Monday, November 2, 2009

Secret Shopper

If you've ever wanted to be a secret shopper, or if you need a part-time job paying an extra $500 or more a week, this is not your chance.

nfortunately, authorities say hundreds of people have fallen victim to a scam in which they think they're signing up to be "mystery shoppers" - regular folks who are paid to evaluate retailers. Some have lost thousands of dollars after cashing counterfeit checks and wiring money back to scammers, usually in Canada or another foreign country.

The Pennsylvania attorney general's office said it began receiving complaints late last year about such schemes, and the pace of the complaints has picked up since. It issued a warning to consumers last month to be wary of the offers.

The letters or advertisements look official, containing telephone contact numbers and more. The names of the fake companies vary - scam letters have borne "Express Shoppers" and "Mystery Shopper" company logos - and may even mirror the name of a real company.

Victims who received checks were told to cash them and then wire money as part of a training mission to evaluate a Western Union or check-cashing outlet at a Wal-Mart. But the checks have bounced, leaving the victims on the hook for the amount of the cashed checks.

"It would be a financial education for most people who fall for it, but it's not the kind of education that people want," said spokesman Nils Frederiksen of the attorney general's office.

Harold Cameron, a Scranton man who runs a consumer help Web site, said he has been contacted in recent weeks by people from at least a half-dozen states, from Nevada to Michigan, who were scammed by or saw advertisements by a company called "Master Research Inc."

In October, the Mobile, Ala., police department reported it was investigating an alleged secret shopper scam involving fraudulent checks sent out by Master Research that were cashed at a pawn shop.

No one answered a call from The Associated Press on Thursday to one of the company's advertised telephone lines in Alberta, Canada.

At another number, also in Alberta, a woman answered and said the number was for Master Research. Told the company was being connected to a scam involving fraudulent checks, she hung up. A second call went unanswered.

The checks may look authentic and may even bear the name of an actual bank or credit union and a telephone number where the person answering supposedly verifies that the check is valid.

One credit union whose name has been used, Countryside Federal Credit Union in Syracuse, N.Y., returned four checks Thursday morning as fraudulent, said president and chief executive officer Gerd Henjes.

"The question is, did the financial institution on the other end put the appropriate financial holds on it?" Henjes said.

An industry group, The Mystery Shopping Providers Association, says real companies do not pay anyone before they do actual work, and that mystery shopping is not a way to make a large sum of money quickly.

The Dallas-based organization also provides information on how to become a mystery shopper on its Web site,, and a list of its members. Master Research is not among them.

Authorities have made some inroads.

On Feb. 21, Canadian authorities announced the arrests of two scam operators, but estimated that hundreds of U.S. residents lost at least $150,000 to the scammers.

Doug Bem, a U.S. Postal Inspection Service spokesman, said the secret shopper scams are a variation of a more widely used scheme that victimizes a person who receives a counterfeit check from an unknown person, cashes it and wires back a portion of the cash.

In October, the agency announced an international crackdown that seized more than 540,000 fake checks with a face value of $2.1 billion. Dozens of arrests were made, mostly in the Netherlands and Nigeria.

"What we're trying to do is to get people to stop and ask themselves, 'Why would any business or employer or promoter ... ask you to accept their check and then turn around and wire money back to them?"' Bem said. --- On the Net: National Consumers League site on fake check scams: Mystery Shopping Providers Association: (Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Women want to date with 7 Professional Men.

Marriage is not a disgrace to become, or should know sadness. Capture its wisdom, so you can recognize many men of different character and profession.

Marriage is not to become a need to close the heart. Thus this time to get to know you more man. Take advantage of your loneliness with the date and identify the men. Maybe you can try dating men with work such as this.

1. Fire officers
This profession can be a hero as a willing sacrifice life and sport. Men who worked as a fire, can not be separated from the uniform special wrapping to protect it from fire, violent attacks. They are not afraid and will never willingly give up anything for the woman who is in love.

2. A detective
Imagine how it seems if you're dating with men like James Bond or Mac Gyver? You will always feel safe in the side. Men usually work full risk like this, will be very romantic when he can spend time with his heart moorings.

3. Interpreters Cook
Men who worked as a chef is usually very creative to make female. For example, he is not reluctant to cook something special to spoil your tongue. They are also sensual, as with professional experience to many kinds of spices and cooking with full feeling and imagination.

4. Pilot
Let's fly a delusion if you date with a pilot. Be prepared to traverse the various parts of the world while 'flying' pierce the sky with him beside you. Very beautiful and romantic is not it? Moreover, imagine if the pilot wearing his uniform with the stout.

5. Yoga instructor
If this date with a man, you will get the balance between life and sport. Professional men such as this, it is terrific to provide peace and tranquility in the heart to its beloved. Because the moment they have a right to control the emotional mental and spiritual. Yoga instructors usually have ideal body postures that are longed for each women.

6. Fiddler
Men who wrestle with the music, no doubt definitely romantic. But they are usually sensitive, but the smart hide emotions. Identical with the violin romantic classical music. Men like this are usually reserved and will only express his feelings through music wave nan excellent.

7. Photographers

Men who love art photographer, will take you on things that have not been extraordinary, and you think about before. Due to their imagination and learn to think 'out of the box'. They also love to and adore a beauty. If you want your life more colorful and full of dynamics.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Secret to Successful Marriage

What actually caused the collapse a wedding? According to a research, couples who divorced, initially triggered by only a small fracas.

According to a survey conducted in the United States, nearly 90 percent of couples in the era 2000 experience this failure in the first marriage.

The causes, many triggered by small things that eventually become a great squabbling husband and wife pair on it.

Tragisnya, divorce nowadays is the withdrawal, such as fashion trends, which can be from infecting one other pair to pair.

Survey also found that a child of divorced parents, have great potential for the divorce, when he later married.

What is the problem to be seated? Most divorced couples confess, financial problems become the number two reason for ending marriage relationship. While the first reason is, perselingkuhan.

There is a principle that says, "never bring up emotional issues and to bed." This is true, according to Shae Graham Kosch, PhD, a personality test, in Florida, the University, the couple who divorced usually gravitate to the problems brought to bed. When is the best solution, always think positive and listen to and discuss problems with the pair without any criticism or blame each other.

There are a few tips landing Carolyn Gerard, a therapeutist marriage and family that you can follow:

  • First time with the pair. If there is a problem, sit down with the root of the problem discussed ago before the draw.
  • Be careful in the discussion. Before the throw-sensitive topics, remind myself to always keep your feelings, so that there is no confrontation.
  • Give attention to the pair in a manner that is feasible.
  • Out of the discussion argued, if the start to the fracas. This attitude in order to prevent the pair became very limit.
  • Remember the rules "Five to One", which means you are encouraged to make 'positive expressions' or' expressions of love ', as much as 5 times a day for your spouse and relationship.
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