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Under Siege
Old 01-11-2010, 09:29 AM   #1
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Under Siege

Do you ever feel like you are under siege? Scammers trying to get your credit card number, companies trying to slip small charges under your radar, other companies trying to fool you with fine print, bogus charges from fly-by-night phone companies, unreasonable shipping and handling fees, hotel surcharges, telemarketing scams, stolen mail, etc.
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Old 01-11-2010, 09:35 AM   #2
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I used to before I lined the inside of my hat with tin foil.

Just kidding - I know what you mean. For me though its the relentless onslaught of advertising that makes me feel that way.
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Old 01-11-2010, 10:00 AM   #3
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Yes...sometimes I do and feel my bp start to rise. When I feel that way, I get a blanky and take a nap.
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Old 01-11-2010, 10:18 AM   #4
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I think that many stil w*rking have other things to focus their attention and stress on, while some board members have the luxury of investigating these issues for those of us who are concerned, but not enough so to look for it. Thanks to this board, I have become more aware of this onslaught, and have been able to take corrective action (credit freezes, do not call/mail lists, pay attention to small charges on bills, etc) Thank you!
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Old 01-11-2010, 10:30 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by TromboneAl View Post
Do you ever feel like you are under siege? Scammers trying to get your credit card number, companies trying to slip small charges under your radar, other companies trying to fool you with fine print, bogus charges from fly-by-night phone companies, unreasonable shipping and handling fees, hotel surcharges, telemarketing scams, stolen mail, etc.
I don't really have many of the problems you mention, but as Maurice suggested how about feeling under seige from the avalanche of advertising that we face every day? Spam, ads on TV, junk mail, ads on internet sites, junk phone calls, ads hung on the doorknob, people knocking on the door to see if I will hire them or buy magazines or whatever.

Given that I have NEVER bought anything due to any of this type of ad, the thousands of dollars spent marketing products to me for the past 61 years has all been wasted money.
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Old 01-11-2010, 12:19 PM   #6
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I know exactly what you mean. I am so tired of having to check every transaction to ensure the correct rates have been applied, have the correct award points been given for a transaction, did I purchase the item, why did my automatic payment not post?

It seems I spend half my life fixing up the screw ups made by others, and I am fortunate to not have a job to distract from getting these things sorted. I feel sorry for those who work 40+ hours a week and have to take care of all that on top of everyday life.
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Old 01-11-2010, 05:08 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by TromboneAl View Post
Do you ever feel like you are under siege? Scammers trying to get your credit card number, companies trying to slip small charges under your radar, other companies trying to fool you with fine print, bogus charges from fly-by-night phone companies, unreasonable shipping and handling fees, hotel surcharges, telemarketing scams, stolen mail, etc.
The fine print sucks. But otherwise guess I feel ok.
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Old 01-11-2010, 05:43 PM   #8
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I take some comfort in knowing that I probably can make them miserable if they annoy me enough.
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Old 01-11-2010, 05:49 PM   #9
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T Al, thanks for making me feel less paranoid. That is exactly how I feel most days.

Here is a perfect example. I set up Auto-draft of my debit card to pay my Blue Cross Blue Shield via my retiree benefits at my old company. Well, my benefits company switched handlers and sure enough, payment drafts got stopped. If I had been traveling and not receiving mail, I would now have a cancelled health care insurance.

If that is not enough, when the debit card was renewed a few months back with a new expiration date several other direct payment accounts were hosed up. Lots of second billings and late fees.

Also, just had the 2nd incident of CC # being stolen and used to purchase large items. Since you only have 30 days to report those, it feels like impending doom, a lot.

No I don't feel like someone is out to get me, they are getting me.
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Old 01-11-2010, 05:51 PM   #10
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and why do you feel that way ?
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File Type: gif Lucy_the_psychiatrist.gif (33.7 KB, 152 views)
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Old 01-11-2010, 05:58 PM   #11
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and why do you feel that way ?

