Monthly Archives: December 2015

2015: ‘Year of the Scammer’

This must’ve been the year of the scammer because in the last few days, this blogger uncovered at least three of them, which lead me to believe the old sayings:

  1. One can’t get something for nothing
  2. There was no such thing as a ‘free lunch’
  3. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably was

In all fairness, the person that referred me to News-Person.com reached the limit and never was paid because they refused. After Googling the company, the following was found on Craigslist: BEWARE!!! NEWS-PERSON.COM IS A FRAUDULENT SCAM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! This writer not only told the company that they were being reported to the FTC, they were soon written up on that site. It was probably a lot like the others below.

In a pyramid scheme, new recruits’ money was used to pay off up to date investors. The only problem was that as more people were lured into this program the harder it was for payouts to occur because of its large growth. Evidently the bottom fell out and everyone looses their money.

In the last few weeks, this blogger fund two of them, which was unusual. TheYouthJob.com had everything spelled out on the site, even that the survey taken before the funds were released was mandatory. Minimal payout was $300 but one was known to make up to $5000. Money was earned faster the more it was circulated on social media. It took longer to reach the payout limit at $5 a click.

TheWeeklyRewards.com hid the survey until the payout limit was reached. Then, the process started all over again. Like the first link, the file to download wasn’t done until the sign up task was completed It looked like they just reopened under a new name and upped the payout to $10 a click.

This writer also took things a lot further than telling the company that they were committing fraud. They were also reported to FTC.gov, both of them. Like the first link, they were supposed to contact me in five or six days, but in that time all that happened was reopening the site under a new name with the same type of survey.

People were wicked. This was just about as bad as the government grant scam that promised the person on the end of the phone a large amount of government funds. Once they had bank information or a credit card, the scam begins. Federal grants were awarded for a public purpose and are typically awarded to local governments, educational institutions and organizations. The federal government does not offer grants for personal financial assistance. In addition,  didn’t contact anyone by mail, phone or email to offer a grant award. Representatives of this site would never request any banking/credit card information or any processing fees.

The IRS scam has been just as bad as the person impersonating an officer of the court, a Lt.Truitt, telling them that they were to be arrested if they didn’t stop the warrant issued for their arrest by sending the fake person $560 via a green dot card from Walmart. One was to read the number off the back of the card.

In the IRS’ case, the scammers, were known to possess the last four digits of the victim’s SSN, and the IRS’ toll-free number  appeared on caller ID. Sometimes, the target  received an email, supposedly to be from the IRS, to further the scheme. The caller told the individual that the tax bill must be paid promptly through a pre-loaded debit card or wire transfer, threatening arrest or deportation as a penalty.

The IRS stressed that if someone owed money, the first contact from the IRS is likely to come via mail, like the notice of failure to show for jury duty.

Like the computer technicians that used Microsoft as a satellite company to get clients that had trouble with their computers, These independent companies were not to call people trolling for work Microsoft answered most questions in the forum. If the only thing these scam reports produce was 10 Ways to Avoid Fraud, it was better than nothing at all. My name, address and phone number was out there. Because of the survey taken from the pyramid scheme, my phone rang off the hook in the last few days. 

The hardest thing was telling  a reputable coffee company that my membership was acquired via the first pyramid scheme. They were very understanding when they cancelled my membership, offering me a choice to accept or reject their offers in the future.

Here was the worst thing that bothered me. The loss of my social media accounts or traffic exchanges was a concern, just like a writer who committed plagiarism or copyright infringement, that hurt too, not being able to write or circulate one’s articles. Thank goodness a lot of the people that were alerted by me were understanding enough not to throw me to the curb after telling them of this disgrace.

I love to write about trending topics and real life experiences. I love to read and write Science Fiction and Fantasy stories dealing with parallel worlds.

Debate still divided candidates over major issues

Tuesday night’s Debate was to be the last of the year. The Today Show said that despite Donald Trump’s stance on banning Muslims from the United States, he was still leading nationwide. Ted Cruz was a very close second. Let’s hope Donald Trump was able to put a real plan to make America ‘great’ again on the table. No doubt immigration and national security were sticking points this time.

In the last few months, the surviving seven had their plans to revive America’s economy, and the like while the front runner has done nothing to unveil his plan for America, except ruffle the feathers of a few ethnic groups and the nation’s military.

