One Great Way to Fight Student Debt - You Can Get a Graduate Level Education on How Online Crypto/NFT Scams Work for Free via YouTube
Anyone who has EVER thought of "investing" in cryptocurrency or "non-fungible tokens" (NFTs) should watch this priceless expose.
Friend of John Gear Law Office and outstanding consumer attorney Young Walgenkim, along with a stellar cast of other consumer protection experts, has filed a petition with the FTC to stop one of the worst abuses in the entire US market system, the yo-yo sales scam that auto dealers use.
The yo-yo sale is so bad it reminds you of the old saying that "If you think the illegal stuff is bad, take a look at what's legal."
Basically, a yo-yo sale is where you are stuck with the bargain you made but the dealer gets to revoke it … in other words, they get you psychically invested into and committed to the car you bought and often into sinking money into the car, and then they pull it back (the yo-yo) and demand that you, the consumer accept a worse deal or give the car back. And, believe it or not, today, that's legal.
It’s absolutely a shocking and abusive predatory practice that ought to be outlawed in auto sales just like all other forms of consumer contracts. If the deal isn't binding on them, it shouldn't be binding on you.
Read the rulemaking petition below and then contact your congressional rep and your Senators and tell them you agree:
If an auto dealer isn't bound by the contract, the consumer shouldn't be either.
If a deal's a deal, then it should be binding on both sides or neither side. End Yo-Yo Auto Sales!
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Cost for Vets: $10 ($5 processing/$5 delivery)
Get it here: https://store.usgs.gov/MilitaryPass
A clever Twitter user named Pat Dennis posted this perfect gem recently:
Pat Dennis @patdennis
In all seriousness, I see a LOT of signs of bubbles and scams in the cryptocurrency space.
If anyone consulted me, I would advise clients to put no money into cryptocurrency except for money they would happily take to Vegas or Seven Feathers Casino and be absolutely OK with losing.
As far as I can tell, sellers are the only ones for whom cryptocurrency is an investment -- for buyers, it's just Beanie Babies for nerds. You might buy low and sell high -- or you might be the one stuck with a roomful of worthlessness.
Very helpful article from The Verge below with step-by-step directions on how to avoid getting jobbed out of your right to join a class action against Venmo (which is, in practical terms, probably the only way you'd ever be able to have a hope of dealing with a problem with them that they won't fix for you).
Excellent deeper analysis of how Venmo is hoping you won't bother so they've made the process absurd, from the Credit Slips blog.
How to opt out of Venmo’s new arbitration clause
So we are selling a house right now, which involves signing an absurd number of forms, many of which we have already signed, and that all have to be re-signed by everyone every time so much as a comma changes. So I'm constantly getting emails from the title company demanding that we go to a document signing website to re-sign things.
So this afternoon, I got the email in the photo on the left and thought "Great, we've got a closing date!" And I was reaching for my mouse when I remembered that we aren't even using First America Title to do the closing. So the entire email was just bait to get me to click on it -- they send them out by the millions, and some fraction of people end up snared by malware that downloads on their computer when they click on the links in the email. This is called a "spearphishing attack."
To confirm it was spearphishing, I hovered my mouse over the sending email address, and sure enough, it has nothing to do with any real title company. It's no doubt a spoofed address for some criminal somewhere.
So good reminders:
1. Never click on links in unknown mail, especially mail made up to look all official.
2. Learn to use your mouse to hover over sender email address so you can always double check suspicious emails by seeing the actual sending email instead of just looking at the displayed email (as in the photo on the right).
So, here it is, 2022, and the old favorite scams come back like dandelions.
This one targets small and medium-sized businesses where either the owner is doing everything themselves and is too busy to read the mail really closely or where someone else opens the mail and sends the invoices to the owner for payment, but doesn't realize that this one is a scam.
I've posted about this scam in 2012 and 2019.
Remember: It ONLY COSTS $100 to renew your corporate registration ($50 for nonprofits).
You DO NOT NEED to pay these criminals $185 to do for you what you can do for $100 in five minutes flat at the Secretary of State Corporations Division Website.
You will get a REAL LETTER IN THE MAIL from the Oregon Secretary of State when it's time to renew your corporate registration. Then it will tell you how to go online and renew your registration here:
So don't make it easy or profitable for scammers! Recycle that trash they mailed you, or --- better yet -- use it to train your people in how to recognize scams so that your business stays away from them entirely.
IF YOU GOT A NOTICE LIKE THE ONE SHOWN BELOW, IT IS A SCAM TRYING TO RIP YOU OFF!
The scammers are getting better and better all the time.
You MUST learn how to use your mouse to hover over email addresses so that the ACTUAL sender email displays, because it is very easy for scammers to fake the email address that appears in the header on your email application.
Note how well done this scam email is -- it looks pretty convincing and, to a busy person, the tempting idea of an email about disaster relief money might be just the push they need to click the link -- which leads to disaster, because this is from a scammer operating out of Germany, it is NOT from the US Small Business Administration. Sad but true, we must learn to be appropriately suspicious of every unexpected email, ESPECIALLY any that seem to be offering something for nothing.
The top photo is what the email looks like when you glance at it in your inbox.
The bottom photo is what you see if you hover your mouse over the (faked) sender email address - hovering the mouse over the email causes the ACTUAL sender email to show up, which is when you see that it's NOT from the Small Biz Administration but rather from someone in Germany (.de is the country domain for Germany).
If you could only learn one anti-scam habit, learning to find the actual email sender is maybe the one to know.
If you are a homeowner who has not been making payments on your mortgage and now you are having a problem getting back on track with your mortgage, you may be eligible for help from a new legal aid foreclosure defense project, Oregon Homeowner Legal Assistance (OHLA).
If you are low/moderate income and face any COVID-related financial hardship that threatens your homeownership (defaults, lender refusals to modify your loan, etc.) you should seek if OHLA can help you by calling
Oregon Homeowner Legal Assistance: 1-855-503-2598.
Right to Repair
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