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  • Geebo 8:00 am on March 22, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: beaches, , , , , , vacation   

    Delaware DOJ warns of Summer vacation rental scams 

    Delaware DOJ warns of Summer vacation rental scams

    Even though we are barely into the Spring season some consumers are already looking ahead to the Summer. If you’ve ever lived within driving distance of one of our nation’s beaches, you know that rental properties fill up fast and if you’re planning a Summer vacation there you have to get the jump on everyone else. Unfortunately, rental scammers are well aware of this and are trying to take advantage of unwitting vacationers. If you’re not familiar with the state of Delaware, they have some very nice beaches that are very popular with tourists. Some Delaware residents even travel to the South Jersey shore to vacation there. However, the First State is warning residents to be wary of vacation rental scams.

    The Delaware Department of Justice recently released a notice warning Delaware residents of potential vacation rental scams that could be happening in their area. Unsurprisingly, the Delaware DOJ singles out craigslist as one of the problem areas where these scams exist. Vacation rental scams work much the same way as any rental scam. A scammer will copy a legitimate ad for a rental property then post a similar ad on craigslist as if the scammer is the landlord. Once the scammer receives payment they disappear with your money while your vacation plans are ruined. This type of scam is not just limited to Delaware either.

    The Delaware DOJ offers some tips on how to not get scammed such as working with a realtor, using internet searches to make sure the property doesn’t have duplicate ads and using county property registries to make sure the property owner is who they say they are. We would also recommend not paying through unconventional means like wire transfers or gift cars as these are definitely red flags for scams. With just a little bit of homework and preparation, you can avoid having your summer vacation ruined by those looking to take advantage of people who just want to spend a few days at the beach.

     
  • Geebo 8:00 am on March 21, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Ghislaine Maxwell, , ,   

    Who is the John Doe trying to stop the release of the Jeffrey Epstein documents? 

    Who is the John Doe trying to stop the release of the Jeffery Epstein documents?

    Ghislaine Maxwell and Jeffrey Epstein

    Since we’ve been discussing the case of financier Jeffrey Epstein and his alleged child trafficking ring and his cushy plea deal given to him by the current Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta, we neglected to mention another major player in this twisted saga. That would be socialite Ghislaine Maxwell who has been accused of but never charged with, recruiting underage girls to be in Epstein’s unwilling harem.

    To that end, Maxwell was sued for defamation by one of Epstein’s victims, Virginia Roberts Giuffre, after Maxwell had accused Giuffre of lying about Epstein. The case was eventually settled out of court in Giuffre’s favor, however, the documents from the lawsuit have been sealed ever since. The Miami Herald and several other news organizations have filed motions to have the documents unsealed. It’s believed that the documents will shed light not only on Epstein’s illicit activities but the names of others involved which are rumored to be some very high-profile individuals.

    Now the Herald is reporting that two people have filed motions to keep the documents sealed. The first is only identified as Jane Doe and she claims to be a former victim of Epstein. Reports say that she’s ok with some documents being released as long as she is not identified. In today’s highly charged and volatile climate that’s not an unreasonable request. However, the second person who filed a motion is identified as John Doe. He claims that he has never been publicly identified or accused as an accomplice of Epstein.

    So if this mystery man has never been accused of any wrongdoing then why block the unsealing of the documents? what does this John Doe have to gain at the expense of the dozens of Epstein’s alleged victims? Don’t they deserve justice instead of more secrets, red tape, and more legal wranglings? As founding father Thomas Paine once said: “A body of men holding themselves accountable to nobody ought not to be trusted by anybody.”

     
  • Geebo 8:00 am on March 20, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , exotic aninmals, , , wild animals   

    Exotic animals being trafficked online in Houston 

    Exotic animals being  trafficked online in Houston

    At Geebo, we’ve never been shy about our policy of not accepting ads for pets. Whether it’s because of puppy mills, pet adoption scams, or animal abuse, we feel that it’s detrimental to animals and our customers to accept these kinds of ads. Meanwhile, some of our competitors, like craigslist, ban the sale of animals but do not enforce it. As we’re about to find out, it’s more than just cats and dogs being traded online but also larger animals that aren’t traditionally kept at home. One of those places that seem to be having a problem with this type of animal trade is Houston, Texas.

