Sunday, September 27, 2009

Sneakiest Consumer Scams, Beware! - Part 2

Scam #3: "There's a problem With Your bank Account".

The trick: You receive a message through phone or email telling you about a "problem" with your account that can be only corrected by giving your Social Security number, account number, or online password to a false email address or website, enabling identity thieves to steal your identity.
there is one recent email "security alert" claiming to be from Bank of America reportedly directed victims to "reconfirm" their account information by leading the victims to a fake Bank of America website and let them enter their online banking ID and password.

Another trick: A local court officer calls to threaten you an arrest because you didn't show up for jury duty, even though you weren't previously notified; The scammer then tells you to straighten things out by providing your name and SSN.
These phishing scams have victimized an estimated 1million PC users and lost about $2.1 billion for 2 years. According to FTC, this type of scam (ID theft) ranks no. 1.

What to do: NEVER respond to an unsolicited request for personal information such as bank accounts even if it appears to be a business you deal with. Try to get the name of the requesting company or agency and hunt down the phone number independently, then initiate the call.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Sneakiest Consumer Scams, Beware! - Part 1

The following scams are considered to be the most common acts of fraud by some unscrupulous people who do any kind of tricks just to rip off consumers!
Actually, some of these are being done online, and I even receive some in the form of emails! Thank goodness, I ignored!

Scam#1": "This car's a cream puff."

The trick: You want a reliable car for a good price, but unscrupulous dealers bait you with advertised low-priced models that are not on the lot, sell rebuilt wrecks and flood-damaged cars without proper damage disclosure, roll back odometers, push overpriced extended-service contracts and unnecessary undercoating, they lowball the value of trade-ins, and add big mark ups that raise the cost of dealer financing.

What to do: Learn the fair deal by checking out car prices in advance. Let your mechanic inspect a prospective used-car purchase, and buy a vehicle history report. Arrange your own financing at a credit union or bank before you shop. Just say no to undercoating and other unneeded add-ons when doing price negotiation.

Scam #2: "You've just won..."

The trick: You get an unsolicited phone call saying you won some valuable prize or foreign lottery. To collect your money, they request you to wire fees to cover insurance, taxes, shipping or handling. Then, you never see your money again or collect any "winnings".

There is a new twist on this long time rip-off using the internet. Scammers use an internet technology known as "spoofing", so they desguise their phone numbers on your caller ID with legitimate federal agency numbers in Washington DC, and claim to be from Federal Trade Commission or an official "national consumer protection" agency.
The real FTC considers this scam as one of the highest on their scam list (rank #3) on its annual top fraud complaints list.

What to do: Real sweepstakes don't require upfront payments. Consider it red flag if a caller requests money. You can help prevent such calls by putting your phone number on the National Do Not Call Registry at or calling 888-382-1222.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

A Family Friendly Vacation

Family Friendly Vacation hotels or resorts I think must be one good place to give a good "quality time" as well as good "quantity time" for your family and loved ones.
Why not check Azul Sensatori Hotel by Karisma Hotels & Resorts and see the things they offer. As the title of this post suggests, it's obviously focused on family oriented activities.
If you have kids, small or teens, they have fabulous kids program that will make them enjoy and have good memories with them when they go back home. Feel free to check on their family highlights as well to familiarize yourself about their many opportunities are being created for both parents/adults and kids.
No wonder, Azul Sensatori has been considered to be a luxurious get-away vacation for many families.
You deserve to have that vacation where everybody is having fun, including you, right? Azure Hotels are always known to be family-friendly which offers various family experiences, kids clubs and parent support services.

Be Nutrition Label Conscious!

Every time you pick up a ca of vegetables or a box of cereal in the store, you'll find a nutrition facts label on the package. You may not think you need to read all those tiny numbers. But taking time to understand them can do your heart a lot of good.

Let your diet be as heart-healthy as possible by being a nutrition label conscious!

Serving Size. Check to see how many servings the package contains. The nutrition numbers on the rest of the label are for a single serving. So if you eat 2 servings, multiply the numbers by 2.

