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  • Geebo 10:01 am on February 22, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , ,   

    Why online modeling jobs are bad news 

    Why online modeling jobs are bad news

    Earlier this week, we put up a blog post about two girls from California were saved from potential human traffickers after being offered a bogus modeling job. More recently, another modeling scam appeared, this time in Michigan where someone was offering modeling jobs on craigslist and Facebook for a store whose owner had no idea their store was being used in a scam. While the false promises of modeling jobs are often used by human traffickers, they’re used by online predators as well.

    While those are drastic situations, there are other modeling scams that involve trying to get you to spend money on things you shouldn’t have to. For example, many ads for modeling jobs that you’ll find online or hear about on the radio aren’t jobs at all. There actually more of a sales pitch to get you to buy things like classes and photos, but only through them.

    While you may be able to find one or two legitimate modeling jobs online, for the most part legitimate modeling jobs are done through modeling agencies. If someone is advertising for models on craigslist it’s more than likely they don’t have the best intentions in mind to say the least. The Federal Trade Commission website has some tips on how not to get scammed by modeling ads.

     
  • Geebo 10:00 am on February 21, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: forged title, ,   

    Beware buying a car with a phony title 

    Beware buying car with a phony title

    When buying a used car online the main scams you had to worry about were either wiring money to a scam artist when the car doesn’t actually exist or buying a car that’s been stolen. Now a report is coming put of Texas that tells of a different elaborate scam that could leave you just as broke.

    According to the report, scammers are buying cars from junkyards that have been declared unrepairable and the car’s title is supposed to reflect this. Instead, the scammers get the cars running again and forge titles that say the cars are street worthy. They then list the cars for sale on less than reputable websites well below market value. Once the buyer takes the title to the DMV they find out that the car has been condemned, can not be driven on the street, and the only way the buyer can recoup some of their loss is to sell the car for parts.

    Remember, when purchasing a used car online, always be wary of a price that seems too good to be true. More often than not, those deals turn out to be scams. Before buying any car you should ask for the car’s VIN number and check it with one of the many services that provides a car’s history. Steps like this may take some extra time but in the long run will save you from losing thousands of dollars on a car that shouldn’t be on the market to begin with.

     
  • Geebo 9:59 am on February 20, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , postcards   

    Facebook’s solution to stop foreign meddling is postcards 

    Facebook's solution to stop foreign meddling is postcards

    With the alleged Russian meddling that took place on Facebook leading up to the 2016 Presidential election, the beleaguered social network has been struggling to find a way to stop foreign actors from interfering in American politics while using their platform. With some of the brightest minds working for it in such fields as artificial intelligence and virtual reality, Facebook has decided to use the best technology at their disposal to verify the identity of political ad purchasers, postcards.

    Yes, those postcards that generations ago people would send back home to their friends and family through the postal service while they were on vacation. Facebook will be sending postcards to political ad purchasers with a verification code on it to help try to ensue the buyers are from the United States. However, these cards will only be sent to people buying ads for a certain candidate. Ads dealing with political issues will still be a free for all. Facebook also admits that their postcard solution won’t fix everything. You don’t say.

    This is not even taking into account that mail fraud is one of the oldest type of crimes in the country. There are a plethora of ways for bad actors to get around Facebook’s attempt at tighter security. It wouldn’t take much for foreign entities to get people working for them in the US to respond to these postcards. Foreign scam artists who have people wire them money often have someone in the US working for them as a go-between. They could also simply just buy a drop box at many shipping supply stores that offer such a service.

    The reason this is still important is that the midterm elections are coming up this November and unless Facebook wants a repeat of 2016 they’re going to need a much better solution than the one they’re currently touting.

     
  • Geebo 9:59 am on February 19, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: American Airlines, Denice Miracle, , ,   

    Airline employee saves girls from human trafficking scheme 

    Airline employee saves girls from human trafficking scheme

    Late last week, an observant employee of American Airlines at a Sacramento, California, airport is credited with saving two underage girls from potentially falling into the hands of a human trafficker. The airline agent, Denice Miracle, noticed that the two girls, ages 17 and 15, had one way tickets to New York and no ID. The agent felt something was wrong and contacted the Sheriff’s department.

