I do not love the bright sword for its sharpness, nor the arrow for its swiftness, nor the warrior for his glory. I love only that which they defend. (J.R.R.Tolkien, The Two Towers)

When I carry a gun, I don't do so because I am looking for a fight, but because I'm looking to be left alone. The gun at my side means that I cannot be forced, only persuaded. I don't carry it because I'm afraid, but because it enables me to be unafraid. It doesn't limit the actions of those who would interact with me through reason, only the actions of those who would do so by force.

Marko Kloos "Why the Gun is Civilization"

Thursday, February 22, 2007



OH SH*T!!!



Nigerian 419 scams

Got these two in my e-mail today. Both are classic examples of the "Nigerian 419 scams."

Date: Thu, 22 Feb 2007 12:48:02 +0000

Dear Friend,

Good day and Compliments,
I am writing this letter in confidence believing that if it is the wish
of God for you to help me and my family, God almighty will bless and
reward you aboundantly and you would never regreat this.

I am a female student from University of Burkina faso, Ouagadougou. I
am 25 yrs old. I'd like any person who can be caring, loving and home
oriented. I will love to have a long-term relationship with you and to know more about you. I would like to build up a solid foundation with you in time coming if you can be able to help me in this transaction.

Well, my father died earlier two months ago and left I and my junior
brother behind. He was a king, which our town citizens titled him over sixteen years before his death.

I was a princess to him and I am the only person who can take care of
his wealth now because my junior brother is still young and my mother is
not literate enough to know all my father's wealth. He left the sum of USD 7, 350, 000.00 dollars (Seven Million,Three Hundred and Fifty Thousand US Dollars)in a security company.This money was annually paid into my late fathers account from Shell petroleum development company(spdc)and chevron oil company operating in our locality for the compensation of youth and community development in our jurisdiction.

I don't know how and what I will do to invest this money somewhere in
abroad, so that my father's kindred will not take over what belongs to
my father and our family, which they were planning to do without my
present because I am a female as stated by our culture in the town.a

Now,i urgently need your humble assistance to move this money from the
security company to your bank account, That is why I felt happy when I
saw your contact because I strongly believe that by the grace of God, you will help me invest this money wisely.

I am ready to pay 20% of the total amount to you if you help us in this
transaction and another 10% interest of Annual After Income to you, for
handling this transaction for us, which you will strongly have absolute
control over.
If you can handle this project sincerely and also willing to assist me in lifting this fund, kindly reach me,

Please, note that this transaction is 100% risk free and I hope to
commence the transaction as quick as possible, I will send you my school
identification card as soon as I hear from you.

Yours sincerely,
Princess Joy Anthony.

MSN Hotmail : créez votre adresse e-mail gratuite & à vie !

Subject: Your kind attention needed.
Date: Thu, 22 Feb 2007 11:37:10 +0000

Hello Dear,

This mail might come to you as a surprise and the temptation to ignore
it as unserious could come into your mind but please consider it a divine wish and accept it with a deep sense of humility.

I am Mr. Usman Sankara, the manager in charge of Auditing department
of Bank of Africa (B.O.A)Ouagadougou Burkina Faso in West Africa, with due respect and Regard, I have decided to contact you on a business
transaction that will be very beneficial to both of us at the end of the

During our investigation and auditing in this Bank, my department came
across a very huge sum of money belonging to one of our deceased
customer who died on July 30th 2002 of a ghastly motor accident and the fund has been dormant in his account with this bank without any claim of the fund in our Custody either from his family or relation before our discovery to this development. Although personally,I keep this information secret to enable the whole plans and idea be Profitable and successful during the time of execution, the said amount
is Fifteen million three hundred thousand United States dollars(US$15.3m), as it may interest you to know, I got your impressive information on my search for a reliable partner, I contacted you to be my partner and person to be reliable and capable to champion a business of such magnitude without any problem.

