Weight Loss Scams

by Rudolf Faix Friday, July 10, 2015 11:09 AM

bathroom scales crying for helpThis type of scam may involve an unusual or restrictive diet, revolutionary exercise or "fat-busting" devices, or breakthrough products such as pills, patches or creams.

Who did not read about the magical weight loss products? They get offered with the famous words like:

  • Lose 10 kilos in 10 days
  • Eat your favorite foods and lose weight
  • Shrinks your stomach, waist and hips
  • Scientists announced icredible discovery
  • Revolutionary Method
  • Turn on your body's fat-burning process
  • Absorbs fat
  • New scientific/medical breakthrough
  • Testimonials from famous doctors and "happy" customers with dramatic before and after pictures

You can be sure that there are no magic pills, miracle cures or some safe options for serious medical conditions for rapid weight loss. The only weight you lose is the weight of the money you spent from your purse. There is no other way to lose weight than to eat less and to move more. Some of the offered methods are even very dangerous for your health.

The products are promoted with the use of false claims such as "lose 10 kilos in 10 days" or "lose weight while you sleep", and often require large advance payments or that you enter into a long-term contract to participate in the program.

The top diet scams are:

  • Metabolism-boosting pills based on herbal ingredients
    At the highest priority on the rundown of eating regimen tricks are pills taking into account natural fixings that guarantee to support your digestion system and help you blaze calories or fat speedier.

    New herbs dependably appear to permeate to the top as potential eating routine guides, as one leaves another shows up in light of the fact that the FDA doesn't screen herbs. The vast majority of time they are simply incapable; on occasion they are perilous.

    Two late illustrations of home grown eating regimen pills that got the consideration of the FDA as risky are ephedra and kava (Piper methysticum, otherwise called kava kava).

    Up to this point, ephedra was found in numerous home grown dietary supplements for weight reduction, however in February 2004, the FDA banned the offer of ephedra in any dietary supplement in the U.S. because of the danger of disease or damage. The herb is a nearby compound cousin of methamphetamine or speed and can bring about hypertension, sporadic pulse, a sleeping disorder, apprehension, tremors, seizures, heart assaults, strokes, and even passing.

    Kava is a plant found in the islands of the South Pacific. Supplements containing the natural fixing are frequently advanced for unwinding and weight reduction. In any case, the FDA issued a notice in 2002 that utilization of supplements containing kava has been connected to serious liver damage.

  • Fat- and carb-blocking pills
    Pills that claim to obstruct your body's ingestion of fat and all the more as of late sugars are likewise usually sold eating regimen tricks. 

    Regardless of the possibility that these fat and carb blockers filled in as its been said they do, scientists say the impacts can be risky if not outright unsavory. 

    It's similar to making somebody lactose narrow minded. By making the body not able to breakdown supplements in the body, which prompts gastrointestinal issues like loose bowels, bloating, and gas, these pills additionally hinder the retention of the vitamins that go with these supplements.

    Why might somebody deliberately submit themselves to that? Some fat blockers may have something in them that can meddle with how individuals assimilate fat, yet they've never been indicated to help with considerable weight reduction.

  • Herbal weight loss teas
    Teas in view of home grown fixings are likewise touted as eating routine guides, however specialists say the primary fixing in large portions of these teas is caffeine, which is a diuretic and prompts water misfortune.

    Losing water isn't getting more fit. Caffeine can likewise build metabolic rate by a little sum however insufficient that you would have the capacity to say that it added to weight reduction.

    It is the program which is coming along with the teas which results into a weight loss. You have to drink the tea after dinner and you are not allowed to eat anything else until the morning. That way it could curb late-night eating, but it's not necessarily a result of drinking the tea itself.

  • Diet patches, jewelry, or other products worn on the body
    Patches that convey sedates however the skin have get to be famous for helping smokers quit and conveying estrogen to calm menopausal side effects. 

    Be that as it may, specialists say no viable weight reduction medications have been intended to be conveyed through the skin by means of patches. More often than not, these patches contain the same inadequate herbs found in dietary supplements or teas.

