I’d do it again

On December first, I published “Editing ain’t easy” about the fact I was proofreading a friend’s manuscript.  I made comment on the fact that editing someone else’s work isn’t as easy as it sounds, for while you’re helping them polish their work, you must be careful not to leave your own grimy fingerprints all over it.  (What’s that? You washed your hands first.  Okay, ignore “grimy” then.)  It’s their book, not yours. You can’t rewrite it. This past week I finished the work on the manuscript. No, I won’t tell you what I charged, but will say she didn’t scream “Are you out of your mind?” into the telephone when I told her.

I wouldn’t mind doing more.  Not just for the money, but I quite enjoyed the challenge and the satisfaction of helping someone improve their work.  So, (blatant plug here) if you, or someone you know, is looking for editing services, but object to the prices asked by services such as Createspace, you can contact me through here.  We can talk about it.

Cat.

They need better writers

I found the following in my gmail spam about fifteen minutes ago:
PAYMENT ACCOUNT ALERT
    x
IRS OFFICE <irsoffice1@globomail.com>
    
20:34 (0 minutes ago)
        
to undisclosed recipients

Internal Revenue and Deputy Commissioner for Services and Enforcement
 
 
Sir/Madam
 
This is an official advice from the Acting Commissioner of Internal Revenue and Deputy Commissioner for Services and Enforcement (Mr. Steven T. Miller). It has come to our notice that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has approved and released the sum of $1.5, 000,000.00 U.S dollars into a Bank in USA and in your name as the beneficiary by Inheritance means and as reward for default in the release of funds you are expecting from The Nigerian Government ,And the bank of Nigeria knowing full well that they do not have enough facilities to effect this payment from their Bank to your account used what we know as a Secret Diplomatic Transit Payment (S.T.D.P) to pay this fund through wire transfer.
 
But after the investigation on this fund, the attention Reaching Our Department from the Presidential Office in Abuja Nigeria Revealed that Such Transfer was made into The United States Bank as The officials handling this transfer has been Plotting on How to Divert The Funds into a Secret Account . But The UNITED STATES FINANCIAL CRIMES DIVISION (USFD) and THE FEDERAL BUREAU ON INVESTIGATION (F B I) has arrested Most of them and they are under the custody of Nigerian Authorities. The Reports Reaching Our Intelligence Department has declared that you are the original beneficiary to this amount then we have to carry out our investigation to know if they are telling us the fact because we believe that Nigerians are full of scams cheaters.
 
Now your fund is no longer in Nigeria rather its in a Bank accordingly to the Custody of the Internal Revenue and Deputy Commissioner for Services and Enforcement. You have to contact us immediately so that we Can direct you on how to receive your fund from the Bank. Now that you have been in communication with Our Office, you dont have any more problems hence the imposters in Nigeria are behind the bar but You are required to present a classified FUND ONWERSHIP PERMIT to be issued in your favor by The UNITED STATES FINANCIAL CRIMES DIVISION (USFD) so that of the Internal Revenue and Deputy Commissioner for Services and Enforcement can execute the payment order of $1.5, 000,000.00 U.S dollars to your favor.
 
You are also expected to Re-confirm This Office with the below Information Immediately; Your Full name…………..Address……………… Email address…… Country……..Telephone number………………
 
Thank you
 
Mr. Steven T. Miller 59.50.102.171
Acting Commissioner of Internal Revenue and Deputy Commissioner for Services and Enforcement

Where do I begin?  Well, beyond the obvious sign “to undisclosed recipients”, there are many telltales that this is not a legitimate message.  Another good clue is that although this purports to be from the IRS, it wasn’t sent from a US government email.

The English is quite frankly atrocious.  There is no possible way any government agency anywhere in the English speaking world would hire someone with such poor language skills.   The most honest statement, which you wouldn’t find in any legitimate correspondence, is “we believe that Nigerians are full of scams cheaters”.

If you get an email like this, laugh at it, then delete it.  If you do let your greed get the better of you and actually give them the information they seek, you’ve only yourself to blame.

Cat.

My point exactly

On December 30 last, I wrote “Spam, spam beautiful spam” about the proliferation of spam in my WordPress filter.

