10 On Your Side

Another day, another scam letter

February 20th, 2012 at 1:00 pm by under 10 On Your Side, Scam Alert

We tell you stories like this one on a regular basis, but it’s good to have a reminder every once in a while.

One day last week I took a call from a viewer who received a letter in the mail along with a check stating she won a foreign lottery. When she called she said she knew the check was fake and someone was trying to scam her. She wanted us to get the word out so other viewers wouldn’t fall for the scam. She sent me the letter and I promised her I would post it. Below I’ve scanned the letter, the check and the envelope and highlighted some of the signs that prove this is a scam

First comes the envelope: The first thing I notice about this envelope is it is postmarked in Canada.

The second thing I notice is there is no return address, so it’s not traceable (sneaky scammers!)

Next comes the prize letter: Did you notice the return address on the prize letter is from the United Kingdom? So now, you have a return address on the envelope (above) from Canada and a return address on the letter from the UK (hmmm).

Also the letter states the recipient has won a Mega Lottery in the UK. Did you recently travel to the UK and while you were there enter a lottery? Chances are NO!

The third thing I noticed is that they want you to keep your winnings confidential until your claim has been processed. WHY?!?!?!? Are they trying to keep you quiet so someone doesn’t warn you that it’s a scam and tell you to throw the letter away? (YEP!)

Finally, the check: As with the envelope and the letter above, check the address on the check. This check is written off of a bank account in FL. (So now you have a return address in Canada, one in the UK and one in FL? Okay!)

Then look at the return address: Certified Manufacturing, Inc.  A quick Google search tells me the business is a woman-owned small business in Holt, FL that is “an industry leader in electronics manufacturing and laser wire marking for the military and aerospace industries.” (http://www.certifiedmanufacturing.com) C’mon now, do you really think they have time to get involved in a Mega Lottery in the UK? (Umm, no!)

Here’s what you can do. If you receive a letter/check like this one look for the signs. Usually they are very evident and just take a few minutes to figure out. If the letter comes through the mail, you can file a complaint with the Mail Fraud Department . Also if any portion of the mailing is postmarked from Canada, you can contact Phone Busters, the Canadian anti-fraud department and file a complaint with them. Lastly, remember if it seems to good to be true… it is. Now throw the letter away and never look back!

Society Under Surveillance

February 9th, 2012 at 3:28 pm by under 10 On Your Side, News

It could be perched on a utility pole which it’s eye fixed on cars flashing through an intersection.  It can render a judgment for police against a motorist who takes liberties with a traffic signal;  or maybe it’s watching you stroll outside a public building, or its lens scans the concrete ramp of  a parking  garage after midnight.

Surveillance cameras are popping up in various public locations in Hampton Roads; a watchful eye against human misbehavior. Privacy advocates call it something else.

“ When the government puts cameras up in public places, like parks and sidewalks, we believe it is infringing on the individual right to privacy,” says  Kent Willis, Executive Director of American Civil Liberties Union of Virginia.  “The government has no right to track your movements unless it suspects you, individually,  of being engaged in a criminal activity.”

Tracking criminal activity is the primary motivation of private business as it releases those grainy recordings of robberies, burglaries and other misdeeds that wind up on WAVY-TV.   There’s  no evidence to suggest  surveillance in these cases “deters” criminals, but police say it greatly aids in the apprehension of those who commit these acts.

“I can say it helps us immensely as investigators,” says Detective Allison Erickson from Newport News Police.  That city has seen a 33 percent drop in violent crime over the last decade.   Police will not go so far as to say that decrease  is linked to more use of surveillance cameras, but investigators say it’s been a help.  “In cases where we may not have a witness, it gives us a witness,” says Erickson.

But the increasing presence of these electronic witnesses also concerns the ACLU.

“Keep in mind that while most cameras can now only be used to identify you in case of a crime, the way technology is developing, it won’t be long before those cameras can identify you by name.  We are not far away from a time when the government may be able to know when you left your house, where you went and what you did.  That should truly frighten us,” says Willis.

Mark Dionne who owns Eagle Security Solutions, a Chesapeake company which installs surveillance systems, sees it differently,   ”Certainly if you’re in public, you have no expectation of privacy, and if you have no expectation of privacy, then I don’t care where you have a camera at that point.”

Continuous live streaming

January 26th, 2012 at 2:36 pm by under 10 On Your Side, News, Uncategorized

As long as you have a smart phone or tablet, basically anything that allows you to access WAVY.com on the go, you can now watch WAVY video LIVE. Our live video stream is now available via these devices. We currently stream all of our M-F newscasts as well as the weekend morning show. In between shows, you’ll be able to view a live Super Doppler 10 radar shot or our tower cam, maybe traffic cameras, who knows?

