GPS Tracking Auto Theft

Where I live, auto theft is very high and it's not getting any better. With the technology of GPS available, if you own a vehicle that is a prime target for auto theft, or would feel more secure with GPS I would encourage you to research GPS for your automobile.

In the long run the cost of installing and operating a GPS system in your car could be offset by potentially reducing your auto insurance costs. In addition to peace of mind and potentially lower insurance costs, GPS would also help law enforcement catch yet another car thief.

With drug abuse on the rise, auto theft will always be a problem. On one television program I watched a year ago, a Police officer stated that every car thief busted was a result of drug abuse. So, GPS installed in your vehicle could also potentially help reduce drug abuse and drug dealing if a busted car thief is driven by drugs.

GPS Insight is one resource you may wish to look into if you're considering GPS for your vehicle. Their GPS system also provides you with direct engine diagnostics such as fault codes, speed, fuel consumption, odometer readings, idle time, and more, so you get a powerful product providing you with multipurpose use! In comparison to other GPS products and services, their program is the only one that provides you with engine diagnostics, plus the diagnostics are provided every two minutes!

Coupled with the power of Google to provide tracking for the GPS system, you could have a state-of-the-art system for your vehicle. Taking a look at GPS Insight, you can demo their product on their site before you buy, to research their GPS system.



With their program, you can also keep up to date with their latest developments from their GPS Insight blog, plus you can refer to their customer support program. GPS Insight is both a hardware and web software-based vehicle tracking product, which is the technical leader in the GPS tracking field and used by many commercial companies as well as individuals.

It's interesting to view the GPS maps and how the maps work in tandem with the hardware to track your vehicle and data. If you're concerned about potential theft of your vehicle, GPS Insight just might give you some insight on how to gain peace of mind from their program. Their mapping pages alone make it quite interesting to research their GPS system.

Tricked by Fake Checks

Some scams never die, so it's always good to see Internet sites and advertisements creating awareness for helping people avoid scams. I don't watch much television, but the other day I saw an advertisement from FakeChecks.org that I was glad to see.

On the advertisement they showed a young lady boarding a public bus. She sits next to a man who tells her she has won the lottery in Afghanistan. All she would have to do is cash the check he provides her and then return a fee to him from the proceeds.

It's an old scam now, but there are still plenty of people who are desperate enough to fall for it, so the ad was good to see. There's some great information and videos to learn from on FakeChecks.org, which will increase your scam awareness, so I encourage you to check out their website. We also have an article here about some precautions you can take when writing checks to protect yourself.

PayPerPost PPP Posties

EDIT TO THIS POST: MY DECISION FOR NOW IS TO NO LONGER POST FOR PAYPERPOST (or other advertisers with a similar program). AS ONE OF THEIR "POSTIES", IT KILLED MY BLOG PAGE RANK, AS WELL AS THE PAGE RANK OF THOUSANDS OF OTHER BLOGS WHO POSTED FOR THEM! MY PR 3 ON THIS BLOG AND PR 3 ON ANOTHER BLOG I OWN, FELL TO A ZERO AS A RESULT. THIS WAS DUE TO THE ADVERTISING PROGRAM CAUSING ME (and thousands of other bloggers) TO VIOLATE GOOGLE'S WEBMASTER POLICIES! LIKE THOUSANDS OF OTHER BLOGGERS, I WAS NOT AWARE OF IT BEING A VIOLATION TO GOOGLE. GOOGLE REFERRED TO IT AS "PASSING PAGERANK" WITH PAID LINKS. NOT SURE WHO IS RIGHT - GOOGLE, OR THE COMPANIES LIKE PAYPERPOST, AS THAT IS YET TO BE DETERMINED. A HARD LESSON LEARNED BY MANY OF US BLOGGERS THOUGH BY LOSING OUR PAGE RANKS WE WORKED SO HARD TO OBTAIN! :-(

Are you a PayPerPost or PPP Postie? I guess you could say I'm still a fairly new Postie for them in that I've been publishing for their service now for only a little over a year. I found out about their service from a work at home forum, and got hooked the first week I started.

If you're wanting to make money from your blogs, their service is at the top of every blogger who is monetizing their blogs -- at least in my opinion! My earnings are considered to be low compared to what many bloggers are raking in from their publishing efforts, but I could easily increase my earning potential by creating more blogs. I try to stay on topic for my blogs as much as possible, so there really are quite a few offers I don't take but could if I added more blogs.

I have a new domain name reserved just waiting for me to take the time to start the new blog, and each day that goes by I kick myself for not getting the task done so I could be earning more with PayPerPost.

PayPerPost is currently one of several companies I publish for, but I like the dashboard features and layout of PPP the best. For my work at home adventures, PPP is what brings in the most dough for me, and it's a fun way to earn some extra money. In that I've got quite a bit of medical expenses coming up, the earnings will help to offset those expenses. As you have guessed, this post is just one of several blog ads I've done for them today!

Thanks PayPerPost! I'm proud to be a postie for your service! (EDIT: WELL AT LEAST I WAS UNTIL YOUR PROGRAM KILLED MY BLOG PAGE RANK!)

Back to School Safety Tip

Once again it's that time of year when the kids are all back in school! Protecting your children from danger is of course a year-round task, but when it's back to school time there are some additional things to think about.

It always amazes me when I see a child with their name printed on their backpack or other garment, which is not a very good idea. If a stranger can approach your child by using their name, it increases the potential that they may gain your child's trust simply by approaching your child using their name.

For your teenagers who are driving that brings up other issues and concerns as they begin to drive themselves during the back to school season. Be sure to speak to them about the importance of providing plenty of time to commute in the morning so they are not in a hurry, which increases their likelihood of getting into an accident.

With your younger children, please make sure you don't have their name printed on something that a potential child predator can use as a tool to gain their trust. Here's a back to school child safety tip in regards to that.

Top Ten Worst Spam ISPs

Are you needing to change your Internet provider? Before you make the change or start with an Internet service provider you may want to take a look at the top ten worst spam Internet service providers before you make your decision.

You may be surprised to see who is on the top ten list of the worst Internet providers when it comes to tolerating spam. The less phishing emails one receives obviously the better!

Although you may have anti-virus software on your computer, the less spam you receive the less likely you will have your computer compromised by potentially malicious programs.

So, before you make your decision in regards to who you will choose for your Internet provider, check first to see if they are on the top ten list of the worst spam Internet provider services. Taking a few moments to check the top ten list could save you many hours of headaches in the future!

Vacation Rental Budget Strategy

The larger a family gets the more difficult it can be to get away for a vacation, and to stay within the budget. Sometimes a vacation budget can be met if a shorter trip is planned. In my book it's better to at least get away for a short trip then not at all. Here's one of my own budgeting tips for travel that might help you stay within your budget for a short trip.

Vacation rentals are great and one of our favorite ways to get away in addition to bed and breakfast inns. As with everything else these days vacation rentals can be quite expensive and especially if it's in a popular vacation spot, which most of course are! With realestate prices it's always location, location, location that drives the prices up whether you're buying or in this case, renting. So, how can you cut the cost down for a vacation rental? It's actually quite easy, and this trick has worked for my husband and I multiple times. In fact we just applied this trick again this summer!

When you locate the vacation rental of your dreams, take a look at the availability calendar for the specific rental, and consider the rates and how it will fit into your budget. While investigating the rates you will see where it states if the rental has a specific minimum rental period, or minimum number of nights to rent it. Many of them specify at least a two night stay, but what if you can't afford that rental for two nights? The answer to that one is easy! Look closely at their calendar and look for the vacant one-nighters that were not booked up between!

For example, several years ago we rented a luxury condominium on the coast of Oregon at Depoe Bay for one night. Normally they had a two night minimum, but I found one stray night that was available. As it was then, they normally are more than happy to fill one stray night to keep the rental booked each day of the month. It was a win win for them and for us! It worked out great for us because two nights at that place would have been too expensive for our budget, but one night was workable.

Now in that particular case we did have it within our budget to rent a second place, but it would have required that it be less expensive. We lucked out with locating yet another stray one-night for a second vacation rental within half a mile of the first! There again they were more than happy to book up the one stray night.

