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Be Alert


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   The Internet is a risky place to be.

  Deals are plentiful and some may be
  worthy of your hard earned money,
  but not necessarily everything is.

  Here are some areas for you to give
  thought to before rushing to some a
  company with your credit card!


  Technology is an equal opportunity target for "The Bad Guys" and most consumers
  know very little about the complex technology or the "FUD" that gets tossed around.

  (FUD is Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt)


  Computer Problem Scam
At least two reputable international computer companies are receiving complaints about phone calls regarding problems with their computer and mentioning the company's name.  One had insight into a problem that was currently being work.

If you press the caller they will not be able to identify which of your computers are the reason for their call and make/model it is.  This raises their exposure risks and often they stop calling you.  You won that round but there are others.

If you receive a call from someone representing a company and feel the slightest uncomfortable, call the company directly to confirm the call you received.
 They can always have you called back by that caller.  These attacks will often involve using a web based software that will give them on-going access to your computer despite any firewall protections.  It is worth making the extra calls.


  Computer Storage Capacity: Looking at the REAL Costs
Your computer hard drive keeps running low on space and you can't afford a new
computer and don't want to lug anything else with you.  Cloud Storage can offer
you storage at some reasonable prices annually to solve your problem.

BUT IS IT THE RIGHT CHOICE FOR YOU?  Maybe NOT.

One thing is almost certain:  prices will increase over time as costs will increase.

One provider is offering 1 Megabyte for free, 1 Gigabyte for $10 per month and
1 Terabyte for $40 per month.  1 Terabyte is 1,000 Gigabytes so 1 Terabyte is the
smart buy.  Plus they will not charge you for bandwidth use (some companies will
charge extra for moving data to their storage, from their storage or both PLUS you
may have a ceiling on your free data transfer volumes from your Internet Service
Provider but they don't want to talk about your other costs).  Note 1 Megabyte can fit on one diskette ... if you remember those things.

As of November 2016 you can buy a 5 Terabyte external USB 3.0 (very high speed)
disk drive, with Memphis taxes, for around $135.00.  That gives you 5 times the
storage for a fixed cost of $135.00 versus $2,634 to lease the capacity for 5 years. Plus you will not encounter ANY data transfer costs because the data moves from
your computer to your storage across your cable;
no surprises in extra charges plus the data WILL move dramatically faster.

While paying monthly has an advantage, the longer you use it the higher your real costs plus data transfer costs from the storage provider and your Internet provider.


  MICROSOFT KEYS EXPIRED SCAM
You get the call with serious implications: your Microsoft software keys expired;
you will loose use of Microsoft products soon.  But the caller can save you!

Just open your computer to me and the caller can fix this in short order often for
a comparatively small amount of money versus normal re-licensing fees.


You feel saved but you should livid and here is why:


1.  When has a Microsoft key ever expired on you?  Even very old Windows keys
     are still valid.  You no longer receive updates or support.

2.  When did Microsoft start calling individuals?  The answer is: They Don't

You are being setup to pay people to potentially put monitoring software on your
machine to steal who knows what information or to plant a few viruses AND they
get paid to do it!   So what do you do?   Two more fun alternate options outside of hanging up:  1)  slam the handset into the phone base, or  2) engage an air horn.


A)  Ask for their Microsoft Badge Number as you are a "Microsoft Employee" too
     and need to validate their identity before you give them your credit card or
     access to your system.  
Expect the telephone to go dead.

B)  If you have time, become very incompetent and have problems trying to find
     anything, do anything, remember anything, have interruptions and just run
     the "Bad Guys" into the ground.
 Time is money; they will hang up on you.     


   Microsoft Software Broke ... You Get a Refund
There are so many clues in this heading of a telephone scam it is not funny. Good people have been scammed into sending money to an unknown person who promises to then get them a refund for that money plus a refund on the Microsoft Software.  Money is moving around to different hands then your telephone connection with them dies.  They got theirs ... you took a loss.  They
even had a call reportedly from Wal-Mart about a payment having arrived for
them to pick-up.  Most likely not Wal-Mart but another imposter.


FUD:  Fear, Uncertainty & Doubt
             Three powerful motivators you can create to get someone to act even if it is ultimately to their
             downfall.  To panic before thinking is the goal of nearly all "Bad Guys" to be successful.