Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Beware - This scam is alive and well

Scamming alert!

The following was a message that I received from a friend of mine in Melbourne, Victoria Australia.

You may know that I am the world's greatest skeptic about online warnings, but today I have experienced something so believeable it almost sucked me in, so I thought I should pass it on just in case it happens to you (you may have already heard of it).

I was home from work today with my cold when I answered a phone call from a woman with a sub-continental accent on a scratchy line (warning bells!). She was calling from a company called Max Global IT, an official partner of Microsoft based in Clayton (Victoria). When I said I couldn't understand her, she put me onto a guy, who went through the spiel again and said they had recieved an alert through the Microsoft network that we had viruses in our computer (Has the computer been running slowly?; has there been a warning message pop up when you first boot up? etc. Yes to all, plus we had a warning we were about to max our downloads - most unusual for us - so it had some plausibility). I did a quick Google for "Max Global scam" and didn't find anything, so kept the guy on the line. He directed me to a Microsoft Partners page, where the company was listed and included a phone Melbourne phone number, then proceeded to take me into my computer to look at various things, including a list scattered with scary red "Error" dots with white crosses and yellow "Warning" badges that definitely looked like we had a problem, I thought.

Then the line dropped out and I thought that was it, so I called the number on the Max Global website and got a recorded message about being busy, "so call back later" (I'm back to scam mode). Then the guy called back and we talked about why I couldn't get through ("tech problems" that were behind him dropping out, he said), then he passed me over to a bloke with a slimy American-type accent ("a Manager") who said I had every right to be concerned etc but hoped that what they had shown me showed I needed to upgrade my security and that I should talk to one of his "sweeties" (scam mode back on) who would tell me how I could do that and "you have a nice day!"

Of course, his "sweetie" goes straight into what I needed to fix the problem and it would only cost whatever, so how would I like to pay for it? At which point I said, "thank you for alerting me to the problem, I'm going to hang up now" and did!

I was on the phone for more than half an hour. I then rang Microsoft and they quickly said "don't touch it", it is a scam, and pointed me to their news centre where I found the following media release - I experienced virtually every point made.

Sorry it is such a long explanation, but they were highly convincing (and while I usually don't suffer cold callers, I didn't want to dismiss them just because fitted the stereotype, with their Indian/subcontinental accents - hey, I know nothing about computers, so maybe it was real), so watch out and alert others.


Posted Under Security and Privacy
26 August, 2010 | Sydney, Australia
Microsoft today warned Australians to be wary of a phone scam that has left some victims hundreds of dollars out of pocket.

Scammers are using several well-known brands, including Microsoft, to fool people into believing that something is wrong with their computers. The scam typically unfolds in the following manner:

• A cold caller, claiming to be a representative of Microsoft, one of its brands or a third party contracted by Microsoft, tells the victim they are checking into a computer problem, infection or virus that has been detected by Microsoft.
• They tell the victim they can help and direct them to a website that then allows the scammers to take remote control of the computer.
• The cold caller will then spend some time on the computer trying to demonstrate where the ‘problems’ are and in the process convinces the victim to pay a fee for a service that will fix the computer.

“In reality, there is nothing wrong with their computer but the scammer has tricked the consumer into believing there is a problem and that paying the fee is the best way to get it fixed. Often they will also push the customer to buy a one year computer maintenance subscription. They are just trying to scam innocent Australians out of money,” said Stuart Strathdee, Microsoft Australia’s chief security advisor.

Strathdee also said that the callers presented themselves in a professional manner and sounded genuine.

“Don’t be fooled, Microsoft is not cold calling consumers in regards to malfunctioning PCs, viruses or any other matter,” he said.

“We strongly advise Australians to simply hang up if they receive a call of this nature and not to respond to any communications from these scammers.

“If you’re not sure, contact Microsoft on 13 20 58 or the Police,” he said.

For more information, Microsoft recommends the following resources:

Microsoft Online Safety site
Australian Government

Monday, September 27, 2010

The difference between cats and dogs.

Excerpt from a dog's diary.........

8:00 am - Dog food! My favourite thing!

9:30 am - A car ride! My favourite thing!

9:40 am - A walk in the park! My favourite thing!

10:30 am - Got rubbed and petted! My favourite thing!

12:00 pm - Lunch! My favourite thing!

1:00 pm - Played in the yard! My favourite thing!

3:00 pm - Wagged my tail! My favourite thing!

5:00 pm - Milk Bones! My favourite thing!

7:00 pm - Got to play ball! My favourite thing!

8:00 pm - Wow! Watched TV with the people! My favourite thing!

11:00 pm - Sleeping on the bed! My favourite thing!

By contrast, an excerpt from a cat's diary reads...

Day 983 of my captivity....

My captors continue to taunt me with bizarre little dangling objects. They dine lavishly on fresh meat, while the other inmates and I are fed hash or some sort of dry nuggets.

Although I make my contempt for the rations perfectly clear, I nevertheless must eat something in order to maintain my strength.

The only thing that keeps me going is my dream of escape.

In an attempt to disgust them, I once again vomit on the carpet. And today I decapitated a mouse and dropped its headless body at their feet.

I had hoped this would strike fear into their hearts, since it clearly demonstrates what I'm capable of. However, they merely made condescending comments about what a 'good little hunter' I am. Bastards!

