the phone call scam

By | May 15, 2012
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In the Computers newsletter this time:
    • What to do with any scams, fraud or cons


  • Google’s latest wheeze
  • An embarrassing confession



Here’s the question: when you’ve something embarrassing to confess to, do you do it first or last? I’d say first is best but I’m going to leave it until last because I want to tell you useful important stuff first. That’s my excuse, anyway…

Carrying on from last time – the phone call scam
Last time (/NL010512.htm ) I mentioned about a phone call scam that’s happening a lot at the moment – and I mentioned you could report it to the police if it happens to you.

But actually there’s an organisation specifically set up for you to report fraud or internet crime to. It’s not just for reporting spam emails, it’s also for scam phone calls (not annoying sales calls, just ones that are actual cons), cons and suchlike.

They collate all the information about frauds so that it can be investigated by the right people. A lot of these scams are very hard to stop (not least because they often are based outside the country) but if there’s any chance of catching up with the crooks behind it, these are the people to contact.

They have a website and you can report details of fraud by going to their website and clicking on “report fraud”.

Google’s latest new thing
There are lots of price comparison websites – you see them advertising on TV. The idea is that if you’re after car insurance, a new mortgage, a savings account or whatever, you type in what you’re after and it gets quotes from lots of different companies and you can choose the cheapest. I’ve saved quite a bit by using one to shop around each time my car insurance comes up, so I’d definitely recommend using one.

But Google have just got in on the act – and they’ve approached it slightly differently.

Instead of having a separate website, you just type in (say) “compare credit cards”. It then gives you a normal search listing, including the web addresses of a few other comparison sites (so they’re playing fair!). But it also shows you four credit card deals, labelled with their top features. Eg there’s one labelled 0% balance transfers, another labelled 0% purchases and so on.

Then you can either click on one of those to see more cards that have that feature, if the feature you want is listed, or click on the little “Advanced” button to type in more information so it can list the appropriate offers.

As I say, it works a little differently from the main existing comparison sites. It’ll be interesting to see whether it catches on.

An embarrassing confession
Unless you’ve only just joined to read this newsletter, you probably know I’ve recently recorded some videos about digital photography (/photovideosMay.html ) (I haven’t let you forget about it!)

But I’ve got a confession – there’s an embarrassing mistake. Luckily it doesn’t affect anything I say or show you in the videos themselves. It’s in the menu where you choose which video to watch, on the first disk in the set about how to use your Digital Camera. It says “Lesson 2”, which is right but it then says “Printing Photos”, when it actually should be “The First Few Features”.

The video itself is right and the labels on the disks and the case are all right. It’s just the menu that appears on the screen that has the wrong title.

My apologies – I thought it worth mentioning in case anyone was wondering why it says “Printing Photos” – just because I typed the wrong thing! At least it doesn’t affect the videos themselves, but it’s still embarrassing.

I would shoot the proofreaders but the firing squad is on summer holiday, so they got away with a withering stare.

I should mention, too, for people who’ve not been reading this newsletter for very long, that if what you want is just help with using your PC, there are also some videos about that, in a similar vein (except with correct titles…)

Tame Your PC and Tame the Internet (read more here: /TameYourPCInt.htm) are very much for beginners and go into the very basics.

Get More From Your PC and Get More from the Internet (read more here: /GetMoreFromYourPCInt.htm) are extremely popular. If you already know the basics (how to point a mouse and click and so on) but would like to be able to do more with your PC, these are more up your street.

Well, that’s all for now.

Tim Wakeling
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