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Thursday, December 18, 2008

Chase and TLG just for me scam - trilegiant

I was watching tv yesterday and on my local news about a lady who had not checked her Chase account. I'm assuming it was a Chase credit account because normally you will get third party offers if you opt in when you sign up. According to this lady she was charged around 59.99 for a third party service called TLG just for me which is a company run by trilegiant. According to the lady a misterious charge appeared on her bill but she was not able to determine what the charge was for. She did her research and so she fought back against Trilegiant and Chase. Luckly she got her money back and Chase and Trilegiant. I believe now there has been a class action suit for this type of third party offers.

Anyway it reminded me of an incident I had 2 years ago with ticket masters. My girl friend wanted to purchase tickets through ticket master so I went ahead and purchased them for her.
To make this short a monthly bill of 20 dollars were withdrawn from my account which I later found out it was a third party company billing me for coupons which I was never aware of.

The moral of this story is make sure you keep track of your credit card statements and your bank account statements as well. The last thing you want is a third party company billing you for a service you dont need. If you want coupons get the news paper or go online its free.

Anyway not to bash Chase but they need to be more careful how they solicit third party offers to their customers. The same goes for Ticketmasters when they offer promotionals.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Internet Explorer Browser article on security alert

According to an article that has been written by a yahoo editor, there is a security flaw within the IE browser. The browser allows a hacker to place code in a website which would infect your computer and allow the hacker to access any passwords you may type in. The hacker can do this with the security flaw within Internet Explorer.

The way this works is a program called a key logger will log any keys you type in when your using the Internet Explorer browser. Even more reason to switch to an alternative browser such as Chrome by google, Mozilla Fire Fox or Opera by Mac. My simple advice is to download a new browser.

Anyway dont take my word for it read the article here. Or google IE explorer security alert

More reason to switch to an alternative browser alert.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

IE Defender pop up

This weekend I was a victim of the IE defender virus or spyware. If you googled it im sure your
here because your anti-virus did not pick it up as a virus.

I did find a solution to this meniceing pop up. I normally don't use Microsoft internet explorer but I had to use MS Explorer for an account I have on a particular site.

My solution was to restore my computer to an earlier time.

Its not a techy way to fix it but it gets the job done and it gets rid of the file.

I tried other methods but this seemed like the best way to go.

To get to the restore feature on Microsoft XP
accessories>system tools >system restore

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Careful with gift cards

A few months ago a friend of mine had gotten a few gift cards for his birthday. When people think of gift cards you think of them as cash right? This Christmas season look at the back of the card before you purchase one of those shiny gift cards for a friend. As my friend found out one of his cards was losing value every month by 10 percent. Another card if not used within this year would not be valid.

Also if you kept up with this blog make sure you keep your reciept when you buy gift cards. Just remember tell your friends that the reciept is incase their is a problem with the card.

Gift cards are not a bad thing but merchants are banking that you dont use them or forget about them. I remember reading in consumer reports that 40 percent of gift cards go unused. If you think about it is practially giving the merchant free money without having to sell a thing. Now thats a scam lol.

So make sure if you get a gift card to use it because chances are if you hold on for it to long you will lose the value of your gift card

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

hallmark phishing scam

I got an interesting email today. From time to time I check my spam box because as you know sometimes good messages get flagged as spam. This past weekend I had my a birthday. Yes I know i'm getting old! lol but anyway I almost click the message when I noticed something that seem rather odd.

If you ever notice when you hover your mouse in windows explorer over a link you will notice that on the bottom left hand of your browser it will tell you what link it points to. I believe it was pointing to a url that had an exe extention.

EXE is a executable program which I'm sure would of really made my computer go up and under. So anyway the moral of this story is if you think there is a message that has a link that may be a real one. Hover your mouse over the link. If the link does not correspond with the company that sent it, simply put its a fake site trying to phish your computer.

In this case the site pointed to a site called or something like that.

Be safe surfing the internet jungle.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Fake antivirus programs

I remember a few months ago I recommended to a friend a free anti virus program I found on CNET. What I forgot to mention is where he could download the antivirus software program. If your wondering what software I'm referring to is AVG.

He did a search on google using internet explorer and downloaded the anti virus software from what seemed to be a credible website with the free download. Long story short he downloaded a malware program which did a lot of nasty things to his computer.

