Saturday, November 10, 2012

Internet Fraud

A Twitter scam
Recently, security researchers at Internet security firm Sophos identified an account suspension scam on Twitter. Internet users receive an e-mail, which appears to arrive from Twitter. The e-mail seeks users to re-verify their Twitter account within two days to avoid suspension. The e-mail also attempts to lure users to click on the e-mail by offering free offers. The e-mail reportedly carries an embedded image, which if clicked redirects Internet users to survey pages. The survey pages seek personally identifiable information from Internet users. Cybercriminals may use the collected information for fraudulent purposes.
Security Experts Identify Twitter Account Suspension Scam, Peter Martin, 6/25/2011

The FTC tells you how to avoid charity fraud.
Ask for the charity’s name, address, and phone number, and written information about its programs.
Before Giving to a Charity, Federal Trade Commission, June 2012

How to tell a scammer
99% of the time, you can avoid being scammed if you can DEAL LOCALLY WITH MEMBERS YOU CAN MEET IN PERSON!
How NOT to be scammed and how to distinguish a scammer!

About Lying
10. They become exasperated, sarcastic or even aggressive if you challenge their statements or claims, or if you persist in asking them questions.
12 Ways to Tell When Someone is Lying (in Addition to the Ones You Should Already Know!), Scambusters
Update 11/26/2012
In Greek mythology there is a story about a boy named Narcissus who saw his reflection in a pond and fell in love. Greek myths often end badly, which is what makes them so much fun.
The National Library of Medicine talks about a personality type named after Narcissus. They call it a disorder, but I think they're exaggerating a little. Just because you don't get along with someone doesn't mean they're sick, right?
A person with may:
  • React to criticism with rage, shame, or humiliation
  • Take advantage of other people to achieve his or her own goals
The NLM is run by the U.S. Government and helps doctors keep up with the latest treatments. Things will get ugly when it goes away.
End Update

Types of fraud.
Fraudsters will create a fake relationship with the victim who believes it’s real, perhaps ‎through online communication. At some point the fraudster will request money for a ‎number of reasons such as travel, medical, etc. In the end the fraudster is only ‎attempting to gain funds and not a relationship.‎
Common Fraud Types, Western Union
Damsels and Dudess in Distress
The con artist claims either to be sick (often supposedly suffering from cancer or other terminal illness) and unable to pay for treatment, or to be raising money for another person similarly afflicted or perhaps for a disabled child.
It takes many forms, most often in the workplace or a social group such as church or a club. An individual, sometimes even a person who has been well known to the group for years but more likely a newcomer, announces the sickness and asks acquaintances for financial support.
How Distress Scam Storylines Aim To Win Your Sympathy, Scambusters

Do you think you've been a victim of fraud? Here are places to report it.
Learn more:
Stop Fraud: A Veteran Police Investigator Shows You How (Google Affiliate Ad)


Expanding the article.

There has been a lot of talk on the innerwebs as to whether one individual or another is running a "confidence game." The way to tell a con man vs. a true distress story is very simple... they run distress stories over and over with new, good-hearted people who haven't heard of them.
Con Artists - They steal from you by sneaking in through your emotions instead of through your window...
BEWARE OF THE CON ARTIST has some great information.
  • Beware of threats. Sometimes a con can turn into murder when the victim shows suspicion.
  • How can you tell a genuinely loving person to be suspicious of everyone?
  • By definition, when you are conned it means you had a personal relationship with the con artist.
  • Beware of the person who says, "We're almost there," over and over and over and over, or any variation of this concept, such as "Any day now,"
  • A signed contract is only enforceable if you have the money to pursue it in court.
  • He may even become belligerent at times in the hopes of intimidating you into compliance.
  • If a con artist uses you as a "middle man" in a scam, he will tell you that you are as "guilty as I am" in this.
  • There IS no better con artist repellent than a thorough background check.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Why I Unfollow or Block

Twitter is a lot of fun and I want to keep it that way. So sometimes I unfollow and sometimes I block. Unfollowing means I don't have much in common with you but I'm happy to talk to you when mention me. Blocking usually means you aren't an anipal. This doesn't mean I think you're a bad person, it only means I don't share your enthusiasm for your Twitter raison d'ĂȘtre. There is no need to be offended. You have hundreds of other followers who hang on your every word.

