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About Literature / Hobbyist Member ChrisMale/United States Group :iconoriginal-lit-yaoi: Original-Lit-Yaoi
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I've had two phone scam attempts on me or my family recently. I don't know if it's just random clustering or if this is a problem on the rise. In case it's the latter, I thought I'd mention them here so folks can be on the alert.

Grandson Bail Scam


My mother-in-law "Joan" didn't fall for this one, not so much because she's particularly savvy but because she was a poor target. The scammers call random elderly women, hoping to get one who has grandsons but doesn't keep in close touch with them.

A week ago, Joan received a call from someone claiming to be a court official from the Dominican Republic, saying that her grandson had been arrested and needed $5,000 to get bailed out. The "grandson" was put on the line. Joan didn't quite recognize his voice, but the grandson he sounded most like was my own younger son, who is 15 and autistic and very much neither under arrest nor in the Dominican Republic. She has three other grandsons, though. One, my older son, is 18 but severely disabled and also living at home. A third grandson was already in prison. That left only one possibility, "Jack", who she had not in fact spoken to for awhile. Jack had a tendency to get in trouble with the law and had been known to travel on short notice, so it was not impossible that it was him. So she asked "Is this Jack?" and was naturally told yes.

Joan may not have spoken with Jack in years, but she was in close, frequent contact with his mother, "Patti", who lives in my house and helps us with child care. Joan was suspicious, but after putting the scammers off she gave Patti a call, where she naturally found out that Jack was safe at home, gainfully employed, and neither in the Dominican Republic nor under arrest.

The scammers actually had the cojones to call Joan back to pressure her for the money, telling her the judge was waiting and time was short, but by then Joan had already reported the attempted scam to the police.

CNN story
FBI warning

IRS Investigation Scam


This happened just this morning, and it was simple enough. My phone rang at 6 AM with a recorded message purporting to be from the IRS. It had supposedly been found that I had failed to report all my income from 2012 and that I had to pay back taxes that were due before "legal action would be taken against [my] name," along with a callback number to the 202 area code.

While the Washington, DC area code might have made this SEEM legit, the immediate red flag was that the IRS never issues tax irregularity notices by phone. I know this from personal experience. Back in 1988 I received a noticed in the mail about unreported income from my 1985 tax return. I quickly figured out why, so the matter was easily resolved, but the point was the IRS always initiates these matters by mail.*

Online research showed me that the progress of this scam might run as follows: If you call back, you will be put in touch with an "investigator". He'll give you his name and badge number, and then tell you that you owe $1,000 or more in back taxes and penalties, that your bank accounts and other assets have already been frozen, and that legal proceedings will begin to seize your property unless you wire the amount owed to them immediately. He may even "confirm" your identity by giving the last 4 digits of your Social Security number. He may also suggest you get an attorney.

This is all calculated to scare the bejeezus out of you to get you to send the money as fast as possible, before you have time to think about it. Needless to say, don't do it.

Parade story
IRS press release

Microsoft Tech Support Call Scam


This one happened just today. (I'm editing this entry on 24 September.) It was a cold call with no caller ID. A man with a heavy foreign accent claimed he was calling from Microsoft. He was kind enough to tell me he assumed I was the owner of the computer in the house, and that my computer was generating numerous errors which they had recorded on their own servers.

I hung up at that point, as I wouldn't have fallen for it even if this one hadn't been tried on me before. He was going to direct me to my machine's error logs. Were I not a professional software engineer, I might indeed find all the routine error messages that get logged pretty much every time I reboot my machine to be kind of scary. They were going to ask for access to my machine, at which point they were going to charge me some kind of "modest" fee to make the repairs they were going to try and convince me were necessary.

Needless to say, Microsoft does not, and practically speaking, cannot and has no reason to, log every minor event on every machine running a Microsoft operating system everywhere in the world. If you get a cold call from someone claiming to be tech support, who somehow has information on the internals of your operating system, don't believe them. Ever.

