Scam Of The Week: Howdy Partener!

By Larry Seltzer  |  Posted 2003-03-12 Print this article Print

As Pink Floyd once said, things are not what they seem. Be alert and don't fall for the latest "Hi, I'm from eBay Customer Service" scam.

Read carefully. As I say in my current column, just because a message appears superficially to come from a particular vendor or person doesnt mean it does in fact come from them.

Thanks to the reader who send us an email that appeared to come from eBay customer service, announcing that (chuckle) "eBay & Hotmail are now parteners" (sic). The bad spelling is not required for this message to be read as an obvious fake, as it goes on to ask you to reset your eBay and Hotmail passwords in the HTML mail form.

Just in case you havent got the point yet, if you get this message dont enter your passwords. The information is not going to eBay or any of its parteners, but to some Web site on

PS - We attempted to report the incident Tripod by sending an email to The message was rejected because "the recipients mailbox is full".

Larry Seltzer has been writing software for and English about computers ever since—,much to his own amazement—,he graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 1983.

He was one of the authors of NPL and NPL-R, fourth-generation languages for microcomputers by the now-defunct DeskTop Software Corporation. (Larry is sad to find absolutely no hits on any of these +products on Google.) His work at Desktop Software included programming the UCSD p-System, a virtual machine-based operating system with portable binaries that pre-dated Java by more than 10 years.

For several years, he wrote corporate software for Mathematica Policy Research (they're still in business!) and Chase Econometrics (not so lucky) before being forcibly thrown into the consulting market. He bummed around the Philadelphia consulting and contract-programming scenes for a year or two before taking a job at NSTL (National Software Testing Labs) developing product tests and managing contract testing for the computer industry, governments and publication.

In 1991 Larry moved to Massachusetts to become Technical Director of PC Week Labs (now eWeek Labs). He moved within Ziff Davis to New York in 1994 to run testing at Windows Sources. In 1995, he became Technical Director for Internet product testing at PC Magazine and stayed there till 1998.

Since then, he has been writing for numerous other publications, including Fortune Small Business, Windows 2000 Magazine (now Windows and .NET Magazine), ZDNet and Sam Whitmore's Media Survey.

Submit a Comment

Loading Comments...
Manage your Newsletters: Login   Register My Newsletters

Rocket Fuel