Category Archives: Economy and Meltdown

How to Report Fraud against the Government and get a Reward under the False Claims Act

Approximately 10% of all government spending is lost due to fraud. Because the government spends over a trillion dollars each year, that adds up to $100 billion. What can you do about it or how can you get a reward for reporting fraud against the government?

Often, fraud goes undetected unless a whistleblower steps forward. In fact, 80% of all government fraud cases are brought by whistleblowers. Under the False Claims Act, the Department of Justice has a whistleblower reward program that pays rewards of a portion of the funds it recovers.

So far, the Department of Justice whistleblower reward program has recovered $25 billion back from those who cheated the government and has paid out $3 billion in rewards to whistleblowers. However, most Americans are still unaware of this reward program where a private person who steps forward with information gets a portion of the recovery for reporting fraud against the government—up to 30% of what the Department of Justice recovers back from the cheating company. The largest rewards for reporting fraud against the government exceed $100 million, and the average whistleblower reward is $1 million.

Under the False Claims Act, the Department of Justice pays rewards of up to 30% of the funds it recovers. This includes reporting fraud under any of the more than 20 federal programs, such as Medicare or military fraud. It even extends to Bailout fraud and TARP fraud. Many states now have similar reward programs. The IRS is even offering whistleblower rewards for reporting tax evasion or income tax fraud.

How to Report Fraud under the False Claims Act

Like anything else involving the government, you have to follow the exact procedures—or else you won’t meet the standards and won’t get a reward.  Although the government wants to partner with you, there are some technical requirements you must meet and pitfalls to avoid.

What most don’t realize is that you must do more than call a hotline or be the first one to contact the government. That is not enough. To be eligible for a whistleblower reward you must actually file an application in a legal court proceeding in federal court similar to what you would do in any civil lawsuit.  In addition, you must actually use a qualified attorney. Because it is a legal proceeding, it only makes sense to hire an attorney familiar with the False Claims Act. (Most quality attorneys representing whistleblowers work on a contingency, so you won’t have to spend any out of pocket money to claim a reward.)

If you are the first one to properly file and follow the correct steps, you are eligible for up to 25% of the amount of fraudulent payments recovered back.  Approximately $3 billion in whistleblower rewards have already been paid, and the largest rewards exceed $150 million. Nearly 1 out of 5 applicants have received a reward.

Examples of Fraud Schemes against the Government

The Department of Justice whistleblower reward program applies to anytime a person or company cheats or commits fraud under any federal contract or program, such as Medicare Fraud and Medicaid Fraud, TARP fraud, Bailout Program fraud, and fraud against the military, homeland security and other federal agencies. It even includes companies cheating the Post Office or underpaying royalties as well as grant fraud (research/educational) or guaranteed loan program fraud. It doesn’t matter what government program was cheated, you can earn a reward for reporting it. The ways companies cheat the government are numerous, and the government needs your help in stamping out fraud against the government.

It’s time to find out how to get a reward for reporting fraud against the government under the False Claims Act.

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 and represents whistleblowers filing for monetary rewards for reporting fraud. Please visit his informative website,, to learn more about government reward programs.

eBay Sellers Advice – Avoiding Fraud on eBay

Those who choose to sell items on eBay are as susceptible at becoming victims of scams as those who are buying. Along with the usual scams such as phishing, there are a number of others that are specifically designed to target those selling. In order to make sure that you don’t become a victim when selling on eBay, we offer some eBay seller safety tips that you may find useful below.

Tip 1 – One of the biggest problems faced by those selling goods on sites such as eBay is that they receive counterfeit money orders or certified checks. However, you will often find that criminals from the USA will not use this method to scam you as it is classed as a federal crime and if caught they will face some very harsh penalties.

To make sure that you don’t get caught, you should immediately cash the money order when received rather than deposit into your bank account. Then the responsibility of who determines whether the order is authentic or not will fall on the person who cashed the money order. To further ensure that you don’t lose out, never ship the goods until you have the cash in your hand.

Tip 2 – When it comes to shipping goods to your customers make sure that you use a carrier that allows you to track the location of the package at all times. There are quite a number of people who buy goods online who will claim that they haven’t received the goods and will demand a complete refund. However, by using a company that allows you to track the goods, you can then arrange for confirmation of delivery to be provided.