Meanwhile all the arrangement to put claim over this fund as the next
of kin to the deceased, get the required approval and transfer this money to a foreign account has been put in Place and directives and needed information will be relayed to you as soon as you indicate your interest and willingness to assist me and also benefit your self to this great business opportunity, In fact I could have done this deal alone but because of my position in this country as a civil servant and we are not allowed to operate a foreign account and would eventually raise eye brow on my side during the time of transfer because I work in this bank.

This is the actual reason why it will require a second party or fellow
who will forward claims as the next of kin with affidavit of trust of oath to the bank and also present a foreign account where he will need the money to be re-transferred into on his request as it may be after due verification and clarification by the correspondent branch of the bank where the whole money will be remitted from to your own designation bank account.

I will not fail to inform you that this transaction is 100% risk free,
on smooth conclusion of this transaction, you will be entitled to 30% of
the total sum as gratification, while 5% will be set aside to take care of expenses that may arise during the time of transfer, while 65% will be for me, please you have been advised to keep "Top Secret" as I am still in service and intend to retire from service after we conclude this deal with you.

I will be monitoring the whole situation here in this bank Until you
confirm the money in your account, and ask us to come down to your country for subsequent sharing of the fund according to percentages previously indicated and further Investment, either in your country or any country you advice us to invest in and all other necessary vital information will be send to you when I hear from you.

I suggest you get back to me As soon as possible and also include your
personal phone/mobile and fax numbers for easy communication.

Yours faithfully,
Mr. Usman Sankara
The manager in charge of
Auditing department of
Bank of Africa (B.O.A)
Ouagadougou Burkina Faso.

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Delete Reply Forward Not Spam Move...


Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Police Impersonators

Recently here a Tennessee woman was pulled over, held at gun point, and raped by a police impersonator. Click here to read the story. To make sure that those flashing blue/red lights behind you are real here are some tips...

If this is a traffic stop situation:

• Make sure it is a marked unit with a realistic looking light bar or built-in lights (not a temporary "Kojak light"). Make sure they are the appropriate color (very few jurisdictions allow blue lights for their police cars; most must be red). If it's NOT a marked unit, the take-down lights should be built-in and somewhat uniform front and back.

• Try to stop in a well-lit area. Don't pull into a remote parking lot or somewhere secluded.

• If possible, turn on your flashers but don't turn off your car.

• DO NOT get out of the vehicle to meet the approaching officer (real cops don't like that anyway).

• Lock your door.

• Look for a uniform, raid jacket, body armor, radio, flashlight (at night). Watch their demeanor, do they seem more nervous than you? Are they watching you or are they distracted (perhaps looking to see if the "real" cops are going to drive by)?

• Plainclothes officers rarely make traffic stops without numerous identifying pieces of clothing and equipment.

• Pay attention to what they ask. They should first ask for driver's license, proof of insurance, etc. MOST will tell you the violation or reason for the stop right away.

• If they immediately tell you to get out of the car without any preliminary questions (and you've not committed a felony), be suspicious. Explain to the "officer" that you are unsure about the situation and you'd like a minute to verify his/her identity. KEEP YOUR HANDS WHERE THE OFFICER CAN SEE THEM, be polite as you question them, MAKE NO SUDDEN OR SUSPICIOUS MOVEMENTS. Watch their reaction to you.

• Ask them where they work and would they mind if you called their dispatch (not their boss or their office) center to confirm their identity.

• TRUST YOUR INSTINCTS. If they don't seem to be real cops, they probably aren’t. Keep your cell phone handy.

If they come to your home or business:

• NEVER let them in if you are not 100% sure of their identity.

• Ask to see not just a badge, but a photo ID card and a commission card (NEVER take a business card as ID). Real cops will not mind this.

• Ask them what they need to see you about.

• Ask them if you can call their dispatch center or headquarters to confirm before you let them in.

• BE POLITE but firm; if you suspect something is not right, call 911 immediately.

• Generally, real cops either wear a full uniform or none at all, be wary of people in "partial" uniform (i.e.: a uniform shirt with jeans, or a uniform shirt with a badge but no patches or nametag). If they are in uniform, look for long hair in men, excessive facial hair, piercings, etc...this is usually not allowed.

