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Scammers work overtime during holidays

Posted Tuesday, December 8, 2009, at 10:23 AM

Christmas shoppers aren't the only ones who are busy during this Christmas season. It would seem that scammers are attacking on all fronts -- on the internet and over the phone. I haven't heard of any scams via the Post Office, but I don't doubt that they're out there.

Yesterday I got a call from a very pleasant-sounding man who told me that he was calling me about my Reader's Digest subscription. I probably should have listened at least a couple of minutes, in order to see exactly what his scam was, but I don't have patience with these creeps. I yelled, "I don't have a Reader's Digest account and haven't for years! Goodbye!"

Even though I'm on the Missouri No Call List and the National No Call List, I've noticed an increase in the number of telemarketer calls in the last few weeks.

To make detection more difficult, I notice that this guy's number on the caller ID was "None." I'll put that on the list with "Unavailable" and "Unknown." I usually let the answering machine pick up those.

One particularly creative e-mail scam is the Parcel Package trick: You get a very authentic-looking notification from a "Manager Esmeralda Addison, DHL Services," telling you to print off an attached parcel receipt, which you then take to some office to get a parcel that you supposedly have coming to you.

After I received this e-mail and promptly deleted it without clicking on the attachment, I got a circulated warning from one of my friends, telling me to do just that --- delete it w/o opening the attachment, as it had a VIRUS!

For Pete's Sake! What is IN it for these people??? I understand a scam which will gain them MONEY --- Those people are just common CROOKS -- but what's in it for the ones who send out viruses??? Are they just MEAN and VINDICTIVE -- or kids who are bored??? What??

This should be a season of Peace on Earth, Good Will to Man, but the sheisters just can't let it alone, can they?

I feel particularly worried about the little old folks, who can't really REMEMBER if they have a Reader's Digest account. Their telephone can be an invitation to disaster. Remind your parents and grandparents to be cautious about who they talk to on the phone. A healthy attitude of skepticism can be a good thing during this season of Joy and Happiness.

The other day I got a call from someone conducting a survey. I didn't even trust THEM, when a nice voice crooned, "May I ask you a few questions?"

"No, you may not!! I'm not answering any questions!" I shouted.

It's sad that we all have to be Grinches, but it's a dangerous world out there, folks!

Be careful and stay safe this Christmas season.

......Oh, and, by the way -- "Merry Christmas!"

From the gray, soggy hills of Tillman, this is your grumpy rural reporter Madeline, praying that her basement doesn't leak today.

Showing comments in chronological order
[Show most recent comments first]

You mentioned virus, 4 crept into my computer over night and it took my sister-in law a week of hard work and a lot of commutation with people at Dell to clean it up,sister-in law is quite knowledgeable about computers thank goodness.

-- Posted by bent nail on Tue, Dec 8, 2009, at 5:58 PM

You receive a lot of virus's from free games and music downloads from certain websites. Watch out for anything free.

-- Posted by Dexterite1 on Tue, Dec 8, 2009, at 7:32 PM

Yeah, the free stuff on Facebook seems to be the source of some viruses. I'm hearing that more and more facebookers are coming down with a virus. Those games are such a waste of time - and then they make your computer sick!

-- Posted by goat lady on Tue, Dec 8, 2009, at 7:45 PM

Bent nail, you should turn your computer off at night; I've heard that lots of problems can creep up while the computer is unattended.

-- Posted by goat lady on Tue, Dec 8, 2009, at 7:48 PM

At least, if you have the option, bent nail, put the computer in sleep mode. And I'm NOT teasing about sleep mode.

-- Posted by Dexterite1 on Wed, Dec 9, 2009, at 5:49 AM

I don't do anything on facebook if the message says my personal information will be shared. Just in case anyone is interested, our school computer team said that it costs 12 cents to let your computer sleep overnight. Needless to say, in a school with MANY computers, that adds up quickly. We turn ours off daily for security, as well as useless wasted electricity. By the way, GL, those games really ARE a waste of time that one could spend reading a good book, walking a dog, or any number of other activities.

-- Posted by GONENOW on Thu, Dec 10, 2009, at 7:13 AM

Good figures, GN. My daughter has determined that it also pays off to unplug all her electrical appliances when she's not using them. It mounts up to a worthwhile amount of savings. I can't believe she's gotten so frugal since she left home!

-- Posted by goat lady on Thu, Dec 10, 2009, at 8:44 AM

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Madeline DeJournett
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Madeline (Giles) DeJournett is the Advance writer for the North Stoddard Countian. A retired high school English/history teacher, she spent 32 years teaching in 5 schools in Missouri and Alaska. These days, she lives quietly with a menagerie of wild and domestic animals on 52 secluded acres in the remote Tillman hills south of Advance. She graduated from Dexter High School in 1960 and Southeast Missouri State in 1964. She can be contacted at advancensc@sbcglobal.net.
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