Car Accident & Insurance Fraud

There's much more to road rage than most really stop to think about. Insurance fraud is often the motive behind the road rage driver. There's big money to be made with insurance fraud and there are organized insurance fraud rings that make a living at it.

Insurance companies are much wiser now in regards to staged accidents, but have you armed yourself with any information on how to avoid becoming a victim of a staged accident? Your car just may be the next target for one such scheme, but if you are armed with some basic information you may be able to avoid it.

One trick used by insurance fraudsters involves them targeting large vehicles such as semi-trucks. That's one big rig you don't want to get tangled up with on the highway. Here are some tips to help keep you safer on the road, and these tips may also save you from becoming a target from an insurance fraudster.

Stay out of a truck's blind spots or "No Zones." Actually you want to be sure to stay out of everyones blind spot!

Do not swerve in front of a truck or cause the driver to come to a sudden stop. Give trucks plenty of room.

Do not cut off a large truck or passenger bus. Some individuals have been killed by being too close to a truck by cutting them off, and getting rear ended. Others have become a victim of the insurance fraudsters by getting sandwiched between trucks! So stay clear of the big rigs, and leave them plenty of space!

Those are just a few tips to keep you safer on the road. But, what about your teen driver?

Be sure your teen driver is aware of the games people play, and make sure they don't get caught up in them. For teen drivers, GEICO added "Teens and Trucks" to its online library of safe driving materials. The brochure, developed with the American Moving and Storage Association, includes valuable information for teens on how to safely share the highway with large trucks.

Teens aren't the only ones needing access to that type of information. That's why provide educational materials at no cost to families, driving classes, law enforcement officials and state agencies. Play it safe by driving defensively.

Pay Off Your Christmas Debt

Now that Christmas is once again behind us are you able to pay off the debt quickly? Best case scenario is to not have acquired any debt for the holiday, but for most that isn't the norm. If you're a blogger, here's one way you can help reduce your debt!

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Although it's not difficult to qualify with their service, be sure to read the rules of the road before you get started. Once your registration is approved they will send you offers through your email account with the instructions on what you are to write about and the url's that must be included in the post. Your obligation is to provide a post with at least 50 words and the post must remain published on your blog.

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Should You Lend Your Good Credit?

If you're in the position to lend someone money you may also even consider lending your good credit, but is that a good idea? A popular, yet not new trend called "piggybacking credit" is not a good idea. There are numerous online companies offering individuals with poor credit the ability to increase their credit score for a fee. So, how does it work?

The companies charge the individuals a fee for increasing their credit score. Their score is increased by utilizing the piggyback method. The person with poor credit is added to a credit card account as an additional user. The credit card account belongs to an individual with good credit. The person with the good credit is paid a fee for allowing the other individual to be added to their card, but the person with the bad credit is not given a card, nor are they provided the name of the individual who added them to their account.

Sound phishy? If it doesn't it should! Although you may be willing to add your young adult child to your credit card account for them to gain a better credit standing, why would you risk your good credit for a stranger?

The companies that are promoting the "piggybacking credit" method claim it will not harm the credit of the individual who is paid to add another user onto their card, but is that really true? I say they are wrong!

The first obvious point of concern is the fact that the individual with the good credit must surrender proof of having a good credit standing. This of course means they are going to surrender their credit history to the company promoting the piggybacking strategy. I don't know about you, but I want to protect the confidentiality of my credit history, not provide the history to a third party at any time it is not necessary!

The second point of concern is the fact that the companies promote the thought of paying the individual with good credit x amount of dollars for each user they add to their cards. So, that means the more credit cards the person takes out, the more they potentially can be paid. This strategy is a very dangerous one with a slippery path for damaging the individual who had good credit to begin with. For each credit card or open account one has it lowers ones FICO score. So, why would one with a good score want to risk lowering it in order to establish more accounts so they can get paid to add more users? This is NOT a smart way to make extra cash, and in the long run lending your good credit will most likely do nothing but harm you.

It may also be just a matter of time for ones credit to be dinged for every additional user that is established on their accounts. That would seem to be a good strategy in order to protect the lenders who rely on a credit score established the honest way.

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.

Phishy Work at Home Scam

Another ebay scam to bait someone has been born! A lady was seeking offers for work and came across an offer on Craigs List. She then received an email back from the party. Scams are often hidden beneath a large amount of fluff, and other explanations in an attempt to make them sound legitimate. This one on the other hand didn't waste anytime to scream "scam" right from the very first sentence!

If you get this one run as fast as you can to the nearest exit, and report them to the proper authorities! Here's the scam email, which read:

Hi! Thanks for the interest. This job is basically you loaning your ebay and paypal account for us to sell products. We sell beauty products. We do all the listing, selling, customer service, and shipping.

So because we are listing on your account, we must have access to ebay and paypal. We need access to ebay to communicate with customers, see items sold, list products, etc. Same goes for paypal, we must have access to withdraw funds to our bank account, see who paid and for what items, and communicate with customers.

And in your head right now, you are probably thinking SCAM! SCAM! SCAM!. Please, DO NOT jump to conclusion, I assure you that it is NOT, it's REAL, I'm paying you monthly for using your accounts. That is, $300 a month. All your information is safe.

Actually I'm the one taking the risk here, as I will have money go into your paypal account. You're probably wondering why I don't just open an account myself. We'll, I can, and I do have an account. But I want more accounts, this way I can sell more and get more customers. Just like owning three restuarants versus one in a single town. eBay limits one account per person.

