedeh said:

Some people have received free books. That is a known charity and if you were distressed in any way from the behavior of any one person, it is that person's shortcoming, not the charity itself.  

Are you defending the behavior of the admins who insisted on converts, specially women, to fill out their personal information? 

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6 hours ago, Guest Penguin said:

Are you defending the behavior of the admins who insisted on converts, specially women, to fill out their personal information? 

Of course not! I said Mods and Admins of ShiaChat strongly advise against giving your personal info to anyone, even an admin of another site. 

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Guest You
1 hour ago, Hameedeh said:

Of course not! I said Mods and Admins of ShiaChat strongly advise against giving your personal info to anyone, even an admin of another site. 

Ok, thanks for the clarification. Since you had said something about charity, I had assumed you met that people on groups asking for personal information are partaking in charitable causes. 

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11 hours ago, Guest You said:

Since you had said something about charity, I had assumed you met that people on groups asking for personal information are partaking in charitable causes. 

No, I am not familiar with that WhatsApp group that this thread warned about. If someone does something wrong, such as bullying you for personal information (with an excuse such as your name and address is needed in order to send you a free Islamic gift), you cannot blame the charity itself that sends the gift, because the charity might not be aware of that person and what he/she is doing. It is true that the charity sends free Islamic gifts, but the bullying person might not be affiliated with the charity. Any person or a group of people can claim that they are affiliated with the charity and it would be a scam. Always make sure that you are dealing with a reputable website. Take care. 

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is that whatsapp group linked to shiachat?

I remember there was a whatsapp group for reverts in shiachat.

Anyways, one shouldn't send their personal details like home adress, telephone number or email adress. And one shouldn't be threatened to be kicked out from the group, if it truly is a genuine group.

To many horror stories out there, and as I said before, Muslim sisters are more vulnerable to blackmail and other types of attacks so they should be very careful with these type of things.

Even if it's for charitable reasons or them trying to send Islamic gift to you. You never really know right? You can buy that gift yourself if it's that important.

 

Edited by AkhiraisReal

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Guest Penguin Again
2 hours ago, AkhiraisReal said:

s that whatsapp group linked to shiachat?

I remember there was a whatsapp group for reverts in shiachat.

If I’m not mistaken, I believe Zainab, the admin, on the WhatsApp group is also a member on ShiaChat. I remember discussing with this member on ShiaChat before, however, she had stated on ShiaChat that she was in her early 20s, and still living with parents. But her voice messages on the group were that of a woman closer to her mid to late 30s, at the least. And I could hear children in the background. So something’s not adding up.

She was also defending Zainabamy on WhatsApp and claimed to have contacted her. I don’t know who Zainab is, member-wise, on ShiaChat, though. 

 

Could you please link the thread? 

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Guest Penguin

It seems like I’d mixed up two different converts, I apologize.

I don’t know the exact member on ShiaChat from the WhatsApp group, but I believe it’s Zainab Macabe? (Sp?) Since if I’m not mistaken, she was the one who defended a public figure’s leaving and claimed to have talked with her, both on ShiaChat and on WhatsApp. 

I heard that someone contacted the mods and said this sisters’ leaving was a rumor. I guess it must have been her. If she’s gathering people’s personal information and working with an Iranian who pretended to be a convert around other members, then maybe her contacting that sister and being adamant that she was still Muslim after being shown proof of Unislamic things/quotes/actions, was also false. You never really know. No one really defends people who leave Islam. Any unbiased person would just accept the facts of the matter. It’s all very suspect. Especially when this sister, who claimed to be Muslim at the time, kept her non-Islamic photos on FB even after converting and when people asked her to take them down. 

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Wa alaykom salaam, yes from what I hear it is to prevent males secretly going on the site, I am not involved with the brothers group at the time maybe in the future. But they are the shrine of Imam reza (عليه السلام) and this is the request from the shrine to keep the group and sisters safe.

Edited by Rohani

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The Imam redha AS shrines representatives own the group, I am also an admin to that group. 

The sister from Iran is the representative and she has never posed as a convert.

When we fill out the fourm also one gets a gift from the shrine (it's clearly labeled from shrine)

Yes the fourm is to keep sisters safe, we have had a few issues with people joining that were fake and to keep group safe we have requested that if you wish to be in the group you do fill it out. Again like the sister said on the group this is completely voluntary but if you decline you can not stay and again that's for safety reasons. 

Sorry you see our rules problematical to you but we gave you an option and you freely choose. 

Remember having an issue with a believer is something you should do privately. 

Allah bless you all. 

Sr. Zaynab 

Edited by Zaynab McCabe

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Guest Penguin
1 hour ago, Zaynab McCabe said:

Sorry you see our rules problematical to you but we gave you an option and you freely choose. 

Remember having an issue with a believer is something you should do privately. 

Firstly, you are demanding for personal information on that group, which is entirely out of bounds. Why are you insisting upon personal information, calling other members to speak with them, if it’s not to gather information? “The people from the shrine” are viewing this information, correct? If they are from Iran as you claim, why do they have to go through converts and other sisters’ personal information other than to take advantage of them? 

It doesn’t matter if you claim for it to be a part of “protecting” the group—men are not some sort of wild creatures that you need to “protect women” from. And besides, there are men in that group. So exactly, how are you protecting women?

So, some men in that group are fine, but other men who freely join and have no ties whatsoever to the questionable work that you do on the group is wrong? 

Secondly, absolutely not should I have made this issue a private matter. That is an absurd suggestion and quite frankly, manipulative and potentially mentally abusive. Why should I hide? Why shouldn’t people know that con artists exist? Trying to use Islamic teachings to manipulate and exploit others does not fly with me. You can bring forth all the excuses in the world—nobody will believe that it’s necessary to force vulnerable women to fill out their information.  These aren’t regular rules used to keep members safe—what you are doing is dangerous, unethical, and questionable. And I for one, will not let this slide.

