According to the FBI, wire transfer fraud is growing exponentially. Typically homeowners, small to mid-size business owners and nonprofits are targeted. When buying a home, you receive wire transfer instructions for the home closing from your real estate agent, escrow agent or closing attorney. Criminals are infiltrating email services, taking over the email of real estate agents, lawyers and escrow agents. They’re lurking. When they see a wire transfer instructions email, they wait until just before closing, go into the email and send a revised wiring instructions email. This diverts the wired money to them. You show up for the closing and they money has not been received – gone forever. The banking industry hasn’t come up with any security procedure to protect your money. This is having enormous consequences for consumers. Businesses and nonprofits have suppliers. Crooks lurk in email to discover payment patterns, duplicate payment instructions via ACH or wire, and money is sent to them on a one-way trip. Know that you cannot trust wiring or ACH instructions that come by email. Call the party and verify instructions over the phone using a verified phone number. Follow this procedure every time, because there is no way to recover money stolen this way.
The New York Daily News reported on a family in San Antonia required by their HOA to pull down their Christmas décor because they put it up too early. Really! They decorated in November because the woman of the house is 8 months pregnant and wanted to get it done while she could. The couple told the HOA to sue them, they’re NOT taking down their decorations. HOA board members should anticipate being visited by 3 ghosts this Christmas Eve.
Clark has long recommended buying OTC meds at Dollar Tree for a buck. The same items at chain drug stores go for $7 or $8. But Dollar Tree has harmed their reputation. The FDA has issued a warning to Dollar Tree for having foreign manufactured drugs on their shelves found to be adulterated. This pertains to topical medications on their health aisle – not any type of pills or medicine you take orally. Dollar Tree says they’re cooperating with the FDA.
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