    Recently, a caged tiger was found in an abandoned Houston home. Possessing this kind of wildlife is illegal in Houston but that hasn’t stopped people from trying to sell these animals online. Police in Houston also arrested a man who was allegedly selling a bobcat on craigslist for $1000. The tiger is now at a wildlife sanctuary while the bobcat will more than likely be released back into the wild. These two cases are not outliers as Houston seems to have a history of people keeping wild animals domestically.

    We realize that some people will see this and believe that keeping a large exotic or wild animal in the home is no big deal, however, the ASPCA vehemently disagrees. according to their Position Statements on Exotic Animals as Pets not only can these animals lash out at their caretakers but can also spread diseases to humans. Even if the animal seems domesticated, it’s still cruel to take an animal out of its habitat just so someone can take selfies with it.

    Another problem with people keeping exotic animals is that the crimes are usually only a misdemeanor. If they can afford to shell out money for a tiger cub then they can probably afford the money for any misdemeanor fine levied against them and the cycle continues.

    Police rely mostly on citizen reports to find these animals and rescue them from these dangerous situations. So if you see an exotic but illegal animal being held captive please contact your local police.

     
  • Geebo 8:00 am on March 19, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , ,   

    Did prosecutors cherry pick victims to lessen Jeffrey Epstein’s registry requirements? 

    Did prosecutors cherry pick victims to lessen Jeffrey Epstein's registry requirements?

    Jeffrey Epstein

    In our previous post about Jeffrey Epstein, we discussed the sweetheart plea deal he got from former US Attorney and current Secretary of Labor, Alexander Acosta. In exchange for pleading guilty to minor state charges that involved trafficking underage girls, Epstein would only serve a 13-month sentence in the Palm Beach County Jail in Florida. That sentence also allowed the financier to go to work during the day and return to jail at night. That was a sentence for a man who allegedly had 40 underage victims. Also in our previous post, we mentioned how a US District Judge ruled the plea illegal since prosecutors at the time did not report the plea deal to Epstein’s victims. This was in violation of the Crime Victims’ Rights Act but unfortunately, under the act, there’s no clear punishment for those who violate the act. If you would like to read all the details about the Jeffrey Epstein case we highly recommend the Miami Herald’s report which they call Perversion of Justice. However, if you think that Epstein’s sentence was a slap in the face to his victims, wait until you hear how the terms of his sex offender status were determined.

    The Washington Post has reported that prosecutors allegedly intentionally chose a 16-year-old victim to apply Epstein’s plea deal. The youngest known victim of Epstein at the time was 14-years-old. The reason this is important is that if you’re convicted of an offense with a victim under the age of 16 your sex offender status becomes harsher. For example, according to The Post, Since Epstein only pleaded guilty to an offense against a 16-year-old girl he didn’t have to register as a sex offender in all of the states and territories where he claims to reside such as New York, New Mexico, and the US Virgin Islands. In the Virgin Islands, Epstein is even regarded as a low-level sex offender even though he allegedly trafficked in underage girls not only for his own pleasure but for the benefit of his connected friends as well.

    Speaking of Epstein’s connections, it probably didn’t hurt his case that Epstein was friends with such politically powerful men like Bill Clinton and Donald Trump. One can’t help but wonder if Alexander Acosta received his cabinet position as some kind of reward for allegedly crafting Epstein’s plea agreement. The legal system in our country should all people accountable whether rich or poor. Epstein’s continued disregard for how the justice system is supposed to work is an affront to every victim of a sexual predator.

     
  • Geebo 8:00 am on March 18, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , Spokane,   

    Amazon job scam is permeating NW Washington State 

    Amazon job scam permeating NW Washington State

    Previously, we’ve mentioned how Amazon is hiring for new work at home positions and how job scams topped the BBB’s list of worst scams in 2018. Now, those two stories seem to have converged into one. One of the states where Amazon is looking to hire new employees is Washington. They are also looking to open a new fulfillment center in Spokane that promises an additional 1500 positions. Due to those factors. among others, scammers have decided to use Amazon’s hiring initiative in the are to embark on a massive fleecing of Amazon hopefuls.