Calories. How many are in 1 serving? If you're trying to lose weight, asking yourself this question can help you manage calories.

Total Fat. A low-fat food contains 3 grams of fat or less per serving.

Saturated fat. This number is key for heart health. Foods with 1 gram or less per serving are considered low in saturated fat.

Trans fat. For healthy arteries, avoid trans fat. Look for foods with 0 grams of trans fat.

Cholesterol. The American Heart Association (AHA) suggests keeping your daily total intake to less than 300 mg.

Sodium. Foods with 140 mg. of sodium or less per serving are considered low-sodium foods. According to the AHA, people should eat less than 2,300 mg of sodium every day.

There's more information included on the nutrition labels such as amounts of carbohydrates, fiber, sugar, protein, vitamins and minerals. However, the items given above will have the most impact on your heart.

Get The Ball Rolling On Your Next Workout

Bored with exercise? Stability balls can add a twist to your next stretching or strength-training session. Also known as Swiss balls, inflatable stability balls challenge your muscles by providing an uneven base. They also use your core during strength training. So, they're ideal for exercisers who have low back pain.

Swiss balls come in various sizes. To choose the right one for you, sit on the ball with your feet on the floor and your knees bent. Your knees and hips should form 90-degree angles.

Start with these exercises:
  • Ball stretch. Lie down over the ball to stretch muscles on the opposite side. For example, lying on your stomach extends your back, while lying on your back stretches abs.
  • Swiss-ball superhero. Lie on your stomach over the ball. Slowly raise one arm, then the other, over your head. Then slowly raise each leg 2 - 4 inches off the floor. As you get stronger, try raising the opposite leg and arm at the same time.
  • Back stabilization. Lie on your stomach over the ball. "Walk" your hands forward until the ball is under your legs and then "walk" your hands backward to your original position. Next, "walk" your hands forward until the ball is under your legs again and then slowly raise each arm over your head, alternating between your right and left arm. When you're stronger, try to perform push-ups. "Roll" back to the starting position.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Remembering 9/11

Where were you during that day? Were you on the scene? Or one of your loved ones were there and didn't make it?

My heart suddenly cried when I was watching on TV that day they played the video while the Twin Towers slowly collapsed burying hundreds of people, while many struggled, running, some helped, and the part where survivors shared their experiences.

I visited the site few months ago, and I could never imagined I was actually standing on the place where many had died. Unto this day, my hearfelt prayers for the victims, and still praying that God's protection be with America.

God bless America!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Generic Drugs

Generic drugs are safe and useful options you can choose over brand-name drugs. In fact, they work the same as brand name drugs and have the same active ingredients.

Generics do differ in one big way which is the cost. Much less expensive than brand-name drugs, and the savings can be large.

Why? When a drug is first made, it's covered by a patent, which protects the company that developed it. When the patent expires, however, other companies can start making and selling that drug, without the cost of research and development. Then, they pass those savings on the consumer.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Quit Smoking Strategies

Are you still smoking? Here are some few tips that might help:
  • Cut back slowly. Try gradually eliminating places where you are allowed to puff. That way, you never tell yourself you have to smoke less, you just make it inconvenient.
  • Try medication. Antidepressants such as bupropion (Zyban) are almost twice as successfull at quitting as smokers who don't. Just take note of any side effects such as nausea and trouble sleeping.
  • Don't let weight worries stop you. Women often fear that they'll pack 10-20 lbs. if they put down the cigarettes, but the fact is, 20% of women who quit don't gain any weight-and those who put on an average of just 5 lbs, accdg. to National Women's Health Information Center.
  • Use nicotine replacements like the patch, inhaler or gum. A study at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota found that pairing nicotine replacements with a support program (like telephone quit lines) increased even heavy smokers' odds of quitting successfully.
  • Stop at the right time. For women, their menstrual cycle might help. Due to hormonal fluctuations, cravings for food, nicotine or alcohol tend to increase during the 1 to 2 weeks before their period, the reason why women are best able to extinguish a cigarette habit during the 2 weeks after their periods, when feel-good estrogen is on the rise.