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Sunday, November 30, 2008

Learn to Be a Rich Woman

ECGMA says: To ALL the women I know, don't know, don't care to know, take some time off from office or house work and read this.
Hey guys, you do the same, you may learn a thing or two (or maybe not coz all men are dickheads?!?! Wow! Do I hear cheers from the women folk?)

Real estate investor and author Kim Kiyosaki reveals what you can do to take control of your financial future.


Kim Kiyosaki, author of Rich Woman: A Book on Investing for Women, began her career as a real estate investor in 1989 after launching her first business with her husband, Robert Kiyosaki, the author of the bestselling Rich Dad, Poor Dad series. Today, Kim controls millions of dollars of investment property and teaches women how to achieve financial freedom through investing and taking control of their financial futures. We recently spoke with her to get her insight and advice on the importance of taking charge of your money--and your life.

Rosalind Resnick: Given your own success in building companies and buying real estate, why do you think that so many women are still afraid to take business risks?

Kim Kiyosaki: I think part of it is that so many of us haven't been educated about investing and haven't really been expected to be the ones handling the money. Being risk averse is not necessarily a detriment unless it's to the point where you become so afraid of risk that you do nothing. What I've found over the years is that the way I grow and the way I learn is by placing myself in situations where I have to face something I'm not familiar with or to break through a fear. I want to create a movement throughout the world to teach other women to put [my principles] into practice and become financially independent.

Resnick: Most women know how risky it is to depend on a man for financial support, yet millions of women continue to hope that their husbands will take care of them. Looking back on your own experiences growing up, what was the turning point that transformed you into the financial risk taker you are today?


Kiyosaki: I've always been very independent. When I was 14 years old, I came home one day and my mother was sitting with her girlfriend in the dining room, and my mom's girlfriend was crying, very upset. I was ushered out quietly, but I stayed in the other room and overheard the conversation. This woman was saying that her husband had left her for another woman and how horrible it was, but when my mom asked, "Did you know? Did you have an idea?" she said that yes, she did have an idea but that, even though the marriage wasn't working, at least she was financially taken care of. And I just remember thinking, "Why would anyone want such a miserable life?" I think so many of us women still have this idea that Prince Charming is going to take care of us. With one out of two marriages ending in divorce nowadays, that's just not the case any more.

Resnick: One of the challenges that women entrepreneurs continue to face is lack of capital. What advice do you have for women who want to start businesses or buy properties but have little access to cash or credit?

Kiyosaki: For every business that I've ever started--and I've started them all with my husband--we had no money. There's this idea that you have to have a lot of money to build a business or you have to have a lot of money to invest. I don't subscribe to that. Borders bookstore started in a garage. Apple Computer started in a garage. None of those companies was highly financed. When it comes to property, Robert and I were broke for quite a while. We were homeless for a short period of time when we were building our businesses. But when it came to investments, we didn't have money, either. My very first investment was a little two-bedroom, two-bath house in Portland, Oregon, and I needed a $5,000 down payment and I didn't have it--but I found a way to get it. But the thing I'd say about investing, especially about real estate investing, is to find the investment first because then it's a tangible thing. Otherwise, it's just talk. Once you find the investment, it becomes real to you. Then you can figure out how to find the money.

Resnick: Another challenge for women entrepreneurs is balancing work and family. What advice do you have for women who don't have the time to invest in a business venture?

Kiyosaki: Let's say you've got a full-time career and you've got a family. At the end of the day, the last thing you want to do is go look at property. You've got to somehow make that a priority. I think that every woman has their own business called, "Managing and Growing Your Money." And it has to be looked at as a business, not just a thing to do to pay the bills. A lot of women business owners say, "I've got a business, and it's doing well, so why do I need to invest?" I would bet you that every businesswoman out there has said to herself at some point, "I'd love to shut it down. I'd love to not have to go to work today." Eventually, you're going to get tired. You're going to want to take a break. By creating that income stream, you have a choice.

Resnick: In your book, Rich Woman, you talk extensively about leverage -- that is, the power of debt financing to increase an investor's returns. What do see as the pros and cons of financing real estate and other investments with borrowed money?

Kiyosaki: I see leverage as a plus as long as you know what you're doing, as long as you understand the numbers of the deal. With real estate, you can put down 10 to 20 percent and own 100 percent of the property. Now, if you manage the property well, you'll have a nice, positive cash flow. The con is what I call "the flipper"--when you buy the property with the sole intention of turning around and selling it for a profit. If the market turns, as it's doing right now, people are finding themselves stuck. If the market doesn't go up and they don't have a renter, now they're stuck and they've got this big mortgage payment that they've got to make every month. If you're buying to buy and hold, then the fluctuations of the market don't affect you as much.

Resnick: You say in your book that your husband, Robert Kiyosaki, the author of the Rich Dad, Poor Dad books, has been very supportive of your investing activities. What advice do you have for women whose spouses are less supportive?

Kiyosaki: I've talked to a lot of women about that, and when I asked about it. I got answers ranging from, "Dump him!" to "Learn how to work together!" But, ideally, if you can do it with your spouse or your partner, you're going to be more successful and you're going to get a greater return on your money. For those women whose husbands aren't supportive, the best advice I can give is to start, just start. Don't not do it because he's not interested. Because once you start and once he sees how interested you are and once he sees the cash flow coming in, often he'll jump in and say, "Let's do it together!"

Resnick: Every woman who seeks financial freedom through starting a business or buying a piece of real estate has to start somewhere. What's the first step that you'd advise a woman to take?

Kiyosaki: Number one, whether it's business or investing, is education. If you're starting a business, get some education about the business you want to start. Talk to mentors, talk to people who are doing what you want to be doing. Read up on it, attend seminars, go to speaking events. There are some great organizations that are supportive of women in business. If you can hook up with them, fantastic! There are also some great investment organizations. Hang around people who are going to support your ideas, support you in what you want to be doing. Don't hang around with negative people, people who say it's never going to work, that you're crazy, that it's too risky. Get those people out of your life.

Rosalind Resnick is the founder and CEO of Axxess Business Consulting, a New York City consulting firm that advises startups and small businesses. She can be reached through her website [http://www.abcbizhelp.com/]

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Bread - Believe It or Note!

Click on the images to enlarge
Yaks! Apparently, it is bread!

