Tuesday, December 22, 2009
Now about the Kablamo! (aka amazonemperor) five-star review at Amazon.com of Stanley's Classic Flask.
Obviously this was in jest. But what kind of process does Amazon have for reviewing product ratings? Unless it is reported, the prank review will live on - possibly tarnishing a brand in the name of fun. Stanley should be monitoring their products for reviews like this and flagging them as needed.
Unless that is, they are trying to get a little extra buzz out of Kablamo!'s post. After all, four of six people found this review helpful. I checked Kablamo!'s profile and found that he had an equally rye sense of humor regarding a Clue game.
Epic Amazon Review Threads are the latest attack on boredom sweeping the internet. College Humor Internet Archeologist, Susanna Wolff, has an article with step-by-step instructions on "How to Write an Epic Amazon Review." Clever. Kind of reminds me of the Anarchist's Cookbook except these saboteurs subtly sneak in unaware and plant their Web-side humor with glee - knowing they just played the newest practical joke around.
Thursday, July 30, 2009
My wife was recently interviewed as part of a background check for a neighbor that was applying for a job with the U.S. Border Patrol. According to National Defense magazine, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) aims to increase the number of border personnel to 20,000 by September. This is up from 12,000 in 2006. The objective was initiated two years ago by former President George W. Bush to inhibit cross-border smuggling and border jumping. Read more about this particular bust here.
For extra reading - check out "The 7 Most Ingenious (And Insane) Smuggling Techniques" article at digg.com. The "Human Captain's Chair" was my favorite. My least favorite was the "Cocaine Jesus" - a seven-pound molded statue in the shape of an idol. The elderly Mexican woman was paid $80 to transport the statue across the border. Estimated street value - $200,000.
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
The interview was unlike any other that I had ever had. Pius spoke more with his eyes than his voice. We didn’t discuss his qualifications – we discussed his story. His life’s journey. Where he had been and why, at the age of 44 year, he was sitting here seeking a job for near minimum wage.
Pius told of his writing and critical views of the oppressive Kenyan President Daniel arap Moi’s government. How, as editor and publisher of Society, Pius sought greater democratic accountability in the Kenyan government. He spoke of government oppression, of being unlawfully arrested for speaking out against Moi and the fire-bombing of his office. Of how he and his wife, Loyce were granted political asylum in the United States. But asylum doesn’t pay the bills.
Pius was struggling to make ends meet selling Kenyan curios they brought with them. It was obvious he needed a job. Explaining his qualifications to my superior was another matter. The Regional Manager, Chuck Crawford was somewhat skeptical of his sales ability, but gave me the choice none-the-less. I took it and hired Pius rather than the other candidates.
In my twenty-seven-year-old eyes Pius was a hero. He believed in democracy and often talked fondly of his homeland and people. Pius also believed in what many call the American dream. Ritz Camera declared bankruptcy this year, but Pius now has two master’s degrees, teaches at the University of South Florida St. Petersburg, and is an expert in local and foreign policy, democracy, immigration and diversity issues.
The collective melting pot of America is stronger for giving Pius and his family domicile from the oppressive Moi government. Pius is a survivor and I am blessed for having known him and perhaps helping in the smallest way get established in the Land of the Free and Home of the Brave.
Thursday, July 9, 2009
If you don’t want to see anyone go to jail over the now infamous Barrel Monster, please call or send a letter to Wake County Prosecutor C. Colon Willoughby, Jr.
Tenth Prosecutorial District
State of North Carolina
8th Floor, Wake County Courthouse
Post Office Box 31
Raleigh, N.C. 27602-0031
telephone (919) 792-5000
Thursday, June 25, 2009
Puma is small, lightweight and has minimal safety equipment. What it does have: two wheels, two seats and a brain. What it doesn't have: airbags and most traditional safety devices (they add too much weight).
Popular Mechanics articles and science fiction novels have proposed similar ideas for years - vehicles would drive themselves based on tracking technology (based today on GPS technology and a vast communications transponder network). Roaming deer, joggers and pedestrians would be safe from drowsy drivers and drunkards. Vehicles would communicate with each other and allow a regulated flow of traffic.
The PUMA prototype can reach speeds of up to 35 miles-per-hour and ventures up to 35 miles on a single charge thanks with its lithium-ion battery. The pod uses Segway's proprietary two-wheel balancing technology, along with dual-electric motors.