In July we utilized that same strategy. We were able to book a vacation rental beach cabin within our budget by locating a stray night they had not been filled. Again their requirement was normally for a two night minimum, but in that they had the one stray night it was good for them, and good for us!

One last point in regards to using that technique. If you want to rent a specific place, but are not quite sure if you will like the rental, locating a stray night on their availability calendar gives you an opportunity to test drive the place for just one night without committing to two or more!

The basic rule of thumb here applies if they have a stray night available, so be sure to ask about renting the vacation destination of your dreams for less than their normal minimum. Most likely they'll be more than happy to rent it out to you, but they'll also perhaps want you to keep that strategy a secret!

That my friends is also why I'm not revealing where those vacation rentals are that have made exceptions to the rule - lol. If I did that then those stray nights on their calendars might not be available any longer, if I had to compete with all of the rest of you on the blogosphere to rent it - lol!

The last point to keep in mind is the closer you are to the date you need a rental, the more likely you'll be able to apply that strategy. So, if you are planning your vacation a year ahead you may not find as many possible stray one-nighters to rent. It is of course not as fun to stay anywhere for only one night, but if it's your only opportunity to get away, it's better than not getting a vacation at all!

© August 2007 Author: Tammara Nelson
Copying, Publishing, or Re-Creating Article is Prohibited and a Violation of Copyright Laws

Losing Your Memory and Mind

Everyday, millions are affected by debilitating disease. For some it comes in the form of losing their mobility, but for those burdened with Alzheimer's disease they can also lose their memory and mental capacity.

Slowly the victim of Alzheimer's is gripped with the disease and may not even realize what's occurring until their family or friends notice there is something amiss. Familiar faces, names and places become a thing of the past, and an unreachable memory within the brain. Sadly, the condition deteriorates the well-being of the individual, and some victims of Alzheimer's must be locked up within a facility to protect them from wandering off and being lost.

For several years I worked for a funeral home with families and spouses to help them plan the final arrangements for their loved ones. Some days it was quite difficult to deal with the emotional toll Alzheimer's leaves the victim and their families to deal with. It was a very common illness many of my clients loved ones were faced with.

Emotionally it is very difficult for the family members and friends involved because they begin to grieve the loss of their loved one, sometime many years before they actually pass. This is due to the loss of their mental capacity and freedom. Mentally their gone before their body has given up.

One woman I worked with was the sole care-giver for her husband suffering from Alzheimer's. She was experiencing such guilt due to the fact that she finally had to place her husband in a facility to keep him confined. Otherwise he would get up in the middle of the night and collapse on the floor, or if he made it far enough he would wander outside. She had no other choice but to institutionalize him.

For many years there was not much information or understanding about the disease, but now more programs are available to address the illness and to provide support to the families. Memory Walk is an organization which provides fund raising for Alzheimer's. If you have a loved one affected by Alzheimer's, then this is for you!

The Alzheimer's Association Memory Walk is the nation's largest event to raise awareness and funds for Alzheimer care, support and research. Memory Walk holds annual walks in communities across the US, and since 1989 they have raised over $225 million. The event needs volunteers of all ages, to help fight against the debilitating disease.

Memory Walk needs team captains immediately! Each Team Captain needs to sign up early to assist in recruiting a team and with raising funds for the national cause. For my area, there's a Memory Walk being held September 9, 2007 at Sand Point Magnuson Park, Seattle. Here's a link to locate the Memory Walk in your area and to sign up as a team Captain.

Fair Tax Reform to Eliminate the IRS

Would you like to be the center of attention in a room full of people? Simple to do really. All you need to do is bring up the topic of taxes, and you will get everyones emotions stirred.

Tax reform has been a topic for sometime, but there really is something we all can do about it. Speak your mind, and sign the petition for fair tax reform! Yes, I'm an optimist, so those of you who are pessimists may be figuring that they will just come up with another type of tax or increase other taxes to make up for it. Perhaps you are correct, but does any of this intrigue you?

Fair tax reform will do the following (but this list is not all inclusive):

Stops the export of American jobs!

Capital Gains Tax - GONE!

Every American can keep their entire paycheck!

All federal income taxes — GONE!

All existing and future savings and investments would be tax free!

Those are not the only reasons, and it's well worth the time to simply sign a petition and let your voice be heard at Fairtax.org.

Monster.com Records Hacked

Like many others, in the past I've searched various job market websites for employment positions. What I've never done though was enter my resume online unless it was directly to a prospective employer, and only after I thoroughly did my homework to determine the safety by doing so and the legitimacy of the prospective employer.

If you're serious about obtaining employment my viewpoint is that most employers are not going to come looking for you, as they anticipate that you will be looking for them. Too many people become a target to illegal activity and bogus opportunities by placing their resumes on job boards such as Monster.com.

Now for the real monster! A trojan horse cracked into their website, and accessed millions of records from individuals who had uploaded their resumes online! I have to also wonder how many of the individuals who had their records stolen also had provided their social security numbers.

Online data is being compromised every day, and I encourage you to supply as few sites as possible with your information, and when you do be sure to provide as little information as possible. Do your homework prior to submitting any data to an entity, and especially if it means providing your social security number and birth date.

Treatment for Your Teen

If a teenager were in the need to heal from drug or substance abuse a teen rehab location near the ocean may be just what the doctor ordered. With a holistic approach, Echo Malibu provides a Teen Rehab service in a beautiful setting.

Echo Malibu also provides services for alcohol addiction, mental health, and behavioral health issues as well. Located between the ocean and the mountains, it may provide a peaceful setting for your teen to rediscover who they really are meant to be; healthy, and without the need of drugs or alcohol. Help them rediscover themselves.

Stupid Dumb Criminal Fooled by the Exit

Human nature teaches us that when we are under stress we often don't make the best decisions. This stupid dumb criminal proved he wasn't able to think very fast on his feet.

With his own stress as his only partner, this bank robber didn't know how to react to what was about to occur, plus he lost his common sense for even knowing how to exit the building. Hmm, dude -- you might want to learn how a door works before you try something so crazy!

Medical ID Bracelets to Protect Your Health

If you were in an accident or a victim of a crime, or seriously ill you may be unable to provide important details about your medical history. You may also not have a loved one arrive at the hospital soon enough to assist the medical team with your medical history, so you would need a way to have that accomplished for you.

Medical Alert ID bracelets and jewelry is a source to provide you with protection if you are faced with the inability to communicate vital medical information to doctors. It's an inexpensive way to possibly save your life!

Debt and Living Within Your Means

As you know, debt just doesn't go away over night. It takes a long time to dramatically reduce debt if there is limited resources to pay it down quickly. We live in a push-button society where we want instant gratification, which easily leads to accumulating too much debt. Limited resources, and living beyond the available resources is the main reason why many end up over their head.

Debt has become a rising concern in our country and I don't believe many people take the potential consequences of debt seriously enough. Many Americans are working additional jobs beyond their full time positions to reduce their debt. Will the vicious cycle of acquiring more debt ever stop?

One way to not acquire too much debt is to never take on more than what one income within your household can handle, that is if you are living on two incomes. That way if things get out of hand the other spouse can take on work to eliminate the debt. That of course is not always possible so be cautious, and if you're single it obviously is not a strategy that you can apply.

The other downside to debt accumulation is that the more we borrow, the less we are able to acquire loans or credit at sensible rates. Many people are also using much of their equity to rid themselves of short-term debt, which destroys the potential nest egg we can accumulate from equity in our homes. Debt consolidation is therefore not always the best solution.

The worst case scenario for using ones home equity is taking on a larger mortgage than one can handle and finding themselves in a position facing foreclosure. The realestate market is now demonstrating the results from that occurring due to people who took on low rate mortgages, which were adjustable rate mortgages. Now that rates are going higher they find themselves with a mortgage too high to handle.

Take charge of your debt by charging less to begin with and set a goal to work your way out of it. By living within your means you may not have the most toys, but you'll sleep better at night then your neighbor who may be financially strapped. If you're serious about reducing your debts, start with some tips for reducing your debts.

