Christmas season is often the most charitable. Although giving is extremely important, consumers are encouraged to be vigilant and watch out for scams aimed at taking advantage of their good will, says Pennsylvania State Rep. Jim Cox (R-129).
The Pennsylvania Department of State’s Bureau of Charitable Organizations maintains a publicly accessible online database which contains all legally established charities in Pennsylvania. Consumers are encouraged to verify the legitimacy of any charity using this database prior to donating.
If one would like to learn more about an organization prior to donating or to report suspected fraud, one can also call the bureau’s toll-free telephone hotline at 1-800-732-0999.
For more information about protecting yourself while giving, click here.
Beware Christmas Fraud
Today’s consumer tip is this little graphic we found on the World Wide Web regarding the removal of permanent marker stains.
We confess we have not tested it.
Removing Permanent Marker Stains
Airlines are required to compensate customers when they’re bumped from an oversold flight, generally, giving 200 percent of one-way fare up to $650 for those who are two hours and 400 percent up to $1,300 for those four hours late.
Most customers don’t know this hence fail to get what they are owed according to OutsideOnline.com
What the airlines offer generally fall far short of what they are required to give.
For what it’s worth, airlines are not obligated to make up for other bad flight experiences such as weather delays.
Airline Obligations Concerning Bad Flights
A bill that would require credit report security freezes to stay until their removal is specifically requested by their subjects is before the Pennsylvania Senate, according to State Rep. Jim Cox (R-129)
A security freeze prohibits a credit reporting agency from releasing the consumer’s credit information to certain third parties. They automatically expire after seven years.
The bill, House Bill 1982, was unanimously passed by the State House on Oct. 7.
The prime sponsor is State Rep. Stephen Barrar (R-160)
HB 1982 Makes Credit Security Freezes Permanent
eMarketer notes that the service is popular with the young and has made an impact in the hotel business. It speculates that once Millennials enter the business world they are going to take the habit with them.
We’re not so sure. Hey kids, two words: expense accounts.
Airbnb End Of Hotels
According to the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General, more than 10 million Americans have their personal information stolen annually, reports state Rep Jim Cox (R-129).
Among the measures recommended to protect your identity are shredding mail that contains identifying information; avoiding using your Social Security number; installing and keeping anti-virus software on your computer up to date; never disclosing personal information to unverified sources over the phone or in person; and changing your passwords regularly.
Additionally, it is important to frequently review your credit reports for discrepancies and instances of fraud. Under federal law, every American can receive one free copy of his/her credit report every 12 months from each of the three nationwide credit bureaus. The official website to do this is here.
Victims of identity theft, must act quickly to recover. Contact the fraud department of your creditors, contact your financial institution(s), report the theft to law enforcement, and file complaints with the state attorney general and the Federal Trade Commission. The Office of the Pennsylvania Attorney General provides a checklist that can be found here, which provides additional detail on responding to identity theft.
For more safety tips, visit the Office of the Attorney General’s website here.
Identity Theft Precautions And Responses
Comcast Customer Support Is Criminal. The lobby of the Comcast Building in Philadelphia
Aaron Spain of Chicago was a Comcast customer. He found himself displeased with the product provided by the Philadelphia communications giant and tried to cancel.
He went through the sign-in garbage, got hold of a service rep and was put on hold.
He waited 3 hours and 20 minutes before trying on a different phone. What did he find? He found that the office was closed for the day.
Pretty funny, Aaron, huh?
Actually, the joke is going to be on Comcast. This isn’t the first cancellation horror story circulating the web involving the liberal — it owns MSNBC and its campaign contributions skew heavily to Democrats— corporation.
Violating contracts leads to legal action, and fraud leads to being charged with crimes.
We suspect lawyers will soon be contacting Mr. Spain, and politically astute state attorney generals will start calling for investigations.
If you own stock in the company sell it now.
Here is the video Aaron put on on YouTube documenting his experience.
Comcast Customer Support Is Criminal
Fourth Amendment advocate and international fugitive Edward Snowden says Dropbox, the cloud storage service, is “very hostile to privacy” reports PCWorld.com.
He is recommending that those with a need for cloud storage use companies that practice “zero-knowledge”, means that the data is encrypted before it reaches the cloud and the key remains with the user.
He cited Spider Oak as an example.
Of course, unlike with Dropbox, if you lose your password with Spider Oak you files are lost forever.
Dropbox Bad Says Snowden
The Pennsylvania House, June 24, unanimously passed legislation that would prohibit telephone solicitation on legal holidays and allow consumer phone numbers registered on the state’s “do-not-call” list to remain on the list permanently.
Currently, numbers are only valid for five years and consumers must re-register to protect themselves against unwanted telemarketing calls.
The bill — HB 129 — was introduced Jan. 29, 2013 by State Rep. Jim Cox (R-129)
If the bill becomes law, phone numbers will remain permanently protected from telemarketers, unless the subscriber chooses to have their number removed, or the number is no longer valid, Cox said.
To enroll a phone number to the “do-not-call” list, click here or call 1-888-777-3406.
For tips on how to handle unwanted telephone solicitations visit here.
Telephone Solicitation Holiday Ban Passes House
Los Angelese barista — that’s a person who makes coffee — Wes Johansen rated consumer coffee.
He liked Dunkin’ Donuts and Folgers (four stars out of five apiece), albeit with a bit of snark, and gave a passable review to McDonald’s (three and a half stars).
He did not like Maxwell House (two and a half stars) or 7-Eleven (two stars).
He really, really didn’t like Starbucks giving it but one star.
The loser, though, was Denny’s with Johansen saying it was almost all water and that it tasted like Graham cracker’s that “had been hiding in the back of your closet for months.”
His rankings actually mesh pretty well with ours.
Ah, but poor Californians. Do they even know what a Wawa is?
Here is Johansen’s review:
Wes Johansen, barista