Scams How to spot them in Your Industry!

Protecting the consumers from the robbers!

Top Tips to Protect Yourself Against Frauds and Scams, Identity Theft and Reduce Spam Email

This article was first published on: http://www.consumerfraudreporting.org/defend_yourself.php

What can you do to defend yourself from scams, frauds and identity theft? Whether you think you have been the victim of a fraud or scam or want to be proactive in protecting yourself, here is a list of specific and simple actions that you can take, some just once, to protect yourself and your family!  We have ranked them in order that you should take them:

  1. Don’t use or carry a checkbook. Pay by cash or credit card. Paying your bills through your bank or credit union’s online bill paying service (which is usually free) is much safer than mailing a check.
  2. Buy and use a paper shredder. Shred any documents that have your social security number or other financial information, such as your bank account numbers, credit card numbers etc.  identity thieves actually go through homeowner’s trash to obtain personal information. If you don’t have a shredder, burn these  documents completely in the fireplace.
  3. Freeze your credit! It prevents scammers from opening unauthorized accounts in your name. Even if your state is one of the few that doesn’t allow a freeze, thanks to pressure from consumer advocacy groups, you can still freeze your files at the three major credit bureaus.  See this page for more information about both freezes.
  4. Sign up on the Do-Not-Call List
  5. Sign up to block credit card offers from arriving in your mailbox.
  6. Don’t carry your Social Security card with you. When you renew your driver’s license, make sure the DMV does not use your Social Security number as your driver’s license number.
  7. Use a separate email address when you post messages to any public forum, such as newsgroups and mailing lists. Free email accounts from Yahoo and Hotmail are perfect for this. Never use your personal email address for this purpose: you will be flooded with spam. You can periodically check this email account to see what’s spam and what isn’t. A bonus is that Yahoo’s spam blocker is better than those from most ISP’s! And your main personal email address won’t be as clogged with spam. Some ISP’s, like AOL and BellSouth.net give you multiple email accounts free with your paid service.
  8. Don’t give out any financial information, such as checking account and credit card numbers; and especially your social Security number; on the phone or online, unless you initiate the call and know the person or organization you’re dealing with. Don’t give that information to any stranger. In general, it is only required for medical providers, banks, mortgages and credit card companies.
  9. Don’t fill out the “win a vacation” and other promotions you see in stores and shopping malls.  That will just get you on a junk mailing list and guarantee calls from persistent, high-pressure salesmen.
  10. Don’t pre-print your driver’s license, telephone or Social Security numbers on your checks. And in states that want to use your social security number as your driver’s license number, insist on another method – most allow it.
  11. Report lost or stolen checks immediately. The bank can block payment on the check numbers that are missing. Also, review new checks you receive, to make sure none has been stolen in transit.
  12. Store new and cancelled checks, credit card statements, medical bills, anything with confidential information, in a safe place and shred them when you are done with them.
  13. Guard your Personal Identification Numbers (PINs) for your ATM and credit cards, and don’t write on or keep your PINs with your cards. You should also guard your ATM and credit card receipts. Thieves can use them to access your accounts.
  14. Be creative in selecting Personal Identification Numbers for your ATM and credit cards, and passwords that enable you to access other accounts. Don’t use birth dates, part of your Social Security Number or driver’s license number, address, or children’s or spouse’s names. Remember: If someone has stolen your identity, he or she probably has some or all of this information.
  15. Use a good anti-virus software, anti-adware software and a hardware firewall on your computer, and keep them up to date. You need all three. Almost all modern Routers (Dlink, LinkSys, NetGear, Buffalo, Airlink, etc.) have a hardware firewall built in. See the left side of this page for the current recommendation for ant-virus / anti-malware programs.
  16. Don’t put outgoing mail in or on your mailbox. Drop it into a secure, official Postal Service collection box. Thieves may use your mail to steal your identity.
  17. If regular bills fail to reach you, call the company to find out why. Someone may have filed a false change-of-address notice to divert your information to his or her address.
  18. If your bills include suspicious charges, don’t ignore them. Instead, investigate immediately to head off any possible fraud before it occurs.
  19. Check your credit report regularly. Federal law allows you to obtain one from credit report from each of the 3 major credit reporting agencies per year. See this page for more information.
  20. There are services online, some free, such as SneakMail that provide you with disposable addresses that can be deleted if they begin to receive spam messages. The disposable email addresses forwards email to a real email address of yours, but the sender can not see this. If you create a unique address for each email newsletter or forum you subscribe to you can  discard the address is it gets too much spam and just start using another email address.
  21. NEVER buy anything from a company that sends you spam. Don’t even visit their sites or ask for more information. It is like feeding a stray cat.  Give it one morsel of food, and it will be there all the time (and that may be fine with cats, but NO one wants spammers at the doorstep!).  Remember, since they send out millions of spam emails, they only need a tiny fraction of responses to be profitable.
    And if that doesn’t convince you, consider this: the vast majority of spam “offers” are in fact scams!
  22. Set up filters in your email program. Outlook does this quite easily. When you open an email and realize that it is spam, just click on Actions then Create Rule, then select an appropriate action, such as “from” then click “Move e-mail to folder” and select the “Deleted Items” folder. That’s it!  You’ll never receive email from that particular address or subject again!  More anti-spam filtering tips and information.
  23. If you have a website, do not post your address in the HTML “mail-to” format, otherwise you will be spammed, since address-harvesting spiders (programs) extract your email address from the website and add it to the spammer’s lists.  Instead use feedback forms through PHP, ASP, or JSP that hide the email address, OR post the email address as a GIF (image file).
  24. Check out this list of tips on evaluating email, letters and phone calls you receive for potential scams.
  25. Finally, if it seems to good to be true… IT IS! No one is going to send you a pile of money from a dead Nigerian president, no lottery is going to make you a winner from a “randomly selected from a database of email addresses”.  Multi-level marketing IS A SCAM, ALL psychics are nothing more than conmen, and you can not  make big money from “passive residual income in a few hours of your spare time each day”. And there is no Easter Bunny.

