TTG 1832 for Sunday 26 September 2021

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The Tech Guy Labs page for this episode: Episode 1832 | The Tech Guy

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interesting discussion on facebook scams. unfortunately the scammers make it hard for legitimate sellers. My wife ordered something and quickly cancelled, receiving a cancellation number. Paypal would not refund the money. The seller presented a shipping number and said the product was delivered. After lots of hassle the money was refunded because the “two greenhouses” were apparently delivered to someone in our zip code in a package weighing 10 ounces. lots of hair pulling to get the refund. Another trick scammers use is to delay the product for so long that the CC company will not do a chargeback. with current shipping delays it is hard to tell if shipping delays are legitimate or a scam, but I believe if a product is not going to be received in a period like 30 days the seller is required to give notice and allow cancellation, which a scammer will not do.

Finally, facebook is a party to this - my wife collects and publishes warnings of scammers to help her friends avoid them, having amassed a list of 80 such scammers. Facebook is now taking down her postings, essentially defending the scammers.

My advice to anyone who wants to play with one of these scammers is don’t use money you can’t afford to lose. If it seems too good to be true it usually IS.

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also an interesting call regarding rejected email addresses, including after 2 characters. if this was a legitimate call I’d certainly like to hear the ultimate solution.

Just a couple of suggestions I would have also asked about or tried in relation to the “invalid email” problem.

  1. Sometimes there are password managers or browser extensions that will autofill passwords. I have had blank spaces that I didn’t know where there in password and email fields (if they are at the end then they are often nearly undetectable). While the guy did say he was using different computers and different browsers, if he has a password manager on all browsers then the same sites would always fail on all computers and browsers.

  2. There are also extensions and password managers that will auto send the completed info which has happened to me when I had the wrong email address stored in the manager. That could be why he would get a couple characters typed and it would just send. Essentially as soon as the page loads, the extension attempts the fill and send but it isn’t instant so he may get a few characters typed and the send command is already being processed.

2a. To test would be as simple as disabling the password manager and trying the sites. If it is the culprit then just checking the stored passwords for spaces and/or unchecking auto login.

  1. Before trying to troubleshoot DNS or telecom issues I would have recommended browser safe mode or disable extensions. Also could try downloading a new browser he’s never used before and while the browser is still vanilla, then try the sites.

3a. If that does solve the problem then he could turn each on back on to test which is the problem.

  1. I also would have said to use someone else’s computer other than his own. He say his girlfriend tried hers in his systems but has he tried his on her systems. Maybe try the local library or even just a machine a work that he’s never used before (just to test Leo’s theory about a possible issue being the email address or website itself).

  2. Similar to the password manager or browser extensions would be cloud stored password managers like Google or icloud (or w/e apple might use). Those also can also Auto complete and may be even less noticable because it’s not an obvious extension. As long as you are logged in it just works (if enabled).

5a. You can turn off auto complete for Google passwords in the advanced menu - autofill settings.

With so many browsers storing user profiles in the cloud for seamless cross platform utilization, it is so easy for a user to have some customization that they have set up on one system carry over to all the other systems they use that could easily be the culprit.

Or the issue could be none of these. This was just something that happened to me that seemed really similar and this is what fixed my problem.