Archives for September 2012

Scam Alert: Some Companies Are Charging Up To $2,000 Just To Register A Domain Name!

by: Douglas Miller

I didn’t believe this either, but… I’ve gotten a number of letters from companies who say they will “only” charge $1,000 to register our domain name! Unfortunately, some innocent people have accepted this ridiculous offer.

Clearly, this is a complete rip-off. And we’ve received even more offers to register domain names for “just” $300!

OK. So what should it cost to register a domain name? The short answer is that it should cost you between $15 and $75 (plus a fee to InterNIC – see below). Anything more is a rip-off.

Here’s why: There are two types of fees to register a domain name:

A fee to InterNIC (Internet Network Information Center — the group in charge of assigning domain names) and

A fee to the company doing the domain name registration for you.

1. InterNIC is in charge of registering domain names. Until September of this year (1995), there was no charge from InterNIC to register domain names. Therefore, if you knew how to fill out the appropriate form and submit it to InterNIC, you could register a domain name for free.

Prior to the registration fees from InterNIC, some people registered huge numbers of domain names. For example, there were individuals who tried to register the names of as many major corporations as they could, so they could later sell these domain names to these companies (when the companies realized that “their” domain names were not available).

On September 14, 1995, InterNIC announced that the fee for all new domain name registrations would be $100, which would include two years of registration. So, all new domain name registrations now cost a minimum of $100, the fee to InterNIC. (Update: The fee for Web Addresses registered on or after April 1, 1998, is US$70.00. New registrations are in effect for a two-year period.)

The fee for annual renewals (for both new and existing domains) is $50. Therefore, all domain names that were registered prior to September 14, 1995 (when the $100 registration fee was initiated) will owe an annual renewal fee of $50 on the anniversary of their initial registration. (Update: All domain names re-registered on or after April 1, 1998, are assessed a US$35.00 re-registration fee.)

On the Web: For more information, the Web address for InterNIC Registration Services is http://rs.internic.net/rs-internic.html. (Update: Network Solutions now handles the registration services: http://www.networksolutions.com/ )

2. Many people hire their ISP (Internet Service Provider) or a consultant to register their domain names for them.

The process of registering a domain name almost always involves these five steps:

Selecting a domain name to register
Finding out if this domain name is currently available
Selecting an ISP who will host the domain
Filling out the appropriate form to request the domain name (done by you or the ISP)
Submitting this form to InterNIC (done by the ISP).
A Useful Tip: It is now possible to use the Web to find out whether or not the domain name you’d like to register is available using WhoIs. This is a LOT more convenient than alternative ways to find out whether or not a domain name is available. But remember, the name may be assigned to someone else between when your application is submitted and when it is reviewed by InterNIC.

On the Web: Look at example information along with the instructions that are included as part of the Domain Name Registration Agreement to request a new domain name. Filling out and submitting the form is not difficult (however, it does require knowing what you’re doing).

A reasonable fee to pay to have your ISP (or a consultant) fill out and submit this form for you is between $15 and $75. Our ISP charges us $30 and does an excellent job. Paying much more for this is unnecessary.

This means that you will pay a total of $115 to $175 (including the $100 to InterNIC) to register your domain name. (at the time of original publication)

Note: This scam is about consultants who charge $2000 for ONLY registering a domain name. If your ISP starts talking about fees of $2000, they are probably giving you more domain services than you need. (The service most of you will want from your ISP is sometimes called a “domain alias,” and can be implemented for the prices we mentioned.)

Tip: Don’t worry if you’re not the technical or administrative contact (Questions 4 and 5 on the form) — that’s OK. Just be sure that Questions 3a to 3f are filled in with your company’s name and info. That way, you’ll own the domain name, not your ISP or consultant.
About The Author

Douglas Miller is a retired fire service captain, now making a living working from home. His company Hundred-Fold-Life is not just a name but also a belief. To learn how to find the best home based business ideas and opportunities so you can work at home visit: http://www.clixgo.com

How Do You Know If It Is A Scam?

