April 25, 2008
Dear CNET members,
Happy Friday, folks! By now I hope that most of you are all aware of phishing scams (if not, here is a quick run down from Wikipedia.org). And this week's topic is all about vishing (or voice phishing), which is a scam very similar to phishing tactics, but performed mostly through the telephone or cell phone rather than through Web sites or e-mails. This process of vishing is an electronic fraud tactic where unsuspecting people are called or left a message in one form or another, using an automated process (voice recording) stating that your financial account has been possibly compromised and your verification is needed to ensure it hasn't been compromised. What usually follows the message is a prompt requesting you to enter personal information (credit card information, PIN, Social Security number, etc.). Or if it is left as a message on your answering machine, it leaves a number for you to call back and once you call back, it will prompt you to enter your information. Either way, if you do enter that information (and I hope no one does), before you know it, someone out there has your personal information and is probably laughing all the way to the bank.
These scam tactics come in all shapes and sizes; the bottom line is that they're out to get your personal information--if you allow them to! And once you read through the answers that Judie received from our members, you'll get a good sense of what's out there.
I know for a lot of you this whole vishing or even phishing
thing sounds trivial, and simple common sense tells us to
hang up or ignore it. But unsuspecting people will fall
victim to these scams, and unless we as a community raise
awareness to our families, friends, and co-workers, scammers will
continue to prey on those uninformed folks. So as a
community, I urge you all to do a good deed and spread the
word about these malicious scams to hopefully stop this
For this week, there will be no voting on the most helpful
answer as there are just so many informative answers to go
around. We have members providing links to report these
tactics, information on how to prevent being a victim or
recover from being a victim, all the way to how to stop
receiving unsolicited telemarketing calls. There are even
folks who were victims of vishing or phishing who have
stopped by to share their experience. We are all very
grateful and fortunate to have folks like you who care enough
to help one another out. So hats off to you, for being kind
enough to share. Please read all the answers and get
informed. And if you have more advice to add, or experiences
to share, do join us in this week's discussion. Take care,
and be safe!
Member Question of the Week
This isn't exactly a technical how-to question, but I would
really like to know how widespread this phenomenon is at this
point. I've been getting phone calls lately that sound for
all the world like phishing. They disguise themselves by
saying something about my credit card (no specific one) or
the car I now own (no specific brand). The two incidents I
specifically remember involve a prerecorded message
announcing 1) we need to discuss your credit card although
there is no problem right now, and 2) the deadline is
approaching to obtain an extended warranty on the vehicle you
now own. Then it says to wait for the operator to come on. I
hung up. Another very suspicious message was left on my
answering machine to call a toll free number about my credit
card. I think that one mentioned a specific card. However, I
started getting a bit freaked out when they wanted me to give
them a whole bunch of information (card number, address,
etc.) before they would tell me what they had called about. I
hung up on them, too.
Is this becoming more common? Have any of you experienced
this? I have not really seen anything about it and didn't
really know where to post this type of information in order
to get an idea. It certainly seems like someone should get
the word out, as was done with e-mail, before a lot of people
really get messed up! Is there anything we can do to stop
Click here to read all the great contributions by our members!
Previous week's Q&AThe votes are in! Below is the answer voted most helpful by our community to last week's question.
Hi everyone. Sorry if this sounds like dumb question. I'm in
process of buying a new desktop computer. When I'm looking at
the specification on many desktop PCs, I often get quite
confused over the video memory aspect of these desktop. Some
read 128MB dedicated video memory, some read integrated
graphics with up to 128MB shared memory, and some read 256MB
discrete video memory. Dedicated, shared, discrete? Talk
about confusion! All I know in general is the more video
memory, the better. But can someone please explain what the
differences are between these type of video specs, and what
is best suited for what type of computer usage, so I can make
a decent buying decision on a desktop without any future
regrets. If this helps, my main goal for this new PC is for
multimedia--the casual music listening/steaming, Internet
surfing, e-mailing, watch videos online or DVDs, photos
editing, casual gaming--nothing hardcore. I don't want to
limit myself to these as my interest may expand down the
line. A little help in the confusing video memory area would
be most appreciated!
Shared Video Memory: Using part of main memory (RAM) for the display circuit's frame buffers, which temporarily hold the rendered content being sent to the screen. Shared memory is used in PCs that have the display circuit built into the motherboard rather than housed on a separate, more costly display adapter card...
Congratulations to the winner!
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Check out next week's question:
Hi. I have a problem with my PC (AMD Athlon 1700+, 256MB of RAM, 80GB hard disk, CD writer) and I hope you guys can clue me in as to what can be the issue of my system rebooting every 10 to 20 minutes after it has been on. I've changed my RAM and also reformatted my hard drive in attempt to see if that will remedy my issue, but no success and I'm at a lost. Is this a hardware issue? Please kindly help me and if possible list out all the possible culprits that can cause such issues and possible solutions to remedy it. Thank you kindly.
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