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  • Geebo 8:00 am on May 9, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , pregnant employees   

    Is Amazon firing expecting mothers? 

    Is Amazon firing expecting mothers?

    Amazon, once again, finds themselves being portrayed in the media in an unflattering light. They’re coming under fire again for their alleged treatment of their employees in their fulfillment centers. In the past, Amazon has been accused of not only overworking their employees but pervading every instance of the employees’ lives. Reportedly, many Amazon employees are so afraid of losing their jobs that they’ll work sick or injured which only further exacerbates their mental and physical conditions. Now, Amazon is being accused of unfairly firing a group of employees that should be protected by law.

    Recently, CNET published an expose into Amazon’s supposed practice of firing pregnant employees. Amazon is facing several lawsuits over this practice and there could even be more victims of this practice that are either too afraid to sue or just can’t afford legal representation. However, one woman who claims to be a victim of Amazon is speaking out about her treatment by the company. The woman claims that Amazon would use declining production standards as a way to terminate her while she was pregnant even though by her doctor’s orders she couldn’t perform the same tasks in the fulfillment center. She also claims that Amazon was unwilling to accommodate her in such a way that would benefit both parties. Amazon’s infamous bathroom break policy which sees employees get written up if they take more than 10 minutes and are only allowed so many breaks per day. As you can imagine, this policy is not very amenable to pregnant workers.

    She’s not the only former employee suing Amazon as there have been six other lawsuits filed against Amazon in the past four years over similar treatment. That may not sound like a lot but Amazon has settled out of court for other former employees claiming wrongful termination. Sadly, Amazon isn’t the only multi-billion dollar corporation that allegedly discriminates against pregnant employees but is at the top of the ladder when it comes to being visible in the public eye. Unfortunately, it seems they’re setting a bad example for the rest of corporate America to follow.

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

    Sick puppies still being sold online 

    Sick puppies still being sold online

    As we have stated in the past, Geebo does not accept any listing that’s selling or giving away pets. One of the reasons we do this is to try to prevent puppy mills and illegal backyard breeders from continuing their abusive practices. Sadly, some of our competitors do not share our stance and allow these practices to flourish. In turn, consumers are still using these platforms to purchase purebred dogs only to find out that the puppies are sick or dying.

    In Albuquerque, a family bought a miniature schnauzer off of craigslist for a steal. After they took the puppy home it turned out that the puppy’s health records had been faked and the puppy died from the deadly parvovirus. In Lehigh Acres, Florida a couple bought a husky puppy from someone claiming to be a professional breeder on craigslist. When the couple took the puppy to the vet it was reportedly sold at too early of an age and was infested with hookworm. That puppy shortly died soon after as well.

    This has become an all too common occurrence. When purchasing a living creature as a pet you shouldn’t look for bargains to be had as that usually means there’s a reason why the animal is being sold for so cheap. The same caveat applies to puppies as it does with most things being sold online; if it sounds too good to be true it probably is. If there’s a specific breed of puppy that you have your heart set on, do your research. Look into what needs and behavioral patterns the dogs have and research the breeder as well to make sure they are ethically raising their animals. We also always recommend adopting a puppy or even an adult dog from your local shelter. Adopting a new member of your family is not something that should be done rashly. Carefully think it out before adding an addition like this to your home.

     
  • Geebo 8:00 am on May 7, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , paypal scam, , , , ,   

    The Armslist gun sale scam and more 

    The Armslist gun sale scam and more

    We’re back again with another trio of scams to be on the lookout for.

    It seems that the much-criticized Armslist isn’t immune to scams as a woman from Western Pennsylvania has been charged with defrauding users of the website. The woman allegedly advertised several firearms for sale on the controversial site and collected the payments for them in money orders. However, she did not have any of the actual guns for sale and she’s accused of keeping all the money for herself. There’s no word on whether or not any background checks were completed on any of the victims.