    Additionally included in this eating regimen trick class is adornments, for example, studs or wrist trinkets, intended to be worn on the body with the guarantee to help individuals shed pounds. Any case that individuals can lose even a pound or more a week utilizing these gadgets is false.

  • Body wraps or "slim suits"
    On the off chance that there were an "oldie yet goodie" eating regimen trick prize champ, specialists say it would likely go to body wraps. 

    The thick, layered sweat suits once prominent decades back have transformed into silver "thin suits" and fat-softening body wraps intended to secure body warmth and dissolve away the pounds.

    Be that as it may, specialists say the main sort of weight reduction brought on by wearing these outfits is water misfortune created by over the top sweating. As soon as you drink, you'll put on all that water weight back.

 

Redemption / Strawman / Bond Fraud

by Rudolf Faix Friday, July 10, 2015 8:53 AM

Strawmen at the fieldProponents of this scheme claim that the U.S. government or the Treasury Department control bank accounts - often referred to as “U.S. Treasury Direct Accounts” - for all U.S. citizens that can be accessed by submitting paperwork with state and federal authorities. Individuals promoting this scam frequently cite various discredited legal theories and may refer to the scheme as "Redemption", "Strawman" or "Acceptance for Value". Trainers and websites will often charge large fees for "kits" that teach individuals how to perpetrate this scheme. They will often imply that others have had great success in discharging debt and purchasing merchandise such as cars and homes. Failures to implement the scheme successfully are attributed to individuals not following instructions in a specific order or not filing paperwork at correct times.

This scheme predominately uses fraudulent financial documents that appear to be legitimate. These documents are frequently referred to as "bills of exchange", "promissory bonds", "indemnity bonds", "offset bonds", "sight drafts" or "comptrollers warrants". In addition, other official documents are used outside of their intended purpose, like IRS forms 1099, 1099-OID, and 8300. This scheme frequently intermingles legal and pseudo legal terminology in order to appear lawful. Notaries may be used in an attempt to make the fraud appear legitimate. Often, victims of the scheme are instructed to address their paperwork to the U.S. Secretary of the Treasury.

Tips for Avoiding Redemption/Strawman/Bond Fraud:

  • Be wary of individuals or groups selling kits that they claim will inform you on to access secret bank accounts.

  • Be wary of individuals or groups proclaiming that paying federal and/or state income tax is not necessary.

  • Do not believe that the U.S. Treasury controls bank accounts for all citizens.

  • Be skeptical of individuals advocating that speeding tickets, summons, bills, tax notifications, or similar documents can be resolved by writing “acceptance for value” on them.

  • If you know of anyone advocating the use of property liens to coerce acceptance of this scheme, contact your local authorities.

 

Telemarketing Fraud

by Rudolf Faix Thursday, July 9, 2015 3:24 PM

black man with poster '100% risk free'When you send money to people you do not know personally or give personal or financial information to unknown callers, you increase your chances of becoming a victim of telemarketing fraud.

Every year, thousands of people lose money to telephone scams - from a few dollars to their life savings. Scammers will say anything to cheat people out of money. Some seem very friendly - calling you by your first name, making small talk, and asking about your family. They may claim to work for a company you trust, or they may send mail or place ads to convince you to call them.

If you get a call from someone you don’t know who is trying to sell you something you hadn’t planned to buy, say "No thanks." And, if they pressure you about giving up personal information - like your credit card or Social Security number - it’s likely a scam. Hang up and report it to the governemnt authorities.

Here are some warning signs of telemarketing fraud - what a caller may tell you:

  • “You must act ‘now’ or the offer won’t be good.”

  • "You've been specially selected (for this offer)."

  • “You’ve won a ‘free’ gift, vacation, or prize." But you have to pay for “postage and handling” or other charges.

  • "You trust me, right?"

  • "This investment is low risk and provides a higher return than you can get anywhere else."

