Pay for your vacation rental with a wire transfer? Yes, but not this way

You’ve found the perfect vacation rental. The owner asks you to pay via wire transfer. Should you do it? Meir Hurwitz, of Brooklyn, N.Y., did, and now he’s out nearly $17,000.

He’s not the first to be taken in by a vacation rental fraud and likely won’t be the last. Over the years this site has carried many stories warning about vacation rental scams. Many of those involved wire transfers. Read more “Pay for your vacation rental with a wire transfer? Yes, but not this way”

I’m trying to save the world, but I need your help!

You’ve probably heard about Twitter suspending the account of Guy Adams, the Los Angeles bureau chief of the Independent. His offense? Posting the email address for Gary Zenkel, an NBC vice president in charge of the network’s Olympic coverage.
Read more “I’m trying to save the world, but I need your help!”

Happy Fourth of July! Declare your independence from the tyranny of failure — I am

Failure is all around us.

You can’t miss it, from Ann Curry’s tearful farewell on Today (see video, above) to Penny Palfrey’s brave but futile attempt to swim from Havana to Key West, to what some conservatives view as John Roberts’ treasonous U.S. Supreme Court ruling on healthcare.

But as we celebrate the Fourth of July holiday today, I have some good news: failure doesn’t have to define us.
Read more “Happy Fourth of July! Declare your independence from the tyranny of failure — I am”

“Scammed” book trailer gets banned by Google

Can a book trailer be too controversial for Google?

That’s the question I was left asking after a trailer for my new book, Scammed: How to Save Your Money and Find Better Service in a World of Schemes, Swindles and Shady Deals posted to YouTube last week.

Within a few minutes, it was deleted without explanation. Then my entire life on Google — including my Gmail account — was suspended.

Was it something I said?
Read more ““Scammed” book trailer gets banned by Google”