Category Archives: Economy and Meltdown

Home Business Scam: Watch Out for These Latest Scams!

are becoming more prevalent these days because of the increased popularity of home based jobs. It is sad to see people falling into the trap to such Cons and usually these Cons are pointed at , the elderly and also disabled people. If you are looking for a work at home career, then you must know how to determine these scams and avoid becoming a victim.

Here are some examples of some work at home business scams:

Scam #1: Envelope Stuffing
This is the classic con which many of us has come across at least once in the past. You see an advertisement or a junk mail announcing that you can gain $1-$2 for every envelope you stuff. Sounds like you can earn money easily, right?? Think again. Most of the time, you need to pay a start-up fee of somewhere $30 or more to join the envelope stuffing program. When you receive the start-up package, you realize that the instruction tells you to spread the word about this envelope stuffing business, then you will get paid. The trick is that they want you to help in earning the start-up fees by sending out the same junk mail you received in the first place. The trick is to get your start-up fee (your money!) first before you realize how this home based business scam really works.

Scam #2 : Processing Medical Bills
This requires you to pay anywhere from $300 to $900 for the tools you need to start your own medical billing service at home. They will promise you some advanced billing software as well as a list of would be clients in your neighborhood. Don’t you think that most medical institutions would process their own medical bills or outsource the processing to a legitimate company, instead of individuals with no experience or knowledge whatsoever? When the package arrives (if it ever does!), you will find that the software is not up-to-date or does not work at all and the list of customers is just plain wrong. Chances are you will never be able to get a refund..

Scam #3 : Craft Assembly
In this home based business scam, you are told you will be given an extremely huge amount of money for every toy, doll, jewelry or other craft item you assemble at home. In order to start, first you are required to pay a start up fee to receive a starter pack which includes instructions and parts. When you are done assembling the product, you are told by the company that they do not meet their specifications therefore you will not get paid for it. Actually you will never be able to reach their expectations because the scam gets money by selling the starter packs. At the end of the day, you are left with a bunch of unwanted products cluttering up your home.

Scam #4 : Data Entry
There are numerous advertisements and postings for data entry opportunities on the Internet and even on online employment sites. All you need to do is just pay $10 to purchase a training package and they would send you all the training materials. You should also see that the job scope is normally very blurry and no prior experience is required. The “job description” is usually that you will need to mail out advertisements and brochures similar to the one you received to other unsuspecting victims. Once they pay up the $10, then you will get half of the money and the person who recruited you will receive half as well.

Scam #5 : Email Processing
This scam is actually similar to the classic envelope stuffing scam stated above. Typically you will be required to pay an upfront fee of about let’s say $49.95 to receive an instruction manual and an email distribution list. The instructions will inform you how to process the emails and you will supposedly get about $25 for each email processed! Seems like the ideal work at home opportunity, doesn’t it?? Wrong! The instructions they send you are actually on how to spam other people’s emails with the same advertisement which motivated you to pay $49.95 in the first place. Then when another unsuspecting person (like yourself) takes the bait and pays $49.95, the spam company will (maybe) pay you your $25.

Ask yourself, is that the kind of work at home job you want to invest your precious time doing? Is it ethical? Is it legal? You are actually associating yourself with a con if you join such work at home business scams, which disguise themselves as genuine opportunities. One thing working from home moms should know is that there is no shortcut to success. Yes, sometimes with luck you can get there speedier than others but most of the time, it takes lots of effort and then some.


Stella Parks is a 28 year old corporate slave, determined to spread the word on “work at home” opportunities to Mums everywhere. Visit her blog at Mummy’s Home Biz for useful info, advice, tips and more to help you become a successful work at home Mum.

How Merchants Can Reduce Credit Card Fraud

If you operate a retail or ecommerce business, accepting all major credit cards and electronic checks is a required method of customer payment.   However, when you decide to accept electronic payments, business owners must also consider the potential cost of fraud.   Studies have shown both traditional and online merchants have lost billions in fraudulent transactions.  Today, technology provides proven methods for identifying and preventing fraudulent transactions.