• If they are unprofessional or overly dramatic or excitable, they may not legitimate.

• If they threaten you ("let us in or we're kicking down the door!") and you have not committed a forcible felony, lock the door and call 911 immediately.


Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Why Cops Hate You

The following article was written in the 70's by an obviously angry cop. While I don't agree with everything he says, he does have some really valid points that many street cops encounter every day.

Warning contains graphic language.

(If You Have To Ask, Get Out Of The Way)

Have you ever been stopped by a traffic cop and, while he was writing a ticket or giving you a warning, you got the feeling he would just love to yank you out of the car, right through the window, and smash your face into the front fender? Have you ever had a noisy little spat with someone, and a cop cruising by calls, everything all right over there? Did you maybe sense that he really hoped everything was not all right, that he wanted one of you to answer, No, officer, this idiot’s bothering me? That all he was looking for was an excuse to launch himself from the cruiser and play a drum solo on your skull with his nightstick?

Did you ever call the cops to report a crime maybe someone stole something from your car or broke into your home and the cops act as if it were your fault? That they were sorry the crook didn’t rip you off for more? That instead of looking for the culprit, they’d rather give you a shot in the chops for bothering them with this bullshit in the first place? If you’ve picked up on this attitude from your local sworn protectors, it’s not just paranoia. They actually don’t like you. In fact cops don’t just dislike you, they hate your guts! Incidentally, for a number of very good reasons.

First of all, civilians are so goddamn stupid. They leave things lying around, just begging thieves to steal them. They park cars in high crime areas and leave portable TVs, cameras, wallets, purses, coats, luggage, grocery bags and briefcases in plain view on the seat. Oh, sure, maybe they’ll remember to close all the windows and lock the doors, but do you know how easy it is to bust a car window? How fast can it be done? A ten year old can do it in less than six seconds! And a poor cop has another Larceny from Auto on his hands. Another crime to write a report on, waste another half hour on. Another crime to make him look bad.

Meanwhile the asshole who left the family heirlooms on the backseat in the first place is raising hell about where were the cops when the car was being looted. He’s planning to write irate letters to the mayor and the police commissioner complaining about what a lousy police force you have here; they can’t even keep my car from getting ripped off! What were they drinking coffee somewhere? And the cops are saying to themselves. Lemme tell ya, fuckhead, we were seven blocks away, taking another stupid report from another jerkoff civilian about his fucking car being broken into because he left his shit on the back seat too!

These civilians can’t figure out that maybe they shouldn’t leave stuff lying around un-attended where anybody can just pick it up and boogie. Maybe they should put the shit in the trunk, where no one but Superman is gonna see it. Maybe they should do that before they get to wherever they’re going just in case some riffraff is hanging around watching them while the car is being secured.

Another thing that drives cops wild is the “surely this doesn’t apply to me” syndrome, which never fails to reveal itself at scenes of sniper or barricade incidents. There’s always some asshole walking down the street (or jogging or driving) who thinks the police cars blocking off the area, the ropes marked police line: Do Not Cross, the cops crouched behind cars pointing revolvers, carbines, shotguns and bazookas at some building has nothing whatsoever to do with him so he weasels around the barricades or slithers under the restraining ropes and blithely continues on his way, right into the field of fire.

The result is that some cop risks his ass (or hers don’t forget, the cops include women now) to go after the cretin and drag him, usually under protest, back to safety. All of these cops, including the one who risking his ass, devoutly hope that the sniper will get off one miraculous shot and drill the idiot right between the horns, which would have two immediate effects. The quiche-for-brains civilian would be dispatched to his just reward and every cop on the scene would instantaneously be licensed to kill the scumbag doing the sniping. Whereupon the cops would destroy the whole fucking building, sniper and all, in about 30 seconds, which is what they wanted to do in the first place, except the brass wouldn’t let them because the motherfucker had not killed anybody yet.

