Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Census Information and Warnings

The following is information that I received from a member of Los Alamos National Labs regarding the upcoming census. It is great, dependable information, and tells you what you are expected to tell whoever comes to your door. It also tells you how to recognize whoever comes to your door! Considering all of the identity theft going on right now, the census is certainly a scary endeavor and something that could easily open the door for criminals if you don't know what to expect. Please read carefully and pass on to friends and family!


With the upcoming CENSUS to begin shortly we can expect every conceivable type of scam possible to get your identity and your money.

The first phase of the 2010 U.S. Census is under way and US Census Bureau
(USCB) workers have begun verifying the addresses of households across the country.

Eventually, more than 140,000 U.S. Census workers will count every person in the United States and will gather information about every person living at each address including name, age, gender, race, and other relevant data.

With that thought in mind here are some very basic but good bits of info to remember and pass along to everybody you know:

Be Cautious About Giving Info for the US Census. Think before you respond and use common sense.

Be cooperative, but cautious, so as not to become a victim of fraud or identity theft.

So how do you tell the difference between a U.S. Census worker and a con artist? If a U.S. Census worker knocks on your door, they will have a badge, a handheld device, a Census Bureau canvas bag, and a confidentiality notice.

*** DO - Ask to see their identification and their badge before
answering any questions. However, you should never invite anyone you
don't know into your home. An invite inside your home could be used to
evaluate your home for valuables for a future burglary.

*** Census workers are currently only knocking on doors to "verify address information".

*** Do not - give your Social Security number. The Census Bureau will
not ask for Social Security, bank account, or credit card numbers, nor
will employees solicit donations. Any one asking for that information is
NOT with the Census Bureau.

*** DO NOT - give credit card or banking information to anyone, such information is not needed by the USCB.

*** DO NOT - answer anything about your financial situation. The USCB should only ask for basic financial information, such as a salary range.


*** DO NOT - respond to inquiries from anyone associated with ACORN. THE CENSUS BUREAU HAS DECIDED NOT TO WORK WITH ACORN ON GATHERING THIS INFORMATION.. No Acorn worker should approach you saying he/she is with the Census Bureau.

*** DO NOT - respond to emails from that claim to be from the USCB.
Eventually, Census workers may contact you by telephone, mail, or in person at home. However, the USCB WILL NOT contact you by Email, so be on the lookout for Email scams impersonating the Census.

*** DO NOT - open internet links that claim to be from the USCB. Never click on a link or open any attachments in an Email that are supposedly from the U.S. Census Bureau.

*** DO NOT - allow and advise your children about never engaging a USCB canvasser in discussions. Children, even teenagers do not look at the same concerns or potential threats as adults and are easily manipulated. USCB personnel should not engage anyone but the adult in the home.

Remember, the information you provide will be available to the person collecting it but also to the general public for all intentional purposes.
With the downturn in the economy there will be those out there that are trying to make the fast buck whether it be by burglarizing your home an selling contents at a pawn shop or stealing your identity and stealing your life savings. So use caution and DO NOT hesitate to contact the local Police Department or the USCB before you cooperate with these people if you have concerns.


Saga Ended...PERIOD

OK...I finally managed to cash the check. I don't know, and frankly couldn't care less, whether they incurred a NSF fee, but I walked away with cash in hand and no connection to my account. So if the check wasn't covered, NOT MY PROBLEM!!!

Still, I will continue to tell everyone I come into contact with, and encourage you to do the same, to NEVER SHOP AT VALLEY FURNITURE WAREHOUSE!!!

I'm sure I will find some other fun story to keep you entertained with in the near future!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Just kidding...vindication pending...

OK...as if this saga wasn't entertaining enough...

I can't really do anything but laugh at this, but here goes! I went to pick up the check at the AG's office and sure enough there it was. I was concerned it may be written wrong, or dated so long ago it couldn't be cashed. No visual problems!

When I was on the phone with the lady at the AG's office she said something that threw just a twinge of cautiousness my direction. I no longer had that feeling when I picked up the check. However, I thank it for what I did next. Rather than depositing the check, which is what I normally would have done, I decided to cash it at the counter. Something even made me ask if they could verify it was a good check...good thing!

I'm sure you guessed it by now...the account had insufficient funds to cover the check. Unbelievable...we're talking $150 here. Can you believe there are people still trying to collect refunds of thousands of dollars. Thank God I'm not one of them and that I'm not hurting for the small amount I am collecting.

So at this point, I'm going to contact the AG's office in the morning, and continue attempting to cash the check until I'm successful.

Also, a friend recommended that I inform the manufacturers of the chairs...which is brilliant! Thanks Kim! These chairs are from Ashley, who from what I can tell is their largest supplier by far. If I can convince Ashley to look into what kind of company they are allowing to sell their furniture, maybe their vendor contract would be in jeopardy. Seriously...don't get on my bad side people :-)


This will be brief, but it deserved a quick break from work!

I received a call from the Attorney General's office about an hour ago stating that they have a check with my name on it for the FULL REFUND amount of my chairs! Apparently the company included a letter which continues to call me a liar, but I don't care.

As stated in the previous post, all they were asked for was the paper work proving that the order had been placed. If they had had the paperwork, it would have been an easy task to send it in and disprove everything I've said. Funny...they weren't able to do that! But I'm the one who's lying. Whatever...

I don't have to be upset anymore, and I've got a perma-grin for the day! I will still continue to share my story with people and hopefully turn away more and more potential customers. But my case is CLOSED!

It did dawn on me not long ago that my taxes, and yours, are paying for the Attorney General's office to spend inordinate amounts of time dealing with this company. I wasn't very happy with that, and mentioned it to my case agent when she called today. Apparently, since 2008 only 3 or 4 complaints have been submitted to the Attorney General's office regarding Valley Furniture Warehouse. On the BBB website, 5 complaints have been posted since I first began this process. That's 6 weeks. So many of these people do not realize they have the right to take these issues further. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE help spread the word that the Attorney General is in existence for that purpose (among many more!). If half the complaints on the BBB had been submitted to the Attorney General's office, I don't believe VFW would have much of a future.

Thanks for following my drama!!! He he he.