PUMA echoes of the Camper Lotus Personal Commuter concept of 2006. Similar technology was used on the battery-driven I-Bot Transporter back in 2000 and gasoline-powered gyroscopic Garavaglia Monowheel of 1904.
Kind of reminds me of doing wheelies and spins in the spare wheelchair at church when I was a kid (here's a kid I took under my wing). About the same time my parents upped our insurance policy.
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
The early "Trail-Breaker" off-trail bikes had a catchy "Goes Anywhere" motto and "go everywhere ... do everything" catch phrase. (Side Note: Great motto - I worked on helping the Jeep® brand trademark the "Go Anywhere, Do Anything™" slogan a few years back while working at BBDO-Detroit. This is the bike for everyone but Superman - the MK3 brochure proudly stated, "Ride one and believe. The only thing it doesn't do is fly."
Turns out Rokon has been building diesel-powered 2WD bikes since 1999 when they produced 20 for special duty in Mexican mines. It was either a Lister or Petter engine. Another Scotish company is producing a diesel bike called the Ecorider.
The bodacious brute above was shown off at the Electric Vehicle Council of Ottowa in 2008.
Thursday, May 21, 2009
Great execution - especially enjoyed the sound. According to Hugh it's been "ripping-up film festivals and was featured on Motionographer. I enjoyed looking at the boards almost as much as the finished product. Click here and enjoy a HQ version of "The Ride."
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
While in a strategy session in the Palms Resort in Las Vegas for Camp Organic, our internal empathy workshop, we were introduced to a truth that quantity matters. There is a distinct and measurable relationship between success and failure. According to the University of California Davis professor Dean Keith Simonton, the most creative people have the greatest number of failures because they generate the most ideas. Even lousy ideas are fertilizer for the creative process. The more ideas you generate the more original the ideas. Simonton writes in his book, Origins for Genius, "In fact, emperical studies have repeatedly shown that the single most powerful predictor of eminence within any creative domain is the sheer number of influential products an individual has given the world." This applies to musicians, scientists, sports athletes and creative ad agencies.
The size of the agency doesn't matter, but the volume of ideas used in the ideation process does. In this tight economy every penny counts so one way to maximize creative volume, and successful ideas, is by using interns. Crispin has managed to keep their idea pool pumping with a large pool of energetic interns. Fresh college grads looking to catch a break in the biz that are willing to work for minimum wage for the chance to score on a paying job.
Word on the Web is that Crispin interns are considered cheap slave labor where they work like dogs, are worked to the bone and are just one legitimate step away from being prostitutes. Others call it a sweat shop. Mr Bogusky said in an AdAge article, that "the interns only make minimum wage," so this auction may give the 40 interns some extra pocket change for the weekend. Extra money for the interns. Good PR. More ideas for the agency. The bigger deal for the interns is exposure and diversified work for their portfolio. In this sluggish market it could pay off in the end. For CP+B this could play out to be an even better deal. The eBay site states in its disclaimer, "The winning bidder will receive a creative presentation developed by our interns over a three month period, consisting of strategies, recommended brand positioning and concepts. No production services or finished advertising materials will be provided." The concept is brilliant. The auction serves as a tease to get prospective customers in the door for the real show. Lure in the hungry company with an idea that they can't refuse, then charge to finish the job and deliver it in the real world. AKA - the dangling carrot technique. Once they get a taste of Crispin they may want more.
GamerIntel wrote a blog on Dangling the Carrot for gameplay. The strategy has been used very successfully by game publishers to establish how many hours of gameplay you will get out of a title. The theory goes that the more time invested in playing a game, the more happy the player is. The game is deemed of more "value" to the customer. Unlocking different layers can keep gamers involved and raises the level of perceived value.
I helped develop the Jeep® 4x4 EVO2 game along with Terminal Reality back in 2001 to help launch the Wrangler Rubicon. Terminal Reality was co-founded in 1994 by ex-Microsoft employee Mark Randel). We strategically released different stages of the game in order to teach the gamer about the Wrangler and extend gameplay. First we introduced Jeep 101 - the basics and then proceeded to the Rubicon Trail with Silverton Pass. Each stage would include upgrades to the Wrangler Rubicon including Mopar accessories. These added capabilities allowed the gamer to accomplish difficult feats that could only be done in a Jeep Wrangler Rubicon. We also offered "cheat codes" to get to different levels. All this added value and lengthened the campaign right up to the Wrangler Rubicon launch date. The tease worked as the sale of more than 1,000 Rubicon's were directly attributed to the extended gameplay.
