Jul 31, 2010

Madison locksmith business owner charged with deceiving customers in Internet scheme

WI State Journal

When Mark Twain came to Janesville, WI

Against the assault of laughter nothing can stand.

Facts are stubborn, but statistics are more pliable.

Good breeding consists in concealing how much we think of ourselves and how little we think of the other person.
--Mark Twain

125 years ago, the Statue of Liberty arrived in New York, the Washington Monument was dedicated, and Ulysses S. Grant died after winning the Civil War as military commander and serving as President of the United States.

It was also the year that Mark Twain came to Janesville and lectured at Myers Opera House (which later become a movie theater and was torn down in 1977).

Mark Twain is as relevant today as he was 100 years ago. Like many of us, he loved the latest gadgets and inventions. For example, he was one of the first adopters of the typewriter and telephone. And like us, he had the feeling that life was getting too complicated when he wrote: “Civilization is the limitless multiplication of unnecessary necessities.”

Twain could be gently humorous and uproariously funny. But as the Chicago Sun Times noted he also could be “raw, jeering, and pulverizing.” The New York Times added: “the attitude is that of Swift, the intellectual contempt is that of Voltaire, and the imagination is that of one of the great masters of American writing.”

Jul 30, 2010

Having worked in Consumer Protection for many years and hearing horror stories, I feel that lawnmower safety information is important to keep your family safe.

Is Reiki's hands on healing "nonsense?"

Steven Barrett, M.D.

Last March, The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee College of Health Science Outreach Office sponsored a Reiki class for health care professionals, saying Reiki "...promotes healing on all levels of mind, body and spirit...and it is currently in use in hospitals, hospice, schools, mental health clinics, nursing homes, psychotherapy and home health care settings across the United States."

But Reiki is called "nonsense" by Stephen Barrett, M.D. who keeps an eye out for questionable practices at his website. "Reiki has no substantiated health value and lacks a scientifically plausible rationale," says Barrett.  " Science-based healthcare settings should not tolerate its use.  In a traditional reiki session, the client lies down or sits fully clothed. The practitioner's hands are placed lightly on or just above the client's body, palms down, using a series of 12-15 positions. Each position is held for about 2 to 5 minutes, or until the practitioner feels that the flow of energy—said to be experienced as sensations such as heat or tingling in the hands—has slowed or stopped. Typically, the practitioner delivers at least four sessions of 30 to 90 minutes each. Reiki can also be self-administered or administered to others at distant locations. Some practitioners say that "spirit guides" help them produce the proper flow of energy."

Dr. Barrett received an FDA Commissioner's Special Citation Award for Public Service in fighting nutrition quackery. In 1986, he was awarded honorary membership in the American Dietetic Association. From 1987 through 1989, he taught health education at The Pennsylvania State University and received the 2001 Distinguished Service to Health Education Award from the American Association for Health Education.

Here's what the National Institutes of Health says, "If you are thinking about using Reiki:
  • Do not use Reiki as a replacement for proven conventional care or to postpone seeing a doctor about a medical problem.
  • Find out about the Reiki practitioner's background, including training and experience treating clients.
  • Be aware that Reiki has not been well studied scientifically, but research on whether and how Reiki may work is under way."
 Milwaukee Journal article entitled:  "Reiki causes Catholic unease."

30 Day Risk Free Trials and Lowball Prices

Mouse Print

Here is a scam e-mail I received from some skunk

Apologies for having to reach out to you like this, but I made a quick trip to the UK and had my bag stolen from me with my passport and credit cards in it. The embassy is willing to help by letting me fly without my passport, I just have to pay for a ticket and settle Hotel bills. Unfortunately for me, I can't have access to funds without my credit card, I've made contact with my bank but the best they could do was to send me a new card in the mail which will take 2-3 working days to arrive here.I was thinking of asking you to lend me some quick funds that I can give back as soon as I get in. I really need to be on a last minute flight that leaves in a few hours.
I can forward you details on how you can get the funds to me. You can reach me via....

