Posts Tagged With: fraud

WHAT CONSTITUTES FRAUD?

Many of you, me too, get emails about scams.  Is a scammer committing fraud? I’m learning a hard lesson because I’ve been duped. There is surprisingly little help for my situation, though fraud is definitely at work here. To me, most scammers are so obvious, I’d never fall victim to their tricks.

Here is what happened to me.

While on my email, a side bar had an ad for a wrinkle cream, recommended by Dr. Oz, a famous television personality. I don’t watch his show, but I know of him. His picture was on the video ad showing the testimonials and visible changes from users that showed quite credible results. Trial order, free, just pay shipping and handling of $8.99. I decide to try it knowing that shipping and handling cover the cost of the cream. Legitimate companies do this because they believe in their product and figure if you like it you will buy it again.

I fill out the order form and enter my credit card info and instantly a new screen pops up and reads people who buy our skin cream also like our eye cream. Do you want to try it? I check the NO button and I’m not even sure it registered before the screen disappears and I’m left with nothing. No tracking number, no confirmation that I bought anything. Nor the name of the company. Gone. I go back to look for the ad, and can’t find it. I think, oh well, some glitch, I’ll probably not get anything.

Both creams arrive and I decide to pay for the eye cream and not worry about it since I don’t know the name of the company to send it back to. The creams are each under an ounce and are made by Aurora, not the company I ordered from.

DSC07644 (Copy)I’ve had eye cream, that came in a squat jar and, without reading the labels, I used the spray bottle, as face cream instead of eye cream.  It peeled the skin off my face, like any acid peel. My God, had I used it on my eyes….I’d be in a serious lawsuit. My skin product of choice is Thymes Lavendar skin lotion for my face.  It is a wonderful product. I can no longer get it locally which is why I decided to try this online cream.

Then, I get my Mastercard bill.

DSC07643 (Copy)Never in  my life would I pay $89.71 cents for less than an ounce of skin cream. Thymes is about $20 for 8.75 ounces. I use Aloe Vera Crystal Clear Gel at night, $13 for 20 ounces. It is a healing lotion and makes my skin feel like silk. I buy it in Oregon. At one time I could buy it at Longs Drug store. I’m sure I could find it in California if I looked hard enough.

I have prepaid Legal Shield. My attorney explains the company is guilty of fraud for using Dr. Oz’s name. That is HIS issue, not mine. They will send a collection letter to them on my behalf.

Barclay Master Card resolution team says, once I agreed to the purchase and gave them my credit card number, it is my responsibility to pay, but they will try to get them to reverse the charges.  Not very promising.

I called the number from my bill and they refuse to give me the name of the company that is listed as THM and THA.  When I looked up THM and THA, I got the name of the company Excipial, but it is a dead end. The Customer Service rep did give me an address in Santa Ana. I spent over two hours on the phone while Sallie argued with me, offering me 15% off, then 35% off, then 50% off then 100% off. They said they’d send a confirmation number for the 100% money back. It didn’t show up. They basically waited until I got tired.

The bank knows about this outfit and said, what you are required to do is click on their conditions and read that you’ve agreed to receive a product every month from them and you pay for it in advance unless you tell them not to. That is the $89.77.  And, they informed me that Dr. Oz repeatedly states he does not recommend any products. I had no chance to tell them anything or read their conditions online. I wish someone had warned me, so I’m warning you.

Even though I never had a chance to press that button, the burden of proof is on me. Fraud is difficult to prove without a witness or some paper proof.

I went on-line and found CFTC SmartCheck. It is a site worth checking when you don’t know exactly who you are dealing with. I believe it is a free service.

http://smartcheck.cftc.gov/?gclid=CLKe6snczMoCFQdafgod7aEABw

And, I will report them to the California State Attorney General since they operate out of Santa Ana, California.  And, I’m going to look into Elder Financial Abuse, and see what they can do. After all, I’m  senior and I’ve been taken advantage of. You can bet I’m going to cancel my Mastercard from Barclay. I’m going to ask them why they don’t print out known scams to their customers. They knew all about it and told me that Dr. Oz does not recommend products. Color me mad but wiser now.

