No, this is not a clickbait article… but these images made me smile.
Beware, and stop your children from getting involved in these dangerous, seditious pursuits before it’s too late!
The Old Wolf has spoken.
Some of these scams have been around for a long time; back in 2012, the FTC settled with five defendants for running the “Ann from Credit Card Services” scam, but like the mythical Hydra, for every head you cut off, two more grow in its place. It’s infuriating; my phone has long been on the national DNC register, but that tool seems to have about as many teeth as the CAN-SPAM act, meaning virtually zero. The Medical Alert scam appears to have ramped up during the last month despite being on the FTC’s radar for over two years.
At this point there is very little that the average consumer can do directly to stop the flood. But there are things you can do to reduce your own frustration level, and some which, over time, may help the authorities to take action against these scammers.
In the meantime, remember what the FTC tells consumers:
If you get a call with a recorded sales message and you haven’t given the company your written permission to call, the call is illegal. Since the call itself is illegal, you can bet the offer is a scam
Be careful out there and watch over your vulnerable loved ones.
The Old Wolf has spoken.
The image below was assembled from Newser.com. I’ve mentioned this before, but it seems that sponsored ad placement like has risen to the level of the absurd.
Every one of these ads is clickbait and leads to some sort of deceptive or disreputable website, things like Lower My Bills, Pimsleur Appraoch, snake oil peddlers, things like that. Twelve scummy ads for a single news article? Even if you need to place ads, one would think you could choose more reputable businesses to promote than these deceptive, barely-legal scams.
It’s getting more and more difficult to navigate the web for substantive content witnout being bombarded with things like this, hard-coded ads that AdBlocker won’t wipe out. But one thing is certain – you should never click on ads like this; you’ll only be taken to a site that wants to get your money and/or information, and doesn’t care how they do it.
The Old Wolf has spoken.
Cross-posted from LiveJournal
I’ve talked about Macaronics before, along with references to Mots d’Heures, Gousses, Rames and Mörder Guß Rheims, and this evening we get to poke gentle fun at Italian, the language of my ancestors.
The following dialogs must be read as though they were written in Italian, or they don’t work well. That means you need to know a bit about Italian orthography.
GIECCHE ENNE BINNESTOCCHE
Uana apanne taim uasa boi neime Giecche. Uorche anna fam – plente, plao, milche cause, fidde cicchense–itse toff laif. Uan dei ise mamma ghiveme binne in tellime: Plente binne enne ghette binnestocche. Datsa giusta uarri didde en sanemagogna, iffe binnestocche no gro uppe uan, tu; tri—fette laiche faire aidrent en itse gadde inoffe binnese tu fidde Bostone tuenti irs. Itte gro aire den olle claudese–iu nevve sin saccie bigghe binnestocche inna u laif. Una ting ua muste no issa data pipple inne Bossatun livva onna binnes anna pipple una longa aylumda livva ona da sahound.
Giecche go picchene, picchene, picchene, aire enne aire, tille pesse di claudese en i si a chesele bilonghe tu giaiant u uonse biutiful uaite gus. Alle taim disse giaiant ise singhene: Fi, Fai, Fo, Fomme, Ai smelle blodde Inglescemen (Itse only songhe i no). Batte Giecche isa Merdicane, so i don gara uorri. Uen giaiant folle slippe, snoren laiche Vesuvio, Giecche grebbe di uaite gus enne ranne laiche eche. I ghetto omme seif a saond enn i sei tu ise papa: lucche me, i seise, lucche uar ai gatte; Gudde, seise pappa, ui gonne ev ardboil egghese for breghefeste. Neggheste dei mamma boilse egghese, en uara iu tinche? Dei uas goldene egghese, enne pappa brecche ise folse titte.
Mannaggie l’America, i seise, demme titte coste me seveni-faive dollari. Enne i ghive Giecche di bittinghe ove ise laif – i bitte im blecche n blu.
Di morrale ove disse storri ise: Iu gara inoffe trombole in iur onne beccheiard; uara iu gara go lucchen arande for morre?
Now I am a “Merdicane” too… my papa could have done this beautifully, since he was not only a native Italian speaker, but also an accomplished character actor and dialectician. But for your gratuitous benefit, here is a 3.9MB mp3 file of my own rendition of this delightful fairy tale.
Now that you know how it’s done, here are two more that you can try all by yourself:
DI TRE BERRESE
Disse libretto ise for dose iu laiche to follo di spiccher uail ise spicche
Uans appana taim uas tre berrese. Mamma berre. Papa berre. E beibe berre. Live inne contri nire forresta. Naise ause. No mogheggia.