Taste the candy. While this method is nothing new, CP+B is using the tease and payoff play in a novel way - with an unbelievable offer (CP+B work for dirt cheap) and rewards (strategies, recommended brand positioning and concepts). It's all about the process and relationship building. Look at the eBay site again and you'll notice the reward is only available for "local pickup only." The customer will be expected to be engaged in the process. In CP+B's house. Undoubtedly the three month intense courting process will come to an abrupt end with the customer wanting more. Of course you can turn the page - if you sign a contract with CP+B. I'll be interested to see who actually takes the bait.
Some questions that naturally come up with this campaign: What other agency is going to want to use ideas created by Crispin Interns? What company is going to want to tout that they were so cheap they could only afford interns? What's to keep the interns from driving the bid up until the last few days? The latest bid is up to $5,100 - up $850 since I started writing this rant.
Friday, May 8, 2009
This sustainable soybean sizzler's steering wheel is made of plant-based fibers derived from carrots and other root vegetables, the bucket seat is made of flax fibre and soybean oil foam, and the body was made of plant fibers mixed with resin. Most interesting is the biofuel that's derived from refining oils in waste chocolate and chip fat. You can hear the hear the subtle umpa lumpa, umpa lumpa exhaust note and see the car in action in this BBC video.
Monday, May 4, 2009
The influencer premise has worked well for many launches. Jeff Bell, former Vice President of Global Marketing for Interactive Entertainment (now with NCT Ventures), used it successfully to promote its Xbox 360 console.
Jeff previously headed up the marketing department for the Jeep® brand and worked closely with BBDO Detroit creative to get the word out to an extended network of first, or early-adopters. These decision makers, recommenders and influencers carry weight (street-cred) in todays fast-paced world.
The iPhone is by far the most popular device used in our digital agency (Organic Inc.) -- almost exclusively in creative and darn-near it in engineering. The engagement managers are a mixed bunch - with most using Blackberry devices. I'm hoping to plant a seed in the trenches to see if the Pre will take hold. We might even get some Jeep brand apps for the unit - we'll see. Let the influencing begin.
Friday, May 1, 2009
Thursday, April 30, 2009
According to one site there is a 5,000 maximum friend allotment. I took a quick survey and didn't find any of my friends in that mega-friend category.
What is the happy medium? According to researcher Robin Dunbar it's 100 to 150. That's the general size of group where everyone knows everyone else. Studies of military units, city dwellers and churches suggests a similar finding of 100 to 150 for the natural group size where direct relationships remain strong.
If you had over 800 friends in 2007 you were considered a social whale. The new egregious aggregate for 2009 has bumped up some - to 1000 friends. Greg Atwan, co-author of "The Facebook Book," about Facebook etiquette, considers having more than 1,000 friends "a pretty obvious cry of social insecurity" and said that having too many friends "dilutes the meaning of friendship for the rest of us more modest Facebook users." So what is modest? According to Facebook the average member has 120 friends.
Burger King (led by Crispin Porter + Bogusky) must have figured out the trend to drop friends from Facebook. Earlier this year they started a Whopper Sacrifice promotion to give a free Whopper if you "gave up" 10 of your friends. Each deleted friend ends up netting about 37 cents towards the $3.69 sandwich. According to a NYTimes article, "The application sends a note to each of the banished friends, bluntly alerting them that they were abandoned for a free hamburger."
I expect the Facebook Fatique factor to be in the press on a more regular basis as the social milieu encroaches more and more into peoples everyday lives.
My kids were recently fishing in a small pond had a couple of huge fish and all the rest were stunted little micro-fish. Too many fish and not enough food. The big ones chow on the smaller ones, but there is no chance for the little guys to mature and grow in size in the pond's competitive environment. In similar fashion, todays market has some big players that will continue to get bigger as they feed on smaller wannabes.
The social networking trend is growing at an exponential rate thanks in part to the back-up parachute plan-B mentality. Networking has never been more important. We'll have to see if many of these small social media upstarts can make it once the economy picks up ...
God bless this mess.
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
At the closing of the documentary, Phillipe gave a sublime summary of his life philosophy:
"To me life is simple - Life should be lived on the edge. You have to exercise rebellion. To refuse to taper yourself to rules, refuse your own success, to refuse to repeat yourself. Every day, every year as a true challenge, and then you are going to live on the tight rope."
The 59 year old Frenchman is now planning a series of high-wire walks this autumn around the United States.
