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TMCNet:  Herald-Times, Bloomington, Ind., Hotline column

[July 30, 2013]

Herald-Times, Bloomington, Ind., Hotline column

Jul 30, 2013 (Herald-Times - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) -- Passing on double yellow not good idea Q: Yesterday, while I was heading east on Winslow, a westbound Jeep decided to pass two bicyclists. At that section, the road is marked with a double yellow stripe. The driver of the Jeep crossed the yellow lines, forcing me to the side.

I thought a vehicle should not cross the yellow stripe to pass even if it is in the city. So what is the rule on passing bicycles, anyway? I have seen this happen many times, and it just seems unsafe.

R.S., Bloomington A: Sgt. Curt Durnil of the Indiana State Police said it is a violation to pass on a double yellow line; however, he acknowledged there are times when motorists must go around debris, or bicycles, mail trucks or other slow-moving vehicles.

Durnil said in an email that a motorist is not expected to stay behind a bicycle more than a reasonable amount of time; however, he said that motorists can be ticketed for passing in an unsafe manner. "The liability in this case would fall with the motorist who was passing the slower vehicle," he said. "The key factor being that oncoming traffic has the right of way." OK, one more time: This is a scam Q: In the past two weeks, I have received a telephone call from a person who identifies himself as Mark from Microsoft Windows. He tells me that someone is trying to hack into my computer and he needs for me to go to my computer and he will walk me through several steps to prevent this hacking.

I have my doubts. How do I determine if this person is legit? Several people have warned me that it is a scam. How can I find out if this is a scam? P.B, Bloomington A: Hotline has answered this one so many times that I can't believe I'm still getting the question.

However, since I've had at least two telephone calls asking the same thing in the past week -- and received two of these fake repair calls at home myself, I guess it won't hurt to repeat myself.

This is a scam, folks. A recent alert from the Better Business Bureau advises that the people behind it are attempting to get access to your computer in order to install malicious software, steal personal information or direct you to a website where you will be asked for credit card information.

The BBB alert further states that neither Microsoft not its business partners make unsolicited telephone calls to consumers.

The next question I get is always "What can I do to stop these calls?" The answer is: Not much.

You can make a complaint with the Indiana Attorney General's Office, but the perpetrators really don't care about following the rules.

The BBB advises consumers to be skeptical of cold calls, to install virus protection software and to take your computer to a reputable repair shop when there are problems.

Write to Hotline, c/o The Herald-Times, P.O. Box 909, Bloomington, IN 47402, or email hotline@heraldt.com, using "Hotline Inquiry" as the subject line.

___ (c)2013 the Herald-Times (Bloomington, Ind.) Visit the Herald-Times (Bloomington, Ind.) at www.heraldtimesonline.com Distributed by MCT Information Services

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