I just used a web page called Blocked By Me to show the users I have blocked on twitter. One does occasionally block someone by accident.

To use Blocked By Me, log in with twitter and click the Show my blocked users button. The results page is a list of everyone you've blocked. Scan the list and unblock anyone who shouldn't be blocked.


Then I went to a site called Twitblock which examined all my followers for common signs of junk accounts. To use Twitblock, log in with twitter. The results page is a list of followers who act like spammers. Scan the list and unfollow or block anyone who you believe is actually a spammer.


I also use TwitterCounter which shows how many users have followed and unfollowed. If you are concerned with sheer number of followers, you can use this information to make yourself more palatable. Pfffft!!!



Monday, October 29, 2012

Bugs Bunny - My Bio

I was born feral in June 1999 and lived in the wild with my mama and fursibs. I'd wrassle with my fursibs, mama would feed us, we'd sleep and then we'd wrassle some more. We were learning to catch and eat insects. Sometimes mama would bring us a deer mouse to play with. It was a good life.

Then one week everything changed. A human set out a Havahart Trap and caught us all! I was scared at first, but I quickly learned that humans dispense food every day, no hunting necessary. It doesn't rain inside humans' houses and there are lots of soft places to sleep. It was a good life.

After a few weeks my fursibs started disappearing. The human was taking them somewhere! Then one day she brought me here to live with Leslie, Bryan and Miss Chilipepper. Chili was very sad over the loss of her brofur at that time.  She didn't like that Leslie and Bryan didn't consult her before bringing in another cat. I teased her like crazy! (I still do sometimes.)

Sisfurcat Bugs Bunny first photo September 1999. on Twitpic

Chilipepper and I hunted quite a bit in the backyard. I am a fearsome huntress and she helped me perfect my death bite. Chili doesn't hunt that much any more but I'm still a killing machine at 13 years old. Sometimes I'll let her or our younger brofur play with my catch of the day.

I am a fearsome huntress! on Twitpic

I have Ninja skills. I can climb a chain link fence and walk along the top of it carrying my latest victim. I can climb trees. I can climb a ladder. There are plenty of voles and field mice in the yard and the occasional bunny. I perfected a hunting method called The Mole Stab for catching moles as they run through their tunnels.

#Ninja Bugs on Twitpic

As I get older I prefer to stay near home. There are plenty of voles and field mice in the yard and the occasional bunny or mole and lots of places to sleep. It's a good life.

Lazy @sisfurcats Bugs Bunny on Twitpic

Update 11/26:
I forgot to mention that in 2007 a lost and starving little boy cat waited outside for me every day and followed me around while I hunted. He didn't seem to like anything I caught. The humans let him in the house and and now he is brofurcat Mr. Breeze, also known as @kittehboi.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Santa Paws

Kittehbaybeh did steal da hairy man! on Twitpic
Baby Reena in foster care, August 2011

It's that time of year again... time to nominate deserving shelters for Santa Paws Drive. We haven't even had Halloween yet! Or Turkey Day!

We donate to a local rescue and even fostered for them in summer 2011. They need to complete an outdoor area. Please nominate them.

Animals in Crisis

This is my nomination.

Shelter You Are Nominating *
Animals In Crisis

Why You Think This Shelter Should be a Santa Paws Drive Shelter for 2012 *
Animals In Crisis doing the work the PSPCA should be doing, which is spaying/neutering, educating the public about responsible pet ownership, and trying to rehome an amazing number of cats.

They want to renovate a basements for cage space and to install more substantial fencing in order to allow the cats to enjoy the outdoors in a protected environment.

Shelter Location (city, state, country - Can be ANYWHERE in the world!) *
Philadelphia, PA (US)

Shelter URL (their website address if they have one)

Shelter Contact Info (phone number, shelter manager name, Twitter handle, Facebook page ... anything we may need to get in touch with them)
Phone: Lanie Jacobson 215.535.1666


Monday, May 28, 2012

Sisfurcat Chilipepper - My Life So Far

They call me grumpy old sisfurcat Chilipepper.