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SPINDLETOP OIL FIELD, BOOM TOWN.

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Yesterday we visited the preserved buildings of the town known as Gladys where Spindletop, the discovery spot of the first oil well,  in Texas,  is located.

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This derrick is a replica. The actual spot where the ground began to shake and, with an ear-splitting roar, the well erupted hurling 4 tons of drilling equipment, shooting mud, rocks and gas into the air on January 10th, 1901, is just outside this square of buildings. The workers fled the scene and cautiously returned only to witness the second eruption that soared 200 feet above the derrick. This very tame and well-preserved town was once a rip-roaring boom town.

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It took nine days to cap that original eruption and the word spread quickly. The small town of Gladys, (later Beaumont), went from a population of 9,000 to 50,000 practically overnight. Leases were sold like apples in small plots the size of an oil derrick base as everyone swarmed into Spindletop to get rich. Fraud was rampant and people began referring to Spindletop as Swindletop.DSC02054 (Copy)

The old pictures tell the tale of what this place was like. The men who came in droves had nowhere to sleep. They rented a barber chair, a table in the bar, a spot on the floor, anyplace to lay their head. Some even paid passage on the night train to Houston just for a place to sleep, then bought passage the next morning to return to Spindletop. Water was scarce and cost $6 a barrel  while oil was selling for 3 cents a barrel.

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This is a picture of a fancy barbershop. The barber got rich.

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Spindletop oil field had more wells and produced more oil than any other field in the nation, at one time bringing in 800,000 barrels a day. Oil was first discovered in Titusville, Pennsylvania. Oil was used to light kerosene lamps, as lubricants, for varnishes and paints. Those wells were called rock oil and slowly gave up 100 barrels a day. With the oil boom, all transportation, trains, planes and automobiles,  switched to cheap, plentiful oil and made Texas the richest state in the nation for a long time. DSC02068 (Copy)

The early wildcatters and their families paid a price to live amidst this muck of a town. Drunkenness, violence and rampant speculation was the daily climate. People lived on oily mud filled streets in tents. The air reeked of gas and burning oil. Children came home to those who had “real” houses with their clothes and shoes and hair stinking of oil, fouling everything they chanced to touch. Fire was an ever-present danger.

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Workers had to change clothes every day and hope they could get a bath.

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Of course, they prospered and it was a common thing for two businesses to share a building, as this doctor’s office…DSC02058 (Copy)

…and this ice cream shop. All of the buildings in the town are open and are furnished with stuff from that era. An interesting visit. It is part of Lamar University Grounds.

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The garage held this old tanker truck.

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The surveyor’s office got electricity at some point, wired on the insides.

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There are a lot of interesting signs and artifacts to view here. It was an interesting place to visit. Signs in the bar, No Credit and Don’t Spit On The FLoor. Many building touches like this hook to lock the door.

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The center has a film and we saw a field trip of kids who got an education about the oil boom from the docent. It was more interesting to us, than them, I could tell. It is safe to say that oil fueled the nation. Spindletop was named that because it was just a little hill with spindly little trees that didn’t thrive. Besides the fact there was always this black guck surfacing in puddles. Black gold.

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Debit Card Fraud Risks…

We’re still at the Golden Sun RV Resort in Apache Junction, Arizona where we will remain hanging out and visiting with friends.. See my Blog entry for more information about this place…
http://wp.me/pDCku-3wM

In the meantime…here’s an interesting story.

As a person who travels extensively with a debit card…I found this article most interesting. Perhaps you will also.

http://www.bankrate.com/finance/checking/risky-places-swipe-debit-card-1.aspx

All original material Copyright – Jim Jaillet 2012
For more information about my three books, click this link:
http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/panamaorbust

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