This morning I found the following in that folder:

Gordon Tannehill
    
Submitted on 2013/01/10 at 12:59 am

I just want to say I am beginner to blogging and really savored you’re page. Likely I’m going to bookmark your website . You definitely come with really good articles and reviews. Thanks a bunch for sharing your webpage.

I deleted the email information because it was for some weird site I wouldn’t visit on  a bet. Doesn’t this just prove my point?  “Good articles and reviews” – come on now.  I’m talking about the ways to tell a message is spam or phishing.  Okay, I’ll accept that could be called a “good article”, but a good review?  The way I frequently rip into the sender’s abuse of the English language could hardly be called a good review.

“Likely I’m going to bookmark you’re website”.  Only “likely”, not “definitely”?  Do me a favour and don’t bother.  And learn to understand the difference between homophones: “you’re” is an abbreviation for “you are”.  The possessive form is “your”.

I suspect this message was from a spambot because I can’t believe any human would be so stupid as to send spam as a comment on a blog ripping into spam.  Oh well, it gave me something to write about.

Enjoy your day and remember to hug an artist – we need love too.

Cat.

Flattery may get you deleted – reprint

If you’ve read “WordsupPressed”, you are aware that I no longer have admin access to my previous site, “Catsworld1″.  The site is still available for people to read however.  Over the past three months, I’ve noticed one of the more popular postings from Catsworld1 has been “Flattery may get you deleted” from September 17, 2012, so I’ve decided to reprint it here for my current readers and followers.

Flattery may get you deleted
Posted on September 17, 2012    

I found the following in my spam folder on WordPress this morning:

Amedar Consulting Group
amedar.pl x
Rady396@vp.pl
78.41.201.148    
Submitted on 2012/09/16 at 9:59 pm

I wanted to jot down a brief remark to be able to say thanks to you for all of the amazing pointers you are sharing at this website. My incredibly long internet look up has at the end of the day been recognized with sensible knowledge to talk about with my partners. I would express that many of us website visitors are definitely lucky to be in a fine site with very many special professionals with good hints. I feel very much lucky to have used the webpages and look forward to plenty of more excellent minutes reading here. Thank you again for everything.

On the surface, this sounds good.  But let’s take a look at it.  First of all, this was intended for my posting “From my television”, in which I take a swipe first at a Lumosity commercial – the one with the line “exercising my brain is hard” (no it isn’t – try thinking) – then rip into YouTube for their refusal to remove that anti-Islam film at the request of the White House.

So right there, they’ve missed the mark.  As for “all the amazing pointers” about the only time I write anything remotely resembling advice is when I’m warning about the possible dangers of clicking on links in spam, or responding to requests to help move “x” millions out of some African nation, usually Nigeria or Burkina Faso.  “Sensible knowledge to talk about with my partners”.  Right.  The tagline on the profile reads “the world as I see it”, so I somehow have doubts my personal opinion would qualify as “sensible knowledge” unless the reader agrees with my views.

The “.pl” extension in the address indicates it comes from Poland, so I’m going to be generous (it’s early in the day and that may change) and say the awkward phrasing is the result of some online programme, such as Google Translate, turning the Polish into English.

I have written of other messages from Amedar Consulting Group.  I’ve also mentioned before that, according to an article I read, more and more scams and phishing expeditions are coming from that part of Europe.  According to what I can find on Google, they appear to be a legitimate company, but I somehow question whether a legitimate company would resort to spambots on blogging sites.  And that is what this appears to be – major league spamming.  I’m also suspicious when I get glowing comments like this from a company, especially a consulting firm.  If it’s that good, offer me a job 🙂

Like all of us, we’ll gladly accept genuine compliments, but we are also quick to delete obvious flattery and scams.

To my followers and readers, thank you.  Enjoy your week and remember to hug an artist – we need love too.

Cat.

Since it’s now Friday night, I’ll change that ending to “enjoy your weekend and remember to hug an artist – we need love too.

And, considering what happened in Connecticut today, please pray for the people of Newtown.

Cat.