I know your concern is your ebay and paypal bank and credit card information, but I assure you that all your info is UNTOUCHED. All fees incurred on the ebay account will be paid even before its due via the paypal account.

We currently have other ebay members loaning us their accounts and if you are interested in seeing what we sell or have more questions regarding this job, contact us via instant messages: My AOL/AIM is: "name changed"

It's rather ironic the crook attempts to comfort the person to believe that it is not a scam! Yeah sure - no scam at all in that they want to access your ebay and PayPal account! Jeesh, I guess the scammers think we all fell off the turnip truck yesterday!

I think one of the most humorous statements was, "I want more accounts." Yeah, no kidding - that you can use fraudulently!

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Party Line

Depending on your age, this topic may bring back memories for some of you. Do you remember the old residential phone service referred to as a Party Line? If you're not familiar with the term Party Line, or if you need a memory jogger, it was a less expensive way to have phone service in that you shared your phone line with another party, hence the name Party Line.

Party Lines were anything but private, and certainly were not secure if you were going to discuss any personal financial information. When we were younger my husband and I had a party line to reduce our phone bill, but we quickly became disappointed with the concept. It wasn't worth the meager savings on our phone bill.

Essentially here's how it worked: Although you had separate phone numbers you would share a line with another residential party. To make an outbound phone call the first step when you picked up the receiver was to listen to see if anyone else was on the line. Common courtesy would say if there was someone on the line then you would quickly and quietly hang up, and then attempt to make your call later.

It seems we are no longer living in an era where common courtesy is the foundation of communication, and a Party Line relied on the participating parties to utilize common courtesy, so I doubt they exist much today.

While engaged in a conversation on our Party Line if a person did not have respect and common courtesy they could have easily ease-dropped on our conversation, and learned much about our private lives. I don't know if that ever happened when we had our party line, but the entire concept quickly became annoying since we could not access the phone whenever needed, or when we wished to.

If a Party Line were available today, would you get one? Most I'm sure would reply, "No way!" If you are someone who would not want to share a phone line with another party, and risk your conversation being heard by a perfect stranger then you may want to re-think what is occurring when you communicate with the technology of email.

Although most think email is private, the fact of the matter is that it is not. Each time you send an email you are in affect sending the message across a huge party line, as it can become accessed by anyone who has the knowledge or the tools to hack and read your email.

If you don't like the idea of another party accessing or reading your email, which you may have thought was private, then you may want to consider encrypted Internet mail, which provides you with privacy. Email is not much different than an old party line, and just as a party line lacked privacy, so does email.

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It Takes Two to do Money Laundering

One form of illegal activity that relies on the participation of more than one individual is money laundering. With the information age and Internet technology at their hands, money laundering is accomplished much easier than in the old days, but it still requires more than one person to do the dirty laundry.

Crooks are recruiting the ignorant to do the task for them and probably paying less than they did in the past to get it done. Now there are those who are attempting to outsmart the crooks, but in the process have become a crook themselves.

One example is a story of a fellow who figured he had outsmarted a crook that got him involved in money laundering. The crook sent the individual money using PayPal. The individual waited for the PayPal verification to confirm he indeed received the monies.

As per the crooks instructions he was supposed to forward all of the monies to the crook through Western Union, less the agreed percentage. Not wanting to comply he transferred the funds from his PayPal account into his own bank account, and then he closed his PayPal account. He never sent the crook the monies through Western Union. So, who is the crook now?

The fellow thinks he outsmarted the crook in that he now has all the money. Problem is, his assumption has major flaws in it, and he is now left holding the money bag which will be traced down by the authorities.

Moral of the story? Attempting to outsmart a crook by receiving funds from them and then closing your account might keep the crook away if he doesn't know where you live, but it won't keep the authorities from busting down your front door! The best way to outsmart a crook is to first off not get involved, and secondly report them to the authorities!

Hired to Sell on Ebay?

Be cautious if you receive an email from another ebay member wanting you to sell merchandise! If it was an offer solicited to you when you were not seeking to sell for someone then it will most likely not be a legitimate offer, but instead a front for illegal activity such as money laundering.

Recently an ebay member received a solicitation from another ebay member to sell for them. This is what she experienced:
I sell things on eBay once in a while and a couple of weeks ago someone sent me an email on eBay asking me if I wanted a part time job helping out with their eBay business. So I applied for the job and I got it.

What they want me to do is deal with customer questions during the auctions and accept the PayPal payments into my PayPal account when the auction is over. Then I keep 10% of whatever the item sells for, and send the rest on to them. They are selling high dollar items like tractors and lawn equipment.

It's a good thing this gal came to her senses and realized this situation is a scam and decided to not get involved. Since she submitted an application for employment, hopefully she also did not provide them with any private information like her social security number to enable them to steal her identity.

In that the crooks wanted her to use her own PayPal account, and then turn around and pay them all the proceeds except for 10% they would not only commit money laundering, but also would probably not deliver any merchandise to the buyer. She would have been stuck as the responsible party for refunding the defrauded buyer. That's also not to mention the fact that she could have potentially subjected herself to a money laundering conviction, and thrown into the slammer.

If it smells phishy, 99% of the time it is, and situations such as the example above should be reported to the auction site the crooks were using for their fraudulent activity.

Stupid Criminal

We all know there are stupid criminals and often they are the ones who are on drugs, which cloud their common sense. Some of you may have already seen this footage from surveillance cameras.

Things just really were not going in this guys favor and certainly proved the old saying, "Crime doesn't pay!" is true.