Malwarebytes page on tech support scams

*I had taken an early morning paper route that year, for which I was paid like a contractor with the income reported on a 1099 instead of a W-2, and I had incorrectly reported this as wage income. What made it a wash was that the wages I had reported were higher than I could account for by any of my available records, so if I were to amend my return to reduce it to what my records actually showed the difference would have more than made up for any self-employment tax I owed.

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Lytrigian
Chris
Artist | Hobbyist | Literature
United States
I'm just here to show off my writing and to stare at the pretty pictures.

I don't usually thank people for faves, even though they're much appreciated, just because that's a conversation that never really goes anywhere. But I almost always reply to comments!

Current Residence: Santa Cruz County, California
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news.yahoo.com/britains-ukip-2…
www.heraldscotland.com/politic…

So: UKIP has won its first seat in Parliament, the Lib Dems seem to be in a death spiral, and since the Scottish independence referendum the SNP has seen a "surge" in membership at the expense of Labour.

What are the Brits here hoping for in the next general election? Things are gonna be different this time, I'm thinking.
So I just bought a new handicap van, and am trying to get the old one ready to sell. One problem with the old van is that the windshield leaks. Every time it rains you get a puddle on top of the dashboard. "No problem," thought I. "I'll just peel that trim off, run a new bead of sealant around it, and we're done!"

Well, nope. The trim was held on by clips. Was held on. A very, very long time ago. Mostly now it seemed to have  been held on by adhesion from damp redwood debris that had slipped behind. About half the clips were missing, and half of those that are still there won't hold on to the trim. I now have a windshield with way to much sealant around it, and gunked-up trim that won't stay on. So now I have to call an auto-glass guy to take the windshield completely off and re-seat it, AND scrape out all the gunk I put in there.

This is why I hate doing stuff like this myself. It's fine when it goes well. When it doesn't, you end up more fucked than you were before.
Sleeping Coco by Lytrigian
Sleeping Coco
Halloween is near, so I thought I'd upload this. This is my little black kitty, Coco, sleeping on top of my bookcase. I thought she looked cute, so I got a picture with my phone. Focus is a little off, but that's what happens, I guess.
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Cinematographers and directors who use shaky-cam in any context other than simulation of amateur video, "on the spot" news coverage of some emergency, or some other situation where we the audience are supposed to be looking through a lens, should have botox injected into their necks until their heads flop around like the cameras they jiggle.

James Cameron even used shaky-cam in Avatar, in scenes that were entirely CGI. Ridiculous.

The audience is not supposed to be aware of the camera. Shaky-cam makes us aware of the camera, AND it give me a headache. Whoever invented it needs to get dickpunched.
Earlier this week, my sister-in-law accidentally broke my Melitta coffee carafe which I'd used to manually brew coffee for most of the past 30 years. I don't hold it against her. I'd neglected to put it away myself, and she was trying to help me out by cleaning it. It was a really minor impact with an ice cube that cracked it, so chances are it was not long for this world anyway.

But that meant I had a good excuse to find a nice automatic coffeemaker for myself. The criteria were simple. I wanted it to brew only -- no grinder built in; if I want to grind beans fresh I'll do it separately -- I wanted a thermal carafe because hotplates are evil for coffee, and I wanted it to use a Melitta cone filter because I think that makes better coffee than a basket filter. And I didn't want Keurig because I don't want to get locked into buying those little cup things.

Target didn't have anything like that. Well. It did, but it was Cuisinart. I don't buy Cuisinart. I have a Cuisinart toaster, and it's easily the worst, most evil toaster I've ever owned. I do not trust Cuisinart to make appliances that behave as God intended.

So I walk across the parking lot to Macy's. SAME DAMN THING. They had several different Keurig machines, but nearly all others had glass carafes that sat on hotplates EXCEPT FOR CUISINART.

I ended up having to go all the way across town to Fry's Electronics and found exactly one non-Cuisinart coffemaker that was exactly like I wanted. Don't remember the make right now. Some Japanese brand. It was only slightly cheaper than the German one my local coffeehouse was selling. I should have just bought that one this morning.