Instead of taking pot shots at Ben Carson, the audience was watching to see whether Ted Cruz would be the next victim. What side of Trump was the world to see this time? While it was great to have a catchy slogan, a plan that looks even better than on paper was a winner, not these flat one line statements with no meat on them, Playing to the media was not going to work, no matter how high the entertainment value.

Last night, the debate was kind of strange. They had trouble keeping up with the facts, There was a lot of talk from the front runner about tough talk about shutting down the internet and finding tough people to deal with Isis, but no real plan. He did have a solid plan in place for trade. Depending on what he said, the response bought chuckles, cheers or jeers.

The real fight was in the spot behind the leader. At least the showdown between Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz took place. While others thought this was Jeb Bush’s swan song, some were still saying that he had a chance in New Hampshire He did have a valid point when criticizing Trump’s lack of direction concerning national security.

One of the videos said that of all the presidential candidates, Ted Cruz was the one ahead because he had a platform in place for security and immigration.

I love to write about trending topics and real life experiences. I love to read and write Science Fiction and Fantasy stories dealing with parallel worlds.

Apple took too many ‘low blows’ to recoup losses

Why were people scared about Apple stocks falling again? Well, this was the time of year that the greatest gain was achieved. According to the latest report, stocks fell to their lowest in two months. Retailers were concerned as well because of poor sales from their smart phones. It looked like even the diehard purchasers were staying away in droves thanks to the actions of Morgan Stanley and the other ‘low blows’ in the market.

Apple just lost $123 billion in value. [VIDEO]

Adding to the slow sales of smart phones, Morgan Stanley reduced its projections for smart phone sales. This was a reverse of what watchers were expecting. Big returns from Christmas sales made a jump in revenue, boosting last quarter percentages. It seemed to me that black Friday sales were better than those in the middle of December. Were sales and Apple stock going to rebound with ten shopping days left? These watchers were expecting shipments of their brand to fall an additional 6%.

My biggest problem was trying to use the iPod Nano my mother bought me for my birthday one year. The problem was downloading the music from my dying desktop She replaced it with an mp3 player that was used so often, that it died. It became so old that the battery wouldn’t hold a charge. My smartphone was great until the use of third-party apps drained my battery while listening to my music.

The only time this blogger actually used Apple products  if they were around. The last time they were used was when one of the local Boys’ & Girls’ Clubs needed my services as a volunteer tutor. My brother threatened bodily harm if either of my desktop or laptop computers had that logo on them.He was well versed in \Microsoft programing, not Apple. When purchasing this current laptop, there was nothing to unlearn or refamiliarize myself with. Even with Windows 10, the language was easier to follow than that of an Apple computer.

One thing Apple had in its favor though. My boss told me the brand had less computer hang ups and computer glitches than its Microsoft competitor. They were less apt to have computer malware, adware, trojans or other types of viruses. It didn’t stop my sister’s friends from swapping their iPhone to a smart phone as she did.

It didn’t look like all the losses mentioned were going to be regained. The brand took too many knocks below the belt.

I love to write about trending topics and real life experiences. I love to read and write Science Fiction and Fantasy stories dealing with parallel worlds.

Two must-have trials in gaming this holiday

A lot of exciting things were going on in the development of electronic gaming. That’s why they were so popular as gifts around the holiday season My grand nephews always had to have the latest games on their consoles. Last year, they got the latest upgrade, which was good, but the bad news was that they weren’t allowed to play with them because they were restricted because they got in trouble. Hopefully, they weren’t restricted this year. Their great aunt would hate for them to miss these gaming perks.

XBOX One Free Play Weekend Offer. Here was another great reason why games were so popular. Once in a while, a free play weekend came up. This offer ran from December 10-14. 2015, starting on Thursday at 3 am and lasting till Monday the same time. In order to participate, players had to register here to take advantage and be sure to have an active ESO account, because there was more. Each active ESO account was entered in the $1million prize drawing $50,000 over 20 years. Persons who purchased the game during this free play got their level carried over.

The Neo Geo Sample via a Bundle Purchase While users of this company’s games didn’t get the Xbox One offer, depending on what bundles they purchased, they got their choice of 19 demos to play and preview on their PC. This included King of Fighters 2000 and Fatal Fury Special. Here was the sugar, they could be played on any level and length of time they wanted during their trial. Keep in mind that this demo required the purchase of a bundle first.