    ***

    A man from Silver Lake, Washington was trying to sell his late wife’s wedding ring on craigslist when he was approached with an out-of-state offer. The man then received a bogus email stating that the money for the ring had reached his PayPal account. The man sent the ring but the money wasn’t actually there. Amazingly, after he contacted the police the ring was found in Illinois. This is a rare occurrence on the scale of a solar eclipse. Ok, maybe not that rare but it is remarkable that the man was able to get the ring back as in most cases once the item has been shipped it’s usually gone forever. In most cases, you should only deal locally and only in cash and when completing the transaction it should be done at a local police station.

    ***

    Lastly for today, a rental scam that we’ve discussed before has started popping up again and that’s the lockbox scam. The scam works like the typical rental scam where someone claiming to be a landlord will rent you a property sight unseen if you wire them a deposit. With the lockbox scam, the phony landlords have somehow gained access to the realtor’s lockbox on the property that contains a key to the home. A family in Phoenix, Arizona recently fell for this scam and even moved into the property after wiring their money to a scammer. Sadly, they had to be evicted from the property. Under no circumstance should you ever wire funds to someone you’ve never met. Most legitimate property managers will do background checks on prospective renters and will meet them in person.

     
  • Geebo 8:00 am on May 6, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Mauritania, one ring scam, , Sierra Leone, wangiri   

    Call this number back at your expense 

    Call this number back at your peril

    While this particular phone scam has been around for years, the FCC and other government officials are warning consumers about the ‘wangiri’ or one ring scam. The term ‘wangiri’ was coined by the Japanese and is said to refer to the scam’s method of ringing someone once and hanging up. The way the scam works is that the scammer will call your phone once and then hang up before you can answer. They will do this multiple times usually late at night trying to make it seem like it’s an urgent phone call. They’re trying to get you to call the number back, but once you do they’ve got you.

    The calls are coming from overseas. According to reports, the most recent calls are coming from either Mauritania or Sierra Leone. The phone numbers will show the international calling codes of either 222 or 232. If you call these numbers back you could be charged exorbitant fees by your phone provider. Not only is international calling expensive, but these numbers are set up as pay numbers much like 1-900 numbers. So on top of your carrier’s fee, you will be charged an additional by the minute fee from the overseas number.

    The best way to protect yourself against this scam is to not call back a number you’re not familiar with. If the call is important. they’ll leave a message. There are also apps you can get for your phone that can block robocalls or overseas calls as well. Don’t expect your phone carrier to be willing to waive the charge either. By most accounts, the phone carriers are saying that it’s the customer’s responsibility to keep from being scammed.

     
  • Geebo 8:00 am on May 3, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: arrest warrant, , , , utitlitiy company   

    Are these the top phone scams? 

    Are these the top phone scams?

    Residents of San Angelo, Texas have been reporting that there have been three particular phone scams plaguing them this year. While you may not be a resident of San Angelo if these scams are prevalent there then there’s a likely chance they’re prevalent in a lot of American towns.

    The first phone scam is someone calling you claiming to be from a local police department stating that you have a warrant out for your arrest for either failure to appear or missing jury duty. They’ll then try to pressure you into making some form of payment. When someone has a warrant issued for their arrest, police do not call them on the phone. Instead, they’ll take a more personal approach by sending officers to your door. If you receive one of these phone calls do not give out any personal information and call your local police department to report it.

    The second phone scam being reported is that of someone posing as a local utility company threatening to turn off power if payment is not made right away. If your account is in arrears you should receive several notices with your bill that the power could be turned off. The scammers may also try to pressure you into making a payment with either a gift card or pre-paid debit card. As usual, this should be a red flag that the call is more than likely a scam. If you receive a call like this one, once again hang up and call the number of the utility company that appears on your bill if you have any questions about your account.

    Lastly, is the most common phone scam that targets seniors and that’s the Social Security scam. In this scam, someone will call claiming to be from Social Security telling you that your benefits are about to be cut off or your Social Security account will be suspended because your Social Security number was used in a crime. These scammers are either looking for you to give them your Social Security number or will once again ask you to make a payment through gift cards. Social Security rarely calls recipients and will never ask for payment, especially not through gift cards. If you receive one of these calls hang up and call Social Security directly at 800-269-0271 during business hours.

