Guest Blog and Scam Warning

Today I am sharing a blog post written by my good friend Denise Richardson

If you are looking for work-at-home opportunities –you may have already come across this deceptive marketing website dressed up as an investigative news site. A number of scam websites try to make themselves look legitimate through the use of bogus claims and website scripts that detect where visitors are browsing from and update portions of the site to mention their towns or cities.

Unfortunately, some websites try to take things one step further and attempt to pass themselves off as sources of legitimate news in hopes of tricking those who are looking for legitimate opportunities. It appears that The Consumer Warnings Weekly site at ConsumerWarningsReport.com does exactly this; it masquerades as a consumer website that purports to separate the scams from real opportunities, all the while being disguised as an investigative news organization.

The Consumer Warnings Weekly site features information about fake consumer investigations which claim to reveal a work-at-home program that isn’t a scam, and further claims that the one the site promotes has worked for people in the visitor’s hometown. Included are pictures of checks and a variety of comments which are most likely fake, along with “endorsements” from major news organizations such as CNN and MSNBC which are either taken out of context or are completely fake. Pictures on the site are stock photos, taken from free photo libraries and other websites to try and give the site the look of a more professional operation. Even the advertisements on the page are fake, directing users to other portions of the scam site when they think that they’re clicking on an ad to learn how to avoid online scams. To top it all off, the site even features a Facebook “Like” button so that unsuspecting visitors can share the scam with their friends and potentially draw in more victims.

Of course, if you scroll all the way down to the bottom of the website then all of this is revealed to you in fine print. An “Important Consumer Disclosure” is located at the bottom of the page where many websites print their copyright information, obviously with the hope that it will be ignored by a number of visitors who routinely ignore similar text on other sites. This disclosure reveals that the site is in no way affiliated with any news outlet and that the story presented is only loosely based on an actual story. It goes on to reveal that both the comments and pictures are bogus and that the page receives compensation for any ad clicks or purchases made while on the site. To quote the disclosure, “I understand this website is only illustrative of what might be achievable from using this/these products, and that the story depicted above is not to be taken literally.”

A number of websites and products use fictionalized accounts of what their product may be like to avoid having to pay endorsement fees, but few of them attempt to pass themselves off as consumer news reviews. The way that the site presents itself is intended to trick users into thinking that they’ve stumbled upon a legitimate opportunity when the disclosure itself states that results like those presented on the site may only occur with the top 1% of users of the program.

A number of savvy opportunity seekers will see through the site almost immediately because they’ve seen similar scams and know to avoid them. Unfortunately, not everyone who’s searching for a way to make money at home will be as experienced in avoiding work-at-home scams. These are the people that the Consumer Warnings Weekly website is aimed at, those who will see supposed endorsements from major news networks and assume that the site is a legitimate opportunity instead of being nothing more than a scam.

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Denise is the author of the book Give Me Back My Credit

 

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RFID ~ protect your data

I have the pleasure of calling fellow scam fighter Denise Richardson my friend, and she introduced me to a product that can help protect everyone, and I had to share it with you.

First off, do you know what a Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tag is?  A RFID tag holds your name, credit card number and anything else that your bank or credit card company decides to embed on it.

Now this is where I say “Why don’t these people use their minds for good instead of evil” . . . I say this because there are also Radio Frequency Readers and Remote Frequency Readers that allow you to read, or skim, the information off of someone else’s RFID tags without ever touching the card that those tags are embedded on!  Yes, someone actually went out and created a hand held device that you can use to collect the credit card information of other people . . . people sitting next to you on the bus, or walking down the street.

So, how do the REST of us protect ourselves from those that are using their minds for evil instead of good, or those that have purchased the products that these evil thinkers have created?  There are companies like Kena Kai and Magellan’s that have wallets that actually block RFID reading products.  See . . . now THAT is someone using their minds for GOOD and not evil!

How did I find out about these wallets?  From Denise Richardson of GiveMeBackMyCredit.com If you would like to read what Denise has to say about these products you can read her blog on the topic.

NOVA Conference – summary

I found a video the other day that shows a summary of the NOVA Conference that I attended in August. It was a wonderful event, and I want to thank NOVA for putting this on.

http://www.youtube.com/v/8wVOkGYYA4M&rel=0&hl=en_US&feature=player_embedded&version=3

The little guy

If you know me, you know I am all for the little guy being able to stand up and tell big corporations “That’s not right!”  I get very frustrated when I see companies doing things that are morally wrong, and only doing them because they know they have so many lawyers that the little guy will not be able to afford to fight them in court for with is right.

My good friend Denise Richardson recently wrote this article about the fact that the Supreme Court with be making a ruling in November that could change class-action lawsuits.  Here is a portion of her article . . .

Sometimes a class-action lawsuit is the only way to force a corporation to assume its corporate responsibility. Access to the justice system and a fair shake under the law are the little guys’ safety nets. Without the threat of a lawsuit, corporations can engage in negligence or recklessness, and the consumer will have little to say in his own defense. Which is why AT&T Mobility v. Concepcion, the case coming up in the Supreme Court this November, has got my attention and should have yours.

In this case, the Court will decide whether the Federal Arbitration Act preempts state-law rulings that class-action bans are unconscionable. They will decide “whether corporations can ban class actions in the fine print of their contracts with consumers and employees.

There is a petition you can sign letting them know that you are against forced arbitration and feel the consumer should continue to have the right to class-action lawsuits at http://www.fairarbitrationnow.org/

NOVA – National Organization for Victims Assistance

I wanted to thank NOVA for the wonderful conference that they put on in Salt Lake City, Utah August 22nd through August 25th, and for having me as a presentor for one of the workshops.  My co-presentor was Denise Richardson of GiveMeBackMyCredit.com

Not only did Denise and I get the chance to share our personal stories of how we went from victim to Victims Advocate, we attended several other presentations and were able to meet some amazing people, and I will be sharing that information with you in the upcoming days.

Old-School Scams We Still Fall For

Why do people still fall for the same old scams?  This article touches on that topic.
Old-School Scams We Still Fall For | Credit/Debt | Money/Investing | Mainstreet

Here is the thing, the scams are “the same old thing” to those of us who KNOW about them . . . to everyone else they are new and that is part of the reason that people believe the stories that they hear.  Why do scammers re-use the same old scams?  The same reason that some television channels play re-runs of old television shows . . . there is someone out there that has not seen/heard it before, so it is new to them . . . and THOSE are the people that they can suck into their scam.

Elizabeth Warren: A must appointment to offset what passes for “truth” in banking

Harvard Law professor and bailout watchdog Elizabeth Warren has shown her willingness to crack down on Wall Street’s predatory practices and advocate on behalf of consumers.
Sign the petition at http://www.citizen.org/warren-for-cfpb to show your support for consumer champion Elizabeth Warren to head the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

Also, read the article by my good friend Denise Richardson
Elizabeth Warren: A must appointment to offset what passes for “truth” in banking