Caller ID Spoofing

Some of you may have started seeing this in the news recently; it isn’t a new thing it just finally is starting to get publicity about the problem.

Caller ID spoofing is when someone uses either hardware or software to “fake” the caller ID on your phone to show whatever name and number they want it to show. We have become accustomed over the years to rely on caller ID to tell us who is on the line, but now you can’t trust this anymore.

If you do a Google search for “caller ID Spoofing” you’ll find many websites that now offer this service to people. Some of the more reputable companies limit the use to law enforcement, private investigators and collection agencies.

The problem is this, a telemarketer could use caller ID spoofing to trick yo into picking up the phone or someone could try to use it to gain access to your personal information in order to steal your identity or call from say the census bureau to call and find out who lives in the home (to try and find a female that lives alone in order to attack her in her home). The list of bad things that this can be used for is large.

Here are some ways to protect yourself: IF you do NOT initiate the call then you do not trust they are who they say they are; ask them to give you a callback number and then hang up and call them to be sure. Also unless you call them, never give anyone personal information about yourself or your living situation.

No legitimate company will call or email you out of the blue to get you to give them all of your personal information again, they have it already. This goes for passwords as well.

A person used Caller ID spoofing to trick Paris Hilton into giving up her password for her voice mail by saying he was a tech for that company. Ok, she isn’t the sharpest knife in the drawer, but you can see how if your caller ID says it is your local utility company you can drop your guard and get nailed in the process.

Never give out personal info to anyone that calls you no matter who they say they are or who caller Id says they are. Never give passwords or password hints to anyone who calls or emails you.

Use your head, your personal information is an asset you need to protect just like you would your home or money. You have the right to refuse to give personal information to anyone by email or phone and any legitimate company will have no issues with this.

Be safe!

Are your kids safe at college?

Sadly many recent events suggest the answer could be no. I don’t just refer to the Virginia Tech mass shootings but to the Laura Dickenson murder/cover up at Eastern Michigan University (EMU) as well as the many other tragedies.

For those that may not be familiar with the case, Laura Dickenson was a young woman who attended college at EMU and was found dead in her room back on December 15, 2006. She was found after complaints of a horrible smell coming from her room.

She had been raped and murdered by a fellow student, in February of this year they arrested Orange Amir Taylor, who is accused of the crime. Reportedly, DNA was used to help determine the suspect so it appears they have a good case.

This is a sad story, but it gets worse; it seems that EMU attempted to “cover up” the crime. They reportedly told all of the students that Laura died from “natural causes” when they knew this to not be correct.

At this point it has turned into a blame game of who knew what and who didn’t but it boils down to one thing and one thing only. Colleges are businesses and they make a ton of money off of their students and they can’t have students being scared off by crime rates.

Now this is a sad state of affairs, when your child’s safety is in the hands of people who’s driving force is money. I know I might get some heat for that statement but I don’t care. EMU and other institutions have proved my point over and over again.

The bread and butter of every College is enrollment numbers and of course the ever rising outrageous costs of a college education. But you have to think of this from that standpoint when you are deciding where to send your child to school.

The colleges tend not to report a lot of crime to the police (I believe, they don’t want it in any official stats so they can “adjust the numbers”). You may look at a college and check out the campus crime stats and think you are sending your child somewhere safe when in fact it isn’t near as safe as the numbers showed.

This is a problem that seems to get worse over time and I am not sure of what can be done to fix this other than changing the mindset of incoming students.

Most kids get to college and get that sense of freedom and all of the warnings from the parents go out the window. We need to make these kids understand that in the end their personal safety is in their own hands when it comes to their time in college and beyond for that matter.

There needs to be more safety awareness in college and it has to be implemented by the students themselves. We can’t make them do want they want, though it would make life easier for everyone :)

We need to convince our kids to take the steps necessary to keep themselves safe by forming something similar to neighborhood watches and they need to keep track of crime stats themselves and not allow colleges to sweep this stuff under the rug.

If you could actually get the student body organized and behind this, crime rates would plummet. Much of the crime is committed by other students but if their peers are watching and reporting crimes on a regular basis it should limit this type of behavior.

We need to take matters into our own hands and start this thing off. Talk to your kids, make sure they take this seriously and there is a lot of info on this site that can help. In the next week or so I will be adding a 5 day email self defense course and when time allows I will also get that in video form.

Besides the kids, college administration needs to know that you are on to them and are keeping a close eye on things. Demand action from them you’re paying tens of thousands of dollars to get your kids a good education and you want the schools to step up.

Call and/or write legislators in your area to get involved in reforming the way crime is handled on campuses. Bring up the EMU case, this college told their students a woman died of natural causes when in fact she was murdered and they appear to have known it! How much of an unnecessary risk was added to the students at EMU by not knowing one of their fellow students was murdered in her dorm room.

Hold them accountable! Hold your kids accountable as well for their own safety. If you have to pester them everyday then so be it, whatever it takes!