     
  • Geebo 8:00 am on May 2, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , ,   

    Data breach exposed most American families 

    Data breach exposed most American families

    This past week, a data breach was discovered that could have put the personal information of 80 million American families at risk. Internet security experts discovered an unprotected database that was hosted in the cloud included names, ages, and genders as well as income levels and marital status. What’s even more concerning is that it’s unknown who the database belongs to. It’s been theorized that it may belong to an insurance or mortgage company.

    Every person in the database is said to be over the age of 40 which could potentially put seniors at risk not only for identity theft but phishing scams as well. There’s no evidence to suggest that cybercriminals accessed the database. However, the information could have been publicly accessible for months. Experts believe that the information provided in the database could also be used to launch ransomware attacks against people listed in the database.

    The server that the database was stored on was a Microsoft cloud server but it’s up to the database’s owner to make sure the database is encrypted. Microsoft has contacted the owner of the database and it has since been removed from public access. With the number of data breaches becoming more frequent every day have we reached a point where we should just expect our data to become exposed?

     
  • Geebo 8:00 am on May 1, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , wisconsin,   

    The ‘craigslist of guns’ held harmless in domestic murder 

    The 'craigslist of guns' held harmless in domestic murder

    Image via the New York Post

    Previously, we’ve discussed how a lawsuit in Wisconsin was moving forward against Armslist, the so-called ‘craigslist of guns.’ Armslist facilitates the sales of firearms between private owners and buyers. This is a legal loophole that allows people with criminal records to bypass background checks when purchasing a firearm. In the past few years, a number of guns sold through Armslist have been used in some high-profile crimes such as the murder of a Chicago Police Captain.

    Around this time last year, The Wisconsin Court of Appeals ruled that a lawsuit against Armslist could move forward. The suit was brought about after the 2012 murder of Zina Daniel Haughton by her estranged husband Radcliffe Haughton. Haughton had a domestic violence injunction against him which prevented him from legally owning a gun at the time. Instead, Haughton bought a gun from an Armslist dealer and murdered his wife at her workplace in Brookfield, Wisconsin.

    Yesterday, the Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled that Armslist was held harmless in the murder in a 5-1 decision. The ruling mostly stated that Armslist could not be held liable due to the Communications Decency Act of 1996 which holds website owners harmless if their site is used for illegal activity by its users. However, the lone dissenting opinion came from Justice Ann Walsh Bradley. She said…

    “The majority errs in its interpretation of the CDA by basing its decision, not on the actual claims pled…but on its own manufactured interpretation of those claims. As a result, it fails to recognize that here the design itself is the creation of the content.”

    It’s been argued in the past that Armslist was specifically designed to allow buyers to circumvent background checks.

     
  • Geebo 8:00 am on April 30, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , ,   

    Amazon offering first HQ2 jobs 

    Amazon offering first HQ2 jobs

    Amazon’s proposed development for HQ2 in Virginia

    Even though Amazon withdrew their plans for their second headquarters to be built in New York after a grassroots campaign drove them out, the retail leader seems to be all in with the Commonwealth of Virginia. Just recently, Amazon announced the first opening positions for the new headquarters that is planned to span through both Alexandria and Arlington. The first positions have already been posted to Amazon’s job website. This comes along with the promise of 400 more jobs by the ends of the year and an additional 25,000 jobs in the coming years. However, just as it was in New York, Amazon’s presence in Virginia does not come without controversy.

    Much like what happened in New York, Virginia and Arlington County have offered multi-million dollar incentives for Amazon to develop their headquarters there. While many politicians in Virginia supported these incentives, there have been detractors. These detractors are concerned that Amazon will not be hiring many local employees and instead will be hiring people from out-of-state. That, in turn, could potentially make the already strained housing market even worse, especially for lower-income families. Amazon’s proponents say that Amazon will bring Virginia a windfall of tax revenue, however, it has to be mentioned that Amazon has been accused of taking advantage of tax loopholes where they paid no federal income tax last year.