So, spread the word.

Click here for a quick link to download WAVY.com to your mobile device.

BBB issues scam warning

December 7th, 2011 at 12:24 pm by under 10 On Your Side, Scam Alert

The Better Business Bureau (BBB) released information today about a malicious email circulating the country and warns businesses and consumers not to open the email.

The agency says the email appears to come from a Better Business Bureau employee about a recently filed complaint with the organization. The email tells the recipient that they must review the matter and advise the organization of their position on the complaint. The recipient is directed to a link which the email claims will take the reader to the BBB website, in fact the link takes the recipient to a 3rd party website. The email contains a dangerous attachment regarding the complaint itself. The agency strongly advises people to not open the email because the attachment and the link are both considered malicious and can put a virus on your computer.

The organization says the email did not originate from the BBB. It is important to note the Better Business Bureau does not send complaints as attachments via email.

Should a consumer or business owner receive the e-mail, the BBB asks that you disregard the email and report any information received to the BBB Scam Portal and then delete the e-mail. It is also suggested that if you click the link, you should immediately do a virus scan on your computer.

Tax Scam Alert

October 11th, 2011 at 3:01 pm by under 10 On Your Side, Scam Alert

We’re hearing of a tax scam in Suffolk where victims (mainly senior citizens) are being told that they are entitled to a rebate of up to $4000. The victim is told to get the last three year’s worth of 1099 statements from Social Security. Using the statements, the scam artist prepares three years worth of tax returns for a fee, reporting false information generating a bogus refund. We’ve been told the filing fee is around $25 per tax year. In many cases, the IRS will catch mistakes and not mail the bogus refund amount. If the bogus refund is mailed and the IRS discovers the discrepancies later, the taxpayer if forced to pay the money back…interest and penalties included.   

In the meantime, the scam artist has earned the filing fee(s) and can no longer be found.

The victim is not only out of the money they’ve spent on “filing fees”, but have also become candidates for identity theft.

 Please warn your loved ones about this scam. It is so easy to become enticed by this so called easy money.

Bathtubs, buckets and toilets- drowning hazards for young children

September 9th, 2011 at 3:30 pm by under 10 On Your Side, Uncategorized

Labor Day may have represented the end of pool season, however, the danger of drowning for young children is real all year long. Drowning is the leading cause of unintentional death among children ages 1 to 4. An April 2011 report from the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) indicates that from 2005-2009, there were about 660 submersion incidents involving children younger than five years old in non-pool and non-spa products.  Bathtubs, buckets, and toilets are just a few examples of places around the home where a young child can drown if not monitored properly. The CPSC offers the following drowning prevention tips:

  •  Never leave young children alone near any water or tub or basin with fluid. Young children can drown in even small amounts of water.
  • Always keep a young child within arm’s reach in a bathtub. If you must leave, take the child with you.
  • Don’t leave a baby or young child in a bathtub under the care of another young child.
  • Never leave a bucket containing even a small amount of liquid unattended. Toddlers are top heavy and they can fall headfirst into buckets and drown. After using a bucket, always empty and store it where young children cannot reach it. Don’t leave buckets outside where they can collect rainwater.
  • Consider placing locks on toilet seat covers in case a young child wanders into the bathroom.
  • Learn CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation). It can be a lifesaver when seconds count.

Back to school!

September 6th, 2011 at 11:07 am by under 10 On Your Side, Personalities, Traffic

I hope your day started off smoothly. And I hope your kids made it safely, with no tears, to their respective classrooms. Summer vacation is officially over!

The morning commute, I know, was pretty hairy for a lot of people. How many days left until the next break? Just remember, this afternoon those buses will be out there once again to take the kids home.

Here’s what the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles had to say about the buses on the roadways:

Remember, when you see the flashing red lights and the stop bar, you must stop and allow children to get on or off the bus. Here are some other tips to remember:

* School buses are one of the safest vehicles on the road.
* Most school bus incidents happen off the bus, not on the bus.
* If you have to cross the street in front of the bus, walk on the sidewalk or along the side of the road to a point at least five giant steps (10 feet) ahead of the bus before you cross. Be sure that the bus driver can see you, and you can see the bus driver.
* When the bus approaches, stand at least five giant steps (10 feet) away from the curb, and line up away from the street.
* School buses don’t have seat belts in them because they have a built-in occupant protection system known as “compartmentalization,” which is a system of seat height, seat length and padding, among other requirements. Compartmentalization is like an egg carton protecting a child.

