Logo of the Inventors Association of St. Louis

Inventors Connection
Inventors Association
of Saint Louis

Logo of the Inventors Association of St. Louis

Inventors Association of St. Louis (IASL)
PO Box 410111
St. Louis, MO   63141
Tel: 314-432-1291
Fax:
Contact: Robert Scheinkman, CC&BW
E-mail: President@inventorsconnection.org
Web Page: eweb.slu.edu/index.php?option=content&task=view&id=219

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Think - Thank - Thunk:
A to Z ----- Z to A = Invention Promotion Firms

Some "idea people" do things backwards; they think that's all they have to do is call somebody on the phone [likely a scamming invention marketeer] - tell them about their "idea" - and the royalty checks would be coming in the mail." Sometimes we do things backwards -- from Z to A. --> This informational service was added as an afterthought because it bothered me that some "idea people" do things backwards; they think that's all they have to do is call somebody on the phone [likely a scamming invention marketeer] - tell them about their "idea" - and the royalty checks would be coming in the mail.

--> Yeah, I thought of you, dummy,.. you who think there is an "easy way." If you do, then just send me your money; I can use it--if you are about to throw it away anyway?

--> Let me explain: "A fool and his money are soon parted." -- "Be careful reading the fine print. There's no way you're going to like it." --> "Lessons Learned" :(

-- United States Patent Office - General Information --

-- "Has Your "Idea" Already Been Invented?" --

-- "Who Built it First" --

"PIMP MY INVENTION" -- If It Sounds Too Good to Be True...

-- "Often people attempt to live their lives backwards; they try to have more things, or more money, in order to do more of what they want, so they will be happier. The way it actually works is the reverse. You must first be who you really are, then do what you need to do, in order to have what you want." -- Margaret Young

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------> >

-- -- Thought of the day --

-- “Truth is like the sun. You can shut it out for a time, but it ain’t going away.” --
~ Elvis Presley

The Idea Developer/ Scammer will near-bleed you to death.
-- You are their sheep -- they won't kill you -- they will sheer you clean.
-- The Idea Developer/Scammer will near-bleed you to death. You are their sheep -- they won't kill you --
____________________________________
they will sheer you clean.

-- What can you afford to lose? $295 to $795 to start.

-- Too low?

-- That's only the beginning, "Upfront Money." Then send in $1250, make it $1500, no, send in $2500. Up that to
$3500, $5,000, $10,000, $15,000.

-- I knew of one woman who said that she contracted and agreed to pay her "Idea Developer" to bring her "idea" into the marketplace, with a patent within a year.. She agreed to pay them $20,000!! -- "After all," she said, "it takes time and I don't have time, and they said they could do it in a year.."

-- She had already spent four months with them when she came to one of IASL's meetings. They hadn't even told her about any "prior art" that they should have discovered by their research. -- She didn't know what that was? Poor soul. -- She went away that evening believing that we were wrong and that she was right. She never came back. -->

-- -- Thought of the day --

-- “When you make a mistake, there are only three things you should ever do about it:
admit it, learn from it, and do not repeat it.”
~
-- Paul “Bear” Bryant
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------> >

-- "United States Patent and Trademark Office - A Guide to Filing a Design Application" --
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------> >

-- --> "Don't Get A Patent? Plainly Ridiculous! | IPWatchdog.com" --

-- No, she wasn't scared or embarrassed about what she was doing. No, she wasn't even convinced when our patent attorney and inventors at the meeting tried to convince her otherwise.. and I surely tried.. But I'm going to try to convince YOU right now, -- even if I have to beat it into your head :-)

http://www.uspto.gov/main/homepagenews/bak2006fapr20.htm

-- "Man sues company over light-up fishing pole" --

-- -- "NCIO Homepage: Scambusters: Invention Scam Companies" --

-- -- Also read: "Non-Disclosure (Confidentiality) Agreements"

