I used to get mail from people selling things or offers on cruises and vacations. Of late that has been replaced by people wanting to buy property I own or used to own. I’m sure the prospective buyers are not inclined to pay what the property is worth, or I think it is worth.

I think these are “low-ballers” hoping potential property owners just want to get property off their hands and don’t want to bother, willing to take less.

There are people who sell lists of property with absentee owners. I get robocalls every week from a different person who has the same information as the previous caller.

I think these robocalls to my mobile phone are illegal, but so what. Complaints don’t go anywhere beyond the report and I do report.

Now I get a lot of “spam” email.

Unfortunately, I have been lax in my attention to business because, according to a note from Microsoft: “This is to inform you that as of 9 of April 2021, all of your email messages and PDF attachments won’t be delivered to the intended recipients due to your email is out-dated. Follow below to verify and update your email.”

Another from a different address said that “we’re closing all older versions of our mailboxes from April 15, 2021. Please follow the link below to update your account:”

And then this, “Respected user: Your Microsoft account is being compromised and new messages will be blocked.” That was two weeks ago. They’re still coming.

These notes are not coming from Microsoft at all but people whose computer is infected with a Trojan horse, a virus.

They might have “clicked” on a link resulting in a bad piece of software downloading to their computer. The virus messes with the computer or gathers personal data. Maybe it copies your bank or credit card information and sends it to a third party. Then it sends copies of itself to everyone in the universe.

The mischief can be creative. I got a notice that an expensive watch I purchased online was ready to be shipped and a charge of $8,000 made to my credit card.

The criminal hoped I’d respond in a fury but I checked my credit card account and it was just what I thought it was. Besides, I already have an expensive watch — $30 worth.

You have to be careful with computers and keep an eye on the people in your house.

Thankfully I do have great anti-virus software that runs, tidying up this and that. And there is also that pretty 20-something gal who keeps sending her picture and wanting to help me keep my computer safe.

I’d be surprised if she really knows how to turn one on.

Joe Phillips writes his “Dear me” columns for several small newspapers. He has many connections to Walker County, including his grandfather, former superintendent Waymond Morgan. He can be reached at joenphillips@hotmail.com.

Recommended for you