Rehabilitation for Teens

There is a great deal of negative influence over our youth today from the media. It's unfortunate that many of the people that our youth look up to are addicted to drugs or alcohol and therefore serve as terrible examples.

All throughout our nation adolescence is lost in a sea of drugs, alcohol and substance abuse. The need for adolescent drug rehab is probably going to be on the increase as teens become deceived by high-profile figures luring them into a lifestyle of drugs.

If you live in or near Southern California, and need to seek a teen drug rehab center, I encourage you to not waste time. Teensavers provides a 12 step inpatient program with proven long-term success. The sooner you get your teen help, the better.

Just this week my husband and I met with a friend who is now in his fifties and he's a recovering heroin addict. Unfortunately for him the addiction began after being on prescription pain killers for a health problem, and as they say, "one thing leads to another". He now suffers from chronic hepatitis C and his future is not too bright.

It seems that when we're teens we of course think we will live forever and we are in denial about the possibility of having our lives destroyed by drug or alcohol abuse. We've seen our friend go from being a productive individual in our society to a homeless person out on the streets after losing his home, marriage, lively-hood and everything he had worked for up to that point.

Drug abuse is an ugly existence and I pray that if your teen is involved in drug or alcohol abuse that you can get them into a program for recovery! If you do not know how to approach them and fear you may scare them away, you may also want to seek professional intervention. Professional intervention counselors may be able to communicate a message to your teenager that you may not be able to. Ignoring their problem won't bring a resolution, but assistance will. Even if they don't want help, with intervention you can get them into a facility and healed.

Identity Theft Thieves Locked Out

It's time once again to lock out the potential identity theft thieves! You may have put many strategies in place to eliminate or reduce your risk of becoming a victim of identity theft. Have you locked the thieves out from obtaining your mail?

Mailboxes are no longer considered to be sacred territory, as identity theft thieves have no respect for the law, so it may be time to consider shopping the various styles of locking mailboxes. You may also wish to consider locking inserts for a high quality line of residential mailboxes.

Prior to installing a locking mailbox you will want to check with your local postal office to ensure they will deliver mail to your locking mailbox. If your postal service doesn't provide locked neighborhood boxes, and will not approve of delivering mail to a locked box, then your other option would be to utilize a post office box. Of course, that comes with an annual expense to do so, but if it's the only means to ensuring your mail will be locked up it's worth the added security and peace of mind.

For your business you will also want to consider the locking high quality commercial mailboxes unless your postal service provides you with direct service to your door. If your business deals with securing sensitive customer data, utilizing secure locking mailboxes will also help to reduce your business liability.

Having your mail locked up is a good added security measure against identity theft, and the added cost of keeping the mail locked up is a small price to pay compared to the much higher price you would have to pay to gain your credit back if your identity is stolen. Locking out the identity theft thieves is a good thing!

Eliminate Spam

Just when you thought you've seen it all, think again! Here's a new way you can do away with spam! You won't need any spam blockers, filters or spam destroyers because this technique will destroy all of the spam for you - lol.

Normally, spam is not something to laugh about because it can often mean your computer can get hit with malicious codes. Sometimes though we just need to find some good humor in a bad thing. Be sure to leave it up to the professionals and don't try this one at home! You'll see what I mean! Have fun as you check out this new way to eliminate spam!

Theft Prevention. Shed Some Light on It

If there's one thing a smart thief or burglar doesn't like, it's a well lit area. On the other hand now that I said "smart thief" that's really an oxymoron. Perhaps it would be better to say that most thieves prefer to break into a home or business with a dark or dimly lit entrance or window.

Several years ago my husband installed an outdoor Victorian lamp post next to our driveway on the side of our house. I don't have a photo of it, but the top of it is similar to this Maxim lighting fixture. At first when we installed it we did it with the intention to make it easier for guests to see when they exit or enter their car from our driveway. We really had not thought about the light as an added security measure, but it really added extra peace of mind as it lights up the entire side of our home and cars. The light is also wired to a motion sensor nearby so it really serves as an added theft prevention measure while adding convenience.

Outdoor lighting really is important to help protect your property from vandalism, thieves and burglars and especially if the lights are hooked up to a motion sensor. At night, now if we hear a noise from that side of our home we can easily peek through our window to see if anyone has tripped the motion sensor to the light post.

Outdoor lights are available in a variety of styles including pier mount lanterns, post mount lanterns like the one we installed, flood lights, deck lights, landscape lighting and many other styles. An outdoor flood light like these sea gull lighting flood light styles are available for a very inexpensive price. Although a flood light is not very decorative, it surely will chase a would-be thief away!

Increased lighting just might serve as an added theft prevention measure for your home or business, and if installed with a motion sensor it will even shed some greater light on your theft prevention efforts.

Insurance, the Probability and Need for It

Some people feel that the likely-hood or probability of a potential disaster is good reason to NOT insure their house or car. Of course the probability of a car accident for most is far more likely to occur than submitting a claim for your homeowners insurance. As for me and my house we would much rather be protected against a disaster or a car accident then to be without coverage.

This video commercial has three humorous events demonstrating some reasons for the need of insurance, and the probability to consider. Be sure to watch the entire video to get a good laugh for the day! Have fun!



This post was inspired by a Link & Blog Challenge!

Lost and Found Dancing Shoes Got Away

When does something officially become what is known as "lost and found"? Can one really be sure that what they found was actually something lost? Or, as in this case was the item really lost or did it grow feet on it's own?

I just have to wonder -- Did this pair of dancing shoes suddenly dance off into the sunset and dance from 8th and Lawrence on over to 6th and Union? The dancing shoes must have escaped the drawstring bag and the owner was perhaps unable to chase the dancing shoes down so they got away! Lol!

I've saved the owner potential embarrassment by crossing out their name and phone number.

Incidentally, their phone number did not include the area code so perhaps the owner of the lost dancing shoes is also lost?

Job Hunt

You may have received this in an email. If not, you will find this example of a job hunt worth thinking about:
Job Hunt:

Joe Smith started the day early having set his alarm clock (MADE IN JAPAN) for 6am. While his coffeepot (MADE IN CHINA) was perking, he shaved with his electric razor (MADE IN HONG KONG). He put on a dress shirt (MADE IN SRI LANKA), designer jeans (MADE IN SINGAPORE) and tennis shoes (MADE IN KOREA).

After cooking his breakfast in his new electric skillet (MADE IN INDIA) he sat down with his calculator (MADE IN MEXICO) to see how much he could spend today. After setting his watch (MADE IN TAIWAN) to the radio (MADE IN INDIA), he got in his car (MADE IN GERMANY) filled it with GAS (from SAUDI ARABIA) and continued his search for a good paying AMERICAN Job.

At the end of yet another discouraging and fruitless day checking his Computer (Made In MALAYSIA), Joe decided to relax for a while. He put on his sandals (MADE IN BRAZIL) poured himself a glass of wine (MADE IN FRANCE) and turned on his TV (MADE IN INDONESIA), and then wondered why he can't find a good paying job in AMERICA.


And his family wonders why he's still unemployed?

Saving Money an Easy Way

Saving money doesn't come easy for most people. I think one problem some are faced with is believing how much a little bit of money saved can add up. This is especially true if you have the time value of money on your side, which simply means you're young enough to have even small amounts of cash add up for you if it's invested wisely.

Every person has to find what works for them when it comes to putting away their hard cold cash. One way to stay focused on putting away even small amounts of money is to focus on a financial goal. Perhaps you want to focus on waterfront property as a long term goal, or maybe it's a vacation for a short term goal. Whatever your focus is, having a specific goal can help you to stay on target with saving for a rainy day.

One way to save money is to identify how much you saved by spending less! Here's one example of what I mean with how you can begin to save a large amount of money by saving just a little money every day.

This post was inspired by a Link & Blog Challenge!

Online Merchants Seller Protection

Several years ago I decided to take on the adventure of selling collectibles online through my first website. I must say it has been a learning experience, and especially for online fraud. I'm a very cautious person and have had my fair share of individuals attempting to make fraudulent purchases through my website.