We all need a refresher course on bus stop and bus safety. It has been a rather busy summer. Enjoy the start of the school year and have a safe one!

Evacuation Routes

August 26th, 2011 at 6:50 am by under 10 On Your Side, News, Personalities, Traffic, Weather

If you are thinking about leaving Hampton Roads, today is the day to do it. The earlier in the day, the better, too. Most people automatically think to take I-64 WB to Richmond, but there are half a dozen other ways you can take to make it out of the area. Take the roadway closest to where you are.

That means:

*If you live in Virginia Beach, consider Routes 460 or 58. Route 460 will take you toward Suffolk, where it turns into Pruden Blvd. That will take you to Petersburg. You will see the first sign posted for Route 58 on Laskin Road in Virginia Beach. That will take you toward Raleigh.
*Route 10 West is a good one for some folks in Portsmouth. It will take you out past Smithfield toward Surry.
*If you live in Poquoson, or the Churchland area of Portsmouth, 17 North, toward Fredericksburg, is your best bet.
*If you’re in Hampton, take Route 60, which is Warwick Blvd., to Richmond.
*If you live on the Eastern Shore, take Route 13 North toward Salisbury, MD.
*If you’re in Norfolk, take I-64 WB to Richmond.

In the case of a mandatory evacuation, the Governor, and only the Governor, can order a lane reversal on I-64. That means all traffic from Norfolk to Richmond will travel west. That will start on the Norfolk side of the Hampton Roads Bridge Tunnel at Exit 273, which is 4th View Street. During a lane reversal, the Northbound lanes of the Monitor Merrimac will close at Exit 8. That’s College Drive.

Today, we have also heard the Jamestown-Scotland Ferry will be shutting down operations and moving boats to Richmond ahead of Irene. Service will be suspended at 10 a.m.

And, keep in mind as you make travel plans, we are saying leaving earlier is better because the winds will affect the tunnels and how long they will be allowed to stay open. VDOT will close bridges and tunnels when they’re unsafe due to debris or wind. Generally speaking, the Midtown Tunnel will close when winds reach 39 miles an hour sustained. The Monitor Merrimac Bridge Tunnel, James River Bridge, Hampton Roads Bridge Tunnel and the Coleman Bridge close when winds reach 45 miles an hour sustained.

There are plenty of places at wavy.com where you can get information to plan your trip. Right there on the homepage, you can find all of our extensive Hurricane Irene coverage. Be safe!!

Cheryl Tan

On the horizon…

August 1st, 2011 at 7:15 am by under 10 On Your Side, Personalities

When you look at the horizon, it seems far away, and when it comes to “the end of the earth” you can never reach it! Unfortunately, sometimes that is the way some  school children look at their future! I was proud to lend a hand to the “Horizons” program for youth at recent career fair. Norfolk Collegiate School opened its doors Friday July 29th to students from around the area, and many professionals from the community gave their time to encourage, inform and inspire.

The actual horizon may be an illusion, but “Horizons” is letting kids know that adulthood is not far away, and their goals are not out of reach. Thanks for including WAVY TV and FOX 43!

Protecting your car from the heat!

July 22nd, 2011 at 1:18 pm by under 10 On Your Side

The heat wave is officially here. You’ve heard our weather team’s warnings and you’ve heard our reporters tell you how to care for yourself, your neighbors and your pets, but do you know how to take care of your car during these extreme conditions. AAA wants to make sure your vehicle is as safe as it can possibly be and suggests five ways you can protect your car during these dog days of summer.

1. The heat can wreak havoc on your battery. To make sure your battery lasts thru the summer.

* ensure your battery is securely mounted in place to minimize vibration

* clean any corrosive build up from the battery terminals and cable clamps

* make sure the clamps are tight enough that they will not move.

* have your car’s battery tested by a trained technician

2. Maintain your engine and keep it cool:

 * add additives to the coolant to protect the radiator and internal engine components

* flush the sytem and have the coolant replaced periodically

* inspect hoses and belts for cracking

 3. Tire maintenance:

* maintain standard inflatin on tires

* inspect tire treads for signs of uneven wear

* make sure there is adequate depth between treads

4. Just like people, cars need fluids too. Fluids help lubricate and cool the engine.

 * measure all fluids to make sure they are filled to the maximum levels

 **Source: AAA of Tidewater Virginia