Final Fantasy VII Releases The beauty of this game was in the upgrades. It was projected to be released in stages and very popular, according to this statement:

It means instead of concluding in one entry, multiple entries are being considered in development. Each entry will have its own unique story. As a gaming experience, each entry will have the volume of content equal to a full-sized game.

This could also mean that the production in this series was far from finished. The gaming franchise was so big that it couldn’t be released as a part of the game but continuously. That meant that each release had its own single experience. On PS4, gamers were able to use their consoles to add to their personal experiences. These enhancements did two things: 1) It sped up game time and 2) Eliminated surprises by allowing the player to turn them off at will.

Street Fighter V Web series For those who couldn’t get enough of Street Fighter, it was slated to become a web series in March 2016. Fans could’ve attributed this to its immense popularity as a video game. Watching this web series was made easier for those who had Smart Tvs, laptops, desktops, smart phones, or tablets. Unfortunately, those with an Xbox or Wii wouldn’t get to enjoy the streaming services because it was a product of PlayStation 4 and the property of Sony. The beauty was that this was always to be a PS4 game in spite of its future re-release to the public

I love to write about trending topics and real life experiences. I love to read and write Science Fiction and Fantasy stories dealing with parallel worlds.
Major computer tech companies were hit

Republicans tired of Donald Trump

Donald Trump’s speech during the President’s address last Sunday night bought a lot of media backlash, worse that the critics that voiced their opinion on CNN Tuesday night:

  1. The Huffington Post was no longer covering him in Entertainment because his antics were causing the opposite effect.
  2. The U.K was circulating a petition to ban him from visiting
  3. American Muslims were calling his speech ‘Facist‘ hate speech
  4. Fox Commentators suspend Donald Trump over his tweets during Obama’s Speech
  5. Republicans denounce Trump’s Speech

The backlash isn’t uncommon because he had offended other ethnic groups. Remember these?

  1. Hispanics Univision wanted the $500 Million Lawsuit dismissed
  2. Latinos still didn’t care for his attitude about Hispanics being drug dealers and thugs
  3. The Military Montel Williams angry video rebuke of Donald Trump still rang in my ears
  4. Paul Ryan said that Donald Trump disqualified himself as president because of his stance on Muslims.
  5. Michael Nutter, Philadelphia’s mayor, wanted to ban Donald Trump from the city.

The Republican party as well as the commentators on CNN live said his rough handling of Muslim’s trying to get into the country wasn’t what was needed at the moment. Some were going as far as saying that his hard extremist attitude might cost them the White House. Most of the Republican Party was the major obstacle for passing stricter gun control laws. In fact, the opposite had occurred.

His statement on CNN Live was correct though. Those people on the no fly list should be banned from purchasing guns. The National Rifle Association was a powerful lobbyist in Washington, which made it difficult to pass these laws because backers thought it would hamper their rights under the Second Amendment. There was nothing wrong with trying to keep firearms out of the hands of radical Islamists or mental patients that were set off by current events. The wait time should be extended to at least 90.

Something had to be done because just ‘debating’ about the nation’s security wasn’t working. Criticizing the president didn’t work either. With the California shooting last week and the Planned Parenthood shooting prior as well as the college shooting in Oregon, it was time to act rationally. There was none of that with Donald Trump. Both the media and those on the CNN panel were tired of Donald Trump and his stupidity.

I love to write about trending topics and real life experiences. I love to read and write Science Fiction and Fantasy stories dealing with parallel worlds.

New ‘Roots’ miniseries slated for 2016

For those who love to revisit the past, perhaps a remake of “Roots” was to one’s liking. This was one of my favorite miniseries, after the original in the 1970s.

A+E Networks’ “Roots” remake is filling out its cast with the addition of seven more players, including rapper Tip Harris, better known as T.I., Variety has learned.

“The Following” alum James Purefoy and longtime “E.R.” star Mekhi Phifer have also been cast, along with Matthew Goode (“The Imitation Game,” “The Good Wife”), Lane Garrison (“Prison Break”), Emayatzy Corinealdi (“Hand of God”) and G. Hannelius (“Dog With a Blog”).

