I never had my identity stolen, however, a couple of months back, I suspected something was wrong.

A few years ago, I requested free credit reports (everyone is entitled to one, once a year), writing directly to the top credit reporting agencies, by snail mail. It worked great.  Now, you have to go through a website, which confuses users by hinting their identity has been really stolen. Since I have very little time to waste with games, I decided to go directly to one of the providers, and I chose Experian.

The free report I was entitled to quickly became a 1 dollar report. That meant I needed to provide a credit card number to pay the buck. And here a little nagging problem started.

Not only would I be charged US$ 1 for the report, however, by requesting it from Experian, I would agree to try out for a US$17.95 a month credit monitoring service, which I could cancel at any time. If I canceled within 7 days of ordering the trial subscription, I would not be charged anything, not even the first charge.

I ordered my US$1 (free) report on a Wednesday, and found out all was clear with my credit. Then, the next Wednesday I called to cancel the subscription. Funny thing. To sign up, you can do everything on line, within tops five minutes . To cancel, you have to speak to a rep, and stay online for a good 30 minutes. I hate to think that the idea is to have you give up on the cancellation and be stuck with the subscription forever…

Be that as it may, I did call, stayed on the line patiently, and spoke to a nice rep. Although she kept on trying to convince me to keep the service, I denied every time. Then, after five attempts to keep my hard earned dollars, she offered the service for half-price, which I found outrageous. After I gave her a few thoughts on the hard selling tactic (why not offer the service for US$8.00 to begin with?), she confirmed the service would be cancelled, THAT I WOULD NOT GET ANY FURTHER BILLING FROM EXPERIAN, and I got an email confirmation on the trot.

Much to my dismay, I just got my credit card bill, and guess what it contains? A US$17.95 charge from Experian!! Yes, siree!

Needless to say, I was beyond outraged by this point. I explained, over and over again, that I opted out of the service within the prescribed seven days, that I got verbal and written confirmation, yet, the representative insisted I did not comply with that requirement, and that although the subscription would be canceled henceforth, that US$17.95 charge would stand.

After referring to this business deal in not very endearing terms, and making a rhetorical observation concerning the mission of the company, which is to protect us from scams and aspects of this transaction, which looked like a scam to me, I told the representative that I would feel free to share my nasty experience with the entire world, by writing on several dozens of blogs to which I contribute material.

That did the trick, though. She was so adamant that the charge would stand just a few seconds before, however, when I said I would make the matter public, a third party, a supervisor, I guess, entered the picture and allowed the credit!

I can only say this: before you order anything from Experian, think twice. I have since then read similar stories on the internet, so I can assure you that this is not an isolated incident. I am ready to do battle next month again.

Lena Neyse is not a real translator or person – she is really Rana Ad

If you get a resume from a so-called Lena Neyse, email Lenatrans58@hotmail.com, watch out. This is not a real person.

In fact, the somewhat impressive resume has been stolen, word for word, from another, supposedly real translator who posted her resume in Proz.

The fact is that so called “Lena” is part of a growing trend, fake resumes sent by email, using gmail, which does not allow you to locate the IP where the message was originally sent. The intent is obvious. In fact, the real name behind “Lena” is Rana Ad, a Middle Eastern sonuding name.

By using gmail, the scammers do not allow computer savvy resume recipients to detect where the resume came from. In this case, it probably came from Palestine.

Fake “Lena” uses the paypal address trans.payable@gmail.com for payments. This is the address used by Rana Ad. However, you only know that when you maker a payment, too late!

Paypal also does not provide information about the location of the recipient account, a major security flaw. This lets scammers have free reign on the Internet, hiding behind names such as trans.payable, when in fact their name has nothing to do with Germans (or Arabic, for that matter).

“Lena”  is not alone. Scammer Walid Issa, who hides behind the paypal email ghhissy@gmail.com, also sends resumes for fake translators for a number of languages. His German “aliases” are Tomas Skold and Ronat Neil, who hide behind the name snow2white translation.  These scammers generally deliver work done in google translate, of subpar quality.

The best thing to do is, be careful with resumes sent from gmail. Some scammers even go as far as using real names of translators who are ATA members or certified.

 

Annoyed by Ebay

A few years back, I used to have a webstore. It did very well, but the product I sold went from being difficult to find, to being everywhere. Thus, there was very little reason to sell it on the internet, especially in the wake of the 2008 crisis. I decided to phase off operations until I sold out the stock, which did not really hurt me at all, for my other unrelated business does well enough, with a certain degree of hedging against recessions.

I heard a lot about ebay, so I decided to start selling the hot product there as well.

Let me tell you something, unless you love to be annoyed, threatened, and like to open your email every two hours,  including on weekends, do not start selling on ebay.

I thought it would be a nice idea selling additional stock on ebay, even at a lower cost, but then realized the ebay bunch is a fickle one. And nasty, too.

