Working in the IT World, I see all kinds of internet scams and malware running ramped. This month I thought I’d talk a little bit about some of the ones I’ve run into lately. What to watch out for and what actions to take.
I was on Facebook a couple weeks back and was getting posts from a reader who I’d sent a book to last year. The posts on this page were offering money to comment on the post. A strange offer indeed and one I was immediately suspicious of. I went ahead and posted a comment and soon after was sent a message via Facebook Messenger claiming they were going to send me money. I immediately asked the person messaging how they knew me. There only response was we were friends. I then asked how we became friends and they said through Facebook. Well duh! I said they needed to give me more detail and they couldn’t. I then went to the post and started telling people this was a scam and not to interact with the person and immediately reported it to Facebook. The person kept pleading saying they were this person and wanting to know why I was interfering. The page soon after was removed. What I learned is the users account had been hacked and they couldn’t get it back. They created a new one, where I immediately saw on their new page about the scammer taking over and trying to extort money from people, including family members. The lesson in all of this is, always be weary of offers of free money on the web. No one is going to pay you for doing basically nothing. There is always a catch. Whether the account has been hacked and taken over. Or an account has been cloned, where someone creates a duplicate account, copying the main pictures and then sending out friend requests in hopes of interacting to get money. A good clue is receiving a friend request from someone you’re already friends with and they immediately start sending you messages hoping you’ll respond. Don’t fall for these scams because they have become prevalent on Facebook!!
Ransomware is another common tactic to get money. This is where malware is downloaded to your computer, which then encrypts all your files on the computer, with no way to access them until you get the encryption passkey. A passkey only provided once you pay a ransom to the malware creator. How do you prevent this? As with Facebook scams, you need to be wary of all emails with links in them. Even those from people you know. If it looks suspicious contact the sender via another route other than email, for the account could have been compromised. Also stay away from websites with questionable activity. Porn sites are notorious for malware being on them. Sights offering free software or downloads of free movies, music or eBooks, as well can be dangerous. These free items often loaded with malware. And most importantly keep your computer software up to date, especially for those running Windows. Check for updates constantly, my suggestion being weekly, if not daily. And those of you running Mac software don’t believe you can’t be infected as well, because you can. You need to keep your software up-to-date as well. You can subscribe to email services that will keep you in the loop on current malware issues. One I use in from the National Cyber Awareness System run by the US government. You can sign up for various alerts via this link. Microsoft, which has the most vulnerabilities and is running on over 90 percent of the computers around the world, also send out notifications you can sign up for via this link. Our computers are extremely important to all of us, providing essentials tools for much of what we do daily. You need to protect them at all costs to prevent downtime and loss of income.
Quite a lot of excitement for me last week. First it was my birthday, followed up by some surprising news. The Divine Devils is a Killer Nashville Silver Falchion Award Finalist. This a huge event for authors, agents and book enthusiasts in the Crime/Mystery/Thriller/Suspense genre. One I’ve wanted to go to but couldn’t swing it. With The Divine Devils being a finalist, Kim and I quickly made arrangements to go to this four-day event. I will not only get to spend time with others in the author trade, but we get a chance to see Nashville, a city we’ve wanted to visit for many years. This is a huge deal for me and my book, getting significant recognition. It should be a lot of fun and I plan on putting pictures up on my website and share in my newsletter next month. Here is the link to the list of all the finalist in the various categories.
There is also the Killer Nashville Silver Falchion Readers’ Choice Award The Divine Devils is up for. This is a separate award voted on by the fans. I would love it if you’d cast a vote for my book. There are a lot of books in the running, so the competition is fierce. Here is the link where you can vote, with The Divine Devils being listed near the bottom under R Weir. Voting ending August 15th. Thanks in advance.
The Divine Devils continues to receive more excellent reviews:
Oh holy snot. I need more stars. All of them. This book was incredible. I am here, waiting for more!! I haven’t read any other books by this author, but I’m definitely interested now. Great read, it was hard to put away to sleep, and go to work… you know adult things… 🤣🤣 – Ember
The story itself is intriguing; dangerous, sad at times, shocking, and keeps you on your toes. You are constantly wondering what will happen next and will they all make it out alive. The author weaves such a wonderful world, taking us many places in the US and beyond. I anxiously await the next book to see what the next adventure is. I hope this series lasts quite a while – Erin
I know I keep saying this, but Mr. Weir has out done himself yet again! This is such a superb story that held me in its grip from beginning to end. It is a complex and multi-layered storyline, resulting in quite a gripping tale. I think it’s definitely one of the top three reads of his, so far!
Bring on Book#2!
Brilliant! – Angela
Below are two happy recipients of a free book. Bailey and Amanda, displaying their signed paperback copies of The Divine Devils I mailed them. Both winners for participating in a Facebook Itsy Bitsy Book Bits Takeover event I did a couple weeks back. If you own a copy of any of my books, send me a picture and I’ll be glad to share it in the newsletter and on social media.
I now have the first round of changes back from my editor for the next Divine Devils book, Fallen Star. I will be diligently working on those edits over the next few weeks with hopes of having the book ready for release this year. I’ve added Chapter 2 on my website to read, along with Chapter 1 to give you a preview. And I have the cover ready to go and will be looking to do a slow reveal when I get closer to setting a release date.
Sales and Kindle Unlimited reads have been good on the new box sets for the Jarvis Mann PI series. Volume 1 with books 1-4 at $7.99, and Volume 2 with books 5-8 at $9.99. If you haven’t already be sure to check them out. This is a bargain price for these popular Amazon Bestsellers. For those who’ve read this series I would love it if you’d leave a review for each of the box sets, which will help with their rankings.
This month besides the Killer Nashville event, I will also be at Westminster City Park for the 5K Run and Vendor Fair on August 7th from 8AM-1PM. I will be outside under our canopy selling books and other products related to them. The early forecast calls for great weather and I look forward to talking with many of my fellow Westminster citizens. If you’re in the area be sure to stop by and say hello!
Only one Prolific Works giveaway this month. A Study in Scarlet – Mystery & Crime Giveaway with 14 free eBooks running through Sept 1st. Access the books via this link.
Here is one other new review I’ll share, this one for Mann in the Crossfire. One that blew me away, like so many of them do:
If you are looking for a thought provoking thrill ride that will keep you guessing, immediately add this book to your summer reading list. Weir is proving to be a one-click author for me, masterfully crafting stories of intrigue that brilliantly unfold and engage the reader. This book was fantastic and I am scrambling now to get caught up on the rest of the series. What an amazing find! – Heather
Thanks to Heather and everyone else who posts a review for my books. I read every one of them, even the bad ones, and respond where I can with a thank you. Reviews make all the hard work worthwhile.
Goodbye until next month. Stay safe, happy and healthy!