WHOA Newsletter - February 23, 2009

I couldn't make this up if I tried. . .Bad Grammy

BELLEVUE, Neb. – The family of an 86-year-old woman who was billed for over $1,000 in phone sex calls suspects identify theft. Arlene Hald recently received a credit card bill addressed to her husband, Sylvester, who died nearly 20 years ago. Hald said they never had a credit card, yet an account in his name was charged.

Hald's daughter, Peggy Rytych, believes her father was the victim of ID theft. She called the billing company, Preferred Platinum Plan, which agreed to remove the charges.

Rytych says they thought that was the end of it ­ until another bill arrived for over $70. The California-based company agreed to remove the latest charges and never bill Hald again.

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Visit WHOA on the web at http://www.haltabuse.org

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(DISCLAIMER: The following news items were found on the web and were not written or endorsed by WHO@; they are for informational purposes only)

Women more likely to be online stalkers than men - 02/23/09
The usual image of a stalker is some creepy bloke obsessed by some TV star, following them around and making unwanted advances. When it comes to the online realm, however, it would appear that we might have to redraw that stereotype.

GPS chip in phones opens window for furtive tracking - 02/23/09
If you were worried about things before, wait till you read this. It's about stalking and other consequences of the new information age. Did you know that identity theft is a growth industry? It was up 22 percent last year and is still climbing the charts. We thought we already were already wellinformed about all this stuff, but we learned a few new tricks from a book written by a couple of cybercops: Cyber Crime Fighters, Tales from the Trenches by Donovan and Bernier. One of the authors is a detective, the other a systems manager in a police department.

Romance dies, desperation lives on the Internet - 02/23/09
See a cute boy lately? Did he not ask for your number? Was she just scared? Did you just not have the time to talk to her? Don't worry, Missed Connections is here to save you from a life of loneliness and desperation.

Facebook: You Own All Your Data. Period. (But See You at the Next Privacy Uproar.) - 02/21/09
In case you didn’t read him quoted in some 1,700 newspapers last week, NBC’s Press:Here has an interview with Chris Kelly, Facebook’s Chief Privacy Officer this week. The show, which focuses on technology, airs in the Bay Area on Sunday mornings after Meet the Press, and the young show has already been beating Meet the Press in the ratings. You can also watch a clip on the jump or the entire episode online here right now. (I was one of the guest reporters on the show this week.)

Don't Trust Yelp (Or Anyone Else) With Your Online Reputation - 02/20/09
Is Yelp using negative user reviews to coerce small businesses into buying its advertising? I don’t know, but it wouldn’t be the first time that a media company had tried such an innovative approach.
One way to tell might be to look at Yelp’s balance sheet, but who really knows? Does Yelp have an economic incentive in a tough economy to coerce potential advertisers? I don’t know and can’t say.

Stalking Victims Finally Get Their Revenge - 02/20/09
Stalkers beware: that girl you are stalking now knows your phone number.
A service launched this week gives harrased people everywhere the ability to unblock Caller ID information that the caller thinks is blocked.
TrapCall.com lets people rig some AT&T Inc. and T-Mobile USA phones so that if a call comes in with blocked Caller ID and is rejected, it rings again, this time displaying the number of the caller.

New, Misguided Online Child-Safety Laws Will Hurt Business - 02/20/09
Do you think Congress has given any thought to what its latest effort to police the Internet is going to cost? Not just the cost to Internet Service Providers, like AT&T and Comcast, but also to anyone who offers Internet access to anyone, potentially including you and me? Two bills currently under consideration both include the same language: "A provider of an electronic communication service or remote computing service shall retain for a period of at least two years all records or other information pertaining to the identity of a user of a temporarily assigned network address the service assigns to that user."

Facebook and MySpace drama-busters - 02/20/09
Here are the best ways to stay safe and drama-free on MySpace or Facebook:
1. Facebook has this nifty little thing called "wall-to-wall" where you can see people's entire conversations.
It's nice because you can see conversations that you're having with someone, but it gets tricky because other people can see that same conversation.
Watch what you say and never underestimate the stalking capabilities of those you have "friended."

