Starting in 2009, if you are a convicted sex offender in the state of Georgia, you are required to hand over your Internet passwords, screen names and email addresses to authorities to monitor. The new Senate Bill 474 passed in 2008 is just one of many states complying with guidelines of a 2006 federal law requiring authorities to track Internet addresses of sex offenders. This law covers approximately 16,000 offenders in the state of Georgia.
However, privacy advocates are questioning this aggressive Georgia law but so far no one has challenged the law. Advocates claim it threatens the privacy of sex offenders and burdens cash-strapped law enforcement officials.
The state senator from Georgia, who wrote the bill, said that the measure is designed to keep the Internet safe for children. Law enforcement authorities can monitor offenders use of the Internet to make sure they aren’t stalking children online or chatting with them. The primary goal of this law is to protect children, which outweighs the privacy of sex offenders individual rights.
If you think slavery doesn’t exist in the world today, think again. A recent article on MSNBC tells a true story of child slavery that exists today in the U.S. Trafficking of children for domestic labor is illegal but common practice in Africa and Egypt. Families in remote villages sign contracts with wealthy people and sell their daughters to work for them for extra money to support the family. They also claim that they are doing this for their daughters as an opportunity to escape a dead-end life.
However, these girls some age 10 or even younger live as slaves working for as little as $45 a month which their family receives; work up to 20 hours a day with no days off and live in squalor. These children don’t go to school and are hidden in basements and garages of their employers. The MSNBC article tells the sad story of a 10-year-old Egyptian girl working for a wealthy Egyptian couple.
The U.S. State Department’s Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons found that over the past year, children have been trafficked to work as servants in at least 33 of Africa’s 53 countries. These children were sent to be maids to the U.S. and Europe from at least 10 African countries. This problem is so well hidden that there is no actual data on how many child maids work in the West.
Just about everyone gets called in for jury duty. You receive a notice in the mail to appear on a certain date and a phone number to call the night before to make sure that you are still on the rolls for jury duty. As any good citizen, you call and if your number is picked for jury duty, you show up. If not you don’t.
Now jury scammers are hitting at least 11 states and scamming victims out of their personal identity.
Here’s how it works.
Callers identify themselves as a “jury coordinator” and say that you have missed a jury duty assignment and you may have an arrest warrant out for non-compliance. When you protest, the caller asks for your Social Security Number and date of birth to verify your identity. That’s when this thief has just stolen your identity.
Court officials will never ask for confidential information over the phone. These officials normally send prospective jurors a letter in the mail that gives you the option to take care of the matter in person.
This year alone over 25 people fell victim to this identity theft in Eagle County, Colorado. Even small towns are not immuned to this type of identity theft. A local sheriff wrote a recent article in a small town newspaper in Colorado warning people of this scam.
Remember, never give out your Social Security number, or partial number, over the phone or by mail unless you have initiated the contact or you positively know with whom you are dealing with.
Another good tip is to remove your Social Security cards and numbers from wallets and purses.
Always shred personal information before throwing it out.
If you suspect that you are a victim of identity theft, contact your local law enforcement agency.
If you get a crisp looking $5 bill in a letter from the U.S. Department of Transportation – don’t throw it out! The five dollars is a legal tender and it is legit. The U.S. Department of Transportation is sending out 31,000 $5 bills randomly across America with a request for you to take a survey.
The letter asks you to take a call from an operator and to fill out a questionnaire for personal information about your driving habits. If you agree to participate, you’ll receive the questionnaire in the mail with an additional $4 enclosed.
This $20 million dollar survey is done every four years and helps to determine a $40 billion budget. Some people think that this is a waste of taxpayers’ money , but the U.S. Department of Transportation has found that this type of incentive to participate in the survey has increased the chances of getting the data needed to make decisions for America’s transportation future.
So if you receive one of these letters, please participate and enjoy a little extra pocket cash!
Perhaps one of the worst possible thing that can happen to you is to have your car towed away. You have to retrieve the car and pay a hefty fine. However, In Cleveland, Ohio some of the cars that were towed away were not in any violation, but were actually stolen by rogue tow truck drivers. These tow truck drivers stole unattended or disabled vehicles and sold them for scrap metal.
Between December 2007 and mid-October, the police couldn’t do anything about it. They were under instructions from the City Law Department not to enforce a law that gave police the power to stop tow truck drivers at any time in order to see the paperwork authorizing a tow. These rogue tow truck drivers would steal a car and immediately take it to a scrap metal yard for money.
Even though Ohio law as well as other states requires a vehicle’s title before scrapping, many scrap yards and tow truck operators dealing in stolen cars didn’t play by the rules. That is why the police needed to have the power to stop the tow truck drivers and verify paperwork. Instead, during this period in time, auto theft investigators had to conduct searches at scrap yards after the cars were crushed. Several times a month investigators would search through smashed cars for vehicle identification numbers. About one in ten trips turned up a vehicle identification number from a stolen car.
Finally, city officials reversed course last October and told police to resume enforcing the local rules that allows them to stop tow truck drivers and check for the proper paperwork. Now police have a way to stop rogue tow truck drivers from stealing vehicles for cash.