*If you received this via email, click on the link at "Posted by ECGMA to ECGeneral Blog" to view the blogpost"*

Ducks Quack but Eagles FLY!


ECGMA says: I don't know about you, there are still duck quackers around and further more they walk like one also!

Customer Service: Ducks or Eagles [2/7/2008]

No one can make you serve customers well. That's because great service is a choice.

Years ago, Harvey Mackay, told a wonderful story about a cab driver that proved this point. He was waiting in line for a ride at the airport. When a cab pulled up, the first thing Harvey noticed was that the taxi was polished to a bright shine. Smartly dressed in a white shirt, black tie, and freshly pressed black slacks, the cab driver jumped out and rounded the car to open the back passenger door for Harvey. He handed him a laminated card and said:

"I'm Wally, your driver. While I'm loading your bags in the trunk I'd like you to read my mission statement."

Taken aback, Harvey read the card. It said:

Wally's Mission Statement:

To get my customers to their destination in the quickest, safest and cheapest way possible in a friendly environment.

This blew Harvey away. Especially when he noticed that the inside of the cab matched the outside. Spotlessly clean! As he slid behind the wheel, Wally said, "Would you like a cup of coffee? I have a thermos of regular and one of decaf."

Harvey said jokingly, "No, I'd prefer a soft drink."

Wally smiled and said, "No problem. I have a cooler up front with regular and Diet Coke, water and orange juice."

Almost stuttering, Harvey said, "I'll take a Diet Coke."

Handing him his drink, Wally said, "If you'd like something to read, I have The Wall Street Journal, Time, Sports Illustrated and USA Today."

As they were pulling away, Wally handed him another laminated card. "These are the stations I get and the music they play, if you'd like to listen to the radio."

And as if that weren't enough, Wally told Harvey that he had the air conditioning on and asked if the temperature was comfortable for him. Then he advised Harvey of the best route to his destination for that time of day. He also let him know that he'd be happy to chat and tell him about some of the sights or, if Harvey preferred, to leave him with his own thoughts.

"Tell me, Wally," Harvey asked the driver, "have you always served customers like this?"

Wally smiled into the rear-view mirror. "No, not always. In fact, it's only been in the last two years. My first five years driving, I spent most of my time complaining like all the rest of the cabbies do."

Then I heard the personal growth guru, Wayne Dyer, on the radio one day. He had just written a book called You'll See It When You Believe It. Dyer said that if you get up in the morning expecting to have a bad day, you'll rarely disappoint yourself.

He said, `Stop complaining! Differentiate yourself from your competition. Don't be a duck. Be an eagle. Ducks quack and complain. Eagles soar above the crowd.'"

"That hit me right between the eyes," said Wally. "Dyer was really talking about me. I was always quacking and complaining, so I decided to change my attitude and become an eagle.

I looked around at the other cabs and their drivers. The cabs were dirty, the drivers were unfriendly, and the customers were unhappy. So I decided to make some changes. I put in a few at a time. When my customers responded well, I did more."

"I take it that has paid off for you," Harvey said.

"It sure has," Wally replied. "My first year as an eagle, I doubled my income from the previous year. This year I'll probably quadruple it. You were lucky to get me today. I don't sit at cabstands anymore. My customers call me for appointments on my cell phone or leave a message on my answering machine. If I can't pick them up myself, I get a reliable cabbie friend to do it and I take a piece of the action."

Wally was phenomenal. He was running a limo service out of a Yellow Cab. Harvey probably told that story to more than fifty cab drivers over the years, and only two took the idea and ran with it.

Whenever Harvey went to their cities, he would give them a call. The rest of the drivers quacked like ducks and told him all the reasons they couldn't do any of what he was suggesting.

Johnny the Bagger and Wally the Cab Driver made a different choice. They decided to stop quacking like ducks and start soaring like eagles.

How about you? Apply it in your own businesses and homes and see the change around you.


Ducks Quack , Eagles Fly

Nicorette

ECGMA says: Thanks Doug!



Sent: Tuesday, November 25, 2008 2:48:38 PM
Subject: FW: Nicorette


Two priests are in a Vatican bathroom using the urinals.

One of them looks at the other's dick and notices there's a Nicorette patch on it.

He looks at the other priest and says, 'I believe you're supposed to put that patch on your arm or shoulder, not your dick.'

The other one replies, 'Well, it's working just fine. I'm down to two butts a day.'

IF YOU LAUGH....YOU'LL GO STRAIGHT TO HELL!!!!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Futuristic Japanese Hotel

ECGMA says: Hey Andy! Betcha this wasn't the hotel you checked in from your recent visit over to the Land of the Rising Sun, eh?


A Canadian salesman checked into a futuristic hotel in Tokyo Japan.
Realizing he needed a haircut before the next day's meeting, he called down to the desk clerk to ask if there was a barber on the premises.

'I'm afraid not, sir,' the clerk told him apologetically, 'but down the hall from your room is a vending machine that should serve your purposes.'

Skeptical but intrigued, the salesman located the machine, inserted $15.00, and stuck his head into the opening, at which time the machine started to buzz and whirl. Fifteen seconds later the salesman pulled out his head and surveyed his reflection, which reflected the best haircut of his life.

Two feet away was another machine with a sign that read, 'Manicures, $20.00'.

'Why not?' thought the salesman. He paid the money, inserted his hands into the slot, and the machine started to buzz and whirl. Fifteen seconds later he pulled out his hands and they were perfectly manicured.

The next machine had a sign that read, 'This Machine Provides a Service Men Need When Away from Their Wives, 50 Cents.'

The salesman looked both ways, put fifty cents in the machine, unzipped his fly, and with some anticipation, stuck his manhood into the opening. When the machine started buzzing, the guy let out a shriek of agony and almost passed out. Fifteen seconds later it shut off.

With trembling hands, the salesman was able to withdraw his tender unit........ which now had a button sewn neatly on the end..

Timeless Classics

ECGMA says: Thanks Judy!


Commandment 1
Marriages are made in heaven. But then again, so is thunder and lightning.

Commandment 2
If you want your wife to listen and pay strict attention to every word you say, talk in your sleep.

Commandment 3
Marriage is grand -- and divorce is at least! 100 grand!

