Thursday, May 24, 2018

2017's Top 10 Scams

Info taken from Better Business Bureau Canada

About the money lost listed below: that's only reported amounts, think of the people that didn't report the scams. While the numbers can seem quite scary, don't forget that sharing knowledge of scams is lowering the dollar amounts lost and the number of people being scammed. 

See some other scams here in a previous post.

  
1. Online Purchase Scams
More than $13 million lost
The most reported type of scam to BBB Scam Tracker. There isn’t just one. From fake websites to counterfeit goods to free trial traps and more, online purchase scams are everywhere.
  • Shop on reputable websites
  • Read all terms and conditions
  • Be wary of offers that are “too good to be true”
  
2. Wire Fraud / Spearphishing
More than $20 million lost
Canadian businesses lose millions every year to those posing as CEOs who redirect company money through wire and email transfers.
  • Build in payment redundancy systems
  • Make sure email addresses are correct
  • Educate your employees about these scams
  
3. Romance Scam
More than $19 million lost
Canadians lost a lot more than their hearts to catphishers in 2017. Online dating scams continue unabated to hurt those looking for love.
  • Never send money to someone you’ve never met
  • Always meet in person
  • Don’t give out personal information such as email and phone number
     
4. Employment Scam
More than $5 million lost
Last year’s number one scam slides down the list, but still targets Canadians through reputable employment websites.
  • If you didn’t apply, you didn’t get hired
  • A legitimate company would not ask you to wire money as a “test”
  • Look for poor grammar, lack of job details, and over-the-top pay scale
     
5. Cryptocurrency Scams
More than $1.7 million lost
Cryptocurrencies are speculative, high-risk investments that are mostly unregulated. As they have captured the attention of investors, so too have fraudsters taken notice.
  • There is an elevated risk of fraud and manipulation
  • Some offerings may not comply with securities laws
     
6. Income Tax Scam
More than $5 million lost
For years Canadians from coast to coast have been targeted in the CRA tax scam. While we are getting better at recognizing it, the threatening phone calls keep coming.
  • The CRA does not make threatening phone calls
  • The CRA will not solicit personal information over the phone or by email
  • Canadian government agencies do not accept payment in Bitcoin
     
7. Miracle Weight-loss Scam
Losses unknown
Losing weight is a goal for many Canadians. Be careful, many fat-burning products may only lighten your wallet.
  • If it looks too good to be true, it probably is
  • Don’t trust unsubstantiated claims
  • There is no magic pill for rapid weight loss
     
8. Advance Fee Loans
More than $1.5 million lost
The shady lender guarantees you’ll get a loan. They turn around and ask for an upfront payment as security.
  • If you’re approved for a loan and they request money as security, walk away
  • Research reputable lenders
  • A guarantee of a loan before any credit check is highly suspect
     
9. Shady Contractors
More than $3 million lost
Yes, this is still a problem. Contractors without a conscience who take your deposit and disappear.
  • Be wary of unsolicited offers of work
  • Get several estimates for a job
  • Go to BBB.org to research trustworthy companies
  
10. Fake Invoices
Losses unknown
Millions of Canadians have online accounts to companies like Amazon, UPS, Canada Post, and iTunes. Your email inbox is often stuffed with realistic looking invoices from many different organizations.
  • Contact the organization directly if you have concerns
  • Compare details of the invoice to your original order
  • Don’t click on any links or input personal information
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Thursday, May 10, 2018

Cheap or Free Things to Do Around Central Alberta

I've been looking up cheap or free adventures in my area. I'd love to hear about any places you know about in Central Alberta!

Red Deer Area


Drumheller Area

Misc

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Disney Shanghai Attraction List

Source
The newest jewel in the Disney Resort crown! Here's the attraction list for Shanghai. (You'll notice some are ride lists and some are attraction lists, these are my personal decisions based on my preference. Feel free to add or subtract as you require for your lists.)

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Homestudies

Do you like strangers invading your home and making invasive question? Any "happy" memories in your childhood ready to bubble to the surface and make you miserable? Have I got good news for you!

After training comes home studies. Depending on the number of people in your home that are being interviewed there will be approximately three home studies each being no more than 3 hours.

Previously you would have filled out a SAFE questionnaire. That's fun questions asking about your relationship with your parents (good, improving, horrible, etc), with your significant other, and any potential traumas you would have had in the past (death of loved one, abuse, etc). Now your home study worker will dig into your answers and probably make you cry.

Saturday, March 24, 2018

My Family Book

So here's some pictures of the family book I ended up creating. See my other post here.

I used Microsoft Word and a free digital scrapbook set for the papers. The book is a heavy-duty duotang and the pages are in plastic holders. To get a better quality photos/colours I printed on photo paper. I gave a copy to my homestudy worker and my social worker may take a copy as well.




Saturday, February 24, 2018

Orientation for Caregivers: Day 3 & 4

Day 1
Day 2

Day 3

Session 5: Understanding and Parenting the New Child in Your Home

We did a trust exercise where we wrote out a secret we hadn't told anyone, placed it in an envelope and handed it to someone else. How did we feel? What kind of thoughts did we have? I said that I had given a "tester" secret and it was said that children often do this as well. It's a test to see how you react and to see if you can be trusted in a bigger secret later.

We wrote down things that you do or do differently when you have to deal with someone you don't trust.

Some we came up with were: watch the more or supervise, limit info and emotions, assume the worst, and remain in control.

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Creating a Family Book: My First Challenging Steps

I've been given a brief (frustratingly brief?) outline of what I should do to create a family album. I have many questions! The internet isn't much help as Google brings up books for private newborn adoption meant for adults where I think my book is supposed to be meant for the child. Maybe it's for the child. I don't know, actually. Plus, my age range of children is pretty big so I'm not sure if I should make a younger book and a separate older book or just straddle the middle line...

My current mock-up is Disney themed and eight pages long. I used printer paper to sketch what I thought should be on the pages. When I get some answers I plan on buying Word and doing a printable version with digital scrapbook paper I've found for free. Doing a mock-up also allowed me to make a list of photos I need to take.

Here's what my sheet says:

Making a Photo/Family Album

A family album is a method of describing your home and family in pictures and words to others in the adoption process. In this way it will serve as an enhancement to your home assessment report and will facilitate the matching process.