Realizing I had not shared that information here I thought this may be helpful to someone who may be considering online sales of merchandise. Like most other online entrepreneurs I've also sold merchandise through ebay, but the focus of this article is in regards to online sales outside of an auction site.

Once I established my online store I secured the ability as a merchant to offer Visa and Mastercard to my customers, which I added to the option for them to use PayPal. Unfortunately the very first prospect I had attempting to make a purchase using a Mastercard was attempting to commit fraud! That was discouraging to say the least, and I'm sure the big retailers online are faced with the same challenge all the time.

In this first example, you'll learn some red flags which came up as a result of the person using a stolen credit card:

1. In the online order form the person entered an address, which was a US address, yet they selected a different country for the merchandise to be delivered, and provided a phone number from a foreign country. This red flag therefore indicated the shipping address would be different from their credit card billing address.

2. The person's email address was from Yahoo. This is not to say that every person who uses a free email service is a con artist or attempting to commit fraud, but it is something to watch for.

I then decided to send the person an email. In my email I questioned the individual in regards to where they wanted the merchandise shipped since they selected a foreign country yet entered a US address. I also informed the person that our online store policy only provided the ability to ship to US customers. That's when the additional red flags came up and I knew my suspicions of fraud were accurate. What were the additional red flags?

1. The person refused to accept the fact that we would not ship outside of the US, but instead became very demanding.

2. The individual then stated they wanted me to charge the Mastercard and then wire them the money from the charge. OK, this was an obvious red flag.

3. They went as far as providing a Mastercard number through the email! Not a good sign! Merchants normally do not even view a Visa or Mastercard number through an online purchase since it's encrypted. This individual obviously was not concerned about revealing a credit card number through email!

Those were easy red flags making it obvious the person was attempting fraud and warranted a phone call to the credit card merchant support line. That enabled me to report the persons fraud attempt, which alerted the card holders bank that their customers card had been compromised.

Moving onto this next example, you'll learn some red flags to watch for when a person is attempting to use a PayPal account that is not their own or attempting to use one fraudulently. I've had numerous experiences from individuals attempting to make a fraudulent purchase using PayPal. Here's what to watch for:

1. Only accept purchases through PayPal that offer you the PayPal Sellers Protection program. If the individual is not a verified buyer through PayPal you cannot be offered the protection as a seller, so watch this carefully.

2. Be cautious if they provide a billing or shipping address on their order form, which differs from their PayPal address shown in their PayPal account.

3. The name in the persons email address does not match the name on their PayPal account. Although in one case I had the person had the same last name, the first name was not a match. This could be an indication of someone like a son or daughter attempting to use a parents PayPal account without permission, or possibly a red flag for fraudulent use.

In summary, a merchant simply needs to have all their ducks in a row with what they must watch for. Never be so excited about a potential purchase from a prospect and attempt to process the order too quickly - that's when you'll overlook the red flags!

Take the time you need as the merchant to ensure you will only be shipping your merchandise once you have completely ruled out online fraud. Don't hesitate to contact PayPal or the merchant credit card service you use if you suspect fraud! You may be the first merchant to help save someone from having their credit card or PayPal account compromised further.

Identity Theft Prevention Tip

Identity theft can occur at any moment and any of us can become a victim. There are some precautions you can take for identity theft prevention, and they are easy to do in comparison to the problems you'll experience if you become a victim of identity theft.

One way to prevent identity theft is to establish specific routines that you know will provide you with a safe defense against the crime. As an example, there are precautions that I always take when I go to refuel my car. I was happy to find this video because it demonstrates the same identity theft precautions I exercise each time I go to refuel my car. Sometimes I feel my precautions are over-zealous, but after watching an actual crime on this video it confirms I've been exercising a good line of defense against identity theft.

In less than five minutes, this video will increase your awareness for an effective identity theft prevention tactic that could save you big dollars, and a significant amount of grief. It's well worth a few minutes of your time.

Humorous Pet Food Blooper

Years ago in the 1970's one of my sisters gave me a little Peanuts Cook Book. The other day I recalled one of the recipe's in the Peanuts Cook Book, and how funny it struck me, as it seems to be a word blooper!

We've all seen or read bloopers and have experienced a good laugh from them. I consider this to be a blooper in regards to the bad choice of words used in the recipe, but, maybe it's just me. The recipe is for "Snoopy's Steak Tarter", which is a dog food recipe.

Let's take a closer look below at the main ingredient for the recipe. Then ask yourself, "Whose pet was it?
Should we be concerned?
Perhaps the author of the cookbook had economics in mind to create a low-cost pet food by using resources from their neighborhood? Just to play it safe, beware of any of your neighbors that may have this recipe. They may be looking for pet meat! Be sure to keep Fido locked up.

Telecommuting and Casual Friday

Although it isn't Friday, I read an interesting article about casual Friday, which brought some things to mind in regards to telecommuting. Although casual Friday can be fun at the work place, with telecommuting it seems every day is a casual Friday! In fact it seems many days for telecommuters is "Jammie Day", which I'm not too fond of. It gets boring enough as it is wearing just casual clothes every day, let alone pajamas.

If you telecommute I think it's important to still look your best to feel your best. For me, staying in my jammies all day makes me feel frumpy and just all around bummed out. Whenever I telecommute in my pajamas, I can attest that I don't feel my best. I guess the reason it's like that for me is because when I grew up staying in your pajamas all day meant you weren't feeling well or we were home from school due to illness. Perhaps there's an unhealthy psychological message for some of us from wearing pajamas as we telecommute?

When I speak to someone over the phone I also feel odd wearing my pajamas. Call me odd if you wish, but even though the person I speak to can't see me, I still feel strange.

One other thought I wanted to share is for those of you who have a tendency toward depression. I find that if I dress as I would if I worked elsewhere, than overall I feel much better about myself, and the day in general, but if I remain in my pajamas until late in the day I feel odd. At the very least dressing as I would for casual Friday I feel much more optimistic about my day, and my life in general.

I'm not attempting to judge those of you who prefer to wear your pajamas while telecommuting, but if you are not feeling good about yourself you may want to change the habit and start your day well groomed. I know it affects me psychologically, so perhaps it does you as well. Every day can still be like a casual Friday, but you may find that it makes you feel better to groom yourself at least as good as a casual Friday at the office. If you've telecommuted in your pajamas and don't feel good about your work life, try breaking the habit and you'll perhaps be amazed at how much better you feel.

This post was inspired by a Link & Blog Challenge!

Work at Home Training Materials Scam

While reading about yet another work at home scam, I realized you may not be aware of what I refer to as the "work at home training materials scam".

How the Work at Home Training Material Scam Works

First off, understand that a legitimate employer will not request you to pay them for training materials to do their work! Many however, still fall victim to the scams that are nothing more then asking you to pay for training materials so they can walk away after you've sent the funds through PayPal.

What are the training materials that you end up with, and what do they train you to do?

For the work at home training materials scam, what the person generally ends up receiving for their training materials is information on how to then turn around and scam other people out of their money for them to do the same thing, but only this time to buy the training materials from you. The training materials is nothing more than some computer documents emailed to you.

How do you recognize the scam?

It's quite easy to recognize the work at home training materials scam. Generally one of the first indicators is the fact that they are willing to hire you without requiring any experience for the position, and they are willing to hire you without conducting an interview.

Next, the obvious then comes to light when they ask you to pay for the training materials to begin your work at home telecommuting position. Play it safe, and avoid all of the work at home training materials scams, and never send anyone money for training materials. The work at home training materials scam is one scam you can easily avoid.

Work at Home Resource

Looking for a work at home telecommuting position? If so, you've perhaps already discovered that there are many work at home scams claiming to be the "job" and opportunity for you. With the vast majority work at home offers being scams, you must do a significant amount of homework to not fall prey to a work at home scam.

Utilizing a variety of reliable sources for information is also helpful. Often those sources lead to legitimate offers available to work from home. Some of those offers may have already been pre-screened prior to the resource providing links to the opportunities. When you do find an opportunity that sounds like the one for you, and if you apply for the position you will most likely find yourself getting more support from your family if they know you did your research before applying for a work at home opportunity. A little bit of research goes a long way to avoid the work at home scams everywhere.

