Beware of "VISA fraud department" scam!

I just got a call and it went something like this:
"Hello, may I speak to Mr Wick?"
I always get suspicious when people don't use my correct last name, but regardless, I answered:
"This is from the VISA fraud department, your visa debit card was used in a suspicious transaction, a withdrawal of £300 from a cash machine, blah blah blah...."
"Excuse me, but can you tell me why the transaction was suspicious?"
"It was made at 3am."
Ok, at this stage I knew what I had on the line. I mean come on! How is a cash withdrawal at 3am suspicious? And would VISA *really* call me, using only half of my last name, because of a withdrawal at 3am? Especially considering that VISA has nothing to do with cash machines, nor withdrawals from a debit card? Do they really think I'm that thick?
"You know what?" I said, "you can take that VISA fraud department *scam* and ...."
I was interrupted...
"Fuck you!" *click*
How rude! I was just about to tell him where he should shove his scam, and he didn't even want to listen!

Anyway, the scam works like this:
They will recommend you to call your bank for one or another reason. It could be to report the fraud, to verify that "VISA fraud department" is in fact real or whatever. The details don't matter.
The reason they want you to call your bank is that when they hang up, they don't really hang up. Just stay on the line. Because they were the ones calling you, and not vice versa, the line is not immediately disconnected, so when you pick up the phone again to call your bank, they're still there. They fake a dialling tone and ask you the security questions, verify to you that they are real, and voilĂ , maybe make sure you know your credit card number and expiration date, etc. - *then* there will be fraudulent transactions all right!

Anyway, this only work on normal land lines. It doesn't work on VOIP phones, and I think not on mobiles either.


Bush Repair: fixing broken steering with a table leg

I went for a drive to my favourite mountain, Mt. Arayat (ok technically, it's the only mountain around here) the other day. Managed to hit my Jeep's tie rod (also called track rod and centre link - the bar that holds the two front wheels together) on a rock. It had been hit a few times before but this caused the end of it and it snapped in two, causing one of the wheels to move wherever it wanted, while the other one had "some" steering - if I steered left, it would be anywhere between full left and straight forward. In other words, it totally messed up my "laser aligned" (see picture to the right) steering!
On a muddy track that is not an ideal situation. Despite all of this I managed to crawl up a hill and about 500m to a place I could do some fixing.
This was the resulting bush repair:
I used an old table leg (the formerly red, rusted pipe in the middle) that conveniently fit over the tie rod (yellow), together with a used concrete reinforcement bar for stability (too thin, but that was all I could find), and copious amounts of steel wire to prevent the structure from pulling apart.

The two bolts going through the table leg and the tie rod inside were later additions. It turned out that although this peculiar contraption actually worked, it had somewhat excessive slack due to the steel wire stretching and the reinforcement bar unbending due to the heavy load from driving off road with it. As soon as I reached a place with electricity I got my drill, drilled two holes straight through the table leg and the bar inside and inserted the bolts. This made it nearly as good as new, although I wouldn't trust the table leg to last very long, so I retired it immediately after these pictures were taken.

I wouldn't say it's beautiful, but it got me home!