Posts tagged ‘consumer protection’

Protect Yourself From Consumer Scams

Both the downturn of the economy and the rise of online classifieds has expanded the world of consumer scams. Whether the scam is a phony job posting or a Cragislist deal that seems too good to be true, it pays to stay informed on what the latest scams are—so you can avoid them.

The Law Enforcement News Center has a daily updated list of the latest stories around the globe about new consumer scams. They already have a substantial list, but if you know about a scam that isn’t there, you can send them an email and let them know about it.

See the list here.

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August 24, 2009 at 11:06 am Leave a comment

Legal Hallucinogens Pose a Growing Threat to Young People

Unfortunately, current drug laws do not cover all harmful substances. There are still many hallucinogenic drugs that are perfectly legal to buy, sell, and grow in your own backyard. And access is as simple as doing a search on eBay. Drugs like Hawaiian Baby Woodrose seeds, moonflowers, and salvia divinorum give the user a quick hallucinogen high that is cheaper than buying marijuana and has the added benefit of being legal.

The homegrown hallucinogenic are growing popular among teens and college-age students due to a prevalence of YouTube videos and blogs featuring accounts of drug trips and instructions on obtaining and cultivating the drugs.

But just because they are legal does not mean they are safe. Hawaiian Baby Woodrose seeds are know to cause acute psychosis and intensify suicidal thoughts.  The drug is also thought to be a factor in the suicide of a 22-year-old Michigan man.

Some state legislators are attempting to criminalize these drugs and ban them altogether, but progress has been slow.

It is important to know that even if these drugs are legal and can be bought in local headshops, they are not safe to use. Not only can a user injure him or herself during a hallucinogenic trip, but use of harmful substances like alcohol, tobacco, and illegal drugs by teens has shown to be an indicator for drug abuse and addiction later in life.


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May 22, 2009 at 4:55 pm Leave a comment

New Website Helps You Track Down the Location of Harassing Phone Calls

Interested in where that last Unknown number came from? A new website,, allows you to map the location of most phone numbers. Go to the site and enter the phone number you want to trace, and the website searches U.S. census data, telephone area code data, phone carrier data, FBI crime data, line type data, targeted income & housing data, and pay phone data to give you an approximate location of the phone that made the call, along with any other information that it finds.

In today’s society, where cell phones are constantly roaming around the country, this service will work best with land line phone numbers, and can help you give information to police about harassing phone calls. The site also provides users with a link to the national do not call registry and allows you to publicly complain about certain phone numbers and post them on the site.

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April 22, 2009 at 5:22 pm Leave a comment

Internet Crime Up by 33% in 2008

The National Internet Crime Center (NICC) just released a report that shows an increase of internet crime of 33% in 2008 over 2007. The majority of internet crime reported to the NICC as failure of payment/delivery. This happens when you pay for a product online, but the product is never delivered, or if you are selling something online, a customer buys it and you ship it, but the customer’s payment information is incorrect or false. Other top crimes included auction fraud and credit/debit card fraud. Less reported crimes include ponzi schemes and email schemes like the Nigerian email scams.

In times like these when criminals are taking advantage of the low economy to prey off individuals looking for a good deal or fooling people who have lost their jobs into get-rich-quick scams, it’s a good idea to remind yourself about the importance of online safety.

Prevention Works has just published a short article on protecting yourself online and offers some good suggestions. For starters, remember never to publish your personal information online. A first name or email address is usually okay, but avoid publishing your exact address, phone number, and birth date when possible. Also, remember to NEVER give your social security number, bank account information, or passwords to ANYONE though an email or instant message, even if that person claims to be a member of the government or law enforcement. If the FBI actually needs your bank account information to track a money-laundering ring, they will meet with you personally, not through email. If a family member needs the information, give it to them over the phone or (even better) meet with them in person.

Good luck. And remember, when you get an email from a deposed African Prince, the UK lottery, or a person claiming to be in the CIA, just delete it.

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March 31, 2009 at 5:06 pm 1 comment



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