Commandment 4
Married life is very frustrating. In the first year of marriage, the man speaks and the woman listens. In the second year, the woman speaks and the man listens. In the third year, they both speak and the neighbours listen.

Commandment 5
When a man opens the door of his car for his wife, you can be sure of one thing: Either the car is new or the wife is.

Commandment 6
Marriage is when a man and woman become as one; The trouble starts when they try to decide which one.

Commandment 7
Before marriage, a man will lie awake all night thinking about something you say. After marriage, he will fall asleep before you finish.

Commandment 8
Every man wants a wife who is beautiful, understanding, economical, and a good cook. But the law allows only one wife.

Commandment 9
Marriage and love are purely a matter of chemistry. That is why one treats the other like toxic waste.

Commandment 10
A man is incomplete until he is married. After that, he is finished.

BONUS COMMANDMENT STORY A long married couple came upon a wishing well. The wife leaned over, made a wish and threw in a penny. The husband decided to make a wish too. But he leaned over too much, fell into the well, and drowned. The wife was stunned for a moment, but then smiled, 'It really works!'

A New Inspirational Movie from Simple Truths

ECGMA says: Watch the movie clip....


----- Forwarded Message ----
From: Simple Truths
Sent: Saturday, November 22, 2008 8:24:02 PM
Subject: A New Inspirational Movie from Simple Truths

Dear EC,

You are about to see something beautiful!

If you love nature, beautiful photographs and inspiring music...you're going to love this short inspirational movie.

To watch, just click here. And, if you're inspired, feel free to share it with a friend or co-worker by forwarding
this email.

http://news.simpletruths.com/servlet/cc6?kpuitLQSSBQAVLmnLgLSJomgnxnuHptQJhuVaVR

To Life,
Mac Anderson
Founder, Simple Truths

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

And then the fight started...

ECGMA says: Thanks Doug!



Sent: Tuesday, November 25, 2008 2:46:14 PM

After retiring, I went to the Social Security office to apply for Social Security. The woman behind the counter asked me for my driver's license to verify my age. I looked in my pockets and realized I had left my wallet at home.

I told the woman that I was very sorry, but I would have to go home and come back later.

The woman said, 'Unbutton your shirt'.

So I opened my shirt revealing my curly silver hair. She said, 'That silver hair on your chest is proof enough for me' and she processed my Social Security application.

When I got home, I excitedly told my wife about my experience at the Social Security office.

She said, 'You should have dropped your pants. You might have gotten disability, too'

And then the fight started.....

********

My wife and I were sitting at a table at my high school reunion, and I kept staring at a drunken lady swigging her drink as she sat alone at a nearby table.

My wife asked, 'Do you know her?' 'Yes,' I sighed, 'She's my old girlfriend.

I understand she took to drinking right after we split up those many years ago, and I hear she hasn't been sober since.'

'My God!' says my wife, 'Who would think a person could go on celebrating that long?'

And then the fight started.....

********

I rear-ended a car this morning.
So, there we were alongside the road and slowly the other driver got out of his car.

You know how sometimes you just get soooo stressed and little things just seem funny? Yeah, well I couldn't believe it.... he was a DWARF!!!

He stormed over to my car, looked up at me, and shouted, 'I AM NOT HAPPY!!!'

So, I looked down at him and said, 'Well, then which one are you?'

And then the fight started... .

********

A woman is standing nude, looking in the bedroom mirror. She is
not happy with what she sees and says to her husband, 'I feel horrible;
I look old, fat and ugly. I really need you to pay me a compliment.'
The husband replies, 'Your eyesight's damn near perfect.'

And then the fight started.....

New Mercedes Benz SCL600

..... without Steering Wheel!!!
Click on the images to enlarge









Monday, November 24, 2008

Alcohol is bad for legs

Click on the image to enlarge

MY PRIVATE PARTS DIED

An old man, Mr. Wallace, was living in a nursing home.
One day he appeared to be very sad and depressed.
Nurse Tracy asked him if there was anything wrong,
'Yes, Nurse Tracy,' said Mr. Wallace.
'My Private Part died today, and I am very sad.'
Knowing her patients were a little forgetful and sometimes a little crazy, she replied, 'Oh, I'm so sorry, Mr. Wallace. Please accept my condolences.'
The following day, Mr. Wallace was walking down the hall with his Private Part hanging out of his pajamas.
He met Nurse Tracy. 'Mr. Wallace,' she said, 'You shouldn't be walking down the hall like that.
Please put your Private Part back inside your pajamas.'
'But, Nurse Tracy I can't,' replied Mr. Wallace. 'I told you yesterday that my Private Part died.
'Yes,' said Nurse Tracy, 'you did tell me that, but why is it hanging out of your pajamas?'

(You've gotta love this ....)

'Well,' he replied, 'Today is the viewing.'

Sunday, November 23, 2008

The State of Spam

ECGMA says: If it's this spam (watch the video clip), it's your health you should be worried about!




The State of Spam


Spam—unwanted junk email—has been a problem since the dawn of the Internet. New technologies and legislation have reduced the amount that arrives in your inbox, but spam is actually now more prevalent, and dangerous, than ever.


The spam flood


Symantec closely monitors spam traffic to help improve service to Symantec customers and to guide future product development. Our State of Spam 2008 survey found:



  • Spam, as a proportion of all email, rose last year from 68 percent to nearly 80 percent.

  • Most spam originates in Europe (45 percent) and North America (35 percent).
Varieties of spam

Based on traffic passing through the Symantec Probe Network™, spam can be broken down as follows:



  • Scams (10 percent)—Deceptive strategies such as pyramid schemes, chain letters, the Nigerian 419 scam, or a phony site for charity or political contributions

  • Financial (14 percent)—Financial products or services such as stocks, business opportunities, credit reports, real estate, loans, and so forth

  • Adult (6 percent)—Porn, personal ads, relationship advice, and other sex-related products or services

  • Health (5 percent). Dubious products and services such as pharmaceuticals, diets, medical treatments, or herbal remedies

  • General goods and services (30 percent)—Devices, investigation services, clothing, makeup, and so on

  • Fraud (6 percent)—Email that falsely claims to be from a well-known company—usually to trick users into revealing account numbers and passwords; uses subject lines such as “account notification,” “credit card verification,” or “billing update”

  • Leisure (6 percent)—Prizes or discounts for leisure activities such as vacations or online gambling

  • Internet (20 percent)—Internet or computer-related goods and services such as antispam and antispyware solutions, web hosting, and web design
New come-ons

Spammers are always looking for new angles. Here are a few that Symantec has found in recent months:



  • Holiday spam—Seasonally themed spam has always been popular, and Symantec observed more than 93 million holiday-related spam messages in December 2007.