Resources lists and guides – lists of domain extensions for other countries, telephone country codes, area codes, etc.

The bottom line is, if you want to live like a Prince or Princess in a fairy tale, then use common sense, work hard and work smart to achieve your goals.

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March 17, 2010 Posted by | Business, Consume, Consumer Scams, Courses, fraud, government resources, Real Estate, Report a Scam, Research sites, Seminars, Share Trading, State Resources, Superannuation, Training | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Roy McDonald, what is a scam?

If we look at the history of a word or the origin of that word, weather it is the meaning of that word in another language or how it is a acronym of a word (slang) we can better understand how to proceed in our situation. If we search around on the word scam we can find some interesting results, on wikipedia we can see the true origin of the words history where it was first used and in what context. Here is a quote from the history of the word scam ;

History

The first known usage of the term “confidence man” in English was in 1849; it was used by American press during the United States trial of William Thompson. Thompson chatted with strangers until he asked if they had the confidence to lend him their watches, whereupon he would walk off with the watch; he was captured when a victim recognized him on the street.[1]

The true meaning as given on wikipedia is;

confidence trick or confidence game (also known as a bunkoconflim flamgafflegrifthustlescamschemeswindle or bamboozle) is an attempt to defraud a person or group by gaining their confidence.

If we take this a little further and look at the word confidence;

Confidence is generally described as a state of being certain either that a hypothesis or prediction is correct or that a chosen course of action is the best or most effective.

We can start to see that a “confidence trick” (scam) is something that is really up to market forces, as the term would surgest in real estate, “When the market is right, it is right and when the market is wrong, it is right!” This just means that no one really makes the definition singularly, it is a variety of sources that determines the result.

market is any one of a variety of different systemsinstitutionsproceduressocial relations and infrastructures where by personstrade, and goods and services are exchanged, forming part of the economy.

This means that we are always changing and there will always be a negative and a positive to the question, (is this or him or her a scam) what you will need to do is keep yourself up to date with the changes to the situation as tomorrow the market may change. Roy has a saying that goes; Planes fly into buildings! So you can never predict and you must always expect the change will come, it maybe the only prediction you can make.

How will this effect you in the evaluation of a scam? Well lets say a person was involved in being accused of scamming (confidence tick), and they then looked at what they where doing from the perspective of the person that had accused them of this, then change what they where doing. Would this person now be more aware of its consumers? Would their product or services be more in tune with the market now (remember the market is always changing) or would the person that had not had this experience become the one who is not with the times or timing of the market, now could be the one accused of scamming? It can be difficult for a consumer to find the true path they wish to take. That is why I believe a lot in the teachings of my mentor Roy McDonald. He has a primary focus of you purpose in life and where  you want to go and who you want to be. This will cut your decision time down in a big way. You will be well aware of what you want to do and where you want to be thus understanding that industry, product or service better then the average consumer, therefore being able to make a better, educated decision promptly. Have a look at Roy’s Seven Year Plan here this may help you create a future that is more focused and give you more clarity. You should also look for other mentors online that provide a lot of good free advice like Brad Sugars free ebooks.