Mortgage Relief Marketer Will Return $2.4 Million to Consumers to Settle FTC Charges

Federal Trade Commission

Personal Health - What Do You Lack? Probably Vitamin D


High CD rate sounds too good to be true


A List Of 18 "Free Credit Report" Websites Warned By The FTC

The Consumerist

National Do Not Call Registry Tops 200 Million Phone Numbers

Federal Trade Commission

Jul 24, 2010

The steam airplane

(From my video blog on the Janesville Gazette web page)
What really blows me away is that natives of Wisconsin and neighboring Iowa were responsible for the first steam-powered, self-propelled vehicle in the United States and the first practical steam airplane!
In 1873, according to the Wisconsin Historical Society, the car was designed and operated by John W. Carhart of Racine.
And down river from Rock County at the turn of the century, a Davenport, Iowa couple had little George and William, the Besler brothers who grew up to power an airplane with steam.
They developed the airplane in California and demonstrated it for Popular Science magazine and a large gathering of newspaper reporters and newsreelers. Popular Science noted the plane made little noise and you could hear pilot William Besler shout a greeting from the sky.

Jul 23, 2010

Marketers of "Rapid Debt Reduction" Program To Pay $1.5 Million for Falsely Claiming They Could Lower Consumers' Interest Rates


Parents stealing kids' Identities (for things like credit) in alarming trend

Adult children steal the indentities of parents and grandparents, too.

New York City Adds to Oversight of Asbestos Inspectors


Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Amazon Customers Targeted In New Scam


Attorney general's office warns of Internet scam that uses bad checks to retain lawyers

Canadian Business Online

Automated Debt-Collection Lawsuits Engulf Courts


Two women arrested for stealing dresses at East Towne

Wisconsin State Journal

Congress moves to crack down on prison cell phones

Washington Post

The latest in sneaky credit card fees


Air-duct firm applies the pressure in sales pitch


Jul 9, 2010

FTC Warns of Gulf Oil Spill Job Scams


21 Things You Should Never Buy New


7 Things Geek Squad Employee Wishes Every Computer Moron Knew

The Consumerist

Money in the Bank? No, Sandwich in a Can

Is putting a sandwich in a can and calling it a “Candwich” the next can’t-miss billion-dollar idea?

Health coverage available to you if you have been denied health insurance by private insurance companies because of a pre-existing condition

Read about the Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan (PCIP); then use the PCIP Map to learn more about how the program works in your state.

In the D.C. area and across the U.S., scams against senior citizens are on the rise

Washington Post

Bully Landlord?

The Consumerist
Failure to return security deposits is a common problem in Wisconsin. If you are having trouble getting your security deposit back in Wisconsin, fill out this complaint form.

Q.&A.: Reporting E-Mail Scams and Spoofs


Woman mugged after taking money from ATM


6 tips for avoiding a staged accident


FTC Mails Redress Checks to Borrowers Misled By Chase Financial Funding, Inc.'s Allegedly Deceptive Mortgage Ads


Jul 3, 2010

On the Fourth of July in Janesville 165 years ago a Mississippi steamboat arrived on the Rock River. But the dream of explosive growth of navigation to the Mississippi fizzled out because of shallow water, dams and railroads.

Ponzi Scheme Wipes Out Author Jacquelyn Mitchard

AOL News

New Company Helps Fraud Victims For Free

Have you ever been ripped off by a business? When you become a victim of fraud, where do you go for help? A private company has been formed to help assist victims of consumer fraud recover their losses for free.

This new company, Eye To Eye Detective Agency, was created by David Tatar, a former Consumer Protection Manager. Mr. Tatar recently retired from state service where he managed investigators in Wisconsin’s State Consumer Protection Agency. Tatar, a former police officer, has over 30 years experience in enforcing Wisconsin laws.

Many private attorneys often hire investigation firms to gather evidence and compile consumer cases for legal action. Tatar’s goal is to provide consumers that fall victim to fraud with that bridge to the legal services they so desperately need to recover their losses.

“Unknown to many, some private law firms will represent victims for free, Tatar says. If I can present them with a solid case of fraud provable in court, they may consider pursuing recovery on behalf of the victim free of charge. And since I also do not charge consumers for my services,” Tatar says, “people may be able to get all of their money back without bearing the extra costs.”

If you are a victim of fraud and would like assistance in recovering your losses, you can contact Mr. Tatar at 608-635-8831 or by email at eyetoeye@centurytel.net. All consultations are confidential.

Avoid this Credit Card Scam

CBS MoneyWatch.com

Reusable bags may present health risk


Public worker retirement system sputters with market


Is that arbitration clause unfair? Ask the arbitrator.

Consumer Reports Money

Mother-daughter team accused of scamming seniors through obits


Inmates Get Homebuyer Tax Credits: Gov't Report


10 things your funeral director won't tell you


How nutritious is Vitaminwater?

Jennifer LaRue Huget

Work-At-Home Scams On The Rise; Here's How To Spot Them

The Consumerist

Smart Phone Smackdown: Droid X vs. iPhone 4

Look out for this at outlet stores!