Social Media and Children
Children are at great risk when using social media for many reasons; including, being in danger of being contacted by predatory pedophiles or being "cyberbullied." Be sure to keep up with your kids' online and mobile activities, including social networking and gaming. Profiles that appear to represent other children could be false profiles created by someone else. For more on protecting your children online, visit NetSmartz www.netsmartz.org from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children
DA Warns Consumers about Text Messaging Scams
From Scott W. Storey, District Attorney, First Judicial District, Jefferson/Gilpin Counties
First Judicial District Attorney Scott Storey is warning consumers to be wary of a new approach to an old scam. Phishers have discovered text messaging. The District Attorney’s fraud line has recently received numerous calls about scammers taking advantage of this popular new technology.
For years scammers have tried various methods to get your personal and financial information. Phishing scams were originally perpetrated by phony telemarketers representing themselves as an employee of your financial institution. They would tell unsuspecting consumers that their account had been compromised. The scammer would then ask for personal financial information saying that they would then close the compromised account and conduct an investigation. With your personal financial information in hand, scammers can drain a bank account in a very short period of time.
Once email arrived on the scene it didn’t take long for wily fraudsters to move on to this method of electronic communication. They could generate mass email broadcasts, often at random, and hit thousands of people at once. If just one person falls for the scam the scammer has had a good day.
Today we are seeing this scam in a new format, the text message. The calls we are receiving describe essentially the same scam. The consumer receives a text message alleged to be from their bank or financial institution. The fraudulent text message warns the consumer that their account has been restricted or shut down as a result of some sort of fraud. The consumer who receives the text message is told to call a 1-800 number and provide their account number, routing number, names, address and other personal identifying information. These 1-800 numbers often route the caller to an automated system where their information is keyed in rather than provided to an actual person.
Consumers are sometimes getting repeated text messages, telling them that it is “urgent” or “critical” that they contact the 1-800 number immediately to protect their accounts. The text message and email format is generally vague, not identifying a specific bank or financial institution.
The use of an 800 number with voice prompts and an automated system helps hide the scammer’s voice and identity. The person sending the message can be anyone texting from anywhere.
“Your bank will not contact you by text or email regarding fraud on your account,” reminds Storey, “Do not respond to the text messaging inquiries or emails. If you have concerns go to your bank or call their fraud department directly.” If you have questions or concerns contact the District Attorney’s Economic Crime Specialist Deb Ohno, 303-271-6931.
New Languages Invented By Consumerism
Small, Medium or Large?
I’ve come up with a new reason to avoid fast food restaurants, although it will take a lot more to break me of this unhealthy habit. I haven’t yet figured out how to decipher the code when it comes to drink sizes. In essence, consumerism has led to the invention of "new" or "restored" terms that continue to redefine the English language.
Starbucks uses names like “tall, grande and venti,” Latin names sure to intimidate most novices. Seasoned Starbucks’ customers know how to interpret the codes: a “tall” is really a small while the “grande” describes their medium-size category and really serious connoisseurs know to order the “venti,” the most substantial size, which can best be described as the chain’s version of a “large” beverage.
Sonic beverage size choices include small, large and Route 44. Don’t expect the coffee baristas at Starbucks to know how to serve a “Route 44;” it just doesn’t fit with the coffee culture.
The Wendy’s Hamburger chain offers the standard small, medium and large sizes but for the super thirsty, there is always an opportunity to upgrade to the “biggie” size.
McDonald’s, on the other hand, will serve beverages in small, medium and large, but for the insatiable there is the option to “Super Size.” The restaurant chain changed their menu offerings, which now includes an ample amount of thirst-quenching libation in the medium size, which is really a transformed “more politically correct” large. A truly “large” beverage at McDonald’s, the once “super size” variation, challenges the thirstiest of drinkers to finish one cup in less than half a day.
I can’t leave out the 7-11 “Big Gulp,” an economical, astronomical plastic container of endless thirst-quenching satisfaction.
Please, I just want a “medium” but I never know how much I’m getting at one drive-thru to the next thanks to marketing gurus.
The precedent has been set. Just about anyone can make up new words and have an impact on the entire economy as we know it!