business takes me all over the Internet, I have the dubious honor of being on
three e-mail sucker lists at one e-mail address and one more at another address.
Which is good, because all three at the one address send me the same warnings:
my eBay account has been frozen, ditto my PayPal, and an amazing variety of
banks need me to update my records.
people are all pretending to be someone we trust: a bank, PayPal, eBay. And when
we are suckered into their setup, they empty our bank accounts and run up
thousands of dollars on our credit cards.
Yahoo, and other Internet organizations are working on systems that will let us
know whether the sender is REALLY who they say they are. When this comes online,
it will help get rid of some of the worst black hats, though other types of scam
may not be affected.
pretenders" are vicious. Yet, in a situation where I don’t know whether to laugh
or cry, I laugh. And warn other people so they can laugh at them too, rather
than be sucked into their scams.
these scammers, I look forward to my e-mail. As I delete item after item, I
enjoy the fertility of their imaginations. One guy even has a sense of humor. (I
think it’s a guy.) Today his name is Chattiest Q. Ulcerates. Yesterday he was
Infiltrated G. Perseverance (giving a nice clue to his personality), and before
that he was Twists V. Haemorrhaging (spelled correctly and another personality
clue). I have no intention of clicking on anything he sends, but I smile as I
delete him into oblivion.
jokers are all serious about one thing: they want to steal your bank account
number, social security number, and/or credit card information, and if one
attempt doesn’t work, they’ll try another.
Anti-scam rule 1: Scammers pretending to be someone they are not cannot harm
you if you delete their e-mails without clicking on any of the things they want
you to click on.
I’ve been getting official looking e-mails that appear to be from banks. They
have beautiful logos and extremely official looking forms. One supposedly from
Washington Mutual Security begins, “WAMU is committed to maintaining a safe
environment for its community of buyers and sellers. To protect the security of
your account, WAMU employs some of the most advanced security systems in the
world and our anti-fraud teams regularly screen the WAMU system for unusual
emphasis on safety and security. They even have an anti-fraud team! In order to
“secure my account” I’m supposed to click on a link and supply information --
information which will lead them from my pretend account with them to my real
account, which they will then kindly clean out for me.
Anti-scam rule 2: Your bank does not need you to “confirm” your account
number, your credit card numbers, or your social security number. It already has
all the information it needs. As for some official sounding bank you’ve never
heard of -- sheesh!
Anti-scam rule 3: Give your credit information online only when you have
gone to a legitimate website and are in the process of purchasing something from
it. People who buy things from my website,
very legitimate site, as part of the purchasing process are taken to a safe
place online, so they can give their credit card information directly to the
credit card company with whom I have a legal contract.
owner of the site, I NEVER SEE THE CREDIT CARD NUMBERS! All the credit card
company gives me is the name and address of the person to whom I should mail the
merchandise, what they ordered, and how much they paid. And that is the way all
legitimate online merchants deal with your credit card information. We say your
information is safe, and it is.
simple steps in mind -- and help yourself steer clear of the many, many online
scams that abound. And remember, keep smiling and spread the word!
* * *
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Delightful Food Directory,