The Secret is Out!

Well, it's not exactly a secret, but for those of you who don't know much about me I thought I would share a few things about myself because it's MeMe Monday on Link & Blog Challenge! For MeMe Monday we're supposed to share 3 - 5 points, so here goes. I'm not one to normally talk about me, so I was never that fond of MeMe's!

1. My home is in the wonderful Pacific Northwest, and I didn't wander too far from where I was raised. I'll give you a bigger clue to where I live - I should have webbed feet.

2. When I was a young teen my sister bought me a t-shirt that had a horse along with the word "stubborn" embroidered on it. I wonder if she was trying to tell me something?

3. One reason I created this blog, Money Illusions is to share the warning signs with my readers about money laundering, and other scams which too many people fall for.

There you have it! Three things you didn't know about "MeMe"! I'll be writing more of these since every Monday is MeMe Monday on Link & Blog Challenge! Stop over there and challenge me!

Scam Concealed as a What?

What will they think of next? Scams are created in every way, shape and form. In this case the scam came covered in sheep's clothing! This turned out to be a really baaaad scam for dog lovers in Japan.

Imagine this: You purchase one of the most sought after pets in Japan, which is a white poodle and you paid a high price for it, and bought it as an "accessory". You know, one of those stylish puppies you can dress up! You then take your furry friend in to have it's nails trimmed only to be told it has hooves!

Worse yet, pretend you're a famous movie star and you appear on a talk show in front of millions of viewers as you express your concerns because your poodle will not bark, or eat dog food. Then you learn you were scammed along with around 2000 other people in Japan who purchased a poodle, which turned out to be a sheep! I think I would be feeling a bit sheepish by then.

Publishing from Home

Calling all bloggers! There's another opportunity in town for you to earn legitimate dollars for publishing advertisements on your blogs! If you haven't yet already discovered their website, Bloggerwave is a paid to post opportunity you may want to look into.

The advertisements you publish for them must be on your blog for 30 days before you receive your funds through PayPal. Their dashboard and system is easy to work with as you submit your blogs for quick approval.

When you select an offer the steps to take are clear on how to complete the offer requirements, so that's another easy feature to use. If you are not getting enough offers from some of the other companies that you publish for you may want to take a look at what Bloggerwave has available. I'm looking forward to seeing other offers come available as they grow. Happy blogging!

Drug Addiction Leads to Crime

It shouldn't be a surprise to anyone that drug addiction leads to crime, yet some states and countries have actually decriminalized drug use, which proves to be a serious mistake each time. In the geographical area where I live meth labs were cropping up everywhere and destroying many fine pieces of realestate in the process. Thankfully that substance has not been legalized because like all other drugs it leads to serious health problems or death, and increases crime rates.

Drug addiction can often begin with the use of something as simple as pain killers and then suddenly the person is wanting more drugs to fuel their craving. Before you know it they're abusing illegal drugs and their life begins to go down the drain. They lose their job, their families, their homes and sadly for some even their lives.

If you have a loved one or friend that has become addicted to drugs, and even if it is not an illegal substance, you need to get them help immediately! The longer they are on drugs the more difficult it will become to get them turned around.

Most likely your loved one will not even want to discuss drug rehab with you, but remember that you're the sober one and they are impaired if they are an addict so intervene for them to take back control of their life. As long as they are abusing drugs, the drugs are controlling them and they are no longer in control.

There are many drug rehab facilities across the country. If you are in the Michigan area, Stone Hawk is in your neck of the woods. One point I like about what they share on their website is the fact that they can relate to what the drug addict is experiencing because they themselves can speak from experience as reformed drug addicts. You'll notice on their home page the statement, "We definitely know all about addiction, because we were once addicted." So, think of how powerful of a statement that could be to help your friend or loved one! You could let them know that they would be in the company of others who were once in their shoes and they would know better than anyone else on how to help them.

Not sure if their program would be right for your loved one? From their site you can download an information packet to find out. Remember that you may just be the one to save the life of your friend or loved one by intervening on their behalf to set them free from their addiction.