Tip 3 – You should always be wary about the locations where you sell your products to. There are quite a number of countries where fraud is rampant and the main ones you should avoid are Thailand, Nigeria and Russia.

Tip 4 – When you are selling goods on eBay one of the best seller safety tips we can provide is to use a PO Box or Postal Service for your registered address. Remember it is very easy for others to be able to search on the eBay system to provide your home address if you include these details on your account.

Tip 5 – If you are going to be selling expensive items through eBay before you actually ship them, it is a good idea not only to make sure that they are insured, but also take detailed photographs. This way you can easily counteract any claims made by unscrupulous buyers who damage the goods themselves on receipt because they have decided it isn’t what they wanted.

By insuring it, you can make out a claim to your insurance company and they will then investigate further. Having taken photographs before shipping also clearly shows that the goods were in perfect condition before being shipped.

Above, we have provided just a few seller safety tips that you may find extremely useful when it comes to selling on eBay. If you keep in mind what we have discussed above then the risk to you of becoming a victim of any type of scam is reduced.

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I’m too careful to need identity fraud protection

Most of us think that we are just too clever to be the victim of an identity thief. We look after our cards, and shred all our trash.

When my colleague’s identity was stolen, he didn’t realise that anything was wrong for several weeks. By then, all the problems had been caused. Without any support from an identity protection insurance policy, he was left alone to pick up the pieces. It took almost a year before he felt confident that all he personal details were safe again, and everything was back to normal.

His problem that he lived in an apartment where there was a shared mailbox – a perfect formula for an identity thief or someone desperate enough to become one.

It was easy for the fraudster to pick up other people’s mail, and when a bank statement went missing, no-one noticed. At the time, the missing bank statement was not missed, and it was so simple for the identity thief to start setting up new accounts and spending money. It wasn’t until he happened to pick up a letter about an account he had not set up that he got suspicious.

The police found the thief straight away, but he still ended up spending hours of his valuable time on the phone speaking to banks, credit card companies and all sorts of other people Apart from the major stress it caused that went on for weeks, and the hours of work trying to sort out the mess, I suppose that he was quite fortunate. The culprit was apprehended and financially he did not lose too much.

But many people are not so lucky – they end up losing a lot of money and have to set up all sorts of new accounts. So, just because it hasn’t happened yet, don’t assume it won’t, and bury your head in the sand.

Most people don’t realise just how valueable a good credit rating is. With a good credit rating, it is quite easy to get a new phone or a new credit card and spend a load of cash in a very short time. The more unlucky victims will have their personal information passed all over the world to be used in all sorts of internet transactions.

Fortunately if you discover it in time, most banks are sympathetic and limit your liabilities, but if it goes on for more than 60 days, you could be in for a nasty financial shock. But the fact that you feel violated and have to spend hours on the phone sorting out the mess is more important than the financial loss.

How often have you just put old credit card statement, or your name and address into the normal trash without thinking?

One of the more worrying aspects of ID fraud is that many of us give our personal details away on Social Networking sites With lax security settings, you can hand out your name, address, date of birth and location to almost anyone without even realising it. If your personal details are visible to friends of friends, you might as well publish it in a national newspaper.

So, don’t believe identity fraud won’t happen to you – over 9 million Americans thought that last year and they were all wrong!

There are ways in which you can check your ID status yourself, so it is worth doing before any damage occurs.

It will certainly be too late to do anything afterwards.

It is wise to get it sorted out now.

Visit the website now for Credit Theft Protection advice and some of the best offers on Identity Fraud Protection Insurance.

Most People are Aware of Credit Card Fraud: Learn What Other Identity Theft Crimes May Affect you

According to the Federal Trade Commission, the most common types of identity theft are credit card fraud, utility fraud, bank and loan fraud, employment-related fraud, and government document or benefit fraud. While many people are award of credit card fraud as it is the number one crime committed and is also the easiest way a criminal can use your information, it is important to understand the other types of identity theft in order to protect yourself. It is the goal of this article to discuss remaining four types of identity theft and some ways to protect you from each method. While nobody is completely safe from identity theft, there are steps you can take to reduce the chance of becoming a victim.

