Mr. Modem: Swine-flu scams spreading like wildfire

I received an email supposedly from the Department of Homeland Security telling me that I had to buy a “mandatory swine flu kit.” Is this legitimate?

Flu season will be here faster than you can say, “Gosh, I’m feeling kind of queasy,” and with the flu comes another scourge, that being scammers attempting to pray on consumers’ fears about swine flu.

The email you received and other such attempts — phone calls, as well — are pure baloney. No government agency or department is requiring the purchase of a safety kit for any flu, virus or raging sniffles.

If you receive such a telephone call, just hang up, or if you receive an email solicitation, reach for the Delete key and don’t give it a second thought.


You have previously explained how to cut, copy and paste, which I understand, but what is my “destination location” that you referred to?

Asking where to copy something is a bit like getting in your car, starting it, then asking, “What is my destination?” Wherever you were planning to go when you got in the car is your destination.

When you cut or copy an item, you presumably have something in mind that you’re planning to do with that data, so whatever you have in mind IS your destination. In other words, if you were not planning to do something with whatever data you cut or copied, you wouldn’t cut or copy it in the first place.

Your destination location might be another document, email, or you might simply cut and paste a paragraph elsewhere in the same document if you’re rearranging the sequence in which material appears.


I have an iPad that I want to sell. I want to reset it back to factory settings, which will mean that everything on it will be deleted except for the preinstalled programs it came with originally. How do I reset so it will be clean when I sell it?

Go to Settings > General > Reset > Erase All Content and Settings.

Mr. Modem publishes “Ask Mr. Modem!” each week, featuring PC tips, tricks and plain-English answers to your questions by email. For more information, visit

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