Friday, 18 March 2020
Businessmen Victor and Henry Smears did their best, to paraphrase PT Barnum, to "never underestimate people's bad taste." Their sorry bid at the Lapland New Forest Event in 2008 ended up with 13 months in jail this week. They are thought to have sold as much as st£1 million worth of advance tickets for which customers are their kids got to look at a sad reindeer, a couple of elves trying to dodge outraged visitors and a security guard warning people how crap the event actually was - he quit after getting punched by an irate punter. Read about it here. It would be funny, so long as you weren't one of the people who bought tickets.
Wednesday, 16 March 2020
Watch out for scam artists cashing in on people's desire to help the Japanese people in the wake of the earthquake. It regularly happens that various scams will be set up, whether by directing internet traffic to click on commercial ads or directly seeking cash from well-meaning people. If you are going to donate do it through a well-established charity like the Red Cross. Facebook users need to be aware about clicking on posts that look to have come from friends supporting a charity. Lifehacker covered the topic here - but use your common sense.
Tuesday, 15 March 2020
Mike Milotte in the Irish Times gave an honest account of getting stung by a fraudster when he replied to an ad for a type of camera he was thinking of buying. Read here . All the good stuff about the internet that makes using Gmail or Facebook easy and attractive can also be used by con-artists looking for ways to steal your money. Mike admits he was so caught up in getting the right camera he ignored the warning signs. In this case when the vendor said they would have to charge 17 per cent for a credit card purchase and asked for a direct bank transfer it should have been the moment to walk away. Fair dues to Mike for explaining just how easy it can be to get caught out if you let your guard down.