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Archive for the 'Email Etiquette' Category

Att WoWers: Don’t Be Scammed!

Sunday, December 13th, 2009

This morning I received an email that claimed to be from wowaccountadmin@blizzard.com apparently concerning my World of Warcraft, or WoW, account.  Immediately I was circumspect.  The email had no graphics and the English was shoddy.  Still, I worried that some people may fall for it.

If you found this blog post by searching for info on the letter, you're already one step ahead - you checked it out before sending in your account info. 

Always do this!! I cannot stress this enough.  No company that does business online will ever ask for your personal account information via email.  Never.

If you truly believe your account with any company or agency is in jeapordy (this goes for bank accounts and credit card accounts, too), then contact the company/agency directly via email and/or telephone.  Ask them if they sent such an email and speak directly with someone about checking into the problem.

However, never click on the links in these emails.  They may take you to a fake website that looks like the real thing - just enough to fool you.  If you log into your account on this fake website, they have you.  A keylogger has just stolen your user name and password.  Do not call any phone numbers given in the email; this too could be a fake designed to get the information from you.  Instead, open your web browser and type in the address of the company/agency yourself, or Google it.  Never, ever for any reason click on links in a scam email - at the very least, the website that opens can download a worm, virus, or spyware onto your system.

The email may look legit - even with graphics and, sometimes, even citing the actual agency's Terms of Use or Privacy information (copied from the actual website).  However, if the email is asking for personal information, immediately be wary and do some checking.

You see, these scammer scumbags are masters of human engineering.  They use triggers to get you to do something you might not normally do.  You see a message, like this one, appearing to come from Blizzard (the makers of World of Warcraft) telling you that your account is in jeapordy.  They accuse you of trading or selling accounts; your first reaction is to panic.

"I'm not doing that!" you think.  At once, you want to rectify the situation and clear your name.

Then they hit you with the big fear factor - your account will be deleted and/or disabled if you don't act now.  The thought of losing an account - for people that have put literally hours upon hours of work into - is a frightful prospect.  The same if they are threatening to close or freeze a bank or credit card account.

Someone that does not know what to look for or does not know the scammer tricks might easily fall prey to this kind of scam.  It doesn't mean you're witless, so don't feel bad.  These mugus are masters of their craft.  They dupe people every day into giving up personal information, bank accounts, credit card numbers, etc.  The best you can do is to stay aware and learn what to look for.

For those looking for more information on this particular scam, which claims to come from Blizzard concerning a World of Warcraft (WoW) account, and for those of you that would like to know what to look for, here is the email I received:

Greetings!
It has come to our attention that you are trying to sell/trade your personal World of Warcraft account(s).
As you may or may not be aware of, this conflicts with the EULA and Terms of Agreement.
If this proves to be true, your account can and will be disabled. It will be ongoing for further investigation by Blizzard Entertainment's employees.
If you wish to not get your account suspended you should immediately verify your account ownership. If the information is deemed accurate, the investigation will be dropped.
This action is taken because we at Blizzard Entertainment take these sales
quite seriously. We need to confirm you are the original owner of the account.
This is easiest done by confirming your personal information along with concealed information about your account.
You can confirm that you are the original owner of the account by replying to this email with:

Use the following template below to verify your account and information via email.
* First and Surname
* Date of birth
* Address
* Zip code
* Phone number
* Country
* Account e-mail
* Account name
* Account password
* Secret Question and Answer
-Or-
WoW CD-Key
Show * Please enter the correct information
If you ignore this mail your account can and will be closed permanently. Once we verify your account, we will reply to your e-mail informing you that we have dropped the investigation.
We ask you to NOT change password until the investigation is fully completed.
Blizzard Entertainment Inc
Account Administration Team
P.O. Box 18979, Irvine, CA 92623
Regards,
Account Administration Team
Blizzard Entertainment

Another thing to look for - shoddy English.  Most of these scammers are overseas and English is not their native tongue.  Sometimes it's easy to catch, others it's not so obvious - but pay attention to subtle details in the grammar and word usage.  This is another tip that the email is from a scammer and is not legit.

Note that they, also, used Blizzard Entertainment's actual contact information.  Again, they will sometimes use actual text and/or images from the real company or agency's website to appear more legitimate.

If you were to respond to this email and give our your account name and password (which Blizzard will never ask for), you have just lost your WoW account.  The scammers will go in, change your password so that you cannot access it again, and then do whatever they want with it (use it for farming or sell it).

