|~ New Twist On An Old Scam ~
Virtually anyone with an email account eventually receives
a message running one of the oldest scams in the book.
Often referred to as the "Nigerian Letter," this scam
involves getting a message from someone in a foreign
country claiming to need a way to get 21.5 million dollars
out of the country (the first country used in this scam was
Nigeria, hence the scam's name).
He knows that you "are a trustworthy individual" and if
you'll just send him your bank account information he will
deposit the money in your account and give you 15% of the
Of course, after you give up your banking information the
scammer empties YOUR account.
Well a new scam has spawned to take advantage of one of the
web's most successful and widespread activities - online
The scammer sends you an email offering to purchase an item
you're selling through an online auction or in the
classified section of your local paper.
They tell you a relative living in the area will pick up
the goods, however, when the check arrives, it's made out
for more than the agreed price (often thousands more).
The bidder asks you to refund the difference and keep a
percentage for your "trouble."
Of course the check is forged and, if you refund the
difference, you can kiss your money goodbye.
Moral of the story: free money is only free for the person
who steals it from you!
~ The Coming Storm Over DVDs ~
If you thought Napster caused a stir over trading music and
the illegal CD-ROMs people made on their computers, wait
until everybody gets a DVD burner!
The average price for an excellent DVD burner has dropped
well below $400 and medium to low priced computers now
include DVD burners as standard equipment.
The only thing holding back the avalanche of DVD copying
seems to be the rather hefty cost of buying blank DVDs.
With an average price of $1.50-2.00 each, blank DVDs cost
far more than blank CDs, which run around 20 cents each.
But, if you look back about 6 years, blank CDs used to cost
a dollar apiece, so it won't take long for the price of
blank DVDs to drop.
When that price drop does come and every home with a
computer can also duplicate full-length movies on DVD,
watch for one of the biggest upheavals in the history of
It will make the music industry's crackdown on illegal
music sharing look as mild as a 5 minute "time out" in the
local pre-school class.
~ Yahoo! - Still King! ~
In a bid to capture even more of the world's search engine
traffic, search giant Yahoo! recently purchased the web's
largest pay-per-click search engine, Overture.com.
In the process (and more importantly), since the
commissions from pay-per-click advertising with Overture
represent a major source of revenue for most of the other
major search engines, Yahoo! definitely holds the upper
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jim Edwards is a syndicated newspaper columnist and the co-
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