Scam alert: Don’t give credit card info

By Tom DiFrancesca

Scam alert: If you receive an e-mail purportedly from the folks at Paypal, and the e-mail is requesting you confirm your credit card information — delete it.
Don’t even think about providing any information whatsoever — it’s a con. Although the e-mail may look official, it’s not. Paypal will never ask anyone to send their credit card information via e-mail.
Did you ever hear about the fellow who tied a bunch of helium balloons to his lounge chair and launched himself skyward? Only problem is — he hadn’t made any plans on how to return to the ground. Eventually, he cut the balloon cords and fell back to Earth — I reckon he made quite an impression on his neighbors.
I’ve discovered a much safer alternative for obtaining a bird’s-eye view of my surroundings, it’s called “kite aerial photography.” Just jump over to:
arch.ced.berkeley.edu/kap/index.html
and you’ll learn all about that fascinating endeavor.
I was impressed with the quality of the images that were displayed on the Web site.
Another way to view the Earth from on high is through the use of satellite imagery. No, you don’t have to have any special clearances or access privileges — you just have to know where to go on the Web.
That’s what I’m here for.
www.fourmilab.ch/earthview/satellite.html
I was impressed with this Web site. Imagine, being able to pull up the latest Earth images from dozens upon dozens of satellites — it’s absolutely possible.
Modern technology is wonderful, isn’t it?
– Any mothers out there interested in saving money?
Well, just take your thrifty little fingers and type in the following URL:
www.clubmom.com
Money saving ideas, networking, sharing special stories — it’s all there on the Web site.
– SPAM.
I get more e-mail from my readers concerning this subject more than any other. From everything that I’ve read — there is really no relief in sight. Sure, laws are being drafted and a few have been passed by local and state governments, but come on, do you really think the “spammers” are gonna quit that easy?
I’ve discovered a Web mail service that looks like it’s pretty good at filtering out spam. It’s called “MailBlocks” and you can visit the site at
www.mailblocks.com
What makes this Web mail service so different, say from Yahoo, you may be wondering. MailBlocks uses a method called “challenge/response.” When someone sends you an e-mail to your new MailBlocks address, they receive back an e-mail from the service requesting confirmation that they are who they say they are.
You see, if a bulk e-mail program sends a message to you, it will be unable to answer the challenge, it’s just not built to do that. Thusly, supposedly, only real people will be able to reach you. This method is strict and some folks take offense to it, but the way things have gotten with spam, anything that fights that menace gets my vote.
The MailBlocks service isn’t free. The basic service runs $10 a year and the premium service will cost you $25 a year. Either fee isn’t unrealistic, and if you’re extremely tired of spam, it’s well worth the money.
Tom DiFrancesca III is a freelance writer and a resident of Clovis. He can be reached at tomdifran@ureach.com or www.trackertom.com