Recent Success Stories
Several years ago, Client traded her motorcycle toward the purchase of a new one. The previous loan was paid off and subsumed into the new loan, which has since been paid. Client recently reviewed her credit report and noticed a balance owing on a motorcycle loan that should have been zero. Client contacted our office for assistance after she was unsuccessful in her attempts to resolve the matter on her own. After reviewing the finance documents, our attorney wrote a letter to the motorcycle credit and finance company, advising them of the trade-in, disputing the debt, and demanding validation of the amount of the debt that was showing as owed. In response to our letter, and a follow-up telephone conversation, the motorcycle credit and finance company changed the credit report from “charged off” to “paid in full.” Savings for client, $12,447.00.
Client was a network administrator working overseas for a global service solutions company that required client to wear government issued TA-50 gear. According to the terms of the offer letter, client was to receive a completion bonus at the end of his term. Once client completed his demobilization process, he contacted the company to receive his bonus. Client was told that his bonus was being withheld because he did not return his TA-50 gear. Our attorney wrote a letter to counsel for the service solutions company confirming that client had taken a new position in Afghanistan, and was advised by the Logistics Readiness Center to maintain his current gear and transfer it to his new position, rather than returning it to his former unit. In response to our letter, and after confirming that they no longer had any responsibility to have the tactical gear returned to the Logistics Readiness Center themselves, opposing counsel made arrangements with the company to pay client his completion bonus. Recovery for client, $12,000.00.
Client contacted our office for assistance after she was unsuccessful in her attempts to dispute an identity theft matter. Client’s teenage son lost his wallet with his ATM card, pin and driver’s license. Client was a co-account owner of her son’s checking account, and became aware of fraudulent activity on his account. Client contacted the bank and filed a police report; however, the bank refused to close the account. Our attorney wrote a letter to the bank advising that the police department’s investigation confirmed the pictures taken at the ATM were not of client’s son, and also providing confirmation that her son was in school at the time of the fraudulent activity. Further, the attorney demanded that the bank reimburse client for the money taken out of the savings account to cover the overdrawn balance from the fraudulent activity. In response to our letter, the bank credited client for the loss via an official check. Recovery for client, $6,010.60.
Be Aware and Cautious This Holiday Season: Tips And Suggestions To Avoid Getting Scammed, Especially During The Frenzy of Black Friday
After enjoying a hearty Thanksgiving meal with loved ones later this month, Americans engage in various activities, such as enjoying movies and sports, setting up holiday decorations, and heading to the malls and stores to partake in what has been described as, “Black Friday.” Black Friday kicks off the holiday shopping season, and the time period between Thanksgiving and Christmas is critical for the economy, since it accounts for 30% of annual retail sales. Millions of savvy shoppers also avoid the long lines, crowds, and traffic, and rely on scouring the internet for the best online shopping deals, where retailers offer heavily discount deals and services. Online sales rose 18% last year, and 40% of these purchases were made on mobile phones. While shopping online from the comforts of your home is convenient, beware of scammers. Scammers often pose as businesses and vendors, or find sophisticated ways to gain access to your credit card information. Here are some helpful suggestions to protect yourself during the upcoming holiday shopping season:
1. Does this deal look too good to be true? If offers for expensive electronics and cell phones look too good to be true, and require the customer to complete some type of survey in which he/she must input personal information, there is a strong likelihood the deal is a scam. Be on the lookout for suspicious ads online, including email offers and promotions. It is always better to go directly to the vendor’s website rather than clicking on suspicious links in an email or online ads. Also, avoid purchasing discounted gift cards or using coupons that offer deals that are seemingly too good to be true. It is advisable to buy gift cards in person at retailers’ stores or through in-store kiosks. Remember, if it doesn’t pass the “smell test,” do some further investigation before committing to a purchase or providing personal information.
2. Phishing attacks and scams can be dangerous. Scammers can send fraudulent emails and texts, or pose as reputable websites to lure unassuming and unsuspecting customers into providing sensitive information such as user names, passwords, social security numbers, and credit card information. Make sure to not provide personal information to unsolicited requests. If you think you’ve received phishing bait, then contact the company to verify if the message is legitimate. Delete messages that look like spam, and don’t open any messages or attachments from unknown senders. You may want to install a spam filter or gateway to scan inbound messages, and look into installing products that can protect your computer from malware.
3. The importance of secured connections. Make sure to purchase items over a secure connection and avoid buying items on public Wi-Fi connections. Also double-check to ensure the website from which you purchasing an item is on an encrypted page. To make sure you are on a legitimate, secure site, you will need to check to the left of the page’s URL which should have a padlock and should start with “http” to indicate that the website is secure. If you are shopping from your smart phone, take care to not download fake shopping apps. One way to detect if an app is fake is if you find typos in the name and on the page, and the app or vendor has received low number of user reviews.
4. Protection offered by banks. Banks have employed sophisticated measures and systems to detect fraud on debit and credit cards, and many will reimburse and hold harmless their customers for unauthorized purchases. You may even be able link your Apple Pay or Android Pay accounts to your bank accounts, which combine biometrics with other safeguards, or can set up a two-step authentication that requires a code from a text message to complete the transaction. As always, be alert and monitor purchases or transactions on your bank and credit cards, and contact your financial institution immediately if you see any suspicious or unauthorized charges. And one final pointer: While many banks may issue refunds for fraudulent purchases made via debit card, we recommend using a credit card whenever possible, as it is not directly linked to your bank account.
If you have any questions, please call us anytime between 8:30 and 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. We look forward to assisting you, as always.
Thanksgiving is a perfect time to reflect on the many blessings we all enjoy. Our firm is sincerely thankful for the opportunity we have to be of service to our clients. We wish for all of you a safe, healthy and happy Thanksgiving holiday with those you love and cherish.
2018 Firm Holiday Closings
Thanksgiving- November 22 & 23 (Thursday & Friday)
Christmas- December 24 & 25 (Monday & Tuesday)