Fraudulent text message – DO NOT CALL 8005318192

I just got this text message on my T-Mobile phone:

Chase anual maintenance. Please confirm your online information at 800 531 8192

First of all, they misspelled “annual” – secondly when you call the number it is a synthesized voice. Below is the transcript of the call (I used a fake credit card number).

Welcome to Chase security department. Please follow the next steps to verify your account information. Please enter slowly your 16 digits number of your ATM debit or credit card and press the pound key.
Please enter the pin code and press the pound key.
Thank you for your prompt information for this matter. Your account was successfully verified. Have a nice day.

I reported it to Chase fraud department via e-mail and even called them to report it – the lady that I spoke to in the security department checked my account and asked me for the e-mail address that it came from. She didn’t ask me for the 800 number! I gave it to her anyway – but it didn’t sound like she was going to follow up.

This is NOT good as I feel that people are more trusting of the messages they get on their cell phones than they are via e-mail. Especially with all the commercials that Chase has about keeping tabs of your account via text messages. I found another link in regards to the number 8005318192 that shows a text from a different bank. So please, be aware that this may seem to come from a different bank.

If you did happen to give ANY information, please visit the Chase Fraud Department to report it. It will be interesting to see how long it takes for the 800 number to be taken down.

Award Notification! **Fraud Alert**

Just got this to my personal e-mail:


From Global Internet Foundation in Association with Readers Digest?
We happily announce to you that you have won award of $750,000 at
the China Payment Center.

Ticket Number: 90-88-44-32-23-1P
Serial Number: 77-Q11
Batch Number: UK/ITT/030/011C
Reference Number: KW/0071/PI/DQW
Drew Date: 22nd May 2008

Your email address name attached to a ticket number: 90-88-44-32-23-1P
with the serial number: 77-Q11 drew the lucky number: 34-55-21-69-09
which consequently won the draw in the 2nd category. Your email address
was among the (10) email addresses chosen to receive grand prize of
US$750,000.00 each in this section.Therefore you must contact your
Claim Agent

Address:12th Husuang Lane,Oppt Nan Metro
Station,Beijing China

He will need to confirm everything we have on file to ensure that,
there will be no set backs upon the release of these funds to you.
I want you to know that verification and confirmation of all of your
payment documents have been sent to our affiliate company, The
International Lottery Board of Commissions from our processing
office. Also, be rest assured that your winning will be sent to
you as{ ATM Card or Bank Transfer} which can be used in any Atm
machine worldwide.This will be issued from our paying bank in China.

Your won prize cannot be deducted, simply because this is a
promotional award, until prize is released to you due to strict
insurance policy. After you have received your money, we expect you
to use some of the money to spread Internet knowledge within your
locality and remember to support our next promotion. We have five
clearance offices zoned continentally AUSTRALIA,CHINA, USA,LONDON &
FRANCE, clearance zones are picked randomly by computer, each
winning number falls within any of the clearance zones,it is the
duty of the approved zonal clearance officer to handle all clearance
process to make sure bank releases won prize in time.

Your prize number falls within Asia region clearance office in
Beijing,China .In view of this, your prize will be released from
China,your money has been deposited in bank with insurance coverage.
Your clearance agent will facilitate payment process immediately you
contact him.

Contact with your information below:

Full Name:
Marital Status:
Home Phone:
Mobile Phone:
Ref No:
Batch No:
Copyright ?All right reserved

I have half a mind to contact these guys just to see how far they would take it. Maybe I’ll set up a fake bank account and screw them!! That would be fantastic! Any ideas??

In the mean time I plan to report this e-mail to Gmail abuse and as many as these addresses that I feel up to.