Fraud can come in many forms. Needless to say fraud is bad for business.  If you process a fraudulent customer order by the time you find out the credit card was stolen you have already shipped the product.  Fraudulent orders usually result in a customer credit card chargeback to your business.   Unfortunately, by that time, you have delivered and lost your product, you have lost the income from the sale and to top it all off; you will receive a chargeback fee from your credit card processor.   I’m sure we can agree there is a strong need to identify and stop a fraudulent order before you deliver your product.

Fortunately for the merchant, there are many steps and processes that can be implemented to reduce and eliminate credit card fraud.

10 WAYS TO REDUCE CUSTOMER CREDIT CARD FRAUD

1.    Address Verification Service (AVS) – is a simple and easy to implement process to decrease your chances of accepting a stolen credit card. When you process a credit card transaction; make sure you capture the card holder’s billing address and zip code.   Manual non-swipe (Internet and MOTO) transactions will require you to capture card holder information.  However, card present (swipe) transactions will not.  Once you capture the card holder’s billing address and zip code you’re ready to process the sale.   Your point of sale system will verify AVS with the card issuing bank.  You can receive a street address match only, a zip code match only or a match on street address and zip code.   If you do not receive an AVS match you should consider declining the transaction.  Approximately 80% of fraudulent transactions in the U.S. are AVS mismatches.  Keep in mind, most AVS systems can be configured so be sure to check your AVS settings.  Implementing AVS can have a major impact on reducing credit card fraud.

2.    Card Verification (CVV/CVV2) – is similar to AVS.  CVV is the 3 digit code on the back of a credit card (4 digits for American Express).   Like AVS, CVV is entered at the point of sale.   The card holder’s CVV code is verified by the card issuing bank when the credit card sale is being processed.    If you do not receive a CVV match you should consider declining the transaction.  Online merchants should make CVV a required field.

3.    Use a Threshold Management Service – Threshold management allows the merchant to set parameters for the transactions they will accept.  For example, transactions can be screened based on the amount of money charged per transaction, the number of transactions charged, transaction frequency, average user ticket, etc.  Transactions that are marked as a potential fraudulent transaction will require additional review by the merchant.  Threshold Management services are usually available an add-on service.

4.    Scrutinize Orders from Free email accounts – Fraudsters and thieves like to hide.  One of the easiest ways to hide the identity of a thief is to use a free email account.  Most fraudulent transactions use a free email service.  Merchants should not decline all transactions from a free email service.  However, you may want to provide those orders with more scrutiny.

5.    Scrutinize Orders with a different Ship to address than Bill to address – The thief with the stolen credit card may have the owners billing address and zip code.   If so, you will receive an AVS and CVV match on their order.  However, in order to receive your product they will request the order to be shipped to a different address.   Merchants should review all orders with a different ship to and bill to address.   If the ship to address is a foreign country pay even more attention to the order.

6.    Scrutinize International Orders / Foreign Credit Cards – If your business model requires you to ship to foreign countries you should obtain an International merchant account.   Since non domestic orders have a higher rate of fraud than domestic orders, having an International merchant account will provide you with a higher level of protection.  In additional, an international merchant account will allow you to settle in the local currency.  If you require a domestic and international merchant account you should use a payment gateway with load-balancing.  Load-balancing provides the merchant with the ability to use multiple merchant accounts in a single payment gateway account.

7.    Understand that an Authorization Code does not mean the credit card is not stolen – An authorization code is provided when the transaction has been approved.  However, an authorization code simply means the credit card is valid and has the available credit to process the transaction.  Ultimately, as the business owner, it is up to you to decide to accept or reject the transaction.

8.    Use an Advance Fraud Protection Service – Advanced Fraud Protection services allow the merchant to block transactions by IP address, Country of Origin and other fraud filters.  Advanced fraud protection services are usually available an add-on service.

