Wednesday Newsbytes: Outlook.com’s Spam Filters Broken; Microsoft Tries to Stop Edge Users from Downloading Chrome; Beware of Check Washing; How Much Will You Pay for Facebook? Amazon’s Secret Page… and more!
Every day we scan the tech world for interesting news in the world of technology and sometimes from outside the world of technology. Every Wednesday, we feature news articles that grabbed our attention over the past week. We hope you find this week’s ‘Wednesday Newsbytes’ informative and interesting!
Microsoft’s Outlook spam email filters are broken for many right now
Many Outlook users are reporting issues with spam emails in their personal inboxes.
Microsoft’s Outlook spam filters appear to be broken for many users today. I woke up to more than 20 junk messages in my Focused Inbox in Outlook this morning, and spam emails have kept breaking through on an hourly basis today. Many Outlook users in Europe have also spotted the same thing, with some heading to Twitter to complain about waking up to an inbox full of spam messages.
Most of the messages that are making it into Outlook users’ inboxes are very clearly spam. Today’s issues are particularly bad, after weeks of the Outlook spam filter progressively deteriorating for me personally.
If you’re also getting inundated with spam right now, it might be worth temporarily disabling notifications for any email app on your phone that’s connected to your Outlook personal account. That will stop your phone waking up constantly to show you a notification about a spam email you definitely don’t care about…
Microsoft aggressively trying to keep Chrome downloaders using Edge
Microsoft sees its browser as an important aspect and entry point for the new Bing. Microsoft Edge on Windows is now showing a rather aggressive ad on the Chrome download page to dissuade people from switching.
After downloading Chrome, Microsoft Edge (Canary) for Windows users today (via Neowin) noticed a “Microsoft Edge runs on the same technology as Chrome, with the added trust of Microsoft” message.
The banner appears underneath the address bar and — critically — looks to be part of google.com/chrome. There’s also a tiny advert when the Chrome page initially loads, with many finding this ad injection to be egregious…
Consumers Beware: Thieves Are Clearing Out Bank Accounts Using This Tactic
You work hard for your money, so it’s a good idea to do everything you can to keep it safe. To that end, you likely have a secure password on your mobile banking app. Maybe you even went paperless with your bank statements, so you don’t get mail with account information delivered to your mailbox. Unfortunately, if you’re still using paper checks to pay bills or send money to others, you could be a victim of an old scam that’s recently come back into fashion: check washing.
What’s check washing?
Check washing is when thieves steal checks you’ve written and use a chemical solution to remove the ink from the amount and the payee lines (while leaving your signature behind). Per IAG Forensics & Valuation, acetone is the most common chemical used (you may know it better as nail polish remover). Then the thieves can fill in their own names as the payee, write in any amount of money they want, and cash your check, potentially draining your checking account in the process…
Is your Facebook account worth $12 a month?
Meta rolls out subscription program
Yesterday, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced on Instagram that his company is testing out a new subscription service to help Facebook and Instagram users “get extra impersonation protection against accounts claiming to be you.” Called Meta Verified, the monthly service will cost $11.99 on the web and $14.99 on iOS and Android. It’s being rolled out in Australia and New Zealand starting this week, and there are plans to offer the service in other countries soon.
Reactions on Instagram were mixed, with approximately 35,000 users reacting with thumbs up, hearts, tears, laughter, anger, and shock emoji.
A Meta blog went into further detail on how the monthly subscription service works. Users will show a government ID to authenticate their accounts and will receive a verified badge. Meta will then begin proactively monitoring to block impostor accounts while providing additional account support. Similar to Twitter Blue, the Meta Verified service offers users “increased visibility and reach.” Announced before Twitter Blue launched, the monthly subscription service is designed partly in response to top creator requests “for broader access to verification and account support,” Meta’s blog said. Subscribers will also have access to “exclusive features” like stickers to help their posts stand out even more from basic accounts…
Forget balloons: China is coming for your credit cards
For anyone who thought the threat from China was waning, the events of the last month have brought them back to reality that there is a real national security threat across the Pacific. Unfortunately, the threat extends beyond spy balloons and TikTok.
Since the Dodd-Frank financial reform law was passed in 2010, an under-the-radar company called UnionPay has been processing debit card transactions in the U.S. thanks to a provision in the bill referred to as “the Durbin Amendment.” UnionPay was created by China’s central bank in 2002 and is funded by the government. The 2010 law required banks to include alternative networks, including UnionPay, as options for merchants to process debit card transactions.
Now, despite the wave of spy balloons being shot down by the American military, the same people pushing the debit card policy want to do the same thing to the credit card market. Giant corporations including Amazon, Walmart, Home Depot. Target and Kroger have teamed up with some U.S. lawmakers to push legislation that would allow UnionPay to process your credit card transactions…
Read more at The Washington Times.
Amazon has a secret coupon page — save up to 80%
Super-savvy old-school coupon clippers can make an art form out of saving money. And though you may think online shopping doesn’t quite allow for the same form of self-expression, you’d be wrong. At least when it comes to Amazon, which has one place where you can access a veritable smorgasbord of coupons — just like thumbing through the newspaper in olden times. You can see what’s available, search for coupons from your favorite brands and generally revel in the thrill of saving. Amazon’s secret page of coupons is available to you anytime. (Get a load of the categories list in the left-hand column!)
How it works
On this special page, Amazon offers up various discounts on things like tools, pet supplies, electronics and fashion. You can “clip” (aka click) the coupons of your choice, and the items are added to your cart for purchase — the discount is applied when you check out, now or later. Don’t worry if you don’t see the discount in your cart right away…
Chinese app that lets you ‘shop like a billionaire’ is now the most downloaded in the U.S. after its Super Bowl debut, surpassing Amazon and Walmart
Coupons, 90% off sales and student discount -Temu is taking the bargain e-commerce world by storm.
Smart watches for around $11. Wireless earphones for $9.48. A mini HD camera for $6.
These are just a few of the best selling items on e-commerce site Temu, which burst onto U.S. screens with its Super Bowl ad slot last week.
The advert made Temu’s point of difference clear. “The prices blow my mind,” the backing track sings. “I feel so rich. I feel like a billionaire. I’m shopping like a billionaire.” Its bargain prices—by some Western countries’ standards—allow people to get swathes of goods without breaking the bank.
The Super Bowl ad comes after months of steady growth for the platform, which is linked to one of China’s top retail sites. It was the most downloaded shopping app in the country as of October, surpassing the likes of Amazon, Target and Walmart, according to Marketplace Pulse.
Its meteoric rise hasn’t slowed according to the latest data from Sensor Tower, which said it was downloaded by five million iOS users last month and two million Android users…
Thanks for reading this week’s Wednesday Newbytes. We hope you found these articles informative, interesting, fun, and helpful. Darcy & TC
I find it interesting that the Chinese “Temu” blurb is but a skip away from the “China Is Coming for Your Credit Cards” blurb! Thanks for keeping your readers up to date, & hopefully, on their toes! Kat
I was thinking the same thing!