T.I. will appear in the final part of the four installments of the revival miniseries, playing Cyrus, a headstrong slave who fights for his freedom for the Union Army against Confederate Forces. His character will be featured prominently in the finale episode. Phifer will play Jerusalem, a mute slave who works on the Murray plantation, but who is not quite what he appears to be; Purefoy has been cast as John Waller, the wealthy owner of a Virginia plantation who buys Kunta Kinte as a slave upon his arrival in America; Goode will play Purefoy’s character’s charming and well-educated brother, Dr. William Waller; while Hennelius will play his daughter, Missy; Garrison will play Frederick Murray, a volatile, unpredictable Confederate officer and slave owner; and Corinealdi will play Belle, the wife of Kunta Kinte (played by the previously announced newcomer Malachi Kirby).

The additions join a cast that includes star Laurence Fishburne, Forest Whitaker, Anna Paquin, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Anika Noni Rose, Chad L. Coleman, Erica Tazel, Derek Luke, Regé-Jean Page and Kirby.

SEE MORE: ‘Roots’ Remake to Air on History, A&E and Lifetime Next Year

Based on the 1997 “Roots,” the eight-hour, four night reboot will be simulcast across the network portfolio on A&E, History and Lifetime.

Read full article

This blogger can’t wait to see how this was redone.

I love to write about trending topics and real life experiences. I love to read and write Science Fiction and Fantasy stories dealing with parallel worlds.

More cameos due in Marvel films

As a fan of Marvel films, the latest announcement that other superheroes were to have cameos followed the formula written about in the Mummy Reboot last week. This was a better option because with the Marvel Universe, the characters were elastic enough to reboot the back story. This means, when new writers had new ideas,they were able to use them in their story. Let’s look at this scenario of cameos in films, like the one touted by Robert Downey Jr. and Chris Evans. Hey, cameos were used in some of the cartoons made in the ’80s and ’90s, so why not in the movies?

There was still a problem with a reboot of the Mummy movie because the timeline wasn’t as elastic as those in the Marvel Universe. At least with the first two starring Brendan Fraiser, they put them before World War II. The charm with the monster movies like Dracula, The Mummy, Phantom of the Opera and Frankenstein were that they were literary characters in books. The difficulty was getting them from the page to film. Frankenstein concerned me the most. His timeline existed way before modern advances like electricity, standard CPR procedures and the defibulator. The same thing can be said for Dracula and The Mummy. Archeological digs were and still are occurring though. Many medical advances were made by the study of mummies.

Cameos were great though. One of my favorite Eddie Murphy movies was Coming To America. When the cash that Arsenio Hall’s character hoarded was confiscated by Akeem, He placed it in the till of two elderly gentlemen in the street, which just happen to be the Wall Steet tycoons named Duke in Trading Places Apparently, this wasn’t the problem with the latest movie rumors on the Jimmy Kimmel Show, where Robert Downey Jr., let it be known about future cameos between Peter Parker, Iron Man and Captain America. In the mid 90’s version of the X-Men, Captain America showed up in an episode called, Old Soldiers. Peter Parker also meets Anthony Stark, Iron Man, in Spiderman and His Amazing Friends

On last night’s show, alongside Chris Evans, Robert Downey Jr. shared stories of their filming in  the Captain America: Civil War trailer, Atlanta and said they were doing it again. Ideas like locations were subject to change. There was a long wait before filming began on Spider-Man and Guardians of the Galaxy 2, the only films due to shoot in the Atlanta area at the moment. It seems to this blogger that there were a few more cameos in the future.

I love to write about trending topics and real life experiences. I love to read and write Science Fiction and Fantasy stories dealing with parallel worlds.

Actively seeking Newsletter Sign Ups

To get sign ups for the My Writing Site Newsletter my focus was immediate family members. The running joke was that they were a ‘captive audience’, so to speak. The reality was that the blog site and the fan pages were both shown to all. When asked to join my site, they were placed on the weekly post, as all of them worked.

In all fairness, not everything was read in a newsletter. Most of the time the stories read by me were those with the catchy headline. The shorter the pieces were the better they were liked. Not everyone liked reading about celebrity gossip, at least which Hollywood couple spit, who got married or who spent time in jail because of a domestic dispute. Marriages, divorces, arrests, and lawsuits were a matter of public record, so that can’t be kept secret. One of the Mary-Kate Olsen married someone 17 years older than herself.

