A New Scam, beware

Just when you thought you’d heard it all . . . .

This scam is actually very clever. This one could easily slip by most anyone – beware of people bearing gifts. The following is a recounting of the incident from the victim:

Wednesday a week ago, I had a phone call from someone saying that he was from some outfit called: “Express Couriers,”(The name could have been anything) he asked if I was going to be home because there was a package delivery for me that required a signature . The caller said that the delivery would arrive at my home in roughly an hour, and sure enough, about an hour later, a uniformed delivery man turned up with a beautiful basket of flowers and wine.

I was very surprised since it did not involve any special occasion or holiday, and I certainly didn’t expect anything like it. Intrigued about who had sent me such a gift, I inquired as to who the sender was. The deliveryman’s reply was, he was only delivering the gift package, but allegedly a card was being sent separately… (the card has never arrived!)

There was also a consignment note with the gift. He then went on to explain that because the gift contained alcohol, there was a $3.50 “delivery verification charge,” providing proof that he had actually delivered the package to an adult of legal drinking age, and not just left it on the doorstep where it could be stolen or taken by anyone, especially a minor.

This sounded logical and I offered to pay him cash. He then said that the delivery company required payment to be by credit or debit card only, so that everything is properly accounted for, and this would keep help in keeping a legal record of the transaction. He added couriers not needing to carry a bunch of cash, would make them less likely targets for robbery.

My husband, who by this time was standing beside me, pulled his wallet out of his pocket with the credit/debit card, and ‘John,’ the “delivery man,” asked my husband to swipe his card on a small mobile card machine. It had a small screen and keypad where Frank was also asked to enter the card’s PIN and security number. A receipt was printed out and given to us as our copy of the transaction. He then said everything was in order, and wished us good day.

To our horrible surprise, between Thursday and the following Monday, $4,000 had been charged/withdrawn from our credit/debit account at various ATM machines. It appeared that somehow the “mobile credit card machine,” which the deliveryman carried now had all the info necessary to create a “dummy” card with all our card details after my husband swiped our card and entered the requested PIN and security number.

Upon finding out about the illegal transactions on our card, we immediately notified the bank which issued us a new card, and our credit/debit account was closed.

We also personally went to the Police, where it was confirmed that it is definitely a scam because several households had been similarly hit.

WARNING: Be wary of accepting any “surprise gift or package,” which you neither expected nor personally ordered, especially if it involves any kind of payment as a condition of receiving the gift or package.

Also, never accept anything if you do not personally know or there is no proper identification of who the sender is.

Above all, the only time you should give out any personal credit/debit card information is when you yourself initiated the purchase or transaction! Pass this on, it may just prevent someone else from being swindled.

http://www.snopes.com/fraud/sales/express.asp

Must Have Book

BOECoverOLKindle

Must have book if you are thinking about opening a shop on Etsy, the world wide million $ site, to sell your creations or vintage items. This 51 page book, “Be An Etsy Seller” was written by two Etsy sellers who have experienced all the things you need to know when joining the Etsy community and have described them in detail. They hold your hand as you are walked step by step through the process. Joining Etsy is free. Putting your creations up for sale costs 20 cents per item and is listed for 4 months. Then if it hasn’t sold it can be re-listed for an additional 20 cents. All aspects of selling are covered, such as shipping, processing time, charging tax if necessary, how you want to be paid and many more subjects that other instruction books don’t cover. They are even in the process of creating a Spanish language version, coming soon.  To obtain this remarkable book go to

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00CRB6NUQ

Visit my Etsy shop at www.etsy.com/shop/mizmlu

MY MONEY Kindle Book

Excellent advice as young adults leave home and enter the work force, through marriage and into retirement.  Covers all aspects of life’s lessons, savings, money management, taxes, and much more. What to expect at your first job, what you need when you leave home, all the way to how to save for retirement and much, much more.  A comprehensive guide for all ages.  Available at Amazon.comhttp://www.amazon.com/My-Money-ebook/dp/B00897WP68/ref=cm_cr_pr_pb_t      or

http://amzn.to/17tXIgg

One Man’s Experience With Home Security

A very interesting informative article was just posted on Dick Eastman’s web site.  Eastman’s site is mainly devoted to genealogy information, but this article is about home security and how one man found the perfect solution for his home after a disastrous experience with an expensive system. The security system he now uses is much less expensive, more user friendly and much more effective.  It’s worth a look if you would like to equip your home with a security system that really works.

