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Meet the Columnist

Columnist, Sheila Moss, is humor writer from  Tennessee. She writes  a weekly human interest column about daily life and the funny things that happen to everyone.

   She has written for  the Daily News of Kingsport,   Griffin Journal, Oakridge Now, Atlanta Woman Magazine, Aberdeen Examiner, Angleton Advocate,  and Smyrna AM, a supplement of the Murfreesboro Daily News Journal. She has been published by Voyageur Press, McGraw Hill, and the good folks at Guidepost Books.  Her articles have appeared in numerous anthologies and other publications, both in print and online.

    She is a former board member and past  Editor of  the, website of  the National Society of Newspaper Columnists, the oldest and largest professional organization for columnists. She is the Web Editor of Southern  and  a founder of the Southern Humorists writers' organization. She is writer, editor, and webmaster of

    To carry her weekly column in your newspaper, or to republish an article, please contact her. It's that easy. 

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Financial Fraud...

How to Become a Victim of Financial Fraud 

Did you know that October is Fraud & Financial Abuse Awareness month? I'm sure you will want to celebrate. Why wait for Halloween to experience horror. There are ways to assure that your credit card numbers -- or even your identity -- will go to thieves who will download porn movies, and make 900 calls with your credit card.

If you are really lucky, you might even have your identify stolen and credit opened up with items charged that you have never heard of. Imagine getting a bill for a flat screen TV or new computer that you didn't buy, or having your bank account cleaned out via an ATM.

Want to know how you too can become a victim?

*Here are a few ways to guarantee that your information goes straight to scammers, spoofers and phishing artists who will probably sell your credit card number it before you know it's gone.

*When someone calls on the phone from an unidentified number and asks for a charitable donation, go ahead and give them your credit card number and help out them out. It's for a good cause, and they sound okay.

*Write your PIN number on the back of your ATM and debit card. How else can you remember it? Besides you are not going to lose your card, are you?

*Don't worry about mail piling up in the box while you are traveling. It is too inconvenient to go to the post office to have it stopped and then go again when you get back to pick up the mail. No one will steal your mail out of the box.

*If unsolicited credit card offers come in the mail, just throw them away. No one would bother with getting a new credit card in your name. Who has that kind of time? You don't even have the time to opt out of receiving these offers.

*Shredding documents before you put them in the trash is another big time waster. Who would go through garbage to look for your bank account number? It's full of coffee grounds, and kitty litter! If that isn't insurance enough, what is?

*Don't worry about keeping an eye on your bank and credit card accounts online. As long as your charges go through and your checks don't bounce, everything is fine. You can't obsess over every item and some of those charges are hard to figure out anyhow.

*If you get email notices that there is suspicious activity on an account, just click the link in the email and sign in with your password to check it out. It takes you to the bank's website, doesn't it? If you call them, you will be on hold for 30 minutes.

*Never call law enforcement or your bank unless you are absolutely certain something is going on with an account. The police will think you are paranoid and you will make a fool of yourself over nothing. Just watch and see if any more suspicious charges come up.

*Don't worry about buying gas at the pump or using your card at a drive-through restaurant. It is very unlikely that a reader has been attached undetected and is collecting the numbers of everyone that uses the scanner. You are safe as long as you don't see anything suspicious.

*Finally, if all of these suggestions are just too difficult and you simply can't wait to become a victim of fraud, post your credit card numbers, social security number and other personal information on Facebook or Twitter. That should do it.

Remember, anyone can be the victim of financial fraud. You could be a victim even if you are careful and don't make any of the obvious mistakes. Criminals are thinking up new and creative ways to steal your money every day.

Of course, if you don't want to be a victim, and want to keep your money for your own needs, don't do any of this stuff. Thieves know enough ways to steal from you. Don't help them out.

Copyright 2011 Sheila Moss

Copyright 2011 Sheila Moss


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