Tag Archives: Money

Scammers just don’t get it…

Well today I received another check in the mail from what I thought was a scammer.  They did the classic over pay scam.  Basically they emailed my company, asking if we could reload windows and office on 10 laptops.  They never said where they were from but that they would send us a check and send us the broken laptops to fix.  Simply because their email was, bi.courtney97@gmail.com, not at any company I already had a red flag, this “Courtney Badgett” was using a free email account that can be created with no ID verification.  Red Flag 2 was that there was just plain text in the email most companies have a footer, at least these scammers could speak fluent English which is not really too common among scammers.  (If you ever see the word “Kindly” just run, this is a word that all the English as a second language schools teach people but real speakers almost never use.)

It started simply enough

Hi,
Are you capable of repairing laptops in bulk? Let me know.
Thanks

Of course I said yes.  “She” then sent a list of what needed to be done and asked how much.  Then after a day I received this email.

Hi,
Thanks for the information. I’ll have the laptops brought out and ready to be shipped to you, and will have my secretary prepare your check as soon as possible.
Thanks.

Not bad, I thought to myself “I will believe it when I see it.”

Then today I received the check. (Click on it to see it in high res)  The paper was simple and plain and the signature was a stamp, did not really look too secure.  Also the check that I asked for was just $750, this check was for about 3 times that amount.

 

 

 

 

 

Now, I looked up the routing number, and it really was for Chase.  I also called the company listed on the check, VertiFX Technology, but I got the run around there.  Tracked the package to find the origin, here is what I got.

Phoenix, AZ, United States 12/21/2011 12:51 P.M. Delivered
12/21/2011 10:01 A.M. Destination Scan
12/21/2011 7:17 A.M. Out For Delivery
12/21/2011 6:44 A.M. Adverse weather conditions.
12/21/2011 6:40 A.M. Arrival Scan
12/21/2011 4:17 A.M. Late airplane.
Louisville, KY, United States 12/21/2011 4:52 A.M. Departure Scan
12/21/2011 1:59 A.M. Arrival Scan
DFW Airport, TX, United States 12/20/2011 10:38 P.M. Departure Scan
12/20/2011 9:21 P.M. Arrival Scan
Fort Worth, TX, United States 12/20/2011 8:30 P.M. Departure Scan
12/20/2011 7:57 P.M. Pickup Scan
United States 12/20/2011 6:55 A.M. Order Processed: Ready for UPS

 

So the check for a California company came from Texas.  Very interesting. So I was 95% sure now that the check was a fraud.  I happen to have a Chase branch about a quarter mile from our office so I decided to go there and visit them.  Just as I suspected the account was closed recently, they would not say why but they decided that they would keep the check.  So it was all over….or was it….just an hour ago I got this email.

Hello Jason,
I just tracked the check, and it shows that it has been delivered to you today. I already got in touch with the movers today, and I need to pay them upfront for them to ship the laptops to your place, pick-up some other equipments for the office, and pick-up the laptops when you’re done, and that’s the reason for the extra cash on the check. So I need you to cash the check, deduct your repair fees,and go to a Western Union location to send the balance to the movers. Once they have it, the laptops will be delivered to your place to begin the repairs.
Send the balance to the information below:

Name:    Barry  S. Glick
Address:  6801 Otto Rd
City :       Glendale
State:      NY 11385

Deduct the sending fee from the balance and send the remaining to the information above. Get back to me as soon as possible with the Money Tracking Control Number (MTCN), and payment details (sender’s/receiver’s information) , as you have it on the receipt (I’ll appreciate it if you can scan the receipt to me).
Let me know.
Thanks.

So I replied,

I took the check to the bank and they said that it was bad.   Please just send me my amount by western union also.  That would work good.  They kept the check.

That was it.  I doubt I will hear back, but I wanted to blog about it so that Google will find these names and accounts and be able to help out others in the future.  Also I am thinking of calling Barry Glick, I bet he does not even know that he is part of a scam, I bet he is told to just go get money and keep 10% for his trouble and forward the rest, it is the way that these people keep out of trouble.  Other times they would tell the Barry guy to just use the money to buy stuff for them online, that way they get free stuff.  Lots of scams out there, so keep your eyes out.  So far they have tried it on me about 20 times, and I have not fallen for it yet.  Kind of a fun game really.

 

Do you respect your money?