An allied phenomenon is the “my isn’t this amusing behavior” exhibited, usually by Yuppies or other members of high society, at some emergency scenes. For example, a group of trendy types will be strolling down the street when a squad car with its lights flashing and siren on screeches up to a building. They’ll watch the cops yank out their guns and run up to the door, flatten themselves against a wall, and peep into the place cautiously. Now, if you think about it, something serious could be happening here. Cops usually don’t pull their revolvers to get a cup of coffee. Any five-year-old ghetto kid can tell you these cops are ready to cap somebody. But do our society friends perceive this? Do they stay out of the cops way? Of course not! They think it’s vastly amusing. And, of course, since they’re not involved in the funny little game the cops are playing, they think nothing can happen to them!

While the ghetto kid is hiding behind a car for the shooting to start, Muffy, Chip and Biffy are continuing their stroll, right up to the officers, tittering among themselves about how silly the cops look, all scrunched up against the wall, trying to look in through the door without stopping bullets with their foreheads. What the cops are hoping at that point is for a homicidal holdup man to come busting out the door with a sawed off shotgun. They’re hoping he has it loaded with elephant shot, and that he immediately identifies our socialites as serious threats to his personal well being. They’re hoping he has just enough ammunition to blast the shit out of the gigglers, but not enough to return fire when the cops open up on him.

Of course if that actually happens, the poor cops will be in a world of trouble for not protecting the innocent bystanders. The brass wouldn’t even want to hear that the shitheads probably didn’t have enough sense to come in out of acid rain. Somebody ought to tell all the quiche eaters out there to stand back when they encounter someone with a gun in his hand, whether he happens to be wearing a badge or a ski mask.

Civilians also aggravate cops in a number of other ways. One of their favorite games is “Officer, can you tell me?” A cop knows he’s been selected to play this game whenever someone approaches and utters those magic words. Now, it’s okay if they continue with how to get to so and so street? Or where such and such a place is located? After all, cops are supposed to be familiar with the area he works. But it eats the lining of their stomachs when some jerkoff asks, “Where can I catch the number fifty-four bus?” Or, “where can I find a telephone?”

Cops look forward to their last day before retirement, when they can safely give these douche bags the answer they’ve been choking back for 20 years: No, maggot, I can’t tell you where the fifty-four bus runs! What does this look like an MTA uniform? Go ask a fucking bus driver! And, No dog breath, I don’t know where you can find a phone, except wherever your fucking eyes see one! Take your head out of your ass and look for one.

And cops just love to find a guy parking next his car in a crosswalk next to a fire hydrant at a bus stop posted with a sign saying, Don’t Even Think About Stopping, Standing, or Parking Here. Cars Towed Away, Forfeited to the Government, and Sold at Public Auction. and the jerk asks, Officer, may I park here a minute? What are you nuts? Of course ya can park here! As long as ya like! Leave it there all day! Ya don’t see anything that says ya can’t do ya? You’re welcome. See ya later. The cop then drives around the corner and calls for a tow truck to remove the vehicle. Later, in traffic court, the idiot will be whining to the judge But, Your Honor, I asked the officer if I could park there, and he said I could! No, I don’t know which officer, but I did ask! Honest! No, wait, Judge, I can’t afford five hundred dollars! This isn’t fair! I’m not creating a disturbance! I’ve got rights! Get your hands off me! Where are you taking me? What do you mean, ten days for contempt of court? What did I do? Wait, wait,..... If you should happen to see a cop humming contentedly and smiling to himself for no apparent reason, he may have won this game.

Wildly unrealistic civilian expectations also contribute to a cop’s distaste for the general citizenry. An officer can be running his ass off all day or night handling call after call and writing volumes of police reports, but everybody thinks their problem is the only thing he has to work on. The policeman may have a few worries, too. Ever think of that? The sergeant is on him because he’s been late for roll call a few days; he’s been battling like a badger with his wife, who’s just about to leave him because he never takes her anywhere and doesn’t spend enough time at home and the kids need braces and the station wagon needs a major engine overhaul and where are we gonna get the money to pay for all that and we haven’t had a real vacation for years and all you do is hang around with other cops and you’ve been drinking too much lately and I could’ve married that wonderful guy I was going with when I met you and lived happily ever after and why don’t you get a regular job with regular days off and no night shifts and decent pay and a chance for advancement and no one throwing bottles or taking wild potshots at you? Meanwhile, that sweet young thing he met on a call last month says her period is late. Internal Affairs is investigating him on fucking up a disorderly last week; the captain is pissed at him for tagging a councilman’s car; a burglar’s tearing up the businesses on his post; and he’s already handled two robberies, three family fights, a stolen car, and half a dozen juvenile complaints today.

