Spam That Doesn’t Come in a Can

It seems like the spam texts and calls come and go in waves. In the last 5 days, I have been slammed with all kinds of spam on my phone. Scammers are working overtime lately.

Tonight, within a span of 2 two hours, I have received about 8 text messages from various Gmail accounts. It is obvious that it is a scam or something that will harm your phone. It literally comes from a Gmail address and all the text contains is a link for you to click that is just a bunch of characters…. here is a picture I found that is similar to the texts I got tonight:

Spam Text messages

Do they really think that you are going to click on that? I admit that this is the newest form of spam texts I have been getting. I believe I have blogged before about the random text messages I was getting before from numbers I had never seen before. These were easy to spot as they always were addressed to “Edna.” “Congratulations, Edna! You have won a new car! Click the link below to claim your prize!” “Edna, It is important that we speak to you regarding a legal matter. Please call _______ or click the link below before law enforcement is involved!” Those all came from phone numbers. The fact that these are coming from random Gmail accounts is just weird. As soon as I would flag the text and mark it as spam, another would show up in my messages. It was almost like blocking them led to more texts. Maybe I am wrong. The Edna texts would be 5-8 a day for a while.

The Robo calls are just as bad – and weird. Most won’t leave a message. I was getting calls from a number that started 666 and when I blocked that number a new one would follow, again with a 666 prefix. So if I blocked 666-1234, they next call would be from 666-1235, or 666-4321 or whatever. They never left a message. I was laying on the floor playing with Ella one day and the phone rang and she answered it. Someone asked for “Lynn” as Ella babbled. I just hung up on them. Again, is it just a random name that people are asking for or are they really trying to get a hold of Lynn. It has to be a scam, as I have had my phone number for over 20 years!

Most of the time, Verizon flags these calls as they ring…

Every one of those calls came up as “potential spam” and all seem to come from my area code.

The latest barrage of calls I have been getting has been the most annoying. They are actually leaving messages. 5 different voices all asking me to call back the same number – yet all the messages are a bit different. They are transcribed from the voice mails:

Caller 1: “I’m a real estate investor and I was given your number by your friend John (nice and generic name). He told me you were trying to sell your house. It is just what I am looking for. Please call me back when you get a second at 888-SPAM 4ME.”

Caller 2: “Hey! I know it’s been awhile since we talked, and I’m sorry. I have great news for you! I have someone interested in buying your house. They are willing to pay cash. Call me so we can work out the details – 888-SPAM 4ME.”

Caller 3: “Hey, buddy. I was able to get our buyer to agree to the price. We were able to get the extra $6000. I’m glad we’re going to be able to sell your house. Call me back – 888-SPAM 4ME.”

Caller 4: (The weirdest one of them all) “Uh, Hi there! I know that this is out of the blue, but I believe you’ve got a house that you’re interested in selling. Again, I’m sorry for the crazy call and I might even have the wrong number, but if you’re interested in selling that house please give me a call back at this telephone number 888-SPAM 4ME. Thanks so much.”

Caller 5: ” Hey there this is Jack. I’m giving you a call. I’m a local real estate investor looking to by some more houses in your area. If you’re at all interested in a no obligation cash offer or you know anyone interested in a cash offer on property they own, you can reach me at 888-SPAM 4ME.”

I feel like I am blocking numbers as fast as they are calling, but these calls continue. I’m on the Do Not Call list, but these scammers are relentless. It’s annoying!

Rant Over.

Blog # 300!!

Another Milestone

Well, here it is – my 300th blog post. To be completely honest, I have a few more than 300, but some were kept private. So this is my 300th “published” blog. Over the past few blogs, I knew this milestone blog was coming, and wondered just how a blogger celebrates this kind of achievement. I found that most look back and reflect on stats.

I don’t know about doing that. Does it matter that the most popular day my blog is viewed is Thursday? Are you impressed that in the first 299 blogs I have written 64,488 words? Does it thrill you to know that each blog averages about 921 words? I highly doubt that means anything to you.

A Short Reflection

300 blogs. It is amazing to actually look back and see the wide variety of content that I covered since beginning this blog:

  • The blog is full of many posts about music – some about specific tunes (Tune Tuesday) and some filled with many songs.
  • There have been many blogs about television – whether it be actual shows or just theme songs.
  • I have also written many blogs about movies – some as part of blogathons hosted by other bloggers and some of my personal favorites.
  • There have been blogs about holidays from throughout the year – some contain specific memories and some are just general thoughts.
  • I have written special blogs to family and friends – my mom, my dad, my grandparents, my godfather, my kids, my wife, and my lifelong friends.
  • There have been no shortage of radio stories about listeners and coworkers.
  • Some blogs were just full of random thoughts and observations.
  • There were blogs about celebrities – some funny, some musical, some just for the hell of it.
  • I shared the love story of my wife and me.
  • I shared with family and friends the news on our miracle baby and blogged about the days that led up to her arrival.
  • Of course, after she was born, there have been many wonderful stories and things to share about her as she continues to grow up.
  • I was honored to have my brother write a guest blog for me (and hope to have more in the future).
  • I opened up about many personal things – my divorce, thoughts on suicide, the changes in my personal life, reflections on life and death, my faith, and so many other topics I kept to myself.
  • There have been some “Question and Answer” blogs that contained things asked of me by friends and family.

Looking back, I am impressed with myself. Who knew I had it in me?