The other day Adrian posted a great blog entry that really got me thinking.  His idea is that the number one most important lesson to be learned by people who want to be rich or be better off is not delayed gratification, not saving, and not any of those other things that all the books tell you.  Instead it is the concept of actually respecting your money.

moneyPlease read his blog, it is good, but I want to take it even farther.  I think that you respect for money is based mostly on what you learned from your parents.  When I say respect I mean that you value money, you value the stuff that you own that you bought with your money.  I have found that most rich people I know have a deep respect for money.  Some of the richest people I know watch where they spend.  They almost never throw anything away, they will have a sale first.  This is not being frugal, these people will invest in very expensive quality items that will give them long term enjoyment and even have a residual value.  They will buy things, but when they do they make sure that they get the best value.  They also think long term, and they look at the total cost of something, including the financing cost.

For years I have been in retail sales, owning my own computer company.  I have always had the hardest negotiation with those that were rich.  They would fight for every dollar to get the best deal, and I would give it to them.  But the people who could barely afford my services would never ask for a discount.  I have had friends who are always out of money, but they would ask me to go out to a restaurant with me and they would spend 2-3 times as much as I did.  I value my money, so I look for the best value when I spend it, at a restaurant that means usually having a coupon and usually I order one large item that will fill me up.  But most people order a smaller item, then the add on the salad, an appetizer and then if that is still not enough they add on dessert.  This same guy also had his car break down, it was going to be 400 to fix it, so he decided that it was time to get a newer car.  He found a car that was worth about $7000 and he bought it from a dealership that caters to people like him, he paid over $11,000 after he traded in his old one, and he agreed to 24% interest.  He did not need this car now, and I had connections he could had used to get it much cheaper BUT he needed it THAT DAY, he could not wait, and he paid the price for it.

Needing gratification now is the KEY that keeps most poor people poor.  Companies know this.  Car dealerships are told to get people to fall in love with the car then tell them that they need to buy it now to get that one.  One of the most profitable segments in our economy right now are the rent to own stores, just pay a bit now and you can take these new items home.  The typical price is about 350% the price you would pay if you just bought it at walmart today.

But the other most common trend among these people is that they never would think of starting their own business.  They usually don’t think about selling their old stuff, they simply give it away.  A friend of mine is in charge of cleaning up houses after they give their keys to the bank, and it is astounding how much stuff of great value they leave behind.  They leave furniture, toys, TV’s, computers, clothes lighting, and boxes and boxes of stuff.  Why did they not sell this stuff, and pay their mortgage…we will never know.

People that respect and value their money are able to live much much longer with out money.  A lot of people who own businesses now are also hurting, they have lost their business, they have lost their credit, yet almost all of them that I know are doing quite well, they manage to find money to pay the bills each month, they sell things, they dabble in freelancing for other companies, they do consulting, but the bottom line is that they do what they need to to keep afloat.  Then I know other people, who have never had that drive, and they sit at home all day playing video games, and they do nothing other than look for handouts.

This fundimental view of money does a lot more than effect our personal lives, it also shapes our nation.  Because the rich and poor spend money so differently they often scratch their head when they look at eachother.  When I had a lot of money, yet I would still buy things on sale, and I drove a modest SUV and such, many people wondered why I did not spend more, why I was also so “cheap”, it was not logical to them.  And then I look at them, and how much they spend when they have nothing and I can’t understand it, it is not logical to me.

To me and others the most frustrating part of people not respecting money is when it is your money that they are not respecting.  At this time our governments are spending money at record levels, our money, and they are doing it with very little respect.  They give money away, they waste money all over the place.  Right now they are spending our kids money, but soon they will start spending ours.  The plan to start taxing energy soon, and many other things.

So think about how much you respect you money.  I would love to hear what you think, please leave a comment.

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A great source for motivation, PF Buzz.

The world of blogs is huge.  There are over a million active bloggers, and millions more who do it every now and then.  Tens of millions of people read blogs every day.  Of course you know this, you are reading this blog right now.  But what it new that I want to tell you about it a site called PF Buzz.  The PF stands for personal finance.  It is a group of about 50 blogs all about how to make more money and save the money that you make.  Almost anything you want to know about this subject you can find in one of these blogs.

Now I do not agree with all the other viewpoints, many are designed to show you as an employee how to save the money you make, but as I have said before earning more money is a much better focus than saving money. I am a business person not an employee. It is still great to know what other people are thinking.

The biggest value of this site is the awesome blogs on personal motivation, and there are many of them.  They tell you how to think correctly, how to be organized and how to set goals and generally how to be successful.  This is the important stuff that if you read every day will put you in the right mindset for success.  I have PF Buzz on my Firefox Bookmarks toolbar so it is always there, only a click away.  If you want to be successful I suggest you do the same.

Will the price of gold continue to rise?

Recently I have been posting answers to questions on yahoo.  It is fun.  Here is one I did today.