9.    Use a PCI Compliant Data Storage Service – Merchants who have a requirement to store the customer’s credit card data should use a PCI Compliant Data Storage Service.  A PCI Compliant Data Storage Service allows merchants to transmit and store the customer’s payment information in a Level 1 PCI certified data facility.  Once the customer record has been securely transmitted and stored the merchant can then initiate transactions remotely without having to access credit card or electronic check information directly. This process is accomplished without the merchant storing the customer’s payment information in their local database or payment application.

10.  Review and Implement PCI (Payment Card Industry Standards) Policies – Merchants can review PCI Standards online at pcisecuritystandards.org.   If you’re using a PCI Compliant point of sale solution and you do not store payment data you’re already in good shape.  However, merchants should contact their merchant account provider for more information.

Fraud prevention is a necessary activity for traditional and online merchants.   Exposing your business to fraudulent transactions and high chargeback ratios is bad for business and could cause you to lose your merchant account.   The leading real-time payment gateway services provide advanced fraud protection tools.  However, many fraud prevention techniques can be implemented at no additional costs.

Top Real-time Payment Gateway Services

1.    Planetauthorize (Domestic USA and International)

2.    Authorize.Net (Domestic USA)

3.    PlugnPay (Domestic USA)

4.    Skipjack (Domestic USA)

5.    eProcessing Network (Domestic USA)


Ricky Bracken is President & CEO of SaleManager. SaleManager provides enterprise class payment solutions to small and mid-size businesses. Our payment solutions include PlanetAuthorize Payment Gateway, Certified Shopping Carts, CRM Payment Modules, POS Terminals, Mobile payment solutions and Merchant Accounts.

Scams

Welcome to the scams section, first off, let me say that it is misleading out there. A lot of people say ‘product a’ is a scam, when it may not be. Why would people falsly accuse something of being a scam?

The two main reasons are:

1) They may be competition, so by calling the competition a scam, they will get the leading edge unless it backfires…

2) They may not have not made any money with such and such a product.

Just because someone does not make money with a certain system, product, or service, does not mean its a scam. Most products out there mislead you, just look at the tv. They will do anything to sell you something as long as it’s legal. Even if it is frowned upon (a.k.a blackhat methods).

How do you know if you’re being scammed? Usually… if it is too good to be true it is. Thats a good rule to stick by. But that doesnt mean just because something excites you, and motivates you, that it is a scam. It may just mean that they have made a great product/service and/or are good marketers.

Always read the tos, faq and disclaimers. No matter which site, product, or service you are planning to use.

Think of everything you pay for online as a business investment, not a fly by purchase. This is one of the big reasons why so many people lose money in the internet game. The act as shoppers, and not as investors. Before buying something, you need to do your research and be 100% sure that their is no better deal out there. If you wait a week and are still wanting the product, then you know you genuinely want it, rather than a one night stand kind of deal.

I will be posting scams here later on. There is literally millions of them out there, if you want to know if something is a scam then be sure to do your own research, if you cant find any concrete info please let me know and I will try and help you out.

www.wakkaoaka.com


Pharmacy Fraud Stings Physicians, Pharmacists, and Patients

Pharmacy fraud is a leading cause of . From drug abusers to black market drug sales to unscrupulous healthcare providers, pharmacy fraud is rampant. The National Health Care Anti-Fraud Association (NCHAA) estimates that $100 million is lost every day to healthcare fraud, a significant portion of which is due to pharmacy fraud.

Instances of pharmacy fraud are as numerous as they are devious. One recent example involves an HIV infusion scam that defrauded Medicare of nearly $11 million. A Miami physician and two physician assistants were convicted of multiple counts of healthcare fraud when they were found to have “[seen] no patients, administered no legitimate medical services, and paid a cash kickback to patients for each visit.”

But pharmacy fraud isn’t only perpetrated by healthcare professionals. Some drug abusers “dumpster dive” to gain valuable information. It’s a common practice where the drug addict watches someone leave the pharmacy and/or grocery store and throw away the pharmacy’s drug identification sheet into the dumpster in front of the building. Some pharmacies include a patient’s personal information which the dumpster divers use to both steal identities and illegally purchase pharmaceuticals.