March 8, 2010 Posted by | Business, Consume, Consumer Scams, Courses, fraud, government resources, Real Estate, Report a Scam, Research sites, Scam Games, Seminars, Share Trading, State Resources, Superannuation, Training | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Fighting Fraud Online with New Offensive

Scam watch join the online offensive

Online fraud and scams has jumped up over the last year with a 16% increase overall in the complaints, 68.6% of that was via the internet. A new campaign from the government site http:scamwatch.gov.au has produced a banner that you can add to your site to help protect consumers.

Article reference:

Channel 7 Sunrise

Full List:

2010 Government partners

2010 Private partners

Top

2010 Community partners

Scams Target you

Add the scam watch banner to your site

March 2, 2010 Posted by | Business, Consume, Consumer Scams, fraud, government resources, Real Estate, Report a Scam, Research sites, Scam Games, Seminars, Share Trading, State Resources, Superannuation | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Neil Jenman Scam? Consumers Alert or Just MASSIVE EGO…

The consumer protector in real estate he says, protecting consumers from scams and fraud in real estate. He has left a trail of destruction all over the place and our friends in New Zealand don’t like him ether.

Don’t tread on his ego because he will go to work on you with his  SEO works online, first article from consumer warning talks about how he just set off to tarnish a person credibility online with his sites. Then property investing forum suggest that they will not advise anyone to consider information on his site and they just want to say away from him.

To quote http://trialbyinternet.blogspot.com

If you seek legal advice, the first step of course is to have a cease and desist letter sent which Jenman simply laughs at. In some cases, Jenman further ridicules his victim by boldly publishing his mocking remarks relating to their attempted defense. “If what I said is really untrue then sue me!” This bold response from Jenman gives the impression that he must be telling the truth about his victim, but actually like most intelligent and pre-meditated doers of evil, Jenman knows that the chances of a conviction are slim. Defamation is one of the most expensive and high risk areas of law to defend yourself against and if you lose you have to pay not only your own legal costs (which can vary between $100,000 and $300,000) but you have to repay around 65% of the other sides costs as well. Even if you do win, damages are hard to quantify and there is no guarantee that you will get them. On top of that, it can take 1 – 2 years to get a result. Is it any wonder that most people Jenman defames never go past their first letter of demand? They have little choice but to remain guilty – unable to prove innocence. They suffer in silence or they change their name. The simple fact is, Jenman can say what he likes and unless you have the cash, the time and the will, Jenman wins.

A comment on the article: September 3, 2008 2:09 AM Well written … and well researched. I have been on the receiving end of such bullying tactics of gutter journalists and self-promotion egomainiacs. People like Jenman and Current Affair journo’s like Ben Fordham are the scum of the earth and have no moral values beyond their own egos. They never do real research, they find a person that they think they can destory then create lie after lie to build their case, hidding behind the walls of solicitors and TV cameras. For all those people who have been attacked by these scum, stand tall in the truth, they will be brought to judgement eventually. “Greater is He who is in me (God) than he who is in the world (satan).”

The comments seem to go on and on he really dose not have any fans here..

Then jump on over to a PDF from the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand (REINZ) They have an article here is the first little bit;

The real estate institute of New Zealand (REINNZ) today cautioned people not to accept at face value the extravagant assertions of self-styled consumer advocate Neil Jenman. Jenman, the controversial Australian auther and seminar promoter, who positions hinself as a consumer advocate is currently visiting New Zealand running seminars questioning the ethics of real estate Practitioners. The real purpose of his seminar is to enable him to build his business of “accredited” Jenman system real estate practices.

So here is a bit more on how he works the online world in his favor, a very small amount of his site;

JenmanFightsBack.com.au registration to “THE NEIL JENMAN GROUP PTY. LIMITED” then,

Jenman.com.au registration to “The Jenman Winners Circle Pty. Limited” also

RealEstate-Help.com.au registration to “THE NEIL JENMAN GROUP PTY. LIMITED” then

RealEstateMonitors.com.au registration to”The Neil Jenman Group Pty.”

they are all title in a way to build his authority in the search engines, you should go to,  JenmanFightsBack.com.au tag line ‘protecting the man who protects consumers’… has been build to protect is so called reputation?? Why whould a man that protect consumers need a site like that?? hmmm maybe to rank in areas that people slander his name, great key words their Mr. Jenman. His wife and daughter have put together this site it says;

Quote by Reiden Jenman,

To the cowards who make these claims and to one coward in particular (who places our home address on the Internet and puts my family’s safety at risk), I say this to you.

