Category Archives: Economy and Meltdown

Coastal Vacation Scams Equal Bad Vacations For You

Coastal vacation scam artists take people’s money with promises of phony vacations. Many of these offers use words like “cheap Hawaiian vacation” to lure travelers.

Most people dream of taking a coastal vacation. They may hope for a cheap Hawaiian vacation package or dream of a coastal vacation resort weekend.

But many coastal vacation scams disguise themselves as legitimate offers. Police report an increase in coastal vacation scams in recent years.

The Internet spawned a new breed of coastal vacation scam artist wanting to cheat honest consumers out of their money. Anyone who types in cheap Hawaiian vacation package into a “Google” search engine will find over one million his.

The Federal Trade Commission reported 3,600 consumers scammed in 2002, amounting to $3.5 million. How can consumers tell the difference between a coastal vacation scam and an honest cheap vacation package?

1. Many people operating coastal vacation scams will ask for a credit card or other financial information early in the conversation. Many of these so-called vacation companies want consumers to give their financial information online for a “cheap Hawaiian vacation.”

The desire by the company to receive financial information before the consumer feel comfortable doing so should indicate a red flag and a possible coastal vacation scam.

Many cases of identity fraud started with coastal vacation scams. Consumers receive their bank or credit card statements and find that in addition to their “cheap Hawaiian vacation,” charges of cash advances and purchases of high-dollar merchandise.

Consumers who fall prey to identity fraud should contact their local law enforcement immediately about the coastal vacation scam.

2. The company operating coastal vacation scams will offer the consumer very little details about the planned trip. The person on the other line, on the phone or on the Internet, will offer constant assurances the hotel in the cheap Hawaiian vacation package features Oceanside views, luxuries rooms and private balconies—very broad descriptions.

The “seller” of the coastal vacation scam may claim they stayed there many times but cannot give specifics.

The company asks the consumer not to contact the hotel or resort directly about the vacation package, another sign of a coastal vacation scam.

If the consumer cannot confirm the reservations with the hotel directly, the consumer should look elsewhere for a cheap Hawaiian vacation. Consumers should get the details and take charge of their coastal vacation and not fall prey to coastal vacation scams.

3. Coastal vacation scam artists use word like “free” or “vacation offer.” Often these so-called “offers” include a daylong presentation before families can use their free tickets–a common coastal vacation scam technique.

If consumers cannot see the islands on their cheap Hawaiian vacation and must sit through lengthy presentations, the vacation may not seem so “cheap.”

4. The Better Business Bureau and other government agencies maintain lists of coastal vacation scams. Smart consumers check these lists and report any contact by these coastal vacation scam artists.

One of the more popular ruses offers a cheap Hawaiian vacation or a cheap family vacation package.

Fear of a coastal vacation scam should not keep consumers from seeking out great vacation deals, like a cheap Hawaiian vacation.

Many companies offer legitimate family vacation packages and an honest travel incentive program that saves families even more money on their vacation costs. Coastal vacation scams should not discourage travelers.

Ben Jordan an x-Fortune 500 executive turned coastal vacations scam buster. His love is helping people use the coastal vacations call center business model. For a FREE 3day/2night hotel voucher visit

How to Report "Buy America Act" Fraud

Many federal government agencies include “Buy America” clauses in contracts. If there is a Buy America Act clause in a government contract, it’s fraud to supply overseas goods under the government contract. In other words, unless the Buy America clause is waived by the agency for a particular contract and reason, these clauses are enforceable and the government pays whistleblower rewards to those who report when goods are made overseas.

Buy America Act fraud is not limited to the countries that won’t sign the Trade Agreement Act, but applies to all things made overseas in any country. It applies to all types of goods, such as electronics, office supplies, furniture, computers, and anything else bought by the government. (Trade Agreement Act fraud is described in another article by this author.)

Examples of “Buy America Act” Fraud

Recently a competitor turned in a company that was undercutting its bid on government contracts. If found out the reason; they were obtaining their electronics overseas. That’s not fair competition and hurts U.S. manufacturers. He filed for a reward for reporting Buy America fraud. The government agreed. It required the company to pay the U.S. $500,000 and gave the whistleblower a reward of $160,000 reward for turning in company for supplying government with goods made in China. It wasn’t that hard for the competitor to figure it out, because the electronics were stamped made in China. He was able to easily prove the fraud and not only stop the competitor from cheating, but got a nice reward.