Now here he is, on another juvenile call, trying to explain to some bimbo, who’s the president of her neighborhood improvement association, that the security of Western Civilization is not really threatened all that much by the kids who hang on the corner by her house. Yes, officer, I know they’re not there now. They always leave when you come by. But after you’re gone, they come right back, don’t you see, and continue their disturbance. It’s intolerable! I’m so upset, I can barely sleep at night.

By now, the cops eyes have glazed over. What we need here, officer, she continues vehemently, is greater attention to this matter by the police. You and some other officers should hide and stake out that corner so those renegades wouldn’t see you. Then you could catch them in the act! Yes, ma’am, we’d love to stake out that corner a few hours every night, since we don’t have anything else to do, but I’ve got a better idea, he’d like to say. Here’s a box of fragmentation grenades the Department obtained from the Army just for situations like this. The next time you see those little fuckers out there, just lob a couple of these into the crowd and get down!

Or he’s got an artsy-crafty type who’s moved into a tough, rundown neighborhood and decides it’s gotta be cleaned up. Ya know, Urban Pioneers. The cops see a lot of them now. Most of them are intelligent(?), talented, hard-working, well paid folks with masochistic chromosomes interspersed among their other wise normal genes. They have nice jobs, live in nice homes, and they somehow decided that it would be a marvelous idea to move into a slum and get yoked, roped, looted, and pillaged on a regular basis. What else do you expect? Peace and harmony? It’s like tossing a juicy little pig into a piranha tank.

Moving day: Here come the pioneers, dropping all their groovy gear from their Volvo station wagon, setting it on the sidewalk so everyone can get a good look at the food processor, the microwave, the stereo system, the color TV, the tape deck, etc. At the same time, the local burglars are appraising the goods unofficially and calculating how much they can get for the TV down at the corner bar, how much the stereo will bring at Joe’s garage, who might want the tape deck at the barber shop, and maybe mama can use the microwave herself. When the pioneers get ripped off, the cops figure they asked for it, and they got it. You want to poke your arm through the bars of a tiger cage? Fuck you! Don’t be amazed when he eats it for lunch! The cops regard it as naive for trendies to move into crime zones and conduct their lives the same way they did up on Society Hill. In fact, they can’t fathom why anyone who didn’t have to would move there at all, regardless of how they want to live or how prepared they might be to adapt their behavior. That’s probably because the cops are intimately acquainted with all those petty but disturbing crimes and nasty little incidents that never make the newspapers but profoundly affect the quality of life in a particular area.

Something else that causes premature aging among cops is the “I don’t know who to call, so I’ll call the police” ploy. Why, the cops ask themselves, do they get so many calls for things like water leaks, sick cases, bats in houses, and the like things that have nothing whatsoever to do with law enforcement or the maintenance of public order? They figure it’s because civilians are getting more and more accustomed to having the government solve problems for them, and the local P.D. is the only governmental agency that even answer the phone at 3:00 AM, let alone send anybody.

So, when the call comes over the radio to go to such-and-such address for a water leak, the assigned officer rolls his eyes, acknowledges, responds, surveys the problem, and tells the complainant, Yep, that’s a water leak all right! No doubt about it. Ya probably ought to call a plumber! And it might not be a bad idea to turn off your main valve for a while. Or, Yep, your Aunt Minnie’s sick all right! Ya probably ought to get ‘er to a doctor tomorrow if she doesn’t get any better by then. Or, Yep, that’s a bat all right! Mebbe ya ought to open the windows so it can fly outside again! In the meantime our hero is wasting his time on this bullshit call, maybe someone is having a real problem out there, like getting raped, robbed or killed.

