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Monday, February 25, 2008

Will Lindsay pull a Marilyn?

So we know she did a nude photo shoot to remake Marilyn's Last Sitting, but if you look into the life of Ms. Lohan, you know shes had some interesting run-ins with things that can kill her, sure Marilyn's death was labled as suicide by some circles, murder by others, and manslaughter by accidental doctor induced OD. But the fact she died young is what we're looking at today.

Let's look at the facts:

1. Busted for drunk driving, not once, but many times. Likelihood of DUI Death? 4/5

2. Recently entered rehab for drugs. Likelihood of Drug OD? 2/5

So we have a few options, but then again she could realize somethings wrong in her life, fade from the public eye and then have a reality show in her 40's. Better copyright Learning Lohan or something along the lines of Breaking Bonaduce.

Or, she could stay in the public eye because she can't stand to be away from it, and do whatever is necessary to keep herself in the tabloids until she starts to fade because she's not interesting anymore, and we see her in a porn flick.

Only time will tell.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Paranoia, paranoia, ID theft is coming to get you!


So I stole a line from Harvey Danger to get my point across, but seriously, who hasn't? As I've stated before on some of my other blogs, I work for one of the 4 major credit card companies, for the sake of argument, I wont say who. Conveniently enough, I work customer service, specializing in fraud disputes. Now, this covers both credit card fraud, and Identity Theft. Be wary people, there is a difference, and unfortunately, 75% of the people I talk do, don't know it.

Card fraud: Basically, some jackass stole the #'s off of your card. This usually includes the long number, the short number and the expiration date. Most companies in this situation will simply charge back the merchant and say "sorry pal, you should have checked ID, the guy passed off a stolen card" or "sorry pal, you sent the product to an alternate address which you did not verify with us." Some card companies do prosecute, but really only when they know a suspect or the customer has an active police report. Don't be fooled, active being the key word, many companies require you to file one, but don't really act on it, now if the detective calls in, you bet your marbles they are working that case. In the rise of CC Fraud now a days, this is the easiest to deal with, call up your provider, say; "I know I didn't make this charge", then you may need to jump through some hoops, but in a reasonable time frame, the charges are gone.

Idea of note: Most of the time, you see internet charges on your account, don't tell the rep on the phone to jump off his/her phone to go find where it was being sent to and arrest those people. In many situations, they are victims just like yourself, and equally confused why a 1500 dell laptop just showed up on their doorsteps, usually a newbie criminal who forgot to reroute the mail when the product was about to be sent out, or didn't pay enough attention to realize that vacant house they thought they were sending it to, was in fact being lived in. Also, charges on your account do not mean that the 16 kid working at the McDonalds took a picture of your card while you were waiting for your drive-thru order. Most of the time, you bought something online and the information was compromised from the companies machines, they wont tell you, because they don't know. This is not to discourage you from shopping online, frankly, it's too easy, just make sure you watch your statements so you know if something is going on, ALL credit companies allow you to view your info online, take advantage of this, you see a 1 itunes charge on your card you didn't make? Call the *expletive*ing company, it may sound silly to dispute $.99, but getting your card replaced at the first sign could save yourself, the merchant, and the CC company a lot of money.

Now wait a minute, these evil hackers have my infoz? OH NO! Backup little miss paranoid, they have your account information, so if they stole your Citibank visa #, unless they work for Citibank and can view their account records, they don't have access to your Date of Birth or most importantly, your Social Security Number. Now we get into the heavy stuff.

Identity Theft: This sucker can come out of the blue, or your company can be careless and lose some employees information, it happens, we're all human. The most important thing is to is keep up on your information, you are entitled to one free credit report every year, and don't listen to freecreditreport.com, they are not free. Visit www.annualcreditreport.com, put in place by the US Government to "provide consumers with the secure means to request and obtain a free credit report once every 12 months from each of the three nationwide consumer credit reporting companies in accordance with the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACT Act)." In a nutshell, they let you keep up with your shit. Now, depending on what you do, or who you are, you might want more. Personally, I keep close watch on my credit report monthly, I do a lot of online business, meaning I sign up with my SSN to many different companies, many reputable joints like Google AdSense and Amazon Affiliates, but also some places that need my SSN for tax reasons, for this, I want to be ready if anything happens. Also, for those who just want to be safe, credit monitoring services are generally very cheap and provide 100% unlimited access to your report, and in many times even your score. Score knowledge is good if you're looking to buy something by financing, but thats off topic, maybe another time. Equifax is personally the company I use, don't be fooled, you're paying Equifax, but you can see your report and scores from all 3 companies; Equifax, Transunion, and Experian.

