FBI warns of internet scam
The Federal Bureau of Investigation is warning homeowners and prospective renters in South Carolina of a new scam. FBI Special Agent Dave Thomas says potential victims are being contacted by an individual in a foreign country by either email or phone who asks them to send money to an unknown third person in an overseas location. Thomas says the perpetrators are searching for homes for sale or rent on the internet. They copy pictures and descriptions of the residences, and place them on the marketing site Craigslist, Thomas warns renters to never wire money to any unknown person. He says to only conduct business with people in person and to view any rental property themselves. Thomas asks those with complaints about internet crime to contact the FBI at www.ic3.gov .
Microsoft attacks Google shopping guide
SAN FRANCISCO Microsoft is trying to skewer Google as a lousy holiday shopping guide in its latest attempt to divert more traffic to its Bing search engine. The attack started Wednesday with a marketing campaign focused on a recent change in the way Google operates the part of its search engine devoted to shopping results. The revisions require merchants to pay Google to have their products listed in the shopping section. In its new ads, Microsoft Corp. contends the new approach betrays Google Inc.’s longstanding commitment to provide the most trustworthy results on the Web, even if it means foregoing revenue. To punctuate its point, Microsoft is warning consumers that they risk getting “scroogled” if they rely on Google’s shopping search service. The message will be highlighted in TV commercials scheduled to run on NBC and CNN and newspaper ads in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post. The blitz also will appear on billboards and online, anchored by a new website, Scroogled.com. The barbs are likely to inject more antagonism into an already bitter rivalry between two of the world’s best-known and most powerful technology companies. Google defends the fee-based approach as a way to encourage merchants to provide more comprehensive and accurate information about what they’re selling.
Motivational speaker, author dies
DALLAS Motivational speaker Zig Ziglar, who wrote more than 30 books on living a balanced life, has died in Texas. He was 86. Ziglar, who had been suffering from pneumonia, died Wednesday at a hospital in the Dallas suburb of Plano, said his personal assistant, Jay Hellwig. With an aim at helping people achieve success in their careers and personal lives, in addition to a focus on Christianity, Ziglar was a prolific speaker who appeared at events alongside world leaders including several U.S. presidents and former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. Ziglar started his fulltime career in motivational speaking when he was in his 40s. His first book, “See You at the Top,” was published in 1975, when he was 49.
The Associated Press contributed.