  • Fake restitution—Spammers falsely promise spam victims a restitution of US$100,000.

  • Rising gas prices—An email message invites recipients to download a tool that shows which gas stations are fraudulently overcharging. Instead, they download a Trojan horse virus.

  • Presidential polling—Email messages promise gift cards in exchange for opinions and then steal personal information.
Conclusion

Despite the enormous amount of spam that never reaches your inbox, spam is still a threat to every email user. Junk email may sometimes be legitimate, but any offer should be approached with a great deal of caution.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Good Justification for pay rise

ECGMA says: Boom!boom!

Justification

A Mexican maid asked for a pay increase.

The wife was very upset about this and asked: 'Now Maria, why do you want a pay increase?'

Maria: 'Well Señora, there are three reasons why I want an increase.

The first is that I iron better than you.'

Wife: 'Who said you iron better than me?'

Maria: 'Your husband said so.'

Wife: 'Oh.'

Maria: 'The second reason is that I am a better cook than you.'

Wife: 'Nonsense, who said you were a better cook than me?'

Maria: 'Your husband did.'

Wife: 'Oh.'

Maria: 'My third reason is that I am a better lover than you.'
......
Wife (really furious now): 'Did my husband say that as well?'
......
Maria: 'No Señora, the gardener did.'

Friday, November 21, 2008

Announcement: Launching of EC BookStore Blog

ECGMA says:
EC BookStore blog was launched today. As a keen 'follower' of martial arts, through the years, I have acquired a good, if not, excellent collection of MA magazines of sorts. To me, they are my 'treasures' but it has come to a point where storage space is getting to be a challenge, running out of nooks and crevices to store them. It is a niche market this blog is targeting as intended when I began building the bookstore. I hope to attract serious martial artists or people with much interest in martial arts who will value my 'treasures' I am parting with. I am not after the 'Borders' or the 'Kinokuniya' type of customers [Tom, Dick or Harry (Tong, Ding or AhLee)] whose mentality are to treat such establishments like public libraries. Sure, the customers are not to be blamed fully, the fact these establishments allow it, so people take advantage of the 'no rule to no reading/browsing if not buying'. In Malaysia (or Singapore), especially 'home-grown' bookstores like MPH and some others, have all their books and magazines wrapped in clear plastic wrappers to 'discourage' non-serious buyers from just reading. Even the little corner bookstore have their items wrapped. The target market is not just within Australia but internationally too. This is the beauty of the internet. This 'store' won't pay my bills but it surely would make more room (for other rubbish to take its place). What a vicious circle. So far, have created 3 magazine catalogues (at least 2 more yet to be set up), named after the publishers except for the miscellaneous one:
The bookstore blog will be updated on a regular basis, so feel free to drop by and browse. Pass the link to anyone you know is crazy MA nutcase. I know of a few here. Every fortnight I serve them tea to make them happy. They are 'crazies' man! They spar, bish-bash and at end of the session, they remove their headgear and declare, "darn! that was much better than sex!". Mental they are BUT they are my friends!

cheers....eugene

Another email scam/spam: UBS Investment Bank London Office,

ECGMA says: Here's another 'sample' email spam/scam.

----- Forwarded Message ----
From: john scott <johnscott9010@msn.com>
Sent: Friday, November 21, 2008 4:10:50 AM
Subject: UBS Investment Bank London Office,


UBS Investment Bank London Office,
1-2 Fins bury Avenue. London. EC2M 2PP.
Private Tel: +447045726900. Private Fax: +447045726900
http://www.ubs.com/

Hello,
I am an investment consultant working with Bank Of Switzerland, UBS AG London Office. at their offshore department London. I will be happy to work this deal out with you if you have a corporate or personal Bank Account and if you are capable to keep TOP SECRET.I need strong Assurance that you will never let me down, if I transfer this money to your account.
During one of our periodic auditing I discover a dormant account with holding balance of 18,000.000.00 (Eighteen million US Dollars only) this account has not been operated for the past years. As at this moment, I am constrained to issue more details about this business until your response is received.
If you are not familiar with my Bank profile, please take a moment of your very busy schedules to read about my Bank website;
http://www.ubs.com/ and I look forward to hearing from you as soon as possible if you are interested, on replying send me the followings.
YOU'RE NAME…
YOU'RE BANK DETAILS TO RECIEVE IN COMING FUNDS….
YOU'RE TELEPHONE NUMBER…

Thank you for your time and attention.
Warmest regards,

Mr. John Scott.
Chief investment Consultant,
UBS Investment Bank London Office
1-2 Fins bury Avenue. London. EC2M 2PP.
Private Tel: +447045726900. Private Fax: +447045726900
http://www.ubs.com/

2008 Christmas Carol

ECGMA says: Thanks Judy! Don't we know it.

You'd better watch out
You'd better not cry
You'd better keep cash
I'm telling you why:
*Recession is coming to town.*
It's hitting you once,
It's hitting you twice
It doesn't care if you've been careful and wise
*Recession is coming to town*
It's worthless if you've got shares
It's worthless if you've got bonds
It's safe when you've got cash in hand
So keep cash for goodness sake,* HEY*
You'd better watch out
You'd better not cry
You'd better keep cash
I'm telling you why:
*Recession is coming to town!*
Finance products are confusing
Finance products are so vague
The banks make you bear the cost of risk
So keep out for goodness sake*, OH*
You'd better watch out
You'd better not cry
You'd better keep cash
I'm telling you why:
*Recession is coming to town...* But we will never say DIE !!!!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

How to Recognize Lottery Scams

Some home truths about those 'winning notifications'.

Introduction

Fake Lotteries and Sweepstakes are part of the Advance Fee Fraud toolkit, and widely used to scam millions of people worldwide. Unlike the general Advance Fee Frauds, this one deserves special attention because it is hugely popular and highly effective.

