Facebook Ads – Stimulus Check for $12,000 or more!

I have seen several ads now on Facebook for Government Checks under the guise of the Obama Stimulus package. I’m so glad you can rate or report the ads on Facebook. There is a scam going on now where people get official looking government checks for  several thousand dollars. They take the checks to the bank and they appear to clear after a couple of days. Then the person who deposited the check withdraws money and a few days later the check is returned as fraudulent.  If you’re on Facebook and you see these ads, make sure you report them as misleading.

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Be careful where you go on the web

I’ve been working with my uncle who happened to visit a particular web site a few days ago. On the site was what he thought might be some interesting video, my uncle chose to download the CODEC so he could view the content. After installing the CODEC, his browser started going to a particular site that offered to clear off his system of a virus. No matter what he typed in the address bar or IE short cut he clicked, the system would always take him to this site.

My uncle’s computer was high-jacked! The virus/mal-ware culprit was avoiding being found by most scans, but even after some items were picked up and “healed” the behavior stayed. His last attempt was a complete reformat of his system, but this may not even resolve his issues. He may have no other recourse other than going to see a Geek Squad member at Best Buy. Hopefully he’ll have some luck and this thing will get removed for good.

Please be careful where you go on the internet and what you click on. Even with the latest updates for Windows, the latest and greatest Anti-virus and mal-ware scanner, you can get infected. My uncles learned the lesson and hopefully this bit of wisdom will prevent you from having to learn it the hard way too.

* A CODEC is a piece of software that is used by your media player to decode media such as video. Mal-ware is software that has malicious intent such as taking over you computer or spreading a computer virus.

I recommend some software by Grisoft. You can download and use a couple of their “free” packages which offer protection you may not have otherwise. Visit Grisoft now and protect your system.

Please help stop SPAM – Don’t reply or even read them!

Not only can they start tracking you, then please use their services.

Please don’t fall for the Pay Pal phishing scam. If you get one of these and it looks legit, go to Pay Pal from your own link, don’t follow the one. Or if you want, enter some bogus user id and password. If it continues to ask for CC information or such, fill in bogus stuff there too. Some have improved their scheme by figuring out if you enter just a bunch of numbers. One Visa card number you can use is a 4 following by 15 number ones. That will get past some validations. One of my favorite things to do it is to enter things like “We’re tracking you down” in the password field. If they start getting nothing but trash then maybe they will stop that crap!

Protect yourself. Keep your virus definitions up to date. Install and use an anti-spyware software package too. Keep it up to date. Keep your Windows systems and OSX systems up to date by visiting the update sites on a regular basis.

Oh, and don’t fall for any “Earn $20k in just two days!” from people like Robert Allen and others. You are paying for information that someone just gathered for free.

Windows WMF Vulnerability!

I recently heard of a major security hole discovered in Windows OS. This hole, which has been there since 1991, allows code to be executed by viewing Windows Meta Files (WMF). WMF graphics are not true graphics, but are instructions to draw the graphics it describes.

Microsoft has issued a patch so make sure your Windows 2000 & XP machines have been updated from the Microsoft Update .

Find out the details here from Steve Gibson’s site.

HOAX Email Virus Warnings

Repost from April, 2003

Many if not all virus warnings that you receive and send out to all your email buddies are hoaxes. And you should never detach or use something that appears to be an update to your virus software. No virus software vendor will mail you updates. They may warn you there is a new virus or an update is available, but never, NEVER follow the link in the email. Always use the option in your virus scanner to update the virus definitions.

Before sending and forwarding any email virus warnings you receive, check out to see if it is a hoax. You can find many sites that list virus hoaxes most are hosted by the anti-virus software, including these:

Symantec’s Hoax Page
McAfee’s Hoax Page
Trend Micro Page of Virus Hoaxes

Watch Out for Bogus Ad-aware downloads!

from winxpnews.com
Many of you use Ad-aware to protect your computers against evil spyware and Scumware. The bad news is some Web sites and emailers are trying to take advantage of people’s trust in Ad-aware by distributing virus files and calling them Ad-aware. The makers of Ad-aware are “aware” of this problem and they are warning users to get the program from their Web site only. Check out their official response at:

http://www.winxpnews.com/rd/rd.cfm?id=021029SE-Ad-aware