Spotty internet

I just spent the last half hour on an entry, and my internet connection dropped. I was just writing about the things that we take for granted, and I suppose a reliable internet connection is one of them! I finally got a good night’s rest after my first hot shower since the night we arrived! We are now preparing our final presentation for the school the wrap up what we have been working on all week Its a bit haphazard, but we are getting there. The municipal president is receiving us and taking us all out to lunch, and we will be presenting immediately afterwards. We then hop in a bus and head back to Durango! The wireless seems to work better there, so hopefully I’ll be able to post more. Its been a sometimes frustrating but always fascinating trip – it’ll take some time to process it all.

five thousand dollar mistake

I have had and HSBC savings account for quite some time now. I direct deposit my paychecks to my savings account for the 5.05% return – but the problem is that my Amex card won’t take payments from a Savings Account. It’s no big deal, as I just schedule the money that I need to be transferred to my checking account. The other factor that lead to this disastrous mistake is that I leave very little money in my checking account. Only $100-$200 for the month. I had a rather large payment coming up for my credit card ~$2500. Well, about two days before the payment was due, I got a phone call from my bank’s automated system that notifies me that I have a new deposit. I ignored it, as it I knew what it was. The following day I checked my account, and to my dismay I was $2500 overdrawn! Instead of transferring from my savings to my checking, I had done the reverse. I desperately needed $5000 to bring my account above the red, as well as to pay off my card which was due the next day. I already had been charged $25 for overdrawing – I had no idea if the charges were to continue each day I was overdrawn – nor if I would also have a hefty finance charge on the credit card. I went into panic mode, calling my bank, calling my credit card. The only option I had was to wait the 3 business days for another transfer from my HSBC account. One of my co-workers had overheard me on the phone, and asked if he could help in any way. I jokingly said “you don’t happen to have $5000 I can borrow, do you?”. About an hour later, he came into my office with an envelope with $5k in cash! I couldn’t believe it! I thanked him profusely, telling him he didn’t have to do that at all… but I was eternally grateful! On my way to the bank with his money, I realized that it was the most cash I have ever handled at once! I deposited it immediately. The following Monday, when the funds had finally come through, I went to get the cash to give back to him – I had to take a picture! Fitty Benjamins – didn’t quite fit in my wallet!


rear wheel

Missing: rear wheel of 1995 Specialized Rockhopper mountain bike

Last seen Friday afternoon when locking the bike up in the locked basement of apartment (I only locked the front wheel to the frame).

Reward: a nice cold beer

The kicker: TK’s brand new Trek was about 5 feet away, unlocked. I’m starting to feel like my stuff is targeted!

Woke up to a gorgeous 70 degree morning, got mike bike gear on and went downstairs to see my now crippled bike. Uggh…

What a waste!

No matter what temperature I set my thermostat to in the office, its freezing in here! I’m wearing a jacket during the summer and short sleeves during the winter inside – ridiculous! I don’t know i the building takes time to adjust to outside temperatures or what. But the A/C is blasting in here – and its not even warm outside! As evidence by this image – top is actual temperature, bottom is what I have it set to. I asked our CFO about heating/cooling bills, and we pay for every ounce of energy! As we are a non-profit, any money wasted hurts…

I can’t help but to wonder how much energy is wasted in other parts of the world…

On tequila

Tequila and I don’t get along very well, not very well at all. Probably a combination of upside-down-margarita-shots and those of the “normal” variety. Cheap tequila probably hasn’t helped. I’ve never been able to truly articulate my feelings about tequila, so when I read the following passage, I couldn’t help but to laugh!

Tequila, scorpion honey, harsh dew of the doglands, essence of Aztec, crema de cacti; tequila, oil and thermal like the sun in solution; tequila, liquid geometry of passion; Tequila, the buzzard god who copulates in midair with the ascending souls of dying virgins; tequila, firebug in the house of good taste; O tequila, savage water of sorcery, what confusion and mischief your sly, rebellious drops do generate!

Tom RobbinsStill Life with Woodpecker

Anybody want to do a shot?

April in Chicago

I wake up this morning to this:

Uggh… some crazy mixture of snow, slush and rain. After getting off the train downtown, the wind picked up, and as a lady put it in the elevator “nothing like getting sandblasted in the face on your way in to work in the morning!” Indeed! What is going on with this weather?! At least I had my trusty GustBuster umbrella! Yes, I need an umbrella that has been certified to 55+ mph winds! Who doesn’t!? It sure came in handy this morning!