Holiday Party Safety Tips

30 Dec

By Carla M. Thompson

1.  Before heading those parties fill up your gas tank before it gets dark.

2. Don’t post your holiday plans on any social networks because then everyone will know when you’re not home.

3.  Program the ICE (in case of emergency) contact, the phone number of a roadside assistance company and a taxi cab company into your cell phone.

4.  If you are going to a holiday party venue without a parking lot then use valet! It is worth the extra money.

5.  When you get to the holiday party watch your drink. If you walk away from it for any reason just get another one!

These tips and others can be found in The Busy Woman’s Pocket Guide to Safety:  www.thebusywomanspocketguide.com

Article about The Busy Woman’s Pocket Guide to Safety in the Observer Newspaper

30 Dec

Link to Article in Observer

New Lottery/Sweepstakes Scam

30 Nov

Source: FBI http://www.fbi.gov/news/stories/2010/november/cyber_112410/cyber_112410

Fraudulent Notification Deceives Consumers Out of Thousands of Dollars

11/29/2010—The IC3 continues to receive reports of letters and e-mails being distributed pursuant to prize sweepstakes or lottery schemes. These schemes use counterfeit checks that bear legitimate-looking logos of various financial institutions to fool victims into sending money to the fraudsters.

Fraudsters tell victims they won a sweepstakes or lottery, but to receive a lump sum payout, they must pay the taxes and processing fees upfront. Fraudsters direct individuals to call a telephone number to initiate a letter of instructions. The letter alleges that the victim may elect to take an advance on the winnings to make the required upfront payment. The letter includes a check in the amount of the alleged taxes and fees, along with processing instructions. Ultimately, victims believe they are using the advance to make the required upfront payment, but in reality they are falling prey to the scheme.

The victim deposits the check into their own bank, which credits the account for the amount of the check before the check clears. The victim immediately withdraws the money and wires it to the fraudsters. Afterwards, the check proves to be counterfeit and the bank pulls the respective funds from the victim’s account, leaving the victim liable for the amount of the counterfeit check plus any additional fees the bank may charge.

Persons may fall victim to this scheme due to the allure of easy money and the apparent legitimacy of the check the fraudsters include in the letter of instruction. The alleged cash prizes and locations of the financial institutions vary.

Tips to avoid being scammed:

■A federal statute prohibits mailing lottery tickets, advertisements, or payments to purchase tickets in a foreign lottery.
■Be leery if you do not remember entering a lottery or sweepstakes.
■Beware of lotteries or sweepstakes that charge a fee prior to delivering your prize.
■Be wary of demands to send additional money as a requirement to be eligible for future winnings.

If you have been a victim of this type of scam or any other cyber crime, you can report it to the IC3 at http://www.IC3.gov. The IC3 complaint database links complaints for potential referral to law enforcement for case consideration. Complaint information is also used to identify emerging trends and patterns to alert the public to new criminal schemes.

Source: FBI Link: http://www.fbi.gov/scams-safety/e-scams

FBI warning targets work-from-home schemes – WMBFNews.com | Myrtle Beach/Florence, SC | News, Weather, Sports

20 Oct

 

 

 

Photo courtesy of WMBFnews.com

 

FBI warning targets work-from-home schemes – WMBFNews.com | Myrtle Beach/Florence, SC | News, Weather, Sports

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Why McDonald\’s Happy Meal hamburgers won\’t decompose – the real story behind the story

18 Oct

Why McDonald\’s Happy Meal hamburgers won\’t decompose – the real story behind the story.

Bullying – When Kids Go Too Far

16 Oct

By Carla M. Thompson

Most adults have endured bullying at one point or another and somehow got through it.  For example I was teased in elementary school about being petite.  This was a minor case of bullying it was mainly teasing.  But I was truly bullied in high school, it got so bad that I had to change schools.  My mother and a school administrator were very supportive of me and helped me get through the year.  If it hadn’t been for them I probably would have dropped out. 

Most people don’t realize how serious bullying is and how it can affect a young person.  As a person who experienced extreme bullying in high school I am glad that it is finally being addressed as an issue.  When I was being bullied there wasn’t a lot of support for victims.  Some of my close family members even made jokes about it.  I literally went to school everyday in fear.  There was a group of girls that were harassing me and trying to look for opportunities to physically hurt me.  I had never done anything to these girls so there was no other reason for them to single me out.  When you are a teenager and people hate you for no reason it is very painful.  If you are an adult who has never been through this or you were the bully then it is difficult for you to understand, but you need to try for the sake of your children (if you have any).

Bullying in most cases isn’t about hatred for a particular person it more about controlling others.  If you can get a person to dread or fear you then you can control them.   A bully will use various reasons for picking that person but it boils down to the ability to change that person’s perception of themselves and the world around them.  The key to fixing this is to make sure the victim of the bullying never loses their self-worth.  Most parents try to stop the bully, which is a good idea but you also have mentally equip your child as well.  Because there are adult bullies they may run across in the future.

But before you can address the issue you have recognize there is an issue.  Here are some tips:

1.  Changes in your child’s demeanor/behavior, such as not making eye contact when you speak to them, wanting to be alone, or even being overly sensitive.  Most of the time children do not want to admit they are being bullied because they are embarrassed about it.  So you will have to look for signs of depression.

2.  Start asking your children about their day at school.  If they don’t want to talk about it or get angry because you asked don’t take it personally, start investigating by asking teachers and counselors about potential issues.