Why does anyone even make coffeemakers with glass carafes on hotplates anymore? Every coffee snob in the world knows that's almost the worst thing you can do to coffee short of making it in an old-fashioned American percolator. What is wrong with all the coffee machine makers of the world? AND WHAT'S WITH ALL THE FUCKING CUISINART?

Teal Deer by Shiisa It was unreasonably difficult to buy the coffeemaker I wanted this afternoon.

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:iconleothefox:
leothefox Featured By Owner Oct 12, 2014   Artist
Clefairy :la: Thanks for a bunch of faves, buddy! :iconpsplagamerplz: 
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ppgrainbow Featured By Owner Oct 3, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
:iconthanksllamaplz: :hug:
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:iconlytrigian:
Lytrigian Featured By Owner Oct 3, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
I always reciprocate llamas. Llamas are good.

ALL GLORY TO THE HYPNOLLAMA
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:iconppgrainbow:
ppgrainbow Featured By Owner Oct 4, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
:huggle::heart:
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:iconjgilronan:
jgilronan Featured By Owner Sep 24, 2014  Professional Traditional Artist
Thanks for the fave
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:iconleothefox:
leothefox Featured By Owner Edited Sep 18, 2014   Artist
Excited Thank you for faving

Sailing to Silent City by leothefox &Dark Castle by leothefox  
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Pixx-73 Featured By Owner Sep 15, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
Thank you so much for the fav. Thanks for everything! Have a nice day.
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TixieLix Featured By Owner Sep 14, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thanks for faving again ^^
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jumpman2121 Featured By Owner Sep 9, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I was wondering if using DokuWiki.
Hi. I'm the guy of the read-only wiki.
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:iconlucsurr:
lucsurr Featured By Owner Sep 8, 2014  Hobbyist Photographer
Many thanks for the :+fav: of Let's Do Some Sport - I. :)
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:iconleothefox:
leothefox Featured By Owner Sep 8, 2014   Artist
Heart Love Thank you for faving

Scorpio collage by leothefox  
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TixieLix Featured By Owner Edited Aug 16, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thanks for the fave on my Street Fighter and Zelda pics! ^^
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:iconzacharytc:
ZacharyTC Featured By Owner Edited Aug 8, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
Sorry to bother you, Lytrigian, but I-stamp continues to lie about whether he said all preachers were con artists or like con artists, him claiming it was the latter, while I can clearly see it was the former he said (it is there for all to see, for crying out loud). I have tried every tactic to have him come to his senses and admit he was using a stupid stereotype, but all he has done is come up with excuses. We need an outside verdict as to who won the debate, and fast, otherwise it will never end. comments.deviantart.com/18/199…
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:iconlytrigian:
Lytrigian Featured By Owner Aug 8, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
I appreciate that you believe I can descend on a conversation and impose some kind of arbitration, but I'm afraid that's a power I don't have. Even if I did, I've clashed a little with i-stamp in that thread myself. I'm already on record there that I don't think Mormons are Christian in any meaningful sense. And he probably is aware that I would disagree strongly with his idea that Christianity is simply stupid, that Christian churches can't keep their stories straight, etc. So I can hardly hold myself out as an impartial judge.

Besides, on this particular issue I think i-stamp is correct on his own terms. By his definition, which he explained at some point, anyone promoting or "selling" something false is doing the work of a con-man, whether or not he actually knows he's selling a con. His example was of someone who bought into a Ponzi scheme getting others to buy in as well. Such a person might not be in on the con, but he's helping it along. You'd be right to point out this isn't consistent with his claim that preachers "use misdirection and sleight-of-hand" to sell their ideas, since you cannot do that unconsciously, but he obviously has as strong an emotional investment in his opinion as you do in yours and will occasionally overstate his case. Perhaps he expresses himself as he does in order to be provocative. If that's his aim, he succeeds.

You are, of course, correct in your own, and in my view more reasonable, terms as well, where you require a "con-man" to be promoting something he knows for himself is false. I personally know no preachers at all who do this, and I have known quite a few.
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:iconaugustablak:
augustablak Featured By Owner Aug 5, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thanks for visiting my page! It really means a lot to me!
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