-- "Sample Letter of Agreement or Non-Disclosure Agreement" --

-- "Beware Invention.net | IPWatchdog.com | Patents & Patent Law" --

-- A Victory for Inventors -- Disciplinary Action Affirmed by CAFC
-- Recently the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC),
affirmed disciplinary action taken by the USPTO against a registered patent attorney, who became involved in the activities of one invention promotion company and represented more than one thousand inventors. This important decision lends critical support to the USPTO's efforts to protect unsuspecting inventors from unscrupulous invention promoters. If you have questions please call Harry Moatz, Director of the Office of Enrollment and Discipline, 571-272-6069. The USPTO urges all independent inventors to read the court's decision [PDF viewer]

-- "PRODUCT COACH:/ Free Inventor's Guide to Invention Submission Companies" --

** "Business Owner's Toolkit: Suspect ID Theft? What to Do Next" --

-- "Most computer users can spot phishing messages. Unfortunately, cybercriminals have become more sophisticated, too. Targeted phishing attacks account for 0.4% of spam. That may seem minor, but it's 800 million messages a day."

-- "For example, you receive a message purportedly from your Internet service provider. It greets you by name and says your billing information is outdated. It says you must click a link to update your information. If you comply, your information will be stolen. This is the type of targeted attack you will see more of in 2012." -- Kim Komando

, FOR A BAD EXAMPLE: --> "kahnacademy.com" --

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------> >

Paraprosdokians

(Winston Churchill loved them) are figures of speech in which the latter part of a sentence or phrase is surprising:

1. Where there's a will, I want to be in it.

2. The last thing I want to do is hurt you. But it's still on my list.

3. Since light travels faster than sound, some people appear bright until you hear them speak.

4. If I agreed with you, we'd both be wrong.

5. We never really grow up, we only learn how to act in public.

6. War does not determine who is right - only who is left.

7. Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit.. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.

8. To steal ideas from one person is plagiarism. To steal from many is research.

9. I didn't say it was your fault, I said I was blaming you.

10. In filling out an application, where it says, 'In case of emergency, Notify:' I put 'DOCTOR'.

11. Women will never be equal to men until they can walk down the street with a bald head and a beer gut, and still think

they are sexy. 12. You do not need a parachute to skydive. You only need a parachute to skydive twice.

13. I used to be indecisive. Now I'm not so sure..

14. To be sure of hitting the target, shoot first and call whatever you hit the target.

15. Going to church doesn't make you a Christian any more than standing in a garage makes you a car.

16. You're never too old to learn something stupid.

17. I'm supposed to respect my elders, but its getting harder and harder for me to find one now.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------->
----- --> > Why companies resist dealing with outside inventors. --> > --> >

--> > * Of a 1001 reasons, the first 999 are fear of lawsuits. Companies have much more to fear from outside inventors than inventors have to fear from companies.

“The Ugly Truth about Innovative New Products”

By Perry Marshall

All my life I've been in the business of selling some kind of new idea or new technology to change-resistant, conservative markets. The proverbial "better mousetrap."

If you've ever done that, you know that the world does NOT beat a path to your door. It's hard work. And I've learned that there's a right way to do it, and a whole bunch of wrong ways.

Today I'm going to give you some bad news – and some good news.

First the bad news:

When I was 9 years old, I learned about Thomas Edison, and I wanted to be an inventor. And by the time I was in college, I actually had some patentable designs. My wife sent in for information from one of those "invention submission" companies.

Have you ever seen those?

Well, to make a long story short, there is a myth that there are companies out there who are hungry for great ideas and will pay you royalties if you give them one.

That is totally untrue. As a matter of fact, some of the large toy manufacturers hire 3rd party companies to sort through their mail and * shred product idea submissions, just to be sure that that nobody can ever say they sent in an idea that was used.

The bad news:

Ideas are a dime a dozen. Good ideas are a dollar a dozen. Great ideas are a dollar each. Even if you have truly great ideas, it's not possible to make a living, or build any kind of business, on ideas alone.

The good news:

Well-executed, successfully MARKETED ideas are worth millions. Three years ago I worked at a company where we took an existing product (a very specialized product for computer networking), and built a market for it.

Then we re-invented that product and introduced a new kind of IC chip. We proved that there was an even bigger market for this chip.

We sold that company to a larger NASDAQ company for $18 million in cash and stock.

If you have new ideas, new technology, or any kind of innovative product or service, in order to sell it you need to successfully do what I call "Missionary Work On The Cheap."