Street cops would like to work the phones just once and catch a few of these idiotic complaints: A bat in your house? No need to send an officer when I can tell ya what to do right here over the phone, pal! Close all your doors and windows right away. Pour gasoline all over your furniture. That’s it. Now set it on fire and get everybody outside! Yeah, you’ll get the little motherfucker for sure! That’s okay, call us anytime.

Probably the most serious beef cops have with civilians relates to those situations in which the use of deadly force becomes necessary to deal with some desperado who might have just robbed a bank, iced somebody, beat up his kids, or wounded some cop, and now he’s caught but won’t give up. He’s not going to be taken alive, he’s going to take some cops with him, and you better say your prayers, you pig bastards! Naturally, if the chump’s armed with any kind of weapon, the cops are going to shoot the shit out of him so bad they’ll be able to open up his body later as a lead mine. If he’s not armed, and the cops aren’t creative enough to find a weapon for him, they’ll beat him into raw meat and hope he spends the next few weeks in traction. They view it as a learning experience for the asshole. You fuck somebody up, you find out how it feels like to get fucked up. Don’t like it? Don’t do it again! It’s called Street Justice, and civilians approve of it as much as cops do even if they don’t admit it.

Remember how the audience cheered when Charles Bronson fucked up the bad guys in Death Wish? How they scream with joy every time Clint Eastwood’s Dirty Harry makes his day by blowing up some rotten scumball with his .44 magnum? What they applaud is the administration of street justice. The old eye for an eye concept, one of mankind’s most primal instincts. All of us have it, especially cops.

It severely offends and deeply hurts cops when they administer a dose of good old fashioned street justice only to have some bleeding heart do-gooder happen upon the scene at the last minute, when the hairbag is at last getting his just desserts, and start hollering about police brutality. Cops regard this as very serious business indeed. Brutality can get them fired. Get fired from one police department and it’s tough to get a job as a cop anywhere else ever again. Brutality exposes the cop to civil liability as well. Also, his superior officers, the police department as an agency, and maybe even the local government itself. You’ve seen those segments on 60 minutes, right? Some cops screw up, gets sued along with everybody else in the department who had anything to do with him, and the city or county ends up paying the plaintiff umpty-ump million dollars, raising taxes and hocking it’s fire engines in the process. What do you think happens to the cop who fucked up in the first place? He’s done for.

On many occasions when the cops are accused of excessive force, the apparent brutality is a misconception by some observer who isn’t acquainted with the realities of police work. For example, do you know how hard it is to handcuff someone who really doesn’t want to be handcuffed? Without hurting them? It’s almost impossible for one cop to accomplish by himself unless he beats the hell out of a prisoner first which would also be viewed a brutality! It frequently takes three or four cops to handcuff one son of a bitch who’s determined to battle them. In situations like that, it’s not unusual for the cops to hear someone in the crowd of onlookers comment on how they’re ganging up on the poor bastard and beating him unnecessarily. This makes them feel like telling the complainer, Hey, motherfucker, you think you can handcuff this shithead by yourself without killing him first. C’mere! You’re deputized! Now go ahead and do it!

The problem is that, in addition to being unfamiliar with how difficult it is in the real world to physically control someone without beating his ass, last minute observers usually don’t have the opportunity to see for themselves, like they do in the movies and on TV, what a fucking monster the suspect might be. If they did, they’d probably holler at the cops to beat his ass some more. They might actually want to help!

The best thing for civilians to do if they think they see the cops rough up somebody too much is to keep their mouths shut at the scene, and to make inquiries of the police brass later on. There might be ample justification for the degree of force used that just was apparent at the time of arrest. If not, the brass will be very interested in the complaint. If one of their cops went over the deep end, they’ll want to know about it.

Most of this comes down to common sense, a characteristic the cops feel most civilians lack. One of the elements of common sense is thinking before opening one’s yap or taking other action. Just a brief moment of thought will often prevent the utterance of something stupid or the commission of some idiotic act that will, among other things, generate nothing but contempt from the average street cop. THINK and it might mean getting a warning instead of a traffic ticket. Or getting sent on your way rather than be arrested. Or continuing on to your original destination instead of to the hospital. It might mean getting real assistance instead of the run-around. The very least it’ll get you is a measure of respect cops seldom show civilians. Act like you’ve got a little sense, and even if the cops don’t love you, they at least won’t hate you.

