News Column

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Lawrence Walsh column

July 31, 2014

By Lawrence Walsh, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

July 31--A dram was a coin and a weight in ancient Greece and now refers to a small drink of whiskey or other spirits.

Today, when those letters are capitalized, DRAM refers to Dynamic Random Access Memory, a high-density, low-cost-per-bit memory component that stores digital information and provides high-speed retrieval of data.

DRAM is sold separately or pre-installed in electronic devices such as computers (laptops, desktops and servers), graphics cards, video game consoles, MP3 players, printers, personal digital assistants, DVD players and digital video recorders.

Consumers and businesses that purchased large amounts of DRAM or products containing DRAM between 1998 and 2002 have until tomorrow to file a claim to recover a portion of their cost.

Attorney General Kathleen Kane said in a news release that 12 DRAM manufacturers have agreed to pay $310 million to settle a price-fixing lawsuit filed against them.

She said purchasers of large amounts of DRAM or DRAM products could get thousands of dollars, depending on the amount of product they bought.

The minimum payment for smaller purchases of DRAM or DRAM products is expected to be $10, but the actual payment amount depends on the total number of claims filed. Payments could be $25, $50 or more.

To file a claim or for more information about the settlement, go to or email or call 1-800-589-1425.

The FBI is on the case

The FBI has opened a case file as a result of the number of complaints it has received about a scam involving E-ZPass. I wrote about the scam July 17.

"They have urged all agencies in the E-ZPass Group to encourage those receiving the phishing scam email to file a complaint with the Internet Crime Complaint Center at," said Bill Capone, a spokesman for the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission.

The turnpike has posted the following warning on its website:

"E-ZPass Phishing Scam Alert! It has come to our attention that many people have received a notice like the one below. Please be advised that this is not a communication from E-ZPass, but is likely a phishing scam.

"We advise you not to open or respond to that message. If you have any questions about the validity of any message received from E-ZPass, please contact your E-ZPass Customer Service Center at 877-736-6727 for guidance."

Here's what the scam email says:

"Subject: In arrears for driving on toll road

"Dear customer,

"You have not paid for driving on a toll road. This invoice is sent repeatedly, please service your debt in the shortest possible time.

"The invoice can be downloaded here." The word here was underlined.

Don't be fooled. Just delete it.


More scams

An email arrived last week that ostensibly came from eBay to inform that it has "1 New Alert" on its account. That was news to Post Your Problems columnist because he doesn't have an eBay account.

"We recommend that you check your email frequently for notifications that impact your account activity," it said.

I recommend that you delete such emails.

Lawrence Walsh can be reached at and 412-263-1488. Please include your day, evening and cell phone numbers. Due to volume, he cannot respond to every email and phone call.


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Source: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (PA)

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