How many times I have seen questions like: "I have been notified I have won a Lottery I never entered, is this a scam?". Oddly, this is actually called a
Rhetorical question because it contains the answer within the question itself. Here is the simple version for people that do not understand what I mean:-
  • If you never purchased a ticket, you can never win..
The answer given is usually ignored by the person asking, simply because they refuse to use common-sense and logical thinking. However let me reiterate the point being made in a wordy way so that the 'Doubting Thomas' screaming inside your head shuts up.

Facts
  • Be In It, To Win It
    You cannot win a lottery or sweepstake without actually purchasing a ticket or other entry token. It does not matter one iota that the email you have recieved states "your email was randomly selected", because it is complete rubbish. Likewise, any excuses such as "Sponsored by [insert major company]" is equally false. Major companies may support a real lottery, but they do not provide the millions in winning funds... that is NOT how lotteries and sweepstakes operate.
    Lotteries and Sweepstakes are commercially oriented, and they have to make money. The ONLY way they make money is by selling tickets to the public... ie: YOU.
    The old saying "There is no such thing as a free lunch" fits quite well here.
  • Foreign Lottos Banned
    In some countries, foreign lotteries are outlawed and you would not be allowed to accept any winnings anyway (if it were a real lottery). This is worth noting, though really only a minor point when dealing with these types of frauds.
Types

There are two main types of Lottery and Sweepstake scams, which may be transmitted by email, sms or postal mail.
  • Advance Fee
    In the case of the Advance Fee scam, you would be asked for personal information, possibly a scan of your passport or drivers license. You may also be asked for your banking details too. This seemingly insignificant data can lead to Identity Theft. However, once getting through that stage, you will be asked to pay a fee. The fee may be for taxes, clearance, insurance... whatever. THAT is the scam, and if you pay, you loose.
  • Fake Cheque
    The alternate Fake Cheque scam is very similar to an Overpayment Scam. Here you are issued a plausible looking cheque as "an advance of the winings" or similar excuse. You are told to cash the cheque and to forward a part of the monies somewhere else, again for taxes etc.
    In this type of scam, the cheque is really a counterfeit. The proceeds of the cheque will be added to your bank account as you expect. Having sent the requested amount, usually via Western Union or MoneyGram, you sit and await your winnings.
    Unfortunately all you are really waiting for is the bank to discover that the cheque is a counterfeit. At that point, the proceeds from the cheque are removed from your bank account and you are investigated for bank fraud. Depending on what country you live in, you may also be liable for immediate arrest and prosecution. Moreover, the bit that you sent to the scammers has to be repaid by you to the bank.
Generally the Advance Fee type is restricted to email or sms and the Fake Cheque type to postal mail. In the case of a Postal Scam, you should take the letter and cheque to your local police and make a report. You will help the authorities gather more evidence to catch those responsible.

Summary

Hopefully this serves as enough information to provide clarity to the question raised. Take away the big company names, excuses and theories and you are left only with a common scam that fools many people worldwide. Don't be a lemon, keep your wallets and purses in the closed position. Having read this article, you should never need to ask that question again, because the answer will be YES, IT'S A SCAM!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Email Spam/Scam - Fw: From Harry Barnes

ECGMA says: Attention James H!
Hopefully this will further 'educate' you the types of email spams/scams one will get in your inbox. Some will have attachment(s) and DO NOT detach and open the attachment.
The eg. below came into my SPAM folder. Harry Barnes aka harriman, is definitely a false identity. You don't see my email address ie. missing 'To:' address box, means he BCC'ed (blindcopied) me and I am sure a few other 'suckers'. His "From:" stated "harriman@estelasacchi.com.ar" but requested the recipient(s) to email him at harrybarnes43062@hotmail.com. Why?
Now, how gullible can one get where this 'asshole' stated that he found my contact particulars in an address journal?!?! Bull$hit!
So, you can see what con artists will go through to fool and cheat you BUT what astonishes me even more is that there will be at least 1 gullible sucker who will reply to him. The only reason I can conclude is GREED.
So JamesH....make sure harryboy does not get to your EPF money which you allocated a portion for Miss Harbin China!


----- Forwarded Message ----
From: Harry Barnes <harriman@estelasacchi.com.ar>
Sent: Wednesday, November 12, 2008 10:41:15 PM
Subject: From Harry Barnes

Dear Friend,

With a very desperate need for assistance,I have summed up courage to contact you.I am presently in Iraq with the USA marine platoon;I found your contact particulars in an Address journal.I am seeking your assistance to evacuate the sum of $12.5m USD (Twelve Million Five hundred Thousand United States Dollars)to you,as far as I can be assured that it will be safe in your care until I complete my service here.This is no stolen money,and there are no dangers involved.

SOURCE OF MONEY:

Some money in various currencies was discovered concealed in barrels with piles of weapons and ammunition at a location near one of Saddam's old palaces during a rescue operation,and it was agreed by all party present that the money be shared amongst us,this was quite an illegal thing to do, but I tell you what? No compensation can make up for the risks we have taken with our lives in this hell hole.

The above figure was given to me as my share,and to conceal this kind of money became a problem for me,so with the help of a German contact working here,and his office enjoys some immunity,I was able to get the package out to a safe location entirely out of trouble spot.He does not know the real contents of the package,and believes that it belongs to an Asian American who died in an air raid,and before giving up,trusted me to hand over the package to his family.

There is a secured way of getting the package out to a safer country for you to pick up,and i will discuss this with you when I am sure that you are willing to assist me.One passionate appeal I will make to you is not to discuss this matter with a third party,should you have reasons to reject this offer.please destroy this mail as any leakage of this information will be too bad for us.

I do not know for how long we will remain here but hopefully before the year runs out,I have survived 2 suicide bomb attacks by the special grace of God,this and other reasons I will mention later has prompted me to reach out for help.

Please you can reach me on my personal e-mail address below for more information s.

Email:
harrybarnes43062@hotmail.com

Respectfully,

Harry Barnes.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Email Spam/Scam: Attention

ECGMA says: I will keep publishing such email scams/spams in order for us all be familiar with their 'modus operandi'.


----- Forwarded Message ----
From: Richard Bright <rihardbright091@yahoo.co.uk>
Sent: Saturday, November 15, 2008 7:21:10 AM
Subject: Attention

Attention

I am sorry for using this medium of communication in contacting you, but be informed that it is based on the urgent nature of this deal that I am about to present to you now for your consideration.

