Safety

This page is designed to pass on experience and knowledge of how to prevent from being scammed and how to keep us safe to protect ourselves and our loves. You are welcome to share with us your experience of being or nearly being scammed, and of the issues related to safety. So, we’ll learn how to prevent loss of our hard earned money, or our personal information, or to prevent from danger or loss of our life or our loves’ and to avoid the unexpected troubles. Wish we have a peace, happy life for our rest of life.

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Computer Virus Alert!

Do not open any message that contains an attachment called: “Update for Windows Live” regardless of who you send. Delete It immediately. It is a virus that burns the whole hard drive. This virus comes from a known person who has your address list. This is the worst virus announced by a news network, and has been classified by Microsoft as the most destructive virus ever. This virus was discovered by McAfee recently.

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Don’t return calls from these area codes – it’s a scam

Don’t return calls from these area codes — it’s a scam

242- Bahamas
246 – Barbados
264 – Anguilla
268 – Antigua
284 – British Virgin Islands
345 – Cayman Islands
441 – Bermuda
473 – Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique
649 – Turks and Caicos
664 – Montserrat
758 – St Lucia
767 – Dominica
784 – St. Vincent & Grenadines
809, 829, 849 – Dominican Republic
868 – Trinidad and Tobago
876 – Jamaica
869 – St. Kitts & Nevis

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Safety of Taking Pictures by a Lake

safety-taking picture by a lake

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How to avoid being pickpocketed

Learn how pickpockets steal your properties from the videos shown below, and learn how to avoid happening to you!
1. Never leave your purse or handbag from your body or your sight such as leave your handbag besides you, or hand it somewhere….;

2. Watch the people around you to expect the unexpected and plan how to protect yourself and your properties.

3. Watch out any strangers touching you or approaching you, or argue with you without any reasons.

4. Never give anybody having any chance to pickpocket your valuable stuffs. For example, in crowded places use your hand to hold your wallet in your pocket, or put your handbag in front of you and hold it by your hands, etc.

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WARNING FROM POLICE

THIS APPLIES TO BOTH WOMEN AND MEN

BEWARE OF PAPER ON THE BACK WINDOW OF YOUR VEHICLE–NEW WAY TO DO CARJACKINGS (NOT A JOKE)

Heads up everyone! Please, keep this circulating.. You walk across the parking lot, unlock your car and get inside. You start the engine and shift into reverse..

When you look into the rear view mirror to back out of your parking space, you notice a piece of paper stuck to the middle of the rear window. So, you shift into Park, unlock your doors, and jump out of your car to remove that paper (or whatever it is) that is obstructing your view. When you reach the back of your car, that is when the carjackers appear out of nowhere, jump into your car and take off. They practically mow you down as they speed off in your car.

And guess what, ladies? I bet your purse is still in the car.

So now the carjacker has your car, your home address, your money, and your keys. Your home and your whole identity are now compromised!

BEWARE OF THIS NEW SCHEME THAT IS NOW BEING USED

If you see a piece of paper stuck to your back window, just drive away. Remove the paper later. And be thankful that you read this e-mail. I hope you will forward this to friends and family, especially to women. A purse contains all kinds of personal information and identification documents, and you certainly do NOT want it to fall into the wrong hands.

Please keep this going and tell all your friends

[Comments]:1. Train yourself to become habit as: Turn off engine and pull out the car keys and carry your valuable stuffs with you when you are going to open door and leave your car, EVEN for A Second!
2. If you found anythings stuck around your car, and that does not bother your driving, drive to where is safe to get out or go straight home for further actions.

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How to avoid being pickpocketed

Learn how pickpockets steal your properties from the videos shown below, and learn how to avoid happening to you!

1. Never leave your purse or handbag from your body or your sight such as leave your handbag besides you, or hand it somewhere….;

2. Watch the people around you to expect the unexpected and plan how to protect yourself and your properties.

3. Watch out any strangers touching you or approaching you, or argue with you without any reasons.

4. Never give anybody having any chance to pickpocket your valuable stuffs. For example, in crowded places use your hand to hold your wallet in your pocket, or put your handbag in front of you and hold it by your hands, etc.

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How to avoid Email Frauds By Dr. Jack Hsu

Let me share with you my experience related to the email frauds, and discuss how to prevent from being scammed.

Email Fraud Cases

Check; Verification and Validation are the Basics to Avoid Scams

Email Fraud Case 1

In April, 2012 I received an email shown below. The email asked me to verify my credit card account information in Bank of America.

I was skeptical about this email, because:

    1. This alert format was different from the regular format sent from Bank of America.
    2. The domain name of the sender’s email address was not [www.bankofamerica.com], but: Bank of America <bankofamerica@expertsforexperts.cn>
    3. The hyperlink of neither [Sign In], nor [click here] contains [www.bankofamerica.com], shown below:

Which is [http://beume.nl/boa/signon.php?section=signinpage&update=&cookiecheck=yes&destination=nba/signin]

Note: you may move your screen cursor to the text link like [Sign In], it will pop up a hyperlink URL. The pop up window may be located around the text link, or in the bottom left corner of your monitor screen.

