Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Another Interesting Scam....

Watching the news this morning, I became intrigued at a totally new scam that quite frankly I had never heard of before, but seems very easy to commit; at the expense of the consumer.

I’m sure everyone reading has gone into a number of retail outlets and have seen Gift Cards that are placed on the fixturing at the end of cash stations and throughout aisles of the store.

They are quite useless to the common thief as they have to be purchased at the register where they are then processed electronically into that particular stores inventory system.

However, what I did not know is that thieves and fraud artists are peeling the card off, as they are usually attached to thin cardboard stock with little adhesive and viewing a series of numbers that are either on the back of the card or the cardboard itself. Once writing these numbers down they then put the card back onto the cardboard stock and replace it on the shelf.

The unsuspecting consumer then purchases the card and the thief knowing full well that it most likely will not be used until after Christmas Day then uses those numbers to activate the card online or over a phone. Once this is complete, they are then able to use the card to purchase items online and have them mailed to P.O. boxes or unoccupied homes.

This leaves the consumer with a totally useless card that has absolutely no value when they attempt to use it at a later date.

The news feature suggested several very small ways to ensure that you do not become a victim of this very easy to complete fraud.

● Buy Gift Cards only from the Customer Service desk or other areas of the store where they are kept in a secure place.

● Telephone the number on the back of the card once you are home and make sure that it has its full balance.

● Watch out for cards that seem to be improperly affixed to their cardboard backing, they may have already been taken off and placed back on.

● Keep the receipt.

Once again, I wish you and your family all the best for your Holiday Season.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Twist of Fate?

Yesterday afternoon I was going through my mail and came across one of the fraudulent invoices that I wrote about last Friday.

This “invoice” is from CRS – Central Registration Service and titles itself as a registration/correction form. Its appearance is deceiving in the sense that if you were to just take a quick look and not have control systems in place with your accounts payable and receivable department, there would be a chance that it may slip through and be processed as an actual invoice.

I have attached a copy of the exact invoice that we received in hopes that any and all businesses in the area will now have a working example to show their employees.

Have a safe and happy holiday everyone!!!!

Friday, December 08, 2006

Business Advisory

I was just going through my email and thought that the local businesses would be
interested in this email I just received concerning fraudulent invoicing.

“Numerous businesses from across BC have reported receiving an invoice from CRS Central Registration Service for $966 USD or, if paid within 7 days, $917.30 USD. The invoice claims that if the business does not pay the invoice for "standard registration via hosting service" for the company's website, "the domain registration will be deleted." Companies that received this invoice have confirmed to us CRS Central Registration Service does not currently host or register their domain name or website.

If you read the "terms of business" included with the invoice, the company appears to be selling a listing in its online business database for a period of one year. These terms also stipulate that in order to cancel, the business must provide written notification three months before the one year period ends by registered letter or the contract will automatically be renewed.

"This company appears to be sending an invoice designed to trick you into paying an exorbitant fee for services you do not need," says Sheila Charneski, President of the BBB, Mainland BC. "Such schemes are becoming more and more common. When receiving an invoice from any business, make sure your employees are trained to be aware of potential schemes and that your company has internal accounting controls to protect it."

Health Canada has issued an alert to businesses about a phone scam. In this scam, the caller claims that Health Canada has a new requirement that all businesses must purchase a "health care kit" or "pandemic kit" for $299. Health Canada advises that there is no such requirement nor does Health Canada have such a kit.

For more details on this advisory, check the Health Canada website at http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/ahc-asc/media/advisories-avis/2006/2006_117_e.htm “

Congratulations To All

All the employees of Genesis Security wish to congratulate the Community on enduring the recent storms of November that consisted of snow, rain and black-outs.

It’s great to see everyone pull together and we would like to point out an unknown personal favorite individual who took the time to help push out one of our Smart Cars that had stopped to help another person.

By making it through all of this perhaps now would be a good time to review the following items:

Power Failures

● Ensure you have a supply of batteries, a flashlight, candles as well as lighters and matches.
● Keep a charged cell phone handy
● Keep extra candles in a fridge as the temperature will harden the wax and you will find that they burn even longer.
● Connect up to a UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supply) to protect against any loss of important computer data. Always save your current working files every 5-10 minutes.
● Understand that a blackout can happen anytime, anywhere to anyone. Do not get complacent. Be ready for it NOW.

Snow Storms

● Do not drive unless you have to.
● Leave earlier so you can safely reach your destination in time.
● Be aware that black ice may be anywhere.
● If driving, wear adequate clothing in case you become stuck and have to wait
for assistance.
● Keep an emergency roadside kit in your vehicle at all times.
● When a storm is predicted, stock up on groceries, medications and any other
necessities to avoid the need for travel during the storm.
● Wait until the storm has subsided before going out and attempted to clear
away any snow. Take it slowly and take frequent breaks.

Take pride in the fact that as a Community everyone pulled together and assistance was
provided where needed by many selfless people.