Identity theft can extend to utility fraud which is currently rated the number two type of fraud in the United States and is actually higher then credit card fraud in certain states. Utility fraud is relatively easy to commit and is the practice of an identity thief using your personal information to obtain utility accounts such as gas, electric, water and sewer, cable, and other services. The thief can also setup telecommunication accounts such a home or cell phone and in many cases a thief needs only your name, address and phone number to commit utility fraud. About 15 percent of senior victims report that an identity thief obtained unauthorized telecommunications or utility equipment or services in their name. In order to avoid utility fraud it is imperative that you keep a tight rein on all of your personal information. Burn or shred any documents or mail with your personal information on it instead of putting it in the trash as many thieves are not above dumpster diving.

Bank and loan fraud is another identity theft crime that often affects the elderly as about 10 percent of all victims over age 60 reported fraud involving their checking or saving accounts and seven percent reported that an identity thief obtained a loan in their name. Bank fraud is sometimes perpetrated from the inside by a bank employee or manager who already has access to financial information and will sell it to the highest bidder. There are also thieves who already have some of your information and will disguise themselves as a bank official to try and get banking account numbers. Never give any information over the phone to somebody that claims that they work for a financial institution. Instead, ask for an appointment where you can meet with them in person at the bank. It is also important that you never click on an e-mail link in a message said to be from a financial institution asking for information to verify your account. A legitimate bank will never use this type of communication.

Employment fraud comes in two styles with the first type being where someone steals your social security number to get employment. With the ever increasing influx of illegal immigrants looking for work in the United States, the chance of somebody using your social security number to find gainful employment is on the rise. In fact, about two percent of victims over the age of 60 reported that an identity thief used their personal information for employment purposes. While you can reduce the possibility of this crime by keeping tight control of who has access to your social security number, there are no guarantees as many of these illegal immigrants will pick as social security number at random. While most people utilizing this method are simply people looking for work and not true identity thieves, the method is still illegal and can cause some negative effects for the victim.

The second type of employment fraud should be particularly concerning to most Americans as this is the practice of a thief obtaining employment in small businesses such as doctors offices, dentists, and banks to gain access to patient or customer records. Because it is the responsibility of a business to keep their records safe, there is very little an individual can do about this type of crime other then choose only well known and reputable businesses with a strong privacy policy.

Government fraud can occur in many ways including tactics such as applying for government benefits, unemployment insurance, financial aid, or even filing for bankruptcy while using somebody elses social security number. Some identity thieves will commit traffic violations or other crimes and then give a victims personal information when caught as it is easy to get falsified drivers licenses, state IDs, bank cards, and social security numbers if you know where to look. While government fraud is a major focus for the law enforcement groups and agencies in the United States and government fraud comes with a high penalty, too few criminals are ever caught. Once again it is up to you to protect your personal information to avoid this type of fraud.

As you can see, identity thieves are not limited to credit card fraud but can practice other techniques such as the four listed above. Even though credit card fraud, utility fraud, bank and loan fraud, employment-related fraud, and government document fraud are the top 5 methods that identity theft criminals utilize, it would be foolish to think that they are the only methods available. The methods that an enterprising thieve may employ is limited by only their imagination. Because identity theft has become so common a crime it is impossible to be completely safe but you can take steps to reduce the risk. The important thing is to take some type of action be it taking steps on your own or employing an identity theft program such as LifeLock.

If you wish to learn more about identity theft, credit card fraud, and programs that will protect you, please visit the LifeLock Reviews website today. If you are ready to take charge of your financial future then you can go to the LifeLock website and become a member by clicking here.

The Warning signs of Online Fraud and How to avoid it

The number may seem grim for Web-based commerce. In 2004 in the Unites States alone, computer users logged in more than 207,000 Internet fraud reports to the U.S. Internet Crime Complaint Center. If you look hard at this number, you may be astounded, and a good bit frightened, by the implication. You may ask, “Is it really safe to buy and sell at an online site?”

Put simply, the answer is: yes. The Internet is an incredibly powerful tool for business, so you can’t pass it over just because of a few crooks and conmen