3.  The most important tip is not to brush off anything that your child does tell you.  If it’s important to them then make sure they know that it is important to you.  The worst thing you can do is make jokes about it, because then your child will put you in the same category as the bully.  You don’t want to become your child’s enemy.

4.  Create an atmosphere of support around your child.  Use religious leaders, family, and friends to show your child that everyone is on their side.  I would also work with school administrators but remember their job is to be objective so your child’s main support system should be at home.

These are just a few things to keep in mind, but here are some expert opinions on how to address bullying:  http://www.stopbullyingnow.hrsa.gov/adults/best-practices.aspx

Good Luck!

Some Worry Sex Offender Targeting Kids

16 Sep

This is based on the story seen on Fox 2 News:  Some Worry Sex Offender Targeting Kids

Are you a parent who is concerned about sex offenders targeting your children?  Don’t worry you are not alone.  There are a lot of parents who have this concern especially now that school has started and some children walk to school. 

Here are some safety tips for your children:

 1.  Consider purchasing personal alarms for your children.  This can be purchased online or in your local hardware store.  Most of the ones I have seen come in the form of a key chain and small enough to fit into a child’s pocket.  They are very simple to use and can be activated by pushing a button.  But be sure to teach your child how to use it and help them practice using it and then tell them to run and yell for help.  You don’t want them to be startled by the loud noise and forget to run away from the predator.

2.  If your child walks home, then try to find a group of children that they can walk with from the neighborhood. 

3.  If your child walks home, then use the most visible route.  Avoid shortcuts that involve wooded area, alleys, etc.

4.  If your child uses the internet then monitor their use of social networking sites.  Child predators pose as other children and try to meet children by luring them into traps.

5.  Find out how many sexual offenders live in your neighborhood by checking the Michigan Sex Offender Registry:  www.mipsor.state.mi.us.   If there are people on that registry in your neighborhood then show their pictures to your children and tell them to avoid those people, as you see necessary.  (I always advise parents to teach their children not to talk to strangers.)

Michigan Sex Offender Registry:  www.mipsor.state.mi.us

Some Worry Sex Offender Targeting Kids

16 Sep

This is based on the story seen on Fox 2 News:  Some Worry Sex Offender Targeting Kids

Are you a parent who is concerned about sex offenders targeting your children?  Don’t worry you are not alone.  There are a lot of parents who have this concern especially now that school has started and some children walk to school. 

Here are some safety tips for your children:

 1.  Consider purchasing personal alarms for your children.  This can be purchased online or in your local hardware store.  Most of the ones I have seen come in the form of a key chain and small enough to fit into a child’s pocket.  They are very simple to use and can be activated by pushing a button.  But be sure to teach your child how to use it and help them practice using it and then tell them to run and yell for help.  You don’t want them to be startled by the loud noise and forget to run away from the predator.

2.  If your child walks home, then try to find a group of children that they can walk with from the neighborhood. 

3.  If your child walks home, then use the most visible route.  Avoid shortcuts that involve wooded area, alleys, etc.

4.  If your child uses the internet then monitor their use of social networking sites.  Child predators pose as other children and try to meet children by luring them into traps.

5.  Find out how many sexual offenders live in your neighborhood by checking the Michigan Sex Offender Registry:  www.mipsor.state.mi.us.   If there are people on that registry in your neighborhood then show their pictures to your children and tell them to avoid those people, as you see necessary.  (I always advise parents to teach their children not to talk to strangers.)

Michigan Sex Offender Registry:  www.mipsor.state.mi.us

Purchase The Busy Woman’s Pocket Guide to Safey on Scribd

9 Aug

Purchase for only $3.95 which is huge savings compared to the paperback version $5.95.

Purchase here: http://www.scribd.com/doc/35627835/The-Busy-Woman-s-Pocket-Guide-to-Safety

Fake Police Rob Home

22 Jul

By Carla M. Thompson

Author of The Busy Woman's Pocket Guide to Safety

A couple of months ago I wrote about carjackers that were impersonating cops.  Now we have home invaders impersonating cops.  See my post:  https://thebusywoman.wordpress.com/2010/02/03/can-you-tell-t…police-officer/

In the story seen here: http://www.clickondetroit.com/news/24337717/detail.htmtreets=det&tid=26511631599813&tml=det_12pm&tmi=det_12pm_1_10500107212010&ts=H/

A local man was forced to hide in a closet while his home was invaded by fake police officers.  The men were masked, armed, and wearing badges.  When he saw the badges he came out of his hiding place.  They proceeded to rob him and then ran out of the house. Luckily the man was not hurt or injured.  Here are some things to remember:

  1.  Never automatically open the door when you hear knocking.  In this story the man heard banging on the door and immediately sent his family to the neighbor’s house.  You should always look outside to see who is knocking and confirm their identity before opening the door.
  2. Always have a hiding place for you and your family.  You may not have time to get them out of the house.  You and your family should have a plan for escaping your home and know where to hide in the event that you don’t have time to get out of your home.  You should have a hiding place for every room in your home.  Keep in mind, the plan will only work if everyone knows the plan!
  3. If you are not sure of who is at your door then call the police immediately.  While they knocking or trying to get in grab the phone as you make your way to your hiding place.
  4. Don’t leave your hiding place until the police have arrived. 

You can find these tips and others in The Busy Woman’s Pocket Guide to Safety.  http://www.thebusywomanspocketguide.com