Raspberry Ketone Strength Scam?

I’m writing this hoping other people will come forward with similar stories. (Don’t forget to read the important updates at the end of this post. Additionally, I’ve written out a strategy that will likely help track these scammers down faster.) On 9/16/2014, Josh, a former agent at the “customer service company” at the center of this scam responded.

Yesterday, 8/13/2014, I logged in and checked my credit card statement like I do routinely. I noticed an odd authorization for $49.95 from 888-368-0967.com. This was suspicious because I did not recently buy anything for $49.95 and had never heard of that company.

Visiting the site did not help either. It appears to be a third party site that provides the customer service and, apparently, billing for other websites online.

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Another reason to not trust Obamacare

I am so fortunate that I have health care provided by my employer.

We all have heard the troubles that the healthcare.gov website has had with uptime and stability. However, what hasn’t really been discussed is the site’s poor security.

The data obtained by Healthcare.gov is one of the largest collections of personal information ever assembled. It links information between seven different federal agencies and state agencies and government contractors.

The website requires users to provide personal information like birth dates, social security numbers, and household incomes in order to obtain information about potential health coverage. But security experts have expressed concern about flaws in the site that put this personal data at risk and subject users to the threat of identity theft.

One of our witnesses, David Kennedy, is a “white hat hacker,” who is hired by companies around the world to test the security of their online systems by essentially hacking their websites. During the hearing, Mr. Kennedy gave a demonstration of the healthcare.gov website’s vulnerabilities showing in real-time that hackers can access personal information on the website. It’s clear that not only is the website vulnerable, it’s under attack.

When asked whether he believed the website had already been compromised by hackers, Mr. Kennedy testified that he believed the website has either already been hacked or soon will be.

The massive amount of personal information collected by the Healthcare.gov website creates a tempting target for scam artists. Identity theft jeopardizes credit ratings and personal finances.


Additionally, aside from the technological problems, the navigators, which are there to help the public navigate the site, have not received background checks and yet have access to thousands of people’s private health records.

The Obamacare legislation is absolutely horrendous. Giving all this information to the government is irresponsible. If I did not have health insurance already, I would rather pay the fine than surrender personal information voluntarily to the government. I would at least want multiple non-government independent auditors to verify the security of the site as well as provide transparency on who has viewed my information. Hospitals are required to have records of the time and people that access medical records…why shouldn’t the government be held to the same standards?

Obama’s presidency so far seems constructed to pave the way to a totalitarian system. The ultimate goal is total reliance on the government from everything from health care to what we should be teaching our children. If we don’t make the transition back to smaller government, history will look back on the Obama presidency as the beginning of the decline of American supremacy. (Full disclosure, I feel that the last few Presidents, including GWB contributed to the problem by increasing debt but just not as quickly or to the level that Obama has forced.)

Somewhere there are socialists in their graves laughing as the United States tries her hand at centralized planning. You’d think that with nearly the entire 20th century being a showcase of failed communist states, we’d learn. Obama and the democrats must not have studied history or paid attention the day they were supposed to read Orwell’s 1984.

As George Santayana said, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”

My Thought on the Debt Crisis & Government Shutdown

I am truly scared for the future of the United States. Wasn’t it just a few months ago that we were having another discussion in Congress related to raising the debt limit? That disaster was averted by allowing the sequestration cuts. What I don’t understand is how this is all happening again. It should simply be a matter of not spending more than you make.

Rather than continuing to raise the debt limit, why don’t we decrease spending or at least hold it at the level of inflation. Congress should be forced to pass a balanced budget each year that does not spend more than it takes in in taxes (exceptions could be made for War and other emergencies). The welfare and entitlement system should be overhauled so that only truly qualified people are allowed to be on it as a temporizing measure. Revenue increasing (code word for increasing taxes) is not the way to go about it.

The United States, I think, is not too far gone that we could still save ourselves if the federal government just stepped out of the way. Lower taxes to encourage productivity. Increase the number of green cards available for the talented foreigners that would still love to come to this country. And, we must do this before China grabs them with talks of their version of what has always been called, ‘the American Dream.’

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You Know This Was Coming…New PenFed Terms

Remember when I posted back in January 2012 about PenFed changing the terms on its cash back card? My concern was that once a credit card switched over to giving points instead of cash, it made it easily to devalue those points. That just recently happened. Instead of getting 5 points for gas and 3 points for the supermarket, now it is 3 points and 2 points, respectively. (Source.)

And, to top it off, PenFed is changing the terms of its Cash Back card as well. Effective October 31st, the card will pay back 3% on gas and have a $25 annual fee. If you have a qualifying product, such as a minimum of $1,000 in a money market account, then you get to keep the 5% cash back on gas without having to pay an annual fee. Both new arraignments also reduce the percentage back on all other purchases from 0.25% to 0%.

While it wouldn’t be the end of the world to add a money market account, I would prefer to buy dividend paying growth stocks with it rather than lose out to inflation eating away at the meager money market rates.

My goal is to switch my cash back card at PenFed to a PenFed card that does not have an annual fee. I’d lose the rewards aspect of it, but since Schwab’s card went away, I have no other card but PenFed that does not have a foreign transaction fee. If I ever travel abroad again, I’d use it solely for that purpose.

For my gas and grocery purchases I’d switch back to my Bank of America card on which I earn 3% on gas and 2% on groceries. Not quite the 5% that I was receiving earlier but enough for the convenience of not having to reduce my equity purchasing power by $1000.

Update (9/24/2013):

Well, I just got off the phone with Pentagon Federal Credit Union to try and switch my Cash Rewards to a card that didn’t have an annual yield. I didn’t want to cancel it entirely because it is my only card with no foreign transaction fee. For a credit card company, I never thought the customer service of Schwab’s former credit card offering could be beat. However, I believe that PenFed might do it. No hold time and super friendly (and non-accented) customer service. She told me that in order to keep my 5% cash back on gas and avoid the $25 annual fee, all I had to do was create a minimum of $25 to a Money Market Savings account.

Wow! She even helped me set it up right then and there over the phone. According to the letter I received I was under the impression that I would need to add an active checking account or a Money Market Certificate ($1000 minimum). I thought maybe I had found something new, but it turns out that the guys at FatWallet had already discussed this, though not until page 4 on the forum. This is great news because the card has a ton of benefits and the customer service can’t be beat.