Holy shit! I was looking on my credit report, and there is a BLANK card opened in my name, what do I do?

First off, calm yourself, credit card companies know this happens and they have reps to assist you, IE Me. Call them up, explain what happened and they will get the process going (ALERT!, it's a process, it's your identity, not ours, and it's your job to reclaim it). Say the account aged and was sent to a collection agency, the #1 thing you can do is know the policy for that company going in, some companies like Amex, if you pay they account, you are telling them, oh yeah, thats mine, ignore this claim. Discover on the other hand will reimburse you the money. Don't trust what a collection agency tells you, they want money, thats it, who cares about your debt. Also, you will likely be sent an affidavit to fill out and send back, usually just asking how you found out about it, and under penalty of perjury, you state this is not your account. Even after the account is closed out and the credit company takes the hit, (yes, they do, it's their fault the card was opened, tough break, although these are investigated a little more fully than card fraud, companies actually care about these.) you're not out of the woods yet.

Now what?

Protect yourself, thats what. Contact the bureaus yourself, let them know what happened, there are 2 things they can do, 90 day and 7 year blocks on your credit report. Be careful, 7 years sounds great, but it can bite you in the ass in the long run, honestly 90 days is more than sufficient, your criminal is going to give up and move on, most likely. A lot can change in 7 years, if you want to refinance your house in 5 years, you will need to know all the security questions they asked you back that long while ago. The best way in my opinion is sign up with a company called Lifelock, to be 100% honest, they don't do anything you cant do yourself, just read their FAQ's, but they do it automatically so you don't have to remember to do it, and also, they will pay for any expense you may incur because of the fraud. Make sure to sign up for some credit monitoring at this point, 10-15 bucks a month is nothing compared to what can happen, account goes unnoticed, bank raises your interest rate on your valid account because your credit shows a delinquent account, you pay more because you don't know, and BLAM.

My final topic of note, please, please, PLEASE know the definition of credit card fraud. Fraud is one thing, credit card fraud is another, when you claim fraud on your credit card, your company will look at 1 thing, was the card stolen or in some way compromised? If not, sorry, it's a different kind of case. Just because some Ebay seller stiffs you your Dell XPS you bought for $100 doesnt mean your card company will claim it as fraud, basically, you tell your card provider you bought something and the merchant never sent it, then they will contact the seller for proof of shipment, which they wont be able to provide, and you will receive credits. Or just contact Paypal, just make sure to pick one or the other, if Paypal gets wind you contacted your bank/provider, they will close their investigation of the seller.

Disclosure: Both companies listed above are affiliates of the author, the author may receive compensation for any services purchased through his links. But in all honesty, I hope I gave you enough knowledge that you feel this is fair. If you are interested in any of the services above, don't fight through the text to find it, just click the banners below.

LifeLock Identity Theft Prevention - Save 10%

Get Equifax Credit Watch

Monday, February 18, 2008

I can now say: I'm no longer attracted to Lindsay Lohan

I used to think I would murder a small child to get in bed with Ms. Lohan. Then, I saw the photos she did for New York Magazine, where she recreated Marilyn Monroe's Last Sitting. Dear god has Lindsey deteriorated...

The link is here: http://nymag.com/fashion/08/spring/lindsay-as-marilyn/

In some pictures she seems decent, but others you just think... SWEET JESUS MY EYES!

Decent: http://nymag.com/fashion/08/spring/lindsay-as-marilyn/index3.html

OH SWEET JESUS MY EYES: http://nymag.com/fashion/08/spring/lindsay-as-marilyn/index8.html

What happened to that sweet girl we wanted to fuck left, right, and backwards?