At that point, there is little you can do and that is why it is so important to pay attention to every email you receive asking for any kind of information from you.

Always be aware and alert - remember that not everything that comes through your inbox is legit and it's better to be cautious than sorry.  Trying to get your identity or account back after a scammer has stolen it is next to impossible and causes quite a lot of headache and money.  Learn what to look for and always think before hitting Reply.

1..2…3….Kiss My Fucking Ass

Thursday, November 17th, 2005

Is it just me, or do you, too, feel people are seriously insulting your intelligence when they send you crap like this?:

Don't laugh at this! Just do it!
My best friend just did this, this morning, wished for her promotion and just got a call and she got it.

Start thinking something you really really want, cause this is astounding. the person that sent this to me said their wish came true 10 mins after they read the mail so I thought what the heck.

You have just been visited by Dr.Suess's Cat in the Hat. He will grant you one wish.
Make your wish when the count down is over.

10..

9..

8..

7..

6..

5..

4..

3..

2..

1..

MAKE A WISH

Send this to 10 people within the hour you read this. If you do, your wish will come true! . If you don't it will become the opposite.

I mean, PLEASE!

George Carlin Isn’t This Ignorant

Wednesday, October 26th, 2005

I'm getting so sick of seeing this piece of shit floating around in my Inbox every other day:

Been sitting here with my ass in a wad, wanting to speak out about the bullshit going on in New Orleans.

For the people of New Orleans... First we would like to say, Sorry for your loss.

With that said, Lets go through a few hurricane rules: (Unlike an earthquake, we know it's coming)

#1. A manditory evacuation means just that... Get the hell out. Don't blame the Government after they tell you to go. If they hadn't said anything, I can see the arguement. They said get out... if you didn't, it's your fault, not theirs. (We don't want to hear it, even if you don't have a car, you can get out.)

#2. If there is an emergency, stock up on water and non-perishables. If you didn't do this, it's not the governments fault you're starving.

#2a. If you run out of food and water, find a store that has some. (Remember, shoes, TV's, DVD's and CD's are not edible. Leave them alone.)

#2b. If the local store is too looted of food or water, leave your neighbor's tv and stereo alone. (See # 2a) They worked hard to get their stuff. Just because they were smart enough to leave during a manditory evacuation, doesn't give you the right to take their stuff... it's theirs, not yours.

#3. If someone comes in to help you, don't shoot at them and then complain no one is helping you. I'm not getting shot to help save some dumbass who didn't leave when told to do so.

#4. If you are in your house that is completely under water, your belongings are probably too far gone for anyone to want them. If someone does want them, Let them have them and hopefully they'll die in the filth. Just leave! (For Christ's sakes, it's New Orleans, find a voodoo warrior and put a curse on them)

#5. My tax money should not pay to rebuild a 2 million dollar house, a sports stadium or a floating casino. Also, my tax money shouldn't go to rebuild a city that is under sea level. You wouldn't build your house on quicksand would you? You want to live below sea-level, do your country some good and join the Navy.

#6. Regardless what the Poverty Pimps Jessie Jackson and Al Sharpton want you to believe, The US Government didn't create the Hurricane as a way to erradicate the black people of New Orleans; (Neither did Russia as a way to destroy America). The US Government didn't cause global warming that caused the hurricane (We've been coming out of an ice age for over a million years).

#7. The government isn't responsible for giving you anything. This is the land of the free and the home of the brave, but you gotta work for what you want. McDonalds and Walmart are always hiring, get a damn job and stop spooning off the people who are actually working for a living.

President Kennedy said it best... "Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country."

Thank you for allowing me to rant.

First, and foremost, George Carlin did not write this sorry excuse for a rant. A quick stop over at Snopes before hitting "Send" would save everyone a lot of aggravation.

Yet even people who know it isn't Carlin forward it along with a "this is still hilarious - I totally agree!!" message. Really, you ignorant fuck? Becaue of this disaster, 1,302 people are dead. Yeah, real fucking funny. I can't seem to stop laughing.

It's very easy to look at something so terrible, and bitch about the people who need help - especially the ones audacious enough to demand it. No, I don't agree with the actions of a large number of my fellow Louisianaians, but I'm not ignorant enough to group every single person that went through the nightmare of post-Katrina into a greedy, welfare-addicted, piece of trash.

Have you ever lived in New Orleans? Do you know jack fucking shit about New Orleans? I have, and I do. Here's a little bit of info for those of you that feel justified "agreeing" with the tripe above.

