Tech – for Everyone

Tech Tips and Tricks & Advice – written in plain English.

“Medicaid Database Department” phone scam

I just received a new (to me) ‘caller has a foreign accent’ telephone scam phone call: this one claiming to be the Medicaid Database Department.

It’s gotten so I wouldn’t let my elderly loved ones answer the phone anymore. (And if that’s not possible, I’d sign them up with nomorobo and one of the paid spam-blocking services.[ see https://www.theverge.com/2019/2/12/18220804/how-to-stop-phone-spam-landline-scam-calls])

“How the Scam Works

Medicare and Social Security beneficiaries across the country report receiving calls from scam operators (frequently with foreign accents), who claim to represent Medicare, Social Security, or an insurance company. These callers claim that new Medicare, Social Security, or supplemental insurance benefits cards are being issued or that the beneficiary’s file must be updated. The scam artist asks the citizen to verify or provide their personal banking information, which is then used to commit theft.”

Read more..

May 1, 2019 Posted by | advice, cyber crime, Internet scam, News, phraud, security | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Microsoft License Scam?

Folks, a reader wrote and asked me about a phone call they received. The (female) caller claimed to be from Microsoft, and warned the reader that their “Windows license had expired”…

This is a scam. Don’t fall for it. Hang up. And, please, warn your friends and family. As this ‘thread’ says, Microsoft would not call you unsolicited. Nor would they know if any errors existed on your computer.

The article has good information on scams and what you can do. Again, click here to read more.

And thank you Dear Reader for bringing this to my attention.

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Today’s quote:I don’t believe you have to be better than everybody else. I believe you have to be better than you ever thought you could be.” ~ Ken Venturi

Copyright 2007-2015 © “Tech Paul” (Paul Eckstrom). All Rights Reserved.


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All we really have, in the end, are our stories.
Make yours great ones. Ones to be proud of.

May 3, 2016 Posted by | advice, computers, consumer electronics, cyber crime, Internet scam, Microsoft, Phishing, phraud, security, tech | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Windows Technical Department

I just got a phone call from some Indian claiming to be from the “Windows Technical Department”; he addressed me by name, and he started to tell me that there were serious problems with my computer, but I told him he is a vile criminal, and hung up on him.

This was my second such call this week. So be aware, folks, the fake Microsoft tech support phone call scammers are still quite active. Remind your friends and loved ones of this fact, and tell them that no way, no how, are such calls legitimate. Maybe even refer them to this resource: http://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0346-tech-support-scams.

Keep these other tips rules in mind:

  • Don’t give control of your computer to a third party who calls you out of the blue.
  • Do not rely on caller ID alone to authenticate a caller. Criminals spoof caller ID numbers. They may appear to be calling from a legitimate company or a local number, when they’re not even in the same country as you.
  • Online search results might not be the best way to find technical support or get a company’s contact information. Scammers place online ads to convince you to call them. They pay to boost their ranking in search results so their websites and phone numbers appear above those of legitimate companies. If you want tech support, look for a company’s contact information on their software package or on your receipt.
  • Never provide your credit card or financial information to someone who calls and claims to be from tech support.
  • If a caller pressures you to buy a computer security product or says there is a subscription fee associated with the call, hang up. If you’re concerned about your computer, call your security software company directly and ask for help.
  • Never give your password on the phone. No legitimate organization calls you and asks for your password.

See, that’s the nice thing about our modern ‘flat earth’ (globalization/”world-wide web”): you don’t have to only worry about the bad actors in your town, but every bad actor on the planet can reach into your home.
Yippee yahoo.

Today’s quote:View your life with KINDSIGHT. Stop beating yourself up about things from your past. Instead of slapping your forehead and asking, “What was I thinking,” breathe and ask yourself the kinder question, “What was I learning?” ~ Karen Salmansohn,

Copyright 2007-2015 © “Tech Paul” (Paul Eckstrom). All Rights Reserved.


>> Folks, don’t miss an article! To get Tech – for Everyone articles delivered to your e-mail Inbox, click here, or to subscribe in your RSS reader, click here. <<


All we really have, in the end, are our stories.
Make yours great ones. Ones to be proud of.