  • “You must send money, give a credit card or bank account number, or have a check picked up by courier.” You may hear this before you have had a chance to consider the offer carefully.

  • “You don’t need to check out the company with anyone.” The callers say you do not need to speak to anyone including your family, lawyer, accountant, local Better Business Bureau, or consumer protection agency.

  • “You don’t need any written information about their company or their references.”

  • “You can’t afford to miss this ‘high-profit, no-risk’ offer.”

If you hear these or similar “lines” from a telephone salesperson, just say “no thank you” and hang up the telephone.

How They Hook You

Scammers use exaggerated - or even fake - prizes, products or services as bait. Some may call you, but others will use mail, texts, or ads to get you to call them for more details. Here are a few examples of “offers” you might get:

  • Travel Packages. “Free” or “low cost” vacations can end up cost­ing a bundle in hidden costs. Some of these vacations never take place, even after you’ve paid.

  • Credit and loans. Advance fee loans, payday loans, credit card protection and offers to lower your credit card interest rates are very popular schemes, especially during a down economy.

  • Sham or exaggerated business and investment opportunities. Promoters of these have made millions of dollars. Scammers rely on the fact that business and investing can be complicated and that most people don’t research the investment.

  • Charitable causes. Urgent requests for recent disaster relief efforts are especially common on the phone.

  • High-stakes foreign lotteries. These pitches are against the law, which prohibits the cross-border sale or purchase of lottery tickets by phone or mail. What’s more, you may never see a ticket.

  • Extended car warranties. Scammers find out what kind of car you drive, and when you bought it so they can urge you to buy overpriced - or worthless - plans.

  • “Free” trial offers. Some companies use free trials to sign you up for products - sometimes lots of products - which can cost you lots of money because they bill you every month until you cancel.

Tips for Avoiding Telemarketing Fraud

It’s very difficult to get your money back if you’ve been cheated over the telephone. Before you buy anything by telephone, remember:

  • Don’t buy from an unfamiliar company. Legitimate businesses understand that you want more information about their company and are happy to comply.

  • Always ask for and wait until you receive written material about any offer or charity. If you get brochures about costly investments, ask someone whose financial advice you trust to review them. But, unfortunately, beware-not everything written down is true.

  • Always check out unfamiliar companies with your local consumer protection agency, Better Business Bureau, state attorney general, the National Fraud Information Center, or other watchdog groups. Unfortunately, not all bad businesses can be identified through these organizations.

  • Obtain a salesperson’s name, business identity, telephone number, street address, mailing address, and business license number before you transact business. Some con artists give out false names, telephone numbers, addresses, and business license numbers. Verify the accuracy of these items.

  • Before you give money to a charity or make an investment, find out what percentage of the money is paid in commissions and what percentage actually goes to the charity or investment.

  • Before you send money, ask yourself a simple question. “What guarantee do I really have that this solicitor will use my money in the manner we agreed upon?”

  • Don’t pay in advance for services. Pay services only after they are delivered.

  • Be wary of companies that want to send a messenger to your home to pick up money, claiming it is part of their service to you. In reality, they are taking your money without leaving any trace of who they are or where they can be reached.

  • Always take your time making a decision. Legitimate companies won’t pressure you to make a snap decision.

  • Don’t pay for a “free prize.” If a caller tells you the payment is for taxes, he or she is violating federal law.

  • Before you receive your next sales pitch, decide what your limits are-the kinds of financial information you will and won’t give out on the telephone.

  • Be sure to talk over big investments offered by telephone salespeople with a trusted friend, family member, or financial advisor. It’s never rude to wait and think about an offer.

  • Never respond to an offer you don’t understand thoroughly.

  • Never send money or give out personal information such as credit card numbers and expiration dates, bank account numbers, dates of birth, or social security numbers to unfamiliar companies or unknown persons.

  • Be aware that your personal information is often brokered to telemarketers through third parties.

  • If you have been victimized once, be wary of persons who call offering to help you recover your losses for a fee paid in advance.