There was some sort of assembly of their accomplices tonight. So I was placed in solitary confinement for the duration of the event. But I could still hear the noises and smell the food.

I overheard that my confinement was due to the power of 'allergies.' I must learn what this means and how to use it to my advantage.

Today I was almost successful in an attempt to assassinate one of my tormentors by weaving around his feet as he was walking! I must try this again tomorrow -- but at the top of the stairs.

I am convinced that the other prisoners here are flunkies and snitches.

The dog receives special privileges. He is regularly released - and seems to be more than willing to return!

He is obviously retarded.

The bird has to be an informant. I observe him communicating with the guards regularly.

And I'm certain that he reports my every move.

My captors have arranged protective custody for him in an elevated cell, so he is safe ... for now, anyway.

One final comment. I have been assured by GTF that the above is exactly how it is between the two species.

Mess with seniors at your own peril!!!

This is so true! They always ask at the doctor's office why you are there, and you have to answer in front of others what's wrong and sometimes it is embarrassing.

There's nothing worse than a Doctor's Receptionist who insists you tell her what is wrong with you in a room full of other patients. I know most of us have experienced this, and I love the way this old guy handled it.

A 65-year-old man walked into a crowded waiting room and approached the desk.

The Receptionist said, 'Yes sir, what are you seeing the Doctor for today?'

'There's something wrong with my penis', he replied.

The receptionist became irritated and said, 'You shouldn't come into a crowded waiting room and say things like that. '

'Why not, you asked me what was wrong and I told you,' he said.

The Receptionist replied; 'Now you've caused some embarrassment in this room full of people. You should have said there is something wrong with your ear or something and discussed the problem further with the Doctor in private.'

The man replied, 'You shouldn't ask people questions in a roomful of strangers, if the answer could embarrass anyone. The man walked out, waited several minutes, and then re-entered.

The Receptionist smiled smugly and asked, Yes??'

'There's something wrong with my ear,' he stated.

The Receptionist nodded approvingly and smiled, knowing he had taken her advice. 'And what is wrong with your ear, Sir?'

'I can't pee out of it,' he replied.

The waiting room erupted in laughter.

Mess with seniors and you're going to Lose!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Sentences that have a kick in the tail.

Paraprosdokian sentences. Some new, some old....

A paraprosdokian (from Greek "παρα-", meaning "beyond" and "προσδοκία", meaning "expectation") is a figure of speech in which the latter part of a
sentence or phrase is surprising or unexpected in a way that causes the reader or listener to reframe or reinterpret the first part. It is frequently used for humorous or dramatic effect, sometimes producing an anticlimax. Some paraprosdokians not only change the meaning of an early phrase, but also play on the double meaning,creating a syllepsis...

Do not argue with an idiot. He will drag you down to his level and beat you with experience.
Going to church doesn't make you a Christian any more than standing in a garage makes you a car.
The last thing I want to do is hurt you. But it's still on the list.
Light travels faster than sound. This is why some people appear bright until you hear them speak.
If I agreed with you we'd both be wrong.
We never really grow up, we only learn how to act in public.
War does not determine who is right - only who is left.
Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit; Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
The early bird might get the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.
Evening news is where they begin with 'Good evening', and then proceed to tell you why it isn't.
A bus station is where a bus stops. A train station is where a train stops. On my desk, I have a work station.
How is it one careless match can start a forest fire, but it takes a whole box to start a campfire?
Some people are like Slinkies ... Not good for anything, but you can't help smiling when you see one tumble down the stairs.
Dolphins are so smart that within a few weeks of captivity, they train people to throw them fish.
I thought I wanted a career, turns out I just wanted pay checks.
A bank is a place that will lend you money, if you can prove that you don't need it.
Whenever I fill out an application, in the part that says "If an emergency, notify:" I put "DOCTOR".
I didn't say it was your fault, I said I was blaming you.
Why does someone believe you when you say there are four billion stars, but check when you say the paint is wet?
Why do Americans choose from just two people to run for president and 50 for Miss America?
Behind every successful man is his woman. Behind the fall of a successful man is usually another woman.
A clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory.
You do not need a parachute to skydive. You only need a parachute to skydive twice.
Always borrow money from a pessimist. He won't expect it back.
A diplomat is someone who can tell you to go to hell in such a way that you will look forward to the trip.
Hospitality: making your guests feel like they're at home, even if you wish they were.
I scream the same whether I'm about to be eaten by a great white shark or if a piece of seaweed touches my foot.
Some cause happiness wherever they go. Others whenever they go.
There's a fine line between cuddling and holding someone down so they can't get away.
I used to be indecisive. Now I'm not sure.
I always take life with a grain of salt, plus a slice of lemon, and a shot of tequila.
When tempted to fight fire with fire, remember that the Fire Department usually uses water.
You're never too old to learn something stupid.
To be sure of hitting the target, shoot first and call whatever you hit the target.
Nostalgia isn't what it used to be.
A bus is a vehicle that runs twice as fast when you are after it as when you are in it.
If you are supposed to learn from your mistakes, why do some people have more than one child?
Change is inevitable, except from a vending machine.

Thanks to young Kellie for the above.