Yano Yan Ay
Heartbreaking: The worst scams of 2012 (and how you can avoid them in the new year)
Last year people lost billions to identity theft and deceptive debt collection.
For one California retiree, the worst scam of the year was the one that cost her $30,000—extracted payment by payment from fraudsters who persuaded her that she’d won more than $2 million in a lottery.
Illustration by Chris Philpot
“They called my home number constantly,” she says. “They were so persistent. They promised me the money was waiting, and all I had to do was pay the taxes on it.”
The woman, who asked that her name not be used, reluctantly withdrew cash from her bank and wired it overseas, always to a different person. When the funds ran out, she asked her credit card for an advance. By the time her children discovered the questionable transfers, the scammers had vanished, along with Mom’s money.
A recent survey determined that so-called “419” scams such as the ones she fell for—named after the article in the Nigerian criminal code dealing with fraud—cost consumers $9.3 billion a year worldwide. But it doesn’t rank as the top scam of 2012. That dubious honor goes to identity theft, which, at around $48 billion a year, has been America’s biggest and costliest scam for more than a decade and is unlikely to relinquish the top spot anytime soon.
Scams were everywhere in 2012, according to consumer advocate Mitch Lipka. “There was no sign of letup,” he says, and adds, “Tragedies, disasters, and consumers’ struggles continued to be angles for scammers to rip off consumers.”
Although there’s no authoritative list of the top consumer scams, information collected through the federal government and advocacy groups such as the Better Business Bureau suggest these are the top “gotchas” of 2012:
Illustration by Chris Philpot
ID Theft. Identity thieves steal your bank, credit-card, and Social Security information and then open accounts and apply for credit cards in your name. It’s so popular, they even made a movie about it—appropriately called Identity Thief. The latest targets appear to be kids, whose Social Security numbers are being ripped off and then repurposed by scammers. These scams are particularly troublesome, because it often takes years for the crime to be discovered.
How to Avoid It: Don’t give personal information to anyone, for any reason, and monitor your credit-card and bank accounts regularly for any suspicious activity.
Illustration by Chris Philpot
Lottery and Sweepstakes Scams. The California victim is just one of hundreds of thousands of Americans who fall for a lottery they never entered or are persuaded that a distant relative has left them a million-dollar inheritance. The scam is simple: the con artists request a small “processing” fee in exchange for the money, and once you start paying, they keep asking for more.
How to Avoid It: Toss into the trash any letters that promise you “may have already won” the lottery. Add your phone number to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC)’s “do not call” registry and don’t accept calls from strangers offering money.
Illustration by Chris Philpot
Home-Based Business Scams. These swindles can encompass any fraudulent home-based business offer. The FTC in November cracked down on a series of shop-at-home scammers who falsely promise jobs and opportunities to “be your own boss.” The government says nearly 2 million consumers were lured in with deceptive offers to help them start businesses—for a fee—as mystery shoppers, credit-card processors, website operators, and government insurance-refund processors.
How to Avoid It: Be wary of any home solicitations that promise too-good-to-be-true results. Some states have cooling-off periods for sales made in your home, so you may qualify for a refund if you have buyer’s remorse.
Illustration by Chris Philpot
Repair Scams. Always high on any list of scams are repair-related scams, usually related to cars. But in 2012, superstorm Sandy spawned a series of repair-related scams that made national headlines. This type of criminal often offers discounted services in exchange for a cash advance and then either disappears with the money or delivers a shoddy product. Sandy inspired several other scams in 2012, including charity swindles that will affect consumers well into 2013.
How to Avoid It: Insist on working with a licensed and bonded contractor and request bids on your work from multiple companies. Avoid paying for services with cash.
Illustration by Chris Philpot
Financial-service and Debt Scams. As the economy sputtered toward recovery in 2012, scammers preyed on consumers with a variety of schemes to defraud them of what little money they still have. Last year the federal government obtained record penalties from two companies accused of using illegally aggressive collection practices and misrepresenting the status of consumers’ debt, among other things.
How to Avoid It: Raising your financial literacy can prevent you from falling for one of these scams. Your bank or financial adviser, or the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, may also have resources that can prevent you from becoming a victim.
Twin sisters are born and are completely different races.
