Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

This (allegedly) is ‘Geoff’ – I have a nice job for ‘Geoff’

I’ve mentioned being tired of WordPress’s failure to provide (or even consider) a tool to allow bloggers to ban unwanted ‘Followers’ or ‘Likers’.

Believe it or not, their best advice is to make our blogs ‘Private’ so they can’t be seen.

The word ‘moron’ comes to mind for anyone who seriously suggests hiding a blog from the world to prevent spammers from attacking it.

While I seem to have found a manual means of dissuading this sort of scum – as I lose one… another appears and attaches themselves, so it’s become a never ending job

Meet ‘Geoff’ – assuming ‘Geoff’ really is the spammer behind my most recent unwanted, recurring, follows, and is not simply a stolen library pic of a sad old man’s face.

I’m almost moved to believe this really is ‘Geoff’, since I don’t think anybody trying to sell ‘inspiration’ or ‘motivational’ crap online would actually choose the face of such a sad looking and washed up old loser to promote their scam. That face is hardly inspirational in today’s world of manufactured celebrity faces.

I wonder what psychotic villain role a TV series typecaster would give a face like this?

Geoff

Geoff

Anyway…

I would like to nominate ‘Geoff’ for a very important job, which could save some innocent driver, person, or even a car or bus load of people from a terrible accident.

I’d like to have him strapped into a harness facing the rear of a twin tyre lorry axle such as the one seen below, with a button to set off an alarm if the rock comes loose.

On second thought, never mind the alarm – just arrange things so he’s facing the gap between the tyres.

Rock between lorry tyres

Rock between lorry tyres

Add a twist to the tale and tell him pressing the button stops the lorry for safety – but, in reality, it would release the harness and drop him.

A system best installed if he’s looking at the front axle, so the rear tyres would be ‘Along in just a moment’ 😉

Update

Ten seconds after the above was published, this moron ‘Liked’ the post and tried to ‘Follow’ SeSco.

Obviously, I’n not saying what his site is.

And, seriously?

Who, in their right mind, is going to hand their money to a face like that on the promise of it being invested, and turning them into a millionaire?

Mr ‘NO EXCUSES’ (VIP) might get rich quick, but I doubt anybody unfortunate enough to be near him would.

This one is also a coward, who doesn’t even give contact details, or even stick a name to his pic.

So, it looks as if we’ll have to order multiple harnesses!

And hire more lorries (and rocks).

Income Moron

Income Moron

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24/08/2019 Posted by | Civilian, Transport | , , | Leave a comment

Please enjoy this small gift of $20 million+

And, if it does actually deliver the millions promised…

Please remember who gave you the tip 🙂

It’s interesting to see something like this arrive as snail mail rather than the usual email.

Apparently on ‘genuine’ Resona Holding paper, and from a name that is currently listed as one of that company’s officers, while it doesn’t contain the usual glaring language ‘howlers’ of most scams, I suspect a natural English speaker will find enough inconsistency in this composition to be at least minimally suspicious with regard to its veracity.

I couldn’t verify the phone number, and the email is obviously not corporate, so pointless to check.

There’s also at least one layout error to be found, which I suspect a company officer would not sign their name to, and send the document back for retyping.

While the paper is ‘watermarked’ with the company logo, it lacks any of the other details which might be expected on major banking organisation’s letterhead. It’s also rather lightweight, like plain white photocopy paper. Even my small companies always used a heavyweight, decorative paper for their letterheads.

No company name, group details, company registration, contact details, address, telephone numbers, emails, web address, or anything at all.

I have altered a couple of parts, but this was only to redact personal data – other than removing or obscuring that, what you see is what I got.

Oh…

I should probably add that it came in a plain white envelope, with a stamp, as opposed to being franked.

Enjoy.

Letter of Millions

Letter of Millions

20/08/2019 Posted by | Civilian | | Leave a comment

Yours for free – My top business blogging tip

Punch the next ‘Motivational Blogger’ you see.

I’m suffering a little frustration.

While I would LIKE to name a series of scummy scammy blog/web site owners… I can’t

To explain, every now and then I make the mistake of giving a post a title which could be interpreted as a sign that THIS blog aspires to make its owner a multi billionaire, attract fleets of followers, generate loads of likes, and further aims of ‘Get Rich Quick’ merchants.