  • If you have information about a fraud, report it to state, local, or federal law enforcement agencies.

 

Matrix Scheme

by Rudolf Faix Thursday, July 9, 2015 11:15 AM

Comic: Matrix SchemeMatrix schemes use the same fraudulent non-sustainable system as a pyramid. Here, the participants pay to join a waiting list for a desirable product which only a fraction of them can ever receive. Since matrix schemes follow the same laws of geometric progression as pyramids, they are subsequently as doomed to collapse.

Such schemes operate as a queue, where the person at head of the queue receives an item such as a television, games console, digital camcorder, etc. when a certain number of new people join the end of the queue.

For example, ten joiners may be required for the person at the front to receive their item and leave the queue. Each joiner is required to buy an expensive but potentially worthless item, such as an e-book, for their position in the queue. The scheme organizer profits because the income from joiners far exceeds the cost of sending out the item to the person at the front. Organizers can further profit by starting a scheme with a queue with shill names that must be cleared out before genuine people get to the front. The scheme collapses when no more people are willing to join the queue. Schemes may not reveal, or may attempt to exaggerate, a prospective joiner's queue position which essentially means the scheme is a lottery. Some countries have ruled that matrix schemes are illegal on that basis.

Be aware that the easiest way to avoid being caught up in the Matrix scam is to not get involved in the first place. Any setup requiring one to buy overpriced merchandise in order to get a free gift is only out for one objective – to sell overpriced merchandise to as many people as possible. You also run the risk of alienating your friends and family buy trying to get them to make these purchases. The most important point is, there is no such thing as getting something for nothing; keep that in mind and you can protect yourself from most scams. If you do get victimized by this scam, contact the Better Business Bureau and report the company for unfair business practices and making false claims.

More information about matrix schemes can get found at:

 

Ponzi Scheme

by Rudolf Faix Thursday, July 9, 2015 11:03 AM

Carlo "Charles" PonziIn turn of the century Boston, an Italian Immigrant named Carlo "Charles" Ponzi established the Securities Exchange Company. Ponzi offered investors a choice between a fifty percent return on a 45 day investment and a 100% return on a 90 day investment. Ponzi claimed that this return on investment was possible due to his unique understanding of the international postal reply coupon system; by international agreement, postal reply coupons were recognized by all countries but the cost of these coupons varied dramatically from country to country depending upon their economy.

Although true in principal (an IPRC that cost a penny in Germany cost a nickel in the US), Ponzi was fully aware that the scheme did not work in actual practice because of importation restrictions. Nevertheless, the story sounded good.

Ponzi schemes are fraudulent investment operations that work in a similar way to pyramid schemes. The Ponzi scheme usually entices new and well-to-do investors by offering higher returns than other investments in the form of short-term returns that are either abnormally high or unusually consistent. The schemer usually interacts with all the investors directly, often persuading most of the existing participants to reinvest their money, thereby minimizing the need to bring in new participants as a pyramid scheme will do.

With little or no legitimate earnings, Ponzi schemes require a consistent flow of money from new investors to continue. Ponzi schemes tend to collapse when it becomes difficult to recruit new investors or when a large number of investors ask to cash out.

Be cautious, but do not be discouraged from carefully researching business opportunities based on commissions. There are many legitimate multi-level marketing opportunities where you can legally earn an income from selling genuine products or services.

Protect yourself:

  • Pyramid and Ponzi schemes may be sent to you from family members and people you trust - they might not know that they could be illegal or that they are involved in a scam.

  • Never commit to anything at high - pressure meetings or seminars.

  • Don’t make any decisions without doing your homework - research the offer being made and seek independent advice before making a decision.

  • Do some research on all business opportunities that interest you.

  • If I am not selling a genuine product or service, is participation in this activity legal?

More information about Ponzi schemes:

 

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I'm since more then 35 years in the computer business (programming and technical support) and using the Internet since it has started. Since 2002 I'm programming solutions for Asterisk and since 2004 I'm in the call center industry.

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