21-year-old Kylie Hodgson of Nottingham, England, is half-black, half-white. So's her partner, 19-year-old Remi Horder. Back in 2006, they conceived twins. And when the twin girls were born, one was black... and one was white. Remee is blonde and white; Kian is black.
Since both Kylie and Remi are mixed race, when the two eggs were conceived, the one that became Remee inherited all of the white genes from the family, and Kian inherited all of the black genes.
The odds of this happening are at least a million to one.
The number of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) was 2.00 million in 2008, 1.91 million in 2009, and 2.04 million in 2010. about 2 % of the total population. More specifically, they represent 7.0%, 6.6%, and 6.9%, in those years respectively, of the most economically active population, i.e. those aged 20-39.
Calabarzon sends out the most number of OFWs (327 thousand, or 16% in 2010), followed by Central Luzon (294 thousand, or 14.4%) and the NCR (282 thousand, or 13.8%). Caraga, MIMAROPA, and CAR send out the least, each with a share less than 2%.
Powerful images of 2011
This sightseeing boat, Hama Yuri, was pulled 1300 feet from the coast and somehow balanced itself on a two story house during the tsunami in Japan
An aerial shot of the damage immediately following the Japanese tsunami.
Members of the national security team receive an update on the mission against Osama bin Laden in the Situation Room of the White House on May 1.
84-year-old Dorli Rainey was pepper sprayed during a peaceful march in Seattle, Washington. She would have been thrown to the ground and trampled, but luckily a fellow protester and Iraq vet was there to save her.
Facebook played an extremely important role in the uprisings throughout the Middle East.
A woman jumps from a burning building during the London riots in August.
A Libyan rebel is pictured with Gadhafi's golden gun.
A woman rebel fighter supporter fires an AK-47 rifle as she reacts to the news of the withdrawal of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi's forces from Benghazi on March 19.
A mother comforts her son in Concord, Alabama, near his house which was completely destroyed by a tornado in April.
A before and after shot of Joplin, Missouri after a massive tornado on May 22.
Christians protect Muslims during prayer in Cairo, Egypt.
Slain Navy SEAL Jon Tumilson's dog "Hawkeye" lies next to his casket during funeral services in Rockford, Iowa. Tumilson was one of 30 American soldiers killed in Afghanistan on August 6 when their helicopter was shot down during a mission to help fellow troops who had come under fire
Police spray Ugandan opposition party leaders with colored water during demonstrations in the capital Kampala on May 10.
A demonstrator shows his bottom to riot police during a protest by European workers and trade union representatives to demand better job protection in the European Union countries in Brussels on March 24.
January 6, 2012 marks the 600th anniversary of Joan of Arcs birth...maybe. No official records of the date exist, and Joan herself could only guess she was 19 during her trial for heresy in 1431. (Her friends and relatives provided the same estimate for her birth year1412during the posthumous hearings that nullified her conviction two decades later.) In the years following the execution of the iconic French heroine and Roman Catholic saint, her birthday came to be celebrated on January 6, the day of the Epiphany in the Christian religion. To commemorate the occasion, here are a few facts about the legendary Maid of Orlans that might come as a surprise.
1. Joans real name was Jehanne dArc, Jehanne Tarc, Jehanne Rome or possibly Jehanne de Vouthonbut she didnt go by any of these.
Joan didnt hail from a place called Arc, as the typical Anglicization of her fathers surname, dArc (sometimes rendered as Darc or Tarc), might imply. Instead, Jehanneor Jehanette, as she was knowngrew up in Domrmy, a village in northeastern France, the daughter of a farmer and his devoutly Catholic wife. During her trial before an ecclesiastical court in 1431, Joan referred to herself only as Jehanne la Pucelle (Joan the Maid) and initially testified that she didnt know her last name. She later explained that her father was called Jacques dArc and her mother Isabelle Rome, adding that in her hometown daughters often took their mothers surnames. In medieval France, where family names were neither fixed nor widely used, Rome simply designated a person who had made a pilgrimage to Rome or another religiously significant destination; other sources suggest that Joans mother went by Isabelle de Vouthon.
2. In modern times, some doctors and scholars have diagnosed Joan of Arc with disorders ranging from epilepsy to schizophrenia.
