Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Blocking Cellphone Text Spam

Today we received three spam text messages within minutes of each other. I think these were our first. An internet search for "blocking spam texts" brought up an article by David Pogue, and my problem's solved. Or should be.

Give the article a read, and if your service provider offers the same service, or has since added it, your spam text hassles should come to an end. You may want to contact your provider if this 2008 article states your provider at that time didn't offer this service.

My provider is Verizon, but Pogue's brief explanation may allow the process to be a bit frustrating for a few minutes as you figure out how to navigate to the page you need.

For Verizon users:
  1. Go to vtext.com
  2. In the red menu bar click on "My Verizon," choose your account type, and choose "Sign In" from the drop down menu. If needed, register first. It's easy and free and the "Register" option is available in the same menu as the Sign In option.
  3. After signing in, from the page you are directed to select "My Services" from the top menu bar. Click "Spam Controls" from the drop down menu.
  4. On the page you are directed to, "Call & Message Blocking" is selected by default. Select "Internet Spam Blocking" instead.
  5. Now you will see just above the "Apply" button are two check boxes, one for blocking texts from email, the other to block texts from the web. I checked both, then clicked "Apply." Done.

Monday, March 29, 2010

nokiaoo.com scam

Edit III: For password security tips, check out How I'd Hack Your Weak Passwords. Great article. Applying what it teaches can prevent your email being hacked (partly killing this type of scam), and saving you in other ways too.

Edit II: This has become a popular post. In light of this, at the end of the post I have added a couple links to books on recognizing scams. For full disclosure, I have not read them, but they do come with good reviews on Amazon.com. Could be useful for staying safely away from other scams.

Edit: the comments contain some email security tips, which can help prevent scams like the following being perpetuated.

Just a warning as this looks like a new one, being that there is next to no word on it when I search for it. I did find an inquiry on Hoax-Slayer's Facebook page from someone who received the same email.

The following email came from the email account of someone my wife knows. No word yet on if that person sent it, or somehow her account was hacked.

Email subject line: "Share Surprise!"

Body of email:

"A friend of mine bought a laptop at a online store [a link to the website was here], he has received it and it has very good quality,this online store also sells TV,cellphone, and etc....
Recently this online store is making their promotion, they can offer very good discounts, and this promotion will be available for 30 days! If you like, please log on their website and have a try! I am sure you will get lots of surprises there, please always remember to share good deals with friends!


That whole email sounds scammy to me (english a bit off, clearly not written from a friend, and it ends in "Greetings!"). Flag one. When going to the site you see an actual site. Looks nice, seemingly well made, and low low prices. Ridiculously low. Flag number two. Click on the "About Us" and the english used is clearly from a non-native english speaker. Flag three. Claim that "all our products are produced from Korea." Flag four. Click on the "How to Payment" [sic] link and you get this line: "You can use online bank to pay, or go to your local bank or any other bank to pay. It is very easy and the bank worker also can help you." Flag Five. They provide info for paying via Western Union. Flag Six. Or pay via PayPal, but you must email them to get info for paying via PayPal "Because there are many frauds in Nigeria that use fake paypal to pay in order to deceive our products,so if you want to use paypal payment please enquire customer service MSN or email for paypal account." That's a direct quote. Flag Seven.

What a great scam. Built an entire site to enhance confidence, and because of it will likely nail a lot of people before word gets out on it. Then when word gets out, they'll now doubt port the site to a new domain and do it all over again.

Edit: With this post being quite popular, I thought I'd offer a couple suggestions for books about scam recognition:

The Truth About Avoiding Scams
Scams & Swindles... How to Recognize And Avoid Rip-Offs In The Internet Age

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

custom day in the life drawings

Not my drawing. More on that at the end of this post.

Working on some more illustrations to show, but it may be a few weeks. Or six or eight, as I'm only working on a couple or so a week. To maintain the energy I have toward working on them I'm waiting until several are complete. There is something about sharing before more are done, one at a time, about two a week, that would sap the energy I have for them. I often like to have something fairly substantial to show for in an idea before sharing it, since I've found that often, not always, but often, an idea shared before polished and at least significantly begun (if not complete), often loses some of the energy I have for it. Sometimes killing it altogether. This seems to be one of those cases. Plus, they are something I expect to include in my etsy shop, and expect it to be a better marketing move to unveil them more closely together than just a couple a week. Plus, I like to let each of them sit for some time so I can see them with new eyes after a week or two, and make changes they'll inevitably need. The giraffe in my previous post, for example. It's under renovation (I still like the giraffe, mostly, but not the rest of it). So the illustrations are under wraps until the series of illustrations are more complete.

In the meantime, check out the above illustration. I think it's a lot of fun. It's by mummysam and you can even purchase your own through her etsy shop.