So anytime anyone makes a recommendation for a software go to They screen the site so you don't have to worry about what your downloading onto your computer. What helps when you go to is users will place their comments on how good or bad the software is when he or she has tested it on their computer.

Another tip is if you plan to look for the program yourself, use firefox. The browser has a pretty good malware, spyware detection capability that Explorer is barely implementing.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Is Spybot a scam?

If you came to this blog then you have come to the right place. Spybot is a volunteer program that allows programmers to tailor the program to ongoing spyware threats.

I have used this utility to pick up some of the spyware that my paid subscription spyware sofware could not pick up.

Pros: The pros of this software is that its a free antispyware program. Second its pretty easy to set up. Once you set it up you can then run the update. What I do like about this software is after installation the program will ask you to reboot. The reboot process allows Spybot to scan your computer before your computer has the chance to run the normal software. So if any spyware has been installed it will catch it and you are able to clean out.

Cons: The only con I have seen is that the registry function doesn't seem to work to well and can sometimes lock up your computer when your installing it. Mostly with older computers. I normally skip the registry part and go to the update.

So is spybot a scam? Simple answer no.

If you want a link to the software you can refer to the spybot posting I placed a few weeks back

Spybot software blog

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Setting up your firewall on your MS XP computer

I had a friend of mine come over to ask what a firewall is and why would you need one if you have an antivirus. This is a good question especially if your surfing the net and most antivirus programs provide a limited amount of protection on your computer.

What an antivirus program does not do is protect your computer from a would be hacker to log into your IP address and search your files on your computer. Luckly I don't store any valuable information like this on my computer so no harm right?

By the way an IP address is what is like a street address to allow the service provider access to the world wide web. With a firewall you can set it so that anyone trying to dial into your IP address will not be able to peer at any files you have on your computer.

If your running low on money and your thinking to yourself this maybe something I need. Not to fear if your operating system is XP. I'm not sure on the newer version but here are some instructions from Microsoft XP

1) Click the start button at the bottom right.
2) Click on the settings tab and then click control panel.
3) Once you get the Control panel menu up on the bottom right of the menu you will see an icon that looks like a brickwall.(that has firewall labeled) Click the icon
4) It will then open up the firewall menu and click recommended to activate it.

Thats pretty much it. If your more of a visual person you can click this video link on how to set up your XP firewall

But.. if you don't have XP or for some reason your operating system did not come with a firewall never fear.

You can download the free zone alarm firewall program onto your computer. Click on this link for to find out more information on the firewall download. I linked the page so you don't have to dig through the site to find the free download.

Thanks for visiting my firewall posting for today.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Youtube video page Scam

I just read an interesting article on yahoo which tells how hackers are now using fake youtube pages to redirect youtube viewers to a fake page that downloads either spyware or a virus on the persons computer.

Recently I noticed that youtube has allowed users to place hotspots on a video and allow the viewer to go to that particular site. This can be helpful for those who want to direct people to a clean site but I can see how a hacker would user this new method to direct users to a site that can download a virus or malware onto your computer.

Its an interesting article so check it out.

Youtube Scam article.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

FTC - Cyber security website

This goverment site has a few online tips and tricks to online security.

The site has a few videos on different topics dealing with security.

Here is the link.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Funny Nigerian Scam Shirt

On a silly note I found this shirt on the Nigerian scam.

Other scams like the nigerian scams are not uncommon such as the lottery scam from Great Brittan, or the newest one is a military personal from IRAQ that needs his money cashed for a reward.

When you see these always hit delete.

Craigslist and The Rich Jeerk Tactics

If you followed my last blog about craigslist classifieds, you would of read how spammers are now in the craigslist arena.

The good news with craigslist is that the classified community for the most part police's itself meaning anyone can block out ads that are not legit. The problem comes when you respond to an advertisment such as an inquiry for a car only to recieve an email from an auto reponse account telling you that he or she has already sold the car but would like to extend you an offer to go to another site to buy a car.

A video a while back from the infamous Rich jerrk had this tactic on one of his sites telling people on how to drive traffic to a site using black hat tricks(this is an unethical way to get people to go to a site)

The techniques goes with the user looking for an affiliate program in click bank for dog training.
The user then gets the affiliate link and creates an email similar to what I mentioned telling the responder that the dog has already been sold or given away but please go to so and so website on dog training.

The good news is that this tactic has slowed somewhat on the craigslist site but it hard to detect if you responded to more then one classified.