Ahhhh, Lucy, the absolute cartoonification of con artist!
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Old 01-11-2010, 06:28 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by TromboneAl View Post
Do you ever feel like you are under siege? Scammers trying to get your credit card number, companies trying to slip small charges under your radar, other companies trying to fool you with fine print, bogus charges from fly-by-night phone companies, unreasonable shipping and handling fees, hotel surcharges, telemarketing scams, stolen mail, etc.
Same as it ever was, but the Internet and modern media have accelerated the process and amped the hysteria up to record levels...
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Old 01-11-2010, 06:36 PM   #13
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Same as it ever was, but the Internet and modern media have accelerated the process and amped the hysteria up to record levels...
Although for me, the internet has really helped me move out of the direct advertising onslaught.

The biggest innovation - I can go "get" my news and find out what is going on without having to sit in from of the TV and have spoon fed to me by a patronizing, overly simplifying news anchor.

I have no trouble ignoring ads on web page - I don't even notice them most of the time. My email has a pretty good spam filter and what isn't blocked gets routed to the spam folder.

I get very little mail. Our mail service throws out the junk/bulk mail.

I have no magazine subscriptions and I whenever I go to a doctor's office I notice the incredible amount of ads in magazines. Dropping the magazines meant a huge drop in exposure to ads. I don't miss out at all either - most of that magazine info is available on-line.

So in general, the "onslaught" for me seems to have toned down quite a bit.

I can't wait to get a DVR.

I do keep an eye on charges though - no way around that! I'm very careful who I do business with. I keep an eagle eye out for phishing emails. And credit card fraud is more prevalent than it used to be.

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Old 01-11-2010, 06:48 PM   #14
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Absolutely. I have become hyper-vigilant in my attempts to avoid gotchas, which seem to be everywhere.
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Old 01-11-2010, 11:34 PM   #15
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Don't sweat the small stuff from the private companies. They actually have to be very ingenious to squeeze just $5 from you compared to the government that just tells you they need $5000 from you because you own a residence in their town.
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Old 01-12-2010, 12:13 AM   #16
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Don't sweat the small stuff from the private companies. They actually have to be very ingenious to squeeze just $5 from you compared to the government that just tells you they need $5000 from you because you own a residence in their town.

This is so true. I can usually deal with anything the private sector has to throw at me by being vigilant and light on my feet.

It's the government charges and fees (taxes by any other name) that represent the greatest threat to my sense of what is financially right and wrong. In my home town where I still own a free standing house, the local property taxes have averaged just under 9% pa increase since 2001 when I purchased the place. Inflation has been below 3% in each of those years.

In spite of these increases in revenue, the local government has also managed to rack up a huge amount of debt.

Needless to say the biggest recurring expenses have been salaries and benefits for the people levying the taxes.

Oh yes....and in spite of being a property owner who pays the taxes, I am not allowed to vote in the local elections because I do not live there.

End of rant
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Old 01-12-2010, 06:59 AM   #17
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Just kidding - I know what you mean. For me though its the relentless onslaught of advertising that makes me feel that way.
The relentless advertising is annoying. I read somewhere the marketeers are now placing ads on the inside of bathroom stalls and over urinals so there is no escape.

The scammers are usually obvious so that hasn't been an issue for me.
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Old 01-12-2010, 06:28 PM   #18
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Very interesting - one of the things I remember Europeans telling me when they visited the US was how commercial it was - bombardment daily with advertisements, etc. Here in Germany, it is minimized - and when I go back to the US, or listen to the radio in the US over the internet, the ads and requests, etc, is overwhelming. While living in the US, it usually was filtered out, but after being somewhere where you don't have to have that filter on 100%, it is a shock when returning.

The one thing that would really send me over the top is being asked at the register while paying with my credit card for something if I wished to contribute to such and such charity....uhhhh, NO. And, by the way, I don't appreciate being put in that type of situation - publicly asking me for a donation like that at a vulnerable time. Ughhh. They don't do that over here...for now.
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Old 01-13-2010, 08:49 AM   #19
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I can't wait to get a DVR.
But they'll still get you with these:

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Old 01-13-2010, 09:32 AM   #20
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But they'll still get you with these:

Kelly Ripa SE Causes Star Trek Disaster[/url]
Hilarious!

But yes, that's real annoying. And then all the product placement stuff - which I tend to be oblivious to anyway fortunately.

Audrey
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