Doing some additional research in regards to other work at home and telecommuting tips can also lead you to some other avenues increasing your chances for succeeding at a work at home position. Who knows, you might even get lucky and land your dream career that you can work from home!

One such resource that has some great work at home articles to read is the CNN site. I didn't realize they had such a great work at home telecommuting section on their site until reading about it this evening in a forum I frequent. Good luck to you as you pursue your work at home dream career!

Budgeting for the Look for Less

Budgeting is something of a mystery to some people, but it really doesn't have to be that way. Retailers would love to convince us all that we need the newest fashion or garment, and that it needs to be a designer line -- all of which can blow a budget fast.

When I was growing up my parents were very frugal, and for good reason. Back then it was common that the father would be the one to bring in the income while the mother stayed home to raise the children. That required more creative juggling with the budget.

Being the youngest of two other sisters it was common for me to wear the hand-me-downs. In fact it was so common that by the time I became an adult it took me many years to buy anything brown to wear because it seemed most of my hand-me-downs were winter clothes in shades of brown. I got over that and eventually introduced brown into my wardrobe.

One thing I never did get over though was the fact that we often purchased our clothing in a second hand store. That budgeting technique has never left me, and if I don't shop at a second hand store first for some things I often feel guilty by not doing so. There are some exceptions though for health reasons, and one of which are shoes. I no longer purchase shoes at a second hand store.

If you're having difficultly with your budget, never underestimate the power of how much you can save by getting the same look for less when you find designer brands at a second hand store! I'm never embarrassed to share that I purchased items second hand, and in fact feel good about also helping the charities that survive off those revenues and donations.

In addition to purchasing garments second hand, I started collecting vintage costume jewelry in the mid 1980's, which has led to other vintage items thereafter. It's never too late to try a second hand store to help with the budget, or even if you are a collector. Here's another story about getting the look for less, which serves as a great reminder that a budget doesn't have to be boring!

This post was inspired by a Link & Blog Challenge!

Fairground Game Scams

With Summertime into full swing the fairgrounds are booming and raking in the money. Win or lose, fairground games are fun to play, but not for very long if you consistently lose. With each attempt to win, the only winner ends up being the merchant who suckered us into the fairground game, and on a rare occasion the player wins the prize, but often not until they've paid far more than what the so-called prize is worth.

A form of gambling, the fairground game scams are placing their bets that you can't succeed at the game to win the stuffed animal or other worthless prize, so they continue to come out ahead. Much like a casino slot machine working in the merchants favor, so is the strategy of the fairground games.

Bottle bowling is one example of fairground game scams, which only keep the ball rolling in the vendors favor. The next time you visit the fairgrounds, remember that it really isn't fair ground after all!

Work at Home Scam Statistics

Telecommuters are individuals that for whatever reason are rebelling against the rat race, and it's no surprise as family demands grow, and as traffic becomes unbearable in many geographical areas. As the Internet has become more powerful, more employers also have come to understand the benefits of hiring people to work from their homes.

In the pursuit to rebel against the rat race it is easy to fall prey to the many work at home scams throughout the Internet. If you're looking for a work at home position, you will be interested in learning this statistic. According to Rat Race Rebellion, they state;
For every 43 work at home leads researched, there is only 1 legitimate work at home opportunity!
That's an interesting statistic that every telecommuting wanna-be should know! The bottom line for avoiding work at home scams is to do your homework thoroughly. You must be willing to move forward with caution, and not allow your common sense and good judgment to be fooled by the scammers in order to determine what's a legitimate offer vs a scam.

When it comes to employment opportunities, there's always competition for the best positions. However, with a telecommuting position a person has to be prepared to not just be faced with competition, but also faced with the possibility of being a victim of a scam if the proper precautions are not taken.

If you've been led to believe that you can easily locate a telecommuting position, think again! It's obvious that one has much more research to complete, and a longer search ahead of them in order to find a legitimate work at home opportunity. If you're looking to find a work at home telecommuting position plan on investing a greater amount of time to land the perfect opportunity.

Life Insurance Policy Exclusions

Are you familiar with what your life insurance policy exclusions may be? Generally with life insurance the old saying, "You pay. You die. They pay." applies. However, with some types of coverage such as accidental death and dismemberment there are exclusions you would want to be aware of. In comparison to even inexpensive term life insurance, accidental death coverage is very cheap due to the exclusions in the accidental death contracts. Another concern is if you were to get killed by robots - lol.

With life insurance contracts in general you may also not be covered if you engage in dangerous sports or fly aircraft unless you have the proper riders or rating if death occurs from those events. Although it's not common, some contracts will not cover the death of the insured if death occurred from an act of war.

On a humorous note, you may also want to check your life insurance policy to see if you would be covered should death occur from robotic attacks! Watch this video to see an example -lol.

Happy 4th of July!




Piggybacking Credit To End

It isn't news to anyone that credit card lending has become quite a problem in every society. Many have obtained way too much debt by their over zealous use of credit cards, resulting in the inability for them to pay back the large amount of consumer debt they racked up. This contributes to the destruction of ones credit worthiness and has created the need for more people to take advantage of loopholes to boost their credit.

Back in December I wrote an article, "Should You Lend Your Good Credit?" in regards to the technique known as "piggybacking" and provided my two cents worth in regards to the loophole used by those needing to improve their credit. In my article about piggybacking I stated;
Essentially an individual who establishes good credit through the method of piggybacking has done so in a seemingly fraudulent manner. With the piggybacking credit method, it seems the mortgage industry is not only potentially defrauded by those who practice piggybacking, but also by the credit rating agencies who allow ones credit to be boosted by piggybacking strategies.
The problem I referred to above is exactly what has come to light for the lending industry, as they determined it poised a challenge for them to accurately determine ones credit worthiness if they had benefited from the piggybacking method to boost their credit scores. I also felt it was a bad opportunity for those wishing to sell their credit because it encouraged people to apply for even more credit cards to sell to piggybackers.

Now the lending industry has been enlightened to the problems it has presented them, as the volume of those utilizing the system increased due to the Internet. The opportunity for one to piggyback off another persons credit cards is coming to an end!

Overall, I feel this is a good decision for the lending industry, and allows them to return to rewarding those who truly deserve good lending rates, and not rewarding those who obtained a better score through a credit card and lending loophole. No more piggybacking credit!

This post was inspired by a Link & Blog Challenge!

Secure Your Product Data

Have you thought about writing an ebook or offering some other product on your website? There are many things to consider, but the one point you don't want to overlook is the security of your data and transferring the data to your clients in a secure manner.

If you're planning on storing sales products such as an ebook on your website to sell you may want to consider Secure Delivery Digital Download Manager. With Secure Delivery there is no bandwidth, product size, or sale limits and their service requires nothing to be installed on the users website.

Their product also offers PayPal and affiliate integration, tracking logs and notifications, plus their service is said to be easy to use, which sounds likely in that it is to take only 3 minutes to set it up. I haven't tried it because I'm not selling any type of data product online, but it sounds like an interesting service.

Although there is a monthly fee, there are no transaction fees per sale to deal with by utilizing their service, which is certainly a plus for anyone doing a large volume of sales.

Most importantly, the products are stored outside publicly accessible folders, which is certainly far more secure for your data. Their program also integrates with affiliate programs such as ClickBank. This may be something to keep in mind even if you don't currently sell data online, but may be in the future.

Research Assistant RA Scams

Those looking to find an online work at home employment opportunity are often targets of scams, which seem to come in a large variety. From the work at home scam variety pack I picked a great example to learn by, which is for a research assistant, aka an RA. To some the package at first appears legit because they have so much fluff in their document filled with lengthy verbiage.

However, looking at the research assistant or RA position closely it reveals its deception. The so-called research assistant or RA position professes to offer the ability to send you the merchandise for free in order for you to do a written review of the products, and then instructs you to sell them on Ebay or Amazon. It smells much like the re-packaging schemes going around in order to achieve money laundering or marketing of stolen goods.

Let's take a closer look at why this is a scam, and not an opportunity plus by all means it's far from being a job. Quoting from some of the information we'll take a look at the flaws and the gotcha's one-by-one to review the red flags.