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2 hours ago, Rohani said:

yes from what I hear it is to prevent males secretly going on the site, I am not involved with the brothers group at the time maybe in the future. But they are the shrine of Imam reza (عليه السلام) and this is the request from the shrine to keep the group and sisters safe.

You’re a part of the group too, Rohani, so I don’t know why you’re trying act all innocent. You shouldn’t even be there, since it’s for sisters. 

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2 hours ago, Zaynab McCabe said:

 

Remember having an issue with a believer is something you should do privately. 

Allah bless you all. 

Sr. Zaynab 

That's true, but how does one know whether it's a believer behind the account or a predator that tries to exploit other sisters? 

Asking information about phone number, email address, home address is very private. Especially when the people in the group probably never even seen each other in real life. 

Saying it's for safety measures , is like when facebook asks you to upload a photo id to prove you are the real person behind the account. 

I am pretty sure you know of this as well but not all knows this. There are many "Muslim/believers " men catfishing other Muslim sisters, specially the ones from broken families, or outcasts from society or family because of their belief / deen. 

So I don't honestly see that the sister who created the topic did something wrong.

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With all due respect, why ask personal details like home address, email and phone number to ensure safety? As Akhira said, women and converts are extremely vulnerable. If I was a father or a husband, I would be on edge if my wife or daughter was in this group. Seems strange to me as well as irresponsible.

 

Edited by Gaius I. Caesar

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I understand all your concerns and they are valid, certainly I will bring this up with admins on the group. 

I have also requested a signed and sealed letter from the shrine verifying our account is in fact with the shrine. 

As you said how do you know us, but same is how can we verify you entering our group. 

Another thing to point out is once you enter a group on WhatsApp you have already give information off throught your phone number that everyone can see. So if you so want to keep your information private better off not entering groups on WhatsApp. 

There are other groups on WhatsApp that you can join without, please feel free to do so. 

Condolences to you all on the marydom anniversary of Sayeda Zahra SA.

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Guest Too
35 minutes ago, Zaynab McCabe said:

nother thing to point out is once you enter a group on WhatsApp you have already give information off throught your phone number that everyone can see. So if you so want to keep your information private better off not entering groups on WhatsApp. 

This is hilarious since you literally parroted nearly word for word what the Iranian woman said. Which is not even the point.

And it gives you no excuse to pester for personal information outside of that, especially having sisters fill out a form. 

I don’t know what you and @Rohani (who is also in the group. Even though it’s for sisters only.) are up to, but I know it isn’t good. The more you try and explain yourselves, the worse it looks for the both of you. 

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Guest itsAwonderfullWorld
58 minutes ago, Zaynab McCabe said:

I understand all your concerns and they are valid, certainly I will bring this up with admins on the group. 

I have also requested a signed and sealed letter from the shrine verifying our account is in fact with the shrine. 

As you said how do you know us, but same is how can we verify you entering our group. 

Another thing to point out is once you enter a group on WhatsApp you have already give information off throught your phone number that everyone can see. So if you so want to keep your information private better off not entering groups on WhatsApp. 

There are other groups on WhatsApp that you can join without, please feel free to do so. 

Condolences to you all on the marydom anniversary of Sayeda Zahra SA.

I don’t think you should be running any groups if you have to be told about not giving and sharing personal information of people , besides your username might be Zaynab .... but you could in turn be anyone and nobody can identify you

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3 hours ago, Zaynab McCabe said:

Another thing to point out is once you enter a group on WhatsApp you have already give information off throught your phone number that everyone can see. So if you so want to keep your information private better off not entering groups on WhatsApp.

I'd add the following item of detail to the above comment, people can use burner phones and sign up to WhatsApp in order to maintain their anonymity:

Quote

A burner phone can be either an app or a standalone phone that allows you to create a temporary, or unidentifiable phone number that can’t easily be traced back to you as a person.

These phones keep can help your identity anonymous and your privacy intact for a very affordable price. For the stand-alone option, prepaid phones eliminate the hassle of dealing with an extra phone bill while keeping your privacy completely secure. Burner apps, such as Hushed (https://hushed.com/), are even more convenient, allowing you to enjoy all of the benefits of a “throwaway” phone without having to even buy one. Simply install the app on your existing smartphone and you’re off to the races so to speak.

https://hushed.com/use-cases/burner-phones

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Guest Too
31 minutes ago, Rohani said:

Shiachat how do u approve guest comments which are clear slander and lie so u partake in haram ?

Lying = Calling you out? Slander = proof/calling out shady people’s actions? 

It’s sad how you believe that people are really naive and gullible. So everything I’ve just said is slander and lying? 

@Everyone 

People who are shady, con artists/scammers/involved-in-God-knows-what, will use any trick in the book, wether by using religion, pulling at your heart-strings, appealing to your vulnerable side, intimidation or threats, logic, etc., to get you to do what they want at your expense. In this case, your personal info. Take heed and remember that these people’s actions and words mean nothing. Protect yourselves. There have been great threads on how to arm yourself in any event, and hopefully, through exposing shady people, we can all make the internet safer for everyone. 

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@everyone @Zaynab McCabe and @Rohani are NOT shady people. That is slander and the guest who said that is incorrect. 

ShiaChat has always informed people to be safe, especially sisters. This is a thread that was pinned in the past, but we know members don't like having to scroll past a multitude of pinned threads: 

https://www.shiachat.com/forum/topic/234940364-internet-safety-beware/

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