SCAM ALERT: Falsified Phone Calls About Past Due Utility Bills

I was sent this scam alert y my electric company.  By the way, I love Champion Energy.

SCAM ALERT: Falsified Phone Calls About Past Due Utility Bills
The Better Business Bureau (BBB) is reporting that scammers are calling people and claiming to work for local electric, water or gas companies. The callers tell people that they are late on a utility bill and that their service will be cut off if they don't pay immediately. Then they instruct people to purchase a prepaid debit card to pay their bill and call them back with the card number.

For help in spotting a scam, please be informed of the following tips:

It is a red flag if you are asked to pay by a prepaid debit card. Champion Energy will not suggest that you purchase a prepaid debit card to make payments.
High pressure tactics, such as threats to cut off your service unless you make an immediate payment are questionable.

In the event you receive a call like this, DO NOT give out any personal information. Hang up immediately and report that number to the FTC.

Clueless Anonymous Spammers

I have had a lot of spamming in the comments of this blog lately.  The good news for me is that Blogger automatically treats these as the spam they are.

So Anonymous guy or gal spamming my comments - you are wasting your time.  Did you think to ever check back on the articles you spammed?  I get a good laugh out of this!

Stay safe!

Be Your Own Detective - but Never Use a "Bug"

I have showed several ways that you can use a "bug" on this site.  However, without written permission from at least one of the people being "bugged" or from a judge, you just cannot do that.  OK< really you SHOULD not do that.  You CAN do it - it just may get you thrown in jail in most states and you will lose any law suit against you for doing it.

The bottom line is don't use a bug to spy on someone.  Don't "accidentally" leave a recorder behind when you leave a room that is still recording.

In most states you can bug yourself and others around you.  Just avoid doing that in a 2 party state.

Whatever you do, stay safe!

When Should You Call a Locksmith?

If you have locked your keys in your car (and it isn't one of those On Star - what-have-you cars), (and who hasn't?) and you have towing on your insurance policy, - everyone should call.

The "towing" part of insurance also covers locksmiths.  My insurance agent did not tell me this - but the locksmith did.

So don't damage your car trying to break in (if you have this coverage). Just call the locksmith and it is paid for - or at least mostly paid for.

Cell Phone Recon - a Review

I tried out the cell phone recon.  I found it to work as advertised.  You can see what text messages, calls, and emails are made to and from a smart phone.

It works really well and I was satisfied with the service.  Another use of cell phone recon is for your own phone's security.  You can track and find your phone at any time if it is lost or stolen.

Why not try it out.  You can get it from Brickhouse Security

Whatever you do - stay safe!

Easy to Use Computer Monitoring

If you have a need to monitor activity on a computer - there is a an easy solution.  All you need is one of these:

Stealth iBot Computer Spy Deluxe

It is the Stealth iBot Deluxe.  It can pretty much tell you everything that has gone on the computer.  It works like a memory stick.  Plug it in to install the software.  Unplug it and wait.  You get notified of activity on the computer by email.  You can also go back and get every bit of information and activity that goes on.

This is what they say about it:

The Stealth iBot Deluxe logs every keystroke typed from chats, Instant Messages, search engines, emails and control fields exchanged with your child, teen, spouse or employee. The software will also capture screenshots that you can set to meet your own monitoring preferences, like keyword/keyphrase triggers, which will send alerts to your email every time the keylogging software detects a word you've selected to monitor.

Whatever you do - Stay Safe!!

Domino's Tracker and Mobile Numbers

Somewhere you may have come across the story how Domino's tracker saved the life of a customer. Basically a crazy ex girlfriend was confronting her ex who had ordered the pizza and he was awaiting the delivery.  The delivery guy named Alejandro (who deserves an award and medal) arrived to an open door - saw the crazy knife wielding ex-girlfriend and called the police.  on top of that he still delivered the pizza after the police arrived - That is customer service!  I won't recall the whole story - you can got here to read it.

On a side note.  In an effort to collect even more private data from people Google is now threatening their users that they may lose their privilege to use their services (in the case of hijacking or lost passwords) if they don't give up their mobile number.  I am sure this is a ruse to juts obtain mobile numbers of their customers as there is no reasonable explanation as to how this can be a "security measure."  There are thousands of other ways to take care of customers besides requiring them to give up their mobile number so Google can have even more private date to abuse in their databases.

Google has a habit of arbitrarily stopping users from using their services. More often than not they do this without explanation or even a way for their users to correct any issues.  Said users have have no recourse to Google using their nearly omnipotent power to shut down accounts, etc.

Whatever you do - stay safe!

Look Out for the Someone is Killed Scam

He is a new twist on some scams going around lately.  These have slipped into Texas, and may have been going around for a while.  A lot of people who have been scammed do not like to tell everyone that they were a willing "mark."

The basics of the scam goes like this.  Someone will call a good sized Church claiming they are a police officer (or similar official). They tell them that a parishioner has been killed.  They claim that there are some emergency expenses that need to be taken care of.  The shocked worker at the church tends to not stop and think to check to see if the "police officer" is legitimate.   So far, exactly how the scammers get the name of the parishioner is not clear, but many churches have directories of members and such.

If you get a call like this, verify it with the local police.  Take a few moments, that and check with the "victim" or their family members to see if it is real.

Whatever you do - stay safe!

When You Should Hire a Real Detective Reason #1

OK, I have posted a long time about how to be your own detective, and how you can save big bucks doing so.  You can be your own detective, but you cannot be someone else's detective, and you cannot hire a non-licensed detective.

OK, so you can hire one, but it can cost you $10,000 in fines.  Yep I said 10 Grand.  So, you can be your own detective - there is no law against that.  But do not do it for someone else, and do not hire a non- licensed person to do it for you.  That is just stupid.  If you need a real detective go to Real Texas PI.

Whatever you do, stay safe!

When You Have to Be Your Own Detective Reason #1

This is a first in a series of who knows how many posts with this headline.  There are instances that you cannot use a detective to get what you want.  Why?  Because it would be illegal for a detective to do what you want.

Let's say you suspect your spouse is cheating.  The problem is that your spouse is not going anywhere to cheat, but they are doing it in your own bedroom.  If you were to say, hire a detective to plant hidden cameras to catch the cheater on video - well - most places that would be illegal.  So any legitimate private detective would not take the job.  This is because a person has certain expectations of privacy in their own bedroom.  There could be serious criminal and civil liabilities for a detective to plant cameras in a bedroom.

However, a spouse does not have an expectation of privacy in their own bedroom from thier own spouse.  Therefore, you could plant your own camera in the bedroom to catch a cheater.  One of the most simple to set up is the power adapter hidden camera.  You can the Hidden Camera in a Power Adapter !

Just set up the camera - check it after you suspect the "activity" has gone on, and you can see video evidence.  Unless nothing has happened of course.

Whatever you do - Stay Safe!