Really i’m confused about this so called consumer protector?? who’s family is at risk! sounds like he has over step and over stayed his welcome with the real estate industry. So how do you evaluate this kind of person when a normal search on a personal name, then scam or scams after it would bring up information about the person that they would not like others to see, his search just brings up every article on everyone else he has named and shamed…what do you think of that Reiden?? And then every other avenue has his sites like ‘RealEstateMonitors.com.au’ sites that are built to support his other article sites and written to deceive consumer by implying that his site is, ‘an association develop’ by the industry or the government. Here is a bit from the ‘about’ section on this site.

We monitor agents and salespeople, looking for those who provide the best service for consumers.

In conjunction with Neil Jenman, we also monitor property investment advisers. really is that right? that you monitor agents and salespeople? because it is owned by “The Neil Jenman Group Pty.” and they would recommend agents that only have completed his course or seminar (the Jenman System)  hmm the plot thickens Jenman. or maybe I’m wrong, maybe your motoring site that is owned by you is put there for another reason… what if you jump in the comment or courts and prove me wrong ops that is Jenmans line.

Well drop your thoughts and make your own judgement, i’m done with using his site for any research.

P>S also someone has taken this site down haha good one everthing is always online, so goto: http://web.archive.org then search http://www.jenman.org

more comments at: http://www.propertyinvesting.com/forums/community/opinionated/15267

February 25, 2010 Posted by | Business Seminars, Consume, Consumer Scams, Courses, fraud, Real Estate, Real Estate Buying, Real Estate Selling, Real Estate Seminars, Real Estate Trading, Real Estate Wealth Creation, Report a Scam, Research sites, Scam Games, Seminars, State Resources, Training | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Seminar Scams; Jamie Mcintyre Scam or Not?

The 21st Century Wealth Academy and Jamie Mcintyre, Real Estate Investing / Trading, Wealth Creation, Share Trading and more, so how dose this guy do so much and is it a scam? Jamie Mcintyre runs seminars all over Australia and online he also offers free DVD’s on his seminar, on them he talks about Investment Strategies for Real Estate Investing / Trading and Share Trading general Wealth creation stuff and so on, you can find them almost everywhere online, Financially Free DVD.

So I went for a look around like I recommend on this blog to find the truth on this guy Jamie and I found some interesting articles on some of my recommended sites like http://www.fido.gov.au and got a great article titled Another wealth creation spruiker caught out and the another called Action stops further promotion of wealth creation seminars. Now these where posted back in 2005 and its now 2010 so what now?

His Background (as stated on the fido.gov.au website)
21st Century Academy promotes, advertises and conducts a business of holding wealth creation seminars. These seminars, and related materials, purport to teach people ‘how to excel in the 21st century and make money while you sleep’. Mr McIntyre is described as ‘the founder and head facilitator of the Academy, …a self-made millionaire and an inspiration to thousands’.

ASIC secured interlocutory undertakings from 21st Century Academy and Mr McIntyre on 5 April 2005 to restrain this conduct, pending the Court’s final decision.

Also you may notice that on this page as well http://www.fido.gov.au/fido/fido.nsf/byheadline/05-167+Another+wealth+creation+spruiker+caught+out you have the results of what has gone on, the results of Jamie Mcintyres companies like 21st century academy. You maybe surprised as I was when I had first come across all this negative information about Jamie, you’ll see that the decision was made and Jamie was to not give advice until or unless its given by a company or persons that held a AFSL, Australian Financial Services Licence. There is a little more and you should have a read though that is pretty much the idea.

Here is another interesting part if you go to http://www.21stcenturyacademy.com/jamie-mcintyre.php you’ll see a brief bio on Mr McIntyre and at the bottom it has what he requires to give advice,

Jamie McIntyre is an employee of 21st Century Investment Services Pty Ltd and an authorised representative of Romad Financial Services Pty Ltd (AFSL No 238 032). Jamie has been certified by Romad as being qualified in the areas of derivatives, securities and managed investment products. He is currently authorised to provide general advice and dealing services in Derivatives, Deposit Products, Managed Investments and Securities (ASIC No. 321 315).

Here is another quote from fido.gov.au;

The Executive Director of Enforcement at ASIC, Ms Jan Redfern said the Federal Court’s action should remind consumers that it is important to check the credentials of people providing financial advice.

That is the kind of advice we like to here on scams in any industry weather it is seminars, real estate, business or what ever you name it, the truth will be found on a proper website like the ASIC one or any of the government websites we recommend.

So to wrap this article up I want to let you know the process here: We did a google search and looked for government websites, they have .gov on the end of there URL then we did some reading and did so until we found a conclusion to the story on Jamie, he was a little easier then some less known people though that is a good start in spotting a scam in any case.

February 23, 2010 Posted by | Business, Business Seminars, Consume, Consumer Scams, Courses, fraud, government resources, Real Estate, Real Estate Seminars, Real Estate Wealth Creation, Research sites, Seminars, Share Trading, Share Trading Seminars, Training | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Spotting a corporate scam in the industry your investing in!