The URL for the article is log.eogn.com/eastmans_online_genealogy/2013/01/installing-a-do-it-yourself-home-security-system-1.html.

 

Do You Dream?

I accidentally found a very informative and interesting site a few days ago.  It is called Lifelong Health and the url is http://www.lifelonghealth.com/

Once you get onto the site you will be hooked.  You won’t want to leave.  There is so much to see there, articles on every aspect of life.  I am copying one here because it is the one that drew me to the site.  It is about dreams.  I dream every night, every time I am asleep and some are disturbing.  They remain in my thoughts long after I waken.  I found the article informative and interesting.   The following is from the owner of the site.

Hi, I’m Lois  Trader

I am a two-time survivor of a life-threatening disease and a woman who has lived through bankruptcy, not only financially but physically, psychologically and spiritually. Now I’m a successful, positive, driven woman.

Being a physically fit woman at 47 years of age, my life was changed in a heart beat. My personal journey of being diagnosed with heart disease and learning to live with it has inspired me to help others who are also concerned about their health. No matter where you are in your journey, let’s work together to live the best life possible.

I’m excited to get to know you here on Lifelong Health. I look forward to getting to know you and learning together.

http://www.lifelonghealth.com/

 Do you remember your dreams? Do you understand their meaning? Do you wish your dream could last longer. Are you the only one who is having long vivid dreams? Below are four interesting facts about dreams.

Crazy dream equals emotion: While it can be hard to believe that an oddball dream about your mother, a circus and a snowstorm can have any bearing on real life, there may be symbolism and potential meaning to be mined in every dream—you just have to look for it, says Harvard-trained psychotherapist Jeffrey Sumber. “The meaning of our dreams oftentimes relates to things we need to understand about ourselves and the world around us,” he says. Instead of shrugging off strange dreams, think about how they make you feel. “We tend to dismiss these dreams due to the strange components, yet it is the feeling we have in these dreams that matters most,” he explains. “Sometimes the circus and the snowstorm are just fillers that allow us to process the range of emotions we feel about our mother and give us the necessary distraction so we can actually experience that spectrum of emotion.”

Tons of Dreams: It’s not just one dream per night, but rather dozens of them, say experts—you just may not remember them all. “We dream every 90 minutes throughout the night, with each cycle of dreaming being longer than the previous,” explains Lauri Quinn Loewenberg, a dream expert. “

The first dream of the night is about 5 minutes long and the last dream you have before awakening can be 45 minutes to an hour long.” It is estimated that most people have more than 100,000 dreams in a lifetime.

Dream after you are awake? After a vivid dream it can be hard to fully wake up. It can be hard to concentrate until you get that dream replaced with reality. Or have you ever woken up from such a beautiful, perfect dream that you wished you could go back to sleep to soak it all up? This is how you can. Just lie still—don’t move a muscle—and you can remain in a semi-dreamlike state for a few minutes. “The best way to remember your dreams is to simply stay put when you wake up,” says Loewenberg. “Remain in the position you woke up in, because that is the position you were dreaming in. When you move your body, you disconnect yourself from the dream you were just in seconds ago.”

Same dream over and over again. Loewenberg suggests looking for underlying messages in recurring dreams so that you can rid yourself of them.
For example, a common recurring nightmare people have involves losing or cracking their teeth. For this dream, she recommends that people think about what your teeth and your mouth represent. “To the dreaming mind, your teeth, as well as any part of your mouth, are symbolic of your words,” she says. “Paying attention to your teeth dreams helps you to monitor and improve the way you communicate.”

 

10 Things You Can do to Prevent Fraud

There are over 10 million people that are victims of scams every year. Scam artists defraud people across the globe by using phone, email, postal mail and the Internet to trick you into sending money or revealing personal information. While con artists can be clever, many can be stopped by knowledgeable consumers. Here are 10 steps from the Federal Trade Commission that you can take to stop a scam.