Around the age of 12 or 13, Joan of Arc apparently began hearing voices and experiencing visions, which she interpreted as signs from God. During her trial, she testified that angels and saints first told her merely to attend church and live piously; later, they began instructing her to deliver France from the invading English and establish Charles VII, the uncrowned heir to the French throne, as the countrys rightful king. The Maid asserted that a bright light often accompanied the visions and that she heard the voices more distinctly when bells sounded. Based on these details, some experts have suggested that Joan suffered from one of numerous neurological and psychiatric condition that trigger hallucinations or delusions, including migraines, bipolar disorder and brain lesions, to name just a few. Yet another theory holds that she contracted bovine tuberculosis, which can cause seizures and dementia, from drinking unpasteurized milk and tending cattle as a young girl.
3. While commander of the French army, Joan of Arc didnt participate in active combat.
Though remembered as a fearless warrior and considered a heroine of the Hundred Years War between France and England, Joan never actually fought in battle or killed an opponent. Instead, she would accompany her men as a sort of inspirational mascot, brandishing her banner in place of a weapon. She was also responsible for outlining military strategies, directing troops and proposing diplomatic solutions to the English (all of which they rejected). Despite her distance from the front lines, Joan was wounded at least twice, taking an arrow to the shoulder during her famed Orlans campaign and a crossbow bolt to the thigh during her failed bid to liberate Paris.
4. Joan of Arc had a famously volatile temper.
Once placed in control of the French army, the teenage peasant didnt hesitate to chew out prestigious knights for swearing, behaving indecently, skipping Mass or dismissing her battle plans; she even accused her noble patrons of spinelessness in their dealings with the English. According to a witnesses at her retrial, Joan once tried to slap a Scottish soldierthe Scots teamed up with France during the Hundred Years Warwho had eaten stolen meat. She also supposedly drove away the mistresses and prostitutes who traveled with her army at swordpoint, hitting one or two in the process. And personal attacks by the English, who called her rude names and joked that she should return home to her cows, reportedly made Joans blood boil. The Maids short fuse is evident in transcripts of her court hearings; when a clergyman with a thick regional accent asked what language her voices spoke, for instance, she retorted that they spoke French far better than he did.
5. Contrary to popular belief, Joan of Arc wasnt burned at the stake for witchcraftat least not technically.
After falling into enemy hands in 1430, Joan of Arc was tried in the English stronghold of Rouen by an ecclesiastical court. The 70 charges against her ranged from sorcery to horse theft, but by May 1431 they had been whittled down to just 12, most related to her wearing of mens clothing and claims that God had directly contacted her. Offered life imprisonment in exchange for an admission of guilt, Joan signed a document confessing her alleged sins and promising to change her ways. (It has been speculated that the illiterate Joan never knew what shed put her nameor, more accurately, her mark of a crossto.) Several days later, possibly due to threats of violence or rape from her guards, Joan put her male attire back on; she then told the angry judges who visited her cell that her voices had reappeared. It was these two acts that earned Joan a conviction as a relapsed heretic and sent her to the stake.
6. From 1434 to 1440, Joans brothers passed an imposter off as their sister, claiming shed escaped execution.
One of several women who posed as Joan in the years following her death, Claude des Armoises resembled the well-known heretic and had supposedly participated in military campaigns while dressed in mens clothing. She and two of Joans brothers, Jean and Pierre, crafted a scheme in which Claude presented herself to the people of Orlans, pretending to have fled her captors and married a knight while living in obscurity. The trio received lavish gifts and traveled from one festive reception to the next until Claude finally admitted their subterfuge to Charles VII, whose ascension Joan had engineered in 1429. Despite their involvement in the deception, Jean and Pierre played key roles in successfully petitioning Pope Callixtus III for Joans retrial, having presumably given up the charade of her survival by the 1450s.
7. Joan of Arc inspired the ever-popular bob haircut, which originated in Paris in 1909.
The voices that commanded the teenage Joan to don mens clothing and expel the English from France also told her to crop her long hair. She wore it in the pageboy style common among knights of her era until guards shaved her head shortly before her execution. In 1909, the Polish-born hairdresser known as Monsieur Antoineone of Paris most sought-after stylistsbegan cutting his fashionable clients tresses in a short bob, citing Joan of Arc as his inspiration. The look really caught on in the 1920s, popularized by silent film stars and embraced by the flapper set. While women continue to request bob cuts to this day, another of Antoines legendary experimentsdyeing his dogs hair bluehasnt stood the test of time.