Uanne dei pappa, mamma e beibe go bice. Oreie. A furghette locche di door. Bai enne bai commese Goldilocchese. Sci garra nattinghe tu du batte meiche troble. Sci puschie olla fudde daon di maute, no live cromme. Den sci gos appesterrese enne slipse inne olle beddse. Leise slobbe.
Bae enne bai commese omme di tre berrese olle sonnebrone enne send inne scius. Dei garra no fudde, de garra no beddse. En uarra dei goine du tu Goldilocchese? Tro erre aute inna strit? Colle polissemenne? Fette cienze.
Dei uas italien berres, enne dei slippe onna floore. Goldilocchese ste derre tre uicase. Itte aute ausenomme. En guiste bicose dei esche erre tu meiche di beddse, sci sei, “go cheise iusef,” enne ronne omme craine tu erre mama, tellenrre uat sannimagonnis di tre berrese uer. Uatiuse? Uara goine du? Go complaine sittiolle?
DI AGGHELI DAGGHELINGHE
Uans appane taim uasa a dacche livene greite bigghe pande. Prirri sunne, sci ghettse taide suimmene olle bai erselfe, becche fort, becche fort. Sci uantse femmeli. So scise goine tu grosseri en baine effe dasene egghese. Aime goine ecci egghese, sciese spighene tu erselfe, enne reise femmeli. Sci eccie, eccie, eccie, naitendei, till di scielse breche en aute pappese sigghese ov di chiuteste dagghelinghese iu evver sin. Dirai sei sigghese? Mai mistecche. Uas onneli faive. Di siggheste uas sammetinghe aute disse uorlde. It edde tuistebicche, fleppeirs, bacchetitte, engheneilse, denderaffe, pagghenose, anciebecche, folinarciese, folingerre, crosseaise, boldelegghese, nacchenise, en piggenetose. Itte uas di agghelieste dagghelinghe inne istori ove uorlde.
Uen i traise uocche, i trippse folse. Uen i traise suim, i ollemost drannese. Lucche uara di chette dregghede inne, ise faive broddese iuste sei. enne dei leffe leffe leffe laiche bancie smarellechese. Den dei go suimmene uaile di pure aggheli dagghelinghe sitsandi eggie di pande craine is lille art aute.
Uanne dei, is pessine bai di manegiere ove di Brongghese Zoo. I sise di aggheli dagghelinghe, barri don biliv itte. Ai bin drinnghene tu maccie, i seise tu imselfe. I teichese de dagghelinghe tu di spesialistese; dei don beliv itte ider. So aut eppense? Dei bilde speciale cheigge for imme; i ghette is neime inne Deili Nuse en tausensa pippele cammene tu teiche lucche. Lestemonte, Senme Goldeuinne ghiveme Allaiuude contreggete en nao i gose naitclabbine wid Dannele Dacche en meicchese vivititausende a irre. Ise broddese stei inne pande, en uanne bai uanne dei endoppe in sambarris dinerpleite.
De morrale ove dis storri ise: ders lattse u lucche chiut inoffe tu itte; au menni arre derre so aggheli dei ghette peide for itte?
BIMONTE, RICHARD IRPINIO
Storris enne pommese fram Mamma Gus.
Including Pommese, Lille Redde Raiden Udde, Giecche enne binnestocche, Di tri berrese, and Di aggheli dagghelinghe.
© Richard Irpinio Bimonte; Ic 12May48
I fount this listing in “Full text of “Catalog of Copyright Entries 1948 Dramas and Works for Oral Delivery Jan-Dec 3D Ser Vol 2 Pts 3-4,” a raw scan at Archive.org; the three poems above were either typed from very old hard copy that I have had in my files for decades, or in the case of “Di Aggheli Dagghelinghe,” found on the web as an “author unknown” snippet. The subtitle makes reference to Little Red Riding Hood and some other poems, but thus far I have found no clues on the web as to where the original volume might be located. If you have a copy, or know where one lives, leave a comment here – I’d love to see the rest of it.
The Oldde Wolfe hese spochene…
and became like blood in my body.
It rushed through my veins and
encircled my heart.
Everywhere I looked,
I saw one thing.
Love’s name written
on my limbs,
on my left palm,
on my forehead,
on the back of my neck,
on my right big toe…
Oh, my friend,
all that you see of me
is just a shell,
and the rest belongs to love.