New Connections

If you have a Facebook, you know that they will occasionally give you friend suggestions. They will offer up “People You May Know.” Many of those suggestions stem from mutual friends. There are people that pop up and I have 65 mutual friends with them because we went to the same high school together, or we both have the same radio friends, etc…

With this blog, we don’t have that feature. However, through searching things for things like movies, TV, music, and such, I have found many bloggers that share my interests. I follow quite a few blogs and continue to add more to my “read” list. Some of those bloggers offer up personal stuff like I do on occasion. Some respond with personal stories to my personal blogs. Through that, I feel like I know many of them.

Max is a good example of this. He has blogged about things I remember and vice versa. We also share many of the same musical tastes. He actually helped me set up the index on the side of the blog. Since doing that, more of my older blogs are being read than before. We swapped e-mails and eventually phone numbers. When I called him to talk about the index and creating some pages, it was like talking to someone I had known for years. How cool is that?

Lessons Learned

After 300 blogs, I think it is important to note some of the things I have learned since the beginning. If you are a new blogger, maybe some of my observations can be useful to you.

Even with spellcheck, I make mistakes. I found going back through some older blogs that there are some typos. Some are spelling mistakes, some are grammatical. My one radio buddy, who also works for a newspaper, told me I need an editor. He then proceeded to tell me I couldn’t afford him! I need to be better at proofreading.

There really is no way to know which blogs will be popular. I have written blogs that I think will get a great response, only to see that is not the case. At the same time, I have written blogs that I feel are just “ok” topics, and had a ton of hits on it. You never really know. It hurts your ego a bit when a blog you think is great is barely read, but that’s the way it goes sometimes.

Keywords matter. I try to include as many “tags” as I can with each blog. I have found that this will ultimately lead to more followers and readers. My most read blog? It is about a scammer. I got an e-mail saying that someone noticed I spelled a word wrong and said I should download some app. With research, I found the app is actually something you want to avoid. The keyword “Scam” or “Scammer” has lead to many reading that blog and some even commenting saying that they got the same type of e-mail.

The personal blogs I wrote about suicide, divorce, staying positive, dealing with a narcissist, and depression led to many new people following this blog. Some went as far as to reach out and share their own stories about those things. You know, sometimes, it helps to know you aren’t the only one dealing with those issues.

Each blog represents a moment in time. It represents what I felt at a certain moment in time. Early on in my therapy, I was angered easily. I didn’t realize how certain things by certain people triggered it. I was not a pleasant person. Over time, I have learned to not let those things trigger anger. I have learned coping skills. I am a different person than who I was.

Think about your favorite TV show. Did you like it immediately? The first time I watched Seinfeld or Cheers, I was not impressed. Over time, I came to enjoy the shows more. At one moment in time, you may feel one way, and over time you can feel another way.

Many of my blogs are memories that I want to preserve for the future. Other blogs are about things I have observed. At the time, I felt a certain way about things – over time, my thoughts or feelings might change. It helps to keep that in perspective.

Write about what you are passionate about! Chances are if you are passionate about it, a reader will find it interesting. This same principle was suggested to me when I worked in radio. Share things that “make you feel!” Some readers love my musical blogs while some prefer my more personal ones. I am passionate about everything I write, however, not all things will appeal to everyone. Anyone who comes to this blog will see my love for all things entertainment, but also see my love for my family and my children!

Another principle from radio that translated to writing a blog is to simply “observe life.” Look around and take notice. A successful stand up comedian is one who observes little things, talks about it, and the audience says “Oh yeah! I have noticed that too!” George Carlin was a master observer! Take those things that you observe and relay them. You know the whole “which way should the toilet paper roll go on” thing was simply something that someone wondered about, right!?

I always loved the above Far Side Cartoon. It points out another lesson I have learned. Be yourself. You don’t have to agree with everything I write. That’s ok. You have a right to disagree with me. However, when I write, I’m going to be myself.

While it can sometimes feel like work, I find blogging to be fun. I enjoy writing. I also enjoy hearing from readers who comment on my blog. That’s as much fun as writing them.

There are some blogs that I just sit and write. Others (most of them), it takes time to plan out. Either way, I try to give myself time to think it through and get the flow. It takes time and sometimes, you have to MAKE time to write.

So there you have it ….

Blog #300. As a follower, I need to say thank you. I am truly glad that you are here. I always welcome your suggestions. How can I make this blog more enjoyable for you? Would you like to be a guest blogger? Please feel free to let me know. What do you like? What don’t you like? Feel free to suggest other blogs I might be interested in. Feel free to share this one with others.

Thank you so much for reading. Here is to the next 300 ….

Scammer/Spam “Heads up”

how-to-know-if-your-new-landlord-is-a-scammer

I received an email through the contact page from my blog today.  It looked innocent enough:

“It looks like you’ve misspelled the word “Blart” (I was talking about the movie Paul Blart: Mall Cop) on your website.  I thought you would like to know :).  Silly mistakes can ruin your site’s credibility.  I’ve used a tool called SpellScan.com in the past to keep mistakes off my website.

-Kerri”

It came from a gmail address “gseller@gmail.com, which If you try to email, it comes back as “undeliverable”.

I am not even going to attempt to surf to the site, but simply entering the name of the site in a Google search brought caused it to auto fill with “SpellScan.com – Spam”.  Not really sure what to think as some posts claim the site contains “many viruses”, while others say the site is “genuine and safe”.  Surf there AT YOUR OWN RISK!  I thought I would post this so that my fellow bloggers were aware of the potential danger.

It looks like this has been going on since 2018.

Have you had this happen to you?  Does your site get this stuff?  Any others I should be watching for?

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