Just remember when responding to classifieds, use another email account unless you want your primary account full of spam.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Careerbuilder becoming spamish phishers

Today I received an email from Careerbuilder(at one time a reputable source for decent jobs) It seems like Careerbuilder does not screen companies that want to hire people for real jobs. This is an exert of what I recieved in my email.

This is what I got in my email. It goes longer but I cut it for blog reasons. Seems like scammers are trying a new way to sucker people to accept money.

The letter starts of Dear Madam or sir

Then the letter goes on talking about how they have a company in Switterland and how they need someone to take a certain amount of money and in return you get a portion of the transfer.

These type of money making schemes are used to prevent themselves for being caught and put the blame on someone else.

Anyway if you get this from Careerbuilder just hit the delete key. I wish careerbuilder would monitor such activity.

Peer to Peer File Sharing

As you know p2p has been around since the begining of napster which popularized pirating music. As you know napster is no longer what it use to be but other hybrids of file sharing have popped up online from Bearshare, Limewire,Imesh, and ares. I won't get into the details of why its wrong to do it but I will say if you plan to use a peer to peer program to download music, files,movies, use a computer that is not used for logining into your email, or you bank accounts.

You can find some good p2p programs on The best part is that people place reviews on the use of them. I would stay away from just googling the p2p names I mentioned only because there are sites that can post as a clone p2p site and install some mean spyware thats hard to get off your computer.

The main lesson is if you plan to use a p2p don't use your own personal machine that has valuable pictures, or important information.

Also buy yourself an inexpensive hard drive at tiger direct.Western Digital WDH1B5000N MyBook Office 500GB HD Im recommend this site because for 1 they are inexpense and they deliver in a timely manner. External hard drives is just a simple way to back up your memories and important documents

Patch your PC computer

If your a pc user then this blog is a little reminder to always make sure your pc has the latest security patch. This can easily be done by going to your windows explorer browser and click on update windows.

Or you can go to the windows website and download the windows security patches their as well.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Mylot Review

If you have heard of mylot then your not alone. About two years ago I heard about this site from a friend of mine and told me to check it out. The site is like a yahoo answers forum where people share ideas or ask questions and people give their advice or opinion.

Unlike yahoo answers the site pays you for participating in online discussions or referring people to the site. So I tried the site out and woo hoo I made about 12 dollars. It didnt come easy. I posted like crazy so if you did your math correctly it was more or less around .01 per hour or so lol. Anyway I continued to use the site but the payouts were very very small.

Is the site a scam? Not hardly but if you plan to make a living off the site you may want to try other forms of online money making like writing articles or creating custom graphics or something like that if you do want to make money online.

The moral of this review is if you think a site such as mylot or squidoo will make you a confortable living. You may want to think again.

Tomorrow I will talk about squidoo so if your wondering what squidoo is google it and check it out for yourself.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Wi Fi Safety Tips

I found this article on CNET. The article has some pretty good wi fi tips on how to protect yourself when you use public wi fi hot spots. Just because you have a firewall doesnt mean your fully protected.

The last thing you want is someone stealing your data while you surf the net in a public place.

Check it out

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Resetting your password

A week ago a company we work with did what most IT managers would call a big no no.

This company we had been working with needed to reset the password to our email back up log. They sent me the reset password only to find out that their programmer had set the password to password. How dumb is that right?

Anyway speaking of passwords one way hackers can access hints to what your hint question and answer maybe is looking to see if you have a myspace or any other web 2.0 profile.

Just be aware that any information online is fair game. Stay safe.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Credit Card Shaving Scam

This was an interesting article I found on yahoo news. This article talks about how scam artist will go through a list of 16 numbers to find one that matches. Then the scam artist uses a low tech way to accomplish the use of the 16 numbers.

Check out the article.

Credit Card Shaving

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

809 scam

This is a telephone scam called the 809 scam. The way this scam works is you will recieve a telephone call such as 809-222-0000 or something like that. What the scam artist is trying to retrieve is for you to call back the number. This in turn charges your phone a certain amount to call that number. It sort of like calling a 900 number when you get charged a certain amount per min.

Only difference is you wont be getting a tarot card reading lol. So beware of this scam.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Craigslist Spammers beware

Hello and thanks for visiting my blog. Lately I have inquired about a few items I wanted to buy from craigslist but instead i got a message telling me oops sorry we ran out but you can check out so and so.