They first lure the person in by promising them some great items, all of which they can then keep to sell on Ebay. But, the first red flag is they will take 30% of the profits for their "management fees". Their description of the opportunity is as follows:

You write a brief product description to go along with a small image. You keep all products we send you and sell them on Amazon or Ebay. You keep 70% of the profits. (30% of the profits paid to the company as management fees.)


Next red flag is the fact that they want you to buy a monthly program to commit to a website and of course pay some entity a monthly fee for it, which is probably tied in with their organization somehow:

The only money you have to spend as a new RA is the $7.95 per month for your (name changed) web page.


Moving onto the next red flag, in this example of their research assistant or RA program they encourage the person to select merchandise close to $500.00:

You should look for products costing between $100 - $500. Why this price range you ask? We have found through experience that this is the price range where you receive the most products to review.


As you know, a legitimate work at home opportunity or job is not going to ask you to pay them money. This is an obvious red flag:

This is what you pay us to be part of our review organization. We send you a paypal invoice once a week for your management fee on all books and products that were recently shipped to you.

You pay us a management fee of 30% on all products you receive from us and sell on Amazon or Ebay.


Their "management fee" is a red flag that they are potentially either marketing stolen merchandise, which you would be selling for them, or merchandise they purchased in order to work a money laundering ring. This has the same characteristics of the repackaging and money laundering scams where they have the participant take care of the marketing of their merchandise and take care of the handling of the funds received for the merchandise. Either way, it's a work at home scam you won't want to go near, unless you are hoping to have an FBI agent knocking on your front door.

Yet another twist to the research assistant program is the fact that they generally have a minimum production level in which they hold the participants to. The minimum production level in one research assistant or RA program I read about was 300 reviews a month. This is where the basic math of the entire equation then begins to reveal the fact that all they are attempting to do is to package a program to sell you merchandise. Then the person gets stuck being unable to market the goods on Ebay, yet the program will still bill them for the 30% management fees regardless.

Fair warning -- stay away from the research assistant or RA scams! Although this example discussed above may not be the same type of operation, it's very similar if not the same as a re-packaging money laundering scam. Last year the FBI caught up to one of those rings. From their website they stated; "This sentence is the result of an extensive investigation into a money laundering and conspiracy ring that involved stealing merchandise, re-labeling and reselling it, and then laundering the profits through various financial institutions. This criminal enterprise directly impacted business operations in states ranging from Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, Kentucky, Florida, Texas, California and New York.” Lockhart said." The entire report from the FBI website can be found at their Cincinnati site.

Avoid Work at Home Scams

Money laundering and the Nigerian scams are all over the place on the Internet and often come through spoof or spam emails. It's discouraging to me how many people do not bother to report those to the authorities when they come across them. You should consider contacting the authorities such as the Secret Service to report money laundering scams you encounter. One key role of the Secret Service is for going after money laundering fraudsters. It's very important to report money laundering in order to help eliminate that problem. One reason is due to the fact that money laundering is very destructive to any economy!

So, please report those as you are approached by those crooks or come across those scams! NEVER respond to the person by telling them that you will turn them in! By doing so they may then erase the potential tracks such as websites or emails that the authorities can use to catch them! It's best to not respond to those emails at all, and simply report them!

One helpful tip I would like you to think about is the problem with submitting your resume to a website such as Monster.com. The problem with doing so is that it opens the door to you receiving tons of offers from those attempting to find their next victim of their Nigerian scam or of money laundering. For that reason, I've never posted my resume to an online site such as Monster. Then when I do get a spoof offer from someone using their site for a scam I know right away it's spoof. That in fact was exactly what occurred today in my email. I ended up getting a spoof offer purporting to be from Monster, which it was not! The spoof email represents yet another fraudster I need to report!

You do have to be a watch dog and exercise a great deal of caution in order to not fall for many of the work at home scams that are waiting for their next victim. Hopefully you will not be the next victim!

Post topic inspired by a Link & Blog Challenge, where Blog Link Exchange is as fun as a game!

Drugs Make People Ugly

Do you like to look at the before and after photos of someone who has a makeover? They are always interesting to look at when you see how people can be transformed into a different look with just the right hair style or makeup. In this case just the opposite has occurred, and the person is far worse looking because of drugs, and specifically meth.

Need some ammunition for a friend or loved one that is starting down the path of drug addiction? As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words, and in this case it's a short video on how drugs make people ugly. If you're not familiar with what the drug meth does to people one of the effects of the drug causes the person to develop terrible sores, partly because they develop nervous habits of picking at their skin - ugh! Enough said, I'll let the video be worth more than a thousand words, and may God help those who need to be set free.

Dogs Gone Wild

As much as I love dogs there are some aggressive breeds I would never own such as a pit bull. The worst combination is when you have an aggressive breed owned by a person who has as bad of traits as the dog.

In this situation a pit bull owner was going to lose her dog since it bit two of her neighbors. Animal control arrived to remove her dog. It's quite shocking in that the owner of this dog deliberately had her dog attack an animal control officer and then denied she let her dog out. However, the video of the event proved otherwise!

Is Your Life Upside Down?

If you're feeling like your life is upside down and things just aren't going well, there is a positive thing about life being upside down for a while -- it can possibly only be temporary because the law of gravity says things should be right side up! Just take a look at this and you'll see what I mean! Suddenly you'll see that things being upside down are only temporary - lol, and soon you'll be back to normal again.

Reno 911

The games people play has always been a catchy phrase, and I'm not sure when that term came into play - lol. It seems however since the days of computers it is all the more appropriate since many have become addicted to computer games. I must confess I was a game addict years ago and I got away from it. Blogging is really what replaced the desire to play computer games!

Just for fun and a little moola I just finished playing the Reno 911 Most wanted game, and picked two of the most wanted to display here. Why did I select the Most Wanted game? Because it fits well with this blog of course! Have you seen these crooks?

Cartman is a serious threat to our society and in that you are in danger if within even 50 miles of him please report him to the authorities if you see him, and don't try anything stupid like taking the law into your own hands!

Here is another most wanted criminal we need to locate. German is armed with claws that will tear you apart if you give into his cuteness. Please be advised that his teeth are razer sharp. You may be able to lure him in for capture if you have plenty of fresh fish or work in the fish market.

This is just some of the craziness you may see when you watch Reno 911! Miami The Movie! You may also find yourself chasing chickens across the road and experiencing what seems to be a bunch of cops on drugs -- or at least not normal! The crooks won't have a chance with these cops around!

Bank Robber

Throughout the world there are some signs universally understood. For example, most societies would recognize a robber by a specific type of head-gear, or more commonly known type of mask made from hosiery. Take a few moments to get a good laugh at the reactions this man receives from wearing one of the recognized masks that a robber may wear, and generally if he or she was a bank robber. What would your reaction be to this person?

Drug Rehab for Teens

It's no surprise that so many teenagers in our society have the need to go through drug rehabilitation. Hollywood portrays a very bad example for our teens, as well as the media so it really is no wonder the teenagers are so goofed up with their perspective of what's cool or not. Unfortunately with teens it's very easy for them to fall prey into thinking that drugs are cool. Sooner or later, many of them have the need for drug detox.

The link for the drug rehab site I just provided you has a great deal of resources to draw from. They have many articles to access to provide you with up to date information on developments with rehabilitation and addiction treatment news, and it also provides you with the ability to search for the treatment centers in your area. If only at least one person gains the ability to be set free from drug addiction or alcoholism, it certainly makes it worth the effort to share this information.

ATM PIN Distress Code for Help

Everyones worst fear of using an ATM to withdraw cash is that they may be robbed in the process, or forced to utilize their card to withdraw funds for a crook. Probably the best way to assure you will be safe while at the ATM is to be fully aware of your surroundings. Obviously you will want to watch closely for anyone who acts suspicious or seems threatening. Although you may take all the necessary precautions to safeguard yourself while withdrawing funds, you could still become a victim of a robber at an ATM.

