Five Tips to Help You Avoid Tech Support Phone Scams

first_imgFor the past several years, we’ve highlighted to customers the technical support scams plaguing companies around the world, including in the IT industry. These scams are not new. Fraudsters continue to design ways — from fake websites to phishing emails— to steal personal information for criminal purposes.One such scam affecting Dell and other well-known companies — the telephone technical support scam — is becoming increasingly sophisticated and difficult to distinguish from legitimate tech support calls. In this scam, individuals claiming to work for Dell make unsolicited calls to customers and insist there is a technical problem with their Dell product. They ultimately try to defraud customers by pressuring them to pay to fix the issue.Our thanks to those who have alerted us that they have been contacted by scammers. This information has been invaluable to Dell in helping us investigate these scams. We’re also working alongside our industry peers and law enforcement to aggressively address this issue.So, what’s the result? We know that sharing information on these scams has led to positive developments. Scammer websites have been shut down, fraudulent call centers closed, their participants prosecuted, and suspect internet addresses blocked from payment processing companies. However, these scams continue to operate. When we see one successfully shut down, another sprouts up at an alarming rate.As we’ve said before, the best protection from these scams is to hang up immediately if you receive a suspicious call. Here are Dell’s top five tips to help you avoid being scammed:Hang up! If an unsolicited caller pressures you to act quickly and give up sensitive personal and financial information to fix an issue and/or engages in threatening, aggressive behavior, that’s a sign of a scam.Never hand over your financial information to unsolicited callers who try to charge you to remove computer viruses, malware, or ransomware, even if they have specific information about your computer.Never pay for tech support services with any type of gift card or by wiring funds. Dell will never ask you for these forms of payment.Never visit unverified websites and never download and install software that unsolicited callers try directing you to.Never agree to give control of your computer to any unsolicited caller to fix an issue you did not report—despite how convincing they may sound.For our U.S. and Canada customers: If you feel you may have been scammed, contact us immediately via our online form or call us toll-free at (866) 453-1742 Monday to Friday, from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Eastern time.For our customers outside the U.S. and Canada, please click here.The battle to protect customers from these fraudsters is ongoing. As long as these scams continue to happen, we’ll continue to fight on your behalf.last_img read more