“on’s Gree”

on's Gree desktop Dec 15 07

I don’t know where the orgfinal blog went, probably somewhere on a back up disk, but there is a little story behind the photo on this posting   About 20 years ago, there was a building, the Metro East Trade Centre, in Pickering that had a huge “Season’s Greetings” sign on it every December.  This sign was apparently controlled by four separate circuits because, depending upon who was working which night, it would either read “Seas tings” or “on’s Gree”, usually the latter, and “on’s Gree” became a family joke. The building is long gone, but when I got into digital photography, I decided to see if I could duplicate that sign.  I realize the font isn’t quite right, but this was the results of my efforts.

So, to all my friends, I wish a hearty “on’s Gree”

Remember to hug an artist- we need love too.

Cat

Another day, another 4.7 million

Sometimes I have to wonder if these scam artists ever check the stuff they send out. This was in my gmail spam this morning:

Mr.Jeffy Anderson <sundayo33@yahoo.cn>
    
09:22 (22 minutes ago)
        
to undisclosed recipients
ups International Benin Lot No. 23 Patte D’Oie 03 BP 2147 Cotonou, Benin Republic.
DHL Express is a well-established company offering courier and transport services 24 hours for priority delivery of letters, parcels and consignments to any destination by r
oad, air or sea.

INSTRUCTIONS TO DELIVER YOUR PARCEL.

Dear Valued Beneficiary your Agent is already in your country.

We wish to inform you that the diplomatic agent conveying your ATM MASTER CARD
valued the sum of $4.7 Million United States Dollars misplaced your address
and he is currently stranded at your international airport right now here his
phone number 917-341-9964

We required you to reconfirm the following information below so that he can
deliver your

ATM CARD to you today at your door step so that you and him can go to your
Bank and make a direct deposit of ATM CARD.

NAME: ==================
ADDRESS: ===============
MOBILE NO.:=============
NAME OF YOUR NEAREST AIRPORT:========
A COPY OF YOUR IDENTIFICATION :===============
YOUR POST OFFICE ADDRESS;P.O BOX;===============

Please do contact the diplomatic agent with the email below with the
information required.
Contact Person : Mr.Jeffy Anderson
EMAIL (diplomatjeffyanderson.agent@yahoo.com)

For security reason read bellow:- I did not let the delivery Agent knows that your
ATM CARD contain the above mentioned amount of United States Dollars and on No
circumstances should you let him know the content is $4.7M USD(CASH). The ATM CARD

was moved from here as family treasures, so never allow him to open the box
until it get

to your base. This is for security reason.
Just supply the above requirement information, and also use the CODE as a
subject matter to him:

ATM MASTER CARD CODE:CAF/XX/05.
Regards
Thanks.
+229-983-89-517
Dr James Stalker

There is so much wrong with this I’m not sure where to start.  I guess from the top down would be good.  Note the email address this was sent from, that it ends “yahoo.cn”.  That “.cn” extension indicates China.  Since the message purports to be from Benin, why would they send an email from China?

Next, we have the standard flag “undisclosed recipients”.  Sure sign the message is either a scam or phishing expedition.  Ask yourself this: If they’re sending me this email, why wouldn’t they address it to me?  Why would they feel it necessary to use a shotgun approach?  That’s like shouting “Hey you!” in a crowd and hoping the right person answers.  No, no.  These people don’t care who answers, they just want your information and/or your money.

Then we have this little gem:  ups International Benin Lot No. 23 Patte D’Oie 03 BP 2147 Cotonou, Benin Republic.
DHL Express is a well-established company offering courier and transport services 24 hours for priority delivery of letters, parcels and consignments to any destination by r
oad, air or sea.

Do you see the problem with this?  If UPS Benin is supposedly involved in this, why are they touting the services of DHL, one of their competitors.  C’mon guys – a little proofreading might help.

What the hell is an “ATM MasterCard”?  Anyone got any ideas?

As for the agent stranded at my international airport, the telephone number they give has a New York City area code.