What should you do if you are forced to enter your PIN into an ATM to surrender funds to a crook? If you are being held at gunpoint or with the threat of other bodily harm, you certainly do not want to endanger yourself by refusing to give the crook what he wants. Is there anything you can do to alert the police as you enter your PIN?

There is a hoax going around in emails, which leads you to believe you can send a message to the police with the ATM. The hoax leads people to believe that entering their PIN in reverse would trigger an alarm to the police, but that is a false rumor. If you would like to get the full scoop, you can read about it on Snopes.

Burn Notice for a Spy

All kids have at one time pretended to be a spy. Then there are those who as adults still wish they could be a spy, but perhaps without the impeding danger. Years ago I had a fun and rewarding experience with helping a co-worker, Roberta get her dog Huggy back to her, which was a pure bred cocker spaniel and had been stolen by her neighbors when they moved -- at least she thought they stole it.

My story here is how to be a spy without exposing your identity, and in this case if you posed as a decorator to get the job done. The characters here are not fictitious, and this really did happen so it is a true story. As far as the decorating thing goes, I indeed was one so that part was for real, but I snooped around as if I was an undercover agent to recover Roberta's dog. In case you ever need to become a spy, here's how you do it while pretending to be a decorator. Or, maybe I should say here's how to do it while pretending to be a spy?

The suspecting party was contacted by the decorating company I worked for, which was also Roberta's employer, but the couple did not know where she worked. Luckily the suspect couple had just purchased a new home, and they fell for the opportunity to have a decorator come out and give them a quote on new window treatments since their new house didn't have any.

The appointment was set, and I was the decorator scheduled to go out and quote the job as I spied on the people to determine if they had stolen Roberta's dog. Selling the draperies was not the priority, but determining if the people had her dog, was the priority!

What spy equipment did I need? In this case, my measuring tape to measure the windows, fabric sample books to fool the target into believing I was really there to sell them draperies, and of course my quote forms. Of course we cannot forget the spy trench coat since it was pouring down rain.

Off I went to the couples home. Immediately after they greeted me and let me inside their home my spy eyes saw the stolen goods! Roberta's dog Huggy was there, but only the people were calling it Huggy Bear! I had seen Roberta's dog Huggy one time before that day, so my cover was probably blown with Huggy, but the couple was clueless as to who I really was.

While maintaining a stoic look so I would not burst out laughing and blow my cover, I measured their windows and gave them a quote. This was one time it was fine for the customer to say, "We'll have to think about it." and it was the only time I did not attempt to over-throw their objection - lol. Because they did not know me they did not have a clue that I was working for Roberta to get her dog back. Armed with the information I needed I departed their home and had to get to a phone quickly.

That was BCP (before cell phones) days, so my spy equipment included the use of a public telephone, so I had to get to one quickly. I called Roberta from the nearest phone and informed her that they had her dog Huggy, but only they were calling it Huggy Bear! To make a long story short, she and I later returned to the couples home along with an undercover detective (yes, a real one). Without entering the home the couple agreed to surrender the dog back to Roberta. The dog Huggy was elated to see her, so it was a good reunion.

If you are a real spy, the decorator disguise worked well so you may want to use that one some time - lol. But, for a real spy I'm not sure if the person would have received a burn notice or not! At any rate, be sure to check out the USA Network's Burn Notice!

Job Applicants Gone Wild

Years ago I worked for a while as a human resources manager. Today I was laughing over some of the memories of job applicants and what they had written on their employment applications. Their names are now long forgotten, and I certainly would not share them even if I did remember, but I thought you would get a good laugh over several situations I recall. I guess you could say these applicants had issues, or they were applicants gone wild!

One afternoon two young female applicants in their early twenties came through the door. They each took an application and took a seat to fill in their information. The first gal that finished brought her application up to me and I noticed she had answered "yes" to the question; "Have you ever been convicted of a felony?" Her reply to the question was, "Yes. I borrowed a car and didn't return it on time." OK, I guess she was still in denial of stealing a car - lol. Next...

The other young woman who came in with her turned out to be her sister, who also had answered "yes" to the question in regards to being convicted of a felony. Her reply to the question read, "Yes. I attempted to poison someone." OK, there we had two winner applicants - lol. Their felonies were only about 6 months apart so I have to wonder if they both woke up one day and made a pact to destroy their lives? When the two went to depart their car would not start and they had to push start it. Maybe they should have stolen another car?

One other day a woman in her late thirties came in to apply for work. She also had answered "yes" to the question about any prior felony convictions. Her response was, "Yes. I had a run-in with a police officer, so I bit him." Reading further down on her application where her work history was filled in I had a good laugh reading why she had lost her most recent employment. Her reason; "I was fired because I had to take too much time off work to get my teeth fixed." Well OK, I guess if you go around biting police officers you're bound to have problems with your teeth!

On another occasion I enjoyed a good laugh when a woman made a phone inquiry about a position. She was responding to an ad in the paper for a commercial janitorial position. Woman on the phone; "Could you describe the type of work involved for the position?" My response; "You would be required to do general cleaning such as vacuuming, dusting, mopping, and taking out the garbage." Her reply was, "Do you mean I would have to push a mop?" I had to bite my tongue to not laugh at her, but instead I kindly responded, "Yes!" and then she hung up! What was she expecting? To have access to a remote controlled mop so she could sit on her butt?

I don't miss those days one bit, and it was not my normal line of work. The experience did however leave me with an opportunity to share these humorous stories with you! I hope you enjoyed them.

Dieting and Fun Exercise

We've all seen them, and some of us have even marketed them -- diet products. Some are good and some are nothing greater than a mouthful of creative marketing. Although some diet supplements can be healthy there are many that are not. Especially if they're filled with artificial sweeteners, glucose or other sugars.

In our society we want the quick fix, so we are easily snared by the most recent diet fad or dietary supplement. What it really all boils down to is eating the right foods and good old fashioned exercise! Yes, you remember -- the activity that causes us to break a sweat and use what are known as muscles!

Several weeks ago I finally decided I need to get back at it again with an exercise routine, but like most other humans I lacked exercise motivation! Sound familiar? It was quite frustrating for me because two years ago at this time I had lost 9 inches of fat and was starting to feel and look much better, but then the unthinkable happened in October 2005 -- I broke my wrist! That totally killed my exercise routine. Just to clarify, no I did not break my wrist while exercising. It was purely an act of stupidity and clumsiness combined!

I'm very happy with the results so far, and although I haven't yet measured to see how much I've lost, my clothes are fitting better and looser, and I can see the difference in the mirror!

The form of exercise I chose is the Pilates resistance exerciser and I like it better than any other regime I've done in the past. It's working better than even free-weights for me and it's much funner! The exerciser is essentially the power bands that are rubber cords sort of like using a bungee cord - lol. When I'm done with the routine the power bands simply get placed inside a drawer! Later on I'll probably let you know how it's going, as I know it's effective. Soon I hope to be able to just dump the scale!

To really succeed at any exercise program I really think one has to find what works for them personally, and the best way to win the war against excess weight is to stick to a fun workout! What's fun for you may not be for me, so it's really a personal choice.

One last important point is to understand that exercising only three days a week is desirable only AFTER you have scaled down to your optimum weight! More frequent exercise is really needed to actually lose the war against excess fat, so I workout every day, but I generally take a break over the weekend when my activity level is higher. It takes at least 21 days to change or break an old habit, so the first three weeks is the most difficult. Thereafter it gets easier to stick to the routine.

This post was inspired by a Link & Blog Challenge!

Male Auto Insurance Rates

If you're a young man not yet at the magical age of 25 when auto rates typically are lowered, you may want to listen to this video to learn some possible angles for negotiating better auto insurance rates!

If you're not male, and older or younger than 25 you will also find this to be rather humorous. Have fun!

It's Nice to Get Your Comments

With all the time and effort it takes to put a blog together, and to update it weekly, it's very nice to receive comments from people who appreciate the effort! Often when I write about the topics I include in this blog I sometimes feel they are so boring that no one would want to read them. But, I do it because I feel there is a need to share information with people about things so they don't get themselves into a mess, or know how to get out of one.