Roy McDoanld has given me one of the greatest gifts that I could ever receive, and that is the gift of learning, Roy said that in order to move forward you need to learn from the past. In one of Australia’s biggest corporate scandals there can be a lot of learning. The asbestos scandal with James Hardie Industries took a turn for the worse when in 1995 the chief operating company was quietly stripped of its assets. Trade names, patents, huge management fees  and dividends flowed to the parent company.

“GREG COMBET, SECRETARY, ACTU: This is one of the most morally and legally repugnant acts in Australian corporate history.” ABC’s 730 Report

If we are to learn from this we could be to look into to corporate scams and frauds, Matthew Johnston from the University of Melbourne has written a great article on how “study shows how best to bust corporate fraud” this with research form KPMG. They also have some grate articles on fraud risk management and Unmasking the face of corporate fraud. Will help you gain a quick grasp on what can really go on in the corporate world.

Roy McDonald mentions that corporate fraud and scams are driven by greed and this is a trait of the ego as you start looking and researching you will find far more information then you need or will ever need, though once you have a basic understanding of how to spot a scam in the industry then turn your research attention to the people in control of the company and the character traits of them. Once you have your research then you can paint a clearer picture of where the company might be heading and if you should go and invest your super or money into it.

February 19, 2010 Posted by | Business, Business Buying, Business Selling, Business Seminars, Business Trading, Consumer Scams, fraud, Report a Scam, Research sites | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Spotting the difference: Financial Advice Seminar or Scam!

Is it Financial Advice or a scam? Roy McDonald has a great resource and a recommended site called;

http://www.understandingmoney.gov.au/

This site has great resources with financial advice the Do’s and Don’ts of financial advice or financial education.

Here are some of the things that can be included in seminars:

  • How to manage your debt
  • The option available in investing or savings
  • Differences between investing areas like share trading VS real estate
  • How to save money
  • A product range the content and characteristics

Now Roy made this point very clear that if you don’t have a (AFS) Licence then you should not be giving the following advice at a seminar. (Australian Financial Services (AFS) Licence)

  • Giving advice that this product is the one to use
  • Giving advice of which option is best
  • Or advice on which product is best
  • Advising where to put their money

When people are giving this advice it is to particular and narrow in a seminar environment Roy McDonald said it is general advice because everyone is different and that kind of very narrow, this product or that is best, will not suit everyone. We all have different commitments with bills; real estate, personal homes, cars, small loans, phones. What you will really need to know to stop being scammed is your position in detail, have an important documents file with all your details up to date so you can see in an instant and even know to a degree if you are ask how much and where your money is coming from and going too.

The important note here is; if you are at a seminar and worried that an investment in a product from them will be a scam then check in with yourself and your financial position. Am I a person that suits share trading and also will it work with my portfolio? How high is my financial education in this arena, out of 10? Can I afford for everything to go bad if in the worst case it dose.

Stick to your goals as Roy has said before and start simple, here is an example of starting small with a bank account. Roy calls it the Wealth Account, you can find the e-book here;

http://www.slideshare.net/RoyMcDonald/wealth-account-by-roy-mc-donald

February 16, 2010 Posted by | Business Seminars, Consume, Consumer Scams, Courses, government resources, Real Estate Seminars, Research sites, Seminars, Share Trading, Share Trading Seminars, Share trading Wealth Creation, Training | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

List of the Australasian Consumer Fraud Taskforce: ACFT agencies

Here are a list of the Australian Government sites that are here for a resource;

A collection of great sites this is a perfect resource for you when you are doing you homework, researching a company, person or charity group. Bookmark this page so you have it as a quick reference.

Australian Bureau of Statistics produces research and statistics on personal fraud and scams in Australia.
www.abs.gov.au

Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy provides links to Australian Government initiatives to improve online security and fraud awareness.
www.dbcde.gov.au

Australian Competition and Consumer Commission is responsible for enforcing the Trade Practices Act 1974 and the state/territory application legislation. It provides advice about scams and how to report them.
www.accc.gov.au

Attorney-General’s Department works to improve identity security, combat identity crime and protect the identities of Australians from being used for illegal purposes. Current initiatives include: The National Identity Security Strategy, The National Document Verification Service (DVS), and the ID Theft – Protecting Your Identity booklet.
www.ag.gov.au

Australian Communications and Media Authority is responsible for enforcing the Spam Act 2003 and has developed an online tool to report spam.
www.spam.acma.gov.au