Note carefully the information they are asking for.  Here’s the list, broken out of the email:
NAME: ==================
ADDRESS: ===============
MOBILE NO.:=============
NAME OF YOUR NEAREST AIRPORT:========
A COPY OF YOUR IDENTIFICATION :===============
YOUR POST OFFICE ADDRESS;P.O BOX;===============

Several problems here.  First, why would they need the name of my nearest airport?  Isn’t their agent stranded there?  Surely he must know where he is.  Next, and this one of the most blatant things I’ve ever seen in a phishing email: A copy of your identification.  One piece of advice: DON’T DO IT!!  To be blunt about it, if you follow that request, you’re a bigger idiot than they think you are.

Notice that at no point in this message do they mention how you came to be the beneficiary of this 4.7 mil.  Surely you’d like to know how you came by this windfall – was it a lottery; rich uncle; sale of property, or some other reason.  Nobody is going to give you money just out of the blue as seems indicated in this message.. Just ain’t gonna happen.

Another clue this isn’t a legitimate message is that “Jeffy Anderson” sends the original email from a China address, yet wants the information sent to a different address.  Why?  Also, I’d have my doubts about trusting a grown man who still goes by “Jeffy”, but maybe that’s just me.  And “Jeffy” needs to learn how to spell “bellow” doesn’t mean anything close to the word he wanted, which would seem to be “below” based on context.

Once again, if you get this email, just delete it.  You aren’t going to get 4.7 million USDollars no matter what you do.  All you’ll do is give them information to create yet another phoney identity for someone.

Lecture over.  Enjoy your week and remember to hug an artist – we need love too.

Cat.

Call me cold-hearted

The following was in my gmail spam when I checked it on Sunday night:

Sonia Wilson <bulgarisr@aol.com>
    
12:30 (11 hours ago)
        
to undisclosed recipients
I AM MRS. SONIA WILSON, A DEAF WIDOW TO LATE ROBERT WILSON FROM SEATTLE
WASHINGTON,USA. PRESENTLY IN ISRAEL RECEIVING TREATMENTS, I AM 61 YEARS
OLD, I AM NOW A NEW CHRISTIAN  CONVERT, SUFFERING FROM LONG TIME CANCER OF
THE  BREAST,FROM ALL INDICATION MY CONDITIONS IS REALLY DETERIORATING AND IT
IS QUITE  OBVIOUS THAT I WON’T LIVE MORE THAN SIX MONTHS, ACCORDING TO MY
DOCTORS,THIS IS  BECAUSE THE CANCER STAGE HAS GOTTEN TO A VERY BAD STAGE. MY
LATE HUSBAND WAS  KILLED DURING THE U.S. RAID AGAINST TERRORISM IN
AFGHANISTAN, AND DURING THE  PERIOD OF OUR MARRIAGE WE WERE UNABLE TO
PRODUCE A CHILD.

AFTER HIS DEATH, I INHERITED ALL HIS BUSINESS AND WEALTH. THE DOCTORS HAS
ADVISED ME THAT I MAY NOT LIVE FOR MORE THAN SIX MONTHS, SO I NOW DECIDED TO
DIVIDE THE PART OF THIS WEALTH, TO DONATE TO THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE CHURCH
IN  AFRICA, AMERICA ASIA, AND EUROPE. I PRAYED OVER IT, I AM WILLING TO GIVE
THE $8.6MILLION DOLLARS, TO THE LESS PRIVILEGED. RIGHT THE THE FUND IS
DEPOSITED WITH A SECURITY COMPANY IN USA. I AM OF AWARE THAT THERE ARE LOTS
OF SCAM IN INTERNET, I  SWEAR TO YOU WITH THE NAME OF OUR LORD THAT THIS IS
NEVER A SCAM.YOUR HELP WILL  SAFE MANY LIFE IN THE WORLD, LET GOD TOUCH YOUR
HEART TO HEAR MY CRY.

LASTLY, I ALSO WANT YOU TO ASSURE ME THAT WHEN YOU RECEIVE THE FUND IT WILL
BE  USED FOR THE SAID PURPOSE.  MAY THE GRACE OF OUR LORD JESUS THE LOVE OF
GOD AND  THE FELLOWSHIP OF GOD BE WITH YOU AND YOUR FAMILY I AWAIT URGENT
REPLY.

YOUR’S IN CHRIST.

