Watch out for this scam and see what’s happening in Melbourne

By | August 1, 2013
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Well, this is the week that the eBay videos I’ve been wittering on about are finally available to the general public.So far it’s been people like you, readers of my newsletter, only.  So I expect the free gifts to go very quickly now.  If you haven’t already read about them, find out more here: www.helpfulbooks.co.uk/ebayb.htm

Another scam to beware of

I always prefer to include positive things in the newsletter but when a new scam rears its head, I think it’s important to let you know, so you can avoid it!  Best know what to watch out for!

So here’s another one that a reader let me know about:

You get a phone call, saying it’s Microsoft.  But instead of the usual “There’s something wrong with your PC, pay us and we’ll sort it out” they’ll say that they want to refund the warranty cost of your computer.

The person who told me had been offered £85.  If they had agreed and given the person on the phone their card details they wouldn’t have had £85 – instead the crooks would have used it to try to steal all their money!

Microsoft don’t ring people up and offer them their warranty money back – and your warranty isn’t usually with Microsoft anyway, it’s with whoever you bought the PC from.  In general, Microsoft don’t even know who buys the computers, so they couldn’t ring you up if they wanted to!

So if you get a call like this, best just put the phone down.

QR codes might not be meant for you

I’ve written before about QR codes or flash codes – those square things that look like barcodes.  (Here’s my previous article about them: http://helpfulbooks.co.uk/emailnewsletter/?p=189)

But one thing I didn’t really mention is that they might not always be meant for you!

If you see one in a magazine, chances are it’s meant for you.  And if you see a big one on a product of some kind that you buy, it might well be – maybe it’s more information about the product or a competition you can enter.  But there’s another purpose for them, too.  In particular for very small ones – usually about a quarter inch across.

They’re used in warehouses to help keep track of stock.  In fact it’s what they were originally designed for.

It’s not something to worry about but if you try to “scan” one on something you’ve bought and it doesn’t work, that might be why.  It doesn’t mean you’ve scanned it wrong, just that the code is designed for keeping track of stock and they’ve haven’t put that information on the web for everyone to see (and it’d be very boring if they had anyway!)

Have a look around Melbourne’s port

This is one my sister told me about.  There are lots of webcams around the world that you can look at on the web simply by going to a particular webpage (I must remember to tell you the story behind the very first one next time).

You go to a webpage and can see live video of exactly what the webcam is pointed at.

But this one is a bit different: http://www.portofmelbourne.com/community-and-recreation/view-the-port/webcams

You can actually take control of the camera and move it around and zoom in and out, so you can look at whatever you want in the Port of Melbourne.

Of course, since there might be hundreds of people looking at it at any one time, you can’t just sit there and control it all day.  There’s a button you click to take control of the camera and you get a minute or so to be in control before it’s the next person’s turn.

Still, I think it’s amazing that I can sit here in Cumbria, looking through a camera I’m controlling in Melbourne!  Maybe it’s just as well you only get a minute or I might not have got this newsletter written!