Readers' Forum - May 2004

by Rob Zorn
from the May 2004 Newsletter

If you'd like to ask a question or request some help on any Actrix or Internet-related matter. Simply send me an e-mail with the word "forum" in the subject line. I'll try and answer your question by return e-mail, and will also post the answer here for the benefit of others who may have a similar question or problem. By the same token, if you read something here and think you may have something to suggest, please feel more than free. Please also note that questions and answers may turn up under the Helpful Tips section on the Actrix home page (www.actrix.co.nz).

Cary writes: I received an e-mail from someone at an indiatimes.com e-mail address promising me large sums of money (40% of 21 million) if I would pose as the next of kin of some important overseas businessman. The e-mail is obviously a scam. Is there something that can be done about these scams?

Hi Carey, What you have there is a classic example of the old Nigerian 419 Scam (named after the relevant section of the Criminal Code of Nigeria). This time the scammer claims to be in London, though he almost certainly isn't. Yes, this guy would eventually take you for everything he could get if you were foolish enough to trust him he might even end up killing you after inviting you overseas. These scams are extremely common and I receive several such offers most days. It is staggering how many rich people are being killed in auto-crashes and leaving their lawyers with no way to move their millions out of their country!!!

Unfortunately there is little you can do. These scammers are very good at hiding their tracks. Police in Africa, where most of these scams originate, work very hard to catch them, but there are lots doing it, and they only ever manage to track down a few. It's all just part of being Internet-savvy. You're obviously not silly enough to be fooled by it. Just shrug, delete and move on. Be glad you don't receive as many of these offers as some do.

More information can be found at sites like the following: www.snopes2.com/inboxer/scams/nigeria.htm. It explains how the scam works, how it originated, etc.

Ken writes: I have accidentally blocked an address in my inbox and don't know how to unblock it. This is listed under 'message\block sender'. Could you please tell me how to fix the problem. Many thanks.

Hi Ken. To Remove Senders from the Block Senders List:

Richard writes: I have a simple problem... Up until a few weeks ago I could download my e-mail by simply opening Outlook Express and initiating a Send/Receive. This would automatically connect me to Actrix and complete the mail operations before disconnecting. Now I must first open my connection to Actrix before attempting to access my email. Can you tell me what setting I have to change to get back to where I was?

Steve Trayhorne from the Actrix Help Desk responds: Hi Richard, From what you have described below I am guessing the Internet connection setting has been changed to "Never dial a connection." To check this, open Internet Explorer then go to Tools/Internet Options/Connections. On the Connections tab you should notice a white box showing your Actrix connection, under that box you will see 3 radio buttons. Make sure the dot is in the option labelled "Always dial my default connection." If the Actrix connection does not show Actrix (Default), also press the "Set as Default" button. Now press "Apply" and "OK".

If the above does not correct the problem give our Help Desk a call on 0800-228749 when you are at your computer, and one of our team can work with you to check some other settings.

Robert writes: Dear Editor, My wife and I have been with Actrix for just over two and a half years and you have been very helpful on a number of occasions. Our question is: is there away to transfer sent emails from Outlook Express to Windows XP so they can be copied to a CD? Our family are overseas and we would like to keep the emails elsewhere instead of taking up space on the computer. At present there are over 300 emails and they will grow in the next few years. The emails are in their own folder under sent items. I hope there is a solution?

Mike Cooper from the Actrix Help Desk responds: Hi Robert, If all the e-mails you are wishing to archive are in a particular folder in Outlook Express, then there is a pretty easy way to archive them. Outlook Express folders are saved on your hard drive and you can use the Start button/Find feature to search your computer for 'foldername.dbx'

For example, if all the messages were in an Outlook Express folder called My Messages, search for My Messages.dbx. You can then burn the entire .dbx file to a disc. It is easily imported back into Outlook Express at a later stage if required.

As an aside, e-mail isn't likely to have a huge impact on hard-drive space. The majority of e-mail messages are 10kb or less in size which works out at about 1000 standard size text only messages on a single floppy disk. I myself have got over 15,000 e-mail messages on my computer at home and am yet to fill a CD when I back them up.