Friday, April 17, 2009
There is mention of liquid reactant (plasma) injectors that would kick start a chemical combustion reaction using "reactant" fuel to get the combustion process going with the ability to convert the mechanical force into electrical or electromagnetic energy to drive the pistons. This clever merging of the electric and combustion process, with the ability to switch between systems, is elaborated on in the patent: "... the engine may select between the first and second modes," either gas or electric-powered, "in response to actual or predicted operating conditions." That's where the sophisticated software comes in.
The electromagnetic piston is interesting to say the least. But many free piston type engines have been proposed in the past and never seen the light of day. The patent states that each cylinder is non-circular and non-linear (read odd shape), and drive a helical gear box and work in tandem with a set of powerful electromagnets and juiced up by a rechargeable battery.
The patent was filed for a company named “Searete LLC.” According to techdirt.com Searete is one of many shell front companies for Nathan Myhrvold's Intellectual Ventures, a patent powerhouse for a myriad of innovations. According to an IAM (Intellectual Asset Management) article (large PDF file), Intellectual Ventures has a roster of senior inventors that either contribute to the patent pool or draw in innovation from their extensive networking. They move Intellectual Property (IP). According to Myhrvold the U.S. strength has changed, "IP is the thing we're good at," he stated. Since most manufacturing has moved overseas Myhrvold believes IP will only grow. "In 10 years patents will be even more important than they are now."
It might as well be the gold rush of the 21st century. With lots of cash to drop on speculative ventures, the rich are just trying to get richer in an ever changing world economy where information is king.
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
Monday, April 13, 2009
The blind, called the Predator V4, is marketed as "the world's only mirror hunting blind." It is stated that the stand becomes any environment you place it in and is described as the perfect camo, or mirrorflauge. Clever stuff.
This same principle can be applied to social marketing where you want to be immersed into the social strata without being perceived as a foreign entity. I favor a 360 degree approach - much like a huge disco mirror ball.
You need to plant your mirrors all over the Web: Flickr, Facebook, MySpace, YouTube, Twitter - and water with constant attention. Feed the bite-sized brand mirrors with fresh content and allow users to see and express their own identity as a part of your brand. Send messages to show you're a fan of their brand enthusiasm and their stewardship. Above all nurture participation. Read more in a very thorough article: Design for Social Networking.
Joe Marchese has an interesting article called, The Social Media Mirror where he states that "social media is a digital reflection of real-world social interactions." He goes on to further state that "social media is where people create a digital representation of themselves for other people to see."
Brands can act as accessories to individuals' social representations online. They are an outward digital expression of who they are in the real world. This cyclical approach to social marketing is beneficial to the consumer and to the marketer. Adam Wilson, former Creative Director of the Jeep brand at Organic, Inc stated that social media participants were "micro broadcasters." They were key-influencers in a own micro-universe that overlaps with multitudes of other like-minded individuals.
I have the honor of acting as one of the key brand stewards for the Jeep brand. The core values of the Jeep brand: Freedom, Adventure, Mastery, Authenticity and most recently Fun naturally appeals to a wide demographic. Marketing for the Jeep brand - we make a concerted effort to maintain an identity that can trace its roots back to 1941. It's taken over 60 years to create the branding of Jeep - a true original. That same recognizable identity - that portrays rugged individualism is just one reason the Jeep brand has thrived in the social arena.
So, is it the brand that is imitating the audience or the audience that is imitating the brand?
Friday, April 3, 2009
The police had a training course put together with Michigan State University on gang symbols, colors and graffiti. Ever since then I’ve been wary of any talent using hand signs in our Jeep® advertising. When working at BBDO-Detroit I recommended steering away from a questionable hand gesture that was proposed for a print campaign. My feeling was it was better to be safe than sorry.
This ecards is the sign language symbol for love - it’s also used as a gang sign by the Almighty Latin King Nation – now known as “Latin Kings” or “Latin Kingz.” It’s been said that the Latin Kings have over 5,000 hand gestures in their “handabulary” (my own term). Who could have anticipated that obscure gang signs would have the far-reaching capacity to shut down expensive advertising campaigns?
The Virginia Department of Tourism ended up pulling a $400,000 “Live Passionately” campaign because of a seemingly innocuous image of a woman making a heart symbol with her hands. It turns out the sign is used by members of the Chicago-based Gangster Disciples gang. They were known for selling crack-cocaine and were featured in a book called “Freakonomics” – where a sociology grad student tagged along to learn the gang’s structure and business operations.