Top Paddling Gear Picks for Summer

first_imgPaddlesports are seeing a worldwide revival, due to increasingly lightweight material innovations, new boat designs, better water-friendly fabrics, and more access to waterways. An improving economy is also driving innovation as manufacturers are able to invest more back into R & D. Nowhere is this revival more apparent than in the Southeast. With the Freestyle World Championships taking place on the Nantahala last year, things are really on a roll – pun intended. Here’s a look at few Blue Ridge Outdoors picks for your summer paddling adventures.Gerber River ShortyImproving on a classic is tough to do, but Gerber took the chance with the re-introduction of their traditional stub-nose waterman’s blade, the River Shorty, built specifically for paddlers, sailors and divers. This blunt-tip river knife features a serrated 3-inch, polished 420HC stainless steel blade wrapped in a durable, slip-resistant nylon handle. The hard plastic sheath attaches easily to belt, boot or PFD and will accept the blade edge right or left. Made in Gerber’s Portland, Oregon, factory, the River Shorty carries the brand’s lifetime warranty and is now available in high visibility green (shown) as well as classic black. (MSRP $33) gerbergear.comNemo Helio Pressure ShowerRinsing off out of the back of your Subaru after a day on the river is one of the small pleasures in life, and Nemo has provided an extremely convenient and effective way to get this backcountry cleanse. The Helio Pressure Shower comes in a tidy nested kit and provides up to seven minutes of steady water pressure. Unlike gravity-fed, hanging shower systems, the Helio sits on the ground and uses an 11-liter welded-fabric water container, pressurized by a foot durable pump. Let the water tank warm in the sun while you are out paddling. It can also be used to rinse off doggie paws, bike tires, or to wash dishes. (MSRP $99.95) nemoequipment.comAstral Ronny Fisher Kayak Fishing PFD Southeastern favorite Astral has a number of new offerings for Spring, not the least among them the Ronny Fisher – Astral’s first kayak-fishing specific PFD, created with feedback from the North Carolina Kayak Fishing Association. The technical vest features Astral’s Thin-Vent proprietary foam-vent technology, a 500d Cordura wrap, and is decked out with a plethora of storage solutions all the way down to a beverage holder and cell phone pocket. Reflective hits and a stowable hood complete the picture in this departure piece for Astral. (MSRP $159.95) astraldesigns.comBluesmiths KanahaUsing some of the most advanced technical fabrics in the world from Switzerland –NanoSphere – the Bluesmiths Kanaha LS Ocean Shirt is a hydrophobic must-have for stand-up paddlers and other watersports enthusiasts. As you might expect, it’s got 40 UPF sun protection as well, and it’s quickly gaining notoriety for breathability, quick-dry and lightweight comfort. Bluesmiths manufactures in Canada with an eye for style, an environmental sensibility and real life paddlers and seamen developing product. (MSRP $90) bluesmiths.comNikwax Sandal Wash and Footwear Cleaning GelYour favorite Chacos, Tevas and Cudas can quickly become stinkified after many days on the river and around the campfire over the course of a season. But you love those sandals. Consider the environment and your pocketbook and treat them with Nikwax Sandal Wash or Footwear Cleaning Gel to give them new life. Sandal Wash works to clean synthetics, leather and fabrics and removes bacteria (typically responsible for rot and stink); while Footwear Cleaning Gel not only cleans but also revives water repellency and can revitalize breathability. Nikwax products are typically gentle on your goods and on the environment (VOC/FC-free, water based and biodegradable). The company’s apparel cleaning products work great too. Consider it a small investment in your gear. ($7.25 sandal wash / $8.50 cleaning gel) nikwax.comJulbo WaveMountaineers among you will quickly recognize this iconic French sunglass brand for their fit, protection and quality. Now paddlers have access to the company’s photochromic, polarized (eliminates glare), and hydrophobic (won’t streak when wet) lenses as well – and they float too. A removable frame skirt helps keep spray out of the eyes while air flows around to prevent fogging. A supple rubber adheres to the nose. Available in Black/Yellow, White/Black, Black/Sky Blue, and Blue/Black; the photochromic Octopus gets darker and lighter with light intensity and is the pricier of two lens options. (MSRP $120 Polarized 3+/$190 Octopus) julbousa.comKokatat Whitewater and off-shore hardcores will be interested to know that Kokatat’s new Icon Gore-Tex (in both 3-layer Pro Shell and Cordura) rear-entry dry suit (previously only available in the Jackson Collection) is now out in two new colors for men and women. It features full latex gaskets, integrated Gore-Tex socks, dual-adjustable overskirt, and, for men, front relief zipper. Ahhhhh. And when you’re not shredding waves, check out the new Kokatat Destination line, featuring caps, paddling pants and shirts, and other pieces that crossover well for lifestyle and travel. (MSRP $1090) kokatat.comGoal Zero Lighthouse250 Lantern and Power HubThe GZ Lighthouse 250 is a great tool to keep in your shuttle vehicle – it provides light for when you take-out after dusk and it can recharge your other devices. You can adjust brightness levels and direction to save on power for a 48-hour max run time. It’s rechargeable from Goal Zero solar panels, from any USB port, and it features a hand-crank for emergency charges. It can recharge a smartphone twice or give a 40-percent boost to a tablet. (MSRP $79.99) goalzero.comThule SUP ShuttleTo make use of your current Thule rack system with the new stand-up paddleboard you got for Christmas, consider spending the rest of your extra bread on some sweet rack attachments. The SUP Shuttle (MSRP $149.95) features telescoping-width (fits boards up to 34″ wide) with built-in board protection and universal FlipFit Bracket rack compatibility. Dual loading design and weather resistant base padding allows for safe transport of two boards. Adjustable wrap-around padding on straps protects boards from strap abrasion. Of course, if single-blade is your thing, there’s always the new Portage Canoe Carrier (MSRP $119.95), now Thule’s easiest loading canoe carrier with universal roof rack compatibility. Durable gunwales with ramped sides and cushioned base pads protect the canoe during transit to the put-in. thule.comlast_img read more