    The scam appears to be overly elaborate but effective at the same time. It starts out with a robocall going out to local residents offering positions with Amazon that supposedly pay $27 an hour. The robocall directs victims to go to a website that has the Amazon name in the site’s address but isn’t an official Amazon website. Once there, victims are instructed to enter personal and financial information while the phony website makes it look like the victim is applying for a job at Amazon. More than likely, any unsuspecting victim of this scam will have their identity and possibly their finances stolen.

    Another aspect of the scam has the scammers trying to get their victims to pay the scammers money for phony employment fees such as processing fees or background check fees. The scammers will try to get this money through either requesting the money be wired to them or paid through gift cards, two of the most prevalent calling cards of a scammer. Amazon themselves have commented on this scam stating that they will never ask a prospective employee for financial information or request any kind of employment fee. These tips not only apply to Amazon but also to most major employers. If these tips are kept in mind hopefully your potential job search will be a relatively stress-free one.

     
  • Geebo 9:22 am on March 15, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , hospitality jobs, Virgin Hotels   

    New extravagant hotel coming to Dallas 

    New extravagant hotel coming to Dallas

    Virgin Hotels is set to open its third hotel in Dallas, Texas, already adding to its current buildings in Chicago, as seen above, and San Francisco. The hotel will consist of 200 rooms that Virgin refers to as “guest chambers” and is set to open later this year. Eight more Virgin Hotels are set to open across the country within the next few years. The hotel will also have Virgin’s signature dining experience known as the Commons Club which has been referred to a private club that’s open to all.

    Of course, no luxury building can move into a city without a little bit of controversy. Some of the building’s neighbors are worried about the strain such a building will put on local infrastructure. However, many other businesses in the area see the new hotel as an attraction that will bring a new influx of revenue to the neighborhood.

    What’s not known yet is how many jobs are being brought to the hotel as the Virgin Hotel website is only currently accepting applications for positions in Chicago. However, if you’re looking for a hospitality position with the new hotel, keep your eye out for the inevitable hiring announcement. Unlike other luxury hotels run by a certain high-profile oligarch, you probably won’t have to worry about Virgin Hotels declaring bankruptcy.

     
  • Geebo 9:23 am on March 14, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: coupon scam, , , ,   

    Social Security Suspension, Fake Coupons, Florida is #1, and cancer patient scammed out of $32K 

    Social Security Suspension, Fake Coupons, Florida is #1, and cancer patient scammed out of $32K

    It’s that time again to bring you the scams of the week that are happening around the country that could eventually come to your area. This week, we also have one that is particularly heinous.

    First up is a new scam targeting senior citizens. A number of our more mature members of society are stating that they are receiving phone calls that tells them that their Social Security numbers are being suspended. Since many seniors rely on Social Security benefits they could be prone to fall for this scam. The FTC is warning seniors that Social security numbers cannot be suspended and to not give any information to anyone calling you pretending to be the government and that if there is an issue with your Social Security the government will contact you by mail.

    Next, we have an online coupon scam that seems to be circulating on social media. If you see a coupon for the pizza chain Little Caesars promising you three free pizzas for their 60th anniversary it’s a scam. If you click on any links regarding this phony coupon it could lead to malware being installed onto your system. Little Caesars themselves has even issued a warning to consumers to avoid this coupon at all costs.

    In scam related news it turns out that Florida is the scam capital of the nation but the victims aren’t who you might think. While many seniors either live or spend a lot of time in Florida they’re not the main targets of scammers. Instead, scammers are targeting people of the so-called Millennial generation. Victims have fallen prey mostly to debt collection scams which seems to track since many Millennials are burdened with outrageous student loan debt. Once again, consumers are being warned about making any kind of payment through wire service or gift cards as these are clear indicators that any collection calls they receive may be a scam.

    Lastly, we have quite the heartbreaking story out of Northern California where a man in the Sacramento area has been taken in by a scam to the tune of $32,000. What makes this particular scam egregious is that the victim is currently struggling with cancer. The man wanted to travel the country with his wife in a motorhome. Unfortunately, the man wired money to someone posing as eBay Motors. Again, wiring money is usually a sure sign of a scam as once the money is wired it’s almost impossible to get it back.

    If you feel like you’ve been the victim of an online scam it is recommended that you contact the FTC at their complaint website.