MRS. SONIA WILSON

Once again, the first indicator that, despite “Sonia Wilson” swearing this is not a scam, the fact it is sent to “undisclosed recipients” tells me she’s taken the name of the Lord in vain for “undisclosed recipients” is a sure sign it is a scam.

This message attempts to push all the right buttons
– she’s a widow
– her husband was killed in Afghanistan (appealing to patriotism here)
– she’s deaf
– she’s got advanced cancer and only six months to live
– she’s childless
– the amount of 8.6 mil is certain to attract attention.

But, as I said in the title, call me cold-hearted, for I don’t believe a single word of it.  She claims to be a new convert to Christianity, so why wouldn’t she just leave it to her church to use for the stated purposes?  As I said, I’m not buying her story. Perhaps if it hadn’t been typed all in capitals and used proper spelling, punctuation and grammar she may have a better chance of someone falling for it.

The only response this plea deserves is for those “undisclosed recipients” to hit “delete”.  But we all know that there will be people out there who will jump at the thoughts of getting their hands on that money. And of course they won’t even consider its intended purposes.

Enjoy your week and remember to hug an artist – we need love too.

Cat.

Editing ain’t easy

A friend, Rusty Blackwood, has asked me to proofread her manuscript for “Passions in Paris: Revelations of a Lost Diary” and I’m flattered she asked me.

In addition to the various rants/ravings/reasoned discussions I post here, I also write so understand the time and effort it takes to create a 900 page manuscript.  I also understand the trepidation of letting another person, even another writer, “mess” with your work.  I’ve  had people proof some of my manuscripts, so I also know the questions that pop up in the mind of the writer, such as “how badly will they screw it up?” and “will I still recognize it when they’ve finished?”

Fortunately for me, Rusty’s language skills are good, which means my editing is mainly looking for the dreaded typos.  I may also make the occasional comment, or ask about her  phrasings in certain instances, but those are only suggestions.  By no means do I consider myself the arbiter of all things proper in the English language.  And of course, while doing so, I keep repeating to myself “don’t ruin her work”.

When you are proofreading someone else’s work, if you’re doing it correctly, you are more concerned with context as opposed to content.  Naturally the two are not mutually exclusive, but the reader must be more concerned with catching the misspellings (“I can spell, I just can’t type” is my usual excuse for those) than with the storyline itself.  From what I’ve read so far though, I can’t wait until Rusty publishes this so I can read it for pleasure.

Okay, back to my reading.  Enjoy your weekend and remember to hug an artist, no matter  what field of creativity – we need love too.

Cat.

Look who’s talking

Normally I would consign something this vacuous directly to the delete folder, but when I was out I hit my head on a low-hanging metal rod, now have a raging headache and am not feeling charitable at the moment.  This was in my WordPress spam today:

naturally like your web site however you need to test the spelling on quite a few of your posts. A number of them are rife with spelling problems and I to find it very troublesome to inform the truth however I’ll surely come back again.

Excuse me.  “Spelling problems”??!!  I use spellcheck, so know that the spelling is correct.  If you are referring to the words like “colour”, with the “u” added, I’m Canadian and use proper English and Canadian spellings.  That makes those words incorrect only if you use the American lexicon.

This message came from some company, which is why it was (and deserved to be) in spam.  The email address attached to it had the name “FretwellPolino24″ attached to it, which of course turned out to be a phoney address.  To “Fretwell” or whatever your real name is, first, there is nothing wrong with the spelling in my posts.  Second, when you can craft an intelligent sentence, and use the correct words – “to” should be “too” – perhaps people might listen to you.  Until you master the English language though, I would suggest you simply stick to flogging whatever it is you’re trying to sell and stop criticizing the writings of others.

Cat.

More money I won’t get

Found the following in my gmail spam a short while ago:

Charater Bank of London officefile487@yahoo.cn
    
10:55 (2 hours ago)
        
to undisclosed recipients
OFFICE OF THE MONEY GRAM TRANSFER.
UNITED KINGDOM ENGLAND IN CONJUCTION WITH CHARACTER BANK OF LONDON

Welcome to Wordben London United Kingdom – Republic Of England.
Address: Wales, 71 Queen Victoria Street, London UK
email frankmoore816@yahoo.co.uk

Attention: Beneficiary,

I am Dr Owen Doughlass, the Managing Director of the Standard Charater Bank of London United Kingdom England In conjuction with Money gram headquatter United Kingdom.