For those out there thinking I am overreacting, here is the independent report about how EMU handled this case http://www.emich.edu/regents/Butzel_Long_investigation/BL_report.pdf. Read it and then tell me I am wrong or overreacting. This isn’t an isolated incident, they just happened to have gotten caught, more needs to be done to ensure that if any college tries to cover up campus crimes for any reason they will be held accountable. The Clery Act was enacted to try and avoid these type of events but obviously it isn’t enough!

Protect yourself from robbery

I have noticed more and more reports of attacks and robberies associated with customers of various types of stores. Let me clarify a little, I’ll tell you about two such attacks and then offer some safety tips to help avoid becoming a victim.

A woman was in a 7-11 convenience store waiting in line to buy some cigarettes and junk food. When it became her turn to be waited on she placed her purse on the counter and fumbled around through her money looking for the smaller bills.

Now the whole time she is fiddling with her cash the guy behind her is taking note. He then follows her out of the store and to her home where he robs her at gun point and then fires a shot into her back tire.

In another attack, a woman bought a scratch off in a convenience store and then she left. A few moments she returned hugging the clerk because she just won $500.00. Unfortunately, 3 women in the store overheard her celebration with the clerk and followed her outside. They asked to see the ticket and grabbed it from her and then they took off running.

They were caught but the ticket was never recovered and thankfully the woman was not hurt in the attack but it should get you thinking.

How careful are you in public with flashing money or jewelry? Do you only use caution if someone behind you looks like a bad guy?

Sadly most people are not careful at all and they don’t exercise enough caution to avoid upping their odds of becoming a victim.

You should ALWAYS be careful about showing your wad of cash even if it is not that large or mostly small bills. Don’t bring that kind of bad attention to yourself! Get yourself in the habit of always being extra cautious whether anyone is near you or not. If you make it a habit it will help to lower your odds of attack.

I find it best, while in my vehicle, to grab some cash out of my wallet and place it into my front pocket. Generally you have a rough idea of what you are going to spend so have that bill handy so there is no need to open your purse or pull out a wallet.

This goes for both men and women; I have seen both making this mistake all the time and if you start to pay attention to people in stores you’ll see it too. I was in the store yesterday and a women had what looked like a decent wad ($200 plus) sitting in an open wallet on the very top of her also open large purse. You couldn’t miss the money and I thought to myself that she is a victim waiting to happen.

Don’t make this mistake, always use caution and this goes for pumping gas but that is for another blog!

Be safe out there!

Paris Hilton – How pathetic..

I am just sickened by the special treatment Paris Hilton has been receiving in California in regards to her well deserved, recent incarceration.

The fact is she got a DUI and then violated her probation. The fact she was only caught driving again and not DUI doesn’t make it any better. She committed the crime and has to pay the same way anyone else would.

The fact she is acting like the brain dead pathetic person she is, well is her problem. If she doesn’t eat because she doesn’t want to get caught on film on the toilet (this is the girl who had a hand in releasing her slimy sex video), then let her go hungry.

I applaud the judge throwing her back in jail, maybe this will show her that just because her parents are loaded it doesn’t mean she has a free pass to do whatever she so chooses.

This day and age, too many times money and how much you contribute to campaigns, decides whether you are “above the law or not”. Well I don’t care how rich you are , no one is above the law period.

California better be careful on the precedents they set. One day they could come back to bite them in the arse.

Stay safe out there..

Women’s Safety Tips – Check your backseat

Alright, I know that many women out there believe that the old check your backseat before you get in your car thing is just an old wives tale.

Well first I would like to say, you’re wrong! Ahh, I love telling people that :) this in fact has happened many times over the years and is so easy to avoid that it is plain silly not to take the 2 second precaution.

To really drive the point home lets take a look at the car maker Lexus. They have recently been showing commercials for there new G80 I think is the model number. The commercial shows a women at dusk walking alone to her car, there are only about 4 or 5 other cars left in the parking lot. She looks down at her remote while she is still way off maybe 50 feet or more from her car and the heartbeat monitor is blinking red so she turns and runs away.

So whats up with the remote? Simple the heartbeat monitor detects someone in your car and blinks the heartbeat red light to tell you long before you get near your car. Still sound like b.s, urban legend or an old wives tale?

The problem is serious enough for one of the major car makers to include this as a security feature and market it! This really does happen and even without the heartbeat sensor you can be safer.

Get a personal alarm with a flashlight and have it out in one hand and in the other hand have your stungun or pepper spray. But the point is be on your guard, take the few seconds to double check your car before you get too close and carry some type of self defense product so that if the worst happens you are ready to react!

Now for any men reading this who even with this info, can’t get your wife and/or girlfriend ;) to take the 2 seconds to check their car, maybe a more direct approach is in order.

Hide in the back of her car one night and pop up after she gets in and she’ll see how easy it is for someone to do this to her. Now you may get “cut off” for a month or so but after she is done being angry and starts to believe you did this for her benefit and not just cause the look on her face was hilarious, everything should be good. I say this in jest if you actually do it she might kill ya!

Stay safe out there and kick em where it counts!