    Getting back to the potential housing crisis coming to Virginia, Amazon states that the median income of its HQ2 employees will be over $100,000. Many local leaders fear that the area will become more gentrified than it already is. This could potentially drive many lower-income families out of the area. However, with the proposed scope of the construction of the new headquarters that could result in thousands of construction jobs for several years.

    Are you from this part of Virginia? If you are, how do you feel about Amazon coming into your area? Do you think it will be an economic boon for Northern Virginia, or will it result in more economic inequality? Please let us know what you think.

     
  • Geebo 8:00 am on April 29, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , ,   

    Double craigslist scam and more 

    Double craigslist scam and more

    Previously, we’ve told you about gift card scams and phony check scams. Now, at least one scammer tried to swindle someone using both scams at the same time. A woman in Madison, Wisconsin was trying to sell an item on craigslist and she received a check for more than $1000 than what she was asking for. The scammers told her to deposit the check and return most of the balance in gift cards. Luckily, the woman did not fall for the scam. If she had, not only would she have been on the hook for the amount of the phony check but once the gift card numbers would have been given to the scammer, the funds would be virtually untraceable.

    ***

    Speaking of gift cards, a New York man was arrested after allegedly using stolen gift cards to withdraw money at an ATM. The man allegedly used the account information from the gift cards to withdraw around $9,000. While the report doesn’t clarify what kind of gift cards were used we would imagine that they were something along the lines of a pre-paid VISA gift card. This is another potential reason you may want to avoid using gift cards as presents. We have some great tips here on how to avoid being ripped off when buying gift cards.

    ***

    Lastly, you may be tempted to buy a device online that promises you unlimited access to free movies and TV shows. Devices comparing themselves to the Amazon Fire Stick are showing up claiming to be ‘jailbroken’ which allow you to circumvent copyright protection in order to stream movies and TV shows which you would normally have to pay for a service like HBO to view. As you can probably guess, these devices are not only illegal but they’re usually loaded with malware according to CNET. This malware could potentially hijack devices connected to your home network such as microphones and cameras and could also send your personal information to any number of identity thieves. In the long run, you’re better off paying for a legitimate streaming service.

     
  • Geebo 8:00 am on April 26, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: gig economy, , , strike,   

    Can Uber and Lyft survive strike? 

    Can Uber and Lyft survive strike?

    It appears that the gig economy is about to face a major milestone in its relatively short history. While some cities and taxi unions have opposed the invasion of ridesharing services like Uber and Lyft, now it’s the ridesharing drivers themselves that are fighting back against the companies. On May 8th, Uber is set to issue its IPO. Some estimates put Uber’s valuation at between $80 billion and $90 billion. Meanwhile, many of their drivers earn less than minimum wage and plan to do something about it.

    On the same day that Uber goes public many Lyft and Uber drivers plan to go on strike for 24 hours in eight cities. Those cities are Boston, San Francisco, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Diego, Minneapolis, Philadelphia, and Washington DC. These are all major cities that depend a lot on not only public transportation but also ridesharing services. Even just for one day, the strike has the potential to put a very inconvenient dent in a lot of people’s commute. This could get a lot of support for Uber and Lyft drivers.

    The drivers are demanding

    • higher wages
    • clearer policies on wages, tips, how fares are shared and disciplinary action
    • employee benefits such as health care, disability payments and holiday pay
    • recognition and representation for drivers in Uber’s management structure

    It will be interesting to see how Uber and Lyft react not only to the announcement of the strike but the strike itself. One of the problems with the current economy is that employees in most industries have fewer protections than there have been in the past. This makes the gig economy attractive to many looking to supplement their current income. That means that there are scores of people looking to replace the striking Uber and Lyft drivers if those companies decide to retaliate. While it would be a major PR disaster for those companies, they’ve become such a convenience that it may blow over.

     
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