Australian Institute of Criminology (AIC) is Australia’s national crime and criminal justice research agency. Consumers can fill out a scams survey at www.aic.gov.au/research/fraud/acft/survey.html to gather information to help to improve the prevention, detection, investigation, and prosecution of scam offenders.
www.aic.gov.au

Australian Federal Police represented by the Australian High Tech Crime Centre (AHTCC) provides a nationally coordinated approach to technology-enabled crime. Its brief is to combat serious and complex high tech crimes, especially those beyond the capability of a single jurisdiction.
www.afp.gov.au
Media contact: National Media Team (02) 6275 7100

Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) investigates scams involving financial products and services including cold calling, phone investment scams and illegal investment schemes.
www.asic.gov.au

Great list from the Australian government here are some from the,

New Zealand Government;

Ministry of Consumer Affairs
www.consumeraffairs.govt.nz

Commerce Commission of New Zealand
www.comcom.govt.nz

Australian State and Territory consumer affairs and fair trading agencies

State and Territory consumer affairs and fair trading agencies protect and promote the interests of consumers by providing advice and assistance, enforcing state consumer laws, investigating complaints, and resolving disputes.

NSW
Office of Fair Trading (OFT)
www.fairtrading.nsw.gov.au

VIC
Consumer Affairs Victoria (CAV)
www.consumer.vic.gov.au

SA
Office of Consumer & Business Affairs (OCBA)
www.ocba.sa.gov.au

QLD
Office of Fair Trading (OFT)
www.fairtrading.qld.gov.au

Tas
Consumer Affairs and Fair Trading (CAFT)
www.consumer.tas.gov.au

NT
Consumer Affairs (Department of Justice)
www.consumeraffairs.nt.gov.au

WA
Department of Consumer and Employment Protection (DOCEP)
www.docep.wa.gov.au

ACT
Office of Regulatory Services
www.ors.act.gov.au

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Here is some other ACFT information

Taskforce partners

Taskforce members are joined in communicating with Australian consumers about scams by a range of community, non-government and private sector organisations. A list of Taskforce partners will be available on www.scamwatch.gov.au soon.

Reporting a scam

Consumers who think they’ve spotted a scam can report a scam or find out more information about scams on the SCAMwatch website at www.scamwatch.gov.au or call 1300 795 995.

Scams survey

Consumers can also fill out a scams survey on the Australian Institute of Criminology website atwww.aic.gov.au/research/fraud/acft/survey.html Gathering this information will help to improve the prevention, detection, investigation, and prosecution of scam offenders. Aggregated results will be available later in the year from www.scamwatch.gov.au

More information on scams

More information about scams can be found in The Little Black Book of Scams published by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, call 1300 302 502 or visit their website www.accc.gov.au

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Other useful websites or kits (see individual agencies also)

SCAMwatch

A site to help you recognise, report and protect yourself from scams. Explore SCAMwatch to find out more about the scams that target you or your small business. SCAMwatch is the campaign portal for the Australasian Consumer Fraud Taskforce.
www.scamwatch.gov.au

NetAlert

NetAlert is the Australian Government’s cyber-safety website. The site includes advice and resources on Internet scams, identity theft, spam and other online cyber-safety related issues.
www.netalert.gov.au

Protect your financial identity

This website provides information for the public about how to protect your financial identity in everyday life and minimise the damage if a problem occurs. This website has been developed by the Australian Bankers Association, the Australian High Tech Crime Centre and the Australian Securities and Investments Commission.
www.protectfinancialid.org.au

FIDO

The Australian Securities and Investment Commission website for consumers and investors includes warnings about financial scams, lists of illegal investments and unlicensed overseas callers promoting investment opportunities, tips on managing money, and information on how to complain. It also features case studies about people who were made financial offers that were too good to be true.
www.fido.gov.au

Stay smart online

The Australian Government’s e-security website for home users and small businesses. The site has a range of information and resources, including quizzes, guides, tools, tips and advice on how to use the Internet safely and confidently.
www.staysmartonline.gov.au

ID Theft Booklet – Protecting Your Identity

A booklet produced by the Attorney-General’s Department to help Australians prevent, and deal with, identity theft. The Booklet is about how to prevent, and respond to, identity theft. It provides practical strategies on how individuals can protect themselves from becoming victims of identity theft, and what to do if they become a victim of this crime.
www.ag.gov.au/identitysecurity

February 12, 2010 Posted by | Business, Consume, Consumer Scams, government resources, Real Estate, Research sites, Seminars, Share Trading, State Resources, Superannuation, Training | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Spotting a Business or Franchise Scam

We are really blissed when it comes to information online about spotting scams in businesses or franchises. Here is an example of some government websites;

Federal Trade Commission has examples of business scams:

http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/franchise/tsweep02.shtm

Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has the franchising code here:

http://www.accc.gov.au/content/index.phtml/tag/franchisingcode/

A great new one to me I just found is Fido, built by the Australian government, it gives you financial tips and safety checks:

http://www.fido.gov.au/fido/fido.nsf/byHeadline/Scams%20-%20types%20of%20scams

Also another site from a great business leader Brad Sugars:

http://www.actioncoach.com/bradsugars/how-to-spot-a-franchise-scam.php

The information is there so why are people continually scammed? Is it that they just don’t read this or is it that they are not really educated in how to spot scams or even how to spot a business opportunity? It’s a lot of both and can vary, Roy McDonald refers to a percentage of the population being 95% as having no or near nothing in the way of financial education. If Roy can say 95% with confidence we can say it’s that most people just don’t know and wouldn’t be able to spot the difference between a working profitable business, a working unprofitable business and a complete and utter scam.

Spotting a franchise or business scam is left to the government to police and they can be just as bad at spotting them as the general public. Have they ever had the experience of running businesses or doing the due diligences of investing in a new business opportunity on a on going basis? Not really and they shouldn’t need to! Everything should be fine people should not rip other people off and the world is perfect. Well in some peoples eyes that is the case because that is their point of view and that is where we can get unstuck as well. If you think any business or franchise will fit your personality then you will be in for a surprise when the business fails, because you don’t fit the role that supports the growth of the business. This has added another aspect to the equation and makes it even more complicated, you may be tearing your hair out right now though if your look at some of Roger Hamilton’s work  it makes the process of avoiding a scam simple. Roger Hamilton has a great system for budding business owners, its called the Wealth Dynamics Profile Test. This test will help you find out who you really are as a business owner and will show you where you are strong and where you are weak. As Roy McDonald puts it so gracefully; “If you understand yourself, then you can understand where best to excel in every endeavor”.

I’m going to be bold and say if you really don’t understand your personality and how you relate to others is business then you should not go into business, it is really that important to know yourself, if you don’t you maybe be left thinking that you have been scammed. So check out the Wealth Dynamics Profile Test and see how to best work in your flow.

February 10, 2010 Posted by | Business, Business Buying, Business Selling, Business Seminars, Business Trading, Consume, Consumer Scams, Courses, Seminars, Training | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The 6 Pillars to Spotting a scam

Weather its spotting a scam in Real Estate, Share Trading, Business or the Internet, you can take these 6 steps or pillars to guide you in the right direction to success and not be scammed. They are really about research, research into yourself and research into the industry.

http://www.slideshare.net/RoyMcDonald/6-pillars-to-spotting-a-scam

Here they are;

  1. What is the industry?
  2. Search on the warning signs for that industry?
  3. Search on how to protect yourself?
  4. Do more homework on your personal plan. What is your direction?
  5. Decide based on your personal plan.
  6. Never loses your capital.

Lets go into more detail here;

1. What is the industry? This can be quite simple, a google search like; The seminar industry, or The Real Estate industry, then just click on a few sites and read more. With your clear objective you will be able to find what you are looking for quite quickly.

2. Search on the warning signs for that industry? Again as you are going through the above process, you’ll almost automatically move into this search, keep it simply and use government sites as you can only trust someones opinion so much. Here are a couple of government sites: http://www.protectfinancialid.org.au/About-the-partners/default.aspx, http://wareseeker.com/free-government-agencies-that-protect-consumers/, http://www.sse.gov.on.ca/mcs/en/pages/default.aspx.

3. Search how to protect yourself? The second site, in number two, is a great site for this it list all the free government agencies that will support consumers.

scam support pillars

Avoid Scams with the 6 Pillars

4. Do more homework on your personal plan. What is your direction? What is your personal plan? Her are some great resources; http://www.slideshare.net/RoyMcDonald/seven-year-plan-ebook-by-roy-mcdonald, http://www.slideshare.net/RoyMcDonald/my-seven-year-plan-roy-mcdonald

5. Decide based on your personal plan. This one is very self explanatory.

6. Never loses your capital. This is very important, if you have no capital then you are out of the game all together and it may take some time for you to get back into the game. Always know where you sit with you long term plan and amounts you can spend on new ideas, products or services.

In Closing Roy McDonald’s seven year plan in the link above is a great resource. Weather you think you have a plan or not, you do and as Roy also says, “If you don’t have your own goals then you have been enrolled in someone else’s”, “Weather you have a plan to succeed or fail, you always have a plan”.