The 10 Most Expensive Cars in History
Well, the world of automobile has seen a sea change since then. There is a mammoth change in the way cars are perceived. Though now its an object of necessity than luxury, there are still some drool worthy models that will blow you with their looks and features!
Little did Karl Benz, the German automobile engineer and inventor of worlds first gasoline-powered Motorwagen, imagine that his humble model would give way to some of the most expensive and stunning cars in future. Back then his car featured wire wheels instead of the wooden ones, a four-stroke engine between the rear wheels powered by an extremely advanced coil ignition and evaporative cooling. 1885 is when Karl Benz finished his dream car and called it Benz Patent Motorwagen. This being the first version was slightly difficult to control; in fact the car collided with a wall during a public demonstration!
15 Most beautiful flowers in the world
Si Jinkee at ang kakambal niyang si Janet
Birthday ni Jinkee Pacquiao at ng kanyang kakambal na si Janet noong Huwebes (Enero 12) at ipinakita sa television silang magkatabi.
Hindi nga naman masyadong malayo ang mukha. Maayos ang trabaho ni Vicki Belo.
Nag-uusap kami ng aking mga kaibigan tungkol sa report kung paano pinaganda ni Belo si Jinkee at naawa kami kay Janet.
‘Di ba ibang-iba na ang mukha ni Jinkee? Sexy at glamorosa. Kailangan daw gawin ito ni Jinkee dahil malikot daw ang mata ng boxing champ sa mga sexy na artista na nakakasalamuha sa showbusiness. ‘Di ba showbiz na rin si Pacquiao?
‘Di ba sabi ni Jinkee dati, nang tanungin siya tungkol sa mga balita sa mga babaeng nali-link sa asawa niya, “Ayaw kong magalit. Magpaganda na lang ako.”
At sa tulong ni Belo, talaga namang gumanda.
Cover ng January issue ng Mega magazine si Jinkee at halos walang nakakakilala sa kanya dahil ibang-iba ang mukha. Sabi nga ng iba, “Kilala pa rin ba ni Pacquiao ang asawa niya?” O kilala pa ba siya ng mga anak niya?
Si Jinkee mismo, inaamin niya na ibang-iba na siya ngayon. Ngunit ipinagmamalaki niya ang kanyang pagbabago.
Sabi niya, “Minsan hindi ko na nakikilala ang sarili ko. Parang ‘wow! Totoo ang sinasabi ng ibang tao’.
Kung ikukumpara mo ako ngayon sa Jinkee dati, lalo pa kung tingnan mo ang aking mga lumang litrato, malaki ang pagkaiba.”
Ang biruan nga ay, kung gusto mong malaman kung ano ang hitsura ni Jinkee dati, tingnan mo ang kanyang kakambal na si Janet.
Kasi sabi ni Belo, para hindi naman daw masyadong iba ang mukha ni Jinkee sa kanyang kakambal, inayos na rin niya si Janet.
“The twin is also doing some procedures so they don’t end up looking too different,” sabi ni Belo.
Sinabi namin, kawawa naman itong si Janet. Biruin mo? Ooperahan ka at reretokehin ang mukha mo para lang mahabol ang mukha ng kakambal mo na nag-iba na ang mukha? Major operation ang pagreretoke ng mukha ha.
Hindi natin alam, baka naman gusto rin ni Janet na gumanda ng katulad ni Jinkee. Hindi naman problema ang pera sa kanila.
Paano ngayon ‘yan, eh hindi yata huminto ang pag-iba ng mukha ni Jinkee? Paano ‘yun, sa susunod na mga buwan, hindi na naman sila magkamukha?
Sabi nga ng isang kaibigan ko, hindi naman pangit ang orihinal na Jinkee. Medyo matapang lang ang pagka-mestisa. Kung gusto niyang magpa-sexy, bakit hindi na lang niya sabayan ang asawa niya sa pag-e-exercise sa gym?
Siyempre, magpapawis ka kung mag-e-exercise ka. Ayaw ng mayayaman na mahirapan.
Ay naku. Iba talaga ang problema ng mahihirap kaysa mga lumalangoy sa pera.
Yano Yan Ay