#1. A manditory evacuation means just that... Get the hell out. Don't blame the Government after they tell you to go. If they hadn't said anything, I can see the arguement. They said get out... if you didn't, it's your fault, not theirs. (We don't want to hear it, even if you don't have a car, you can get out.)

News Flash: New Orleans is a city. It is a smaller version of a concrete jungle with excellent public transportation. People don't own cars in New Orleans because it is easier, and more economic, to walk and ride the bus to get around. Much like in New York, Chicago, etc. Not every NOLA-native that is carless is so because they are too poor to afford one.

Of course, there are those that are. The rant claims that "even if you don't have a car, you can get out." Really? I'd like to hear this - how so? Please, enlighten me on how you can get out of the city without a car; keeping in mind, of course, that the airlines were jammed, Amtrak & Greyound had been shut down before the storm hit.

A large number of people stranded in New Orleans during and after Katrina were tourists and/or business travelers; even with all of their money and resources they were unable to book themselves on a flight, a bus, a taxi...what have you. If it was so easy to "get out" - then why couldn't they? Why were a "large number" of people "stranded" in New Orleans tourists? Perhaps it wasn't so easy to get out - ever think of that? How's this? Unlesss you were there and saw what avenues of escape were available and which were endless dead-ends, shut the fuck up.

#2. If there is an emergency, stock up on water and non-perishables. If you didn't do this, it's not the governments fault you're starving.

#2a. If you run out of food and water, find a store that has some. (Remember, shoes, TV's, DVD's and CD's are not edible. Leave them alone.)

#2b. If the local store is too looted of food or water, leave your neighbor's tv and stereo alone. (See # 2a) They worked hard to get their stuff. Just because they were smart enough to leave during a manditory evacuation, doesn't give you the right to take their stuff... it's theirs, not yours.

Have you ever gone shopping for supplies prior to a hurricane? Even before a minor hurricane with little threat, the shelves are quickly bare of essentials like water, non-perishables, flashlights, batteries, radios, etc.

Katrina came quickly; there was little time to prepare. Also, stores and supply shops quickly closed down and boarded up - so places to purchase supplies became even fewer. Again, if you weren't there...what the hell do you know?

Most people who broke into stores did take things they needed to survive. Not everyone was rampantly looting and stealing from their neighbors. Please remember this. Not everyone saw this as a free-for-all. There were real people who were truly desperate getting things they needed to survive.

Yes, there were rapacious looters. As there were in Biloxi, MS after Katrina, as there were in Texas after Rita and as there are now in Mexico after Wilma. I don't see people lumping every one trying to survive into a greedy looter in those places. It happens - everywhere.

#3. If someone comes in to help you, don't shoot at them and then complain no one is helping you. I'm not getting shot to help save some dumbass who didn't leave when told to do so.

I'm getting very tired of this ignorant gripe. In case you weren't aware, the majority of shots fired were desperate people on rooftops trying to get the 'copters attention.

It wasn't 'BANG-BANG' - "Rescue us, motherfuckers, or I'll shoot at you again!", it was 'BANG-BANG' - "Over here! We're over here! Please save us!!". The rescue crews mistakenly thought they were being shot at and retreated. Most of the shots were fired at the ground (or into the water, I should say).

Sure, there were some - some - morons shooting at rescue crews or law enforcement. The majority, however, were not. End of story.

#4. If you are in your house that is completely under water, your belongings are probably too far gone for anyone to want them. If someone does want them, Let them have them and hopefully they'll die in the filth. Just leave! (For Christ's sakes, it's New Orleans, find a voodoo warrior and put a curse on them)

Hey - know what? Fuck you. People from New Orleans, love New Orleans. Refusing to be rescued wasn't just about staying behind to watch the house and possessions. It was shock over losing everything they'd ever had or worked for, and then also having to abandon the city and community they held so dear to their hearts.

These people were shell-shocked, hurt and broken. They've lost everything, and then someone comes along and tries to take them away from what little they have left. Naturally, they're going to balk and refuse to go. They are scared and hurt. Have you ever lost everything you ever had? Didn't think so.

#5. My tax money should not pay to rebuild a 2 million dollar house, a sports stadium or a floating casino. Also, my tax money shouldn't go to rebuild a city that is under sea level. You wouldn't build your house on quicksand would you? You want to live below sea-level, do your country some good and join the Navy.

So next time tornadoes wipe out homes in the central U.S., they shouldn't be rebuilt and the homeowners should be given nothing? When mudslides and earthquakes wreak havoc on multi-million dollar California homes and huge prominent cities, nothing should be done?