And that attracts motivational bloggers, personal trainers, financial advisors, health advisors, and all sort of “MY TOP FIVE TIPS TO DRIVE MUGS TO YOUR BLOG” blogs to it… like flies to shite.

Quite why they think flooding my post/blog with a load of ‘follows’ and ‘likes’ (which I have to spend time clearing out) might endear them to me is beyond me.

Many of them don’t even have content – the follow/like is just to get their name or link seen.

Yet I repeat…

The Worpress ‘Happiness Team’ steadfastly refuses to give us a tool to ban or block this rubbish, or even consider the option.

While some people vent their frustration at this sort of attack by attempting to ‘Name and Shame’ those concerned, all that really does is give the what they want…

Free publicity!

I find it interesting that the owners of these irritations often steal names and images off the web, and present them as their own.

A reverse image search can sometimes find the same image heading many such web sites (dozens sometimes, more than one person could maintain).

Much as I’d like to write their name, and think of their face in a Death Note, their practice of stealing images means it wouldn’t work – and is probably why they do it.

Otherwise, it would be too easy to get rid of them.

Death Note

17/08/2019 Posted by | Civilian | , , | Leave a comment

I never have, and never will, buy ‘Franchise Coffee’ (or anything else similar)

This handy graphic may be in dollars, but the price breakdown will be much the same for any currency, or any similar franchise scam such as, just picking one at random, burgers.

Cost of a cup of coffee

See the original article here:

How the 2019 coffee crisis might affect you

That mark up is just offensive. (I’d be rolling in money today if we’d been able to do something like that in our business. As it was, we ended up in a price cutting war with our competitors, and nobody really won as we all pulled profits from other branches  – and things just got silly. Our lovely customers didn’t give a damn, showed no loyalty, and just kept going with whoever was cheapest.)

While franchises used to be a reasonable model, there can be little doubt that the model is now broken in many cases, and a lucky few have been able to skim of horrendous profits for stuff that costs next to nothing to supply, and have become multimillionaires while others cough up ridiculous prices for ‘Names’ on their cups (so they can show them off to their mates, like bottled water bottles), and their franchisees fill their coffers for them.

Candles are another crazy ‘brand name’ scam. While you can pick up huge candles in places such as Poundland, someone has made millions by making it ‘kewl’ to have them with clever sounding names and perfumes, again, just so the buyer can show off to their mates.

The last giant cup of caffeinated water I had cost me 50 pence on the esplanade at Rothesay.

And I was happy to pay since I knew the profit from some ‘hot water knocked stupid’ was all going to the guy who spooned some instant coffee into the plastic cup, poured in the boiling water, and pointed me at the milk and sugar sitting on the counter of his kiosk.

Franchisers?

Burning’s too quick and painless for them!

24/07/2019 Posted by | Civilian | , , | 1 Comment

Still no love for corporate futurists

It’s hard for me to describe the dislike, or just simple contempt, I have for futurists, or more specifically corporate futurists.

Seems they get paid a small fortune as big companies pay them to use their alleged skills to predict what the ‘Next Big Thing’ will be, and what people will want to buy in the future.

The only problems with this is that it gives these people the opportunity to promote their own daft ideas, not necessarily based on actual future trends 0 unless companies are smart enough to use independent analysis.

If you ever think that some stories predicting some crazy (in your opinion) ideas for future products were dreamed up by people with questionable motives, you’re probably right, and they’re down to corporate futurists, more interested in pleasing their masters, and protecting a lucrative payment plan, effectively paying them sacks of cash. And being predictions, they don’t even have to be right.

It’s not new, although the amount of money they can command is, as companies and their global markets have grown, so being first with an innovation that people flock to become more important to their survival.

Here’s a nice gallery of old futurist ramblings.

There’s a lot in there, but one example.

I picked this one as real circular runways have been proposed, however the present day proposal is sensible compared to this old idea, which probably never had any sort of practical review before it was drawn up and published.

You can just feel the class action lawsuits being raised as people are crushed in this rocket powered centrifuge! 🙂

Click for bigger.

Circle Runways

Circle Runways

Update

I KNEW that futurologistic circle runway idea reminded me of something I’d seen before.

