Hello again. I hope you’re all doing ok – especially my friends and followers in the USA, all our thoughts are with you right now. Black Lives Matter and there are many ways to get involved and show your support, while those taking advantage of peaceful protests to cause destruction and misery have no respect for peace and equality. I sincerely hope that stability and civility is restored very soon. We should all be pulling together at all times, but it’s more important than ever during this pandemic.
Here in England, our lockdown has been eased in recent days, even though many scientists, including some of the government’s own advisors, feel too much is being done too soon. And if the experts are wary, then so am I, because I trust their judgement the most. So I’m going to continue staying locked down while we wait to see what happens, and until doctors and scientists can reassure us that it really is safer out there. It’s important for me because I live with my mother, who is elderly and blind, so the last thing I want is to bring the virus home and infect her, so that she ends up in hospital where I can’t visit her. So I’m staying indoors to keep her safe, that’s my priority.
And while I’m doing that, I’m still keeping myself entertained, which is taking my mind off the news very effectively as usual. So I hope this week’s post and video, which as always doesn’t contain anything sponsored or gifted, is a nice distraction for you too!
We’re now into the second month of lockdown, with many of us still adjusting to this temporary ‘new normal’. It still feels surreal, and puts everything in perspective, that a microscopic virus can temporarily shut down the entire planet in a matter of weeks. It’s a stark reminder of how powerful nature can be.
But we will get through it, and we are making good progress, very gradually. We just need to be very careful, and ensure that we continue to stick to the rules. The lockdown measures are working without a doubt, and now is not the time to be complacent and too hasty about lifting them. It’s a marathon, not a sprint. So I hope you’re continuing to keep safe and well. And again we must give the usual heartfelt thanks to all our NHS heroes, care staff and critical workers.
And now here’s my latest weekly recap, with a video as usual, of what’s been keeping me occupied recently. I haven’t been paid or gifted for anything mentioned here, and all opinions are my own as usual. So I hope you enjoy!
Well, what a year this has turned out to be, huh? Perhaps we should just rename it 2019B or 2019.5 and start 2020 again next January. It’s like we’ve had a faulty software update in the calendar that needs serious debugging and virus-checking before it’s rolled out again.
Obviously I’m not dismissing the tragic side of things by saying that. My heart goes out to everybody who has lost loved ones or been severely affected in some other way, and I sincerely hope you all stay safe and well as best you can. Please follow the guidelines on hygiene, distancing, isolation, etc, because it really will save many lives. It will take a few weeks at least before we start seeing the impact of such measures, but they will help, and we will get through this. Huge thanks to all our incredible health and care staff, as well as the many other people providing essential products and services.
Beyond this introduction, I have no desire or intent to write posts about the situation, as it’s not nice and there’s enough about it online already. However, I have created a Covid Resources page, where you’ll find many links for information, advice and support, plus many ways to stay connected and entertained at home, which I hope you find useful.
Clearly this is going to change what I’m able to do and post about for a while. So in this post and video I want to wrap up my recent museum and theatre visits, as well as disability related updates and TV favourites, for both February and March. That way, I can move forward with a clean slate as I settle into a temporary new routine.
All of which means there’s a fair amount to cover here, making it a good distraction from everything that’s going on. I haven’t been sponsored or gifted by anyone to mention them, and all opinions are my own. So I hope you enjoy!
Time for one more quick scam email warning for this year, as I’ve just had one claiming that a transaction was made by someone other than myself on my Apple account. Again, the signs of fakery are easy enough to spot, but when people are spending lots of money this time of year, it’s a timely warning to be vigilant.
I seem to have gone from one extreme to another lately. After a relatively relaxed October, November has been really busy, and in a good way. I appeared on TV and radio to raise awareness of digital accessibility, promoted audio description at a trade exhibition, learnt a great deal about Ancient Greece, explored London’s illuminated bridges, highlighted more scam emails, bought some new Blu-rays and music, and enjoyed various things on TV.
So there’s plenty to cover this month, and I hope you enjoy this post and video summary of it all. As always, I haven’t received any gifts or payments by anyone mentioned in this post, and all opinions are my own.
Millions of people own Apple devices, so it’s inevitable that scammers will try to take advantage of that. I mentioned an iTunes scam last year, but even more common and dangerous are scams that try to access your iCloud account, and I’ve received one such email this week. It’s not the first and it won’t be the last.
Of course, Apple will never send out emails claiming your account information is incorrect. They also won’t use pop-up ads, phone calls or text messages of this nature either, which some scammers are also trying to do. So never give your details to anyone who contacts you out of the blue claiming there are issues with your iCloud account, and don’t click on any links they provide either.
If you are ever worried about your iCloud account’s security, change your Apple ID password immediately and contact Apple Support via their official website if you need further help. If you’ve given out any banking details, tell your bank as well. You should also report these emails to Apple by following the instructions on their Suspicious Emails page. I’ve included advice from Apple at the end of this post too, in case you think your Apple ID has been compromised.
So let’s get on to the email. As usual, it has clear giveaways as to how fake it is. If you’ve followed my scam posts before (and I notice they do get viewed very regularly), none of this will be new to you. But a reminder’s always good.
I’ve been getting a fair number of emails claiming to be from Netflix recently, telling me I have a problem with my account. It’s also blatantly obvious that they’re fake, so I’m not responding to them. But as the scammers are clearly desperate for attention, I’m only too happy to do a post highlighting their messages. Especially as they’re using a few sneaky little tactics to try and bypass spam filters and trick the human eye.
It’s time for another of my occasional series of scam warnings. And seeing as I’ve had 4 emails for this particular scam this week, it’s clear these criminals are desperate for attention. Indeed, Googling the message, I can find examples going back to January 2019 that others have received. The fact that it’s been going on for a while suggests that people might be falling for it, making it worth repeat attempts, which is a worry.
These people are basically pretending to be the Royal Mail, with the claim that a parcel couldn’t be delivered that you need to pay a charge for. They’re then asking you to click on a link, which is clearly dodgy, and I have no idea what lies behind it as I’m not going to click on it. But I’ll explain the emails that I’ve received so you’re aware.
It’s time to add another message to my list of email scams. This is one that I received yesterday, and I know at least one of my Facebook friends has also received it.
This email threatens action if you don’t pay the overdue balance on your TV Licence, But it’s blatantly fake if you look out for the usual signs, including the From address, the link address they want you to click on, and the general wording of the email. So let’s check it out.
It’s time for my first scam awareness post of the new year, pointing out another con I’ve received that promises to give you lots of money that you didn’t know you were entitled to.
There are a lot of variations of this scam – where someone, completely out of the blue and completely unknown to you, is offering to transfer a huge sum of money into your bank account, either for safekeeping or because it’s some kind of reward. They’re always fake.
But this one particularly caught by eye because it tries to sound official by mentioning the International Monetary Fund (IMF), United Nations (UN) and the US Secret Service. But it’s clearly fake. However, there must be people falling for these things if the scammers feel it’s worth sending out. So it’s still worth taking a look to break it down a bit for those who find it useful.