A Timing Change

Due to some unforeseeable schedule changes as well as some other problems, I find I am unable to meet my original plan of one post a week. For the foreseeable future, I will add a new post when I am able.

Please continue to check back from time to time. Thanks…

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on A Timing Change

Scam Alerts on consumeraffairs.com

Scam Alerts on consumeraffairs.com

Today I want to tell you about a web site I ran across recently.
ConsumerAffairs.com state that they are a consumer news and advocacy site. They have lots of interesting information and sections, but I am primarily refering to their section about computer related scams today. If you go to their home page: consumeraffairs.com
and click on the Scams tab or go to their Scam Alerts page, you will see many links to pages describing individual scams.

While I have not checked out each page, the ones I did check did have good information. I have listed a couple of links below with their titles for them.


Seven Ways To Spot A Scam Email – There are always telltale signs


Top 10 Scams of 2010 – Our annual list of deceptive schemes designed to part you from your money

A couple of last thoughts on this web site. This site has several
sections in addition to the Scam Alerts, including consumer news, recalls and consumer comments. Their about ConsumerAffairs.com has more information and tabs. There are advertisements on many of these pages which may appear to be part of the content but are not. All of the pages that I looked at had the ads under “Ads by Google”.

Thanks for stopping by..

Posted in Malicious Emails, Safe Computing | Comments Off on Scam Alerts on consumeraffairs.com

Paypal & ACH Scams

This week brought a couple of scams, neither of which are new.
The first was supposedly from Paypal and had the message of “Your account has been limited until we hear from you” .  Here is a screen shot of the email:

Paypal problem email

Doing a web search turned up several web sites with information on similar emails.  Checking with Paypal, they requested that the entire email be forwarded to them at:  spoof@paypal.com. The email had a link that was titled “Resolution Center” but actually goes to a domain name ending in “-office.com” and thus was not even part of Paypal. The web sites are:

from Digitalspy
from fraudwatchinternational

Another email I received this week had a subject of  “ACH Payment Canceled”.  It had an attachment named “report_082211-65.pdf.zip”, but most people probably would not see the “.zip” added on the end and only see that it is supposed to be a pdf file.   A screen shot of the email is:

ACH Payment Canceled email

A web search for this also showed several others had received similar emails. These web sites are:

from NACHA
from SunTrust
from hoax-slayer
from scamtrends

The first is for National Automated Clearing House Association (NACHA), which is who the email is supposed to be from. They request that any fraudulent emails be sent to them at: abuse@nacha.org. The address at the bottom of the email is theirs. The second is from SunTrust, which requests that any emails be sent to them at: emailabuse@suntrust.com. (I sent the one I received to both.)

All of the above to ask that everyone be cautious when receiving emails that look like they are from any financial institution. Most, if not all, banks and credit unions will not ask you for personal or account information by email. Especially be cautious in clicking on any links or opening any email attachments, even from someone you know. Normally, if you hold your mouse over a link, you will see the actual web link displayed below the email. If it isn’t what you expect, don’t click on it.

Thanks for stopping by…

Posted in Malicious Emails, Safe Computing | Comments Off on Paypal & ACH Scams

Online Learning

Would you like to update your skills or learn something new? Online learning allows you to do just that, often in a less structured environment than a traditional school environment. Many times, this online learning allows you to learn when you have time and energy and allow you to choose the time to do so. Whether you want to learn more about your computer and how to use it, or just about anything else, there is probably somewhere online that will allow to do
so. However, how much will this cost you? Do a Google search on
free online learning and you will find many web sites. My topic today concerns a couple of those free sites, in this case ones I have used.
The first web site is from the Goodwill Community Foundation International. This web site has many lessons on many different topics, including Windows, Microsoft Office as well as other computer topics. It also has lessons to help your career and many to help you with your everyday life. Some lessons include videos or other interactive sections to help you learn.
Hewlett Packard also has free online learning in their HP Learning Center. Mostly, these classes are on computer related topics, including digital photography along with the expected ones on Microsoft Office,
and computer security.
I will close with a link to an article from Kim Komando, called
Learn something new online.

Thanks for stopping by…

Posted in Education | Comments Off on Online Learning

Malicious Emails

Originally, I had planned on adding approximately one article a
week. However, already this week I have received several emails
trying to get personal information from me or wanting to do harm
to my computer, so I wanted to post the information concerning
them . The names for many of the links that follow are the web
site that they are from. Here are the details:

First, I received three emails with “Subject: IRS notification”.
Two emails were from “support.manager@irs.gov” and one was

from info.manager@irs.gov. The first two emails had an attached
file which my anti-virus program deleted and added ***VIRUS**
in front of the subject, which made me suspicious. If you receive
an email like this, it is a scam intended to get your personal
information and possibly harm your computer. Do NOT open any
attachment and delete or forward the email to phishing@irs.gov
and then delete it. I searched and found the following on the internet:
scamtrends.com
irs phishing scam
forbes-irs phishing scam

Then there was the one with “Subject: Deactivation of Your Email
Address”. This email starts off with: “THIS MESSAGE IS FROM
OUR TECHNICAL SUPPORT TEAM”. It goes on to state that
failing to follow through and send the requested information will
result in the “deactivation” of your email address. Simply, this is
a phishing scheme – wanting to collect your email log in information.
Just delete the email and ignore it. Here are a couple of web sites
with more details:
fraudpreventionunit.org
safecomputing

Next, there was “Subject: Uniform traffic ticket”. This email
indicates that it is from New York State and that you should
print the attached ticket and send it in…
However, the attachment probably contains a virus. You should
not open either the email or the attachment and instead delete
the email. Here are a couple of web sites with more information:
snopes.com
urbanlegends.about.com

Lastly, was a different twist on the “I have money for you” scam.
This one had “Subject: Thank you very much for your anticipated
co-operation” and was supposedly from the FBI. There are several
versions of this floating around and all of them are scams, trying to
get your information. The best action is to just delete the email.
For additional information, see:
scamwarners
spamcaution

If you receive an email that you are not sure of, don’t open it.
Especially don’t open any attachments. When in doubt, copy
the subject line into the search box in Google or your favorite
search engine and click on search. If the email is something to
avoid, you will probably get many results indicating that.

One last thing before I close, don’t be surprised if you see an
increase in emails with malicious attachments. I just saw an
article suggesting that these email attacks are again on the
increase. See:
Brace for email attachment malware spree

Thanks for stopping by…

Posted in Malicious Emails, Safe Computing | Comments Off on Malicious Emails

A New Beginning

Welcome to the M D Computer Works Blog.   After several tries and other problems, I believe that we are ready to get started.   M D Computer Works has been in business for several years helping people with their computers.
My plan is to focus on computer related topics but I will sometimes have posts on other topics.
At this time, I am not sure how often my blog will be updated, I just ask you to check back from time to time.
Frequently, I will refer to other web sites as sources, usually with an a link to the source if possible.
Thank you for stopping by.
Mike

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on A New Beginning