First, it will be my great pleasure to introduce myself to you. I am Mr. Richard Bright, native of United Kingdom and the executive fund Manager with Safeway Financial Services, BD15ZG,Bradford, UK. I handle all our Investors Capital Project Funds. I was able to divert 1.2% investors Excess Return Capital Funds to our Safeway Trust Funds Account whereby I can easily present anyone of my choice to claim the funds. On this note, the total sum of 5.745Milion GBP has been diverted representing the 1.2% Excess Return Capital Funds from the Investors Capital Project Funds for 2005/2006.And this said funds has been moved to a Security and Finance firm account in Asia. I need a reliable and trustworthy person that can work this deal out with me so that we can claim the funds as mentioned above.

There is no risk attached and the funds in question can never be detected or traced. Our sharing ratio is 70:30. If you are interested, kindly reply, to enable me provide you with further details on how we shall proceed to realize this transaction.

Thank you,

Richard Bright

WORLD'S EASIEST QUIZ

WORLD'S EASIEST QUIZ

(Passing requires only 4 correct answers)

1) How long did the Hundred Years' War last?

2) Which country makes Panama hats?

3) From which animal do we get cat gut?

4) In which month do Russians celebrate the October Revolution?

5) What is a camel's hair brush made of?

6) The Canary Islands in the Pacific are named after what animal?

7) What was King George VI's first name?

8) What color is a purple finch?

9) Where are Chinese gooseberries from?

10) What is the color of the black box in a commercial airplane?

Remember, you need 4 correct answers to pass.

Check your answers below.

ANSWERS TO THE QUIZ

1) How long did the Hundred Years War last? 116 years

2) Which country makes Panama hats? Ecuador

3) From which animal do we get catgut? Sheep and Horses

4) In which month do Russians celebrate the October Revolution? November

5) What is a camel's hair brush made of? Squirrel fur

6) The Canary Islands in the Pacific are named after what animal? Dogs

7) What was King George VI's first name? Albert

8) What color is a purple finch? Crimson

9) Where are Chinese gooseberries from? New Zealand

10) What is the color of the black box in a commercial airplane? Orange (of course)

What do you mean, you failed?

Pass this on to some brilliant friends, so they may feel inadequate too.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

ECGMA says: (my findings): Thanks to Judy for the above.

#1 - The Hundred Years' War (French: Guerre de Cent Ans) was a prolonged conflict lasting from 1337 to 1453 between two royal houses for the French throne, vacant with the extinction of the senior Capetian line of French kings. The two primary contenders were the House of Valois, and the House of Plantagenet, also known as the House of Anjou. The House of Valois claimed the title of King of France, while the Plantagenets from England claimed to be Kings of France and England. The Plantagenet Kings in England had their roots in the French regions of Anjou and Normandy. French soldiers fought on both sides, with Burgundy and Aquitaine providing notable support for the Plantagenet side.

The conflict lasted 116 years but was punctuated by several brief periods of peace, and two lengthy periods of peace, before it finally ended in the expulsion of the Plantagenets from France (except the Pale of Calais). Subtracting the two long periods of peace from 1360–69 and 1389–1415, the war was fought for about 81 years. The war was a tactical victory for the Plantagenets, who secured the succession of the French throne after the Treaty of Troyes and had Henry VI of England crowned King in Paris in 1431. In reality however, it was a strategic victory for the house of Valois, who succeeded in recovering the Plantagenet gains and expelling them from the majority of France by the 1450s.

#2 - also known as a Jipijapa, named for a town in Ecuador once a center of the hat trade.

A Panama hat or just Panama is a traditional brimmed hat of Ecuadorian origin that is made from the plaited leaves of the toquilla straw plant (Carludovica palmata). Straw hats woven in Ecuador, like many other 19th and early 20th century South American goods, were shipped first to the Isthmus of Panama before sailing for their destinations in Asia, the rest of the Americas, and Europe. For some products, the name of their point of international sale rather than their place of domestic origin stuck, hence "Panama hats.

#3 – Sheep, Goat, Hog, Horse, Mule, Pig and Donkey.

#4 – October Revolution in Julian calendar is 25 October 1917 but in Gregorian calendar is 7 November 1917.

#5 - The term camel hair is very misleading. Camel hair brushes actually consist of various inexpensive hair types like Asian pony, bear, sheep or lesser grade squirrel hair. There is not a single hair from a real camel in a camel hair brush.

#6 - The name "Islas Canarias" is likely derived from the Latin term Insula Canaria, meaning Island of the Dogs, a name applied originally only to Gran Canaria. The dense population of an endemic breed of large and fierce dogs, similar to the Canary Mastiff (in Spanish, el Presa Canario), may have been the characteristic that most struck the few ancient Romans who established contact with these islands by the sea. The connection to dogs is retained in these animals' depiction on the islands' coat-of-arms.

#7 - Until the time of his coronation, his first name was Albert. Within his family he was generally known as "Bertie."
Born December 14, 1895, Prince Albert Frederick Arthur George Windsor was a second son and thus had no expectation of rising to the monarchy. He was dismayed when his elder brother David, having acceded to the throne in 1936 as King Edward VIII, decided to abdicate, leaving him to take on the crown. His Coronation at Westminster Abbey occurred on May 12, 1937 and upon taking the throne, he chose the name "George VI", partly to comply with Queen Victoria's wish that no king of England have the name "Albert" and partly to restore confidence in the monarchy by using the same name as his father.
He was King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the British Dominions from December 11,1936 until February 6, 1952. He was the last Emperor of India from 1936 to 1947, the last King of Ireland from 1936 to 1949, and the first and only King of India during its brief status as a Dominion from 1947 to 1949.

#8 - The Purple Finch is one of 24 birds in the genus Carpodacus and is included in the finch family, Fringillidae, which is made up of passerine birds found in northern hemisphere and Africa. The Purple Finch was originally described by Johann Friedrich Gmelin in 1789.

#9 - Originally known as the Chinese Gooseberry, the fruit was renamed for export marketing reasons in the 1950s; briefly to melonette, and then to kiwifruit. This latter name comes from the kiwi — a flightless bird and New Zealand's national symlbol.

It is not uncommon (outside New Zealand and Australia) for the fruit to be referred to simply as "kiwi".

