zeborah: Zebra with stripes falling off (stress and confusion)
I used to bait email scammers, from fake email addresses. The group I was part of would probably disapprove of baiting phone scammers from one's own phone number, but what's the worst that could happen?

(Inundated with scammers thinking I'm an easy target and having to change my phone number, possibly.)

So I've been trying to catch these people for a while, but for some reason they keep hanging up on me when I ask them to hold the line for a couple of minutes. :-(

However yesterday I kept one on the line long enough for them to start believing I'd fallen for their story. Also I kept failing to understand the instructions they gave me long enough I got passed on to a senior phone scammer. I forget his actual job title. His name's Roger, and he's been wonderfully patient with the fact that my computer is in a different room, so I keep having to make him hold for several minutes while I turn it on, and wait for it to start up, and painstakingly follow his instructions, and make mistakes, and have to start again, and now he wants me to buy a license for something so let me check how much money is in my bank account, oh dear, not enough, but maybe my brother can lend me some. So he hangs up to let me call my brother, but when he calls back I have to relate my brother's not back until later that evening, so we go back to him trying to install spyware on my computer and oh, sorry, but my internet's just so slow!

So all that kept him busy for an hour yesterday. (During the course of this I keep reading/coding/whatever while he patiently recites instructions at me or waits for me to get back from following them.)

Today he called as soon as I got home. (This leads me to suspect he'd been calling earlier too.) I let it ring, because I was pilling the cat and she was being fussier than usual. He called back three more times, and by then I'd finished drinking my hot chocolate so I answered it. My bus had been late, I told him. He wanted to know if I'd got the money so I said my brother agreed to transfer it but it's not in my account yet. So we switched back to trying the spyware thing. First he wanted me to install ammyy (so he can take control of my computer) via the start menu. That "didn't work" so we tried doing it via internet explorer.

(For the record, I use Firefox on a Mac.)

Next I "got an error". After a while we worked out it was a hilarious miscommunication about the spelling. So I tried again and it did a google search and the results talked about some scam!!!! This was the best, he talked for several minutes trying to reassure me while I read everything in my RSS feed reader and occasionally (every time he was winding down) said that I was really concerned about this. So eventually he convinced me it was safe and I tried it again. (Okay, really I watched a kinky video and caught up on Twitter.)

Unfortunately for him I proved hopeless at following instructions, so after a while he gave up on that and we started trying some other product www.support.me. Again I prove hopeless at following instructions. He's getting really frustrated by now, being pretty polite but telling me I need to do it faster so the code he gives me for the software doesn't expire. So I finally succeed at starting to download the software and my computer crashes! :-( At which he loses patience and tells me to hang up, restart my computer, and he'll call me back in quarter of an hour.

About ten minutes later I thought, nah, and took the phone off the hook. When I've had my dinner and feel interested in talking to him again I can just tell him my brother called and he's worried about transferring the money to me after all because he heard it's a scam, etc.

In the meantime I've wasted at least two hours of their time, maybe three depending on whether he got any work done between trying to phone me all those times. This should translate to saving a few dozen people from having their evenings interrupted.

Hmm, what for dinner? <off to hunt in the kitchen>
zeborah: Zebra against a barcode background, walking on the word READ (read)
Digital TV is awesome. So is being on holiday. Unfortunately Chinese TV (WTV, channel 28) doesn't have any readily discoverable programme, but I talked to a colleague at work and she's told me all the timeslots she knows of that have Korean sageuk. <bounce>

The channel also has a learn-Chinese segment at 2:40pm which is... actually way too advanced for me: I've never been at a stage where the words for "pumice" and "sinkable wood" and various east Asian trees are the most important gaps in my knowledge and I couldn't follow the conversations at all. The 这是不是。。。呢 and 这会不会是。。。呢 structures they briefly touched on were more my level. OTOH it does bring back a few of the words I learned at uni, so. I'll probably keep watching for the rest of my holiday, but don't think I'll bother recording it after that.

After that segment is over, I change the channel to Māori TV for their 3pm learn-Te Reo segment, which is just about perfect for my level. At one point they mentioned homework and going to the website; I went to the website and couldn't find the homework, but I did find the video summaries of the previous 200+ episodes of the series, and I'm now downloading them to my iPod for revision (one by one; there doesn't seem to be an rss feed; oh well). Yesterday I also watched Te Kaea (news) which is in Te Reo with English subtitles. (Oh, and a bit about the building of the marae at Waiariki Polytech, which ditto. And sidebar: I'm now trying to work out what the excuse of the opposition was for resisting the addition of a kitchen. I'm not surprised that there was Pākehā resistance in the slightest, but what excuse could they possibly come up with? A marae without a kitchen seems to me like a building without a doorway. When you welcome people onto the marae, you have the pōwhiri and then you eat. If the marae didn't have a kitchen, how would the tangata whenua feed the manuhiri? Does not compute!) This is also about right for my level: it keeps me following along enough to familiarise me with the words I just recognise, and confirm/correct my understanding of their meanings, whereas without subtitles I wouldn't know what was happening so would get bored and tune out.


In other learning-something-new-everyday news, I've taken up scambaiting again. (It's a lot more convenient now that Google lets you be logged into three accounts at once. Also I'm on holiday, so I don't know how long I'll keep it up once I'm back to work, we'll see; though I hope I can, because the first week of a scam hardly wastes any of their time since they're just running off a script still anyway.)

Anyway this morning I got an email stating that:
my sister [...] will be coming with me to your country because i am her father and the only family she has now
which, once I switched out of the "mock the mugu" headspace that makes fighting crime so much more efficient, I decided must mean something like "male head of household / legal guardian" or somesuch.


The only problem with the Freeview digital decoder is that when it's on standby it makes a quiet whirring noise which sometimes you don't notice and sometimes you can't not notice it and it drives you up the wall.

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zeborah: Map of New Zealand with a zebra salient (Default)
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