Follow by Email

Thursday, January 5, 2017


1. The Offer Seems Too Good to be True
If it seems too good to be true, it almost certainly is. Examples include money left to you from an unknown relative, being awarded a loan or grant you haven’t applied for, winning a lottery you’ve never entered, and being selected to receive a share in funds in return for using your bank account.
If an offer looks too good to be true use Google to search for it. Add scam to the end, such as UK lottery scam, or (Name of Company) grant scam. If it is a scam, someone will almost certainly have written about it somewhere, unless you’re the first victim of a new scam.
2. They Want Private Information
Many scams involve getting hold of your bank account details. Scams involving identity theft also seek personal information. A common scenario is an email supposedly from a bank asking you to click on a link to confirm your bank details and password. If you think the email has really come from your bank, pick up the phone and confirm this with them, but banks don’t do this.
Never click on links or attachments in emails from people you don’t know or you risk your computer becoming infected by viruses, trojans, or other malware.

3. Grammatical Errors
Scammers may be intelligent, but they are not always well educated and don’t always have English as their first language, and their grammatical errors can give them away. For example, an email from a law firm or bank should be free of grammatical errors and spelling mistakes (especially if they’re repeated). If the correspondence you receive is full of errors, be very suspicious.
4. Requests for Fees
Scammers will want advance payments or fees to clear the funds or complete their offer. It will never be clear exactly what the fees are for, but the scammer will tell you they have to be paid or the money can’t be released. They will often adopt an approach that suggests they are only trying to help you out. Never pay fees or taxes in advance unless you are 100% certain it is not a scam.
5. Suspicious Email Domains
Look carefully at the domain name of every contact you make through the suspected scammer. For example, you receive an email from a law firm saying you’ve inherited a large sum of money from a relative you’ve never heard of. Let’s call the firm Mitchell and Smith. If the email is, it may be genuine, but an email is probably from a scammer.
Suspect any free email address such as hotmail, aim, yahoo, gmail. Some genuine businesses do use free emails, but most do not. Other domain names not connected with the name of the company are also suspicious. Use a Whois lookup such as for the domain name (the part of the name after the @ sign) to find out who owns it, and see if anything about it looks suspicious. Do this for the company’s website too, if they have one.
Scammers are guilt-free sociopaths who have fun ripping people off, and their emails can sometimes reveal this. If you suspect a scam, look carefully at the names they use for the company and individuals and see if there is anything funny or odd about them. Even if the names look genuine check them out using the white pages online (or yellow pages for companies). Many genuine business people also have a presence on sites such as LinkedIn and Facebook. Google the name of the person and the company, and all the email addresses, and do a search on Google Blog Watch. If you can’t find any reference anywhere to your contacts, they’re probably fictional.
Contact details can also be a sign of a scam. For example, if the only way you can reach the person is via a mobile phone rather than a landline, it could be a scam.
7. Suspicious or No Addresses
Fraudsters do not want their victims to know where they live. If there is no physical address and your contacts won’t give you one, it’s a sure bet you’re being scammed. If there is a physical address, check it out using the Internet or Google Earth and see if it’s a real address.
Genuine businesses have physical addresses, and they also need to be registered, so if the business is genuine you should be able to find an address.
8. Request for Access to Your Computer
A common scam is a phone call from someone claiming to be a technician who has detected problems with your computer and would like to fix them for you free. Never give anyone remote access to your computer unless you have contacted them and are 100% certain they are not a scammer.
9. Untraceable Payment Method
Scammers prefer payment methods that are untraceable, such as Western Union. Be very suspicious, as a genuine business will have genuine banking details. But don’t pay anyone advance fees by any means if you have the slightest suspicion it is a scam.
10. Pressure
Scammers will often put pressure on their victims and urge them to pay immediately or lose the opportunity. A genuine business making a genuine offer will never pressure you to act immediately.
The best way to avoid being the victim of a scam is to be aware of the warning signs and heed them. Also be aware that scammers understand psychology and know how to manipulate people into doing what they want.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

From "The Hill"