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Frauds and Scams

Anyone can be victim of fraud or scam. But 9 out of 10 times the elderly are targeted because they are more likely to have pensions, saving accounts, money marketing accounts, and jewelry.

General tip-offs to a fraud or scam

they contacted you first

cash only

hurry, today only, last chance, you must act now

something is free but you must pay shipping, handling, postage, tax, etc to

receive it

it is a get rich quick thing

sounds too good to be true

they want money up front first

need your credit card number, bank account number, or check number

scare tactics

Kinds of Scams

Credit Card Loss Insurance... they tell you...

they are a representative of your credit card company such as VISA or MasterCard;

that you must have credit card protection;

that they need to verify your credit card information;

that they have been instructed by the Federal Trade Commission to call credit card holders to obtain their credit card numbers and expiration dates;

that your credit card numbers may be wrong and you have to divulge your numbers in order to receive credit card protection;

that they are calling to check the security of your credit card number for possible fraud;

that they or anyone could get your credit card number off the Internet at anytime and therefore, you need to buy credit card fraud protection with a lifetime guarantee;

that you are liable for more than $50 of unauthorized charges on your credit card account;

that a computer bug could make it easy for thieves to place unauthorized charges on your credit card account;

(or imply) that they are calling from "the security department" and want to activate

the protection features on your new card.

that credit card protection would cost only $99, and

that you could cancel within 90 days.

Home Repair Scams

roof repair

asphalt driveway paving

furnace or water heater repair

pest control inspections


If any work is actually done...it is done with cheap materials or is shoddily done. The victim is over-charged for work and materials. Often the victim must put cash up front (for materials) and the criminal is never seen again.

Pyramid schemes

In the classic "pyramid" scheme, participants attempt to make money solely by recruiting new participants into the program.

The program looks like a legitimate multi-level marketing program.

The difference between a genuine Multi Level Marketing business opportunity and a scam is that the MLM scheme has END USERS. People who ACTUALLY BUY THE PRODUCT.

A pyramid is ALWAYS presented as a way to make money. There might be a product, but even the most cursory study will show that there is no real market for that product, and that the trick is to sell the product or service to others who would only buy it in the hope of selling it to others who etc etc.

Some people will make money from the pyramid. These are the people who get in early, normally those who start it.

In Virginia Pyramids are illegal. Code of Virginia 18.2-239 Every person who contrives, prepares, sets up, operates, advertises or promotes any pyramid promotional scheme shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.

Foreign Lottery

The original foreign lottery scams simply proclaimed that you are a major winner in a foreign lottery (that you didn't enter, or at least you don't remember entering).

However, in order to claim your prize winnings -- often millions of dollars and always cash -- you must first remit a 'contest fee' to cover processing and taxes.

Needless to say, anyone who submits the fee never sees that cash -- or the supposed windfall.

What's more, unsuspecting victims may have given out banking or other personal information in the bargain.

Telemarketing Fraud

Tip-Offs to Phone Fraud

You must act "now" or the offer will expire.

You’ve won a "free" gift, vacation or prize — but you must pay for "postage and handling" or some other charge.

You must send money, give a credit card or bank account number or have your check picked up by courier — before you’ve had a chance to consider the offer carefully.

It’s not necessary to check out the company with anyone — including your family, lawyer, accountant, local Better Business Bureau or consumer protection agency.

You don’t need written information about the company or its references.

You can’t afford to miss this "high-profit, no-risk" offer.

Under Federal Law:

It’s illegal for a telemarketer to call you if you have asked not to be called.

Calling times are restricted to the hours between 8 a.m. and 9 p.m.

Telemarketers must tell you it’s a sales call, the name of the seller, and what they are selling — before they make their pitch. If it’s a prize promotion, they must tell you that you don’t have to pay or buy anything to enter or win.