Syracuse expects challenge against physical Binghamton team

first_imgComing off a season-opening win over Albany, Syracuse is getting ready to face Binghamton – another young team that was picked near the bottom of the America East conference.Despite the similarities between the Great Danes and Bearcats, though, SU head coach Ian McIntyre is not taking this game lightly.“It’s a tough place to go and play,” McIntyre said. “We’re going to have our hands full. They’ve got some good players.”Syracuse already saw the best of some of those players in last season’s 2-1 loss to Binghamton. The Orange (1-0) controlled the tempo against Albany and the team will look to execute again when it takes on Binghamton (0-1) Tuesday at 7 p.m. in Vestal, N.Y.The Orange is looking to start off the season 2-0 for the first time since 2006, which is also the last time SU beat Binghamton. Syracuse is 2-5 all-time against the Bearcats, including the loss in 2011 and one in 2009.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textBearcats forward Jake Keegan will challenge the Orange in its bid to open the season on a winning streak.The senior led the team with seven goals and five assists last season. He tallied one assist against Syracuse a season ago when he crossed the ball into the box to Jerome Robinson, who headed it past Orange goalie Phil Boerger. The Stormville, N.Y. native finished second in the America East with 19 points in 2011 and scored a goal in the team’s season-opening loss to Colgate.While the Bearcats were picked to finish tied for sixth with Albany in their eight-team league, the Orange is not sleeping on Binghamton, especially given the difficulty they’ve had with the team in the past.Senior Louis Clark said the team faced Binghamton in spring matches and is very familiar with the style of play and tenacity the Bearcats bring to the field.“We know a few of the lads there,” Clark said. “We know they’re gonna be a big, physical team and stuff like that, but eventually they won’t be able to keep up with our pace and our movement off the ball.”Tony Asante was crucial to SU’s pace in its first win and came through with the Orange’s lone goal. He aggravated an ankle injury in the 81st minute against Albany and left the game with a trainer, but said he will be ready to go against Binghamton.The Orange will need Asante against Binghamton’s physicality and forceful attack, which will likely lead to a more active night for freshman goalkeeper Alex Bono. He made a few deflections and diving stops in his debut, but he was only seriously challenged on one or two shots.With Keegan and senior Trey Jasenski leading the attack, Bono will likely be tested more frequently. Asante believes that Bono will be ready for the task.“Alex Bono is a good goalie,” Asante said. “Everybody knows about him. He’s probably No. 1 in the nation.”McIntyre said Bono’s performance against Albany was especially impressive considering it was his first collegiate start in front of a record crowd for Syracuse.“His presence was good. I think he was confident,” McIntyre said. “He wasn’t asked to do a ton, but when he did that, he was very solid, and I think that’s a great starting spot for Alex.”Defenders Jordan Murrell and Skylar Thomas were reliable in the opener and will play an integral part in stopping Keegan and Jasenski in trying to lead the Orange to a second-straight victory.The Orange isn’t thinking about last year’s loss to the Bearcats and is ready for a chance at redemption.“Everybody is happy right now,” Asante said. “We don’t care about last year. We care about this year, so we’re gonna keep working hard to get Ws.” Comments Published on August 28, 2012 at 1:21 am Contact Trevor: [email protected] | @TrevorHasscenter_img Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more

Witness Becomes Temporarily Speechless in Belgian’s Murder Trial

first_imgDrama unfolded at the murder trial of Michel Bruno, a Belgian national, at the Criminal Court ‘A’ when a prosecution witness became temporarily confused.Moses H. Kermue, prosecution’s third witness stood speechless in the box for a few minutes before denying having knowledge that the defendants shot   Bruno, then Plantation Manager of Liberia Agriculture Company (LAC).Kermue is a senior officer of LAC’s Plant Protection Division (PPD).He was the only person cross examined by defense counsel.The defendants are charged with murder for allegedly shooting and killing Bruno on November 17, 2010 at LAC’s 3.3 extension site in District #3 Grand Bassa County. They have since denied the allegation levied against them.Testifying on Tuesday, April 8, the third witness caused a stir when he consistently asserted that he did not know whether the defendants murdered Bruno, alleging he heard the information from reliable sources in the employ of LAC. His vehement denials, even under questioning by his own lawyer, raised eyebrows.Witness Kermue could not disclose the name of his reliable sources.He refused a suggestion from prosecution lawyers, who asked him to point at the defendants in the box that were arrested in connection to Bruno’s death.“As I said previously, on November 17, 2010, I was not on the scene, and I can’t identify any of the defendants in the box who were arrested in connection with the murder of Bruno.”To the question as to whether he was aware that the defendants upon their arrest were investigated at the PPD’s headquarters in LAC, Kermue answered: “I was not there when they (defendants) were investigated at the headquarters. What I can say is I only heard that information, but I have no knowledge about it.”Earlier, Kermue explained that the day before Bruno was shot and killed, the chief of PPD, Major Garfe E. Mason, drove to his house and took him to LAC’s extension site to protect the company’s workers that had gone there to survey the land.“When we got there, we saw the surveying team headed by the late Bruno along with Alexander Peterson, Price Tawo, Matthew Daigar, Saye Yeasie and two PPD officers and we all moved to the bush together,” he added, “When we got into the bush the Surveyor began to clear the road and they started to plant their pegs.”According to him, while the survey was in process, they saw a group of men under the control of one of the defendants, Arthur Crusoe.“Crusoe asked us where we were coming from and we answered that we are from LAC Plantation. Crusoe then told us that he learnt LAC was about to conduct a survey in the district. He said this was the reason, we have declared this day as a holiday in our area. LAC has been fooling us this time around, LAC is not going to fool us. In fact, I am going to let the government to know about this,” witness Kermue quoted defendant Crusoe as saying.“It was at this time,” the witness alleged “that a lady I couldn’t recognize in the group turned to one of the surveyors, the late James Myers, and said, “James, I know you very well, don’t be part of these people again.”“After that statement, we immediately left the area,” the prosecution witness further alleged. In an hour-long cross-examination, which was not different from the questions and suggestions posed to previous prosecution witnesses, Kermue’s response to most of them were negative. The prosecution declined to continue with his examination.The case continues.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