Missionary Work on the Cheap is an entire sequence of steps that you use to verify that there is in fact a market for a product, and that you can acquire new customers at a reasonable price. I don't have the space here to go into the full details, here is basic idea of how this works:

1) There is a slew of tools, both online and offline, where you will discover exactly what kinds of needs exist, what real people are searching for, what audiences other marketers are serving, how many customers there, are and how much they spend.

2) In most cases you will be 70-80% certain whether or not an idea will fly, and it will cost you as little as a few hundred dollars to no more than a couple thousand dollars. In some cases, at the end of that process you will have an order in your hand from a prospective customer.

3) First things must come first: I have a member who started an anti-spam service - one that's arguably head and shoulders above all the other ones out there, the proverbial 'better mousetrap.'

He contacted me to get help with a public relations campaign for his company.

Most people would have taken his money and written him some press releases. But I asked him if he could prove that his sales process was already working and he wasn't sure. So I refused to take his money. Instead he started experimenting with pay-per-click search engine traffic, just trying to see if he could GIVE away the service for free.

That was a very good move on his part, because he discovered all kinds of little problems and obstacles. He solved these problems within the context of a controlled environment, and tweaked his process to the point where he started charging money for his service and making a profit.

NOW he's in a position to rub the media genie -- and when he turns on the publicity machine, he'll get a flood of new customers at nearly zero cost.

He's put a lot of sweat equity into this, but not very much money, and no cold calls, no wasted advertising dollars, no MBA's, no Andersen Consulting, none of that.

And he's got a business that runs on autopilot and he's poised for a major success.

There's almost N-E-V-E-R any reason to sink huge sums of money into your projects. There's no reason for companies to spend hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars developing products that fail. It just breaks my heart that so many still do.

Don't make that mistake! You can save yourself lots of money and lots of heartache -- and when the market takes off, the rewards are all yours to keep.

# # #

Perry Marshall, Perry S. Marshall & Associates, 159 N. Marion Street #295, Oak Park, IL 60301 United States (312) 458-9102 www.PerryMarshall.com

-- "Inventor-Friendly Companies | Inventors Digest" --
----> > Companies that accept product submissions from independent inventors. Please read their submission guidelines prior to submitting and follow them to the letter. Many companies only consider patented or patent pending products; others caution that inventors should submit only those ideas that are adequately protected.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------> >

-- Fat fingers and phone fraud - How to fight back? --

-- Be careful when you dial a toll-free number. Listen carefully to the message you get when connected. If in doubt, hang up and redial. You can verify the number for free through various phone directory websites.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------> >

-- -- AVOIDING ONLINE SCAMS --
-- "Ripped Off" -- "If you can honestly say you’ve never been duped, even temporarily, by an official-looking email or a website that turns out to be bogus, you’re an extreme rarity." --

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------> >

-- -- Thought of the day --

-- "I'd rather be optimistic and a fool, than pessimistic and right." ~ Unknown

- For more advice on avoiding identity theft and fraud, visit www.bbb.org

-- "BBB Lists Top Scams and Rip - Offs of 2009 - BBB News Center" --

-- "ConsumerMan: 'Unfair' piggybacking tactics" --
"As millions have learned the hard way, you can be billed without typing in your credit or debit card information. The third party company may already have it."

-- "A new rogue antivirus scheme has enlisted live "support" personnel to deceive victims." --

-- "Security News for IT Managers" --

-- "Do It Yourself: Invention" --

-- -- Stop and Think: Name the talent or sport activity that is won performing it backwards? ... Answers:
1. Tug-of-war 2. Scull Racing 3. Swimming; backward stroke 4. Pole-vaulting 5. Ballroom Dancing; female partner 6. Luge; a tobogganlike racing sled on which the rider lies face up. (Believe it or not, once tug-of-war and pistol dueling were Olympic Sports.)

With over 8-million U.S. Patents on File, You Can Still Be the Next

--> --> Now 'place your shoulder to the wheel,' 'your nose to the grindstone,' 'take your head out of the clouds,' and 'get on the ball.'