It seems that craigslist has become a play ground for spam artist to solicit their websites.

Then a few days later I get more messages from the same email address with more offers.

Lesson learned. I still love craigslist but now I play it smarter. I had to create another account just for my inquires. Hopefully it will stop.

Most of these spam like messages will never address what side of town they are located. So if the location looks similar or the message has many typo's. chances are spammers are using bot programs to create these emails.

Also help the craigslist community by clicking on the spam option if you feel that the email is not a real message by a person. This helps everyone and eventually stops some of the spam like messages that appear on there.

Monday, September 08, 2008

New Browser - Chrome from Google

If your heard the latest on google. Google has released a new browser that will make surfing the next much safer. What I like about the browser is that if you happen to visit a site with phishing capabilities the browser will pop up a window telling you the site may have malware.

A really cool feature to keep sites from infecting your computer.

Worth looking at.

Friday, September 05, 2008

CNN link scam

Our IT manager where I work informed us that an email posing as a CNN report has been circulating the spam box. If you see a cnn report to your email just delete it. The link has web site injection. If your not familiar with this term its a way a site gets a browser to click the link and then directed to a page that asks a person to download a program(which is a virus)

Remember always update your antivirus.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Email Spam messages

A few weeks ago my girl friend got a message from Sprint asking her to change some information she had on her account.

What drew a red flag on this message was the fact that sprint was spelled with an ! at the end.

What I also noticed was that the email message link was directed to another website.

You can do this easily by hovering your mouse pointer on the link and at the bottom left you will see where that link is pointing to.

If you read my past emails. Anytime you get an email like this and you suspect something always close out of that email and open a new window and type in the direct url to log in if changes need to be made.

Chances are that specific company will have an alert on their account for any changes you need to make on your end.

Email safe and don't click those links if you suspect differently.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Which web Browser to use.

I get this question from time to time. Which web browser is the safest to use and why?

As everyone knows Internet explorer is a well sought out target for hackers. Mostly because many hackers know the programming logic on how to compromise the browser with a malware virus.

Personally I recommend Mozlla firefox. What I like about the software first is that there are many programmers looking to see what the weakness is within the software. And most of the time an update happens as soon as you open the browser. Explorer on the other hand it takes a while to even get the updates to fix any patches that may be wrong with the software.

Mozilla firefox has a phishing feature that tells you when you do a keyword search if the site may have spyware or some type of virus. Which I feel is a nice feature especially when it comes to online security.

Anyway thats just my 2 cents on what browser to use. I'm not saying its the safest browser to use but its less of a target when it comes to hackers.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Looking for a job

This is the second installment of looking for a real job. The real way. Most states will have a designated organization that offers a way to find a job. For example in Texas there is an organization funded by the government called the Texas Work Force and you can find jobs on a site called work in texas
here is the direct link.

What is nice about about the Government website is that employers will contact you if they find someone with your talents. Careerbuilder and websites offer this option as well but hasn't really policed their employers who go out and seek talent.

In these hard time with the economy research the company you plan to apply for first. Don't be easily fooled with affiliate recruiters trying to get you to join and then ask you to pay something so you can make even more money.

Remember the point of a job is so an employer pays you and never the other way around.

So watch for the job scams and stick with the Work force agencies.

If the jobs seems to good to be true. Do your research first when looking for that job. Look up the company. Ask how long have they been in business. The last thing you want is to work for a company that has not been around to long.

Good luck in your quest for the perfect job.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Applying for a job scam

A week ago I decided that it was time to move onto another job. Mostly due to the fact that raises at my current employment were very minimum if any.

So I decided to revise my application I had from a few years back that I posted on careerbuilder. When careerbuilder first came out it was easy to find a decent job without having to worry about so called employers out to make a fast buck on you.

So today I checked my email and I got two emails from insurance companies that are located here. One called combined insurance which is an insurance agency that recruits agents to sell insurance policy. Apparently they weren't reading my resume but I have no interest in sales much to say sell insurance policies.

Then I get another email from UGA Association Field Services same story.

Anyway my point is do a search online and find out more about the company before you call. A lot of times they will just send you an automatic canned email just to get new agents into selling cheap insurance with 1 or 2 dollar comissions.

Anyway it may not be really a scam but they really need to target the right employee then a computer programmer.