Question:

Will the price of gold continue to rise?

My Answer:

Well no one has a crystal ball.  It could go up or go down. But one can read the signs and make projections.

I assume when you say price, you mean dollars per ounce.  Much of the rise in the price of gold was really a reduction in the value of the dollar, some was the demand for gold.  It is all really supply and demand.  The price per dollar of gold will depend a lot on how much money is created in the world, how much credit is out there.  In 2007 the trend was to create a ton of money, and with the low interest rates now going into effect it will do the same thing.

So it all boils down to a bet, do you bet it will go up or down, I say it is a 65% chance it will go up in the next year and a 35% chance it will go down.  I do think you may have a higher percent return on silver than on gold, simply because silver is very useful in many things and is in growing demand, and the supply is not growing as fast.

Also no matter what metal you choose to buy, I would highly suggest you buy the actual metal, not a paper title saying you have ownership.  The best way to do this is simply walk into to any coin shop and buy it.

Gold is a great hedge to inflation, but I do think that many other things would be a better investment right now.

The value of financial education is huge.

It is said you never really know what you don’t know. It is not until you learn something that you really understand the value of the thing you just learned. Some things are very valuable and other have little value. For example if you get a little education on real estate investing and how it REALLY works, (Not always what you see on the TV) it will rock your world.

On the other hand I went to a 4 year university and at the end of it all I felt that I could have learned much more on my own. I am still glad I went for the social side of it all. Too many people spend their whole life in the rat race, it is like a giant treadmill, you only earn enough to get current on your bills, and if you ever make more you tend to spend more.

There are many bloggers, most much more popular than I am, that tell the masses how to save their meager earnings, and how to find deals so that they can spend less. But you really can only save so much. Even if you could save 50% of your earnings you still would take years to really get ahead. What they miss usually is that it is MUCH easier to increase your earnings than reduce spending. It takes a different kind of education, a type that most people do now learn. One nugget of info can change your life. It is much easier to live below your means if you increase you means. You do need to control costs, but spend more time increasing income than controlling costs and you will be ahead in the long run.

There is another blog, by a successful guy who gets this, I highly suggest you read his blog. It is called 7Million7Years. He recently wrote a blog about home equity, and that you should not put all your net worth into it. Read it here

Are you ready to learn how to take your investing, and your thoughts to the next level, well the next step is get educated. Read books by Robert Kiyosaki, Donald Trump, Douglas Andrew and Ric Edelman. I have found them to have the best books on real financial advise. Most of the others really give the WRONG advise. I don’t know what they are thinking sometimes.

If you are interested in real estate investing (Which you should be) my company, Capital Active, sponsors events where we teach people, for FREE, how to get started and how to be successful right from the start. If you are interested in an upcoming event sign up here.

Thanks and have a great day, leave a comment please.

Is having a budget really a good idea for you?

I hear people all over the place talking about having a budget.   They say you have to plan how you will spend your money.  For wage earners who trade their time for money, and usually trade the same amount of time and thus earn the same money at a predictable level a budget sounds like a good idea.  BUT not everyone is like this, there are us entrepreneurs out there, people who trade effort or ideas for money.  If you are one of the 5% that really wants to be successful in life you need to follow a totally different set of rules, and listening to the people who are in the other mindset will only distract you and give you wrong ideas.

For this 5% a budget is silly. I don’t know how much gas I will use, or how much I may spend on eating out.  The thing is I hope I spend A LOT on gas because almost all of my driving is for business, and the more I drive then that must mean the more I made in sales that month.  The same goes for restaurants, I would love to take a lot of customers out to eat, each time I do I make about $1,000 on average.

So what are we to do in this position?  First FORGET the budgeting idea.  For the things you must buy, find the best deals and be frugal.  When deciding if you are going to do something don’t only look at the cost of the activity, like budget people do, look at the income opportunity.  In January we were planning on going to Vegas for 4 days for the CES convention, a few people questioned us if this was in the budget or not, of course it was not because we don’t have a budget, but going to this event made many changes in our business that have more than paid for the trip.

I read a blog today about a guy who suggests you cut your cable to basic to save the $200 or so per year it costs extra, and also to watch much less TV.  I agree with not watching mindless TV, but I can point to many times where I have seen something on TV that inspired me to do something different, and this action resulted in a large profit for our company.

So many people ignore the dollars, hanging there to be picked because they are so busy picking up the pennies on the floor.   The thing is that MANY people will spend 10 hours in a week, comparison shopping, looking for deals, going to 5 grocery stores to get the best deals but almost all of them spend NO TIME at all trying to find new ways to earn money.  One idea that can earn you money can be worth ALL the ideas you have to save money, yet 90% of the blogs out there on money are about how to save money.   This just shows you the wrong financial thinking that most people have.