May 1, 2015 Posted by | advice, cyber crime, Internet scam, security | , , , , , | 8 Comments

The 15 Best Android Games

Would you believe, the only one of these even mildly interesting to me involves Kim Kardashian?

android_games* The 15 Best Android Games

Your Android device is the portal to an amazing selection of world-class gaming. Here are our favorites.Read more..

[ Pretty liberal use of the term “world class”..! ]

Other Items (of possible interest):

* Angler Exploit Kit pushed in xHamster malvertising campaign

Researchers with Malwarebytes Labs identified a malvertising campaign impacting popular adult website xHamster..” Read more..

[Geekspeak translation: “malvertising” describes when the ads are used to give you viruses.] (One more reasone to use ad blockers.. (as if you need another))

* How to Avoid Sharing Lies, Myths, and Nonsense Online

People share stupid things online. Here’s some steps to take before you circulate the same nonsense.” Read more..

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Today’s quote:Choose being kind over being right and you’ll be right every time.” ~ Richard Carlson

Copyright 2007-2015 © “Tech Paul” (Paul Eckstrom). All Rights Reserved.


>> Folks, don’t miss an article! To get Tech – for Everyone articles delivered to your e-mail Inbox, click here, or to subscribe in your RSS reader, click here. <<


All we really have, in the end, are our stories.
Make yours great ones. Ones to be proud of.

April 28, 2015 Posted by | advice, Android, consumer electronics, cyber crime, Gaming, hackers, Internet, News, security, software, tech | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

“Hello, Microsoft calling. You have infected files on your machine.”

Savvy folks know about the “Microsoft” scam phone calls. The scam has been around for years and years now. But recent conversations – and today’s Windows Secrets newsletter – tell me that this fraud scam is still alive and well, and snaring “average computer users”.

Please read – and forward to your less-savvy friends and neighbors..!! There’s no reason this scam should still be working, except ignorance. Which we can cure! Don’t let this rip-off victimize one more soul.
(And this is a good read even if you are aware of this scam. Learn how the con artist works their trade.)

See Security alert: Bogus tech-support phone calls
By Fred Langa. on February 27, 2013

Hello. This is Microsoft Tech Support. Your PC has notified us that it has an infection.”

The call is a scam — an extremely prevalent one. Here’s how it works and what you need to know to stay out of the trap.Read more..

Note: If you receive (or have already received) a scam-related phone call, the FTC requests you dial (toll-free) 1-877-FTC-HELP or visit the Complaint Assistant site.

If you’re on the receiving end of an attempted scam via the Web (rather than by phone), file a complaint on the Internet Crime Complaint Center’s free website.

(I have a cure for this disease.. but I can’t print it.)

Today’s quote:Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young. The greatest thing in life is to keep your mind young.” ~ Henry Ford

Copyright 2007-2013 © “Tech Paul” (Paul Eckstrom). All Rights Reserved.


>> Folks, don’t miss an article! To get Tech – for Everyone articles delivered to your e-mail Inbox, click here, or to subscribe in your RSS reader, click here. <<


All we really have, in the end, are our stories.
Make yours great ones. Ones to be proud of.

February 28, 2013 Posted by | advice, computers, cyber crime, hackers, how to, Internet, Microsoft, News, security, tech | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Wednesday’s Food For Thought

I only have time today to share a few item I hope you will find of interest.

I have a list, and I go through it each afternoon. I find that the more I can check off a “Yes”, the better I feel:

  • did I make someone smile?
  • did I answer all my mail?
  • did I ride a bike, or take a walk?
  • did I learn something new?
  • did I do a “random act of kindness”?
  • did I tackle an unpleasant chore?
  • did I tidy up a mess?
  • did I receive any money?
  • did I “stop and smell the roses” and/or appreciate nature’s beauty?
  • did I do anything nice for ME?

(I am curious.. Do you have a list like that? Does it work for you?)

Some “Tech News” items..

* The slow and steady evolution of cross-platform malware

Malware isn’t just for Windows anymore. As the number of Macs rise, the economic incentive for criminals to build cross-platform attacks rises. And so do the stakes.Read more..

