New Investigative Series Wants to Help You Settle The Score!

Exciting New Investigative Series Wants to Help You Settle The Score!

Have you been the victim of a bait & switch?
Have you been stung by a scammer?
Have you been duped by an online seller, shamed on the internet or outright ripped off by someone on social media?

The internet is something we use everyday…but dangers lurk everywhere.
Online thieves, con artists, shysters & scammers are having a heyday, and their crimes are often too small scale to call the cops or file an expensive & time consuming lawsuit.

You don’t know where to go, or who to turn to…so turn to us.
If you’ve been burned by an online thief, if you’ve ‘clicked this link’ and ended up losing money, or had your reputation tarnished by a facebook or Yelp type post, then this is your chance to stand up & let your frustration be heard!

New TV Series for a Major Cable Network wants to help you find the perp, settle the score, and get even.
We’ll find out what happened, what went wrong, and chase down the person you think is guilty.

Please send an email to LetsEvenTheScore@gmail.com and tell us your story!
And please tell them that Shawn from Scam Victims United sent you!

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Minnesota Bill HF343

I have mentioned the Minnesota Bill HF343 on this blog in the past.  It is one that several people who are concerned about the growing number of scams and fraud wish to see become a law.  Just this week it was sent to the General Register, which means it is one step closer to becoming a law.

To hear the audio from that meeting you can go here . . . http://www.house.leg.state.mn.us/audio/archivescomm.asp?comm=87004&ls_year=87

I encourage all of you to read the bill and contact the Representatives that are backing this bill to thank them for their work and share with them why you believe this bill needs to become law.

Guest Blog ~ Shredding Documents

Today we have a guest blog post to share with you from Chris at http://www.shreddingmachines.co.uk/

My parents and I were recently talking about ID theft and shredding over dinner. My father’s company purchased a Cross-cut Office Shredder from ShreddingMachines.co.uk to shred all sensitive information on site. This sensitive information includes corporate information such as invoices and pre-printed company letter paper but also the personnel files of his employees.

My mother works in the HR department for a much larger company so a vast majority of the documents that needed to be shredded relate to individuals who work at the company. This includes their names, addresses, home telephone numbers, bank account details and many other pieces of information that you wouldn’t want to fall into the wrong hands. I asked how this information was shredded and expected one of 3 answers:

1. Each member of staff has their own personalised shredder
2. There was a large centralised shredder for each department
3. A specialist company comes and does the shredding for them on site

The actual answer left me stunned. They got another company to shred all of her documents FOR FREE! They put all of the documents that need to be shredded into bags and then these are left in a room for the company to collect. The company would arrive every Friday to collect the bags and take them away with them.

I asked why the company didn’t charge any money for this service and was told that it was because they make their money from selling the paper. I asked how she knew that the paper had been shredded and she very proudly told me that they received a certificate through the post a few weeks later confirming that the paper had been shredded!

I could not believe what I was hearing. Sensitive information is left for over a week in bags marked “to be shredded” and are then collected by a company who makes money from the contents of these bags.

There are two problems that I can see:

1. Imagine someone broke into the property overnight and saw these bags. It wouldn’t take a genius to realise that bags marked “to be shredded” contained sensitive and potentially valuable information.
2. What is to stop the company who collects these bags from selling them to someone else and then providing you with a false certificate?

That is not to say that this particular company acts in this way. I have no idea of their name and they may be the most ethical company in the World. However why take the chance? If they could collect the paper and get $5,000 for the recycled value or sell the information for $20,000 then unfortunately there are some members of society that would choose the latter.

Do you know what happens at your company? In the UK companies must comply to the Data Protection Act. The important part is the 7th Principal that states that “Appropriate technical and organizational measures shall be taken against unauthorized or unlawful processing of personal data and against accidental loss or destruction of or damage to personal data”. This is clearly not the case if your information is taken off site. In the US there is no equivalent legislation, however companies are encouraged to self regulate this to ensure that data does not fall into the wrong hands.

This has hopefully made you think about what your company’s shredding policy is.
IT IS OKAY TO ASK!!

It is your personal information that could be at risk and it is your identity that could be stolen so you are allowed to know what the process is. All companies should have a shredding policy in place. If they don’t then why don’t you put yourself in charge of creating one? If your Company has their information shredded off-site then show them this article and see if you can get them to change how they do things.
The golden rule applies in this case as it does with most things in life. If something sounds too good to be true then it usually is!

What’s your story?

I am being contacted by media personal, and I want to have a little info about people that may be willing to speak with them about why the topic of scams and fraud is so important to them. I was thinking of "sorting" them by states, since I usually get a media contact that wants someone in their state.

If you would be willing to speak to a media person about YOUR PERSONAL connection with the topic of scams and fraud here is an example of what I am looking for . . . mine would read like this

Shawn and Jeff Mosch
full mailing address for contact
best phone number for them to contact you at
best email address to contact you at

Summary:
Shawn and Jeff Mosch are scam victims turned Victim’s Advocate who work to educate people about internet scams. After their personal experience with a counterfeit cashier’s check scam in 2002, they found a lack of information and resources available at the time. This was the motivating factor in creating their website, ScamVictimsUnited.com. They continue to be passionate about this issue and work with other agencies to bring more awareness to the topic of scams and push for laws that will help to protect people from these scams.

--------------------------

It does not need to be long . . . if you were a victim it can just be the type of scam you were a victim of, when it happened and how much you lost.