In todays world, especially on the internet, there are plenty of people out to scam us. How can we know if we are being scammed?

I am a Christian, so I believe the best way to reveal deception is through prayer. If you are looking at a “home business” and it looks appealing to you, pray about it. Ask God to give you a peace about it. He will give you an anwer.

There are some other simple ways to see if an “opportunity” is legitimate:

If you are being pressured to make a quick decision, be careful.

Look for a phone number, and call it. Send an email with a specific question, and see if the response is personal, and answers at least part of your question. Spend some time talking with the person you are going to be working with. Look for a physical address, or home office address. If you are having a problem getting in touch with real people, look elsewhere.

Look into the business yourself, and dont pay much attention to other ads or negative things said about the company on the internet. Why? Shouldnt that be important? NO. What many people dont realize is that almost all negativity about ANY business on the internet is placed there by other marketers. It is a tactic used to perfection by poititians: Always put your competitor in a negative light, say bad things about them whether they are true or not. Create D-O-U-B-T.

If a business owner or representative can place some d-o-u-b-t in a prospects mind about a competitor, he will have an easier time convincing he/she that “xyz business is much better than abc”.

Legitimate business takes work, and not everyone is successful. Actually a very high percentage of people fail in all kinds of business. Ive had people tell me that Advantage Conferences, the company that I represent is a scam. The reason for saying that was basically “most people wont make much money, if any”. This statement, “most people wont make much money, if any”, holds true for virtually every direct marketing, mlm, home based business out there. How much money you or I make in a given business has nothing to do with whether it is a “scam” or not.

People use the word “scam” improperly also. Some business models just aren’t very good. Sometimes the product isnt good enough. Many pay plans out there, especially in the MLM world make it very hard to build a business. None of these things make xyz company a scam.

Kurt Green

About The Author

Kurt Gren is a business owner and Christian Entrepreneurial Mentor. To learn more about Kurt, go to http://sowinggenerously.blogspot.com

The “Credit Card Debt Termination” Scam

by: Charles J. Phelan

“Legally terminate credit card debt! You can be debt-free in 4-6 months!” Advertisements like this are for a new type of program that has spread via the Internet over the past few years. It’s called “Credit Card Debt Termination,” and victims are paying up to $3,500 for this bogus service. In this article, I’ll review the principles behind this program and explain exactly why it’s a scam to be avoided.

First, let’s get our definitions straight. The scheme I’m describing here should not be confused with Debt Consolidation or Debt Settlement (also known as Debt Negotiation), both of which are legitimate and ethical methods for debt resolution. The easiest way to distinguish the Credit Card Debt Termination scam from other valid programs is based on the central claim that you really don’t owe any money!

With Debt Consolidation, you pay back all of your debt balances. With Debt Settlement, you pay back a lower amount (usually around 50%) while the creditor agrees to forgive the remaining balance. However, with the bogus Credit Card Debt Termination program, promoters claim that you won’t need to pay anything at all (except their outrageous fees, naturally). They make the surprising claim that you can legally wipe away your debts simply by using their super-duper magic documents. Based on some legal mumbo-jumbo, the claim is made that you really didn’t borrow any money from your creditors!

In order to understand this scam, a little background is necessary. Remember the tax protest movement back in the 1970s? People were claiming that the IRS tax collection system was unconstitutional, and based on their misinterpretation of the tax code, they refused to pay taxes. The IRS came down hard on the tax protest movement, and through the court system, they blew holes in all the legal arguments put forth by the protesters. The Credit Card Debt Termination scam is a lot like the tax protest movement. In fact, among collection professionals, it’s called the “monetary protest movement.”

Just like the tax protest movement, there is a common theme that runs through all of the promotional materials issued by the monetary protestors. The basic idea is that our Federal Reserve monetary system and generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) do not permit banks to loan out their own money. Therefore, according to their interpretation, the credit card banks are the ones running the scam on the American public.