#10 - In aviation, the term "black box" refers to the flight data recorder and cockpit voice recorder responsible for recording all communications in the cockpit of an aircraft in flight. The phrase has become popularized by modern media while reporting aircraft crashes, despite the fact that the devices are usually not black.

Image:DFDR and CVR.gif

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Zeitgeist - Worth a watch

ECGMA says: Thanks MarkH!
Click on the link "Posted by ECGMA to EC General" below to view blogpost and embedded videos

----- Forwarded Message ----
From: Mark Hua
Sent: Sunday, November 16, 2008 7:02:20 AM
Subject: Zeitgeist - Worth a watch

Dear all;

Well worth downloading and watching. If nothing more than to provoke the mind into what is reality/truth and what is not...

The Addendum certainly offer an interesting perspective to the current financial problem which we are beginning to see being unfolded across the world. Whether it is factual or not, it certainly raises more questions than answers...

http://www.zeitgeistmovie.com/
http://thezeitgeistmovement.com/index.html

Check it out.

BR
Mark


Zeitgeist Addendum


Zeitgeist, The Movie - Remastered / Final Edition
ZEITGEIST, The Movie - Remastered / Final Edition - Full Production. What does Christianity, 911 and The Federal Reserve all have in common?

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Another Email Spam/Scam: From Useni Muhamed

ECGMA says: Here's yet another email scam/spam. It gets more and more ridiculous reading such crap. "I crave your indulgence..."?!?! Comedian! I am amused a supposedly 'Ghanian' who signed up to Yahoo Japan! Nothing wrong with that, of course but with scammers like this joker, nothing they do make any sense anyway.

----- Forwarded Message ----
From: Useni Muhamed <muhamedd1@yahoo.co.jp>
To: muhamedd1@yahoo.co.jp
Sent: Saturday, November 15, 2008 12:38:32 AM
Subject: From Useni Muhamed

From Useni Muhamed
Abidjan Cote d棚voire ,
West Africa.
Dearest,
I crave your indulgence at this mail coming from somebody you have not known before. I decided to do this after praying over the situation. You should please consider the transaction on its content and not the fact that you have not known me before. I need not dwell on how I came by your contact information because there are many such possibilities these days.
I am Useni Muhamed, 21years old and my younger sister Mariam Muhamed we are the children of our late parents Alhaji Isah Muhamed from a Royal family in Ghana . My father was a highly reputable business merchant (cocoa merchant) who operated in the capital of Ivory Coast during his days. It is sad to say that he passed away mysteriously in France during one of his business trips abroad year 12th.Febuary 2007. Though his sudden death was linked or rather suspected to have been masterminded by an uncle of his who travelled with him at that time, but Allah knows the truth!!
Our mother died when I was 13 years old and since then our father took us so special. Before my fathers death on 12th Febuary2007, he told me that he has the sum of Eleven million seven hundred thousand United State Dollars (USD$11.700, 000) left in one of the security company in Abidjan the capital city of Cote d棚voire . He deposited the fund in a metallic trunk box as containing family valuable that belongs to a foreign partner. He further told me that he deposited the box in my name as all the documents bears my name as the depositor and for the Security company not to open the box or rather suspect it content, he therefore made the beneficiary as foreign partner.
I am just 21 years old a university undergraduate and my only younger Sister is 18years old and really we cannot handle the retrievemet and the shipment of this fund alone without the help of a foreign partner. So please with all due respect, I am contacting you with due sense of humanity and responsibility and with few awareness that you will give it a sympathetic and mutual consideration.
I am honourably seeking your assistance in the following ways.
(1) Can you honestly help us as your family?
(2) Can you serve as the guardian of this fund and also to contact the security company here for the retrievement and the shipment of this box to you in your country diplomatically?
(3) Can you help us to make arrangement for us to come over to your country to further our education and to secure a residential permit for us in your country?
(4) Can you provide good investment plans for the fund and also to manage the fund on a profitable investment?
Moreover, I am willing to offer you 20% of the total sum as compensation for your effort/input after the successful shipment of this box to your country before the investments starts. And I have also mapped out 5% of the total sum to cover any expenses during the course of this transaction.
Please consider this and get back to me as soon as possible.
My sincere regards,
Useni Muhamed.

Battery-powered credit supercard fights fraud

Smart card ... Battery-powered credit cards will help eliminate online fraud.

Smart card ... Battery-powered credit cards will help eliminate online fraud.

Asher Moses

November 12, 2008 - 3:22PM

A small Australian tech firm believes it can stop up to $1 billion a year in credit card fraud with its new battery-powered supercard.

The card includes an alpha-numeric display, built-in microprocessor, a keypad and three years of battery power.

When a user enters a PIN into the card the display shows a one-time number with which to authenticate each online credit card transaction.

Each card costs about five times more than a regular credit card to produce and will be sold to bank customers during overseas trials for between $US18 and $US30 each.

The technology was developed over 2½ years by a small Deloitte-backed technology firm called EMUE Technologies based in Adelaide and Melbourne.

The two founders previously worked in banking security and technology companies.

EMUE's chief executive, Brendan McKeegan, said trials would begin with an Australian bank in the first quarter of next year.

This week Visa announced it was piloting EMUE's technology at one bank each in Britain, Israel, Switzerland and Italy. The bank in Britain is Bank of America.

"The interest in this solution in the industry has been overwhelming and we look forward to working with the banks involved in the pilots to gain greater insights into how effective this solution can be in the longer term," Sandra Alzetta, head of innovation and new products at Visa Europe, said.

Bureau of Statistics figures show 383,300 Australians lost an average of $1600 to credit card fraud last year.

But the bureau acknowledged the true figure was much higher because its survey only recorded an individual's most recent loss.

Banks have struggled to stamp out credit card fraud because, no matter how secure their systems are, they can do little to prevent a customer from losing their credit card details.

It is common today for viruses to send back a detailed log of everything the victim enters into their keyboard, including automatically pulling out credit card numbers with expiry dates and the three-digit security code.

Getting infected by such viruses only takes opening an email attachment or clicking on a malicious web link.

Similarly, there is little banks can do if a merchant is hacked and its customers' credit card details are stolen.

With EMUE's technology, even if all of these details are stolen the hacker is unable to make any online transactions because the security code is different each time.