Whereas my webstore’s volume was about ten to twenty times greater than the best ebay could ever deliver in a month, the numbers of stupid questions, complaints and rage I got on ebay exceeded what I got on the webstore twenty-fold!!! In other words, ebay turned out to be a nightmare, at least for me. People used to ask extremely picky questions about product size, asking obvious questions (something like, is the black product really black), bargaining shipping rates unreasonably, and if you did not respond right away, you could be flamed with all types of nastiness or even threats.

I knew better that threats could only work if a person really bought something, so I would not get that worried about being reported for not answering right away. However, I also knew that a big part of the Ebay culture involved the reputation, and I used to get threatened a whole lot.

The vast majority of people would stop at the threats (annoying enough), however one person flagged me with a negative feedback. I have better things to do than to spend inordinate amounts of time trying to justify why I took one additional day to ship a product to my disgruntled “customer”, so I did what seemed obvious. I flagged the customer with a negative as well!

The guy (or girl, cannot remember the person’s sex, and it does not matter) flipped out with the negative feedback!!! He(she) asked why I had flagged him(her). I said my experience with him as a client was bad, and I had every right to do it. He then shifted from nasty to nice, and asked me to remove the negative feedback, offering to remove the negative report he gave me first. It sounded fair. So he did, and so I did.

In other words, if you are having negative feedback issues on Ebay, do like I did. Better yet, if you can live without ebay, simply take your business elsewhere and let those nuts harass other people.

Major league delusion

 

Society is under the delusion that it can save itself, through its own means.

The idea is flawed because it rules out the human individual and collective element. Just like macroeconomic models regularly fail, because they dismiss or diminish the effect of the major driving engine behind economy, human behavior, establishing a set of rules that go against human nature will not save humanity.

The trouble is, human beings are essentially egotistical and selfish. This is the major hindrance to sharing the Earth peacefully, with mutual respect. Without addressing this, no science is going to save us.

Nude pictures of Claire Danes

It looks as though you are looking for some sexy, scintillating, titillating, bodacious, delicious naked pictures of American actress Claire Danes.

Get ready

Hover the mouse on top of the picture above, and right hand click three times.

If that did not work, turn the screen off, THEN back on of course..

Well, the light was not on, sorry.

You should be ashamed, though. Leave poor Claire alone and go take a cold shower on the trot. Would you like to have your naked pictures posted on the internet? Or the picture of your mom, sister, daughter or granddaughter? Most likely not. Then quit looking for naked pictures of celebrities on the internet and do something more useful with your time.

Nude pictures of Anna Kendrick

It looks as though you are looking for some sexy, scintillating, titillating, naked pictures of American actress Anna Kendrick.

Pass the mouse on top of the picture, and right hand click three times.

Well, the light was not on, sorry. You should be ashamed, though. Leave poor ANNA alone and go take a cold shower on the trot. Would you like to have your naked pictures posted on the internet? Most likely not. I know not all celebrities are what one can call saints, however, the situation is so bad that know the photoshop the face of known actresses to bodies of other women, often in very lewd position. And you, mr. Pervert, make this possible. In other words, don’t be a pervert and a sucker. Don’t believe 1% of the naked pictures of celebrities you see around.

SINCE YOU MUST READ ON!

While I have your attention, let me share some thoughts as to why it isn`t a good idea do redefine marriage. I will not bore you with the details that although the gay population in the USA is allegedly four million, apparently, only about 150 thousand gay couples live in marital arrangements, and not a huge proportion of these have actually gotten married in states where this has been allowed. So, it seems, this was not really a big deal even for the gay community at large. One would expect droves to be filing for licenses and whatnot. It seems that it caters to the desires of a few people within that community. Most gays seem to be content living their lives as they always did. And I don’t mean this in any demeaning or disrespectful way.

There is a problem when we start catering to the desires and pleasures of x and y community. I suppose contractual arrangements would do just as good as far as ensuring insurance and inheritance coverage for gays, however, marriage has been redefined.

There might by a number of other people requiring re-definitions of certain concepts, based on things such as their desires and pleasure. For instance, our laws prohibit a child marrying his-her parent. If we use the paradigm of desire and pleasure, plus mutual consent, then this should be admitted, if there is desire, pleasure and mutual consent!!! Most would  say ~it is immoral~, however, the same was said of gay marriage. Look what happened.

Additionally, we have `legal ages’ in our laws that determine when a person can make decisions on his-her own. Among such decisions, is getting married, or even having sex. Supposedly, a ~child~ of 13 cannot really express consent, especially if the lover happens to be an `adult`. Well, if we start redefining things based on pleasure, desires and consent, then we have a problem. Soon, people wishing to redefine marriage will force a reduction of this ‘age of consent’ for sexual relations between minors and adults. All very hypocritical, for the laws say nothing about minors having sex with minors, procreating and aborting at a wholesale scale.

Our laws also forbid  plural marriage or polygamy. Again, if pleasure and desire and consent are our benchmarks for defining things, very soon there will be voices proposing the approval of polygamy, as long as the parties involved are able to sustain themselves.