Marketing Gimmicks for Gadgets

Not quite sure what to think about this one other than the fact that it must be a marketing gimmick of some sort! Clearly the site is utilizing this as a way to promote their Adsense marketing unless I'm really missing something here!

This is a strange and bizarre gadget this dude has come up with and looks phishy to me! All in good humor I'm sure, but at the same time I have to wonder; has this dude really sold these gadgets? Hmm, dunno about that, but it was clever none the less for a marketing gimmick.

We all know there are the idiots out there that will fall for this type of thing as if it was a legitimate option! Or, am I perhaps the idiot here? Sure hope their site has a strong disclaimer on potential results from their gadget!

Humorous Fashion at Best

With spring cleaning at hand I've been thinking this week about listing some things on ebay, which I haven't done for months. I then remembered a funny thing I came across on ebay, which I wrote about months ago.

This humorous story about a man selling his divorced wifes wedding dress on ebay made him appear quite fashionable! It isn't every day you see a man modeling a wedding dress for sale on ebay. Just something silly I thought of that I had to share again, and you'll laugh when you read the story about the man who became the Wedding Dress Guy!

Zip Up Your Data Securely

As the Internet grows so does the percentage of identity theft and criminals looking for an open opportunity. Have you provided a crook a chance to get to your private data? Or, I should say data that you THINK is private?

With SecureZIP you can secure and protect your data. Did you know that your data transferred in an email is NOT private and therefore not secure! Transferring data through email is accessible by the public, it is not private! SecureZIP - The next generation of ZIP just may be what you're looking for!

SecureZip is an easy way to protect your files being transferred or stored! It's a way to have a peace of mind when you need to transfer sensitive information, including attachments. It also allows you to protect data in your laptop as well as portable media.

The program works together with Microsoft Outlook to ensure security and peace of mind when you need to transfer private data with information about yourself, medical information, financial information and other sensitive data.

If you use email for transferring information for your clients it's also important that you take the extra precautions to protect their sensitive information. We live in a litigious society, so it's important that business owners not only protect their clients information, but also protect their business from liability when securing and transferring that data.

SecureZip is a great program to consider to encrypt your sensitive data, plus you can use it for free! So isn't it about time that you ZIP up your private data?

Tall Tales and Long Tails

It never ceases to amaze me the tall tales some will create to commit their crimes. The Nigerian Scams are still running thick on the Internet. Here's yet another one I received in a pm from one of the forums I frequent, and yes they really do have all these spelling errors and lack of proper grammar included in their scams.

I think these people need to have some long tails sent after them for their tall tales! After all, law enforcement uses long tails to chase after other criminals, so I just wish we had a way to send some long tails after these people! Woof!

From Miss Esther

Permit me to inform you of my desire of going into business relationship with you. I am Miss Esther Johnson the only daughter of late Mr and Mrs Fredrick Johnson. My father was a very wealthy cocoa merchant in Abidjan, the economic capital of Ivory Coast before he was poisoned to death by his business associates on one of their outing to discus on a business deal.

When my mother died on the 21st October 1985, my father took me special because i was his only daughter.and motherless. Before the death of my father in a private hospital here in Abidjan.He secretly called me on his bedside and told me that he has a sum of $8.500.000.00 left in a suspense account in a prime Bank here in Abidjan, that he used my name as his only daughter as the next of kin in deposit of the fund.

He also explained to me that it was because of this wealth and some huge amount of money his business associates supposed to balance him from the business they had that he was poisoned by his business associates, that I should seek for a God fearing foreign partner in a country of my choice where I will transfer this money and use it for investment purpose, (such as real estate management).

I honourably seeking your assistance in the following ways.
(1).To serve as the guardian of this fund since I did not have any idea of any business.
(2.)To assist me provide a Bank account where this money would be transferred to.
(3.)To make arrangement for me to cmoe over to your countryto continue my education
since my late father has adviced me to leave the country.

