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Possibly an urban legend, but there's a message circulating about a phone scam offering a free Corel Office Suite. You're asked what kind of computer you have and when you'll be home to accept the shipment. Guess what? They show up when you're NOT home and ship out your hardware. The best defense is to tell them you don't have a computer. [Lily Laws , 10/8/96.] (Or you could coordinate with the police to catch thieves.)

I previously mentioned scammers tricking people into calling 809-area numbers in the Virgin Islands. A variant on that con game is a brief email message stating that "Unless you pay off your balance in full, you will be taken to court. ... Call Mr. ... at +1 (809) ... if you wish to discuss the matter." Callers get a recorded message and a $25 phone charge. [Matthew Dillon, best.com, 10/4/96.] (And another variant is a phone call saying that your CEO, or whoever might be traveling, is being held by the police in some far-away place. Anyone who returns the call is likely to get an incoherent response in broken English that delays recognition of the scam and extends the call length.)