Telemarketers may not lie about any information, including any facts about their goods or services, the earnings potential, profitability, risk or liquidity of an investment, or the nature of a prize in a prize-promotion scheme.

Before you pay, telemarketers must tell you the total cost of the goods and any restrictions on getting or using them, or that a sale is final or non-refundable. In a prize promotion, they must tell you the odds of winning, that no purchase or payment is necessary to win and any restrictions or conditions of receiving the prize.

Telemarketers may not withdraw money from your checking account without your express, verifiable authorization.

Telemarketers cannot lie to get you to pay.

You do not have to pay for credit repair, recovery room or advance-fee loan/credit services until these services have been delivered.

To resist high-pressure sales tactics...

Say so if they don’t want the seller to call back. If they do call back, they’re breaking the law. That’s a signal to hang up.

Take their time, and ask for written information about the product, service, investment opportunity or charity that’s the subject of the call.

Talk to a friend, relative or financial advisor before responding to a solicitation. Their financial investments may have consequences for the family or close friends.

Hang up if they’re asked to pay for a prize. Free is free.

Keep information about their bank accounts and credit cards private unless they know who they’re dealing with.

Hang up if a telemarketer calls before 8 a.m. or after 9 p.m.

Check out any company with the state and local consumer protection office before you buy any product or service or donate any money as a result of an unsolicited phone call.

Do not send money — cash, check or money order — by courier, overnight delivery or wire to anyone who insists on immediate payment.

Sweepstakes scams include...

vacations (there are so many strings and conditions that they are virtually useless)

guaranteed 1 in 5 prizes (the one prize you win is of inferior quality material)

keep buying to win ( company implies that the more you buy the better chance you have of winning)

Even "legitimate" sweepstakes companies have become masters at creating a web of deception. The headlines, the words, everything about their mailers are calculated to get people to buy products they wouldn't otherwise buy.

Legitimate sweepstakes companies don't require you to pay or buy something to enter or improve your chances of winning, or to pay "taxes" or "shipping and handling charges" IN ADVANCE to get your prize.

The companies have:

created a false sense of urgency to respond to the sweepstakes so as to prevent someone else from claiming their prize;

implied that purchasing a product was a requirement or improved the chances of winning;

indicated that recipients were part of a select group vying for a prize;

falsely claimed that the sweepstakes were endorsed by the state or federal government.

Nigerian 419

You receive an e-mail, letter, or correspondence from a high ranking official or their family member of a third world country. They have a large sum of cash trapped in a bank in their country and they need foreign help (you) to gain access to it. In exchange for a percentage of the funds they want you to send them your bank account information so they can transfer the money first to your account and then to a safe account in their name. Once they have your bank information they clean out your account.

Identity Theft

How do thieves steal an identity?

Dumpster Driving...they rummage through trash looking for bills or other papers with your personal information on it.

Skimming... They steal credit/debit card numbers by using a special storage device when processing your card.

Phishing... They pretend to be financial institutions or companies and send spam or pop-up messages to get you to reveal your personal information.

Changing Your Address... They divert your billing statements to another location by completing a change of address form.

Old-Fashioned Stealing... They steal wallets and purses; mail, including bank and credit card statements; pre-approved credit offers; and new checks or tax information. They steal personnel records for their employers, or bribe employees who have access.

Anyone who gives their birth date and Social Security number opens up their entire financial history to a thief.

What are the steps I should take if I'm a victim of identity theft?

Place a fraud alert on your credit reports, and review your credit reports at...

Equifax: 1-800-525-6285; www.equifax.com; P.O. Box 740241, Atlanta GA

Experian: 1-888-397-3742; www.experian.com; P.O. Box 9532 Allen, TX

TransUnion: 1-800-680-7289; www.transunion.com; Fraud Victim Assistance
Division, P.O. Box 6790Fullerton, CA 92834-6790

Close the accounts that you know ( or believe) have been tamper with or opened fraudulently.

File a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission.

File a report with your local police or the police in the community where the identity theft took place.


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