If you don't want your tax money going to help fellow Americans that have lost everything, and to rebuild a major metropolitan city and national landmark, exactly what do you want it spent on?

New Orleans is below sea-level so it shouldn't be rebuilt? This is your logic, ignoramus? Sure, let's not rebuild New Orleans; it's just another city - it doesn't serve any real purpose, right?

Here's a few facts for you, about this useless city that you don't seem to think is important enough to rebuild:

The Port of South Louisiana, located in New Orleans, "is the fourth largest port in the world in terms of raw tonnage, and among the largest U.S. ports for several major commodities, including cement and coffee" (wiki: New Orleans).

Oil is pretty important to America, and to the world, wouldn't you agree? New Orleans "is home to the corporate offices of oil companies with major offshore operations in the Gulf of Mexico, as well as the distribution and service centers of offshore equipment suppliers and fabricators. The manufacturing industry is a significant part of the economy, with petroleum, petrochemical, shipbuilding, and aerospace industries all playing a role. The New Orleans region also functions as a mining, processing, and transportation center for other minerals, principally sulfur. Service industries are playing a larger role, with health care and telecommunications leading the way. The New Orleans region is widely regarded as a leading center of medicine and health care in the South". (infoplease - New Orleans)

Louis Armstrong International Airport is located in New Orleans. For a city so unimportant, the need for an international airport seems pretty impressive to me. New Orleans is also a "major rail, highway, air, and river hub" (encyclopedia.com - New Orleans).

The multi-cultural, diverse and unique atmosphere of the Big Easy is responsible for giving us the talents of Louis Armstrong, Truman Capote, Kitty Carlisle, Fats Domino, Jelly Roll Morton, Lillian Hellman and Dorothy Lamour; all from New Orleans (famous Louisianians). It has also been an inspiration to some of America's greatest icons and artists: Tennesse Williams, John Grisham, Stephen Ambrose, Anne Rice, William Faulkner, George Rodrigue; all from or inspired by New Orleans.

Interesting - but let's not rebuild. Who needs it?

#6. Regardless what the Poverty Pimps Jessie Jackson and Al Sharpton want you to believe, The US Government didn't create the Hurricane as a way to erradicate the black people of New Orleans; (Neither did Russia as a way to destroy America). The US Government didn't cause global warming that caused the hurricane (We've been coming out of an ice age for over a million years).

I agree with you on this one, though it has little to do with the people of New Orleans. Jessie Jackson, Al Sharpton, and Louis Farrakhan, to name a few, are a bunch of self-serving, hypocritical morons.

#7. The government isn't responsible for giving you anything. This is the land of the free and the home of the brave, but you gotta work for what you want. McDonalds and Walmart are always hiring, get a damn job and stop spooning off the people who are actually working for a living.

I'm not sure who you're aiming this at. If you're using this as an argument against the poor of New Orleans, it's a little late, don't you think? Telling them to "get a job" at this juncture is...a little pointless. And stupid.

The sad thing is, whatever jackass wrote all of this really sees himself as clever and witty. That's the real joke here.

Check Before Hitting “Send”

Friday, June 10th, 2005

Whenever a circulating virus hoax makes it into our office it inevitably it ends up in my Inbox. People send it to me with a "FYI.." or "thought you should know about this" - thinking they've stumbled upon some new virus we weren't hip to yet or that they're making my job easier.

It's very frustrating to get these emails and see that, previously, they've been forwarded to, sometimes, hundreds of people. It takes me less than a minute to check Snopes or even TrendMicro Hoax Encyclopedia and see that the email is completely bogus.

Out of the over one hundred people that received this last hoax (the Life is Beautiful.pps hoax), which I could see from all of the left-over forwarded addresses, not one had the good sense to check the validity of this claim before sending it out to everyone in their address book.

It is amazing how many emails are sent out this way. Simply because it appears on the computer, no matter how far-fetched it might sound, people send it along. Chain letters, years-old missing children reports, and virus hoaxes are just a few examples.

The problem is that there is potential for danger here; especially with virus hoaxes. The Life is Beautiful.pps hoax is fairly innocuous. It simply states, untruthfully, that opening a particular file can cause a virus to wipe your computer clean.

Some virus hoaxes are much more sinister. There have been hoaxes that, playing on people's fear, tell users to find a certain file in their computer. If the file is found, the hoax may state, they have whatever virus the hoax has dreamed up. They are instructed to delete the file immediately.