--> --> 'Keep your eye on the ball.' -- This has always been good advice when one is cueing-up in the game of Pool, playing 8-Ball. You don't want to lose the game by having the 8-Ball drop into the pocket out of rotation. Learn to take one step at a time. --> --> Now 'place your shoulder to the wheel,' 'your nose to the grindstone,' 'take your head out of the clouds,' and 'get on the ball.' -- [Popular old-time sayings.] --> 'Put your best foot forward ' and check this out: -->

**********************************************************************************************************************
**********************************************************************************************************************.

Dear Inventor –

Over the years, many of you have asked me if I make prototypes or help with manufacturing or get new products into retail
stores for inventors. I’ve always said “no” because what I did was just build websites for inventors and list their
inventions on my website.

Until now. On March 1, 2014, MarketLaunchers teamed up with accomplished inventor and Managing Director of KDK
Technology LLC, Gary Kellmann. I’ll tell you about the work that Gary’s company does for inventors, but first I wanted
to tell you his story – from how he got started inventing, to where he is today.

Gary invented his first product as a 19-year-old college student at Southeast Missouri State University, in Cape Girardeau.
It was a remote control for his alarm clock, and like so many new inventors, he spent several thousand dollars on an
unscrupulous invention promotion company. That was a costly mistake, but it taught him to do as much of the inventing
!and marketing himself whenever possible.

Since then, he has invented many products over the years, and in 2003, one of Gary’s largest customers bought his
company and sent him to China to source more products for them. He loved China and its culture, so much so that he
fell in love with a beautiful Chinese woman and got married. Today, they have 2 wonderful children.

One more thing that I’ve noticed about Gary over the 15 years that we’ve been friends: The man is a workaholic whose
mind is going 24 / 7 to learn as much as possible about this business, and how to help others.

Here is a partial list of the services that he offers:

· * Plastics & Metals manufacturing, with experience in most processes
· * Rapid Prototyping
· * Tooling: Molds & dies
· * Cut N’ Sew
* Consumer Electronics / Lighting
· * Home Goods
· * Production Financing
· * Assistance through the entire process: From concept to prototype to production to the store shelves. Everything
except patents.

Each invention is a unique challenge, and there’s never a guarantee that your product will make money. Now you have a
trusted partner that understands the in’s and out’s of product design, marketing and offshore manufacturing.

We’ll walk you through the entire process, or you can use KDK's services for whichever stage you need assistance with.
Bottom line is: You get quality services and great advice along the way. Gary and I have both created products that
have been successful and profitable, and you can benefit from our combined 35 years of experience.

KDK Technology manufactures for direct importers and inventors who sell to some of the largest retail chains, as well as to
other distribution channels. You can see a partial portfolio of some of the products that KDK has worked on here:
http://www.kdkcs.com/outsourcing-services/portfolio/.

Check out the KDK website, and then give me a call if you want to discuss your project. Remember, we can help you with
your Prototyping, Engineering, Product sourcing, Manufacturing (we also work with factories in the U.S.), and gaining
distribution into Target, Walmart, Home Depot, Lowes, QVC, HSN and many more retailers, catalogs and e-commerce
sites. http://www.kdkcs.com.

Call me if you want some help. I will be at the Housewares Show this Saturday thru Monday, so feel free to call me on my
cell: 217-653-7058. Thanks.

Best Regards,

Paul Niemann, President
www.MarketLaunchers.com
Office: (636) 477-8000.
Cell: (217) 653-7058
niemann7@aol.com.

*********************************************************************************************************************************
*********************************************************************************************************************************

-- "Docie Marketing and Patent Marketing" -- It just might be legit? -- I'll tell you what, I think it is. -- Really. Check Docie out and let me know if I'm right? - R.S.

-- -- Thought of the day --

-- "When obstacles arise, you change your direction to reach your goal, you do not change your decision to get there." -- Craig Ferguson

-- "Inventor Services: BIG Helps You Make the Most of Your Ideas" -->

-- "Stretch yourself. -- Innovation contests give inventors the opportunity to apply their creativity to new problems and to work in new industries..

-- Though you might think an outsider would be at a disadvantage by not having any experience in the desired workspace, the opposite is more often true.

-- A fresh perspective creates a cross-pollination of ideas; a technology that is generally known in one industry becomes totally innovative in another.