Emerald Computers, a short history from a business POV

I started a computer company in 1998, and thought I knew it all but I quickly learned so much more. I moved that store a few doors down and this time designed in the way I wanted all future stores to be like. I created systems for doing everything. Then I set out on opening more stores. By then it was 2004 and the market for computers was crashing, the wars by the big companies erased all the profits in the industry. By 2005 we were back to one store. By the end of 2007 we decided that the retail storefront was not the way to go. We moved to a much lower rent area, and just serve corporate and online customers, the ones with the best profits. The wars are over and the profits are back in the computer industry, and with our reduced cost, decade of experience we are ready to explode. All we need now is a capital infusion to get us to the next level. Even if we only get .5% of the US market that is still huge.

Now we are looking for investors.  People who can see the vision and are willing to go there with us.  They will, of course, share in our success.

Cheer up, the nation depends on it.

We are not really in a recession or a depression…  What we are in is a crisis of consumer confidence.   Let me explain, when people think that things may be bad they stop spending and that thinking CAUSES things to be bad.  It is funny, over 70% of the people think the economy is in trouble but also over 70% of people said that they personally were doing as good or better than 2 years ago.

The reason they think this way is because they hear the stories from the media, the hear what is going on with their unlucky friends, and the belive the hype.  In reality most every measure of corporate profits is UP, and many other measures are also up.  The GDP will be up this year, exports are way up.  Things are looking up in many ways, so stop being so down, tune out the negative media and cheer up.  When you do this everything will get better, spending will go up, sales will go up and, yes, even housing prices will go up again.

Start today, go buy something.  If you are one of the 70% that are doing fine, then do your civic duty and shop, shop like you did two years ago.  If you want a computer go to Emerald Computers this month and get $50 off by using coupon code march50.

Anyway cheer up.  It will make you feel better, and help our economy grow.

What's the Big Idea

There is a show that is on every weeknight on CNBC, it is called the Big Idea with Donny Deutsch.  If you have not seen this show and you are at all interested in being an Entrepreneur then you are really missing out.  This show is full of concepts and ideas about how to successful, how to start your business and how to make that business successful.  Look for it.

People with Millions

Well I have been doing some reading and some of it mentioned stats about millionaires.  This has been something that I have been thinking a lot about, simply because I will soon be a millionaire, in fact it seems quite easy when you follow the steps.

There are only 9.5 million millionaires in the world. (In Dollars) To put that in perspective that is 3 millionaires for every 2000 people on this planet.  These millionaires are worth a total of $37.2 trillion dollars.  That is an average of    1.9 million of these folks are in the United States.  That means that in the US 2 people out of every 300 are millionaires.  Half of all millionaires in the US are retired.

Only 1% of millionaires are worth over $30 million, but of these super millionaires 65% of them are in the United States.  Millionaires are rare, but for the people who really want to be a millionaire it is something that can be done with ease.  You simply need a millionaire mindset, the drive and focus to achieve it then the idea that will make you your money.

95% of the people in the US do not have a millionaire mindset, and will never become one unless they win the lottery or something like that.  The other 5% know what to do, but most of them will never be able to do it because they can not harness the drive or focus because life gets in the way.

It seems that the easiest way to become a self made millionaire is to think of a system, that is easy to reproduce, and allows you to get small amounts of money from many people.  The most common way to do this is to sell a product or service, making a small amount of money from many people.  The same thing applies to people who sell books, or sports players who make their money from the team when they sell tickets and products. The system is your distribution system, you have to make the system in such a way that you can be removed from the system and it still works.  Once you have a system that works without you then you can grow it bigger, as long as you are part of the system, you will always hold the system back, because you have limited time and energy.

For me I have ideas for a few such systems, the only thing is the money required to launch these ideas, so until I have enough I work hard at making the systems not need money, or using my personal efforts to make money to fund these systems some day.

Many others become millionaires by being super executives at huge companies, or by investing the small sums they had in real estate or stocks.  These methods so account for many millionaires also but not everyone can be a high level executive, and many people don’t have the ability to save and invest, this is why making a system is the easiest way.

Because I have the millionaire mindset I am always aware when I meet millionaires, and for them being as rare as they are, they seem to be everywhere.  Many of my best customers are millionaires, many people I know and find interesting are millionaires.  Of the 100 people I have spent the most time with in the last 3 months at least 15 of them are millionaires.  When I am in Asia, I am often surrounded by the top .01% of society.

Any thoughts, then please reply.   Forward this on if you know someone else who may like it.