Monday, December 26, 2016

Your Cyber Life

Unless you live in a cabin in the wilderness and trade pelts for food you have no real privacy.

Data mining companies, websites, sales organizations and financial institutions exist in a web of information exchanges that creates comprehensive databases on everything you do.

Some of this is harmless, if you search the Internet for fishing tackle you will soon enough be targeted with pop-up ads for fishing tackle.

Some of this is less benign, the old fashioned credit bureau is not the new fangled data mining shop and there is a massive dossier on everything you do.

But you do not do anything suspicious or criminal, so why care?

Correcting errors is a nightmare, as is identity theft. And as we well know, none of these data bases are hack proof.

Like it or not, you have a cyber life. In the future, how do we protect ourselves?

Monday, December 5, 2016

Phony Check Scams

You sell something via the Internet to someone in another state  for $150.
You are surprised to receive a cashier's check for $1500.
You email the buyer and ask what to do.
“Sorry, my mistake. Put the check in your bank account and send me a money order for $1350.”
A week later your bank calls and tells you the cashier's check was phony, and you owe the bank $1500 right now.
Never cash a check that is seriously different than the amount due.
Never spend the money from an out-of-state check until it has sat in your bank account for a while.
Never assume a cashier's check from out-of-state or overseas is legitimate, unless you present it to that same bank in your local area. Take your time.
Seller beware.