Stay with me here, because the logic is pretty strange. If a bank cannot lend its own money, how does a credit card bank extend credit? The claim here is that your credit card agreement itself becomes a form of money (known as a promissory note) the moment you sign it. The idea is that the bank “deposits” your agreement as an asset on their books, and then any credit you use is offset as a liability against that asset. In other words, the core concept here is that you literally borrowed your own money from the credit card bank.

So let’s say your balance with ABC Credit Card Bank is $10,000, which you borrowed against the card to make everyday purchases. The scam promoters say all you need to do is notify the bank that you want your original “deposit” back. However, you will permit the bank to offset the amount you borrowed against the amount you have on “deposit.” Presto! You don’t owe the balance anymore!

Now, as you can imagine, the banks don’t take kindly to such tactics. Many of the consumers using this technique are getting sued by their creditors. But the scammers have more tricks available, as if the “smoke and mirrors” financial nonsense wasn’t enough. One of their techniques is the use of bogus “arbitration” forums. Arbitration is of course a legitimate system that allows businesses and individuals to resolve disputes without going to court. What do the scammers do? They coach people on how to set up a fake arbitration forum, for the express purpose of making a dispute against their creditors! Naturally, the creditors will not send representatives to some non-existent arbitration forum, so the consumer gets to rubber-stamp their own arbitration award. If they get sued in a regular court, they present their bogus award to the judge in the hopes that the creditor’s lawsuit will be dismissed.

There are other techniques used by promoters of this scheme, but the key point to remember is the central claim that your credit card debt does not really exist. Of course, it’s all nonsense based on a misinterpretation of our monetary system, and if you step back and think about for a minute, the truth seems pretty obvious. What these scammers are saying is that the entire $700 billion credit card industry is operating on an illegal basis! Even if the legal theory used by the promoters were true (which it isn’t), do you think for a moment the government would allow this giant industry to go under? That’s exactly what would happen if the promoter’s claims were proven true and used on a widespread basis.

The Federal Trade Commission, which has jurisdiction here, hasn’t stomped on these con artists yet, but it’s only a matter of time. Unfortunately, in the meanwhile, consumers are being bilked out of millions of dollars for a worthless program that will only get them into deep trouble with their creditors. If you are approached by someone offering to wipe away your debts using this system, I strongly recommend you run in the other direction while you hold on tightly to your wallet or purse.

Remember, you can eliminate your debts if you take a disciplined approach to your finances, make a budget and stick to it, and don’t use your credit cards unless you can pay off new balances in full each month.

Good luck in your financial future!

Scam, Fraud and Phishing – How To Avoid The eBay Plagues

by: Brigitte Jaeger-Dabek

If you surf around a little on the internet, you can’t avoid hearing of the countless people, that have been scammed at eBay. It seems as if scam, fraud and phishing mails have become the plagues of eBay nowadays.

It’s easy to complain about all those desperados and defrauders on a gigantic platform like eBay is one. The eBay empire is a hard to be controlled multi billion dollar business and a fun flea market at one time.

If you have been ripped off, in most cases you can kiss your money goodbye. It’s much easier and the best option to avoid being defrauded.

Being a buyer on eBay, it is essential to look at the feedback of a seller. Analyzing the feedback is helpful preventing scams. Sellers who have a large history of sales and a rating of about 98% positive feedback are usually professional to deal with. More than 2-3% negative feedbacks should be a red alarm. The same thing applies for those who do not have feedback ratings at all. But even if you are careful in this point, it is still possible that a scammer has hijacked an account that has positive feedback. Do your background research, knowing as much as possible about the products and the sellers is the best way to protect yourself.

As a buyer you should always make sure to have read the entire product description on an eBay listing. Things to look out for are disclaimers, damages, current item condition, and others. If this information is not specified, it would do well for the buyer to contact the seller regarding such. By the way: if the seller does not respond at all, take your hands off! The price is the next critical point. Think a bit about the value of the item you are interested in. Do a quick research on eBay and the internet. If the price for an item is too good to be true, it not only probably but certainly is. My advice: Auctions at outrageously low prices should be taken skeptically.