Last December I wrote a post about money laundering. Yesterday I received a very nice comment on that post, which I would like to share. It certainly made me feel good about what the purpose of this blog is for! Here's the comment:

"I don't know what to say...... but you are doing a great job by writing all these posts and making people aware of the things that they should know..... and without charging any value for it....I do not know whether you do a kind of a business and you are getting more clientele base because of the posts.....but honestly I don't care because it really gives a lot of information which is quite essential in peoples lives.....good job!!!"

Thank you Abhishek Tupe for your comment! It's much appreciated to get a compliment like that! It really helps to be uplifted by readers. From here, you may wish to travel on over to Tupe's Korner and see what's going on in his world! Enjoy!

Drug Rehab and Breaking Addiction

You may have a family member or friend who is a drug addict and wonder if there is any salvation for them to free themselves from drug addiction. The sad fact is that they generally cannot do it on their own. If you want to help them, here are some tips to help your loved one or friend break free from the hold of drugs.
  • Extend your love to them and gain their trust so they know you are there for them!
  • Get them involved in activities to help them find what they excel in.
  • Do as much as possible to get them away from the bad crowd.
  • Get them into rehab if at all possible!
  • Pray for them!
Although that certainly is not an all-inclusive list, a few good tips can go a long ways with helping your loved one or friend to break away from the influence of drugs. Most importantly, going beyond what you're able to do for them, they most likely will need the help they could only receive from a professional drug rehabilitation facility. Although getting them into some form of addiction treatment may be the most difficult to do, in the long run it may be the most effective way to break their addiction.

As an example, Stone Hawk can help your friend or loved one start down the road of breaking their addiction and gain a new chance at life. It's important to utilize a service that demonstrates that they truly care about addicts so the addict does not feel a sense of judgment, otherwise they would probably not stick with the rehab program. Aftercare treatment is also important in order to have less of a chance for an addict to return to their former ways. I hope these tips may be of benefit to you assisting your loved one or friend to break away from drug addiction by getting them various forms of help including drug rehab.

Web of Deceit

This is your brain, and this is your brain on drugs -- that is, if you're a spider! The web of deceit spun by drug lords with eight legs is well demonstrated here. Lol!

Identity Theft Victims with a Common Name

One thing is for sure, identity theft needs to be addressed with congress to help ease the pain when one experiences being a victim of identity theft. The Federal Trade Commission estimates that more than 27 million people in our country have been victims of identity theft. This video is one prime example of some individuals who has a common name that had become a victim of identity theft.

Identity Theft Protection for Your Computer

Many people fall prey to identity theft due to their computer not being fully protected. Malicious attacks result from the effects of spy ware and malicious code. Some are not aware that from the first moment they log onto the Internet their computer is vulnerable to attack, and they may not even know their computer was attacked! We all need good protection, otherwise our computers can become our worst enemy for setting us up for identity theft. Is there a spy among your computer?

This last year my computer was hit by a malicious code. As I imagine most of you are, I'm very careful as to where I surf online, but even so the files with malicious codes are planted out there for us to hit, much like a minefield. I thought I would share how my computer was attacked.

One afternoon just after I updated my blog with a pinging service I selected the services page where it showed the recently updated blogs. Unfortunately one of the recently updated blogs which I clicked on, was not a blog at all! It led to a file being opened and spyware was loaded into my computer! Although my anti-virus program immediately alerted me to the danger, it was a huge mental load working through the steps to rid my computer of the malicious codes. The files were planted throughout much of my computer programs. Some prefer to leave files quarantined, but I prefer to get them out of my computer completely so it was a daunting task! The list of files the malicious codes attacked was staggering.

An entire day and then some was lost in order to deal with eliminating the files that were quarantined. Finally, in order to get rid of most of the spyware I had to uninstall quite a few programs from my computer completely! At that point the quarantined files remaining were still a staggering amount as the spyware had attacked my operating system as well. After eliminating many of the files by uninstalling many programs I then selected to eliminate the files in quarantine, however that is always a risky process due to the fact you may delete files needed for critical needs for your computer.

Spy Sweeper is one product that can help to identify spyware on your computer. It can work for you as your first defense against damaging files. Not only is identity theft a concern, but we each obviously spend a great deal of money on our computers, so we are crazy to not go about protecting our computers to the fullest!

I had Spy Sweeper in the past, and perhaps I should consider utilizing it again. The anti-virus program I've been using has become a disappointment for me, and I went with it because I thought it was more advanced than Spy Sweeper. However, with my last experience I just shared I'm perhaps wrong about that!

Looking over some additional information, Spy Sweeper has received many awards. One is from November 2006, from a reliable source; PC Magazine, which states, "I applaud Webroot's fully integrated virus/spyware protection…" PC World also utilized some test computers and ran the Webroot Spy Sweeper program. They reported that the Spy Sweeper program even eliminated some tool bars, which can be very difficult to completely remove from a computer.

If you have not adequately protected your computer you need to take care of that immediately. Chances are you may have malicious codes on your computer, and a product such as Spy Sweeper is too economical to not use! It may just serve as one of your best efforts against identity theft!

Money

"Money! Get away. Get a good job and you're OK!" Recognize those lyrics? If not, then you will once you play the video below. I was in high school when this song was a major hit. 1974 was the year, but money represents the same things then as it does today.

Even though it may grow or disappear, money is timeless because every economic status and every economy revolves around it, and it will never be out of style. Large or small -- no country can survive without it. Poor or wealthy -- one can never seem to have enough.

Contrary to what many may think, one point that is true about money -- it does not buy happiness because it will not fill the void in ones soul. Money either corrupts people, or it brings out the best from a generous heart. It drives human emotions such as fear and greed. When it's all said and done, we cannot take it with us.

Identity Theft, Fraud & You!

Learning some basics will certainly be an added advantage to protect yourself from identity theft and fraud. This video is a good resource for some quick steps for protecting yourself from identity theft. It's worth the time to take five minutes to watch it.

Strange Things May Occur

Have you ever stayed in a hotel room or other unfamiliar place, and had a creepy feeling? Stephen King is probably one of the best for giving someone the creeps, and once again it appears he will pull it off in the 1408 Movie, starring John Cusack.

Do you believe in the supernatural? I absolutely do, and I believe each of us as human beings experience supernatural occurrences more often that what we are even aware of. If you've never experienced the supernatural, think again. You probably have.

You may prefer to call apparitions ghosts and believe that they are human spirits who have passed on into the life ever-after, but there are some apparitions that are not ghosts, but rather demonic spirits masquerading themselves as human spirits. Then there are also visions. Believe what you want to believe, and like it or not, but the fact is that demonic spirits really do exist and are not a force to mess around with.

Maybe if you watch the trailer for the 1408 Movie you'll think differently than you have before. In the movie the father of a little girl who loses his daughter had not had an experience with seeing ghosts. Things changed for him with his beliefs after staying in room 1408, where no one ever lasts an hour! Would you?

One of the most frightening experiences I ever had in my lifetime was messing around with a Ouija board when I was around twelve years of age. My older sisters and I even got the Ouija board to swear at us and it was very scary to say the least. We placed a Bible on the board and asked it's opinion of the Bible -- that's when we got cussed out, and it was the last time we used the board.

I could write for some time about my experiences in life in regards to things such as that, but it's really off topic for this blog. However, I couldn't resist to post this since it was a good opportunity to get a good bit of pay for a post. You might not want to watch this video trailer in a dark room.


Identity Theft Phishing Scams

Phishing scams attempting to steal a person's identity through the use of spoof emails will probably continue to occur for many years. You probably heard that the King of Spam was finally caught last week, but that will not put an end to the phishing identity theft spoofs created by other spammers.

Late last month the IRS reported a spoof phishing scam. As with any spoof emails if you receive an email from an entity claiming to be the IRS don't buy into the scam, and never click through any links within the email. Be sure to always report suspicious emails to the entity they claim to be representing.

First and foremost, be sure to keep your computer anti-virus definitions and firewall programs up to date to help guard you from identity theft. Phishing scams are just one example of a variety of ways fraudsters attempt to steal our identities. Learn more about phishing scams to protect yourself.

This post was inspired by a Link & Blog Challenge for link exchange!