1. Wiring money is like sending cash: once it’s gone, you can’t get it back. Don’t wire money to strangers, to sellers who insist on wire transfers for payment, or to someone who claims to be a relative in an emergency (and wants to keep the request a secret).

2. Do not send money to someone you don’t know, including online merchants you’ve never heard of, or an online love interest who asks for money or favors. Do business with sites you know and trust. Don’t send cash, and don’t use a wire transfer service.

3. Do not respond to messages that ask for your personal or financial information, whether they arrive by email, phone, text message or an ad, no matter how professional they seem. For example, Associated Bank will never ask for your account or personal information by email.

4. Do not play a foreign lottery. First, it’s illegal to play them. Second, you’ll be asked to pay “taxes,” “fees,” or “customs duties” to collect your prize. If you send money, you won’t get it back, regardless of promises.

5. Do not agree to deposit a check from someone you don’t know, then wire money back, no matter how convincing the story. If you deposit a check that turns out to be fake, you are responsible to pay back the bank.

6. Read your bills and monthly statements regularly, on paper and online. Scammers steal account information, then run up charges or commit crimes in your name.

7. After a natural disaster or other crisis, donate to established charities rather than one that seems to have sprung up overnight. Visit www.ftc.gov/charityfraud to learn more.

8. Talk to your doctor before buying health products or receiving medical treatments. Buy prescription drugs only from licensed U.S. pharmacies; otherwise you could receive products that are fake, expired, mislabeled and possibly dangerous. Visit www.ftc.gov/health

9. Remember there’s no such thing as a sure thing.
When you hear pitches that insist you act now, promise big profits and little or no financial risk, or demand that you send cash immediately, report them to Associated Bank or the FTC.

10. Know where an offer comes from and who you’re dealing with, including their physical address and phone number. Do an Internet search for the company name and website and any negative reviews. Check the Better Business Bureau at www.bbb.org

Bonus Tip: Visit www.OnGuardOnline.gov to learn how to avoid internet fraud, secure your computer, and protect your personal information.

The Federal Trade Commission works to prevent fraudulent, deceptive and unfair business practices in the marketplace and to provide information to help consumers spot, stop and avoid them

I’m Curious

I use a program on my Mizmlu’s Creatives site that allows me to see how many people look at my posts and pages and where they are located.  Although the majority of my visitors are in the United States, I have visitors from 28 different countries!  I find that amazing!

The program is Counterize.  It shows not only the number of visitors, but lots of other information such as the number of visitors on each day of the week and each month of the year as well as the time of day.  This helps me plan my promotional messages to reach as many visitors as possible.

The information I get from the different countries is limited but does help me determine the place where they live if I so desire.  For instance, I can tell if someone in my son’s family looked at my blog because the IP shows me their location in Washington State.  The program does not identify the actual person, only the city in which they live.

Which brings me to something that I found interesting.  I had a visitor from India yesterday.  Whoever it was looked at the picture I posted of my Denyer family.  This person lives in a town near the very lowest part of India.  The town is Thiruvananthapuram in Kerala.

I am by nature a very curious person. I imagine this person is equally curious.  Why would he or she be interested in the Denyer family?  My reason for posting it was not only to show the group, but hoping that it would reach someone who had Denyers in their family and would contact me to share information.

I would love to reach this person and communicate with them.  If they were simply curious, OK.  I understand that.  But if there is a connection somewhere I would like to know about it.  The Denyers came from England, (possible connection to India there.)

Therefore, I am inviting the person in India who saw my Denyer picture to contact me by email at mdenyer@dslextreme.com.  I would be delighted to hear from you even if you were just curious.

 

New Denyer Family Information

I just found out with a lot of help from a wonderful lady in England why the Denyer males in my late husband’s family had the name Freeman, either first or middle.  It made no sense to me.  I just listed it in my data base and went on to other ancestors.  Then I saw a message on my Cornwall list that Janie, in England, was from Cornwall and offered to do research there.  I couldn’t wait to contact her.  I do not have access to International resources so this was an offer I couldn’t resist.