The fourth ObamaCare signup period begins about one week before Election Day, and it will end about one week before inauguration on Jan. 20. After mounting complaints from big insurers about losing money this year, the results could serve as a kind of judgment day for ObamaCare, experts say.
“The next open enrollment period is key,” said Larry Levitt, senior vice president of the Kaiser Family Foundation.
The Obama administration has struggled for several years to bring young, healthy people into the marketplaces, which is needed to offset the medical costs of older and sicker customers "and those who were previously uninsured and those who have serious pre-existing conditions."
These problems are coming to light this year, as insurers get their first full look at ObamaCare customer data. Some, like UnitedHealth Group, say they’ve seen enough and are already vowing to leave the exchanges.  
Levitt and other experts warn that if the numbers don’t improve this year, more insurers could bolt. That would deal a major blow to marketplace competition while also driving up rates and keeping even more people out of the exchanges.
Already, many insurers this year are proposing substantial rate hikes with the hopes of making up for higher recent medical costs. The average premium increase next year is about 9 percent, according to an analysis of 17 cities by the Kaiser Family Foundation. But some hikes are far higher: Blue Cross Blue Shield has proposed increases of 40 percent in Alabama and 60 percent in Texas.

Friday, January 15, 2016

A corporate attorney sent the following out to the employees in his
1. The next time you order checks have only your initials (instead of first name) and last name put on them. If someone takes your
checkbook, they will not know if you sign your checks with just your
initials or your first name, but your bank will know how you sign your checks.
2. Do not sign the back of your credit cards. Instead, put "PHOTO ID REQUIRED."
3. When you are writing checks to pay on your credit card accounts, DO
NOT put the complete account number on the "For" line. Instead, just
put the last four numbers. The credit card company knows the rest of
the number, and
anyone who might be handling your check as it passes through all the
check-processing channels will not have access to it.
4. Put your work phone # on your checks instead of your home phone. If
you have a PO Box, use that instead of your home address. If you do
not have a PO Box, use your work address. Never have your SS# printed
on your checks, (DUH!). You can add it if it is necessary. However, if
you have it printed, anyone can get it. (This may not be possible for
many people).
5. Place the contents of your wallet on a photocopy machine. Do both
sides of each license, credit card, etc. You will know what you had in
your wallet and all of the account numbers and phone numbers to call
and cancel. Keep the photocopy in a safe place. Also carry a photocopy
of your passport when traveling either here or abroad. We have all
heard horror stories about fraud that is committed on us in stealing a
name, address, Social Security
number, credit cards.
6. When you check out of a hotel that uses cards for keys (and they
all seem to do that now), do not turn the "keys" in. Take them with
you and destroy them. Those little cards have on them all of the
information you gave the hotel, including address and credit card
numbers and expiration dates.
Someone with a card reader, or employee of the hotel, can access all that information with no problem whatsoever. Unfortunately, as an attorney, I have first hand knowledge because my wallet was stolen last month. Within a week, the thieves ordered an expensive monthly cell phone package, applied for a VISA credit card, had a credit line approved to buy a Gateway computer and received a PIN number from DMV to change my driving record information online. Here is some critical information to limit the damage in case this happens to you or someone you know:
1. We have been told we should cancel our credit cards immediately. The key is having the toll free numbers and your card numbers handy so you know whom to call. Keep those where you can find them.
2. File a police report immediately in the jurisdiction where your
credit cards, etc., were stolen. This proves to credit providers you
were diligent, and this is a first step toward an investigation (if
there ever is one). However, here is what is perhaps most important of all (I never even thought to do this.)
3. Call the three national credit reporting organizations immediately
to place a fraud alert on your name and Social Security number. I had never heard of doing that until advised by a bank that called to tell me an application for credit was made over the Internet in my name.
The alert means any company that checks your credit knows your
information was stolen, and they have to contact you by phone to
authorize new credit. By the time I was advised to do this, almost two weeks after the theft, all the damage had been done.
There are records of all the credit checks initiated by the thieves
purchases, none of which I knew about before placing the alert. Since then, no additional damage has been done, and the thieves threw my wallet away this weekend (someone turned it in). It seems to have stopped them dead in their tracks.
Now, here are the numbers you always need to contact about your wallet and contents being stolen:
1.) Equifax: 1-800-525-6285
2.) Experian (formerly TRW): 1-888-397-3742
3.) TransUnion: 1-800-680-7289
4.) Social Security Administration (fraud line): 1-800-269-0271
We pass along jokes on the Internet; we pass along just about
everything. Nevertheless, if you are willing to pass this information
along, it could really help someone who you care.