You can imagine what happens. The user has unwittingly deleted an important system file that the computer needs to run properly. There was no virus, yet the hoax caused the user to damage their own computer just the same.

Things like this, along with email farming and phishing scams, are good reasons to have sites like TrendMicro & Snopes bookmarked. Check out emails before sending them along. You could be passing on misinformation, or even potentially harmful data.

Here are a list of good resources to check and see if the email you've received is a hoax or scam before sending it on:
Snopes - Urban Legend Reference
TrendMicro Hoax Encyclopedia
Scambusters
Hoax-Slayer
Cluestick
CIAC (US Dept. of Energy) Hoaxbusters

Remember - THINK before hitting "Forward"!

The Dancing Baby Can “Kiss” My Ass

Wednesday, May 25th, 2005

It's been awhile since I've shared any irritating-scam-spam-crap emails forwarded to me by co-workers. It isn't that I haven't been getting them, just that it was only more of the same bilge. This one, however, caught my eye (me in italics, like you didn't know):

You have just been KISSED by the Dancing Baby! .

Oh...yay?

something good will happen to you at 1:00-4:00 pm tomorrow, it could be anywhere.

What could be anywhere? My "something good" is a "what" - it's a thing? I'm going to get a tangible "something good"? Bring it on.

Get ready for the biggest shock in your life if you break this chain u will be cursed for the next 10yrs.

Wait a minute. I thought we were friends - I thought you were going to give me some good thing b/tw 1-4 tomorrow. And now you're *threatening* me?! What happened? Where did we go wrong? Ten years? I mean, come on - you only get seven for breaking a mirror. I'm going to get *ten years* for not forwarding this stupid piece of crap on? Oh, the inhumanity!!

Send this to 10people in 15min

Nah. I think I'll take my chances with the bad luck, rather than piss all of my friends off by sending them threatening letters. Maybe my luck will be shitty, but at least people won't be blocking my email address.

The Truth About the Infamous Sundarbans Dead Picture

Friday, December 10th, 2004

The young man in this photo went to a place called Sundarbans with his friends and he asked his friends to take this photo on this spot. While his friend took the photo, he screamed and fainted, 2 days later he died in the hospital. The doctors said he died from a heart attack.When the photos where developed, in the last photo there was a woman standing next to the young man, even though his friends said there was no one with him when the photo was taken. Many people know of this rumor and the last photo is the result of the blessings of technology. But still, the photo is very mysterious and I'm sure that when you see it you will feel the same as me. Here's the photo!! A Naval Officer sent it to 13 people and he was promoted within 13 days. A businessman was sent this and he erased it and with in 13 days he lost everything. A laborer received this and sent it to 13 people and within days he was promoted and all his problems were solved. So send this to 13 people and good things will come your way. Don't be lazy what have you got to loose.

For those of you that find this blog because are looking for more information about this stupid email, I send you to:

Snopes: Double Exposure and Asian ghost gets around.

If you think the photograph or the story in the email is real then I cannot help you - perhaps you might want to try writing your name or reciting the alphabet instead of sending/reading emails; I believe that is more your speed.

Email No-Nos

Saturday, October 23rd, 2004

It's been awhile since I've ranted about the junk emails people forward me. This doesn't mean I haven't been getting any; just that I've been stewing over it rather than bitching about it. I believe aggravating forwards will forever be a constant in any computer user's life.

I have, however, come up with this: Shanna's List of Email No-Nos

Enjoy.

If you send me a .pps, I will delete it.

If you forward me an email with over 2 million >>'s in it, I will henceforth delete every email you ever send me.

If you send me a stupid junk email promising fortunes, coupons, or a place in heaven, I will lose all respect for you.

If you send me a link to an .htm page with loud sounds on it, I will turn the speakers all the way up on your computer when you're not around.

If you send me an email with a dumb joke that claims I must punch any combination of keys on my keyboard to see the punch line, I will pray to the computer gods that your computer crashes.

If you send me a link to an .htm page that is seemingly innocent and then some horrible atrocity suddenly pops on the screen to scare the ever-living-daylights out of me, I will no longer be your friend.

If you send me an immature limerick about how great friends are and how if I'm a great friend I would forward this piece of crap to my friends and tell them so, I will wonder if you ever graduated high school.

If you send me any kind of product warning, potential-homicidal-person sighting, missing child alert, or medical tip without first checking the validity of it at snopes.com, I will personally hire a group of men to lay a crying baby on your doorstep one night who will then spray you with poisonous perfume and stuff leaden lipstick down your throat when you answer the door.