 

I told her what information I had, not asking about Freeman, just looking for more info on my husband’s family.  She responded the very next day with the Freeman source. I was astonished.   The name came from my husband’s grandfather, Freeman Wm. Valentine Denyer’s grandmother, Mary Anne FREEMAN.  This wasn’t all.  She listed 3 links to information on the birth date and place of Mary Anne’s daughter, Amelia, Freeman’s mother, which I didn’t have and the misspelling of her last name.  I had Penglaze and it is Polglase which may be why I hadn’t found the information earlier.    She said the Cornwall language, including names, is often misspelled or mispronounced.

 

Needless to say, I was thrilled.  I emailed all the Denyers and passed on the good news.  I know my husband didn’t know, or cared, why he had that middle name, nor do my son or grandson, who have the same middle name.  To my knowledge no one in the family, now deceased, had ever questioned the source of that unusual first name.

 

Further research linked Mary Anne to her husband, the marriage date, her husband’s occupation, coalminer, and her parents.

 

I love doing genealogy and the people who pursue it.  They are, without exception, generous to a fault, and eager to share information and pictures when available.  I have made many friends in far away places in this quest and offer my help whenever asked.  It just so happens that today is my late husband’s birthday.  He would have been 86.

Freeman William Valentine Denyer b 14 Feb 1857

 

James Freeman Denyer 1972

Social Security Checks by Mail is Ending

For some unknown reason I don’t believe I have many seniors following me.  I can only judge by the number of readers of certain articles.  However the following information can be helpful to those of you who receive Social Security checks in the mail, or know someone who does.  The Social Security Administration will soon cease mailing  those checks and electronically credit their bank account or a debit card.

 

It is supposed to work like this:  Each recipient, now and in the future, will receive their monthly benefit credited to a bank account or debit card.  If the recipient doesn’t have either one a Master Card will be issued to them.  They can then use this card for all purchases and receive cash from an ATM once a month.   This is supposed to be much safer than sending the check  in the mail.  In 2010 more than 540,000 federal benefit checks were reported lost or stolen.  And it will save the government about $120 million a year.

It will also save the fee that some recipients pay to cash their check since there is no charge for debit card purchases.

One problem occurring to me is the possible misplacement or loss of the card.  Some seniors might not remember where they put it.

 

If you would like more information, the government has a website, www.GoDirect.org and a toll-free phone number, 1-800-333-1795 for assistance.   You can also read Dick Eastman’s article on the subject at Eastman’s Online Genealogy Newsletter.  If you can’t find it contact me and I will e-mail you his complete article.   It has received some valid and interesting comments.

Who do You Think You Are?

I just saw an article about how NBC picks the celebrities they feature on their show, ”Who Do You Think You Are?”  It‘s very interesting.  They do a great deal of research before picking someone who has an interesting story and they can take the ancestry back several generations.   Not everyone who would like to be featured is chosen.  Sometimes the researchers  hit a dead end or it isn’t interesting enough to get the attention of the viewers.  In fact they turn down more than they choose.  You can read the entire article at http://goo.gl/7Q5wN

The program has its detractors.  Read the comments after the article.  A program like this is not going to satisfy everyone and the comments are valid.  I would like to know that NBC and Ancestry read them, but have doubts that they will.

I watched all of the first 2 seasons and eagerly looked forward to this season.   I’m glad that Ancestry is doing this series because I think it encourages more people to seek out their heritage.   The program provides well known people who don’t have much information, or sometimes wrong information, about their ancestors with dates, places, names, interesting events and lots of travel.

It would be nice if your average genealogist had the means to travel all over the world in search of his or her family, not to mention meeting with the professionals who always magically produce documentation on the family.   NBC and Ancestry does all that research and then selects people who will have a large amount of original documents taking them back several generations.

This makes the program interesting because we get to see how the chosen few find the information that they have been looking for.   Unfortunately the majority of people doing genealogy don’t have that opportunity.  They have to work for each little item they find.  If they get lucky it sometimes leads them to another ancestor they didn’t know they had.  This is what makes the research so fascinating and addictive.

Almost every genealogist will have a “brick wall”, a person who has no information beyond a certain point.  But we keep looking, because we are hooked.  But we won’t appear on “Who Do You Think You Are?”