Whenever users want to buy something online, they give the online merchant their credit card and expiry date as normal.

But instead of using a static three-digit security code typically found on the back of the card, the user enters the PIN on the card's keypad and uses the one-time number generated by the card as the security code.

This means merchants do not have to modify their systems in any way.

"It's a fundamental step that will solve most of the fraud, notwithstanding if someone attacks me and steals my card and convinces me to give them the PIN," McKeegan said.

He said the technology could also be used for logging into online banking and for verifying a bank's identity during phone calls from the bank. With online banking, the password used is the code generated after typing the PIN into the back of the card.

McKeegan explained that the PIN was not stored on the physical card itself, so even if it was stolen it could not be hacked.

"When the card is created for the user it has a unique seed on it, and that unique seed is stored with the bank ... along with the PIN the user chooses," he said.

"If I enter the wrong PIN [into the credit card] it will still generate a number for me, but when I put that into the browser [to buy something] it will reject that as a transaction."

Thursday, November 13, 2008

There IS light at the end of the tunnel

*If you received this via email, click on the link at "Posted by ECGMA to ECGeneral Blog" to view the blogpost"*
ECGMA says: Don't despair!
Click on the image to enlarge

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Click-Jacking - Another reason to be paranoid online

Published: Friday October 31, 2008 MYT 12:10:00 PM
Updated: Friday October 31, 2008 MYT 8:55:52 PM

KUALA LUMPUR: You have installed a new self-updating antivirus program, have the latest firewall, and you do not open any dodgy looking e-mail messages. You think you are reasonably safe from a lot of the harmful content on the Internet. Unfortunately, you are not.

On top of the newer and deadlier versions of the same kind of threats that are out there, there is now a new type of danger altogether — "click-jacking."

At the Hack-in-the-Box security conference (HITBSecConf) 2008 here last week, click-jacking was the focus of a keynote speech by the founder and chief technology officer of WhiteHat Security, Jeremiah Grossman.

"Think of any button on any website that you can click on," said Grossman. "Now consider that an attack can invisibly hover over these buttons and below a user's mouse, so that when the user clicks on something he sees, he is actually clicking on something the attacker wants him or her to."

An attacker, for example, can make you click on an "activate webcam" button when you intended to click the "news" button, he explained.

This means that a home user's web browser can be covertly infiltrated with shadow buttons that lie invisibly over legitimate buttons.

According to Grossman, the "bad guy" hacker can access a web browser this way through the existing Java script or Flash player and it is relatively easy. Exact details on how this is done are confidential for security reasons.

"We have only known about this for a very short period of time; it is still unclear if there are any effective defences against this newfound threat," he said.

Grossman recommends making sure the web browser security features are installed and up to date, especially with the more popular web browsers.

"If you want to use a popular web browser, you have to install every security add-on you can find. The less popular web browsers are less likely to be targeted by attackers. In any case, I would recommend you unplug or tape-up your webcam lens and disable or mute your microphone," he said.

Grossman said that is it unclear what the web browser companies themselves can do about click-jacking right now. "Given that it is a very new type of threat, not much is known right now. We are looking into it," he added.

HITBSecConf is Asia's largest network security conference and is organised by Hack In The Box (M) Sdn Bhd; the event is in its sixth year.

That HITBSecConf is expanding year after year underscores how critical network security as a subject matter has become in Malaysia, said Dhillon Andrew Kannabhiran, founder and CEO of Hack In The Box, when announcing this year's conference last month.

He had also said that it shows IT decision makers in local organisations and network security professionals worldwide acknowledge the value that HITBSecConf offers in terms of hands-on training, deep technical information, and insights into security trends.

The event is endorsed by the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission; Malaysian Administrative Modernisation and Management Planning Unit; Malaysian National Computer Confederation; and Multimedia Development Corporation.


Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The Story of Barack Obama's Mother


Barack Obama and his mother

Each of us lives a life of contradictory truths. We are not one thing or another. Barack Obama's mother was at least a dozen things. S. Ann Soetoro was a teen mother who later got a Ph.D. in anthropology; a white woman from the Midwest who was more comfortable in Indonesia; a natural-born mother obsessed with her work; a romantic pragmatist, if such a thing is possible.

"When I think about my mother," Obama told me recently, "I think that there was a certain combination of being very grounded in who she was, what she believed in. But also a certain recklessness. I think she was always searching for something. She wasn't comfortable seeing her life confined to a certain box."

Obama's mother was a dreamer. She made risky bets that paid off only some of the time, choices that her children had to live with. She fell in love—twice—with fellow students from distant countries she knew nothing about. Both marriages failed, and she leaned on her parents and friends to help raise her two children.

"She cried a lot," says her daughter Maya Soetoro-Ng, "if she saw animals being treated cruelly or children in the news or a sad movie—or if she felt like she wasn't being understood in a conversation." And yet she was fearless, says Soetoro-Ng. "She was very capable. She went out on the back of a motorcycle and did rigorous fieldwork. Her research was responsible and penetrating. She saw the heart of a problem, and she knew whom to hold accountable."

Today Obama is partly a product of what his mother was not. Whereas she swept her children off to unfamiliar lands and even lived apart from her son when he was a teenager, Obama has tried to ground his children in the Midwest. "We've created stability for our kids in a way that my mom didn't do for us," he says. "My choosing to put down roots in Chicago and marry a woman who is very rooted in one place probably indicates a desire for stability that maybe I was missing."

Ironically, the person who mattered most in Obama's life is the one we know the least about—maybe because being partly African in America is still seen as being simply black and color is still a preoccupation above almost all else. There is not enough room in the conversation for the rest of a man's story.

But Obama is his mother's son. In his wide-open rhetoric about what can be instead of what was, you see a hint of his mother's credulity. When Obama gets donations from people who have never believed in politics before, they're responding to his ability—passed down from his mother—to make a powerful argument (that happens to be very liberal) without using a trace of ideology. On a good day, when he figures out how to move a crowd of thousands of people very different from himself, it has something to do with having had a parent who gazed at different cultures the way other people study gems.

It turns out that Obama's nascent career peddling hope is a family business. He inherited it. And while it is true that he has not been profoundly tested, he was raised by someone who was.

In most elections, the deceased mother of a candidate in the primaries is not the subject of a magazine profile. But Ann Soetoro was not like most mothers.