And there’s even video 😉

Like the comment said “What could go wrong?”.

24/04/2019 Posted by | Civilian | , | 2 Comments

My ‘Honey Trap’ catches another moron, a dangerous one – Bob Sherman

With the classic double ‘Follow’ registered at the same minute, this piece of dirt is just scamming WordPress bloggers and trying to spam real bloggers and anyone who might carelessly click on the follower’s name – which just delivers their scamming blog rather than a real one.

Sadly, Bob Sherman is not only a scammer and a moron, he’s dangerous.

He peddles quack medicine, he’s an untrained person who pretends to be a physician and dispenses medical advice, but it’s all based on daft ideas, and selling useless alternative cures.

Since he’s presumably in America, it would be nice if some unfortunate person who has perhaps lost a loved one was to file suit on him, and take his house and everything he owns – it would at least stop him harming anyone else (until he sets up somewhere else).

People like him, preying on the sick and desperate, turn my stomach.

Nasty Moron Bob Sherman

Nasty Moron Bob Sherman

That thumbnail pic’s a bit small – you really want to be able to see him (assuming it really is him in the pic, and not some poor fool he duped into taking his place), so here’s the bigger version.

Dangerous Moron Bob Sherman

Dangerous Moron Bob Sherman

Update – Bob’s ‘evil sister’ con artists fined in Scotland

Maybe you DON’T have to be in the US to take this sort of scum to court – and WIN!

The only thing missing from this story is the toll of people this pair harmed, injured, or killed with their fake cancer ‘cure’.

How many people didn’t receive proper medical attention for their condition, and suffered as a result, or died prematurely for lack of treatment and/or care?

Two women who sold fake diet and cancer treatments have been ordered to repay more than £820,000.

Helen Buchan, 52, and Carol Wiseman, 50, were directors of the Aberdeenshire firm Secret Diet Drops.

The women from Fraserburgh had previously admitted breaking consumer protection and trading regulations.

A confiscation order has been granted under proceeds of crime legislation for £528,505 against Buchan and £298,316 against Wiseman.

They were given six months to pay the order at Peterhead Sheriff Court.

They had claimed Secret Diet Drops would assist weight loss and their “Apple Cider Vinegar” would kill cancer cells.

In 2016, Secret Diet Drops was fined £9,000 and Wiseman and Buchan were each sentenced to a community payback order, with a condition to carry out 180 hours of unpaid work.

Jennifer Harrower, procurator fiscal for specialist casework, said: “Carol Wiseman and Helen Buchan made false claims to entice vulnerable consumers into purchasing their products.

“In cases such as this, prosecution of a criminal offence does not mean the end of our involvement.

“We will use the laws available to us to ensure money obtained through crime is confiscated from those who do not deserve it and reinvested into the community.”

The court deemed that their overall benefit from criminal activity was more than £1.6m.

The Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service will apply to the court for further confiscation should more assets become available.

Women who sold fake diet and cancer treatments ordered to pay £820,000

 

07/11/2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment

More asbestos fingers

You may have seen a recent stunt that let us see that there really are stupid people out there, and people happy to make fools of them.

Somebody willing to pay more than a million dollars for something made by a vandal, sorry, ‘artist’, which then becomes somehow even more desirable after a failed attempt to destroy it the moment it was bought for that silly amount… just shows some people have more money than sense, and that this is just showing-off.

But the real interest here is the sham video by the people behind this stunt.

In a video, they supposedly showed the item being built, and the remote triggering of the destruction in the auction room.

Since the video of the construction was clearly fake or stages, we can probably assume the image purporting to show the button being pressed in the auction room is fake as well.

This sort of silly image can usually be found in marketing for training courses, as those posing the images usually have no idea what they are doing, and often have an attractive female ‘engineer’ holding onto the hot element of a soldering iron, presumably intended to show her building some complex electronic device.

Hunt around, and you’ll probably be able to find similar examples.

In this case – well, this capture from the offending video can tell its own story about its veracity.

Asbestos Fingers

Asbestos Fingers

Via: This BBC News item

22/10/2018 Posted by | Civilian | | Leave a comment

Is Photobucket now just another dodgy online business, out to fleece the unwary?

Photobucket has already irrevocably blotted its copybook by closing down the free hosting it suckered people into since around 2002 – then disabled overnight in 2017.