One might say, “hogwash”, the gay population is more than 1% of the US population. Well, consider not the gay population per se, but rather, the smallish proportion of gay folks who actually took the step and did get married. The number will probably approximate possible proponents of polygamy, reduction of age of consent, maybe not incest relations.

A DIFFERENT TAKE

Published with authorization from http://legaltranslationsystems.com/blog/blog3.php

Religion and science moral grounds

Whether one likes or not, there is a war raging between science and religion, each claiming to have higher moral grounds than the other. It is a fact that the definition of science is rather broad, in fact, a lot of what is called science is not really science – and the definition of what is called religion is narrow, and a lot of things that should be called religion – like atheism and humanism – are not called so.The basic premise of scientists, or rather those that claim that science has a higher moral ground – note that a lot of people on this side of the fence are not scientists, in fact, are rather ignorant and uneducated – is that science reports things as they are, based on beyond a reasonable fact evidence. This would be an acceptable reason, except that a lot of what we know as science is based on evidence that is at best circumstantial, theories that have not and might never be proven. So that science, as a whole, is not the precise mathematical thing many folks purport to be.Religion, on the other hand, is based on trust on a higher being(s), that either controls or manipulates things. As there are a number of religions and religious views in the world, and the purpose of this post is not discussing them, it is very naive at best to put them all inside a cauldron – for historical reasons, for instance – and saying they are all the same. It is like women saying “men are all the same”. For instance, a lot of people blame the Protestants for the Inquisition and Crusades, but the Inquisition and Crusades were carried out by the Catholics, and the Protestants had nothing to do with them. In fact, did not exist for most of the time this was being done.Be that as it may, one of the major complaints of people than antagonize religion (such as humanism, although they seem to fail to understand that humanism is a type of religion, where the human race as a whole is a god) is that it breeds intolerance and ignorance. Again, they fail to notice that a lot of people became literate through religion, there are thousands upon thousands of religious schools, colleges and universities worldwide. As for the claim of intolerance, everybody is, to a certain extent, intolerant. A person that believes only in the scientific method, by definition, is intolerant of everything else. So there it goes.By breeding intolerance and ignorance, the atheists, humanists and agnostics of the day blame religion for many of the world wars. This is a terrible simplification. The fact that a Pope, or Iman, or Religious leader here or there has led or caused wars through history, does not mean that religions are the cause for all or most wars. The fact is that most religious leaders, the overwhelming majority of religious leaders in the world are proponent of peace.Would scientists like to be lumped in the same category as the scientists that created the atomic bomb or agent orange? I think not. Thus, they better stop using the stereotype, lest they lose their credibility.At the end of the day, humanity is a very simple, yet very complex deal. It is as simple as you want it to be, and as complex as you want it to be. There are good and bad people in all walks of life, and there is room for science and religion in every one of us. The more pugnacious and polarized we get about this matter, the further we get from the moral ground we claim to belong to.

Webstatsdomain.com, what a joke!

I wonder where these website that provide statistics on web sites get their information.

I am curious as George, so I visited this site, and checked a few of my sites. Most of the information is terribly outdated, and it lists a site of mine as being 17 years old, when I had never entered the internet yet.

I also wonder if anybody take these sites seriously. Supposedly they use the same set of information, and each one them portrays different things. They definitely do not match the traffic records from my own provider, which I suppose, should be more accurate than their. Even Alexa, which is supposedly reliable, is anything but.

However, as the internet has been, from day one, the land of exaggerations and lies, I am not at all surprised.

Getting rid of telemarketing

When I put my number on the NO CALL list I thought I would never again get a telemarketing call. Well, they continue, alive and well. It does not help that I have remote call forwarding from old NY numbers, so whenever I dial 2, the removal option, I don`t know if I am removing the old or new number. Plus, I am likely paying a good buck for the unwanted call.

So I decided to have fun. if you cannot beat them, join them.

Now, when I get one of them computer dialed calls, and a live voice comes in, like “may I speak to the person that handles your phone bill”, I say a pleasant, broadcasting quality Hello, emphasizing the “o”. Then I go “if this is a telemarketing call, press 1”, pause, then “if this is a telemarketing call, press 2”. Pause. Then I continue, until the person hangs up, utterly frustrated.

I never heard any of them pressing 1 or 2.

I guess they don’t trust the press 1 or 2, either.

Pathological liars

The problem with pathological liars is that they really believe they are more intelligent than anybody else, especially when they got a good run. Then, they get cocky. That is when they let their guard down, and get caught very easily.

About two years ago I had a run-in with such a person. I let her see her wrong ways, but she continued.

Finally got arrested for fraud.

One thing about Facebook

There is one thing that bugs me about Facebook.

It seems easier to add people you never heard of, than people you actually know.

FB is based on the premise that you know email addresses of all current and old friends, it seems. If you find an old college friend or coworker from way back, if you don`t have the person`s email, FB tells you you are engaging in behavior that can be construed as harassing, and might result in cancellation of your account.

To say the least, I find that amusing. Isn’t the whole point finding old friends and reestablishing connections?

Maybe there is a silly ISO standard that calls for this type of policy…