At least two large chain companies that sell office supplies have also been forced to repaid $5 million to the government for committing Buy America fraud. The whistleblowers received rewards of $1 million each for reporting Buy America Act fraud.

How to Report Buy American Fraud

It’s downright un-American to cheat by committing Buy America Act fraud. That’s why the U.S. Department of Justice is offering huge monetary rewards for reporting Buy America Act fraud.

The government will pay up to 25% of what it recovers based upon your report of Buy America Act fraud. That often amounts to a million dollar reward.

However, knowing how to report Buy America Act fraud is just as important as knowing about Buy America Act fraud. One requirement is that you must use an attorney to file for a monetary reward under the federal False Claims Act. You must also follow the government’s strict procedures for applying for a government reward. You cannot simply call a hotline, but must file specific filings in federal court. That’s why you need to use an attorney experienced with the False Claims Act to file for you. (Don’t worry, they’ll use a contingency fee and accept a portion of the reward as payment.) It certainly can be worth the effort because you can help protect American businesses while at the same time getting a significant monetary reward.

If you work for a company that has a Buy America Act clause in a federal government contract, but you know that it secretly supplies goods from overseas, you may be eligible for a significant monetary reward if you report the Buy America Act fraud. Similarly, if you are a competitor and have specific proof that they are cheating by supplying overseas goods for contracts you know contain a Buy America Act clause, you too could get a reward and level the playing field.

It’s time for you to learn how to report Buy America Act fraud and how to step forward.

Joel Hesch spent 15 years as an attorney in the Fraud Division of the Department of Justice (1990-2006) administering the national whistleblower reward program. He is the author of a recent book, Whistleblowing: A Guide to Government Reward Programs (How to Collect Millions of Dollars for Reporting Fraud). He is currently a law school professor at and represents whistleblowers filing for monetary rewards for reporting fraud. Please visit his informative website to learn more about government reward programs:

Understanding Types of Arizona Fraud

Fraud is a serious offense that can include a multitude of possible crimes and schemes. In the state of Arizona, fraud schemes can encompass intricate bank fraud to internet crimes. If you or a loved one have been charged with criminal fraud, money laundering, robbery, forgery, false reporting, or a number of other applicable fraud offenses, your first step is to get in touch with an experienced fraud attorney in Arizona.

Here, we’ll take a look at a few of the different types of fraud, broken up by white collar and internet crimes.

White Collar Crimes

Bank fraud occurs when a person fraudulently attempts to control and/or obtain assets, money, or property owned by an institution like a bank. In many cases, this is a criminal offense that employs a scheme or artifice.

Bribery is defined as a form of corruption. It is an act of implying money or gift that will be given in order to alter the behavior of the recipient. It becomes a crime when it offers, gives, receives, or solicits and item of value to influence the actions of any person in charge of a public or legal duty.

Counterfeiting is an act of imitation that is made with the intent of passing it off as genuine. Counterfeit products are oftentimes made to take advantage of the superior value of the imitated product, including currency, documents, clothing, software, pharmaceuticals, watches, electronics, company logos, and brands.

Extortion is a criminal offense in which a person unlawfully obtains money, property, or services from a person, entity, or institution through coercion. It is commonly practiced by organized crime groups and the threat of violence that usually accompanies extortion is enough to fuel a conviction.

Money laundering is the practice of participating in financial interactions to conceal the identity, source, and/or destination of the illegally gained money. The assets are then are made to appear like they have a legitimate origin.

Internet Crimes

Auction fraud occurs when the value of a product is false or there is a failure to deliver the product. There may also be an individual who claims to be the authorized dealer.

Credit card fraud is defined as an unauthorized use of a credit or debit card. It can also happen when the card was obtained in part of an identity theft scheme.

Debt elimination schemes promise to offer a “legal” solution to resolving one’s credit card debt or unpaid mortgage. Typically, the victim pays a flat fee for the service and is then issued false documents which state that the debts have been absolved.

Identity theft is the most well-known internet crime and occurs when an individual takes one’s identity without his or her permission/knowledge.

What to Do

If you or a loved one have been charged with any sort of fraud, it is imperative that you come in contact with a reputable and experienced fraud attorney in Arizona. Only a fraud attorney in Arizona with enough practice in the field will be able to give your case a fighting chance at being reduced or dismissed.

An Arizona criminal defense attorney with the experience of 20 years in law, Guy will provide you with an outstanding, passionate defense in the face of criminal law charges. For more information about Guy and his mission, contact him here or at 602.396.7114.

