Scam Alert

If this had happened today, I would have thought it was from a friend, trying to pull an April Fool’s Day joke on me. This is NOT an April Fool’s Day joke on you, really. This is just odd timing.

Woman at computer (free clip art)

Woman at computer (free clip art)

Yesterday, I was at home, working on the computer. I had just finished all I could do on my income taxes, done a bit of blogging, and had started to work on writing a post for the Ruritan Rapidan District website that I created and maintain in my spare time.

Then the cordless cell phone beside my desk rang. The Caller ID identified the number as 215-249-6100. Not recognizing the number, and thinking it might be a “real” telephone call, I decided to answer it.

I’m not sure now if I’m glad I answered it or not. Often I let the home phone just go to voice mail to screen the calls – there are so many telemarketers “out there” that did not seem to get the message that my phone is on the National Do Not Call Registry!

Be that as it may, I answered the phone. A male with a foreign accent asked to speak to me. Well, our family has dealt with a few doctors recently with a similar foreign accent, so I still thought it might be a legitimate phone call. I replied that I was the person he was asking to speak with.

Then the adventure began. The man identified himself as a Microsoft Windows Security employee. He informed me that he was calling to tell me that his company has identified my computer as having a virus!

Microsoft Windows logo (free clip art)

Microsoft Windows logo (free clip art)

As you can imagine, my immediate reaction was to think that this phone call was an attempt by someone who has malicious intent. (And I feel very bad for the many people “out there” that are not technologically savvy enough to see right through this type of ploy, and immediately fall prey to this predatory behavior!)

So, I repeated back to this man, “you are calling me to tell me that my computer has a virus on it?” His reply was, “Yes ma’am, a very serious virus, and I’m calling you to tell you how we can help you to remove the virus.” I thought to myself “I’ll bet you are!”

My reply to him was “You can tell, from where you are, that my computer has a virus on it?” His reply again, was, “Yes ma’am. a very serious virus. and I’m calling you to tell you how we can help you to remove the virus.”

Now I’ve decided to have a bit of fun at his expense. So I asked him “Well, I’ve got eight computers here, can you tell me which ONE of those computers has a virus on it? I really need to know which ONE!”

Computer hacker (free clip art)

Computer hacker (free clip art)

Well, as you can imagine, there was a brief pause at the other end, and then the man spoke “you have eight computers there?” to which I replied “yes sir, I have eight computers here, and if one of them is infected, I really need to know which one of those eight is infected, so I can take care of it right away!”

Then the man started to stammer and sputter “ummmmm…. eight computers…. ummmmmmm…. I don’t know….. ummmm….. eight computers…….”

My tolerance for stupidity depleted, I decided to put him out of his misery. I know it’s rude to interrupt, but I interrupted him (sorry) and said “Let me make this easy for you. I don’t believe that you are a legitimate business. I think you are a spammer, scammer, hacker, identity thief that is trying to rip me off. I have all kinds of firewalls, anti-malware, anti-spamware programs on my computers,and I don’t believe that you are who you say you are. Put this phone number on your ‘Do Not Call List’ and do not ever call me again!” And then I hung up the telephone.

Then I went to Google, and typed in the phone number 215-249-6100. The search results led me to a website called callercomplaints dot com, where people can register a telephone number and complain about it. There were already several complaints logged (with details) for that phone number. I added my complaint to the list – you can read it if you want to.

Please remember – when someone calls YOU and wants information from YOU, do NOT GIVE IT OUT! It is a SCAM! Hang up the phone!


Posted in Blogging and SEO, Computers and Internet, Life, Rants, Ruritan and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , by with 1 comment.

Change can be a good thing

free clip art superman changing

free clip art superman changing

Installment 9 in an opinion series by Linda Bradshaw about blogging and SEO.

So in a nutshell, if you find yourself  getting only very low paying jobs, or no jobs at all, and you want that to change, then I encourage you to consider the techniques that you are using on your blog. Are you using a domain that already had PR when you bought it? Are you using a web hosting service that has your domain on a “bad neighborhood” server? Are you spinning/scraping content? If the answer to any of these questions is “yes” and you want to start getting better paying jobs, then I suggest that you take a hard look at that and seriously consider changing your techniques so that the answer to all of the questions are “no.”

I believe that if you make those changes, and market your blogs so that you earn good Google page rank that you will find yourself being offered better paying blogging opportunities. I don’t know about you, but I would rather type one 200 word post for $10 or $15 or $20 dollars each than have to type twenty 200 word posts for $1 each. After all, for every post that I am paid to type I have to type a second non-paid post, and if I am typing one post for $20, then I am only typing one non-paid post, but if I am typing twenty posts for $1, then I am also typing twenty non-paid posts. And that, my friends, is a lot of typing!

The more you alter your blog to more closely follow the guidelines that Google likes, in the long run you may find yourself making more money with less effort. And in the end, isn’t that a good thing?

Please keep in mind the Google Guidelines about blogging for money. I am not going to go into those guidelines here.

So, I hope that these posts helps you in some way to scrutinize your blogging techniques and see if making any adjustments to your blogs would help you in any way in your quest to generate more income from your blogs. I wish all of you the best of luck in your pursuit of good Google Page Rank and income from your blogs!

Opinion disclaimer

Opinion disclaimer


Posted in Black Hat, Blogging and SEO, Gray Hat, Make money, Opinion, White Hat and tagged , , , , , by with comments disabled.

What to do with a black hat

Installment 2 in an opinion series by Linda Bradshaw about blogging and SEO

Black magician hat - free clip art

Black magician hat

I would like to take a moment to address those bloggers that I have met that have found themselves in the situation where they were convinced that spinning articles for content will help them to earn a lot of money with their blogs. On top of that perhaps they have arranged for cheap hosting for their blog on a hosting server that has been flagged by Google as what they call a “bad neighborhood.” Oh, and they also were told that they could make a lot of money from buying an expired domain name with pre-existing PR and using it to blog for money! (Please understand that I am not being judgmental here, and accept my apologies in advance if you get the feeling that I am being judgmental. I truly strive in my life to not be judgmental.) These above listed activities and situations are some of the types of activities that Google SEO experts call “Black Hat” and Google is trying very hard to find those blogs and penalize them. They are getting better at it, and advertisers are starting to realize that doing business with those bloggers might penalize them, too!

Recently I found myself flooded with private messages from some bloggers that have found themselves in this position and they have been asking me to help them to increase their income with their blogs. After a few questions about their techniques, I determined that these bloggers, whether on purpose, or by accident, were using “Black Hat” techniques. Now I am not an expert by any means, but I have learned a few things that I don’t mind sharing, so I decided to address that situation here in the hopes that this post may help all bloggers to understand what is going on, why it is happening, and what can be done about it. This might be the perfect time to change hats.

Opinion disclaimer

Opinion disclaimer


Posted in Black Hat, Blogging and SEO, Make money, Opinion and tagged , , , , , by with comments disabled.
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