Don’t get scammed: friends edition

This is an urgent message for all: beware of this email scam. I’ve taken calls from multiple people this week about this.

Here’s how it plays out:

  1. Person A (a friend of yours; not you, hopefully) gets their email account hacked (possibly by clicking a link in another spam message that looks like it’s coming from Verizon support or something).
  2. Once the hacker is in their account, he can harvest all of the email contacts, or use messages in the mailboxes to mine for addresses. They may set up filters to redirect incoming mail, so Person A won’t initially notice the hack.
  3. You then get a message like this:
Hi, Hope you're good. May I ask a favor, Do you shop on Amazon. Thanks
[Person A's name]
  1. Don’t reply! It’s a scam! Call/text your friend, Person A, and let them know they’ve been hacked. For you, that’s the end of it. Delete the email. If you reply—whether you say yes or no—you may get a reply like this:
I've been trying to purchase a $300 Amazon E-Gift by email, but it says they are having issues charging my card. I contacted my bank and they told me it would take a couple of days to get it sorted. I intend to buy it for my Niece whose birthday is today. Can you purchase it from your end for me or maybe you can get it for me in any store around you, I'll refund it to you once my bank sorts the issue out. Thanks [Person A's name]
  1.  Don’t reply! It’s a scam! And now the hacker has your address, maybe on a list of people to target in the future.

Stop at step 4. Don’t get scammed!

Let me know if you have any questions.

Poem: Maureen, the Pied Cow, and the Fire in the Woodshop

Maureen, the Pied Cow, and the Fire in the Woodshop

We had only recently met
And you showed me that place
Made me learn to like black olives
We ate a whole plate of them
Slices of feta helped them down
We had coffee and we enjoyed
The talk that new-found friends employ
Every thing in the room was a different color
I remember liking you, liking that place

In a former life I worked in a woodshop
That caught fire one day at lunchtime
We were too far down the road to see the smoke
Returned belly-full from a slow service restaurant,
Dust rising from behind the truck as we
Sped toward the shop,
The black plume now visible rising from the
Back of the building
We grabbed what we could, which wasn’t much
And all I remember was leaving, weeping,
Incapable of helping
All not touched by flame or water was
Wasted by smoke
And for years that smell, or anything that neared it
Filled me with nausea

I tried a couple of times
To go back to that place with the black olives
I was determined to appreciate them
The windows were black, the rooms were dark,
And I was determined to understand
I found that note on the door
Heard that story sigh from lips
Each told the tale of the crime
I looked again at the black windows
Smelled the smoke in my sinuses
And felt that specific heartache,
That nebulous loss

© Eileen Ridge

Poem: That Friend of Yours

That Friend of Yours

I never felt the need to apologize
to some kid about my music
that boy with the new license and the old car
who told tales, raucous reports
of late places on the right nights
in the capital city
with a squad of strangers
on the prime drugs
to dance and whirl with ecstasy
I never felt the need Continue reading

Divining the Golden Gate

Golden Gate Bridge by @notbangalore

Golden Gate Bridge

The last time I was in San Francisco, I was determined to make my way out to spend time on the Golden Gate Bridge. I had driven over the bridge before, and I had seen it from afar, but I had never walked out on it.

This visit to the West Coast was brief, and the last day of the trip showed up suddenly. I was staying with a friend who lived a little ways south (and who was working), so I decided to take the train into the city by myself and figure out how to get over to the bridge, even if it meant walking a few miles to get there. I consulted one of those guide books, which said, in clear language, don’t try to get there on foot or by public transportation; take a cab or rent a bike. But I’ve never been very good at following someone else’s script. Continue reading

Tip: how not to email a change of address

So it’s time to change your email address and let everyone know you’ve moved. Here are a few things to avoid when you’re sending out that notice


Case in point: bad email change

Sending from your old address: Sending the message from your old address is a bad idea because it reinforces your presence at the old address. If someone replies to your message, their reply goes to the old address. It also tends to make it harder for your recipients to add your new address to their contacts. Some people do this because they haven’t imported their contacts to their new account yet. Continue reading

Poem: Rana Plaza

On April 24, 2013, an eight-story commercial building named Rana Plaza collapsed in Bangladesh. It was located in Savar, in area of the capital city of Dhaka. Over 1000 people lost their lives, and over 2500 more were injured, making it the deadliest garment-factory accident in history.

Rana Plaza

The tag said
Made in Bangladesh
The price was less than
A Starbucks cup Continue reading

Free/open Apple Classes at BestBuy

Apple classes at BestBuyDo you have a Mac or an iPad and struggle with the basics? I’m always happy to help, but you might think about checking out these free classes. The BestBuy store on Independence Blvd. in Virginia Beach has an Apple rep regularly in the store offering free classes in things like “Mac Basics” and “iPad Basics.” Help build your foundation of knowledge—for free! If there’s another BestBuy closer to you, you might ask if they offer something similar. But if you live in Hampton Roads and the Independence store is not too far from you, this might be just the thing for you!