Monday, January 4, 2016

NFL Concussion follow-up:

From Dead Spin:

In September 2012, the NFL proudly announced that it would be making an “unrestricted gift” of $30 million to the National Institutes of Health, the purpose of which was to fund further research into football’s relationship to brain damage, and to hopefully discover a way to diagnose CTE in living patients. According to ESPN’s Outside the Lines, that gift was not so unrestricted after all, and the NFL has backed away from funding a $16 million study because the league doesn’t like the respected doctor who will lead it.
Here’s Outside the Lines:
When the NFL’s “unrestricted” $30 million gift was announced in 2012, the NIH said the money came “with no strings attached;” however, an NIH official clarified the gift terms two years later, telling Outside the Lines that, in fact, the league retained veto power over projects that it funds.
Sources told Outside the Lines that the league exercised that power when it learned that Robert Stern, a professor of neurology and neurosurgery at Boston University, would be the project’s lead researcher. The league, sources said, raised concerns about Stern’s objectivity, despite an exhaustive vetting process that included a “scientific merit review” and a separate evaluation by a dozen high-level experts assembled by the NIH.
Stern has been critical of the NFL’s handling of brain injury, particularly the$765 million class-action settlement that the league paid to retired players dealing with the effects of head trauma. Stern’s criticism of the settlement was that many deceased NFL players who were found to have had CTE wouldn’t have gotten any money from the settlement because they didn’t exhibit any of the specific symptoms that the settlement covered.
The NFL denies that it “pulled” any funding, which is doubtless technically accurate—Outside the Lines is reporting that the league exercised veto power, not that it pulled already-committed money—but beside the point. Aside from the league making clear through whatever precise means that its money isn’t to be used to fund studies run by doctors it doesn’t approve of, the big thing here is that the NFL apparently lied when it called the gift “unrestricted.” For years, the league has pointed to this “no strings attached” donation as evidence that it is serious about discovering ways to diagnose and hopefully prevent CTE. All that talk from the commissioner’s office appears to have been bullshit.
Meanwhile, the quack doctor who spent years trying to discredit and downplay football’s connection to brain trauma is still drawing a paycheck from the league.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Missouri DWI Laws

Missouri DWI Laws

When an individual is stopped/arrested upon probable cause that they were driving a vehicle while their blood alcohol level was over the legal limit, two separate sections of Missouri law govern the arrest and suspension/revocation of the driving privilege:

Criminal Alcohol Law

This law deals with the ticket that was issued. If an individual is convicted of an alcohol offense, the court sends a copy of the conviction to the department, and the proper points are assessed to the individual’s driving record. Subsequently, an individual's driving privilege may be suspended or revoked for accumulation of points.  These charges can be Municipal or State Charges.

Administrative Alcohol Law

This law initiates a suspension or revocation of the driving privilege if an individual's blood alcohol content level is over the legal limit. This is an automatic suspension/revocation (unless appealed and won through the Administrative Hearing or Trial DeNovo process) even if the ticket was disposed of in court or reduced to a lesser charge.  You have NO Constitutional Rights when it comes to this area of the Law.  It must have been a day when the Appeals Court participants missed Law School!

Friday, December 14, 2012

Judge Elizabeth Hogan

Great Choice---  all of the candidates were worthy of appointment....

St. Louis Associate Circuit Judge Elizabeth Hogan is moving up to the circuit court bench. Gov. Jay Nixon announced Hogan’s appointment Thursday afternoon. She will fill a vacancy created by the appointment of Judge Lisa Van Amburg to the Missouri Court of Appeals Eastern District. Congratulations Beth!!!!!