✋ It’s a scam!
April 12, 2023
In partnership with IDrive
Welcome to the 102nd day of the year! Ever wonder how your smartphone knows the exact time of day? It uses a specific time zone. What is it? You’ll find the answer at the end of this newsletter.
A lot of folks ask how you can support our free newsletters. Easy! Click the links to our sponsors. I vet each one and you can trust them. Thank you! — Kim
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IN THIS ISSUE
TODAY’S TOP STORY
Redditors: Top scams people keep falling for
Over 50 million people use the social media site Reddit every day. Each one spends almost 11 minutes submitting, reading and commenting about every topic imaginable (I’d kill for that traffic at Komando.com!).
This post caught my attention in particular: “What’s a scam that so many people fall for without realizing it?”
Here are the top three scams, according to Redditors, you need to know about right now.
1. “I swear it’s not a pyramid scheme!”
Free beauty seminars or weight loss solutions are almost always multi-level marketing schemes. The only way to make money is to recruit others to sell the same junk they’re trying to offload on friends and family — press-on nails, supplements, candles and even Bitcoin. Don’t be that person.
Bottom line: Check out the company’s BBB ratings and follow the FTC’s guidelines on spotting a pyramid scheme.
2. Dealer “add-ons”
You agreed on a fair price for the car. You shook hands with the dealer …now you have to meet with the finance guy. Uh oh.
He proceeds to tack on extras — windshield insurance, extended warranty, paint protection and rustproofing. They say the extras are mandatory. Screw that. Tell them you won’t buy the car unless they cut the crap.
Pro tip: Go to kbb.com, build the car you want and look for the invoice price (that’s roughly what the dealership paid). That’s where you should start negotiating from, not the MSRP.
3. Business “coaching”
Social media is full of people saying they’ll make you rich. All you need to do is drop a few thousand dollars for a starter course or business advice.
Most of these people are repeating stuff they ripped off from others. “Get off your butt and start getting things done!” Do you really need to pay someone to tell you that?
Actual useful tips: I interviewed a woman who started a successful Etsy shop right out of her home. Here’s how to start your own resell business.
But wait, there’s more! I posted other scams mentioned on this Reddit thread on my site. 👇
DEAL OF THE DAY
Watch it: Be on the lookout for fake YouTube emails that include a video link and warning that you only have seven days before your account is restricted. The kicker? The message comes from a youtube.com email address. The scammers are getting trickier all the time.
Return to scammer: Near Dayton, Ohio, detectives came up with a smart plan to find the jerk nabbing checks from an apartment mailbox. They hid three GPS devices inside fake pieces of mail — it worked! Police caught the perp carrying the stolen mail. Checkmate.
AirPod Shuffle: Apple’s latest patent: An interactive touchscreen built into the AirPods case. Yup, you could pick music, open apps, text and even watch movies without having to grab your phone. Do earbuds really need a touchscreen? If you pass your AirPods down to your kids, do they become heirpods?
’Bout time: Pay for YouTube Premium? Get ready for sharper, 1080p HD quality on iPhone, the ability to set up a next-up watch queue on mobile, and the ability to pause your vid on the computer, then start it up again on your phone. Handy!
Payback is sweet: Want to see scammers get a taste of their own medicine? I talked to the dynamic duo behind big-time YouTube channel TrilogyMedia. From epic glitter bomb pranks to putting cockroaches in a robocaller business, these two will stop at nothing. Watch our chat here.
Ready for my close-up: Microsoft is doing all it can to make Teams better. (But I don’t think this new feature was on top of any employer’s list …) Coming soon to a video meeting near you: 26 Snapchat filters, aka Lenses. Add a chicken on your head or a cute bunny nose. Some people look better as farm animals.
Dude, where’s my app: If the game you used to be obsessed with disappears from your Android, don’t panic. Google’s new auto-archiving feature hides your least-used apps to save on space. Bonus: Your personal data sticks around, so you won’t lose your top score in Angry Birds.
🎧 Take me on your next walk!
I’ll keep you company and make you laugh with my award-winning, daily podcast. Search for my last name with “K” wherever you get your podcasts and “Go Komando!”
Stream while the streaming’s good
We’re truly in a golden era of streaming services, with more high-quality streaming shows like “Succession,” “Yellowstone” and “The Crown” coming out every day.
Just take a look at the number of streaming TV shows per service, per ReelGood:
Isn’t this just nutso? Unbelievable that we still have trouble finding something to watch. One thing’s for sure, streaming services can’t afford to keep cranking out shows at this rate.
How can I tell? Streaming is starting to look more like cable. That is commercials, lots of shows you don’t want and price hikes. Be sure to watch your bills, folks. But, for now, we get to reap the benefit of the streaming service “arms race” — a seemingly endless stream of quality content.
Pro streaming tip: If you want to get notified when new seasons or episodes drop, along with seeing what’s new on any of the services, check out this tech life hack on my site. I use this free site all the time!
Keep your history a mystery
Google always seems to know just what you want, and it’s not in your head. Google tracks every search, click, message, and request. Now and then, clear your search history and activity. Here’s how:
Pro tip: You can also set up Auto-delete to clear future activity every 3, 18, or 36 months. I highly suggest you enable it.
🏃♀️ Keep going! 3 more Google privacy settings to change →
Such a sad story
I’ll never forget the phone call from a couple in their mid-30s. They saved all the photos of their three children on the family computer. The family survived the fire but the computer did not. Gone were all the kids’ photos — from the last nine years!
Be smart and back everything up now so it never happens to you. My pick is IDrive. It’s safe, fast and easy. You can back up all your devices — iPhone, Android, Mac, PC, you name it — to one account and access your stuff from anywhere.
When you use my name, Kim, at checkout, you get 90% off your first year. That’s not a typo!
BY THE NUMBERS
The number of buttons to push to have an F-150 hook up a trailer. Ford’s new Pro Trailer Hitch uses artificial intelligence and sensors to perfectly position a truck’s hitch ball under a trailer hitch with the push of a button. So cool! See the video here.
The percentage of Americans who couldn’t tell text written by a human vs AI. There are tools to take AI text and make it sound like a person. Here’s one if you want to give it a try.
The drop in Apple computer sales year over year. PC sales are down 29%, too. Why? People stopped buying work-from-home gear and the recession hit more than your hairline.
WHAT THE TECH?
That’s how eye roll.
UNTIL NEXT TIME …
🕰️ The answer: Smartphones connect to atomic clock servers and synchronize their clocks to the international standard of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT). I once toured the Royal Observatory in Greenwich, U.K. I’m a geek and was totally enthralled with the place. You should go see it someday, too!
👍 Hope you learned a few things from us. If you have any questions for me, you can drop me a line here on my site. And rate this issue below, too. See you tomorrow with more tech news you can use! – Kim
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