After the swearing in of our new Prime Minister, Mr,David Cameroon, held A meeting on the 30th Day of June 2012 at the capital City of England (London). The Purpose of the meeting was to address the spoiled image of our country, the United Nation was so concern about foreigners complaining about their contract /inheritance payment and also some Scam Victims, The government of Royal kingdom of England has sign to fixed the sum of (£1,000,000.00) {One Million British Pounds Only into ATM VISA CARD to pay 100 victims the sum of (£1,000,000.00) {One Million British Pounds each.

Secondly, on the meeting held with all banks including the Standard Charater Bank of London Governor. On the 31th Day of July 2012, your name was listed and approved for this payment as one of the victims and our bank Standard Charater Bank of London was among the listed bank to pay the 100 of you the sum of (£1,000,000.00) {One Million British Pounds each.

We have resolved in finding a solution to your problem, and as you may know, we have arranged your payment of (£1,000,000.00)One Million British Pounds) through our ATM CARD (AUTOMATIC TELLER MACHINE) which shall be deliver to your door step, this is the instruction given by our New Prime Minister (David Cameroon) Royal Kingdom of Enland.

This Bank will send you an ATM CARD which you will use to withdraw your money in an ATM MACHINE in any part of the world. But the maximum is (£15,000) Fifteen Thousand pounds in three transactions per day. However, every other thing has been put in place for safe delivery of the ATM CARD to your Door step.You are hereby advised to stop fast your dealing with any one regards to the issue of inheritance payment, Lottery Payment,Contract Payment/investment of any sort and even some Non-officials in the bank as this is an illegal act now and will have to stop if you wish to receive your payment compensation immediately Via ATM card payment you are advice to get back to this office with the following information’s below so that we can get back to you quickly with full details on how to receive your card.

(1) Your Full Name:
(2) Address where you want the payment center to send your ATM CARD:
(3) Phone and Fax Number:
(4)Occupation
(5)sex/ Age

We shall be expecting to receive your information’s as you are advised to stop any further communication with anybody or office.Find below is the contact person who will handle the shipment of your ATM CARD.

Lastly, in receipt of your email and the required information’s above, I shall forward your file to our International Remittance Department for immediate processing and dispatch of your ATM Card to your nominated address without any further delay.

Best Regards,

Dr. Owen Doughlass,
the Managing Director of the
Standard Charater Bank of London
United Kingdom England.

Registered 2008 – 2009 Money Gram Money Transfer. All Right Reserved This email is intended for the named recipient only and may contain privilage and confidential information. If you have received this email in error, please notify us immediately. Please do not disclose the contents to anyone or copy it to

The first two telltales this is a scam or phishing expedition are that although they claim to be an English bank, the email was sent with a “.cn” extension, which is China and it was sent to “undisclosed recipients”.

Another sign is the atrocious spelling and grammar.  Come on now.  If you are the managing director of a bank, not just in England, but anywhere in the English speaking world, you know how to spell and create a cohesive sentence.  And one more minor point:  If, as claimed, this email is from an English bank, then “center” would have been spelled “centre”, which is the proper English (and Canadian) spelling.  One more good indicator this is not legitimate is they consistently refer to Prime Minister David Cameron as “David Cameroon”.  Further, at least once in this, they refer to the “Republic of England”.  When did England turf the monarchy?  By the way, I removed the name and email of the contact since WordPress seems to object to too many links in a posting (see my posting “WordsupPressed”)

How can they expect to be taken seriously when their message contains so many spelling, grammar and factual errors?

The information they ask for would be sufficient for them to set up an identity using your name and details, which I suspect is the reason behind this message: identity theft.

Why do I say I’m not going to get any money?  Well first of all, I’m not foolish enough to send them any information, or even acknowledge the email; and I’m ignoring their final request “please do not disclose the contents to anyone or copy it to” because I’ve just told all my readers about it.   Oh well, it would have put me in a higher tax bracket anyway.

Enjoy your day and if you get this message, just delete it.

Remember to hug an artist – we need love too.

Cat.