Published in Hush Don’t Say Anything to God: Passionate Poems of Rumi, Jain Publishing
UPDATE: They’re still active. The terms of acceptance on their contract refers to the terms and conditions at worldbusinesslist.net. One clause states, “At the beginning of the second, third and following years of the subscription the service provider will send the subscriber an invoice, the payments for the second, third and following years have to be done on the bank account of the service provider as mentioned. All invoices are payable two weeks from the date of the invoice. The service provider has the right to terminate the contract in the event of non payment within the aforementioned period of two weeks without a prior written notice.” Notice the bold text here: If you don’t pay your invoice, your contract will be terminated. So if you don’t want their service, don’t pay their invoice and ignore all communication from them or from any supposed “collection agency.”
UPDATE: The Dutch police are aware of these scammers. See this post for a letter from the Dutch police secretariat, a way to report correspondence, and their advice (send no money, do nothing).
I detailed the workings of this fraudulent operation back in 2013, and wondered at that time why the Dutch authorities don’t shut these scumsuckers down. (Edit: they’re working at it.)
They’re still at it.
Edit: Per a comment below, this scam may also come from “World Company List.” Same bad guys or another outfit just like them.
Edit 2 (11-23-2017): Numerous people have been deceived by this fraudulent outfit, and start getting threats from the legal firm of “Waldberg and Hirsch”, including demands for late fees. Feel free to use the following text if it is useful:
To whom it may concern:
I was deceived by your misleading solicitation, in the which you proclaim that “Updating is free of charge.” My submission was a mistake. I do not want an entry in your database, and I will never use your service. I will not pay for a service I have no intention of using. Please delete any such entry and all my information from your database and do not contact me again. Further contacts by you or your representatives will be forwarded to the relevant authorities.
Received today this email:
From: “Olivia Andre” <email@example.com>To: <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: [SPAM] Business Registration 2015/2016
Ladies and Gentlemen.In order to have your company inserted in the registry of World Businesses List for 2015/2016 edition, please print, complete and submit the attached form (PDF file) to the following address:World Business ListP.O. BOX 30793502 GB, UtrechtThe Netherlandsemail: email@example.com: +31 20 524-8107Updating is free of charge!If you are not the intended recipient, please submit an email to firstname.lastname@example.orgYour request shall be dealt with accordingly.
The Fine Print:
THE SIGNING OF THIS DOCUMENT REPRESENTS THE ACCEPTANCE OF THE FOLLOWING CONDITIONS AND THE CONDITIONS STATED IN “THE TERMS AND CONDITIONS FOR INSERTION” ON WEB PAGE: WWW.WORLD BUSINESSLIST.NET THE SIGNING IS LEGALLY BINDING AND GIVES YOU THE RIGHT OF AN INSERTION IN THE ONLINE DATABASE OF THE WORLD BUS INESS LIST WHICH CAN BE ACCESSED VIA THE INTERNET, ALL IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONTRACT CONDITIONS STATED IN “THE TERMS AND CONDITIONS FOR INSERTION” ON WEB PAGE: WWW.WORLDBUSINESSLIST.NET. THE VALIDATION TIME OF THE CONTRACT IS THREE YEARS AND STARTS ON THE EIGHTH DAY AFTER SIGNING THE CONTRACT. THE INSERTION IS GRANTED AFTER SIGNING AND RECEIVING THIS DOCUMENT BY THE SERVICE PROVIDER. I HEREBY ORDER A SUBSCRIPTION WITH SERVICE PROVIDER EU BUSINESS SERVICES LTD. “WORLD BUSINESS LIST”. I WILL HAVE AN INSERTION INTO ITS DATABASE FOR THREE YEARS. THE PRICE PER YEAR IS EURO 995. THE SUBSCRIPTION WILL BE AUTOMATICALLY EXTENDED EVERY YEAR FOR ANOTHER YEAR, UNLESS SPECIFIC WRITTEN NOTICE IS RECEIVED BY THE SERVICE PROVIDER OR THE SUBSCRIBER TWO MONTHS BEFORE THE EXPIRATION OF THE
SUBSCRIPTION. YOUR DATA WILL BE RECORDED. THE PLACE OF JURISDICTION IN ANY DISPUTE ARISING IS THE SERVICE PROVIDER’S ADDRESS. THE AGREEMENT BETWEEN THE SERVICE PROVIDER AND THE SUBSCRIBER IS GOVERNED BY THE CONDITIONS STATED IN “THE TERMS AND CONDITIONS FOR INSERTION” ON WEB PAGE: WWW.WORLDBUSINESSLIST.NET
Notice the “legally binding” verbage. The enterprise name has changed, but the music remains the same.
Do not be taken in by these bottom-feeders. Refer to the previous entry for further details.