As a seller, you can easily avoid many scams with by carefully choosing your payment method among the existing payment processors. eBay owns Paypal, and in most cases accepting only Paypal is indeed the payment method you should use. In case of trouble this way the buyer must dispute a charge back through Paypal.

What you hardly can avoid as a seller is a buyers bidding scam. This type of scam is run with two cooperating separate eBay accounts. A very small bid is placed on your item using the first account. This is followed by a very high bid placed by the second eBay account. This high bid discourages other bidders Seconds before the bidding ends, the high bid is cancelled by the high bidder, leaving the low bid as the winning bid.This bidding scam you can only be avoided by setting a reserve price.The lowest bid that can be placed will be the same as the reserve price that you set.

As both a buyer and a seller, also beware of spoofed emails which appear to be from eBay. The email may claim that you need to verify your information, and ask you to login to your eBay account, using the link provided. If you follow that link, the site looks exactly like eBay, but it is actually a scam to get your eBay login details, as well as your credit card details.

In this connection, one point is obvious: the passing away of common sense. It’s a phenomenon not only on eBay, where more and more people disregard the most simple safety rules in handling their eBay-accounts – wether they are buyers or sellers.

Let us just look at this example: even if you have more than one email-address, would eBay ever use another than your registered email address to send you a members question? It is easy for you to checkl it. Just go to youre my-eBay-site and look, if there is a message for you. If not, delete the mail you’ve got or report it to eBay.

There are many, many scams and phishing mails which never would damage anyone, if folks would act only a little more carefully! So the most simple advice really is: be careful, use common sense and you will already avoid the majority of scams and frauds, wether you are a buyer or a seller on eBay.

Being precise:

– never, really never answer an email that seems to be sent from eBay by hitting the replay-button,

– never, really never click on a link in a mail you’ve got to log in to your eBay-account.

Take the time, type in the URL manually, log in and then proceed. This way you will avoid by far the most phishing attacks.

About The Author
Brigitte Jaeger-Dabek is a professional writer and has written the ebook “How to start selling on eBay”. She is selling ebooks on eBay and her website http://www.infoproducts-24.com

Online Dating Scam: They Love You

by: Daryl Campbell

“Scam artists are always looking to exploit vulnerable people, which is why dating services can be prime targets for financial ripoffs”. Those are the words of Mindy Bockstein; Chairperson and Executive Director of the New York State Consumer Protection Board.

Online dating has come a long way from being initially thought of as something only “losers” would participate in to a multi billion dollar business which has been widely accepted into the mainstream. That’s explosive growth for an industry that is still relatively new. And running in the shadows is a group of people who have made a considerable fortune from internet dating online. The scammers.

Some scams such as the ones originating from Nigeria or the Russian mail order bride swindle have become running jokes in some quarters. But it is no laughing matter to the victims of these hoaxes or any other internet scheme.

It’s a given that for any scam artist online or off to be successful, they must have the skill to manipulate the system. And like the offline world, when it comes to internet dating that expertise must also be coupled with their ability to manipulate their victim’s emotions.

It can start with a phony photo of a good looking person. The purpose of which is to catch your interest and set your heart to racing. Contact is made and you find out the two of you have so much in common. You like hiking; so do they. You like obscure songs from the nineteen eighties; they do too.

Once that connection is established then they turn up the volume. Seemingly out of nowhere they start talking about love. It gets pretty intense and relentless. At first you may be taken aback but the constant flattery, reaffirming of that “mutual bond” and the appearance of them opening themselves up to you can easily have your emotions spinning out of control.

