SQL Server 2008 Book Title Change

OK. We’ve decided to change the title of my upcoming SQL Server 2008 book. Instead of DBA’s Guide to SQL Server 2008, we’re calling it Real World SQL Server 2008 Database Administration: Skills and Knowledge for MCITP Certification and Beyond.

The reason for the title change is simple. We are covering the objectives for 70-432 and 70-450 in the book and we want this to be clear; however, we also realize people want more than a certification prep book. In fact, this book includes several entire chapters that have nothing to do with the certification, but everything to do with effective SQL Server 2008 administration. Hopefully, the new title will help to clearly communicate the purpose of the book.

Spotting scams, like the Union Workers Credit Services scam

It’s really no wonder senior citizens are afraid of the Internet. Maybe we all should be. Have you noticed just how many scam artists are working the Net?

First, today I received a U.S. Postal mail-based scam: the Union Workers Credit Services scam. They send you a postal letter indicating that you’ll get a credit limit of X amount and all you have to do is pay the $37 annual membership fee. How could you spot this as a scam?

The language can often reveal the true scamish nature of the beast. Read the following and see if you can spot something a bit out of kilter:

"It’s nice to inform you that you have been identified and PRE-APPROVED for a PLATINUM CARD Membership from Union Workers Credit Services…"

What’s wrong with this sentence fragment? "It’s nice to inform you…" Have you ever received a mailing from a real credit source that used a phrase like this? Not likely. Here’s the last part of the same sentence:

"…with a GUARANTEED $10,000.00 credit limit valid exclusively toward all credit purchases from credit provider!"

That’s a weird phrase. You mean you can use this great credit to buy anything you want from Union Workers Credit Services. That makes sense. I’d like to buy some more debt please. So, what you’re really getting into is a buyers club of sorts. I haven’t seen their catalog, but I’d bet it’s full of crap.

The bad thing for you is that if you send the $37 you’ll never get a refund. Why? They’ve worded it all perfectly to make sure you cannot get a refund and even your bank will reject a stop payment because they NEVER say it is a credit card.

If you have friends and family, please talk with them about this and other scams. They are becoming more and more common and I hate to see people hurt financially by these vultures. If I could do something legal to cost them so much money that they would lose everything (the scammers), I’d do it in a heartbeat.

If you can think of any ideas, let me know. I’ll be glad to participate. Maybe we can find their number and all call them every day with our cell phone surplus minutes… of course, liars like this probably don’t have a business line that costs them for incoming calls anyway.

Am I the only one mad at these idiots!

Here’s the best way to avoid scams: Always assume any unsolicited contact is a scam. It’s really getting that bad. Go online and search for the company name or a unique phrase and the word scam. For example, a quick search for Union Workers Credit Services scam would reveal many people talking about this evil, wicked company. Hopefully, this blog post will help.