Fair enough had it decided to end this service, informed users, and gave them time to make alternative arrangements.

Or offered continuation of the service for a reasonable fee.

But, no. Neither honourable option was followed.

Instead, it chose to end the service without any warning to users, and replaced all free hosting overnight, and replaced all images with an advert inviting people to take out a subscription which would allow sharing.

For a mere $399 per annum.

An absolute bargain – if you happen to wear glasses like the bottom of bottles.

It took them almost a week to even have the courtesy of sending me an email alerting me to this on a personal account I used to host some images.

It’s taken them over TWO WEEKS to send the same email to me regarding this scam, for an account I used to host a few images for someone else.

Photobucket blackmail

Photobucket blackmail

Photobucket ignores instructions to close accounts

I now consider Photobucket to be little better than scammers, cowboys, or just a plain con.

I deleted all images and directories I had created in Photobucket.

I then selected the ‘Delete this account’ option.

The account page changed to show a confirmation that the account would be deleted on a given date.

Guess what?

A Week after their closure date passed:

BOTH ACCOUNTS ARE STILL LIVE AND CAN BE LOGGED INTO AND OUT OF.

ONE STILL SHOWS THE SAME AMOUNT OF SPACE USED.

ONE SHOWS A SINGLE FILE REMAINS.

BOTH CARRY AN INVITATION TO RESTORE THE ACCOUNT.

Screen grab taken this afternoon:

Photobucket Account Still Live 11 July 2017

Photobucket Account Still Live 11 July 2017

Like any good cowboy business, Photobucket does not seem to have a general ‘Contact us’ option.

There may be one buried away somewhere in there – but it should be instantly obvious, not something that needs to be hunted down.

The best I saw was a FAQ, and ‘Help’, but this just provides a few standard answers, and, of course, a big section on how to restore hosting… BY REGISTERING FOR A $399 PER ANNUM UPGRADED ACCOUNT INSTEAD OF FREE.

11/07/2017 Posted by | photography | , , | Leave a comment

Charity pollution and plastic bags

Tied sackBefore venturing into the detail, I have to clarify the use of the word ‘Charity’ in the title. Unfortunately, it’s unavoidable in this case, since the problem does arise from the way legitimate charities keep pushing plastic bags, or sacks – appealing for old clothes and unwanted goods – through our doors, and how their initiative has been hijacked by crooks out to steal their donations by following the legitimate appeals with collections intended to collect the same items, with a sham claim of being part of some charitable operation, or just openly collecting the items for resale and profit.

The problem is the number of these appeals, and the amount of plastic bags, or sacks, that they produce which are just discarded in most cases.

One or two such appeals, perhaps made once or twice per year might be acceptable, but one has to wonder at the amount the average home is being expected to put in these sacks, as I counted 19 last year.

That’s a sack from some clothes or goods appeal arriving once every THREE weeks on average – and I suspect the number was greater in the past.

Each usually arrives folded in a small plastic bag printed with the details of the appeal, and this is waste and discarded.

While I keep the larger sack inside the small one (and say ‘Thank you’ for the free sack), I suspect most households just throw the whole lot in the bin, so wasting the material, inks, and energy consumed in manufacturing them. Not very ‘Green’, or environmentally friendly.

The table below shows the name of the organisation pushing these sacks through my door, and the number of time they did this during 2012:

CHAS 3
Coping with cancer 3
British Heart Foundation 2
Ronald McDonald 2
Cancer Research & Genetics 2
Kidney Kids Scotland 2
British Red Cross 1
Childline 1
Tree of Hope 1
Cancer Recovery 1
Clothing Collection 1
TOTAL 19

I’m sure some will choose to misread this post, and take it as attack of some sort on the real charities that at listed, but all I am doing is pointing out the waste.

It could be done in a better way.

For example, there’s no good reason for delivering these sacks heat sealed into a little plastic bag (some arrive rolled up, with a rubber band holding a printed paper note, but that’s probably not much better) – the sacks could be folded in such a way that they formed a self-closing rectangle, and the organisation’s details and the details of the appeal could be printed on the area that remains visible after folding. This would remove the need for the plastic bag used for delivery, eliminating the waste of material and need for a packing and heat-sealing machine – the latter being replaced by the folding machine.