-- For example, the winning bra idea in a recent Idea Hunt came from a backpacking enthusiast who converted a product she’d used for years into an option for lingerie manufacturers." -- Big Idea Group
==============================================
To: User
From: erinb@bigideagroup.net
Subject: Big Idea Group Requests Your Recommendations
Date: Tuesday, August 21, 2012 7:35 AM

 Inventor organizations:

Big Idea Group is now building a new inventor-resourcewebsite. This site will provide inventors with helpful information and tools to get ideas from concept to market.

As part of our resources, we’ll provide links toinventor-friendly vendors such as good industrial designers, patent attorneys, PR agents, etc. We want to be certain the vendors we recommend are skilled, helpful, and provide good value.

We’re doing our own vetting, but also wanted your recommendations for helpful inventor-service vendors. If you have worked with a vendor in any of the areas listed below, we wouldlove to hear from you:

· Industrial design

· Legal aid/patent protection

· Prototype creation—including industrial design, engineering

· Sourcing/manufacturing

· Pitch creation (both print and video)

· Webpage/storefront creation

· Marketing and PR

· Any other inventor-related areas not covered

Please include the name of the resource, what you used them for, and how the experience went. Unless you state you would prefer not to be quoted, we would might even feature your comments on our website.

Also, if you have any thoughts about our new inventor-friendly site, please pass them along. Thanks for the help.

Big Idea Group

- Manchester, NH 03101

==============================================
==============================================

--> To "decide." - The term comes from the Latin "decidere," meaning "to cut away," and one method of arriving at a decision is by "cutting away" and eliminating all but one possibility - by "cutting away" all that is worthless.

--> Here's a 'big power hitter' up to bat: -- Go to:
--> "America Invents" --> "Since 1984 America Invents has built an enormous track record of successful products selling worldwide." -->

========================================
To: dayjobIASL@webtv.net
From: Robert W. Blagg Sr.
Subject: Inventor question
Date: Wednesday, April 22, 2009 11:54 AM

R.W. BLAGG INTERNATIONAL

The Power to Take Your Product to the Top

We Want Your Products

(NO FEES)

We don’t make money until you do!

Hi Robert,

Do you know:

· Inventors and others that need help getting their products to market?

· Someone who is trying to make a living with their product but it is driving them nuts?

· Anyone who is "tired and ready to throw in the towel,"?

· People that own a product or products that just have not lived up to their true potential but that they would love to have brought to markets in the US, Canada or anywhere else in the world?

· Someone that has a product that was once popular but no more?
· Anyone that has a product that is not suitable to their current operation?

If So. We can help.

We have entree to distribution outlets both in the USA and overseas as well as substantial financial backing, and I know we will do a fantastic job of selling the items that you create in a large volume.

Feel free to call us at (847) 731-0680, even if it is just for a chat or e-mail us at bob@rwblagginternational.com.

Sincerely,

Robert W. Blagg Sr.

R.W. Blagg International
1415 2nd Street Suite 1023
Winthrop Harbor, IL 60096
Phone (847) 731-0680 / Fax (888) 220-9256

bob@rwblagginternational.com

www.rwblagginternational.com =========================================
P.S. -- Missouri inventors could be covered by Missouri law, if they put in all their agreements something to the effect:

1. "The parties further agree to submit to the personal jurisdiction of the state and federal courts of the State of Missouri to determine any legal disputes relating to this Agreement."
=========================================

Join IASL for $25.00 the first year and $25.00 each yearly renewal.

Your Keeping that Fire burning within you is what you are paying us for!!

-- One day there was this tortoise walking on the road. Along came that hare that had once been defeated by this tortoise in a race.

-- The hare was still angry from what had happened to him and he challenged the tortoise to another race. The tortoise gladly accepted his challenge.

-- This time it ended up that the tortoise and the hare never finished the race because they both took a nap right before the finish line. So the tortoise is still the champion of the race.

-- Remember this: You snooze, You lose!