  1. Normally, the hyperlink of any true text link from Bank of America contains [www.bankofamerica.com] such as:http://www.bankofamerica.com/……
  2. I have a habit: I NEVER click any text links from any strange email to sign in my any accounts, such as bank, credit cards accounts, etc, except the known or expected email such as confirmation email when you sign up a new account for new service. When I receive any notice, I sign in through the correct website.
  3. The purpose of this con artist is to let me sign in to its designed website, which is similar to the website of Bank of America, in this example. If I sign in, the scammer will hijack my account ID and password. Most likely, when I find something wrong in my account, it is already too late.
  4. So, I did not take any action about this email but discard it.

How to Prevent this kind of Email Frauds:

  • Compare the skeptical email with the regular emails sent from the same party. If you see there are differences in either the sender’s address, or hyperlink URLs, or letter format. Do Not click its text links! Discard the email.
  • Never sign in through ANY text links of ANY strange email to risk exposing your personal information, except the known or expected emails. Visit and sign-in the websites you know.,

Email Fraud Case 2

I received ten times of emails like below in December 2012.

And 2 times the similar emails like below in December 2012.

All of the above emails were asking me to verify my Yahoo email account. The [Click Here] in the first one did not have hyperlink! The second one had hyperlink URL as : https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/viewform?formkey=dHNqUFNNcExXd3Z6MnlEZE5lbFNiTUE6MQ

My friends received similar emails too. All senders’ email addresses shown are not related to Yahoo domain name. All emails were classified as spam mails in the Yahoo mail system.

Because they were all skeptical, as usual, I did NOT click any text link, and discarded them all.

How to Prevent this kind of Email Frauds:

  • Forward the mail to or call Yahoo support ( http://www.globalpccure.com/Support/yahoo-email-technical-support.aspx# ) and let them tell you what you should do.
  • Never click ANY strange email text links to expose your personal information. Visit and sign in your yahoo email account, and check your account.

Email Fraud Case 3

I received an email (shown below) from FedEx in November, 2012, asking me to claim my parcel.

    1. I did not expect any express parcel from anybody at that time.
    2. I checked the sender’s email address, which showed PostalService, but actually was gxu.680@yonkers.com, the domain name is not from postal office as usps.com. This made me skeptical about this email.
    3. I checked tracking ID 478-92-478-478-1905-1905 from FedEx website, I found that there was no such ID number.

After the above verification, I did not click [Get Postal Receipt], and discard the mail.

How to Prevent this kind of Email Frauds:

  • Verify the sender’s email address
  • Check tracking ID from the company’s website.
  • Forward the email to or call FedEx to validate the email.
  • If any suspicion, DO NOT click any text links the sender asks for. Or, your computer may be hijacked, or damaged, or your personal information may be stolen. Visit and sign in the websites you know.

Email Fraud Case 4

Similar to the above case, I received an email (shown below) from eFax Corporate in December 2012.

  1. I did not expect any fax message from anybody at that time.
  2. I checked websites about efax and efax corporate. Both logos are different from this one. And their domain names are also different, one is efax.com, the other one is efaxcorporate.com
  3. The domain name of the sender’s email address was neither efax.com or efaxcorporate.com.
  4. I sent a request to eFax to verify this email, and eFax replied to me as:
    Dear Jack,Thank you for contacting eFax Customer Support.

    Thank you for alerting us about this problem. We are aware that some of our users have received these fraudulent emails. Please accept our apologies for any impact they have had on you and your co-workers.

    These e-mails are not coming from eFax®, they are fraudulent. Fraudulent emails of this type are unfortunately not uncommon. In most cases, an email security system will prevent them for reaching you but some may still get through. We are looking into implementing new controls that will make it easier for companies to differentiate between valid eFax emails and fraudulent.

    Please note efax.com and efaxcorporate.com are the same company.

    Thank you for your patience and understanding.

    Sincerely,
    Xxxxxx W.

    eFax Customer Support

After this verification, I discarded this email.

How to Prevent this kind of Email Frauds:

Refer to “How TO Prevent” of Email Fraud Case 3.

Email Fraud Case 5

In December, 2012 I received three similar emails shown below.
The First One:

The Second One:

The Third One:

The first one was sent from my wife’s account by the con artist; the second and third ones were sent from my friend’s accounts. All those email accounts were broken in, and the emails were sent from each account to the contact lists in each account by the scammer(s).

Later, my wife found that her email’s contact lists were erased. And many of her friends called her to check.