I haven’t bothered to look at the organisations dropping these sacks off, to see which are genuine and which are bogus, or merely profit oriented (and I am not giving anyone like that my stuff for free if they are going to make an unshared profit from it!), but as they arrive this year, I might have a closer look at them, and repeat this ‘End of Year’ summary next year, with a bit more detail.

07/01/2013 Posted by | Civilian | , , , , | Leave a comment

Goodbye Charlotte Harrocks nice try

I recently had a kick at poor old Lycos for terminating their long-established and (for me at least) reliable webmail service that had served me well almost since the day it was made available.

Today, February 15, 2009, is the day the service terminates, and it was interesting to see what arrived in the old mailbox in its dying throes.

First off was some unsolicited advertising from otherwise reputable businesses that I had used the email address for in the past. They were warning me that Lycos was about to terminate their email service and my address – as if I hadn’t been receiving alerts and instructions from Lycos for weeks warning me of this already, and couldn’t see the splash warning that I have to pass through to access the account every time I login, but I suppose they mean well – even if they are breaking the UK rules on unsolicited email since I had ticked the box requsting they do not send such emails.

More interesting was the email received from Charlotte Harrocks, a name I might add is spelt differently on the contact email provided, and which is asking me to pay £140.00 to Charlotte by PayPal:

Pay Me With PayPal

Charlotte Harrocks (c******.h*******@******.**.**) would like to be paid through PayPal.

Money Request Details
Amount: £140.00 GBP

Pay With PayPal

PayPal makes it easy to send Charlotte Harrocks money

Since I’ve never been in touch with either Charlotte or PayPal in my life, I can only assume that this a scam aimed at the unwary, intended to evoke a response along the lines of “Oh My Goodness!!! I nearly forgot to pay poor Charlotte before my email was lost and I wouldn’t have received any more reminders”.

The sad thing about this sort of attack is that it can be launched against everyone at a domain with very little coding or cleverness, and costs the scammers little more than time, yet if only a tiny proportion of the millions of recipients are moved to respond with a payment, then it’s quickly becomes a profitable con.

Well, not from me at least, and I don’t expect my non-payment to result in any degradation of my credit rating – which is probably non-existent anyway – or any letter from debt collection agencies.

But it’s still disappointing that a con can be triggered so easily, and more disappointing that there are enough gullible folk at the receiving end to make it worthwhile.

15/02/2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment

MoD lets £425,000 slip

Although he was eventually caught, an Ayrshire man has proven your scribe’s theory that the best way to circumvent ‘The System’ is to be part of ‘The System’, whatever system we may be talking about.

The news reports that a company boss swindled the Ministry of Defence (MoD) out of nearly £425,000 by inventing staff he claimed were working at Devonport Dockyard in Plymouth. He used a simple clocking-in scam and bribes to systematically milk sums during the upgrading of the nuclear submarine repair and refuelling facility for Royal Navy Trident submarines. In reality, up to 58 ‘ghost’ staff were either at home, in the pub, no longer worked there, never had, or did not exist. In other cases, unsuspecting genuine workers had their hours inflated. The court heard the scam was so blatant that even when everyone went on strike, many of his staff still managed to put in a full day’s work on paper, and non-existent scaffolders being paid a total of £27,000 a week.

The MoD police case officer involved force was pleased with the outcome after it held a “long and complex inquiry“, and added that the convictions “should act as a warning“, and that confiscation proceedings would be held later.

Although this group was caught and convicted, and we don’t know the full details of how long they were under investigation, one has to wonder about the system used to monitor the accounts and activities involved, and vet the contractors working on what should be an extremely secure facility.

It’s not as if such places aren’t secure against strangers – Yours Truly almost had a day at Faslane aborted when a pair of fools, arriving there at the same time, mislaid their passes between being issued with them, and arriving at the gatehouse. Not only were they not going to get through the door, but the security staff were going to throw out everyone that arrived at the same time, just to be sure there was nothing going on. But this case arose from someone who had a foot in the door, and past experience tells me that that’s the most dangerous situation, when assumptions are made, and defences lowered without thinking.

21/03/2008 Posted by | Civilian | , , , , , , | 4 Comments

   

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