One thing this blogger gave credit to were Lionel Ritchie and Bruce Willis. When they went through a divorce, both disappeared for two years to divide their property from their exes. Danny Devito and Rhea Perlman announced their split too, but he is still doing commercials. Chris Rock and his ex were still in a custody battle.

My goal was increasing readership. That meant some of the petty backbiting and infighting seen in some well known families had to be overlooked, to some extent.That kind of thing did bring in viewers, but it was a private situation that should be kept off social media. Any kind of public dispute or nude photo became the next trending or hashtag topic on Facebook.While the Mummy reboot might not bring too much of an audience in the theater, there might be die hard fans, depending on the plot and setting. At least the audience won’t see Tom Cruise in the cast. Star Wars: The Force Awakens just announced that a female droid was to be placed in the movie to honor a girl who was a fan that died. This was a touching tribute to one’s daughter.

Here was what was offered:

  1. Free sign up of my newsletter either through my blog or on the Fan page. One could even inbox me with their names and email addresses and it will be put on the weekly update.
  2. For those with things to sell, free placement of their ad in The Busy Bee Classifieds. Because of my advertisement on more than one site, pornographic content was forbidden.  The other accounts owned by me could be suspended if they saw this.

Here was another offer to check out. BlogNinja was an interactive, fun, and easy to follow video course. After taking this course, it gave me some good ideas of my own. It might do the same for others. The fun part was, the student can earn some money during the course!

Here’s hoping my future subscribers liked what they saw and enjoyed the newsletter.

I love to write about trending topics and real life experiences. I love to read and write Science Fiction and Fantasy stories dealing with parallel worlds.

Double-check those rogue numbers

With all the talk about different ways people get scammed the older ones were still out there. Last week, it was The Grandma Scam. My problem began when it was discovered that someone tried to use a well-known computer company, like Microsoft through PCSpeedy.com They said that they were a representative and that something was wrong with my older laptop that they needed to fix. This was months after Windows XP had gone out of service and before my fight to regain the funds from the other two companies vying for the same thing. These rogue calls could be stopped.

This was far worse than what happened with the hackers at Dell and Vtech, The toy company, based in China, did not fully encrypt the personal information of its customers. As a result, they may be headed to court. At least Dell offered a solution to the buyers of its laptops with the malicious security software on it with email and on site support.

There were two rogue numbers that called within five minutes of one another. Both had the Microsoft Billing scandal in their complaint list on 800notes. In my case, it was a ‘supposed’ refund for past purchase. The thing that bothers me was that reported rogue numbers only get the link to the web shut off. Why not shut down this black market database?

After the some cleared, with two of those other companies, the last one never fixed my problem, so they never got paid. Here were the red flags:

  1. Most of these real companies would never wait until the dinner hour or some other ungodly time to call on a weekend. With this rogue caller, from India, it puts the legitimacy of the company in question because their reach was global too.
  2. They didn’t call on holidays either. Microsoft never called its customers at any time, not even for issuing refunds on their products. When a consumer accepts their offer of service from these ‘independent companies’, $99 went to the technician off the top. Even though the terms were outlined, they can also push for additional services, like one of the other companies did. The more you call the less your refund.
  3. This last company, never was able to get into my old computer and ‘fix’ my connection problem. They still charged $199 for this service. After five hours of trying, they gave me another tech company to call and untangle myself. My refund came through October 21, 2014 because they didn’t respond to my dispute. Their harassment started January 2015 and lasted four months until my reporting them to the FCC and the FTC Do Not Call link in late May this year.

While the harassing calls stopped, a lot of other calls from similar companies were calling me for the same thing. By this time, the sucker list previously written about was cut back after finding some weapons added to my arsenal to shut them down. Registered complaints were like a criminal rap sheet. The number from Cape Coral, Florida on Mr. Number, had a 99% spam score and 490 reports. On Call Contol, they were the same. A previous owner that was a prank caller got reported to the FTC ten times between May and July of last year. The number from Lynchburg, VA., was the Microsoft Billing/refund complaint like the one in Florida. This last number, recognized from six months ago, was found to be a telemarketing Dental Insurance scam. The more information found on these rogue callers, the more likely they were shut down.

I love to write about trending topics and real life experiences. I love to read and write Science Fiction and Fantasy stories dealing with parallel worlds.