<b>DO NOT POST YOUR INFO ON A MESSAGE BOARD ON IN A COMMENT TO THIS POST SINCE IT WILL INCLUDE YOUR CONTACT INFO!</b>
Please send it directly to me from my blogger contact info
http://www.blogger.com/profile/00668897360179366316
or contacting us through the Feedback page or our site which goes to our main Admin email address.
http://scamvictimsunited.com/feedback.htm

If you could put Summary and your name in the subject line that will help me find them all in my inbox

Thanks!

More on MN Bill HF0343

Things have been so busy I feel like I have neglected my scam fighting blogger friends.  I did want to give you a quick update on a topic that is very dear to my heart . . . laws to protect scam victims.  As anyone who has read my story, website, blog or who has any interaction with me personally in the past 8+ years since I have started down this road of scam education and awareness knows that I am passionate about this issue.  I have been asking for laws to be changed from day one.  In the beginning, people just laughed and said that there was no way to change those kinds of laws or do anything to help scam victims, but that did not make me give up . . . I just kept talking to different people until found someone that DID listen to me.
Then things started to turn around.  I was able to speak with someone at Senator Franken’s office and they really listened to what I had to say.  We had several phone and email conversations, bouncing ideas off of each other.  Then around the same time I was asked by AARP of Minnesota and the BBB of Minnesota to come to a meeting that they were having to look at legislation that could help scam victims, or better yet, protect people from BECOMING scam victims.  I could not believe it . . . things were falling into place.  At that meeting I shared all of the ideas that my husband Jeff and I had from day one of beginning our site.  I told them that I am not a legal expert, but I know what would have saved us, and the people that come to our website for assistance, from becoming scam victims.  I showed them the “loopholes” that I saw in the way that things were currently run, with both banking institutions and money transfer companies.  I said that if they could close these loopholes, we could dramatically reduce this type of scams.
So I made sure that my contacts at the BBB, AARP and Senator Franken’s office all were connected to each other, and then I waited.  There were a few more emails and conversations, but after a while things kind of stopped going and I wondered if the whole idea fell through.  Then, at a Fraud Fighter’s Forum organized by the Minnesota AARP I saw it for the first time . . . HF0343.  If you would like to read the Bill, you can do so at this link.  https://www.revisor.mn.gov/revisor/pages/search_status/status_detail.php?b=House&f=HF0343&ssn=0&y=2011
Many of the items in this Bill are things that I have been talking about for years, so to see it becoming a reality was HUGE for me.  There are other scam fighting sites out there that are also backing this bill.  I think that is great that we can all join together on one common issue.  It does not matter who told you about HF0343, just that you know about it, and that we get it passed.  If it passes in Minnesota, we can then all work together to see it get passed in other states.
I was also able to be at a recent hearing about this Bill, and I shared with everyone there why I am so passionate about this issue and that if this Bill would have been law in 2002, I would not have been sitting in front of them speaking to them as a scam victim . . . if this Bill works as it is written, it would have saved my husband and I from becoming victims.
Also, there are some that have recently accused me of “stealing their thunder” and I believe most of it is due to a recent post I made telling all of you about this bill and asking you to send letters in to the authors.  This other group was asking people to send in letters, and instead of “re-inventing the wheel” I passed that information on to all of you.  I felt that I could do this because
1)      I also had been working with the same groups mentioned in the context of the letter
2)      I also feel passionately about this topic
3)      This group was asking for help in getting the word out
4)      Had I know that letters to the authors would “help” I would have put the word out a LONG time ago
To me, scam fighting and changing the laws is not about who “gets credit” for it . . . it is about all of us working together for the best outcome.  If I have some good info, and you want to share it, go ahead . . . share away!  That is how we get the word to spread and educate more people.

Laws fighting scams and fraud

I have been working with some people here in Minnesota, and we are making some progress on scam fighting. There are currently some laws being proposed and if we get them to pass here in Minnesota we are hoping that other states will follow our lead.
This is where we need your help . . . we are being asked to send the authors of this bill letters or emails telling them why this bill is so important. Some suggested speaking points are
That you have been scammed
That you lost X amount (we want the authors to realize the extent of these crimes)
Thanking them for caring and taking the time to sponsor this bill
Hoping that it will be passed.
Here is a link to the text of the bill for you to read
Here are the names or the people we need to contact, and links to their sites with their contact info
Could you help me by not only contacting these people and telling them how much we need laws like this to protect people from scams and fraud, but also share this information with ANYONE that you know that might also be willing to contact the above people . . . share it on blogs, message boards, Facebook, Twitter . . . anywhere you can!
Thanks!

MN AARP Event

Your Family’s Money Matters: Make the Most of Your Finances In Tough Economic Times

Saturday, March 26, 2011
8:30 – 11:30 A.M.
The Wilder Center
451 Lexington Parkway North, Saint Paul
Choose from workshops about:
  • Financing a small business
  • Planning for Retirement
  • Getting the most from your tax return
  • Creating healthy financial habits
  • Preventing home foreclosure
  • Understanding your credit report
Space is limited! To register, send an e-mail to rsvp@franken.senate.gov or call (651) 221-1016. Please indicate which two workshops you would like to attend.
Workshops will be presented by partnering organizations:
AARP, AccountAbility Minnesota, Lutheran Social Service, The Minnesota Home Ownership Center, U.S. Small Business Administration, WomenVenture.
Senator Franken will give opening remarks.

Below is the link to the flyer for this event.
http://www.accountabilitymn.org/sites/default/files/Sen_Franken_FTC_Event.pdf