This is where you need to think logically and put the brakes on your feelings. In fact it should probably be a clear indicator to end communication pronto. Wonderful chats and common connections aside, you do not know this person. Anyone who starts talking about love after a relatively short period of time should raise alarm bells. In some ways it’s the equivalent of going out on a blind date and after one hour the other person declares their undying love for you. Needless to say you would want to end that date as soon as possible and cut off all future contact.

You should carry that same attitude online. Unfortunately some people don’t. Their emotions are so far out in front that there is no way that common sense and reason can catch up to them. And what is the result? For the people running the Nigerian dating or the Russian bride scams; business is booming.
About The Author

Article written by Daryl Campbell. Become an expert at spotting the online dating red flags at The Relationship Tip http://winthemarket.com/internet-dating-online/online-dating-red-flags

Car Repair Scams: Why Traditional Scam Prevention Tips Will Cost You A Fortune

by: Theodore Olson

The advice is all the same for auto repair scam prevention. You’ll be told to find an ASE certified shop. Ask around. Check out several different repair facilities first. Are they clean and neat? Do they provide written estimates? Check with the BBB. Is it AAA certified? Some will even advise to “ask for the parts back.”

Traditional tips and suggestions merely put a band-aid over an infected, gaping sore. Strong antibiotics are required to address the root source of the problems in the repair industry. To provide repair customers with the above advice is like sending a soldier into combat dressed in a pink tutu. We have to stop scratching at the surface.

There has not been any “new” advice in decades. More importantly, no one has answered why car repair scams have reached an estimated 40 billion dollars per year. Moreover, why is there still no solution to stop car repair scams?

The first hurdle to conquer is the perception of the frequency of auto repair scams. Many folks just don’t believe that car repair fraud is all that bad. Some even argue that the vast majority of repair shops do an honest day’s work, and that a few bad apples are making the rest look like crooks.

This is an interesting argument, and raises a number of questions.

1) If it is only a few “bad apples,” where are they hiding the 40 billion?
2) If most repair shops are honest, why does every state warn against car repair scams?
3) Why are auto repair shops at the top of consumer complaint lists every single year, in every state?

This is even expanding across the continents. For example, just last week Australia listed car repair scams at number 4 on their top 10 consumer complaint list.

The perception of frequency gets distorted because there are a number of levels to repair scams. There are the blatant rip-offs covered in the news. For a great video visit “Repair Scams Caught on Video” @ www.repairtrust.com. Then there are the common scams such as exorbitant prices and estimates, and aggressive scare tactics to get service customers to perform services. These occur every day.

The repair scams uncovered by RepairTrust not only found the tactics listed above and more, but a powerful undercurrent of scamming at the foundation of the automotive service industry.

In reality, most car repair scams go unnoticed by the service consumer. Service customers just have no idea that they were ripped-off. This under-the-radar scamming occurs in dealerships, local shops, and franchises. Affiliation with ASE, AAA, BBB, NADA makes no difference.

An ASE patch on a technician’s arm, or an AAA or BBB sticker on the door of a service center means absolutely nothing in terms of a scam-free facility. Word of mouth recommendations can be just as devastating, as even shops that “seem” honest aren’t.

Check out “Car Repair Prices: There Are No Honest Mechanics” @ Isnare or RepairTrust for further discussion on this. Also, for NEW and FREE scam prevention tips visit the Car Repair Scam Articles @ RepairTrust.

Traditional tips are ineffective in today’s service industry. Service facilities have found new and ingenious ways of ripping people off. In truth, many of the old tips and suggestions have actually become weapons allowing service centers to indulge in car repair scams more than ever.

The car repair playing field must be leveled. Service customers need solid answers, and they need to be equipped with information, understanding, tools, and an insider’s view of the who, what, when, where, why, and how of price-gouging.

Navigating the dim underworld of today’s service centers with outdated information will cost a fortune.

About The Author

Theodore P. Olson (Ted) holds extensive certifications from Mercedes-Benz, Toyota, GM, and ASE. He is the author of eight books and numerous articles on the automotive service industry. RepairTrust Making Sense of http://www.repairtrust.com/.