Identity TheftWritten by Bob Osgoodby
Basically, there are two forms of "identity theft". The first, and most common is someone co-opts your credit card information. This can be done in a number of ways, and while there is some trepidation about giving out this information online, if it is on a "secure" site, there is little chance of it happening there. More commonly, it is a lost or stolen credit card, or careless handling by an employee of a company where you used credit card to make a purchase. Always be sure you get carbon paper if they use a machine to imprint information from your card.
If you do get an incorrect charge from a vendor that you did business with, this is not identity theft. This is usually a mistake, and usually, can be easily corrected directly with vendor. If vendor does not cooperate, file a "disputed charge" form with credit card company
The second, and more insidious form of identity theft, is when someone assumes your identity, and opens up credit card accounts, or cell phone accounts in your name. They can also use your social security number when applying for a job (a favorite trick of illegal aliens), or your drivers license to get a duplicate copy.
Communications tools available on Internet are allowing criminals to engage in new schemes and strategies, and identity theft can be carried out easily over Internet.
All scam artists need do, is pay a fee to an information broker to get an individual's Social Security number. Online databases also contain address information, while an individual's mother's maiden name can be found in obituaries or other public documents. Typically, they also have bills sent to a different address so you won't even get bills and be alerted.
Recently, two Memphis men used Internet to engineer an identity-theft scam that allowed them to use credit cards of half a dozen top business executives. They ordered more than $700,000 worth of expensive watches and jewelry. The people who had their identity stolen, didn't find out about it until after they had credit problems.
Just Over BrokeWritten by Bob Osgoodby
You probably get hundreds of emails a week promising great riches. "Financial Freedom", "Earn Money While You Sleep", "Be Your Own Boss", "Create Your Own Destiny", "Escape Your Dead End Job", "Be Able to Watch Your Kids Grow Up While Making Money", "Work at Home", are all common headlines. Are these statements true?
First, let's have a reality check. Today over 90 percent of start-up businesses on Internet fail within first year. The majority of these fail in a few short months. Why?
The answer to this is simplistic. Many people are conned into a program that cannot succeed without selling same program to other people. This is a typical example of a pyramid, and when you run out of suckers to sell program to, you are out of business.
Others jump into a program without finding out particulars first. Envelope stuffing is a perfect example. You are promised one dollar for every envelope you stuff. With visions of "sugar plums dancing in your head", you figure you could do hundreds a day. Let's face it - machines can stuff thousands an hour. Why would someone pay you a dollar apiece? They won't - it's a con - pure and simple.
Some might stumble on a legitimate venture - yes there are some out there. But they followed "Earn Money While You Sleep" routine. They believe if they follow some simple directions, they will be "rolling in dough" without having to do any work. When postman isn't filling their mailbox with $20 bills, they lose heart and quit.
Others might buy some "obsolete government reports" on a CD and believe "rap" that they can sell each one for $15 a pop. They get a free email account, a free web site, and are in business with just cost of CD. That business might last a week.
The ones I get a kick out of are where they "front load" you with merchandise. You could have thousands invested before you realize you have been taken. Most of people trying to sell this deal, are only trying to recover money someone else conned them out of, and hope you will be gullible enough to let them fleece your pockets. Anybody want to buy a "water filter"? I know someone with a garage full.