Anyway if your out looking for a job, do your research before you give your two weeks.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Credit card offers

If you have gotten credit card offers through the mail you may think twice how you discard your junk mail. There has been an increase in mail fraud using people's preapproved offers. To safe guard your self from a person looking through your trash make sure you have a shredder. This way no information about yourself can be traced or even worse used to obtain an illegal credit card with your name

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Malware what is it? How to prevent it.


If your not familiar with this term let me explain what malware is. Malware is another acronym for a computer virus. The intent of malware is to collect data from the user or to take over the user's computer without their knowledge.

Unlike a virus Malware normally can be found when a user visits a site and the site then provides a pop up telling the user that there computer is infected and in order to fix his or her infected computer he or she must download the program to clean the system.

If you ever run into this do a control alt delete if you’re a windows user. The windows manager will pop up and then close the install program window.

Comodo offers a free anti virus program and malware protection for free. Check it out.

If you don't trust me you can always go to the website to retrieve the comodo link.

The best protection is prevention so make sure your up to date with your antivirus program by updating it frequently or have it auto updated. Do this as well with your windows program. From time to time windows will ask to update.

Last but not least once a week a virus scan. Even though you have antivirus you still have to run a scan to prevent any virus that were installed and were not caught by your antivirus software.

Friday, March 07, 2008

Ticket masters and Vista Print

A few months back my girl friend wanted to purchase some tickets for her sister and her to go to a concert but she needed to get them right away before they sold out. So I offered to purchase them since I had my card with me and just told her to pay me back the next day.

Lol no she didn't scam me. I got my money back from her no problem. But then all of a sudden I started receiving a 9.95 charge to my card with an account called monthly rewards. There was no way I could find out what the charge was or where it was coming from.

So I had to google the company name to find a contact number to question the charges. I know some of you reading this are saying I must of not checked off the button towards the end of the buy tickets right? The problem was there was nothing on the ticketmaster site that talked about a monthly rewards program. Besides if there was I wouldn't pay 9.95 for coupons.

So I called the number and voice my concern. They had no problem taking the charge off. What I found strange was that when I got my ticket confirmation from the tickets I purchase months ago it didn't give me an email telling me congratulations for subscribing to the monthly rewards program you know?

Never once I recieved any coupons to indicate I was subscribing to something I never opted in.

Anyway I heard from my other friends that Vista print is pulling the same scam like ticketmasters. If you do get tickets or buy stuff from visita make sure you check your statements. You dont want to be charge for something you did not buy.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Interesting Article on Yahoo - Worst City for id theft

I found this article very interesting. It may make you think twice when you pull your card out when you made a purchase at the napa Valley in Cali.

Here is the link to read more. Its a good read.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Identity Theft prevention

I found this site of interest on Identity theft. It is government website. Check it out. Plenty of tips on theft prevention.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Phishing accounts

Gone Phishing

If you’re a frequent user of myspace then I’m sure you have had a friend who has had their account phished. At least I know of 2 people who fell victim to phishing exploits.

Phishing is a way a hacker uses a link or a clickable graphic to take you to a site that looks similar to myspace. You can normally tell your not on the myspace page when you see the html address on the bottom that does not look like whatever ect.

What the fake site does is collect your user name and password so that later they are able to access your account and change or put information on peoples comment pages. Some techies call this social engineering. Which is a way of having who you think is your friend click on that same page to access their account.

To combat this upgrade to the newest internet explorer or just use firefox all together. That’s my preference.

Most phishing site links will ask you to click on a free ringtone which is the common one.

If for some reason you feel that you went to a site that may be a phished link. No worry. X out your browser, go to the url your going to and change your password out.

By the way if you feel your friend's account has been phished make sure you email them or call them to let them know to change their password.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Check Rebate

If your like me, I'm sure you have questions on what are the guidelines to the rebate we will be getting this year. This morning I was on yahoo and found an article that has a questions and answers to some of the questions may or may not have. Check it out.

Its from the yahoo website.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Income Tax Check Scam

Soon we will be getting a check from the government of 600 or more as a rebate. As good as this check is, spells opportunity for scam artist. The latest scam is a letter that looks like a check rebate. The difference is that the check will ask you to call to verify your information such as social security ect.

Remember this rebate will not require for you to verify any type of information. If you do receive this type of scam letter please contact the local authorities so this way they will be able to track where the letter is coming from.

Thanks for reading. Be safe.