Facebook Made Me Do It - 02/20/09
Everybody loves to complain about Facebook. But I've been wading through all the nonstop commentary over the last few weeks and I've made a startling discovery. Everybody also lies about why they use Facebook. After exhaustive research, here are the Seven Lies You Tell Yourself About Facebook.

Md. bill would expand cyber harassment to social networks - 02/20/09
Kids can be cruel, and some parents say it's time for Maryland law to address cyber bullying.
Police protection from cyber harassment in Maryland is limited to e-mail.
Under House bill 580, that protection would expand to any electronic communication, including social networking sites and online postings.

Jury acquits Champaign man of cyberstalking, harassment - 02/20/09
A Champaign County jury Thursday acquitted a Champaign man of using his cell phone to bug his ex-girlfriend's fiance.
Henry Schultz, 33, of the 600 block of Newton Drive, had been charged with cyberstalking, a Class 4 felony, and harassment by electronic communication, a Class B misdemeanor. Although available to prosecutors since 2001, the cyberstalking charge is rarely filed in Champaign County.

Over half of Britons stalk their exes online - 02/19/09
While many of us have taken advantage of Facebook and MySpace to catch up catch up with old school friends and work colleagues, a recent survey has revealed that we also have an unfortunate habit of sniffing around our exes to see what they’ve been up to since the breakup, as well as indulging in our own personal ego trips by Googling ourselves.

Cyber thieves play heartstrings of their victims - 02/18/09
There are countless cyber crimes reported to law enforcement and other government agencies. They include work-at-home, check cashing, lottery and too many others to mention. A computer is described as a device, electronic or otherwise, that performs high-speed mathematical or logical operations or that assembles, stores, correlates, or otherwise processes information.

Enforcing Manners, Tumblr Shuts Down 5 Blogs - 02/18/09
In a blog post written late Tuesday night, David Karp, the founder of the blogging platform Tumblr, sought to better explain the company’s sudden change in its content policy and its decision to shut down five blogs on Monday for violating its new ban on blogs dedicated to making fun of other bloggers.

FBI: Work-From-Home Ads Could Be Scams - 02/18/09
With so many people having a tough time finding a job, the FBI is warning that "work at home" scams are at an all-time high.
Some "work at home" businesses are legitimate, but more and more are promising that you can make thousands while lounging in your pajamas.
There are several key warning signs that should let you know the deal is too good to be true.

Avoiding Craigslist employment scams - 02/18/09
The FBI has posted a warning on work-at-home scams, which are typically a come-on to get your credit card or PayPal information.
Some of the garbage posted in jobs and gigs is pretty transparent, but the miserable economy and job market are making people get desperate--and drop their guard.

Updated stalking law awaits gov.'s signature - 02/18/09
Almost two years after it was introduced in the state Legislature, a bill that will enhance New Jersey's stalking laws received a final unanimous vote in the state Assembly on Feb. 5.
The bill had previously been approved in the state Senate. It now awaits Gov. Jon Corzine's signature before becoming law.

Firefighter Arrested After Equipment Sold On eBay - 02/18/09
A Cincinnati firefighter is facing criminal charges for allegedly arranging to sell city-owned fire equipment on eBay. Police arrested 34-year-old Eric Bacon of Mt. Washington early Wednesday morning after serving a search warrant on his home.

Jail for 'modern-day Fagin' who used eBay to sell £100,000 of goods stolen by his team of shoplifters - 02/17/09
A 'modern day Fagin' who used a team of shoplifters to steal over £100,000 worth of goods from shops before selling them on the internet has been jailed for three years.
Professional fence Michael Kavanagh, 38, had a team of thieves who would drive around three counties in a van before being dropped off at major stores to plunder from shelves.


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