Planet Mars, the Coca Cola lottery, and protecting your privacy: Internet ScamBusters #193
Today you’ll find three Snippets — including the top two topics that ScamBusters visitors were interested in during the past two weeks:
- Planet Mars: will it really look as big as the moon on August 27?
- The Coca Cola lottery
- Resource: Protecting your privacy by removing your name and personal info from online directories
First, three announcements:
1. Although we normally get excellent feedback on each issue of ScamBusters, last week’s issue seems to have really hit a nerve: the response from subscribers was truly amazing. So, if you missed last week’s issue on the truth about getting free designer handbags and other high priced free items, we recommend you check it out now.
2. We recently created two new blogs we thought many of you would be interested in. The first is called DietingTipsEtc.com. It provides “real world” dieting tips for people who find losing weight difficult — from three very different people who have lost weight and/or are still in the process.
The second is on the truth about acne and acne myths.
3. As usual, we recommend you check out the most popular articles from our other websites.
Are Credit Cards Changing for the Worse?
Would Your Pet Get Home After a Disaster?
What is the BARF Diet?
Is a Fifty-Year Mortgage a Good Idea?
On to today’s Snippets…
Planet Mars: will it really look as big as the moon on August 27?
A popular urban legend has resurfaced: “On August 27th … Mars will look as large as the full moon.”
We wrote about the planet Mars urban legend last July.
Here are the facts: Planet Mars did pass within 34,646,418 miles of earth on August 27, 2003 — this was the closest Mars has come to Earth in nearly 60,000 years. Mars also came quite close in October 2005.
However in both cases, planet Mars looked like a bright red star, not even close to the size of the full moon.
Nothing of interest is happening with regards to the planet Mars this year.
For more info, visit Space.com.
The Coca Cola lottery
We’ve written a lot about lottery scams in the past — in fact, lottery scams are #5 on the Internet ScamBusters’ Top 10 Scams for 2006.
One of the newest lottery scam variants is the bogus UK “Coca Cola lottery.” Emails with the subject “Coca Cola Promotion” have been circulating for the past month.
These emails claim the lucky recipient has won $2.5 million in an annual lottery after being randomly selected when computers found their email address on different websites.
Potential victims are told to call or fax an agent to collect their winnings.
Naturally, the scammers are really interested in stealing the victims’ personal details so they can either steal money from their bank accounts or commit identity theft.
Action: Delete the email. You are not one of 50 lucky winners. You cannot win a lottery if you didn’t buy a ticket. In addition, it’s illegal for US citizens to participate in any kind of cross-border lottery system.
For more tips and clever twists on foreign lottery scams, click here.
Resource: Protecting your privacy by removing your name and personal info from online directories
The Privacy Rights Clearinghouse has created an excellent resource on how to remove your name, phone number and other info from many directory listing sites across the Internet.
This page gives web and snail mail addresses to get off a long list of websites that allow you to remove your personal info. We recommend you consider doing this.
Time to close for today. We have a very special issue for you next week, so be sure to watch for it.