Is it time that corporate legal representation has to be familiar with gang signs to ensure that a campaign does not go awry? Let's hope reason will win out.
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
The South End newspaper had a long history of rebellion against the establishment. In the late 1960's the paper had ties to the Black Panthers and the League of Revolutionary Black Workers (LRBW). One of the more prominent members of the LRBW was Ken Cockrel, father of the acting mayor of Detroit, Ken Cockrel Jr.
A few years prior to joining The South End staff the editor-in-chief Patricia Maceroni took a stand against against running advertising from branches of the U.S. military. She was fired from her position only to win it back after challenging the firing in court. Maceroni currently works as a Criminal Defense Attorney in Mount Clemens, Michigan. The paper was suddenly radical again.
My tenure at The South End newspaper was from 1987-1991 - the same years the WSU was listed in Ami Chen Mills' book "CIA Off Campus" as a college where anti-CIA actions took place. The main story at Wayne State was in the 1988-1989 time frame when roughly 200 students had a 12-day "sit-in" at the administration building protesting racist incidents that occurred on campus. Steve Herppich, the towering Photo Editor who hired me, covered most of the sit-in and thrived on the stand-off.
Robert "Rob" Lasker was the Editor-in-Chief during most of this era. He was a brilliant, understated, conscientious friend who taught me a lot about writing while at the paper. Rob loved volunteering time at WDET (at that time in the same building) and also had a nice showing on the game-show "Jeopardy." The military advertisements and CIA recruiting were a big deal then, but my memory is jaded since I was taking Army ROTC rifle and pistol classes at the University of Detroit. Perhaps my own form of rebellion as a conservative?
A recent article "Has the Intelligence Community Tamed American Colleges?" written by Isaac Eister of The South End newspaper touches on the government in colleges topic once again.
According to Eister, the Intelligence Community, or IC, is made up of the CIA, FBI, and fifteen other gov't agencies - are hoping to expand their presence at Wayne State University and other college campuses across the United States.
Ten U.S. colleges are marked for the strategic launch of the recruiting program: Wayne State University, California State University - San Bernardino, Clark Atlanta University, Florida International University, Norfolk State University, Tennessee State University, Trinity University, University of Texas - El Paso, University of Texas - Pan American and University of Washington.
Of course Wayne State is highly coveted because of its rich Middle Eastern community. WSU's program is called the Center of Academic Excellence-National Security Intelligence Studies. That's a mouthful.
Kenneth Love, Rochester Institute of Technology student and member of the National Coordinating Committee of the Campus Antiwar Network is a former Army ROTC cadet. He stated in Eister's article,
“I know students that created technology using mathematical algorithms to detect terrorist activity among radical minded students on the popular social networking website Facebook … students who created through computer science technology better programs to catch dialect on the telephones, especially Arabic.”Advertising Age had a story, "CIA Turn to Mainstream Media for Recruiting" that highlighted the CIA is currently recruiting for its National Clandestine Service Unit. With the economy in such rough shape, it will be easier to reach out to a traditionally hard-to-reach Middle Eastern community. According to the Adage article,
"The agency has not only tried what it previously called peer-to-peer marketing by being on Facebook -- a move that was promptly met by a Facebook group called "CIA Out of Facebook" -- but its presence back on college campuses has actually gone better than expected."The South End newspaper interviewed Vanee Vines, a spokesperson for the Office of the Director of National Intelligence about the new program. According to Vines,
"...the nation faces increasingly complex global threats. As a result, the Intelligence Community must have a work force that reflects America's diversity and has a deep understanding of global cultures; foreign languages; science, technology, engineering, math, and economics; plus other key issues."Many of my friends work for the U.S. Government and others have multiple applications in process at TACOM and other agencies. The word is the government jobs are more stable and "economy proof." This is especially true in the Detroit metro area with its heavy dependence upon the automotive industry. If we can prevent another 9/11 by recruiting spies at WSU - bring it on.
Monday, March 23, 2009
Management at the Detroit Media Partnership are trying to shift to a digital delivery of the news. Unfortunately, even though our family is entrenched in the digital domain, the facto-o-the matter is that we still like the renewable resource of tactile paper. You can use it to train a puppy in the finer matters and it can be split into sections - comics to the kids, sports to dad, and lifestyle to the wife. I'm not going to buy a Kindle 2 device for everyone. We only have one computer and that my Freep-friends is the dilemma.