Pharmacies themselves commit pharmacy fraud every day in many different forms, including:

  • Billing: Illegal pharmacy billing practices include billing for: brand-name drugs when generics are dispensed, non-existent prescriptions, multiple payers for the same prescription, prescriptions filled but never picked up, splitting prescriptions into smaller days’ supply for additional dispensing fees, or offering or accepting kickbacks.

  • Drug shorting: This type of pharmacy fraud occurs when the pharmacy provides less than the quantity prescribed by the doctor and then bills the insurance provider for the full amount.

  • Refill errors: Another common form of pharmacy fraud is when a pharmacy dispenses the wrong number of refills prescribed by a doctor.

  • Payment scams: Pharmacy fraud also happens when a pharmacy pays a doctor to influence a patient to go to a specific pharmacy, or when a pharmacy waives copays to allure people who would have otherwise used a different store.

Indeed, pharmacy fraud takes many forms. Professional practices, who are so often unwitting victims of pharmacy fraud, need to be vigilant to protect their practices and patients. Prevention begins with education. Hire a healthcare fraud and abuse expert for an unforgettable to teach your employees how to spot and stomp out pharmacy fraud—while also learning how to avoid medical identity theft. Visit or call 310.831.4400 today for more details.


Linda Vincent, R.N., P.I., is an identity theft and healthcare fraud prevention expert specializing in medical consulting and investigations. She teaches corporations, professional practices, and consumers how to stop identity theft and healthcare fraud. Call The Identity Advocate at 310.831.4400 or email info@theidentityadvocate.com. Visit www.TheIdentityAdvocate.com.

Understanding the Types of Stock Fraud

We all know that stock fraud, also known as securities fraud, deals with deceiving people for money, but there are actually numerous types of stock fraud, all just as equally bad as the next. Bernie Madoff, Martha Stewart, and the fine folks over at Enron are all serving (or served) time for different charges of stock fraud. There are so many forms but we’ll just talk about the ones you tend to hear about on the news all the time.

You can thank Enron for making corporate fraud popular in the 2000s. Corporate fraud is simply any type of fraud committed by large corporations and their high level executives. Corporate fraud is complex and has a large negative effect on employees, entire communities, investors, lenders, and financial markets.

With the age of the Internet comes computer and Internet crimes. Internet fraud refers to the use of the Internet to conduct fraudulent business in schemes. This can occur in chat rooms, on websites, or through e-mail. The amount of schemes done over the Internet are practically innumerable. Some examples include the selling of nonexistent items, phishing, work-at-home scams, and investment schemes.

Insider trading has been going on way before Martha Stewart or the movie Wall Street. This is when an “insider” or informant in the company gives someone non-public information and trades stock based on that information. There is a legal form of insider trading which is when a person who works for a company buys and sells stock within the company.

Accounting fraud is when a company lies about its revenue or misdirects funds. Many companies will make it seem that they are worth much more than they really are. Accounting fraud has been nicknamed “creative accounting” because the company learns how to hide or misrepresent their earnings — think of Broadway show The Producers.

Microcap stock fraud relates to small businesses, those with a market capitalization under $250 million. Stocks are sold fraudulently to the public through any number of different stock fraud schemes, such as pump and dump schemes, chop stocks, and dump and dilute schemes.

Unfortunately, a growth in the United States’ markets has also led to an increase in stock fraud. Securities fraud is also becoming more complex as these criminals think of new scams and schemes. The Internet has also led to a huge surge in fraud since it is so much easier to find potential victims. It is often hard to recover the money gained from fraud because criminals have become quite good at hiding the money.

As technology continues to grow, I’m sure these white collar crimes will too. New scams will surface and more will become the innocent victim in these greedy crimes.


Are you a victim of stock fraud? Stock Market Recovery Consultants Inc. can help you make a claim to recover your stock fraud losses. Call 1-800-STOCK-LOSS today or visit us online at StockFraud.com. We won’t charge you a dime until we win your case.