    The girls weren’t even aware their tickets had no return trip. They told police that the man who allegedly bought the tickets for them promised them $2000 for a modeling job, a common tactic used by traffickers. When the girls were told they were probably about to be trafficked they said they wouldn’t let that happen, not realizing they would have had no choice in the matter once they got to New York.

    The purported trafficker had approached the girls through social media which is another common trick of traffickers. The traffickers will prey upon a teenager’s vanity, promising them a lot of money quickly. In reality the traffickers are getting ready to put them out on the street or on Backpage. The fact that the girls had no ID with them also speaks volume as it would make it more difficult for trafficking victims to escape their captors without ID.

    Parents should talk to their kids not only about the dangers of talking to strangers on social media, but to be very wary of anyone offering them large sums of money for some kind of modeling or entertainment job. Legitimate talent or modeling agents would not try to circumvent parents for fear of legal repercussions.

     
  • Geebo 10:07 am on February 16, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Alexey Navalny, , , , Roskomnadzor,   

    Facebook yields to Russian internet police 

    Facebook yields to Russian internet police

    In America, if someone had video of a Presidential cabinet member taking bribes from a top business magnate, that story would not only be all over the news but it would be the trending topic on social media and Facebook wouldn’t lift a finger to stop it. Now if that happened in Russia? Not so much.

    Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny claims to have a video that was posted to Instagram that shows Russian Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Prikhodko on the yacht of a Russian oligarch where bribes were said to have allegedly taken place. Not only did the Russian courts rule that the video violated Prikhodko’s right to privacy but the Russian ‘media watchdog group’ Roskomnadzor ordered Facebook owned Instagram to remove two more posts in relation to the matter. Facebook was more than happy to oblige.

    An Instagram representative released the following statement to CNBC

    “When governments believe that something on the internet violates their laws, they may contact companies and ask us to restrict access to that content. We review such requests carefully in light of local laws and where appropriate, we make it unavailable in the relevant country or territory.”

    “We are transparent about any content restrictions we make for government requests with local law in our Transparency Report.”

    What they don’t seem to be transparent about is when a post is removed due to political motivations.

    While such a politically motivated move of this magnitude has not yet happened in the US, could one be that far behind, and would Facebook be so willing to comply if it did?

     
  • Geebo 10:18 am on February 15, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , schools   

    California schools to teach human trafficking awareness 

    California schools to teach human trafficking awareness

    While California may be the leading state in the country for human trafficking that doesn’t mean the state is taking it lying down. California is also one of the leaders in the country of human trafficking prosecution. This is the state that is trying to curb human trafficking at one of its roots by prosecuting the CEO and founders of Backpage.

    California is now trying to prevent human trafficking by using one of the greatest weapons known to man, knowledge. Back in October the state legislature passed a law that would require schools to train teachers and educate students on the signs of human trafficking. Let’s not kid ourselves that our children are not being targeted by pimps and traffickers online. With the advent of social media, these predators are using the impressionability of our children with promises of money and independence to lure them into a life of slavery.

    Since many parents are so unwilling to educate their children or are ignorant to the problem themselves that it is up to the schools to warn our children about these dangers. It’s more than high time for the rest of the country to follow California’s lead in this matter since the trafficking of women and children occurs in every state in just about every town.

     
  • Geebo 9:59 am on February 14, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , ,   

    Florida wants to allow human trafficking victims to sue hotels 

    Florida wants to allow human trafficking victims to sue hotels

    With its year-round beaches, spring break destinations, and theme parks, the Sunshine State of Florida has long been a popular vacation destination for people of all ages for generations. Because of that popularity, Florida also has a reputation of being one of the biggest destinations for human traffickers.

    Recently, the Florida State legislature has considered a bill where hotels could be sued by human trafficking victims if the hotels either turned a blind eye, or helped others engage in the modern-day slave trade. While the bill has not been opposed in public, some claim that big names in Florida tourism have been working behind the scenes to undermine the bill.

    However, there is an out for the hotel industry in Florida. If the hotel provides proper training in how to recognize human trafficking and provide a protocol for reporting trafficking then those hotels could not be sued under the proposed legislation.