The Old Wolf has spoken.
I would gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today. But during WW 1 and WW 2, Tuesday was a day of rationing. I originally thought this sign had something to do with Thimble Theatre, but it turns out it has more to do with the European and Pacific theaters.
During World War I, President Woodrow Wilson issued a proclamation calling for every Tuesday to be meatless and for one meatless meal to be observed every day, for a total of nine meatless meals each week. The United States Food Administration (USFA) urged families to reduce consumption of key staples to help the war effort. Conserving food would support U.S. troops as well as feed populations in Europe where food production and distribution had been disrupted by war. To encourage voluntary rationing, the USFA created the slogan “Food Will Win the War” and coined the terms “Meatless Tuesday” and “Wheatless Wednesday” to remind Americans to reduce intake of those products.
Herbert Hoover was the head of the Food Administration as well as the American Relief Association during Woodrow Wilson’s presidency, and played a key role implementing the campaign, which was one of Hoover’s many attempts to encourage volunteerism and sacrifice among Americans during the war. The USFA provided a wide variety of materials in addition to advertising, including recipe books and menus found in magazines, newspapers and government-sponsored pamphlets.
The campaign returned with the onset of World War II, calling upon women on the home front to play a role in supporting the war effort. During this time, meat was being rationed, along with other commodities like sugar and gasoline.
This particular photo seems to have been taken in New York, where Nedicks was a big chain.
It does not escape me that the waitress is offering you a hot dog on meatless Tuesday. John Godfrey Saxe once said, “Laws, like sausages, cease to inspire respect in proportion as we know how they are made.” Which reminds me of the old joke about a customer who returned some hot dogs to his butcher, complaining that the middle section was filled with sawdust. The butcher replied, “Times are tough. It’s hard enough making both ends meat…”
The Old Wolf has spoken.
In the moving and beautiful video below, Julia Roberts voices Mother Nature and reminds us that from the point of view of the earth, we as humans are not needed.
Humon, the pen-name of the artist who draws Scandinavia and the World did a beautiful comic on the same theme:
Lastly, I repeat a comic I have posted or referred to a few times in this blog, by the inimitable Stan Lynde:
Whether one are a person of science or a person of faith, it behooves us all to take care of this one and only spaceship earth that we have to live on. There is no getting off it in the foreseeable future. and we’re soiling our nest so rapidly that there will be unavoidable consequences down the road; the concept is underscored in Carl Sagan’s thoughts on The Pale Blue Dot, which I mentioned earlier.
Let’s please not forget:
The Old Wolf has spoken.
Emails of this nature are almost guaranteed scams. If you click one of the login links, you are taken to this URL:
which is DEFINITELY NOT A PAYPAL WEBSITE. Yes, I’m SHOUTING!
If you are foolish enough to follow instructions, here is what you’ll be providing to criminals:
Now, do you really want to give your PayPal account information, your bank account details, your credit card details, and your personal address, phone number, birthdate, and social security number to thieves who have fewer morals than Al Capone and Robert Mugabe put together?
No, I didn’t think you did.
NEVER GIVE OUT FINANCIAL OR OTHER PERSONAL DETAILS OVER THE INTERNET WITHOUT BEING ABSOLUTELY SURE YOU ARE ON A TRUSTED WEBSITE!
The Old Wolf has shouted.
I had a missed call today from some number in Florida – I assumed it was from “Kelly from Credit Card Services,” since I get a couple of those each day (and I wish that our legislators could clamp down on these hqiz-eaters once and for all.)
This one was different, as I found out when I called the number back and got a recorded sales pitch.
The call came from 321-594-4796; a commenter over at 800Notes remarked,
Easy Funding d/b/a Easy Merchant Services of Melbourne, Florida — soliciting to advance credit card receipts (they loan money, charge an insane processing fee and interest, collect the loan+fees directly from your sales)
I had never heard of the Merchant Cash Advance ploy, but a quick search turned up this at Wikipedia:
“These merchant cash advances are not loans—rather, they are a sale of a portion of future credit and/or debit card sales. Therefore merchant cash advance companies claim that they are not bound by state usury laws that limit lenders from charging high interest rates. This technicality allows them to operate in a largely unregulated market and charge much higher interest rates than banks.”
In other words, another barely-legal scheme. The fact that my number is on the do-not-call list doesn’t matter, and that’s the first big red flag that a business is devoid of morals or ethics.
Watch out for such a scheme, it looks like a pretty poor way of generating operating capital for your business, much like using a payday lender or Cousin Luigi.
The Old Wolf has spoken.