* Over 1.5 million Visa, MasterCard credit card numbers stolen?

U.S.-based credit card processor company Global Payments is about to announce more details about the security breach that recently saw millions of credit card numbers stolen. It doesn’t look good.Read more..

* HTC One X is the best HTC device I have ever used (review & gallery)

HTC is focusing on quality instead of quantity this year with the HTC One series their premier launch device line. The HTC One X is fantastic and I have never used a better HTC device.Read more..

* California thanks Facebook for 800% boost in organ donors

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Blowing my own horn department: Loyal readers might like to know that I have added to my already busy schedule, and now am writing for Find The Best.com, as their “resident expert” in Desktop and Laptop/Notebook PC’s.

Find The Best is a relatively new concept: a “comparison engine” (on virtually any subject or item).

FindTheBest.com | Unbiased, Data-Driven Comparisons.

FindTheBest is an objective comparison engine that allows you to find a topic, compare your options and select the best choice for you.”

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Today’s quotable quote:The kindest word in all the world is the unkind word, unsaid.” ~ Unknown

Copyright 2007-2012 © “Tech Paul” (Paul Eckstrom). All Rights Reserved.


>> Folks, don’t miss an article! To get Tech – for Everyone articles delivered to your e-mail Inbox, click here, or to subscribe in your RSS reader, click here. <<


All we really have, in the end, are our stories.
Make yours great ones. Ones to be proud of.

May 2, 2012 Posted by | advice, computers, Internet, News | , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Alert – Phone Scammers Target PC Users With Phony Virus Reports

Folks, here is a headline news story you should be aware of, and – also tell your friends and family about (heck, tell everyone at the office, too) — don’t let them become a victim of this “scare scam”.

Phone scammers target PC users with phony virus reports

Online con artists are targeting PC users worldwide in a brazen scam. It starts with a phone call from a “tech support specialist” who warns that your computer is infected with a virus.Read more..

Please.. if you read just one tech story this week, let it be that one. (This, or similar to this, has already been tried on several readers.. so be aware!)

• Loyal readers of Tech – for Everyone are probably aware that I receive dozens of requests from folks who want me to review their product and/or service — far too many requests for me to honor them all, actually. However, I would like to bring one recent one to your attention: there’s a new “engine” in town.

Findthebest.com, a unique comparison engine, allows consumers to make quick and informed decisions on all sorts of topics.

When it comes to shopping for hot new tech-products, their  electronics category is great for comparing smartphones, laptops, and tablets, based on the specs you care most about.

Findthebest.com allows you to:
•       Start with a comprehensive list of models and narrow down by brand, technical specifications, operating systems, network, manufacturer, price, and more
•       Compare with simple and easy to use side-by-side interface
•       Obtain unbiased ratings and detailed product specs

This site impressed me because they link to the manufacturer (or source) and any prices listed are MSRP — this isn’t about finding the best online price (you can use Shopzilla for that) but about making informed decisions.. or simply “finding out more”.
(Though I used tech devices as my example, you’ll find that’s  just one small ‘area’ of the site.) Take a look at Findthebest.com.

• It has been a while since the never-ending “browser wars” has come up here.. or I have been asked “which one’s faster?” In spite of the hype, I think we have settled into our choice. But, what the hey. I could be wrong. So here’s the latest “shootout”.

The BIG browser benchmark! Chrome 15 vs Opera 11 vs IE9 vs Firefox 8 vs Safari 5

Chrome 15 vs Opera 11 vs IE9 vs Firefox 8 vs Safari 5 … which browser will be triumphant?Read more..

Four Destructive Myths Most Companies Still Live By

Myth #1: Multitasking is critical in a world of infinite demand. This myth is based on the assumption that human beings are capable of doing two cognitive tasks at the same time.” Read more..

My plate is full, and much to do. Have to run…

Today’s quote:Today the world changes so quickly that in growing up we take leave not just of youth but of the world we were young in.” ~ Peter Medawar

Copyright 2007-2011 © “Tech Paul” (Paul Eckstrom). All Rights Reserved.


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November 8, 2011 Posted by | advice, computers, cyber crime, Internet, Internet scam, security | , , , , , , | 12 Comments