Ƭ>>> Light Your Fire at the IASL
==============================================

-- -- STOPFAKES.GOV -- --

--> "Morgan & Associates marketing your invention"

-- "Inventor Help & Resources" -- y

-- "Thieves Stole Identities to Tap Home Equity" --

-- "Federal Bureau of Investigation - Common Fraud Scheme" --

-- "Dream job at Microsoft turns out to be too good to be true" --

-- "Don't fall for online job scams" --

-- "Scammer Warning! Government Grant Scams Uncovered!" --

-- "Leamington man loses $150,000 in Nigerian scam"

-- "Kilgore resident loses in Internet auto sales scam" -- Here are some suggestions to help protect you when buying a vehicle online

-- "Scam Artists Target Internet Home Listings" --

-- "The Public Eye: Beware of Publishers Clearing House look-alike - Sacramento News" --

-- "What You Should Know about Ahhha.com" --

-- "Incorporate a Business - Incorporating Information and Incorporation Services at MyCorporation.com" --

-- "All parts should go together without forcing. You must remember that the parts you are reassembling were disassembled by you. Therefore, if you can't get them together again, there must be a reason. By all means, do not use a hammer."
-- IBM maintenance manual, 1925

-- You may have asked yourself this question: "Why should I join the IASL?" --

-- "Because we will build a fire under you, if you will let us!! -- That's the reason why."

-- As Harry Truman said, "If you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen!"

-- "The IASL will empower you to work on your great invention."

-- If you like what you hear and believe what you hear, make the IASL Night your night out, and record what you might miss from tv - on your tivo or VCR to see later when you come home from your meeting. ;-)

-- Join the IASL for $25.00 the first year and $25.00 renewal. Pay your IASL Dues.

--> As a courtesy to Library patrons, attendance at the IASL's monthly meetings is FREE. However, our secret tv camera will record your profile and your automobile's license plate number.

--> It will be fed to our subliminal mind prober to constantly repete to you: "Pay your IASL Dues. - Pay your IASL Dues. - Pay, pay
IASL Dues. -
Pay IASL Dues. :-))
- It's Your Club.. Keep it Going.. PAY YOUR DUES!!"

* INVENTORS ASSOCIATION OF ST. LOUIS DUES !

-- "The positive thinker sees the invisible, feels the intangible, and achieves the impossible."

"Technology is ruled by two types of people; those who manage what they do not understand, and those who understand what they do not manage."

--> I do wish that you would join our -- make that your organization. -- -- That $25.00 one year membership dues.. will have already been made back by your reading these IASL's web pages. -- --
-- and from its reading, you will have continued Good Luck --
-- Robert Scheinkman, President

- P.S. - If you would be in need of a guest speaker that speaks on "Inventing, etc.," contact the IASL.
-- It will be worth your while, since this offer is negotiable: -- --> HAVE DONE, WILL TRAVEL @ $200.00/hr + expenses. But, maybe for you,
I'll do it for you, gratis - Let's Negotiate :-))

-- "The positive thinker sees the invisible, feels the intangible, and achieves the impossible."

-- "SBA Office of Advocacy"
-- Title 5, Part 1, Chapter 8, Sec. 804.

-- -- "Technology is ruled by two types of people; those who manage what they do not understand, and those who understand what they do not manage." -- Mike Trout

--> Go now to: -- "The Federal Laboratory Consortium for Technical Transfer"

-- -- "ThomasNet® - Find companies, product information, CAD drawings, industry news and more" --
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------> >

Laws of Life:

* Murphy's First Law for Wives: If you ask your husband to pick up five items at the store and then you add one more as an
afterthought, he will forget two of the first five.

* Kauffman's Paradox of the Corporation: The less important you are to the corporation, the more your tardiness or absence
is noticed.

* The Salary Axiom: The pay raise is just large enough to increase your taxes and just small enough to have no effect on
your take-home pay.

* Miller's Law of Insurance: Insurance covers everything except what happens.

* First Law of Living: As soon as you start doing what you always wanted to be doing, you'll want to be doing some-
thing else.

* Weiner's Law of Libraries: There are no answers, only cross-references.

* The Grocery Bag Law: The candy bar you planned to eat on the way home from the market is hidden at the bottom of the
grocery bag.

* Lampner's Law of Employment: When leaving work late, you will go unnoticed. When you leave work early, you will meet
the boss in the parking lot.