    While some fear this could cause a new cottage industry for overly litigious Florida attorneys, it could also provide new allies in the fight against the trafficking of women and children in what is supposed to be the ‘happiest place on earth.’

     
  • Geebo 10:01 am on February 13, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Dallas, , ,   

    Are safe exchange zones effective? 

    Are safe exchange zones effective?

    In the wake of the multitude of violent crimes that have been committed through sites like craigslist and apps like OfferUp, a number of police departments across the country have set up safe exchange zones for people to have a safer environment to make transactions. For example, each ad on Geebo contains a link to the SafeTrade Stations initiative which contains a list of all participating police departments across the country. In the Dallas, Texas area, a number of police departments created safe exchange areas after too many high-profile crimes took place where the criminals used classifieds sites or apps to find their victims.

    More recently, another murder has sadly taken place in the Dallas area where the victim was using a classifieds app to try to purchase a cell phone. This has caused Dallas news station WFAA to ask if the safe exchange zones are having any effect to which police departments in North Texas say that the effect has been mixed. A representative of the Arlington Police Department had the following to say on the matter.

    “We know people are utilizing it but unfortunately you still have that segment of the population that is still kind of trusting other individuals and meeting them offsite,” Lt. Christopher Cook said. We still have a lot of our robberies occurring at nighttime unlit places and untraveled locations.”

    A tool is only as good as the person who is using it. If people aren’t using the exchange zones it’s difficult to ascertain their true effectiveness. It seems more like the problem isn’t the zones themselves but the education and publicizing of these zones.

     
  • Geebo 10:00 am on February 12, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Delaware,   

    Backpage shouldn’t be ‘in good standing’ anywhere 

    Backpage shouldn't be 'in good standing' anywhere

    The tiny, three county state of Delaware has long been a tax haven for thousands of corporations. Many high-profile companies incorporate in Delaware due to their lax corporate tax laws that allow many of these companies to get out of paying their fair share of taxes to the state where they actually do business. Many of the country’s leading companies are incorporated at the same nondescript office building in Wilmington.

    One of the companies that is incorporated in Delaware is Backpage, whose main offices are actually in Dallas, Texas. A number of Delaware government officials are concerned about Backpage’s presence in Delaware but say there’s nothing they can do about it. Even though Backpage is responsible for 80% of all online human trafficking in the U.S., are being investigated by Congress, and have had all major credit card companies refuse to do business with the, Backpage is still considered a company ‘in good standing’ by the state of Delaware.

    Both the Delaware Secretary of State and Attorney General say they do not have the legal authority to do anything about Backpage’s standing in Delaware stating they can’t dissolve the company but wish they could. Then maybe it’s time for the legislature of Delaware to give them the legal authority. While a number of companies would probably side with Backpage on this front claiming it starts a dangerous legal precedent, how many of those companies are making their money from the illegal trade of trafficking in human beings? While a company’s main objective is to turn a profit, it shouldn’t be done through the modern-day slave trade.

     
  • Geebo 11:02 am on February 9, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , ,   

    Amazon offering Whole Foods delivery amid stock shortages 

    Amazon offering Whole Foods delivery amid stock shortages

    As of yesterday, members of Amazon Prime can have orders from Whole Foods delivered to their homes. So far the program is only available in Dallas, Austin, Cincinnati, and Virginia Beach although Amazon has full plans to roll out the service nationally. Prime members will be able to get Whole Foods orders delivered to their homes in two hours as long as the order is over $35. With Whole Foods’ pricey reputation that could be just a bag of Kale and a bottle of Sriracha sauce.

    In all seriousness though, one has to wonder if this announcement will only compound the preexisting problems at Whole Foods. Previously we’ve not only posted about how the shelves on many Whole Foods stores are close to barren thanks to their ordering procedure, but we’ve also discussed how employee morale is at an all-time low thanks to an almost Orwellian employee review system.

    Before Amazon starts offering new programs in their bid to be the global retail solution, maybe they should fix problems already plaguing their acquisitions. As of right now, this new delivery program is akin to adding an addition to a house that’s on fire. In their quest for retail dominance is Amazon starting to cut off their own nose to spite their face?

     
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