I was 15 years old on May 6, 2012. That's my real birthday. We know because my mama was feral and Leslie's friend put a box out for her to use for her kittens. Cats are pragmatic, so my mama had my brofur Mr. Spooky and me - the runt of the litter - and four more little black squeaks right there in the box. My mama knew the human fed her and loved cats and could keep her babies safe while she hunted. Leslie brought Spooky and me here.

For the first few days we didn't like this whole indoor thing at all. We hid behind the toilet, hissing at anyone who got near. One day Leslie was using the kitty-eater machine and the loud roar was so terrible that I ran out and attacked it. "Well aren't you a little chili pepper!" she said and that's how I got my name. Spooky stayed hidden and that's how he got his name.

Later in the year some assholes trapped my mama and euthanized her. Leslie was furious. Feral cats do NOT need to be helped to "escape an uncaring world". HISSSSSSSSSSSSSS!!!

Chilipepper and her brofurcat Spooky 1997. on Twitpic
Me and my brofurcat Mr. Spooky as tiny kittens in 1997.

Spooky and I were so sweet, even when we were fighting. Mr. Spooky took care of me, scanning the yard and the field beyond for monsters before we went out, and he NEVER let me leave the yard.

Mr. Spooky and Miss Chilipepper 1998 on Twitpic
This is Mr. Spooky and me hanging out on the sofa in 1998 when we were about a year old. He had a kangaroo tail!

The last time I saw my dear brofur he was very sick. I caught the biggest vole I could find and gave it to him, partly to show him I'd be okay. Later that day Leslie took him away in the car and he didn't come home.

Mr. Spooky went OTRB in 1999 from intracranial myiasis caused by larval Cuterebra. I highly discourage the sensitive from googling that. He spent several days in the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine (VHUP) Neurology/Neurosurgery getting an experimental treatment, then came home, then got sick again and had to be euthanized. Leslie let the neurology department keep his little body. They have since perfected the treatment thanks to Spooky and others. Note: if your young, healthy cat has what seems to be a stroke in August through September, this might be the problem.

Two months later someone brought a little grey stripeybeast with white face and paws to the house and for some reason Leslie let it stay. The stripeybeast kept grabbing my tail and pouncing me and being generally irritating. I tolerated her for a long time. One time she was yowling as Leslie trimmed her claws so I popped up and twocked her to be quiet. After that she didn't torment me so much. The stripeybeast is @sisfurcats Bugs Bunny.

A few weeks later I thought maybe my brofur Spooky had simply gotten lost and I went on walkabout looking for him. Unfortunately climbing around in the forest snagged my collar in my armpit and cut right to the bone. I hid in the underbrush for days. I could hear Leslie calling me and she even walked right by me but I was in such a bad place that I didn't answer. On the ninth day I decided to go home. My armpit healed up ok, but I didn't talk for several months.

The next summer I saw my brofur Spooky walking across the field. I was overjoyed to see him! I ran out and gave him a nosetap. Except it wasn't my dear brofur, it was some stranger. I gave him a good hissing!

In 2000 Leslie learned reiki and I suddenly realized that humans' laps are very comfortable. Leslie even attuned me!

In 2002 I had a serious medical emergency. One morning when I woke up and dragged myself to the food bowl something didn't seem quite right. My back end was paralyzed! Leslie drove me down to University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine (VHUP) Neurology/Neurosurgery, doing reiki on me all the way there. The emergency vet drilled a hole in my skull to let the evil spirits out. I was in vhosp for several days. The nice vets there gave me lots of attention and helped cure me. I could walk again but I still have some pain and my bumper is weak.

I don't take shit from anybody.

Leslie loves me no matter what I do. She gives me brushings and I shake paws with her. I can't catch mice the way I used to but I still like to hang out in the garden with Leslie. I love to follow the sunbeams, letting the sun warm my bones. I love tuna sashimi and raw tenderloin steak and Leslie always shares!

Chilipepper enjoying the spring sunshine. on Twitpic
I have a good life here.

In 2007 a little black boycat followed sisfurcat Bugs home. He kind of looked like my dear brofurcat Spooky. When they brought him in I hissed him around the house to show him who's boss. Mr. Breeze and I get along quite well. I feel much more spry now that he is my personal trainer.

Note: Sometimes when I say Leslie in this post I really mean the man who lives here. I'm not allowed to say his name on the innerwebs.