Criminals have now gone 'vishing' # # # #

-- You receive e-mail supposedly from PayPal asking you to call, claiming that your account has been compromised. Or, a company you don't know calls threatening collection. It's scary. Before you give out any personal data, there's something you should know. You could be the target of vishing, or voice phishing. It's the latest twist on phishing scams.

-- Phishing attacks rely mostly on e-mail and try to trick you into divulging private information that will be used in identity theft. For example, you receive a message purportedly from a bank or a store claiming that there's a problem with your account requiring immediate attention. The e-mail directs you to a malicious website that looks legitimate and appears to have a legitimate Web address. The site is designed to trick you into disclosing sensitive information. Or, it infects your machine with malicious software designed to steal information. Either way, you become a victim of credit card theft or worse.

-- Popular Web browsers incorporate anti-phishing tools. Unfortunately, criminals are one step ahead. They're using the telephone to catch you off guard.

-- How do vishing attacks work?

-- There are several variations of vishing scams. In one attack, a criminal calls via VoIP, spoofing the phone number so your caller ID displays the name and number of a reputable organization, such as a bank, store, government agency or website.

-- When you answer the call, a prerecorded message greets you. It directs you to another phone number. If you call, you're prompted to enter personal information via telephone keypad. The key tones are captured and decoded. The criminals just got your information.

-- Another variation begins with e-mail. Unlike with phishing messages, you're not directed to the Web. Rather, you're instructed to call a telephone number and tricked into revealing personal data when you call.

-- Or, you receive a call from a spoofed number. This time, you speak to a real person. The person requests account numbers and other data.

-- The caller could invite you to join a bogus online research network where you'll be paid to install special software on your computer. The software is spyware that steals sensitive information.

-- Some vishing attacks start with a prerecorded incoming call in which you're directed to a website to supposedly resolve an account problem. The site is a phishing site.

-- How to spot a vishing attack

-- Vishing methods vary, but there are several hallmarks of vishing attacks.

-- First, the information presented in the attack is upsetting or exciting. For example, you could be threatened with a lawsuit over an unpaid bill, although you may never have done business with the company.

-- Vishing attacks usually demand an urgent response, claiming that you run the risk of account closure or credit troubles.

-- The visher may ask you to take a poll and then direct you to install a spyware program.

-- Vishing attacks usually aren't personalized. They probably won't reference a real account number. The visher may not even know your name.

-- How to protect yourself

-- Suspicion and vigilance are your best weapons. Be wary of incoming communications. Do not rely on caller ID to identify callers. E-mail addresses are not trustworthy, either.

-- Never give out personal information in these circumstances. Instead, call the organization to ask if the communication is legitimate. Check your account paperwork for the correct phone number.

-- If you have never done business with an organization, ignore the communication. It's your safest bet. --

-- "Check-cashing scams are pretty simple. Someone sends you a check and asks you to cash it. You are then supposed to wire part of the money elsewhere. You keep the remainder of the money for yourself.

-- This sounds like a great deal; you're basically getting money for nothing! What you don't know is that the check you cashed is bad. It will bounce a few days or weeks later.

-- That means the money you wired was your own money! People have lost hundreds and even thousands of dollars on these scams. And there is no way to recover any of the money." -- Kim Kimando

-- "FBI warns of rise in phone-based 'vishing' attacks | InfoWorld" --
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Some comical words of wisdom...

The easiest way to find something lost around the house is to buy a replacement.

Never take life seriously. Nobody gets out alive anyway.

One good turn gets most of the blankets.

Sex is like air; it's not important unless you aren't getting any.

There are two kinds of pedestrians--the quick and the dead.

An unbreakable toy is useful for breaking other toys.

A closed mouth gathers no feet.

Health is merely the slowest possible rate at which one can die.

It's not hard to meet expenses, they're everywhere.

Jury - Twelve people who determine which client has the better lawyer.

Never lick a gift horse in the mouth.

The only difference between a rut and a grave is the depth.

Marriage is the triumph of imagination over intelligence. Second marriage is the triumph of hope over experience.

Before marriage, a man yearns for the woman he loves. After marriage, the 'Y' becomes silent.

If you want your spouse to listen and pay strict attention to every word you say, talk in your sleep.

Definition of Atheism: a non-prophet organization.