It’s Alive! – Visiting a Certified Living Building

first_imgLocation, location, locationBill mentioned that many visitors to the lab talk about replicating the building in other regions, not realizing that the details of this building (like those of most buildings) are climate-specific. While I love the passive ventilation, the louvers don’t provide much in the way of insulation or air sealing, so they wouldn’t be very useful in most climate zones. The solar thermal cooling is a great idea, but it will only work in certain climates where there is enough of a daily temperature swing.This building is a great experiment, and the kids who use it are learning amazing lessons that will stay with them throughout their lives. It is not a building type that will work in most climates, but as a research facility, home to many building science experiments, and an example of seriously forward thinking, it is a great model for schools and professionals to aspire to. Geeking out in a living buildingLuckily, the day I was able to visit, Bill Wiecking, the lab director, was available. Bill spent quite a bit of time showing me around. I was a bit challenged to keep up with his rapid-fire explanations, but learned about many of the interesting features included in the building, as well as some of the challenges that they ran across.Probably the most interesting feature (to me, at least) was the solar thermal cooling system. Because the site has a dependable cycle of the diurnal temperature change, liquid that is pumped into the solar panels is cooled at night, stored in tanks, then run through fan-coil units to provide air conditioning during the day.Their passive ventilation system is elegant in its simplicity: manual louvers at waist level combine with electrically operated ones at the top of the building. Air flows up along the roof slope, limiting the amount air movement in the room while still providing necessary ventilation. The bottom louvers have a habit of closing on their own, so the students created simple blocks of wood to hold them open.The building is equipped with indoor and outdoor CO2 sensors to determine when ventilation is required. Instead of basing their ventilation on absolute CO2 concentrations indoors, they compare inside to outside to identify when indoor concentrations are high enough for ventilation. They originally ran their ventilation automatically, but reverted to manual controls to avoid over- or under-ventilating. Everyone has problemsBill and I did a bit of commiserating about our experiences fighting with mechanical engineers about HVAC system sizes, and trying hard to get contractors to do what you really want from them.He pointed out a set of ¾-inch copper lines that were installed instead of the 1-inch lines specified for the thermal cooling system. The smaller lines didn’t work and were ultimately abandoned in place when the properly sized ones were installed.Design and construction of the building were challenging, and building operation has been challenging, too. Doors to the offices and workrooms with individual minisplit air conditioning systems (used primarily for dehumidification) are often blocked open with the AC running. Behavior problems never stop being an issue, even in the best buildings.The CO2 sensors are costly and require frequent replacement. And one thing I noticed was the significant quantity of cobwebs throughout the building. Spiders must love how the passive ventilation brings loads of insects right into their webs. While they don’t cause any problems, the webs detract from the look of the building. Cleaning them is likely an ongoing project, sort of like painting the Golden Gate bridge.center_img On vacation in Hawaii recently (yes, life is really tough for us consultants), I had the opportunity to visit the Hawaii Preparatory Academy’s Energy Lab, the first classroom and the third building certified under the Living Building Challenge Program.I realize that when you live in paradise, it’s easier to build a net-zero energy and net-zero water use building, but the Energy Lab serves a greater purpose and, for those institutions that have the opportunity (and the money) to create facilities such as these, they can really help to advance sustainable building.The most interesting thing I gleaned from my visit was how engaged the students are in efficiency and building technology. These kids are learning about how buildings operate, and are in the process of auditing the rest of the campus to recommend improvements to be made.They are becoming what someone recently described to me as “sustainability natives.” Those who become architects, builders, or engineers will, unlike most current practitioners, have sustainable principles ingrained in their thinking. Today, green building practices are often an afterthought to most professionals. But as more people grow up understanding the value of high-performance construction, sustainability will be fully integrated into their thinking and their work when they become practitioners. RELATED ARTICLES Yes, the Living Building Challenge is OverreachingEarly Lessons from the Living Building ChallengeAmerica’s Greenest Office BuildingLiving Building Challenge 2.0 ReleasedFirst Living Building Challenge Projects certifiedlast_img read more