I received a pretty crappy attempt to get me to give up access to my lifetime Stanford computer science department email address. I hope no one falls for this! (read more »)
:: Tags: Conservation, copyright, Fraud, Photo
I’ve gotten this email from more than one person in the past. If any friend asks for cash via email, please make sure you talk to them directly on the phone before you even think about helping them. Usually, it means that their email account has been compromised, so they should also immediately change all of their passwords.
Here’s a helpful snopes article that talks about this scam. Also, all the telltale signs of scam from non-native English speakers are there: poor grammar, arbitrarily capitalized words, missing spaces, and the use of the word, “kind” or “kindly.”
My most-published picture is a picture of a juvenile loggerhead turtle being released into the wild just off of Palm Beach, Florida. It is commonly referred to as “the screaming turtle“. According to Google, it is being used online in about 21,200 locations. One day, I will unleash an IP attorney to hunt down all unauthorized commercial use. I don’t care about the personal use, as long as people attribute me and leave my watermark on the picture (which many do not).
Hint: to see where your pictures are used, go to Google Images and drag a JPG into the search field!
:: Tags: Fraud
Last month (November, 2011), 11 people at our office in downtown Mountain View were hit with credit card fraud. Most of us eat at the same group of restaurants on and around Castro Street in Mountain View. I was out of town, and was thus spared being a victim. However, I returned in late November and resumed using my credit card for lunch in downtown Mountain View. A couple weeks later, my American Express was shut down for fraudulent activity. It had been used at two Home Depot locations: one in Pennsylvania, and one in New York. One charge was for over $700, and the other for $450.
That makes 12 credit card fraud victims at our companyâ€”a significant percentage. The logical conclusion is that a someone who works at a restaurant in downtown Mountain View is stealing credit cards. If you’re headed to Castro Street to eat, it may be prudent to either 1) go somewhere else, or 2) pay in cash.
:: Tags: Fraud
This is the second email like this I’ve gotten from a friend’s compromised email account. People, please don’t fall for stuff like this!
It’s a common scam, and I’m putting it here on the web to add yet another page for Google to find and index in the hopes that people will find it.
:: Tags: Fraud, sharks, Underwater, Video
A Photo Editor recently posted about Facebook apps like Walmart, Target and others that allow the printing of photos hosted on Facebook. The problem is that Facebook allows those apps to print your friends’ photos, too, which should be unethical and/or illegal for copyright violation.
I just blocked the following apps and reported them to Facebook for privacy violation:
To block an app, click through to the app when you’re logged into Facebook and then click on “Block Application,” which is an option in the left-hand menu. You can also report the application for bad behavior by scrolling to the bottom of the Application page and clicking on “Report Application.”
There may be more apps that allow the printing of friends’ photos. I’ll block and report every one I come across.
I received an email from United Airlines today about their “Elite Choice” program, saying that I had reached a certain number of Elite Qualifying Miles and was eligible for an award. I clicked through, and was confronted with this page:
The URL is https://www.uaelitechoice.com/, which instantly made me suspicious. Furthermore, all of the other links in the email were shortened URLs hosted at link.p0.com (instead of at the united.com domain). This made me even more suspicious. I was sure that it was some sort of scam, but then I remembered that I actually enrolled in this program, and that the number of miles they said I had reached matched the number I actually had. I looked back at old emails from United, and all of them use the link.p0.com URL shortener. That was enough information for me to continue to login (and indeed, it worked, and I received a confirmation email from United)… but I very nearly did not follow through. If United’s goal was to stop some percentage of people from going through with the reward redemption process (due to healthy paranoia), they are geniuses.
If any company asked me to supply login credentials on a site with a second domain name, I would balk. Can you imagine if Paypal asked you to login at something like paypalrewards.com?
Every company needs an internet-savvy employee or two on staff. In this case, we can’t be sure if it was idiocy or genius.
:: Tags: Fraud
I received 3 comments within 20 minutes claiming that Getingate is a better commenting system better than is Disqus. It’s pretty clear that Getingate is using comment spam to spread the word about their product. I hope Google picks this up: Getingate are spammers, and you shouldn’t work with them.
Here are the comments I just received:
Luckily, I was able to use Disqus to immediately mark the comments as spam and blacklist both the users and ip addresses. (read more »)
:: Tags: Fraud
I almost was fooled by this one. Wetpixel received an urgent notice from the “Business Filings Division” today stating that we had to submit a Statement of Information in order to continue doing business in California (LLCs have to file one every 2 years). The fee? $239.00
I filled out the form and wrote a check, but something didn’t seem right, and I went to Google for help. It turns out that this is a common scam that quite a few people fall for. Through official channels, the actual fee for filing is $20.
Here’s the fraudulent form: (download)
fraudulent statement of information form
… and here’s the actual form (Form llc-12, which you can download from the Secretary of State):
actual statement of information form
I’d like to state first that I use and rely on Paypal for many different kinds of transactions. Used between people I know (who have existing, stable accounts) and through eBay, it has been a convenient and consistently-useful tool.
However, I just sold two cameras and a Blackberry using Craigslist, and the experience was a bad one. For every solid lead, I received at least ten emails from scammers who wanted me to mail the phone / cameras overseas, often including large sums of additional payment for shipping. All of them offered to pay via Paypal. (read more »)
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i hate computers.