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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.