Beginning of Summer - Somebody's Mother

Posted by Somebody's Mother on 12:00 p.m.
On the Internet, there’s a sucker born every minute
Recently, I received an email from what seemed like Paypal and I do emphasize what seemed like Paypal. Just in case you’re not an avid buyer of stuff on eBay and the Internet, Paypal is a company that allows you to transfer money either from your credit card or bank account safely via the Internet. The email told me that I had to validate my Paypal account information or my account would be closed. This made me very, very suspicious.
I didn’t respond to it. Instead, I went to the Paypal web site and was not surprised to find that they have a web page on scams. The address is very long but it’s easily found at http://www.paypal.com. I forwarded the email that I received to another link where Paypal lets you know whether or not the email came from then. Of course, I received a response that the email was fraudulent.
That email is an example of something called a “phishing scam.” The message contained a link that I could have clicked on to that would have brought me to a web site that had all the Paypal logos. It really would have looked like the real thing. I would have been instructed to enter my credit card information and Bob’s your uncle! Somebody could have had a field day with my credit card.
That’s not the only scam that’s out there. The other day, someone came to me and showed me the printout of an email that she received. She was rather excited because the email told her that she won a small fortune in a Spanish lottery. I went on the Internet and showed her a variety of government sources that proved that this was a scam. First of all, common sense would dictate that if you haven’t bought a ticket, you can’t win a lottery! All these sources say that. This particular scam has several variations. Either they ask you to send a large amount of money to cover costs such as security, insurance and blah-blah-blah or again, they ask you for bank account information. Guess what happens then.
Another scam email that I received had to do with a Nigerian trying to move millions of dollars out of his country offering me a percentage of the money if I help. Apparently, this one has a lot of variations too. The request may come from a Nigerian bank manager, a Nigerian government official, the wife of a deceased Nigerian general, an official with the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, a church minister, an Iraqi officer on the run from Saddam's men, or a widow dying of cancer. I mean, how would any of these people get my email? Since, I’m gullible enough to believe that I’m their last hope, I will pay a wide variety of fees until technically, I run out of money. Luckily, I barely glanced at that one!
In fact, I was stupid for even opening it. My usual policy is to delete emails from sources that I don’t know, especially when I see that there is a paper clip next to it symbolizing an attachment. Thank you, I’ll pass on having some stupid virus dumped into my computer. So far, that policy has worked very well along with having up to date virus protection, a pop up blocker and firewall on my computer…knock wood!
More importantly, the next time somebody wants any kind of information from you that could jeopardize your finances, just say no! Be wary. There’s a sucker born every minute – don’t let it be you.

June 30th Canada Day Parade – A Hot Eastern Townships Tradition

You’d have to have a very good imagination to remember how frozen your hands might have been as you shovelled snow in January. I sometimes think that the reason that Canada has a reputation as an even-tempered country is because we have very big weather to contend with. In fact, we are more than a little smug about it because we deal the weather pretty well.
I’ve always been a summer person, partially because I’ve never really graduated from school as I work in education. It’s hard to feel like a complete adult when you long for summer holidays as much as the kids and the old ditty, “No more pencils, no more books” may be rewritten to say: “…no more students’ dirty looks.”
Fortunately, our country’s national holiday comes in on July 1st and it celebrates the beginning of summer as well as Canada’s heritage. What better way to celebrate it than to head over to Hatley or Bury for a Canada Day Parade! I’ve lived here for 16 years and my photo album is full of proud veterans, floats, children with painted faces and lots of people that I don’t know looking very happy as they wave the maple leaf flag.
My friends and I have a particular spot where we meet to watch the Hatley parade in the town square. Although we may shop for bargains and unique items as we walk up and down the stalls, we gather at the same spot that we always have when it’s parade time with our straw hats and our skin slathered with sun block. High heat just seems to be as much a Canada Day tradition as fireworks and parades.
This is the time of year that I feel the happiest that I’m no longer a New Yorker. First of all, nobody is crazy enough to have a parade in early July in New York City. You’d either be baked alive or suffocated by the methane gases coming up from the sewers. Second of all, the climate in the United States is very much divided nowadays. If you’re against the war in Iraq, you’re a traitor and a lousy Commie…although I hear that Commies are not as big a threat these days. Chances are, somebody would be protesting something as the parade goes by.
North of the border, one of our greatest worries is what’s to become of Medicare, a fine Canadian tradition that everybody is proud of. Luckily, if you hold a dissenting opinion, it’s not considered un-Canadian. We’re used to free debate. The second great worry, one that may overtake Medicare, is national unity. Both the Federal and the Provincial Liberal Parties are not overly reassuring to Quebeckers these days and it is looking very likely that another referendum may be ahead of us in a year or two.
We have a lot of concerns to find solutions for yet we should not lose sight of the fact that we are very lucky to be living in a country where we can speak freely, where our children have a very good chance of growing up both healthy and educated and where there is equal opportunity for all to both freeze and fry in our great Canadian climate! When the float of veterans goes by in the Canada Day Parade, give them a big hand. They deserve it.



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