An ad posted recently that caught my eye. The New York Times must have a local zip-code driven targeted advertisement in the Free Press hinterland. The Free Press has been trying to keep loyal readers from defecting to the Oakland Press with an option of mail delivery. It worked for my uncle, but came too late for my family. We already switched allegiances to the Oakland Press (even though its parent company has filed for chapter 11 protection). Now the NYT is advertising daily delivery for $3.35 a week. I know the digital age is here ... but I still want ink on my fingers.
"As for the jobs created in the short-term, what's the cost? The Heritage Foundation crunched the president's own numbers and came up with this startling figure: for every single job the bill creates, American taxpayers will spend $223,000."That kind of ROI wouldn't fly in any real-world business sector. I don't know why our government should be held to a different measure of success. Mark closed his argument with this poignant statement:
"The president's stimulus represents the largest and most invasive economic action in our government's history. For a relatively small number of short-term jobs, this administration and this Congress are poised to mortgage the economic future of my four boys and the millions of young Americans just like them. To me, that's simply not a morally acceptable outcome."What do you think?
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
This past year we upgraded the jeep.com Web site to include many of these "only-in-a-Wrangler" features. As the Senior Copywriter and lead Jeep content manager I worked with our multi-talented creative team to bolster up the original 4x4 freedom machine's presence on-line. We added loads of content about the removable doors, Sunrider® Soft Top and Freedom Top three-piece modular hardtop, Mopar® accessories, and much more. The Trail Rated®, Rubicon, and off-road performance sections were beefed as well. The Jeep team did a marvelous job of conveying the freedom that can only be had in a Wrangler 4x4. Our clients were elated and sales have continued to rise despite the economic doldrum.
Compare that with the Toyota FJ. According to forbes.com sales have tanked 55 % compared to 2008. 'Nuff said.
The City is a little bigger than the diminutive Smart fourtwo electric vehicle. The trunk is miniscule. The four passenger seating is welcome, but a 62 mph top speed and 112 mile range may not be enough for many folks. Also of concern is the cost - $20,000 with a $90 monthly lease plan for batteries. How this new vehicle with no track history is going to compete with the all-new Honda Insight Hybrid that's starting under $20,000 is beyond me. Right thinking, wrong timing, and wrong URL - www.think.no
Thursday, March 12, 2009
One of my favorite is the "Watch the Road: World's Earliest SatNav" - an ingenious watch-type device of the 1920's called the 'Routefinder' that featured an interchangeable scroll where the user would see a close-up map of the road and wind the map at new mile markers. Thus tracking distance, sites of interest, etc. Go to strangemaps.wordpress.com for more.
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
These scam artists are exploiting that confusion with clever ads on Facebook, and on WordPress blogs that feature fake testimonials. Worse yet, the crooks could walk away with your identity.
Watch out for official-looking Internal Revenue Service (IRS) e-mails that promise stimulus payment. The IRS never requests private information via e-mail. Never give out your bank account information over the internet unless you are positive of the recipient.
Some of the bogus websites:
“Hi, my name is Jessica and I’m from Bloomfield Hills, MI. I started this blog because I want everyone to know how I went from being a struggling single mom to paying off all my debt in a few months simply by spending a couple minutes filling out a few forms online!”A Tennessean.com article said the state's consumer watchdog office warns about some of the scams it has detected:
• People are urged to give bank details so that their portion of stimulus money will be deposited into their bank accounts. The scam artists then empty the bank accounts.
• A person is asked to verify personal information to qualify for stimulus money; the scam artists then use the details to commit identity theft.
• A consumer is offered a list of economic stimulus grants, which supposedly include money for individuals, in exchange for charging as little as $1.99 on a credit card. The charge is actually a down payment for "negative-option billing," in which a consumer must decline the option of automatically receiving goods and being billed for them.
• Sometimes, a person only has to click on links provided in an e-mail to inadvertently download spyware used to steal personal information.
Words to the wise - watch out for these crooks.
Monday, March 9, 2009
The actor in the lab coat kept asking “(bug sigh) so … formulas, chemistry … just waiting for you,” even though I was engaged in their lab. Very annoying.
It took a while to finally find out what was different about V-Power besides lab coats telling me it gets rid of gunk.
This site is too busy, lacks focus and has some very annoying audio bugs. Speaking about bugs, why not recruit the Mucinex guys, or Digger the Dermatophyte to clean up engines on the weekends for JWT.