Is Vemma a Scam?

I think that every person who gets involved with Vemma either has or will wonder if Vemma is a scam. I have done a lot of research on Vemma and have found out a few details that might surprise you about Vemma – a scam or not?

            One  of the main things you will hear about Vemma is how good for it is for you. Is that statement a Vemma scam to just make Vemma more money or is it really true? It is a true fact that Vemma is a good product and has numerous health benefits, but will the benefits help you or is it just a Vemma scam? One benefit is you can get all your daily vitamins with just a two oz. shot every day. Yes, that is true but will you feel the difference or not? After trying it for awhile most people will come to the conclusion that Vemma is just a scam and will stop taking it, but will shortly return to it because they notice a difference immediately once they are off. I have felt and have seen Vemma change lives for the better several times. On the other hand I have seen some people take it consistent for two months and not notice a single difference. So is Vemma a scam I would say for health try it for yourself and find out. The complement I hear most is “I sure do sleep better at night since I am on Vemma.”

            Most people will wonder is the “money” a Vemma scam or can I really quit my day job after a little while and make more money than I ever dreamed of? I wish I could say that was not a Vemma scam for everyone, but for some 98% it will be a Vemma scam and they will never see that dream come true with the Vemma scam. So how do you be a part of the 2% that do make that dream come true with the Vemma scam? I know that Vemma works and anyone can make a lot of money marketing Vemma (the compensation  plan is real good with pay outs above 60%), but it is all you.

 If you are a person that is really going to get out there and make it happen then you can be the 2% that make Vemma not a scam. Ok, you say you’re going to make it happen but you tried it before and it doesn’t work. The next step to make it happen is you have got to know a few techniques that work… not just do what upline says and you’re rich! (I’ll be the first to tell you that if you do all your upline says you just joined the Vemma scam and you’ll never be rich.) Why is it that 98% fail and make Vemma a scam? They do exactly what their upline says and their upline never tells them statistics 100% true to all mlm’s.

In order for you to have a downline big enough to support you, you have to enroll more people than you, your friends, family, and all your relatives even know. So how do you do that? Or, is Vemma a scam? I know You are the only person that can make Vemma  not a scam so if you are willing to work hard for one year and make more money than you ever have then visit my Free Report @ and I will work with you personally to make Vemma not a scam.  Remember, it is you that decides if Vemma is a scam. The product and the compensation plan work!

Heber Warner (Business Growth Specialist)

Changes to the Way Credit Card Fraud is Reported Could Reduce Bureaucracy

The recent scandal over the credit card details of TK Maxx customers being stolen in epic proportions has once again revived the age-old financial question – just how safe is your credit card? The advent of Chip and Pin in the UK in 2006 caused waves of warning last year when credit consumers feared for the safety of their pin numbers. However, a recent change in the system for reporting credit card, cheque and online banking fraud may help increase consumer confidence when it comes to your credit card privacy.

APACS, the UK trade association for payments and those institutions that deliver payment, reports that from Sunday, April 1 2007, credit card consumers in England, Wales and Northern Ireland would have to change the way they report instances of credit card fraud. The previous method allowed victims of credit card fraud to report to both their bank or building society and to the police. However, the new rules place banks and financial institutions as the first point of contact for victims reporting these frauds, and now eliminate the need to inform the police as well.

These changes to the way that card, cheque and online banking fraud are being reported follows on from the introduction of the Fraud Act in 2006, and are the product of discussions between the Home Office, Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) and the financial sector. These new procedures aim to reduce the level of bureaucracy involved in the recording of fraud.

Sandra Quinn, director of communications at APACS, commented: “This change simply removes an additional level of reporting and will provide greater consistency for the reporting of fraud losses in the UK. APACS will provide the Home Office with the industry’s fraud figures for cheque, plastic and online banking fraud losses – these losses will then be published as part of the government’s annual crime figures.”

Ms Quinn added: “The threat of fraud is, unfortunately, a part of our daily lives. Although card fraud losses have decreased for the past two years, the industry remains committed to a multi-layered approach to tackling card fraud.”

Earlier this year, APACS released its full UK card fraud figures for 2006, which showed that total losses have fallen by 3% in the past year to £428 million.

If you’re looking for a new , but you’re unsure as to which banks and financial institutions offer the best protection against credit card fraud, you’ll be able to seek help from a variety of online consumer comparison sites that will advise you on which credit card is best for your personal and financial needs.

Andrew Regan is an online, freelance journalist.