I am willing to offer you 15% of the sum a compensation for effort input after the successful transfer of this fund to your designate account overseas. Anticipating to hear from you soon.

Thanks and God Bless.
Best regards.
Esther


Oh please spare me the "God Bless" and "best regards" as you know you are attempting to commit a serious crime! The Nigerian Scam is older than the hills and we're all on to you and your tall tales! Money laundering is a serious crime.

This post was inspired by a Link & Blog Challenege!

The Oldest Work at Home Scam

This has to be the oldest work at home scam out there! It's been around long before the Internet work at home scams began! Millions have fallen as victims to this one! Here's what one victim has reported:

"Yeah I'm caught in a work at home scam - vacuuming, doing dishes, dusting, chores, and I'm not getting a damned red cent for it. What a crock!"

Warning Labels

Often meant to protect us from our own stupidity, warning labels are rather comical, and there are some which should of course be taken very seriously.

When I think of a funny warning labels the first one that always comes to mind is the one on upholstered items or pillows, which reads, "Under Penalty of Law, this tag is not to be removed except by the consumer." Now I doubt I can have anyone arrested should they come into my home and remove that label - heaven forbid, but it is rather comical!

Another warning label that many people don't take heed to is actually written on the reverse side of your credit card and debit cards! This label, which appears next to the white signature box needs to be taken very seriously! Consumers, as well as some uninformed merchants don't often pay attention to the importance and reason as to why this warning label says, "Not Valid Unless Signed"!

You've heard the old credit card advertising saying, "Don't leave home without it!" but perhaps we should add, "Don't leave home without making sure you have first read, and complied with the warning label!"

This post was inspired by a Link & Blog Challenge!

Credit Card Woes

There are many things in life that can quickly get one in trouble, and credit cards are one of those things! It's bad enough that one can rack up a large amount of debt at high interest rates, but concerns with fraud are also a problem.

The need to safeguard your card from thieves should come to mind each time you take your card out of your wallet. Sometimes the need to guard your credit or debit card is not just an issue with making sure you don't lose it, but also making sure you don't give out the numbers to enable fraudsters from using your card.

Be sure to protect not only your card, and the card number, but also protect the three digit number on the reverse side of your card. This number is displayed on both credit and debit cards and proves that you are the card holder. If a thief accesses that number in addition to the actual card number, it will enable them to commit fraud easier.

What's the three digit number you need to protect? It's the CVV2 Value, which is displayed to the right of your signature. Now that I also said the word signature, I do hope you have your card signed as well!

The CVV2 Value is a 3-digit code located the the right of the printed account number within the signature panel. The code assists merchants in validating that a customer has the card in his or her possession, and that it is a valid card. If a thief has that number in addition to your credit card number itself it makes it easy for them to make purchases online, or over the phone. Long story short, be sure to protect not only the credit card itself, but also the three digit code on the back.

This post was inspired by a Link & Blog Challenge!

A Cure for Comment Spam

In my last blog post I wrote about the comment spam plugin called "Bad Behavior", which has been working great on my WordPress blog to stop spam, but then suddenly my blog began to get hit with comment spam getting past the Bad Behavior program! Ugh!

All the spam that was coming through was for prescription drugs links, and I was baffled as to why my blog was suddenly once again a victim of the spam, and why it appeared the Bad Behavior program was perhaps failing.

Investigating the situation further I decided to take a close look at the names and email addresses of those who had registered to comment on my blog. Bingo! What I discovered was too obvious to be a coincidence! Would you believe there was actually a user registered who had an email address with the word "pill" as part of the email address! WTHeck, how obvious was that? I should have noticed that one sooner!

In this case the cure to fry the comment spam was to remove the suspicious looking email address and registered user, and once again my blog is now free of comment spam, and Bad Behavior is behaving perfectly again!

The simple lesson to learn here is to check the names and email addresses of those who register to comment. Removing a suspicious user just made put a stop to further spam. At least, that's what worked for me!