Today we have another important 'Snippets' issue for you.
You'll find a useful resource to help you find cheap gas prices, some good info on phishing scams, lighter (and funny) info about cicadas, more about credit card fraud, as well as news on the proposed do not spam registry and the first mobile phone virus.
But first, a quick, interesting observation:
When we decided to start publishing ScamBusters more frequently, we knew there would be no problem finding great content to share with you (after all, there are almost no limits to how many clever scams exist). What has surprised us, however, is that we're finding so much great info that it's even harder than before to select what to include!
Important: we have our ScamBusters sign-up box at the top of most pages on the ScamBusters site. If you visit a page and only see a sign-up box, simply scroll down below the box to see the article.
OK. Let's get going...
Cut the Line on Phishing Scams
This week, a promising new educational campaign was launched by Visa USA, the Better Business Bureau, Call For Action, the Federal Trade Commission, and the Treasury Department, with the aim of helping consumers 'cut the line on phishing scams.'
Why is this so timely? According to the Anti-Phishing Working Group, phishing scams grew 180% from March to April of 2004! Yikes.
There are lots of rumors circulating right now about cicadas, including 'answers' to these popular questions:
- Are cicadas vicious killers?
- Will cicadas really kill more people this year than snakes, spiders, scorpions, and sharks combined?
- Can you earn good money collecting cicadas for science?
You can get the answers -- and a good chuckle -- by visiting our newest urban legends page on cicadas.
Feedback and More on Credit Card Fraud
To sign or not to sign? That, again, is definitely the question of the week. 😉
A number of subscribers took us to task for 'copping out' (or worse) in last week's issue when we reported our conversations with Visa, MasterCard and AmEx.
Last week, we did not attempt to address the question of whether or not the credit card companies should have the policy that requires you to sign your credit cards.
What we did say is that given that this policy does exist, we recommend you sign your cards.
In subsequent discussions, Visa has said that writing 'See Photo ID' in addition to your signature certainly can't hurt.
We've posted some of the better (and printable) comments from subscribers, as well as some other very interesting suggestions about reducing credit card fraud. So, check out the feedback and make your own decision.
And here are the suggestions on credit card fraud protection from last week (if you missed them).
Incidentally, we spent almost a full day both last week and this week going through subscriber feedback and creating these pages of subscriber suggestions. Unfortunately, we won't be able to dedicate this kind of time to subscriber feedback. However, this topic struck such a nerve that we decided it was worth it. And, we will continue to post subscriber feedback as time permits.
FTC Decides Not to Create Do Not Spam Registry
We applaud the US Federal Trade Commission's decision not to create a Do Not Spam Registry. The original idea was to model a Do Not Spam Registry after the enormously popular (and quite successful) Do Not Call Registry, aimed at reducing unwanted telemarketing calls.
Although we are pioneers against spam, we strongly believe a Do Not Spam Registry would not be effective for reducing spam -- and in fact, could help spammers find legitimate email addresses.
First mobile phone virus discovered
Last week, the first ever computer virus that can infect mobile phones was discovered.
This virus infects the Symbian operating system (used by several types of cell phones including Nokia), and spreads via bluetooth wireless technology. This mobile phone virus -- called Cabir -- currently has no harmful effects.
The reason this is important is that it demonstrates what anti-virus experts have been warning for months: that mobile phone viruses are a real threat and set to multiply.
So, if you use a cell phone, it's important to be aware that there is a new virus threat.
Time to wrap up. See you next week!