One of my friends in Taiwan replied the email in Chinese, but I did not receive his email. He sent me the scammer’s reply shown below:

The con artist did not reply to my friend with Chinese, which my friend asked for. So, he knew it is a fraudulent email.

And I realized that the sender’s email address is exactly the same as my wife’s email address, but “reply-to” email address was changed to the same ID, but different domain name as hotmail.com, instead of yahoo.com. So, all replied emails from my wife’s friends will be sent to the scammer’s email address. I do not understand why those networks have this function to make “reply-to” address to be different from the email account. The both should be the same to avoid being abused by scammers.

My friend’s cases were almost identical to my wife’s. Fortunately, no one of my friends got into these scam traps.

How to Prevent this kind of Email Frauds:

  1. Check and write it down the sender’s email address, and pretend to reply by clicking reply (DO NOT click [SEND]), and check the reply-to address. If both are different, like the above cases, it is a fraudulent letter. Ignore it and delete the mail (see latter how to change “reply-to” address in your email account). If both are the same (should be identical, check carefully the misspelled), then continue the following check list.
  2. If you suspect that your email was broken in, Change your email password (recommend at least 2 capital letters, and numbers, and symbols). Sign out, and then sign in again with new password. Check and correct your “reply-to” address first (see below) Write an email to your account, and reply it to see if you can send and receive it in the same account. If so, your email is safe, except being broken in again.
  3. If you really care about your friends or your loves, call your friend mentioned in the email to see if she/he is OK. Even If you connect your friend, or love, you need to validate her/his identity in case her/his phone has been forwarded to the con artist. Ask exactly where she/he is, like hotel, and location, or secret questions, and validate her/his voice, etc. Call the hotel (The hotel phone number must be found by you, not provided by your friend, or scammer) to validate the information provided. Call this person’s relatives or friends to see where she/he is. All these are in your validation process.
  4. After you complete the above validation, and assure everything is real and correct. Call again to your friend or love to discuss how to help, if you really want to help.
  5. The bottom line of how to avoid the scam trap is: A. Never take any action to send any money to anybody BEFORE you contact your friend, or love and must go through the validation process, no matter what! B. Check, verify and validate the identity of your friend or love before sending any help.

How to change back your “reply-to” email address:

If you have new version of yahoo email, change it as follows:

    1. Log in your yahoo email account.
    2. Look for a gear icon located in the right hand top corner (shown below), move your cursor to this icon, it pops a list, click [Mail Options]
    3. Then go to a new page, and in the list of left hand side, click [Mail Accounts](shown below)

    1. Then, lead you to a new page, you’ll see [Reply-To Address] (shown below)

  1. Change it back to your email address, or delete it, if any, and leave it blank.
  2. Sign out, and then sign in again. Write a test email to your account, and reply it to see if you can send and receive it in the same account. If so, your email is safe now (Remember change your password).
  3. Congratulation, your “reply-to” address is back to normal now.

It is a similar process for gmail account to change your “reply-to” email address.

For older versions of yahoo email account, Check Here to correct the “reply-to” address in your account.

For gmail, Check Here.

Tips to Prevent from Email Scams:

  1. Before you click any text links from an unknown email, do the following checks:
    • Do you expect anything like what the email said?
    • Are you familiar with the domain name (after @ of the email address) of the sender’s email address?
    • Does the domain name of the sender’s email address match the real sender’s? (For example, if it is from eFax, it should be efax.com).
    • Does the domain name of the text link (e.g. Sign in, or Click Here) match the real sender’s? (For example, if it is from Bank of America, it should be bankofamerica.com). (DO NOT click the text link before verification, but move the cursor to the text link to check; for some cases you may not see the URL of the text link; then copy it to Microsoft Word, and move cursor to the text link, you can see the URL of the text link).
    • Is the information mentioned in the email such as tracking ID valid? Go to the website of the company mentioned in the email, and check the information provided such as tracking ID, and verify it.

    If the answer to any one of the above questions is NO, the email is most likely a fraudulent email. If you are not sure after the above checks, Forward the email or copy ([shift] key + [print scrn] key] and paste ([Ctrl]key + [v] key) the email image to help desk of the company mentioned in the email to verify. No greedy mind, and do NOT jump into action without check, verification and validation!

  2. If the email is asking for your help on behalf of your friends or loves, check the followings:
    • Contact your friend or your love through phone, NOT email, or from her/his friends or company, or even government channels to understand her/his real situation.
    • If you do connect to your friend or love, verify and validation her/his identity through phone, such as her/his voices, secret questions, etc. Ask her/him where her/his location is (which hotel), and what happens to her/him, etc. Hang up and verify the information she/he provides. In other words, go through check, verification and validation process.
    • After completion of the validation process and you are assured that the happening to your friend or love is real, then call back your friend or love to discuss how to help.
    • Do NOT take any action to help without going through check, verification and validation process.

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