May 232016
 

Technology is a wonderful thing, especially if you’re an author. With a computer and an Internet connection I have access to information about anything in the world without ever leaving my home. All I’ve got to do is a quick Internet search and I can find out how to make buttermilk pancakes, how many people were killed at the battle of Iwo Jima, or the horsepower of an early Cord automobile.



And I don’t even have to be at my computer, actually. All I have to do is pick up my smart phone, say “Okay Google” and ask a question and I can find out anything I need to know. But it’s not just for research, I can check my email and bank balance, find a good Chinese buffet near me, and then use my phone’s mapping program to get me right to the front door. Oh yeah, and I can call people, too!

The Internet has allowed me to research my family tree, connect with relatives I hadn’t seen in over 20 years, and even provides a way for me to earn a living with my e-books, blog, and the digital edition of the Gypsy Journal.

Unfortunately, there’s a downside to all of this technology. Just as it has made all of our lives easier, it’s also made them much harder. And sometimes more dangerous. I’m not talking about some twit driving down the road with a cigarette in one hand and texting with the other who runs a stop sign and broadsides you, though Lord knows that’s happened way too many times. No, I’m talking about all of the criminals and sickos out there just waiting to rip you off and make your life miserable.

In the last week I’ve heard from three different RVers who have received spam emails that looked realistic. One was allegedly from Amazon saying to “click here for a refund for a product they had been overcharged for,” another was someone trying to get the recipient to send them their pin number because of a problem with their bank account, and the third just said “click here for information about your RV.” The woman said when she did click the link in the email she was taken to some porn site, and when she tried to get out of it, every time she clicked her mouse it took her to another one until she finally shut off her computer in frustration.



And then there are the telephone calls. Your phone rings and you answer and somebody tells you they’re from the IRS and you need to pay some past-due tax immediately or go to jail. The next guy calling says he’s from Microsoft and your computer has been compromised and he needs your password to get it fixed. I’ve even had a phone call from someone claiming they had kidnapped my son and were holding a gun to his head, and that if I didn’t pay up they were going to shoot him. I hung up, then called my son Travis and told him about the phone call and that I was going to miss him, but money was tight right now. To his credit he said he understood and he would miss me, too.

I’ve also received emails that supposedly came from friends of mine claiming they had been mugged in some foreign country and needed money to get back home. I’m sorry, but if I can’t even save my own kid from getting wasted, I’m damn sure not going to send $500 to London so you can buy a plane ticket!

Folks, you can’t be too careful. In the time it’s taken me to write this blog, you can bet that half a dozen scam artists have come up with new ways to try to separate you from your money. When in doubt, hang up, don’t click that link in an email, or do anything else somebody wants you to do. Maybe one time in a million it’s legitimate, but it’s much better to be safe than sorry

Congratulations Steven Shunk, winner of our drawing for an audiobook of Rabbits Never Die, the second book in my friend Steven Thomas’ Gretch Bayonne action adventure series. We had 87 entries this time around. Stay tuned, a new contest starts soon.

Thought For The Day – It takes a long time to find out how wrong you are sometimes. – Will Rogers

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Nick Russell

World-Famous, New York Times Best Selling Author, and All-Around Nice Guy!

  3 Responses to “Spam, Scams, And Porn, Too”

  1. I SO hate those emails. I get dozens every day, many saying I’ve inherited millions, or won the lottery, the latest saying they are withdrawing $17,000 from my bank account immediately … click here. I guess the only way to get rid of them is to open a new email account. It’s frustrating, to say the least, and I always think about all the little old folks who don’t understand and give them all the information they are asking for. It’s sad there are so many creeps out there!!

  2. Hold your horses, you say that you can use a smart phone to talk to people? How does that work exactly??? 😉

  3. Thanks for the book, downloaded it and plan to start reading it tonight..thanks again.
    Steve

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