     
  • Geebo 9:05 am on March 13, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , Quad Cities   

    Pet flipping seen at shelters 

    Pet flipping seen at shelters and NY to crackdown on pet stores

    Previously, we’ve discussed many times why Geebo does not accept ads for pets. Not only does it discourage pet scams but mainly the policy in place is to discourage puppy mills from proliferating and causing further abuses against the animals they produce with little regard for the animals’ health and safety. As an alternative option, we almost always recommend adopting a pet from your local shelter and we still do. However, now at least one shelter and possibly more are encountering some of the same problems we do.

    For example, there is an animal shelter in the Quad Cities area of Iowa and Illinois that’s been noticing a disturbing trend. They say that they’ve been finding some of the animals they thought they had found homes for turning up on Facebook and Craigslist as being either back up for adoption or up for sale. In some cases, the animals are being flipped like you would flip a house. In that case, the shelter is banning those people from adopting any more animals from the shelter.

    In other cases, people just don’t feel that the animal they adopted is a good fit and try to find a different home for it online. In turn that animal could be taken in by someone who doesn’t have the animal’s best interest at heart and could potentially be an abuser. The shelter states that they would rather see people who aren’t happy with their pet adoption to bring the animal back to the shelter as they are better equipped to find the animal a more suitable home.

     
  • Geebo 9:23 am on March 12, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , ,   

    Amazon announces thousands of customer service jobs, but are they worth it? 

    Amazon announces thousands of customer service jobs, but are they worth it?

    Amazon recently announced that they will be hiring 3,000 employees to work at home as customer service reps. The job is said to pay $15/hr. for 20-29 hours per week but those hours could increase to 60 hours a week with overtime pay. Health benefits would be provided after 90 days. Does it sound too good to be true? Maybe.

    The first catch is that you need to live in one of only 18 states and those states are Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Washington, Wisconsin, Wyoming. While the $15/hr. rate is great compared to the cost of living in many of these states, a lot of these states are at-will states leaving employees without much recourse if they’re fired unjustly. You’re also required to have your own working computer and a reliable internet connection which could disqualify many people in these largely rural states.

    So you have a blazing fast internet connection, a top of the line computer, and you live in one of these states. That means you’re ready to start making money with Amazon right? Well, before you do that you may want to check the reviews of Amazon’s work at home program on job review site Glassdoor. While Amazon gets an overall positive recommendation from Glassdoor users, you may want to look at some of the negative reviews from current and previous Amazon employees. Many of them talk about the lack of training and the lack of managerial support which in a high-volume customer service position could mean even more potential pressure placed on customer service reps.

    We’re not saying that you shouldn’t apply for one of these jobs, however, you should consider all the options before committing yourself to work for Amazon.

     
  • Geebo 9:08 am on March 11, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , ,   

    BBB: Job scams were the worst in 2018 

    BBB: Job scams were the worst in 2018

    The Better Business Bureau is reporting that in 2018 job and employment scams topped their list of riskiest scams. More people lost money to job scams than any other scam the BBB tracks last year. The job scams even beat out standard scams like the fake check scam, phony online purchases, and tech support scams. In most employment scams the scammers will try to get you to pay some kind of advance processing fee for things like background checks while most legitimate employers will burden this cost themselves. Any prospective job that asks you for money is almost definitely a scam and should be avoided at all costs. Not only could you lose money but your identity could be stolen as well.

    So why were employment scams so prolific in 2018? The BBB attributes most of the job scams to Amazon’s search for their second headquarters last year. Not that Amazon is to blame but scammers took advantage of Amazon being in the news so much by offering fictitious Amazon jobs to unsuspecting victims often using websites and social media posts that mimic Amazon in a very convincing way. Amazon has only one official job application portal that can be found at amazon.jobs.

    The BBB also issued warnings against the other typical job scams to be on the lookout for. We’ve already mentioned any job that asks for money in advance. There’s also the work at home jobs that you have to be wary of since many of them are scams. You should also be wary of any job that offers you an immediate position without arranging an interview first. No legitimate employer would hire someone sight unseen. Lastly, you should be on the lookout for anyone trying to charge you to get you a government job as all government jobs are posted publicly by the government themselves. In today’s job market where so many people are desperate to find ways of supporting their family, this desperation can lead to not thinking clearly when it comes to finding a job.

     
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