On December 16, 2008 Hollywood, Fla. Police Chief Chadwick E. Wagner has formally closed the Adam Walsh case . Adam Walsh was the son of John Walsh, host of America’s Most Wanted. Adam was abducted from a Hollywood, Florida mall and murdered more than 27 years ago.
Throughout the last 27 years, the police were investigating this case. They have concluded that from all of the evidence presented to them they have concluded that it is clear and irrefutable that Ottis Toole was the abductor and killer of Adam. This conclusion is based on a vast amount of circumstantial evidence.
Ottis Toole died in prison over ten years ago but was a known pedophile and a convicted murderer. As a result, no formal, legal action will be taken and the Walsh family has agreed not to seek any legal action.
The Hollywood Police Department decided to announce their findings in the interest of justice as well as for closure for the Walsh family.
In a comment from John Walsh he said, “We can now move forward knowing positively who killed our beautiful little boy. We, along with our children, Meghan, Callahan and Hayden, pray for the thousands of parents of murdered and still-missing children. We continue to fight for their safety, and to make sure that no child — especially Adam — died in vain.”
Growing marijuana indoors seems to be an art that criminals find enticing. You can search on the Internet to find the best way to grow these plants. However, a major downfall in indoor growing of marijuana is the excess use of electricity. When criminals living in a subdivision in Broomfield, Colorado decided to grow marijuana in their house, they seemed to have missed that part of high electricity use.
You see they were consuming four times the amount of electricity of other buildings nearby. This was the first clue that the police had that something suspicious was going on in the house. When police and SWAT officers raided the house, they found 44 plants valued at $44,000. The criminals were growing marijuana in a hidden room in the basement of their house.
Once again, it proves that criminals are not smarter than the police. All three men are facing felony drug charges.
As I have said in the past, criminals are not the sharpest tool in the workshop. But when this criminal gave a fake name to the police, the police somehow knew he wasn’t telling the truth.
How did they know?
Because he had his name tattooed on his neck ! Take a look at his picture in the article.
Here’s what happened.
St. Paul police saw two men illegally crossing the street, an act that violates a St. Paul ordinance. They stopped the men just to warn them about the violation but when the men refused to give their correct name, police knew something was suspicious. The one man said that his name was Darnell Lewis, but the tattoo on his neck read “Frazier.”
What’s your real name sir? His real name was Darnell Louis Frazier. Mr. Frazier had five arrest warrants out for him, one a felony warrant for parole violation and four misdemeanor warrants. In addition, back in 2002 he pleaded guilty to a burglary of an Arab-owned convenience store in St. Paul.
Moral of the story – if you want to hide your identity, don’t tattoo your name on any part of your body.
Every day we send our children to school thinking that they are safe from criminals. However, a recent arrest in one Colorado school shows that criminal felons may be in your child’s school and you don’t even know it!
According to Colorado state law, schools prohibit hiring any schoolteacher or staff member who commits felony crimes that are violent, sexual or dishonest in nature. However, those who have felony drug convictions or other non-violent felonies on their records fall through the cracks, sometimes putting children in danger. Recently Arnold Martinez was arrested in a multi-million dollar drug sting when authorities allegedly found 1,300 marijuana plants on his property. Martinez was a high school wrestling coach at a Greeley, Colorado school. Because he wasn’t a teacher or staff member, the school hired him knowing that he had previous convictions on drug charges. His past didn’t fall into the prohibited hiring law.
When a local news station did more investigating, they found a guidance counselor, a teacher and now a wrestling coach all had felony criminal records but were allowed to work at Colorado schools because of the poorly stated law. The Colorado State Legislator is planning to change the law.
In any case, any state law should not allow school districts to hire convicted felons to positions where they are in constant contact with your children. The law needs to include felony drug crimes. Make sure that your state law includes this in their school’s hiring guidelines. If not, insist on making changes.
This is no childish prank that has been done in the past. You know the type of phone calls kids make; “Is your refrigerator running? Well go catch it!” These alleged “grandchildren” are calling elderly people, grandparents, and scamming them out of their money.
One South St. Paul woman reported to police that she received a call from someone pretending to be their 25-year-old grandson calling them and asking them to wire money to Canada. His story was that he was at a concert in Canada and got into an accident after a couple of drinks. He told the woman that he needed $4,200 for a rental car or else he would be charged with drunken driving. This poor woman sent him the money but then the swindler called the next day and said he needed an additional $3,200 because he hurt his knee.
That’s when the woman realized something was wrong. She told her husband and they called the police. Unfortunately, they couldn’t catch this low-life criminal. What is amazing is that the caller knew details about her grandson such as the concerts he liked and pronounced his name a certain way. She finally was able to contact her real grandson and he asked her later why she didn’t call his parents to check out the story. Being a good grandparent, she told him that she didn’t want to get him in trouble with his parents and just wanted to help him out.
What type of low-life preys on the emotions of grandparents?
Fortunately the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) has posted a bulletin on its website about grandparent scams and offers the best advice on how grandparents can protect themselves from phone scams such as this one.
If you get a call saying, “It’s your grandson/granddaughter”, ask them “Which one?” Chances are they will hang up immediately. Finally, always verify the caller even if you say I’ll call you back. Don’t get the phone number from them but use the known phone number of your grandchild. And don’t be afraid to check with their parents to verify their story.
If you receive a call like this, contact your local police department or state attorney general’s office.