February 9, 2010 Posted by | Business, Consume, Consumer Scams, Courses, Real Estate, Seminars, Share Trading, Training | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Consumer Protection From Scams

Protecting consumers from scams, how do we do it I ask my mentor Roy McDoanld? He replied that there are a lot of government websites like:

http://www.australia.gov.au/topics/economy-money-and-tax/consumer-protection

http://www.scamwatch.gov.au/content/index.phtml/tag/scamwatch/

http://consumer.gov/ncpw/

Though it is really about the consumer them self. How is that Roy I asked? Well just listen to the language you use there, “consumer” they consume, so first of all they need to take a good look at them self and ask, ‘Is that the person who I want to be? A Consumer’? Roy Mcdonald also asked me, ‘Do you want to be another statistic or do you want to be ahead of the pack and make a difference to this great world’? I replied with an enthusiastic “YES”  and Roy replied. All day long we are bombarded with media, “buy this”, “buy that”! What you need to be is “You” yourself and where you are going, then you won’t be consuming your way through life. Roy paused and looked at me…I was starting to understand as Roy began to add more. Lets do a search, this was on one of the first sites we found:

Consumer Culture. The term “consumer culture” refers to cultures in which mass consumption and production both fuel the economy and shape perceptions, values, desires, and constructions of personal identity.

This is the site: http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1O119-ConsumerCulture.html

Protecting Consumers from Scams Lessons from Roy McDonald Article

Protecting Consumers from Scams when Ads are Everywhere

Can you see a little clearer now? How people refer to them selves is a big deal. Think about yourself as this now and imagine your walking into a seminar to learn about real estate or business. Now think “consume” are you thinking? Now a decision comes and you are asked, would you like “A”  or “B”…What is your first thought? It would, 90% of the time be “A or B” and nothing that is inline with your goals or vision of the life style with your family, that was most probably the driving factor that got you to this seminar in the first place. It’s quite simple Roy said, if you want to be a consumer and get scammed ten that is your choice! If you want to be an achiever and a go give in this world you need to focus on the positive goals and vision you have for your family. You need a plan to be educated in an area that will provide for you and your family, like wealth creation and not educated in consuming. As Roy finished he said, Its about your focus…What is the education you are focused on? What is the plan you are focused on? What are your goals focused on? Focus leads to clarity, clarity is power and the power is in the present. Say that to yourself a few time Roy said and truly understand that sentence and you are on your way to protecting yourself from consumer scams.

February 8, 2010 Posted by | Business, Business Seminars, Consume, Consumer Scams, Courses, Real Estate, Real Estate Seminars, Seminars, Training | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Spotting a Business opportunity Scam

A Business Opportunity scam can come in many ways, from an email, a flyer in the post, direct mail in your letter box and so on, really what we are looking at here are businesses that require an up front amount that must be paid ASAP (as soon as possible). My mentor Roy McDonald said “You should always take you time with a business and evaluating that opportunity”. We want to be very present when we come across a marketing material with the wording “Business Opportunity”.

Check in with yourself, dose the product or service that the business will offer sound like something you would invest in?

Is there a actual address that you can go to and how long has that business been at that address?

How many references do they have and can you meet these people?

This is the real truth of it; You are going to be the one that will make the decision! You and only you!

Take control of your Life, your Time, your Money

– Roy McDonald

So if running a business is new to you then you will need to be sure that you follow a few of these tips:

1. If the business goes bad, will you have any working capital left to invest into another business or even keep living

Roy McDonald avoid Business Scam

Finding Solution to avoid a scam

your life style?

2. If the business needs amounts of money beyond what you have contributed, will you be able to make them?

3. If you are going to be the manager or if something happened to the managers of the business would you be comperdent and able to run this business in the same way or better?

4. How dose this really effect your life style; With the outlay of money. With your time involvement. With the possibility that all may go wrong, you lose all that you put in, the worst case possible.

A business is a vehicle that ideally will move you towards your goals. So dose this do that and what about the time frames for the good the bad and the ugly circumstances. Will you be working for the business or will the business be working for you?

Here are some great reference articles for you to check out on some government websites:

http://www.scamwatch.gov.au/content/index.phtml/tag/BusinessOpportunityScams

I love this site because of the video’s, you just can’t go wrong with a video;

http://consumer.gov/ncpw/business-opportunity-scam-artist/

In closing as my mentor Roy McDonald has always put, “If you don’t stand for something you will fall for anything”! Start creating your goals today, create success habits that will teach you how to understand what a business really is and how they perform. How businesses are bought and sold is pretty simple its a lot like a house, if there are no contracts, no buildings, no employees then that is a hint, spend the time and the money to do your research and you won’t get caught up in the business scams out there. Regards, Mark

February 5, 2010 Posted by | Business, Business Buying, Business Selling, Business Seminars, Business Trading, Courses, Seminars, Training | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment