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Opinion: Removing the Power Adaptor and EarPods From iPhone Packaging Would Be a Responsible Move - a Designer’s Perspective.

Summary

Apple wants a circular economy for its products, but packaging and accessories are not often reused and recycled like devices. Removing the power adaptor and EarPods could reduce up to 13,454,000 kgs of e-waste while avoiding the manufacture of 160 million sets of non-recyclable plastic and reducing the carbon footprint of delivering every new iPhone.
[Note: rather long read]

Introduction.

In 2017, Apple announced a new initiative to create a "closed loop supply chain”, where products are built using only renewable resources or recycled material. A goal later associated with a circular economy in their environment webpage.
Circular economy describes a product lifecycle model that attempts to mimic nature. Its three most fundamental principles, as proposed by the EllenMcArthur foundation, are to design out waste and pollution, keep products and materials in use, and regenerate natural systems. The idea is that all manufactured goods should be reused and recycled to the greatest possible extent.
The ultimate goal is to achieve a future where every Apple product would be made from 100% recycled material, where every part of every product—including the product itself, its packaging, products used in manufacturing, as well as accessories—would be reused or recycled. This cycle model is as opposed to the status quo—a linear model—where products, packaging and accessories are made, used, then discarded. At the time, Apple’s Vice President of Environment, Policy and Social Initiatives, Lisa Jackson, admitted that they did not yet know how to achieve this, nonetheless, pledged to make an effort to work towards such a system.

Existing Progress.

In the years before, and after, Apple has made various steps to improve the recycling and reuse of both their materials and devices. From disassembly robots like Liam and Daisy, to encouraging returns through the iPhone upgrade program and trade-ins, Apple showed progress towards this goal with the promotion of recycling-enabling subscription-like systems also used by other circular economy companies. By 2018, Apple announced that they had started using 100% recycled Aluminium in some of their products. By 2019, 100% recycled tin for solder in the main logic boards of 11 products. They also claimed to have refurbished more than 7.8 million devices and recycled more than 48,000 metric tons of e-waste in the same year.
However, when considering packaging, there are some added challenges.
Unlike the devices they protect, packaging is not often reused, and the materials they use are often not recycled effectively. The rigid structure needed to make the smooth, compact, papers and card used for Apple’s premium packaging necessitate the use of a large percentage, or a sole blend, of virgin paper—“new” paper. This is as recycled paper often loses structure, strength and density; why it’s most often used in soft papers like office paper, toilet paper and receipts or mixed with virgin paper for lower grade secondary packaging like cereal boxes.
While trade-ins and the iPhone Upgrade program require you to return the iPhone, boxes and accessories are not typically returned even though you receive new sets. This prevents them from being recycled effectively. General recyclers cannot recover materials as effectively because they cannot optimise their processes for a specific product or material like a manufacturer can.

iPhone Packaging, Today.

This brings us to iPhone packaging. Observing the packaging I have from the iPhone 4S to the iPhone XS Max, while the width and heights of the boxes have changed dramatically with iPhone dimensions, the depth, or thickness, hasn’t. Apart from the depth of the boxes, there’s one other thing that hasn’t changed significantly. Weight.
With all usable contents removed, leaving only the box and paperwork, the iPhone 4S box weighs approximately 194 grammes. The iPhone 5 box: 203g. iPhone 6 box: 213g. iPhone 7 box (sans paperwork): 192g. iPhone 8 Plus box: 253g. iPhone XS Max box: 240g.
By comparison, the iPhone 5—the lightest in the list—weighs 112 grammes. The iPhone XS Max—the heaviest—weighs 208 grammes. The boxes iPhones ship in, has, for almost a decade, weighed at least as much as the device itself, to almost double what the device it’s protecting weighs. Even the accessories with all their packaging—XS Max ones, none of which were counted in the box weights—only weigh about 82 grammes total.
Inside, there’s a notable transition away from plastics and a shift away from adhesives. Apple’s 2019 environmental responsibility report claims that they have reduced plastic use in their packaging by 48% in three years. However, when looking at the insides of the boxes I have, it’s notable that the deepest holes are for the charging adaptor (Type G plugs). At 40mm in a 60mm box, the adaptor is easily the thickest item in the packaging. The charging cables? They’re only 10mm tall in the wrapped configuration Apple ships them in.

What If?

So, what can be gained from removing the adaptor and earphones from the box? For starters, it reduces the weight of the accessories by over 70%, from 82 to 20 grammes—the weight of the remaining charging cables. Next, it eliminates the need for potentially 30 mm of depth in the iPhone boxes, allowing them to be (almost exactly) half the depth they have been for a decade—presumably also significantly decreasing its weight.
What does this mean? For one, it reduces the shipping emissions of each iPhone, when considering the packaging, due to weight. Taking the estimated number of iPhones shipped in 2018 (217 million), removing the 62 grammes of accessories alone would contribute to the potential reduction of 13,454,000 kgs of e-waste and associated shipping emissions yearly. Moreover, it allows for twice as many iPhones to be shipped in the same volume when compared to before. Seeing that shipping by volume also matters due to the inherent fuel consumption of the transports used, this further helps reduce the environmental impact of the transportation stage in the product lifecycle.
In fact, this has been done before. Fairphone 3 by Fairphone ships with only the phone, a screwdriver, bumper and documentation. They pride themselves on human rights and environmental consciousness, providing their USB cable, earphone and charger separately specifically to reduce environmental impact. Nokia tried something similar in 2009 with the N79 Eco. The effects? A smaller and lighter package when compared to the version that shipped with a charger.
Even today, a large number of popular personal electronic devices are shipped without a power adaptor. Most commonly battery-powered audio equipment like Bluetooth headphones and speakers. Flagship premium Bluetooth headphones like the Sony WH-1000XM3, Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700, Beats Studio3 Wireless and the B&O H9 3rd Gen all ship without a USB adaptor. Even B&O’s high-end Beolit 17 wireless speaker does not include a power adaptor in the box.
But what about convenience? Many of you have wondered what would happen when you need to charge your new iPhone. iPhone has used USB cables since the very beginning, and lightning since 2012. In the past 8 years, if you’ve bought an iPhone, you already have a USB power adaptor and a lightning cable. If you’ve been using Android devices, you’ll also have either a USB-A or USB-C power adaptor, if not both. If Apple includes just the lightning cable, you’d likely be able to cover both camps.
In 2020, it is estimated that there are 3.5 billion smartphone users. This is expected to grow by 300 million in 2021. Approximately 1.5 billion smartphones were sold each year between 2016-2019. Assuming a steady rate, 20% of smartphones sold next year will go into the hands of first-time users.
Reversing that statistic, 80% of you possibly already have a compatible adaptor. If evenly distributing the cumulative smartphone sales of the past 6 years, assuming they all included USB adapters, you would have enough adapters for every person on the planet with leftovers. With the maturity of the market, even cars, planes, hotels and new houses have started integrating USB power plugs to respond to our need to keep our electronic devices powered. Besides, this doesn’t take into account the fact that a portion of these new owners will likely be youth. They likely have adults in the family with existing, possibly spare, USB adaptors, especially when you consider that iPhone falls in the premium category and has users that are generally more affluent or enjoy relatively high purchasing power (globally).
And the cherry on top? Transportation is only 5% of Apple’s carbon footprint, 74%, is in manufacturing. Removing the power adaptor has the potential to reduce 80% of Apple’s manufacturing needs for the 200+ million iPhone power adaptors it currently includes in the box. I think that would likely be a non-negligible figure. Also, the casing used for Power Adaptors? It’s a thermoset plastic due to safety reasons. That means it can’t be easily melted, recycled and remoulded. So every extra adaptor Apple manufactures, is one more piece of plastic that will likely not be recycled.

Summary

By not including accessories that many of us already have, Apple stands to reduce e-waste, manufacturing waste, manufacturing emissions as well as iPhone shipping emissions, all playing into the bigger picture of Apple achieving their goal of a zero-waste circular economy.

[Disclaimer, I am not affiliated with any of the mentioned companies or organisations, links are provided only to aid additional reading, many of the mentioned facts can be found in Apple's various environmental responsibility reports, opinions are my own]
submitted by ChristopherLXD to apple [link] [comments]

An Account From a Former NSA Member: This One Was Kicked Out

https://tricycle.org/magazine/as-american-apple-pie/
'This is vulgar,' A. pronounced loudly into my ear. 'This is vulgarity itself.' We were standing under an arch in the gymnasium of a public school in Manhattan in June 1971. Fifteen clean-cut, energetic young men were waving their arms about vigorously, leading the audience in a song called “Have a Gohonzon,“* set to the Jewish song 'Havah Nagila':
Have a Gohonzon,
Have a Gohonzon
Have a Gohonzon,
Chant for awhile.
You’ll find your life will be
Full of vitality,
Watching your benefits
Grow in a pile …
"\Gohonzon: In Japanese,* honzon indicates an object of worship. Go is an honorific prefix. Nichiren Daishonin embodied 'Nam Myoho Renge Kyo,' as a mandala (Sanskrit for an object or altar on which buddhas and bodhisattvas are represented). The Gohonzon may be either a paper scroll or wood block with Chinese characters.
"The audience, a black-and-white cross section of New York City’s diverse ethnic and economic population packed the room; they sang and clapped with ferocious enthusiasm.
“'Look at them,' said A. 'Look at their glazed eyes, will you? They’re fanatics.'
“'The lecture was okay,' A. continued in a slightly more conciliatory tone. 'That Japanese woman started to make some sense. But those testimonials—’I chanted for a new car and I got it!’ ‘I chanted for a boyfriend,’ ‘I chanted for money …’ And this stupid song! All of it’s crap! This isn’t what Buddhism’s about.'
The audience sang on:
Your surroundings may be loony,
Just remember:
Esho Funi!

“'Now, that part’s true,' said A.
“'This place is filled with very dangerous loonies. What’s Esho Funi?'
“'It’s the doctrine of inseparability of person and environment,” I answered loudly, hoping he could hear above the noise. 'Your environment reflects your inner life.'
“'Well, not mine,' said A., putting on his coat. 'This isn’t my reflection. I’m off.' And he stomped out.
"I stayed on, frustrated that he had seen nothing beyond the egregious testimonials, beyond the silly song with its ungainly lyrics. I thought I had seen something, and, although I was also uncomfortable in those unfamiliar surroundings, I thought it worth exploring.
"A friend from college had introduced me to Buddhism six months before. The tradition she practiced was Nichiren Shoshu, a Japanese sect of Mahayana Buddhism best known for its organization of laity, Soka Gakkai. She had joined Soka Gakkai (then called NSA, or Nichiren Shoshu of America) a year earlier. She had shown me her altar and prayer beads, and explained that if I chanted 'Nam Myoho Renge Kyo,' I could get anything I wanted.
“'Anything?' I asked her, baffled. 'Fame?'
“'Um-hmm.'
"'Sex?'
"'Well,' she answered, 'the founder of this Buddhism, Nichiren Daishonin, said that even one time chanting Nam Myoho Renge Kyo might be enough.'
"'Okay. Nam Myoho Renge Kyo! How about going to bed with me?'
'On the other hand,' she continued, 'Nichiren Daishonin also said one million might not be enough. It all depends … '
" Nevertheless, I decided to try the practice. I knew a little about Buddhism from D. T. Suzuki’s essays. I had read Hesse’s Siddhartha and Herrigel’s Zen in the Art of Archery. I was twenty-two years old, a college graduate with a book of published poems but with no immediate plans. I needed focus. I tried yoga briefly, but could not manage the vegetarianism that I understood was mandatory. I looked at Zen, but the practice seemed stark and unfriendly. This Buddhism, strange on the outside, might offer a place to begin. Besides, my friend had acquired a pristine, buoyant spirit.
"I began to chant on my own. My first contact with other Nichiren Shoshu Buddhists took place on a New Year’s Eve. We chanted Nam Myoho Renge Kyo together in their New York City Community Center on West 57th Street. At midnight we applauded and cheered and wished each other Happy New Year. I was elated. I could not fly or see through walls, but I had accomplished something of great difficulty, chanting for four hours without pause. I felt a quiet, reassuring rightness of purpose.
"A. and I had known each other for several years. We taught together in the Poets-in-the-Schools program. We spent our summers in the Hamptons, part of the community of writers centered around East Hampton’s Guild Hall, the museum and cultural center. We lived nearby in the Springs, the famous artists-and-writers colony where Willem de Kooning lives and Jackson Pollack died. When I first told him about Nichiren Shoshu, A. was intrigued. He too had been interested in Buddhism. I lent him my set of borrowed books and pamphlets.
"A. was disappointed in the literature. 'The language is rough,' he told me. 'And the philosophy is pretty thin.'
"I became defensive. I suggested that the sect had been in this country only a short time. Its translation skills would certainly improve. Besides, the book was written for a mass audience who could not be counted on to understand subtleties without schooling. In any event, I had planned to go to an NSA discussion meeting in Manhattan. Would he come along? Reluctantly, he agreed.
"After A. left the meeting I did not hear from him again for several months. When I met him by chance at a party in East Hampton, he asked if I was still practicing with NSA. He shook his head sadly. I would be sorry if I stayed with them any longer, he predicted. 'No reasonable, intelligent person is going to fall for that garbage,' he warned. 'Anyhow, they’re not your kind. You’re a poet. You’ve got something to offer. Why waste your time with inferior people?'
He himself had found real Buddhism, he told me. He was going to study with Trungpa Rinpoche. Had I heard of him? No, I told him, I hadn’t. 'He’s a poet,' A. said. 'He’s not shallow.'

"A. stayed with Trungpa until Trungpa’s death in 1987, and then he proceeded to study with other Tibetan teachers. Despite my friend’s counsel, I’ve continued with the practice of Nichiren Shoshu Buddhism for more than twenty years.
"Others who knew about my involvement with the movement have been harsher than A. The most telling criticisms came from those who practiced other varieties of Buddhism. They wondered where, in Soka Gakkai’s visible and frenetic public display—its conventions and parades staged in major cities, its proselytizing groups gathered on street corners or swarming over college campuses—where was Buddhist dharma? Where was the contemplation, the dedication, the struggle for enlightenment, the evidence of responsibility to Buddhist practice that has characterized Buddhism for thousands of years? Where was anything of substance in what I was doing and advocating that others do?
"People in the United States and Japan who join Soka Gakkai are not often the same kinds of people attracted to other forms of Buddhism. In the U.S., Soka Gakkai appeals to a spectrum of the population in diverse economic, racial, and cultural groups. Solid demographic and psychographic information is not available, but judging by articles in Soka Gakkai’s American weekly newspaper, The World Tribune, today’s American membership includes many people living in lower-income, inner-city areas such as Detroit and Watts, as well as middle-class people living in major cities and suburbs. (African-Americans make up an estimated twenty percent of the membership, a significantly larger proportion than can be found in other American Buddhist groups.) Few avant-garde artists, writers, or scholars of contemplative bent (those who seem drawn to other Buddhist groups) appear in news coverage. Meanwhile, the testimonials of famous Soka Gakkai members—including those of Patrick Swayze, Roseanne Arnold, Tina Turner, and Herbie Hancock and assorted sports figures—have made the practitioners known as Buddhists who chant for fame and fortune.
"Most people assume that Nichiren Shoshu and Soka Gakkai are the same. They are not. Nichiren Shoshu is a religion, a sect of Buddhism. Soka Gakkai is a social, political, and cultural organization. Most Soka Gakkai members practice a version of Nichiren Shoshu Buddhism regularly. Yet, although the religion owes its eight to ten million worldwide members and (apparently) uncountable wealth to the lay organization, the complex historical alliance between these affiliations has never been harmonious.
"Nichiren Daishonin (Nichiren means 'Sun Lotus,' and Daishonin means 'great sage'), the founder of the sect, was born in Japan in 1222. He began his career as a monk of the T’ien-t’ai sect of Mahayana Buddhism. The teachings of T’ien-t’ai are distinguished by their reverence for the Lotus Sutra (Saddharmapundarika-sutra in Sanskrit). T’ien-t’ai places this teaching text a bove all others because of its emphasis on the universality of Buddha-nature and the promise that everyone—men and women alike—may attain enlightenment in this life, 'as one is.'
"At about the age of sixteen, Nichiren left his home province for Kamakura, Mount Hiei, and other centers of Buddhist learning. He spent several years studying the sutras and their commentaries as well as the teachings of different sects. In the end, he became convinced that Shakyamuni’s teachings in the Lotus Sutra pointed to the Great Pure Law that could lead people directly to enlightenment. At the same time, he surmised that he had been entrusted with the task of propagating the essence of the sutra in the Latter Day of the Law, the time identified by the Daishutsu (Sutra of the Great Assembly) as beginning about two thousand years after the historical Buddha. In 1279, Nichiren inscribed the Dai-Gohonzon, a mandala that he declared to be the ultimate purpose of his advent in this world.
"Until his death in 1282, Nichiren Daishonin wrote voluminous dissertations on the Lotus Sutra and correct practice. He debated, proselytized, remonstrated with the government, and underwent a series of government-ordered persecutions, including an attempted beheading that was thwarted only by the auspicious appearance of a comet. His prophecies of natural disaster and foreign invasion that Japan would undergo came true. 'No matter what you might think of his convictions,' I recall my Japanese history professor at Columbia telling our class, 'his predictions were completely accurate.'
"After Nichiren’s death, several sects of Nichiren Buddhism were founded by his disciples. By the second decade of this century, Nichiren Shoshu’s membership had declined, leaving it one of the smallest of the five surviving Nichiren sects. It took the tremendous propagation efforts of Soka Gakkai to popularize it.
"The original name for Soka Kyoiku-gakkai means 'Value-Creation Education Society.' The organization was founded in 1930 by a teacher and educational theorist named Tsunesaburo Makiguchi, whose circle was educational, not religious, in nature, and the membership consisted mostly of schoolteachers.
"Makiguchi became friends with a Nichiren Shoshu lay member and school principal. The evangelical Buddhist set out to convert Makiguchi, basing his appeal on those philosophical similarities which both men perceived in Nichiren Shoshu and in Value Creation Theory. According to community lore, their discussions ended in a somewhat formal debate, which Makiguchi lost. As a consequence, he converted to Nichiren Shoshu, along with Makiguchi’s followers, including his principle disciple, Josei Toda.
"In 1943, at a time when Soka Kyoiku-gakkai had a membership of about three thousand, the Japanese military ordered all religions to align themselves with Shinto, the native Japanese religion. Makiguchi, together with a group of Nichiren Shoshu priests, challenged the decree. He was arrested and imprisoned, as was Toda. Makiguchi died in prison in 1944 at the age of seventy-three. His disciple, Toda, then forty-four, was released a year later.
"The impact of his master’s death, and of his own mystical vision of Buddhism while in prison, led Toda to assume leadership with a mission to expand the organization’s membership. By the end of the war, the membership of Soka Gakkai had all but disappeared. Five years later, under Toda’s stewardship, the membership had regained fifteen hundred families. At a meeting held at a Nichiren Shoshu temple, Toda made the following pledge to his pupils: 'I intend to convert 750,000 families before I die. If this is not achieved by the time of my death, do not hold a funeral service for me but throw my ashes into the sea off Shinagawa.' He met his goal by 1957 and died the following year.
"Soka Gakkai today claims between eight and ten million members, living in more than one hundred countries. It sponsors an influential Japanese political party, Komeito, several high schools and a university, two art museums, several publishing companies, various newspapers, and many Japanese national and international cultural associations. It has acquired massive amounts of money and property.
"Soka Gakkai’s American branch was founded in 1960 by a Japanese law student named Masayasu Sadanaga (now known as George M. Williams), who had been a Soka Gakkai member in Japan. In the eighties, at its high point, the American organization boasted a total of 500,000 members, a number that—if anywhere near accurate—would make the Soka Gakkai the largest Buddhist organization in the United States.
"But in Japan, Soka Gakkai’s success has come with a price. Extravagant financial growth over the past fifty years has been accompanied by a reputation for corruption. This spring, the New York Times reported that several years ago the organization was fined millions of dollars for interest payments on undeclared income. In 1990, the police discovered a Soka Gakkai vault containing $1.2 million in yen notes hidden in a garbage dump in Yokohama. More recently, according to the article, $11 million connected with the proposed purchase by Soka Gakkai of two Renoir paintings disappeared. This, in turn, raised questions about whether the lay group was stashing money away for political payoffs. In November 1991, the head temple of Nichiren Shoshu excommunicated the membership of Soka Gakkai en masse. This action is now forcing members throughout the world to choose between joining a Nichiren Shoshu temple or remaining with an unchurched and religiously compromised Soka Gakkai.
"Nevertheless, the organization prospers. Soka Gakkai of America now (more realistically) puts its active membership at about 140,000—significantly lower than earlier estimates but still an impressive figure. Its members hold monthly meetings that seek to initiate new members as well as provide information and fellowship to established practitioners. Although members no longer sing 'Have a Gohonzon' during meetings, and street-corner proselytizing has been discouraged, the organization continues to emphasize acquisition of material and spiritual benefits as a path to salvation.
"Is Soka Gakkai/Nichiren Shoshu the true American Buddhism? To an observer, the practices of Soka Gakkai seem tailor-made for the American fast-food, instant-wish-fulfillment culture. You can chant for money, for a better job, for love, for any of the 108 human desires symbolized by the 108 prayer beads that Nichiren Shoshu members hold while they chant. An observer would note that Soka Gakkai practitioners spend far more time in discussion meetings and other group activities than they do in disciplined contemplation or consultation with Buddhist teachers. Because its emphasis falls on action rather than view, Soka Gakkai appeals to a broad range of Americans with varying educational backgrounds, even as it may alienate those who enjoy meditative Buddhist traditions. Without looking further, an observer might reasonably conclude that Soka Gakkai represents only a simplified version—or even a cynical perversion—of Buddhism created for American consumption. But if Soka Gakkai appeals to the American Dream, it has appealed to the Japanese Dream as well.
"In the early fifties, during Soka Gakkai’s reconstruction, the then president, Josei Toda, succeeded in attracting a vast number of potential converts by describing the mechanism of Buddhist practice as a money-making machine:
"Suppose a machine which never fails to make everyone happy were built by the power of science or by medicine …. Such a machine, I think, could be sold at a very high price. Don’t you agree? If you used it wisely, you could be sure to become happy and build up a terrific company. You could make a lot of money. You could sell such machines for about 100,000 Yen apiece.
"But Western science has not yet produced such a machine. It cannot be made. Still, such a machine has been in existence in this country, Japan, since seven hundred years ago. This is the Dai-Gohonzon. [Nichiren] Daishonin made this machine for us and gave it to us common people. He told us: “Use [the machine] freely. It won’t cost you any money … And yet, people of today don’t want to use it because they don’t understand the explanation that the Dai-Gohonzon is such a splendid machine.
"Toda’s words caught the attention of those Japanese impoverished by the Second World War and desperate for survival. In like manner, the appeal attracts many Americans living in the inner cities who are desperate for a way to improve their lives. For these people who know little material prosperity, the more conventional Buddhist view—that enlightenment is encouraged by abandoning all attachment to material things—is virtually senseless. After all, you must first have an adequate supply of food or own a car or a washing machine before you can give up an attachment to them.

"The white middle-class practitioners who follow Zen, Tibetan, or Theravadan Buddhism are wary if not downright disdainful of Nichiren Shoshu but—whether they acknowledge it or not—they are involved in a dilemma with striking parallels. The issue for them is not money but ego. In a culture where low self-esteem and depression are endemic, the question arises: 'Does one have to have a healthily developed ego to give it up?' Yet many of the same middle-class, materialistically secure white practitioners of other traditions have remained hostile to Nichiren Shoshu without investigating its different economic and cultural contexts.
"To traditional Buddhists the idea of a Buddhism that encourages its practitioners to chant for BMWs appears blatantly heretical, and the description of the group’s object of worship as a machine for granting wishes sounds ridiculous. Even so, the practice of Nichiren Shoshu Buddhism is not trivial, nor is its effect upon members’ lives shallow. Gongyo, the daily practice of the Nichiren Shoshu membership, consists of morning and evening recitations of the Lotus Sutra as well as chanting Nam Myoho Renge Kyo repeatedly.Gongyo,** which literally means “assiduous practice,” is performed while practitioners sit before theGohonzon, a replica of Nichiren’s original mandala. During gongyo, two chapters of the Lotus Sutra are recited from Chinese characters (using Japanese pronunciation) and are repeated five times in the morning and three times at night. After each reading, practitioners silently recite prayers that offer thanks for protection by the Buddhist gods, praise the virtues of the Dai-Gohonzon, acknowledge the succession of the chief priests, present a petition for world peace and attainment of enlightenment, and pray for the well-being of ancestors—all of which have parallels in the daily services of Buddhist parishes in many different Asian cultures, as well as in Japan’s Soto Zen tradition. After the final reading, members chant Nam Myoho Renge Kyo, usually for five or ten minutes, but occasionally for several hours. The liturgy of gongyoencourages one to clear the mind of wishes, anxieties, and other distracting thoughts so that when it is time to chant Nam Myoho Renge Kyo (the most important part of the practice) the mind will be sufficiently stilled to concentrate on the Gohonzon. The goal of this “assiduous practice” is the fusion of one’s mind with the reality of the Gohonzon—it means reading the Chinese characters not simply with one’s eyes but “with one’s life”—through chanting Nam Myoho Renge Kyo.
"\*Gongyo: In general, gongyo means the recitation of Buddhist sutras in fornt of an object of worship. In Nichiren Shoshu and Soka Gakkai, gongyo means to recite part of the second chapter and the whole of the sixteenth chapter of the Lotus Sutra in front of the gohonzon, followed by chanting.*
"The literal translation of the chant is 'Devotion to the Lotus Blossom of the Fine Dharma.' But Nichiren Shoshu provides specific interpretations: *Nam—'*devotion of both mind and body'—to Myoho, a word indicating that all life and death phenomena are united in a 'mystic' or mysterious manner. Myoho indicates 'the Mystic Law' of Renge, the lotus that reveals its seeds (its cause) as it blossoms (its effect) simultaneously—therefore, 'simultaneous cause and effect.' This is invoked in our lives through Kyo, the word for dharma, sutra, or the sound of its teachings.
"What Nichiren Shoshu members unite with when they chant to the Gohonzon is a depiction, in Chinese characters, of the “Ceremony in the Air,” described in the Lotus Sutra as an assembly of Shakyamuni’s disciples floating in space above the saha (impure) world. When the Bodhisattvas of the Earth appear, Shakyamuni reveals his original enlightenment in the remote past. He then transfers the essence of the sutra specifically to the Bodhisattvas of the Earth led by Bodhisattva Jogyo (Vishishtacharitra in Sanskrit), entrusting them with its propagation two thousand years in the future (our own time). Chanting to theGohonzon then both invites and affirms attendance at this assembly of bodhisattvas.
"The philosophical lineage of Nichiren Shoshu purports that although the material and the spiritual are two separate classes of phenomena, they are in essence inseparable, a 'oneness of body and mind.'
"T’ien-t’ai sought to clarify the mutually inclusive relationship of the ultimate truth and the phenomenal world asserting with this principle that all phenomena—body and mind, self and environment, sentient and insentient, cause and effect—are integrated in a life-moment of a common mortal. Pre-Lotus Sutra teachings generally hold that all phenomena arise from the mind, but in T’ien-t’ai teachings the mind and all phenomena are “two but not two.” That is, neither can be independent of the other.
"In pre-Lotus Sutra teachings, earthly desires and illusions are cited as causes of spiritual and physical suffering that impede the quest for enlightenment, obscuring Buddha nature and hindering Buddhist practice. According to T’ien-t’ai’s intepretation of the Lotus Sutra, however, earthly desires and enlightenment are not fundamentally different: enlightenment is not the eradication of desire, but a state of mind that can be experienced by transforming innate desires.
"Beginning Nichiren Shoshu members establish their practice by chanting for whatever they want. I had friends who started off chanting for cheaper drugs and free money. Like them, I treated the Gohonzon as a pimp. I wanted to see if chanting would work. I set about praying for things (a summer job, a girlfriend, even a good parking spot) that would fill immediate needs or give instant pleasure. Some things I got; others I didn’t. The things I really needed—such as better relationships with people and with myself—eluded me. Nevertheless, I continued to chant. Gradually, my interest in short-term material benefits was displaced by a hunger for longer-term spiritual ones. I found that chanting incessantly about difficult personal problems, like polishing a mirror, brought clarity to my situation. The more difficult or painful the motivation for my chanting, the clearer the mirror of my faith reflected my ownership of whatever troubled me. I could no longer deny the responsibility for my predicaments. In my experience, the activity of chanting for material or spiritual things becomes a process of cleansing one’s spirit, not corrupting it; and Buddhists who began by chanting for hotter cars ended up driven to awaken themselves and help others, at times with great energy and joy.
"'Will you please tell me what playing the trombone has to do with Buddhism?' my friend A. demanded. It was during my first year as a Buddhist. I had told A. that I’d planned to join Soka Gakkai’s brass band. 'You want to be in a marching band? Didn’t you do enough parading in military school?'
Indeed I had. I was sent to military school when I was twelve and remained there until I was eighteen. I promised myself I would never march again. Yet, here I was in the Soka Gakkai Brass Band.
"I had no satisfactory explanation of the relationship between marching in a brass band, attending Soka Gakkai conventions, donating money to the organization, and Buddhism. I had only Soka Gakkai’s official answer: these movement activities would yield personal benefits and further the cause of world peace. In any event, they certainly benefited Soka Gakkai.
"In the ten years during which I practiced as a Soka Gakkai member, I attended their conventions all over the U.S. and Japan. These were always spectacular public exhibitions, such as the show performed on a massive floating island stage built off the Waikiki shore. I got to see little of them, however. As a Young Men’s Division member, I was often put in charge of luggage and remained at the hotel, or was appointed caretaker of one or another member who had suddenly become unhinged, such as the young man who insisted on walking—naked—backward up and down the hotel corridors and dressing only to take a shower.
"I cannot say that I entirely relished membership in Soka Gakkai. I confess that playing in the Brass Band was always an embarrassing chore. Discipline was strict and not always administered by wise leaders. Yet, the core of my Buddhist practice remained chanting.
"In 1980, American Soka Gakkai members were not aware that the Nichiren Shoshu clergy and the Soka Gakkai administration had become entangled in a dispute. The clergy alleged that Soka Gakkai was secretly planning to establish itself as an independent sect of Nichiren Buddhism. The scandals and controversies that resulted were documented in the Japanese press but not in the American press. Possibly as part of Soka Gakkai’s plot to secede, American members were given new versions of the prayers of gongyo that included homage to Soka Gakkai founders. George M. Williams announced that a new Head Temple might be constructed on a tract of land purchased in the Rocky mountains. Otherwise, Soka Gakkai of America asserted that nothing out of the ordinary was happening.
"My friends and I eventually learned about these things from a young Japanese who had been appointed chief priest of the Nichiren Shoshu temple in New York. He was amazed that Soka Gakkai in this country continued to deny the problems in Japan, especially because he believed that knowing about them was essential to an American member’s understanding of the practice.
"With the information provided by the young priest, and from copies of an English-language Japanese newspaper, I began to discuss this situation with the thirty or so active members in the group I headed, and with my senior leaders. Rather than answering my questions, my seniors admonished me, declaring that I was slandering Buddhism.
"When efforts to force the American Soka Gakkai to openly discuss the implications of the political situation failed, the young priest decided to publish the details on his own. Eventually, he printed a heavily documented pamphlet and mailed it to as many members as he could locate. Soka Gakkai successfully pressured Nichiren Shoshu to fire him.
"My friends and I were similarly dismissed. Our dismissal was carried out in a particularly Japanese manner.
"Instead of being thrown out publicly, our group was simply not included in the next reorganization of groups that define the Soka Gakkai membership. We became, so to speak, nonpersons.
"During these last twelve years of solitary practice, I have had to answer questions I might not otherwise have had to confront had I remained in Soka Gakkai. How deep have the dynamics of mass-movement culture affected my understanding of Buddhist experience? How much of my knowledge of this religion, for example, is knowledge of Buddhism, and how much is Japanese cultural bias? There are no easy answers, although my ignorance makes me a comrade in arms with the many other American students of Zen, Tibetan, and Theravadan Buddhism who wrestle with these same questions.
"But in front of the Gohonzon those questions don’t feel very important; nor do my friends’ descriptions of vulgarity or materialism. I am left where I began: by myself, at my altar, conscious of a larger truth—that the Great Assembly of bodhisattvas described in the Lotus Sutra is a reality taking place now, at every moment of our lives. " By Sandy McIntosh Winter 1992
Singing "Have a Gohonzon" in 2020 would send people running for the exits. Hence most older members don't do that anymore.
submitted by Qigong90 to sgiwhistleblowers [link] [comments]

Covid-19 update Saturday 11th April

Good evening from the UK. The sun was out on what turned out to be a perfect day weather wise with temperatures soaring above our average of 15C to hit a giddy 23C (76F), just below the temperature threshold at which our print media seems to begin to call the weather a “heatwave”. Unfortunately, we need to continue to stay at home. How many will do so when faced with such pleasant (and rare) weather is unknown across a 4 day weekend; fingers crossed it’s as many as humanly possible.
Virus news in depth
‘I’m Sorry I Can’t Kiss You’—Coronavirus Victims Are Dying Alone - Her father was 83 years old, sweating and gasping for breath. Nancy Hopkins leaned down and rubbed his arm just before paramedics put him into an ambulance. “I’ll be with you every step of the way,” Ms. Hopkins promised him. That was as close as she would ever again get to her dad. When she arrived at the nearby hospital in Conway, S.C., that evening in mid-March, she learned she could not go in because of visitor restrictions imposed during the coronavirus pandemic. She sat alone in her car in the hospital parking lot for hours, crying when she finally drove off. Her father, Robert McCord, a retired livestock dealer, was sick with the coronavirus and lay for 14 days in an isolation room on the top floor of Conway Medical Center. When he neared death on April 1, Ms. Hopkins said goodbye through a phone, placed in a plastic bag and held to his ear by a nurse. “It has been the biggest challenge of my life, knowing I couldn’t be there,” says Ms. Hopkins, who is 59 and a schoolteacher. “Because my father depended on me.” The Wall Street Journal offers some personal stories of the victims of the virus and the family they leave behind (not behind their paywall).

The role of the WHO is continuing to become more and more politically controversial - Today’s Guardian live blog (link below) says that Taiwan has accused the World Health Organization (WHO) of playing word games in a dispute over details it sought in an email querying if the new coronavirus could be transmitted between people. Taiwan is not a WHO member, because of objections from China, which claims the island as its own and deems it to have no right to membership of international bodies. Such an approach, Taiwan says, deprived it of timely information to fight the virus, and it accused the WHO of having ignored its communications early in the pandemic, which has infected 1.6 million people and killed 100,000 worldwide. Last month, Taiwan said it had received no reply from the WHO to a 31 December query for information on the outbreak in China’s central city of Wuhan, including whether it could be transmitted between people. The WHO has said the email it received made no mention of human-to-human transmission. In Taipei on Saturday, the health minister, Chen Shih-chung, quoted the text of the email written in English that the government sent to the WHO.

Will we all need to sign up to a digital tracking app to speed up the reopening of our countries? - There is increasing chatter on social media and in some parts of mainstream media about whether the general public in each country will need to sign up to some kind of tracking app (a system that’s in widespread use in China already says CNN). Andy Slavitt ran a poll asking whether people would sign up to it here; at time of writing it was 53.6% in favour with another 34% in favour with caveats and only 12.5% flatly rejecting it. Dr Farzard Mostashari, formally an Epidemiological Intelligence Service officer with the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) and also formally a national health IT coordinator has written a twitter thread where he says it’ll be feasible, usable and hopefully acceptable from a privacy stance - but it’ll only work if a large proportion of the population sign up to it. For now though, Apple and Google are teaming up to begin work on a solution.

Vox news: I’ve read the plans to reopen the US economy. They’re scary. - Vox news has written an article suggesting that the only options to reopen the economy all involve significant changes from societal norms. “Over the past few days, I’ve been reading the major plans for what comes after social distancing. You can read them, too. There’s one from the right-leaning American Enterprise Institute, the left-leaning Center for American Progress, Harvard University’s Safra Center for Ethics, and Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Romer. I thought, perhaps naively, that reading them would be a comfort — at least then I’d be able to imagine the path back to normal. But it wasn’t. In different ways, all these plans say the same thing: Even if you can imagine the herculean political, social, and economic changes necessary to manage our way through this crisis effectively, there is no normal for the foreseeable future. Until there’s a vaccine, the United States either needs economically ruinous levels of social distancing, a digital surveillance state of shocking size and scope, or a mass testing apparatus of even more shocking size and intrusiveness”. The article goes into more detail: “While similar efforts have borne fruit in Singapore and South Korea, the US is a very different country, with a more mistrustful, individualistic culture. Already, polling shows that 70 percent of Republicans, and 46 percent of Democrats, strongly oppose using cellphone data to enforce quarantine orders.” There’s more on the topic here: (link).

Virus news in brief


Source: Today’s Guardian live blog unless otherwise stated

















Supply chain news in depth


Two more significant companies in the US trucking and transportation field have implemented layoffs and furloughs - Freightwaves reports that Echo Global Logistics they had a “small reduction” in staff this week that constitutes less than 5% of the company’s workforce. “A large portion of these were furloughs and will come back as business conditions dictate,” (the CEO) wrote. Of those who were not furloughed but dismissed from the company, they were provided with severance, according to Waggoner. At less-than-truckload (LTL) carrier Saia, the President and Chief Operating Officer told FreightWaves in an email that the company “temporarily re-aligned some sales functions, which included a furloughing of a small number of sales personnel.” Saia has the “intention of bringing them back as business levels warrant.” No numbers on the size of the staff impacted was provided.

Supply chain news in brief

















Donations

Several asked if they can send me $/£/€ via Patreon (in some cases because I've saved them time or money, others for no reason at all). I don't need the cash (that's lovely though) but food bank charities are getting really hit hard with all this panic buying. Please consider giving whatever you'd have given me to a foodbank charity instead:
UK: https://www.trusselltrust.org/
France: https://www.banquealimentaire.org/
Germany: https://www.tafel.de/
Netherlands: https://www.voedselbankennederland.nl/steun-ons/steun-voedselbank-donatie/
Italy: https://www.bancoalimentare.it/it/node/1
Spain: https://www.fesbal.org/
Australia: https://www.foodbank.org.au/
Canada: https://www.foodbankscanada.ca/
USA: https://www.feedingamerica.org/
Thanks in advance for any donations you give. If there's foodbank charities in your country and it's not listed above, please suggest it and I will include it going forward.


-------
I ran out of time to also do the stats, sorry. No post tomorrow (Sunday), Monday's (if I manage to make time) is highly likely to be posted evening UK time. Apologies for any inconvenience caused to anyone.
submitted by Fwoggie2 to supplychain [link] [comments]

/r/Scams Common Scam Master Post

Hello visitors and subscribers of scams! Here you will find a master list of common (and uncommon) scams that you may encounter online or in real life. Thank you to the many contributors who helped create this thread!

If you know of a scam that is not covered here, write a comment and it will be added to the next edition.

Previous threads: https://old.reddit.com/Scams/search?q=common+scams+master+post&restrict_sr=on
Blackmail email scam thread: https://old.reddit.com/Scams/comments/g8jqnthe_blackmail_email_scam_part_5//
Some of these articles are from small, local publications and refer to the scam happening in a specific area. Do not think that this means that the scam won't happen in your area.

Spoofing

Caller ID spoofing
It is very easy for anyone to make a phone call while having any number show up on the caller ID of the person receiving the phone call. Receiving a phone call from a certain number does not mean that the person/company who owns that number has actually called you.
Email spoofing
The "from" field of an email can be set by the sender, meaning that you can receive scam emails that look like they are from legitimate addresses. It's important to never click links in emails unless absolutely necessary, for example a password reset link you requested or an account activation link for an account you created.
SMS spoofing
SMS messages can be spoofed, so be wary of messages that seem to be from your friends or other trusted people.

The most common scams

The fake check scam (Credit to nimble2 for this part)
The fake check scam arises from many different situations (for instance, you applied for a job, or you are selling something on a place like Craigslist, or someone wants to purchase goods or services from your business, or you were offered a job as a mystery shopper, you were asked to wrap your car with an advertisement, or you received a check in the mail for no reason), but the bottom line is always something like this:
General fraudulent funds scams If somebody is asking you to accept and send out money as a favour or as part of a job, it is a fraudulent funds scam. It does not matter how they pay you, any payment on any service can be fraudulent and will be reversed when it is discovered to be fraudulent.
Phone verification code scams Someone will ask you to receive a verification text and then tell you to give them the code. Usually the code will come from Google Voice, or from Craigslist. In the Google version of the scam, your phone number will be used to verify a Google Voice account that the scammer will use to scam people with. In the Craigslist version of the scam, your phone number will be used to verify a Craigslist posting that the scammer will use to scam people. There is also an account takeover version of this scam that will involve the scammer sending a password reset token to your phone number and asking you for it.
Bitcoin job scams
Bitcoin job scams involve some sort of fraudulent funds transfer, usually a fake check although a fraudulent bank transfer can be used as well. The scammer will send you the fraudulent money and ask you to purchase bitcoins. This is a scam, and you will have zero recourse after you send the scammer bitcoins.
Email flooding
If you suddenly receive hundreds or thousands of spam emails, usually subscription confirmations, it's very likely that one of your online accounts has been taken over and is being used fraudulently. You should check any of your accounts that has a credit card linked to it, preferably from a computer other than the one you normally use. You should change all of your passwords to unique passwords and you should start using two factor authentication everywhere.
Boss/CEO scam A scammer will impersonate your boss or someone who works at your company and will ask you to run an errand for them, which will usually be purchasing gift cards and sending them the code. Once the scammer has the code, you have no recourse.
Employment certification scams
You will receive a job offer that is dependent on you completing a course or receiving a certification from a company the scammer tells you about. The scammer operates both websites and the job does not exist.
Craigslist fake payment scams
Scammers will ask you about your item that you have listed for sale on a site like Craigslist, and will ask to pay you via Paypal. They are scamming you, and the payment in most cases does not actually exist, the email you received was sent by the scammers. In cases where you have received a payment, the scammer can dispute the payment or the payment may be entirely fraudulent. The scammer will then either try to get you to send money to them using the fake funds that they did not send to you, or will ask you to ship the item, usually to a re-shipping facility or a parcel mule.
General fraudulent funds scams The fake check scam is not the only scam that involves accepting fraudulent/fake funds and purchasing items for scammers. If your job or opportunity involves accepting money and then using that money, it is almost certainly a frauduent funds scam. Even if the payment is through a bank transfer, Paypal, Venmo, Zelle, Interac e-Transfer, etc, it does not matter.
Credit card debt scam
Fraudsters will offer to pay off your bills, and will do so with fraudulent funds. Sometimes it will be your credit card bill, but it can be any bill that can be paid online. Once they pay it off, they will ask you to send them money or purchase items for them. The fraudulent transaction will be reversed in the future and you will never be able to keep the money. This scam happens on sites like Craigslist, Twitter, Instagram, and also some dating sites, including SeekingArrangement.
The parcel mule scam
A scammer will contact you with a job opportunity that involves accepting and reshipping packages. The packages are either stolen or fraudulently obtained items, and you will not be paid by the scammer. Here is a news article about a scam victim who fell for this scam and reshipped over 20 packages containing fraudulently acquired goods.
The Skype sex scam
You're on Facebook and you get a friend request from a cute girl you've never met. She wants to start sexting and trading nudes. She'll ask you to send pictures or videos or get on webcam where she can see you naked with your face in the picture. The scam: There's no girl. You've sent nudes to a guy pretending to be a girl. As soon as he has the pictures he'll demand money and threaten to send the pictures to your friends and family. Sometimes the scammer will upload the video to a porn site or Youtube to show that they are serious.
What to do if you are a victim of this scam: You cannot buy silence, you can only rent it. Paying the blackmailer will show them that the information they have is valuable and they will come after you for more money. Let your friends and family know that you were scammed and tell them to ignore friend requests or messages from people they don't know. Also, make sure your privacy settings are locked down and consider deactivating your account.
The underage girl scam
You're on a dating site or app and you get contacted by a cute girl. She wants to start sexting and trading nudes. Eventually she stops communicating and you get a call from a pissed off guy claiming to be the girl's father, or a police officer, or a private investigator, or something else along those lines. Turns out the girl you were sexting is underage, and her parents want some money for various reasons, such as to pay for a new phone, to pay for therapy, etc. There is, of course, no girl. You were communicating with a scammer.
What to do if you are a victim of this scam: Stop picking up the phone when the scammers call. Do not pay them, or they will be after you for more money.
Phishing
Phishing is when a scammer tries to trick you into giving information to them, such as your password or private financial information. Phishing messages will usually look very similar to official messages, and sometimes they are identical. If you are ever required to login to a different account in order to use a service, you should be incredibly cautious.
The blackmail email scam The exact wording of the emails varies, but there are generally four main parts. They claim to have placed software/malware on a porn/adult video site, they claim to have a video of you masturbating or watching porn, they threaten to release the video to your friends/family/loved ones/boss/dog, and they demand that you pay them in order for them to delete the video. Rest assured that this is a very common spam campaign and there is no truth behind the email or the threats. Here are some news articles about this scam.
The blackmail mail scam
This is very similar to the blackmail email scam, but you will receive a letter in the mail.
Rental scams Usually on local sites like Craigslist, scammers will steal photos from legitimate real estate listings and will list them for rent at or below market rate. They will generally be hesitant to tell you the address of the property for "safety reasons" and you will not be able to see the unit. They will then ask you to pay them a deposit and they claim they will ship you the keys. In reality, your money is gone and you will have no recourse.
Craigslist vehicle scams A scammer will list a vehicle on Craigslist and will offer to ship you the car. In many cases they will also falsely claim to sell you the car through eBay or Amazon. If you are looking for a car on Craigslist and the seller says anything about shipping the car, having an agent, gives you a long story about why they are selling the car, or the listing price is far too low, you are talking to a scammer and you should ignore and move on.
Advance-fee scam, also known as the 419 scam, or the Nigerian prince scam. You will receive a communication from someone who claims that you are entitled to a large sum of money, or you can help them obtain a large sum of money. However, they will need money from you before you receive the large sum.
Man in the middle scams
Man in the middle scams are very common and very hard to detect. The scammer will impersonate a company or person you are legitimately doing business with, and they will ask you to send the money to one of their own bank accounts or one controlled by a money mule. They have gained access to the legitimate persons email address, so there will be nothing suspicious about the email. To prevent this, make contact in a different way that lets you verify that the person you are talking to is the person you think you are talking to.
Cam girl voting/viewer scam
You will encounter a "cam girl" on a dating/messaging/social media/whatever site/app, and the scammer will ask you to go to their site and sign up with your credit card. They may offer a free show, or ask you to vote for them, or any number of other fake stories.
Amateur porn recruitment scam
You will encounter a "pornstar" on a dating/messaging/social media/whatever site/app, and the scammer will ask you to create an adult film with hehim, but first you need to do something. The story here is usually something to do with verifying your age, or you needing to take an STD test that involves sending money to a site operated by the scammer.
Hot girl SMS spam
You receive a text from a random number with a message along the lines of "Hey babe I'm here in town again if you wanted to meet up this time, are you around?" accompanied by a NSFW picture of a hot girl. It's spam, and they'll direct you to their scam website that requires a credit card.
Identity verification scam
You will encounter someone on a dating/messaging/social media/whatever site/app, and the scammer will ask that you verify your identity as they are worried about catfishing. The scammer operates the site, and you are not talking to whoever you think you are talking to.
This type of scam teases you with something, then tries to make you sign up for something else that costs money. The company involved is often innocent, but they turn a blind eye to the practice as it helps their bottom line, even if they have to occasionally issue refunds. A common variation takes place on dating sites/dating apps, where you will match with someone who claims to be a camgirl who wants you to sign up for a site and vote for her. Another variation takes place on local sites like Craigslist, where the scammers setup fake rental scams and demand that you go through a specific service for a credit check. Once you go through with it, the scammer will stop talking to you. Another variation also takes place on local sites like Craigslist, where scammers will contact you while you are selling a car and will ask you to purchase a Carfax-like report from a specific website.
Multi Level Marketing or Affiliate Marketing
You apply for a vague job listing for 'sales' on craigslist. Or maybe an old friend from high school adds you on Facebook and says they have an amazing business opportunity for you. Or maybe the well dressed guy who's always interviewing people in the Starbucks that you work at asks if you really want to be slinging coffee the rest of your life. The scam: MLMs are little more than pyramid schemes. They involve buying some sort of product (usually snake oil health products like body wraps or supplements) and shilling them to your friends and family. They claim that the really money is recruiting people underneath you who give you a slice of whatever they sell. And if those people underneath you recruit more people, you get a piece of their sales. Ideally if you big enough pyramid underneath you the money will roll in without any work on your part. Failure to see any profit will be your fault for not "wanting it enough." The companies will claim that you need to buy their extra training modules or webinars to really start selling. But in reality, the vast majority of people who buy into a MLM won't see a cent. At the end of the day all you'll be doing is annoying your friends and family with your constant recruitment efforts. What to look out for: Recruiters love to be vague. They won't tell you the name of the company or what exactly the job will entail. They'll pump you up with promises of "self-generating income", "being your own boss", and "owning your own company." They might ask you to read books about success and entrepreneurs. They're hoping you buy into the dream first. If you get approached via social media, check their timelines. MLMs will often instruct their victims to pretend that they've already made it. They'll constantly post about how they're hustling and making the big bucks and linking to youtube videos about success. Again, all very vague about what their job actually entails. If you think you're being recruited: Ask them what exactly the job is. If they can't answer its probably a MLM. Just walk away.

Phone scams

You should generally avoid answering or engaging with random phone calls. Picking up and engaging with a scam call tells the scammers that your phone number is active, and will usually lead to more calls.
Tax Call
You get a call from somebody claiming to be from your countries tax agency. They say you have unpaid taxes that need to be paid immediately, and you may be arrested or have other legal action taken against you if it is not paid. This scam has caused the American IRS, Canadian CRA, British HMRC, and Australian Tax Office to issue warnings. This scam happens in a wide variety of countries all over the world.
Warrant Call
Very similar to the tax call. You'll get a phone call from an "agent", "officer", "sheriff", or other law enforcement officer claiming that there is a warrant out for your arrest and you will be arrested very soon. They will then offer to settle everything for a fee, usually paid in giftcards.
[Legal Documents/Process Server Calls]
Very similar to the warrant call. You'll get a phone call from a scammer claiming that they are going to serve you legal documents, and they will threaten you with legal consequences if you refuse to comply. They may call themselves "investigators", and will sometimes give you a fake case number.
Student Loan Forgiveness Scam
Scammers will call you and tell you about a student loan forgiveness program, but they are interested in obtaining private information about you or demanding money in order to join the fake program.
Tech Support Call You receive a call from someone with a heavy accent claiming to be a technician Microsoft or your ISP. They inform you that your PC has a virus and your online banking and other accounts may be compromised if the virus is not removed. They'll have you type in commands and view diagnostics on your PC which shows proof of the virus. Then they'll have you install remote support software so the technician can work on your PC, remove the virus, and install security software. The cost of the labor and software can be hundreds of dollars. The scam: There's no virus. The technician isn't a technician and does not work for Microsoft or your ISP. Scammers (primarily out of India) use autodialers to cold-call everyone in the US. Any file they point out to you or command they have you run is completely benign. The software they sell you is either freeware or ineffective. What to do you if you're involved with this scam: If the scammers are remotely on your computer as you read this, turn off your PC or laptop via the power button immediately, and then if possible unplug your internet connection. Some of the more vindictive tech scammers have been known to create boot passwords on your computer if they think you've become wise to them and aren't going to pay up. Hang up on the scammers, block the number, and ignore any threats about payment. Performing a system restore on your PC is usually all that is required to remove the scammer's common remote access software. Reports of identity theft from fake tech calls are uncommon, but it would still be a good idea to change your passwords for online banking and monitor your accounts for any possible fraud. How to avoid: Ignore any calls claiming that your PC has a virus. Microsoft will never contact you. If you're unsure if a call claiming to be from your ISP is legit, hang up, and then dial the customer support number listed on a recent bill. If you have elderly relatives or family that isn't tech savvy, take the time to fill them in on this scam.
Chinese government scam
This scam is aimed at Chinese people living in Europe and North America, and involves a voicemail from someone claiming to be associated with the Chinese government, usually through the Chinese consulate/embassy, who is threatening legal action or making general threats.
Chinese shipping scam
This scam is similar to the Chinese government scam, but involves a seized/suspicious package, and the scammers will connect the victim to other scammers posing as Chinese government investigators.
Social security suspension scam
You will receive a call from someone claiming to work for the government regarding suspicious activity, fraud, or serious crimes connected to your social security number. You'll be asked to speak to an operator and the operator will explain the steps you need to follow in order to fix the problems. It's all a scam, and will lead to you losing money and could lead to identity theft if you give them private financial information.
Utilities cutoff
You get a call from someone who claims that they are from your utility company, and they claim that your utilities will be shut off unless you immediately pay. The scammer will usually ask for payment via gift cards, although they may ask for payment in other ways, such as Western Union or bitcoin.
Relative in custody Scammer claims to be the police, and they have your son/daughtenephew/estranged twin in custody. You need to post bail (for some reason in iTunes gift cards or MoneyGram) immediately or the consequences will never be the same.
Mexican family scam
This scam comes in many different flavours, but always involves someone in your family and Mexico. Sometimes the scammer will claim that your family member has been detained, sometimes the scammer will claim that your family member has been kidnapped, and sometimes the scammer will claim that your family member is injured and needs help.
General family scams
Scammers will gather a large amount of information about you and target your family members using different stories with the goal of gettimg them to send money.
One ring scam
Scammers will call you from an international number with the goal of getting you to return their call, causing you to incur expensive calling fees.

Online shopping scams

THE GOLDEN RULE OF ONLINE SHOPPING: If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
Dropshipping
An ad on reddit or social media sites like Facebook and Instagram offers items at huge discounts or even free (sometimes requiring you to reblog or like their page). They just ask you to pay shipping. The scam: The item will turn out to be very low quality and will take weeks or even months to arrive. Sometimes the item never arrives, and the store disappears or stops responding. The seller drop-ships the item from China. The item may only cost a few dollars, and the Chinese government actually pays for the shipping. You end up paying $10-$15 dollars for a $4 item, with the scammer keeping the profit. If you find one of these scams but really have your heart set on the item, you can find it on AliExpress or another Chinese retailer.
Influencer scams
A user will reach out to you on a social media platform, usually Instagram, and offer you the chance to partner with them and receive a free/discounted product, as long as you pay shipping. This is a different version of the dropshipping scam, and is just a marketing technique to get you to buy their products.
Triangulation fraud
Triangulation fraud occurs when you make a purchase on a site like Amazon or eBay for an item at a lower than market price, and receive an item that was clearly purchased new at full price. The scammer uses a stolen credit card to order your item, while the money from the listing is almost all profit for the scammer.
Instagram influencer scams
Someone will message you on Instagram asking you to promote their products, and offering you a discount code. The items are Chinese junk, and the offer is made to many people at a time.
Cheap Items
Many websites pop up and offer expensive products, including electronics, clothes, watches, sunglasses, and shoes at very low prices. The scam: Some sites are selling cheap knock-offs. Some will just take your money and run. What to do if you think you're involved with this scam: Contact your bank or credit card and dispute the charge. How to avoid: The sites often have every brand-name shoe or fashion item (Air Jordan, Yeezy, Gucci, etc) in stock and often at a discounted price. The site will claim to be an outlet for a major brand or even a specific line or item. The site will have images at the bottom claiming to be Secured by Norton or various official payment processors but not actual links. The site will have poor grammar and a mish-mash of categories. Recently, established websites will get hacked or their domain name jacked and turned into scam stores, meaning the domain name of the store will be completely unrelated to the items they're selling. If the deal sounds too good to be true it probably is. Nobody is offering brand new iPhones or Beats or Nintendo Switches for 75% off.
Cheap Amazon 3rd Party Items
You're on Amazon or maybe just Googling for an item and you see it for an unbelievable price from a third-party seller. You know Amazon has your back so you order it. The scam: One of three things usually happen: 1) The seller marks the items as shipped and sends a fake tracking number. Amazon releases the funds to the seller, and the seller disappears. Amazon ultimately refunds your money. 2) The seller immediately cancels the order and instructs you to re-order the item directly from their website, usually with the guarantee that the order is still protected by Amazon. The seller takes your money and runs. Amazon informs you that they do not offer protection on items sold outside of Amazon and cannot help you. 2) The seller immediately cancels the order and instructs you to instead send payment via an unused Amazon gift card by sending the code on the back via email. Once the seller uses the code, the money on the card is gone and cannot be refunded. How to avoid: These scammers can be identified by looking at their Amazon storefronts. They'll be brand new sellers offering a wide range of items at unbelievable prices. Usually their Amazon names will be gibberish, or a variation on FIRSTNAME.LASTNAME. Occasionally however, established storefronts will be hacked. If the deal is too good to be true its most likely a scam.
Scams on eBay
There are scams on eBay targeting both buyers and sellers. As a seller, you should look out for people who privately message you regarding the order, especially if they ask you to ship to a different address or ask to negotiate via text/email/a messaging service. As a buyer you should look out for new accounts selling in-demand items, established accounts selling in-demand items that they have no previous connection to (you can check their feedback history for a general idea of what they bought/sold in the past), and lookout for people who ask you to go off eBay and use another service to complete the transaction. In many cases you will receive a fake tracking number and your money will be help up for up to a month.
Scams on Amazon
There are scams on Amazon targeting both buyers and sellers. As a seller, you should look out for people who message you about a listing. As a buyer you should look out for listings that have an email address for you to contact the person to complete the transaction, and you should look out for cheap listings of in-demand items.
Scams on Reddit
Reddit accounts are frequently purchased and sold by fraudsters who wish to use the high karma count + the age of the account to scam people on buy/sell subreddits. You need to take precautions and be safe whenever you are making a transaction online.
Computer scams
Virus scam
A popup or other ad will say that you have a virus and you need to follow their advice in order to remove it. They are lying, and either want you to install malware or pay for their software.

Assorted scams

Chinese Brushing / direct shipping
If you have ever received an unsolicited small package from China, your address was used to brush. Vendors place fake orders for their own products and send out the orders so that they can increase their ratings.
Money flipping
Scammer claims to be a banking insider who can double/triple/bazoople any amount of money you send them, with no consequences of any kind. Obviously, the money disappears into their wallet the moment you send it.

Door to door scams

As a general rule, you should not engage with door to door salesmen. If you are interested in the product they are selling, check online first.
Selling Magazines
Someone or a group will come to your door and offer to sell a magazine subscription. Often the subscriptions are not for the duration or price you were told, and the magazines will often have tough or impossible cancellation policies.
Energy sales
Somebody will come to your door claiming to be from an energy company. They will ask to see your current energy bill so that they can see how much you pay. They will then offer you a discount if you sign up with them, and promise to handle everything with your old provider. Some of these scammers will "slam" you, by using your account number that they saw on your bill to switch you to their service without authorization, and some will scam you by charging higher prices than the ones you agreed on.
Security system scams
Scammers will come to your door and ask about your security system, and offer to sell you a new one. These scammers are either selling you overpriced low quality products, or are casing your home for a future burglary.
They ask to enter your home
While trying to sell you whatever, they suddenly need to use your bathroom, or they've been writing against the wall and ask to use your table instead. Or maybe they just moved into the neighborhood and want to see how you decorate for ideas.
They're scoping out you and your place. They want to see what valuables you have, how gullible you are, if you have a security system or dogs, etc.

Street scams

Begging With a Purpose
"I just need a few more dollars for the bus," at the bus station, or "I just need $5 to get some gas," at a gas station. There's also a variation where you will be presented with a reward: "I just need money for a cab to get uptown, but I'll give you sports tickets/money/a date/a priceless vase."
Three Card Monte, Also Known As The Shell Game
Unbeatable. The people you see winning are in on the scam.
Drop and Break
You bump into someone and they drop their phone/glasses/fancy bottle of wine/priceless vase and demand you pay them back. In reality, it's a $2 pair of reading glasses/bottle of three-buck-chuck/tasteful but affordable vase.
CD Sales
You're handed a free CD so you can check out the artist's music. They then ask for your name and immediately write it on the CD. Once they've signed your name, they ask you for money, saying they can't give it to someone else now. Often they use dry erase markers, or cheap CD sleeves. Never use any type of storage device given to you by a random person, as the device can contain malware.
White Van Speaker Scam
You're approached and offered speakers/leather jackets/other luxury goods at a discount. The scammer will have an excuse as to why the price is so low. After you buy them, you'll discover that they are worthless.
iPhone Street Sale
You're approached and shown an iPhone for sale, coming in the box, but it's open and you can see the phone. If you buy the phone, you'll get an iPhone box with no iPhone, just some stones or cheap metal in it to weigh it down.
Buddhist Monk Pendant
A monk in traditional garb approaches you, hands you a gold trinket, and asks for a donation. He holds either a notebook with names and amounts of donation (usually everyone else has donated $5+), or a leaflet with generic info. This is fairly common in NYC, and these guys get aggressive quickly.
Friendship Bracelet Scam More common in western Europe, you're approached by someone selling bracelets. They quickly wrap a loop of fabric around your finger and pull it tight, starting to quickly weave a bracelet. The only way to (easily) get it off your hand is to pay. Leftover sales
This scam involves many different items, but the idea is usually the same: you are approached by someone who claims to have a large amount of excess inventory and offers to sell it to you at a great price. The scammer actually has low quality items and will lie to you about the price/origin of the items.
Dent repair scams
Scammers will approach you in public about a dent in your car and offer to fix it for a low price. Often they will claim that they are mechanics. They will not fix the dent in your car, but they will apply large amounts of wax or other substances to hide the dent while they claim that the substance requires time to harden.
Gold ring/jewelry/valuable item scam
A scammer will "find" a gold ring or other valuable item and offers to sell it to you. The item is fake and you will never see the scammer again.
Distraction theft
One person will approach you and distract you, while their accomplice picks your pockets. The distraction can take many forms, but if you are a tourist and are approached in public, watch closely for people getting close to you.

General resources

Site to report scams in the United Kingdom: http://www.actionfraud.police.uk/
Site to report scams in the United States: https://www.ic3.gov/default.aspx
Site to report scams in Canada: www.antifraudcentre-centreantifraude.ca/reportincident-signalerincident/index-eng.htm
Site to report scams in Europe: https://www.europol.europa.eu/report-a-crime/report-cybercrime-online
FTC scam alerts: https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/scam-alerts
Microsoft's anti-scam guide: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/safety/online-privacy/avoid-phone-scams.aspx
https://www.usa.gov/common-scams-frauds
https://www.usa.gov/scams-and-frauds
https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/features/scam-alerts
https://www.fbi.gov/scams-and-safety/common-fraud-schemes
submitted by EugeneBYMCMB to Scams [link] [comments]

The 276 Questions to Answer Before Getting Married

Hi FDS Community,
I originally came across this exhaustive list on Quora, though I’m sure it’s from elsewhere. It’s a list of 276 questions that should be asked to and answered by your partner before settling into the ultimate commitment. The idea is to thoroughly vet your partner for compatibility before meshing your lives. I’ve learned over the years that compatibility and chemistry are to totally different things, and while both are needed, I would say compatibility should be weighted more.
I do think some of these questions are invasive/personal, but it’s your life. And choosing your partner for a life commitment is one of the most important decisions you’ll ever make. At least that’s what I’ve heard.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
WORK
  1. Are you working in your chosen field?
  2. How many hours a week do you work?
  3. What does your job entail? (For examp[1] le, do you often travel for business, work at home, performs dangerous tasks?)
  4. What is your dream job?
  5. Have you ever been called a workaholic?
  6. What is your retirement plan? What do you plan to do when you stop working?
  7. Have you ever been fired?
  8. Have you ever quit a job suddenly? Have you changed jobs a lot?
  9. Do you consider your work a career or just a job?
  10. Has your work ever been a factor in the breakup of a relationship?
HOME
  1. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?
  2. Do you prefer urban, suburban, or rural settings?
  3. Is it important to have your own private home, or do you prefer apartment or condo living, with a management company responsible for the maintenance? Are you a do-it yourselfer, or would you rather hire professionals? Do you prefer to clean your own home or hire a housekeeper?
  4. Do you think of your home as a cocoon, or is your door always open? What do you need to feel energized and inspired in your home?
  5. Is quiet important in your home, or do you prefer having music or some background noise most of the time? Is it important to have a TV in the bedroom? Living room? Kitchen? Do you like to sleep with the TV or radio on?
  6. How important is it for you to have a space in your home that is yours alone?
  7. Have differences about home style ever been a factor in the breakup of a relationship?
  8. If you had unlimited resources, how would you live?
  9. How important is it for you to make a lot of money?
  10. What is your annual income?
  11. Do you pay alimony or child support?
22 Do you believe in prenuptial agreements? Under what circumstances?
  1. Do you believe in establishing a family budget?
  2. Should individuals within a marriage have separate bank accounts in addition to joint accounts? Do you feel that bills should be divided based on a percentage of each person’s salary?
  3. Who should handle the finances in your family?
  4. Do you have significant debts?
  5. Do you gamble?
  6. Did you have a paying job when you were in high school? Before high school?
  7. Have you ever been called cheap or stingy?
  8. Do you believe that a certain amount of money should be set aside for pleasure, even if you�re on a tight budget?
  9. Have you ever used money as a way of controlling a relationship? Has anyone ever tried to control you with money?
  10. Has money ever been a factor for you in the breakup of a relationship?
RELATIONSHIP HISTORY
  1. Have you ever felt deeply insecure in a relationship? Were you able to name your fear?
  2. When was the first time you felt that you were in love with another person? What happened in that relationship, and how have you come to terms with it?
  3. What is the longest relationship you have ever had prior to this one? Why did it end, and what lesson did you learn?
  4. Have you ever been married? If so, are you divorced or widowed? How do you think you handled the loss?
  5. If you have a current partner, do they know of behaviors that you exhibited in your previous relationship that you�re not proud of?
  6. Do you believe that past relationships should be left in the past and not talked about in your current relationship?
  7. Do you tend to judge current partners on past relationships?
  8. Have you ever sought marriage counseling? What did the experience teach you?
  9. Do you have children from previous marriages or non-marital relationships? What is your relationship with them? How do you see your relationship with them in the future?
  10. Have you ever been engaged to be married but didn�t go through with the wedding?
  11. Have you ever had a live-in partner? Why did you choose to live together instead of marrying? What did your experience teach you about the importance of marriage and about commitment?
  12. Do you harbor fears that the person you love might reject you or fail out of love with you?
SEX
  1. What sexual activities do you enjoy the most? Are there specific sexual acts that make you uncomfortable? Be specific! This is no time to hedge.
  2. Do you feel comfortable initiating sex? If yes, why? If no, why?
  3. What do you need in order to be in the mood for sex?
  4. Have you ever been sexually abused or assaulted?
  5. What was the attitude toward sex in your family? Was it talked about? Who taught you about sex?
  6. Do you use sex to self-medicate? If something upsets you, do you use sex to try and help you feel better?
  7. Have you ever felt forced to have sex to �keep the peace�? Have you ever forced someone or been told that you forced someone to have sex with you to �keep the peace�?
  8. Is sexual fidelity an absolute necessity in a good marriage?
  9. Do you enjoy viewing pornography?
  10. How often do you need or expect sex?
  11. Have you ever a sexual relationship with a person of the same sex?
  12. Has sexual dissatisfaction ever been a factor for you in the breakup of a relationship?
HEALTH
  1. How would you describe the current state of your health?
  2. Have you ever had a serious illness? Have you ever had surgery?
  3. Do you believe it is a sacred responsibility to take care of yourself? Do you believe that taking care of your physical and mental health is a part of honoring your marriage vows?
  4. Are there genetic diseases in your family or a history of cancer, heart disease, or chronic illness?
  5. Do you have health insurance? Dental insurance?
  6. Do you belong to a gym? If so, how much time do you spend at the gym every week?
  7. Do you play sports or take exercise classes?
  8. Have you ever been in a physically or emotionally abusive relationship?
  9. Have you ever suffered from an eating disorder?
  10. Have you ever been in a serious accident?
  11. Do you take medication?
  12. Have you ever had a sexually transmitted disease?
P.. Have you ever been treated for a mental disorder?
  1. Do you see a therapist?
  2. Do you smoke, or have you ever smoked?
  3. Do you consider yourself an addictive personality, and have you ever suffered from an addiction? Have you ever been told you have an addiction problem, even though you might disagree?
  4. How much alcohol do you drink every week?
  5. Do you use recreational drugs?
  6. Do you have a medical problem that impacts your ability to have a satisfying sex life (for example, erectile dysfunction, premature ejaculation, vaginal dryness, drug/alcohol addiction, etc)?
  7. Have any of these health problems ever been a factor for you in the breakup of a relationship?
APPEARANCE
  1. How important is it that you always look your best?
  2. How important is your spouse�s appearance? Do you have strong preferences about being with a particular physical �type�?
  3. Are there cosmetic procedures that you regularly undergo?
  4. Is weight control important to you? Is your spouse�s weight important to you? What would your reaction be if your partner were to gain a significant amount of weight?
  5. How much money do you spend on clothing every year?
  6. Do you worry about getting old? Do you worry about losing your looks?
  7. What do you like and dislike about your appearance? When you were a child, were you often complimented or shamed about your looks?
  8. What would your reaction be if your spouse lost a limb? A breast? How would you handle this loss?
  9. Do you feel that you can have good chemistry with someone who is moderately physically attractive to you, or is a strong physical attraction necessary? Has physical appearance or �chemistry� ever been a factor in the breakup of a relationship?
PARENTHOOD
  1. Do you want children? When? How many? Are you unable to have children?
  2. Would you feel unfulfilled if you were unable to have children?
  3. Who is responsible for birth control? What would you do if there were an accidental pregnancy before you planned to have children?
  4. What is your view of fertility treatments? Adoption? Would you adopt if you were unable to have a child naturally?
  5. What is your view of abortion? Should a husband have an equal say in whether his wife has an abortion? Have you ever had an abortion?
  6. Have you ever given birth to a child or fathered a child who was put up for adoption?
  7. How important is it to you that your children are raised near your extended family?
  8. Do you believe that a good mother will want to breast-feed her baby? Do you believe a mother or father should stay at home with a child during the first six months of life? The first year? Longer?
  9. Do you believe in spanking a child? What type of discipline do you believe in (time-out, standing in the corner, taking away privileges, etc.)?
  10. Do you believe that children have rights? Do you feel that a child�s opinion should be considered when making family and life decisions, such as moving or changing schools?
  11. Do you believe that children should be raised with some religious or spiritual foundation?
  12. Should boys be treated the same as girls? Should they have the same rules for conduct? Should you have the same expectations for their sexual behavior?
  13. Would you put your teenage daughter on birth control if you knew that she was sexually active?
  14. How would you handle it if you didn�t like your child�s friends?
  15. Would you put your teenage daughter on birth control if you knew that she was sexually active?
  16. How would you handle it if you didn’t like your child’s friends?
  17. In a blended family; should birth parents be in charge of making decisions for their own children?
  18. Would you ever consider getting a vasectomy or having your tubes tied? Do you believe it�s your choice, or does your partner have a say?
  19. Have differences concerning conception or child-raising ever been a factor for you in the breakup of a relationship?
EXTENDED FAMILIES
  1. Are you close to your family?
  2. Are you or have you ever been alienated from your family?
  3. Do you have a difficult time setting limits with family?
  4. Have you identified the childhood wound that may have sabotaged your relationships in the past�the deeply imprinted fear that made you want to escape? How were you most hurt in your family; and who hurt you?
  5. How important is it that you and your partner be on good terms with each other�s families?
  6. How did your parents settle conflicts when you were a child? Do people in your family carry long-term grudges?
  7. How much influence do your parents still have over your decisions?
  8. Have unresolved or ongoing family issues ever been a factor for you in the breakup of a relationship?
FRIENDS
FRIENDS
  1. Do you have a �best friend�?
  2. Do you see a close friend or friends at least once a week? Do you speak to any of your friends on the phone every day?
  3. Are your friendships as Important to you as your life partner is?
  4. If your friends need you, are you there for them?
  5. Is it important to you for your partner to accept and like your friends?
  6. Is it important that you and your partner have friends in common?
  7. Do you have a difficult time setting limits with friends?
  8. Has a partner ever been responsible for breaking up a friendship? Have friends ever been a factor for you in the breakup of a relationship?
PETS
  1. Are you an animal lover?
  2. Do you have a dog, cat, or other beloved pet?
  3. Is your attitude �Love me, love my dog [cat; potbellied pig]?�
  4. Have you ever been physically aggressive with an animal? Have you deliberately hurt an animal?
  5. Do you believe a person should give up his or her pet if it interferes with the relationship?
  6. Do you consider pets members of your family?
  7. Have you ever been jealous of a partner�s relationship with a pet?
  8. Have disagreements about pets ever been a factor for you in the breakup of a relationship?
POLITICS
  1. Do you consider yourself liberal, moderate, or conservatives, or do you reject political labels? What was the attitude in your family about political involvement and social action?
  2. Do you belong to a political party? Are you actively involved?
  3. Did you vote in the last presidential election? Congressional election? Local election?
  4. Do you believe that two people of differing political ideologies can have a successful marriage?
  5. Do you believe that the political system is skewed against people of color, poor people, and the disenfranchised?
  6. Which political issues do you care about? (For example, equality national security, privacy, the environment, the budget; women�s rights, gay rights, human rights, etc.).
  7. Has politics ever been a factor in the breakup of a relationship?
COMMUNITY
  1. Is it important for you to be involved in your local community?
  2. Do you like having a close relationship with your neighbors? For example, would you give a neighbor a spare key to your home?
  3. Do you regularly participate in community projects?
  4. Do you believe that good fences make good neighbors?
  5. Have you ever had a serious dispute with a neighbor?
  6. Do you take pains to be considerate of your neighbors (for example, keeping a lid on loud music, barking dogs, etc.)?
CHARITY
  1. How important is it to you to contribute time or money to charity?
  2. Which kind of charities do you like to support? How much of your annual income do you donate to charity?
  3. Do you feel that it is the responsibility of the �haves� of the world to help the �have-nots�?
  4. Have attitudes about charitable contributions ever been a factor in the breakup of a relationship?
MILITARY
  1. Have you served in the military?
  2. Have your parents or other relatives served in the military?
  3. Would you want your children to serve in the military?
  4. Do you personally identify more with a nonviolent approach, or with making change through military force and action?
  5. Has military service or attitudes about military service ever been a factor for you in the breakup of a relationship?
THE LAW
  1. Do you consider yourself a law-abiding person?
  2. Have you ever committed a crime? If yes, what was it?
  3. Have you ever been arrested? If yes, for what?
  4. Have you ever been in jail? If yes, why?
  5. Have you ever been involved in a legal action or lawsuit? If yes, what were the circumstances?
  6. Have you ever been the victim of a violent crime? If yes, describe what happened.
  7. Do you believe it�s important to be rigorously honest when you pay taxes?
  8. Have you ever failed to pay child support? If so, why?
  9. Have legal or criminal issues ever been a factor in the breakup of a relationship?
MEDIA
  1. Where do you get your news (for example, TV news programs, radio, newspapers, newsmagazines, the Internet, friends)?
  2. Do you believe what you read and see in the news, or do you question where information is coming from and what the true agenda is?
  3. Do you seek out media with diverse perspectives on the news?
  4. Have media differences ever been a factor in the breakup of a relationship?
RELIGION
  1. Do you believe in God? What does that mean to you?
  2. Do you have a current religious affiliation? Is it a big part of your life?
  3. When you were growing up, did your family belong to a church, synagogue, temple, or mosque?
  4. Do you currently practice a different religion from the one in which you were raised?
  5. Do you believe in life after death?
  6. Does your religion impose any behavioral restrictions (dietary, social, familial, sexual) that would affect your partner?
  7. Do you consider yourself a religious person? A spiritual person?
  8. Do you engage in spiritual practices outside of organized religion?
  9. How important is it to you for your partner to share your religious beliefs?
  10. How important is it to you for your children to be raised in your religion?
  11. Is spirituality a part of your daily life and practice?
  12. Has religion or spiritual practice ever been a factor in the breakup of a relationship?
CULTURE
  1. Does popular culture have an important impact on your life?
  2. Do you spend time reading about, watching, or discussing actors, musicians, models, or other celebrities?
  3. Do you think most celebrities have a better, more exciting life than you do? (By the way, if they do, maybe it’s because they are living their lives, while you are watching them live their lives. Are you wasting the opportunity and gift to live your own life?)
  4. Do you regularly go to the movies, or do you prefer to rent movies and watch them at home?
  5. What is your favorite style of music?
  6. Do you attend concerts featuring your favorite musicians?
  7. Do you enjoy going to museums or art shows?
  8. Do you like to dance?
  9. Do you like to watch TV for entertainment?
  10. Have attitudes or behaviors around popular culture ever been a factor in the breakup of a relationship?
LEISURE
  1. What is your idea of a fun day?
  2. Do you have a hobby that�s important to you?
  3. Do you enjoy spectator sports?
  4. Are certain seasons off-limits for other activities because of football, baseball, basketball, or other sports?
  5. What activities do you enjoy that don�t involve your partner? How important is it to you that you and your partner enjoy the same leisure activities?
  6. How much money do you regularly spend on leisure activities?
  7. Do you enjoy activities that might make your partner uncomfortable, such as hanging out in bars drinking, going to strip clubs, or gambling?
  8. Have leisure time issues ever been a factor in the breakup of a relationship?
  9. Do you enjoy entertaining, or do you worry that you�ll do something wrong or people won�t have a good time?
  10. Is it important for you to attend social events regularly, or does the prospect rarely appeal to you?
  11. Do you look forward to at least one night out every week, or do you prefer to enjoy yourself at home?
  12. Does your work involve attending social functions? If so, are these occasions a burden or a pleasure? Do you expect your spouse to be present, or do you prefer that your spouse not be present?
  13. Do you socialize primarily with people from work, or with people from the same ethnic/racial/religious/ socioeconomic background? Or do you socialize with a diverse mix of people?
  14. Are you usually the �life of the party,” or do you dislike being singled out for attention?
  15. Have you or a partner ever had an argument caused by one or the other�s behavior at a social function?
  16. Have differences about socializing ever been a factor for you in the breakup of a relationship?
HOLIDAY AND BIRTHDAYS
  1. Which (if any holidays do you believe are the most important to celebrate?
  2. Do you maintain a family tradition around certain holidays?
  3. How important are birthday celebrations to you? Anniversaries?
  4. Have differences about holidays/birthdays ever been a factor for you in the breakup of a relationship?
TRAVEL / VACATIONS
  1. Do you enjoy traveling, or are you a homebody?
  2. Are vacation getaways an important part of your yearly planning?
  3. How much of your annual income do you designate for vacation and travel expenses?
  4. Do you have favorite vacation destinations? Do you believe it’s wasteful to spend money on vacations to distant places?
  5. Do you think it’s important to have a passport? To speak a foreign language?
  6. Have disputes about travel and vacation ever been a factor in the breakup of a relationship?
EDUCATION
  1. What is your level of formal education? Is your education a source of pride or shame?
  2. Do you regularly sign up for courses that interest you, or enroll in advanced-learning programs that will help you in your career or profession?
  3. Do you think that college graduates are smarter than people who didn�t attend college? Have disparities in education ever been a source of tension for you in a relationship, or ended a relationship?
  4. How do you feel about private school education for children? Do you have a limit on how much you would be willing to invest in private school education?
  5. Have education levels or priorities ever been a factor in the breakup of a relationship?
TRANSPORTATION
  1. Do you own or lease a car? Would you ever consider not having a car?
  2. Is the year, make, and model of the car you drive important to you? Is your car your �castle�?
  3. Are fuel efficiency and environmental protection factors when you choose a car?
  4. Given the availability of reliable public transportation, would you prefer not to drive a car at all?
  5. How much time do you spend maintaining and caring for your vehicle? Are you reluctant to let others drive your car?
  6. How long is your daily commute? Is it by bus, train, car, or carpool?
  7. Do you consider yourself a good driver? Have you ever received a speeding ticket?
  8. Have cars or driving ever been a factor in the breakup of a relationship?
COMMUNICATION
  1. How much time do you spend on the phone every day?
  2. Do you have a cell phone? A BlackBerry?
  3. Do you belong to any Internet chat groups? Do you spend significant time each day writing c-mails?
  4. Do you have an unlisted telephone number? If yes, why?
  5. Do you consider yourself a communicator or a private person?
  6. What are the circumstances under which you would not answer the telephone, cell phone, or BlackBerry?
  7. Has modem communication ever been a factor in the breakup of a relationship?
MEALTIME
  1. Do you like to eat most of your meals sitting at the table, or do you tend to eat on the run?
  2. Do you love to cook? Do you love to eat? 232. When you were growing up, was it important that everybody be present for dinner?
  3. Do you follow a specific diet regimen that limits your food choices? Do you expect others in your household to adhere to certain dietary restrictions?
  4. In your family is food ever used as a bribe or a proof of love?
  5. Has eating ever been a source of shame for you?
  6. Have eating and food ever been a source of tension and stress in a relationship? Have they ever been a factor in the breakup of a relationship?
GENDER ROLE
  1. Are there household responsibilities you believe to be the sole domain of a man or a woman? Why do you believe this?
  2. Do you believe that marriages are stronger if a woman defers to her husband in most areas? Do you need to feel either in control or taken care of?
  3. How important is equality in a marriage? Define what you mean by �equality.�
  4. Do you believe that roles in your family should be filled by the person best equipped for the job, even if it is an unconventional arrangement?
  5. How did your family view the roles of girls and boys, men and women? In your family; could anyone do any job as long as it got done well?
  6. Have different ideas about gender roles ever been a source of tension for you in a relationship, or the cause of a breakup?
RACE, ETHNICITY, AND DIFFERENCES
  1. What did you learn about race and ethnic differences as a child?
  2. Which of those beliefs from childhood do you still carry; and which have you shed?
  3. Does your work environment look more like the United Nations, or like a mirror of yourself? How about your personal life?
  4. How would you feel if your child dated someone of a different race or ethnicity? The same gender? How would you feel if he or she married this person?
  5. Are you aware of your own biases regarding race and ethnicity? What are they? Where did they come from? (We aren�t born biased, we learn it, and it�s important to trace where it was learned.)
  6. Have race, ethnicity, and differences ever been a source of tension and stress for you in a relationship?
  7. What were your family�s views of race, ethnicity, and difference?
  8. Is it important to you that your partner shares your vision of race, ethnicity, and difference?
  9. Have different ideas about race, ethnicity~ and difference ever been a factor in the breakup of a relationship?
LIVING EVERY DAY
  1. Would you consider yourself a morning person or a night person?
  2. Do you judge people who have a different waking and sleeping clock than you?
254 Are you a physically affectionate person?
  1. What is your favorite season of the year?
  2. When you disagree with your partner, do you tend to fight or withdraw?
  3. What is your idea of a fair division of labor in your household?
  4. Do you consider yourself an easygoing person, or are you most comfortable with a firm plan of action?
  5. How much sleep do you need every night?
  6. Do you like to be freshly showered and wearing clean clothes every day, even on weekends or vacations?
  7. What is your idea of perfect relaxation?
  8. What makes you really angry? What do you do when you�re really angry?
  9. What makes you most joyful? What do you do when you are joyful?
  10. What makes you most insecure? How do you handle your insecurities?
  11. What makes you most secure?
  12. Do you fight fair? How do you know?
  13. How do you celebrate when something great happens? How do you mourn when something tragic happens?
  14. What is your greatest limitation?
  15. What is your greatest strength?
  16. What most stands in the way of your creating a passionate and caring marriage?
  17. What do you need to do today to move toward making your dream marriage a reality?
  18. What makes you most afraid?
  19. What drains you of your joy and passion?
  20. What replenishes your mind, body, and spirit?
  21. What makes your heart smile in tough times?
  22. What makes you feel the most alive?
submitted by Delicious-Scholar to FemaleDatingStrategy [link] [comments]

Science Funder Jeffrey Epstein Launches Radical Emotional Software For The Gaming Industry

(These articles are starting to get scrubbed!! Are the lawsuits all just misdirection? Had to go back on the wayback machine to get access.)
https://web.archive.org/web/20150103225802/https://www.forbes.com/sites/drewhendricks/2013/10/02/science-funder-jeffrey-epstein-launches-radical-emotional-software-for-the-gaming-industry/
———————————————————
Science Funder Jeffrey Epstein Launches Radical Emotional Software For The Gaming Industry
Drew Hendricks 10/02/2013
Virtual gaming is about to warp through a black hole, thanks to a band of scientists in Hong Kong and a hedge funder with a zealous science background, called Jeffrey Epstein. Indeed, game programming is moving away from algorithmic robots to a twilight realm of emotional thinkers, taking online, video and toy entrepreneurs, one step closer to Star Trek’s ‘Holodeck’.
For years, in virtual gaming, the only intelligent player was the person playing the game, responding to non-reactive obstacles. At most, opponents could blow up or morph into something else. Whatever the reaction, it was a simple linear or algorithmic response (if A, then B, if A+D, then C).
By the 1970’s, opponents became more complex with the development of virtual chess, where the program responded to a vast network of algorithmic possibilities: up to 10123 chess board variations to be exact. But even in those scenarios, the program remains purely reactive and deterministic: it does not have any goals, nor does it aim for check mate, but simply responds to a series of steps that lead to that direction.
Today’s gaming characters from virtual soldiers to Tinkerbell are also vastly more complex than their dash line tennis, Pac Man or Pong forbearers. Like the chess program, virtual soldiers can react to a wide variation of landscape scenarios and respond in a myriad of ways, based on each case.
The Artificial Intelligence (AI) group in Hong Kong behind this new emotive software is called Open Cog. As an open-source foundation, Open Cog (‘Cognition for All’) lead by co-founder Ben Goertzel, develops programming language for the AI community to share, in what is still a very fragmented field. However, in efforts to map the architecture of the human mind, Open Cog also programed three game characters, a ghost, a robot and a girl that push past traditional gaming algorithms:
Each character has programmed into them a database called an AtomSpace. AtomSpace consists of hundreds of ‘atoms’ which are knowledge concepts such as objects (chair, table, shelf), actions (sitting, running, singing) and feelings (anger, joy, fear). Every time an algorithm, called MindAgents, leads a character to more than one an atom, the associative link gets stronger, influencing the characters’ future pathway choices. In this sense, a character builds and incorporates associative memory. At the same time, links can decay over time if not used by algorithms, weakening a character’s memory.
Another unique feature is the use of several algorithms functioning at the same time, called, “cognitive synergy”. The theory behind this synergy is that humans have multiple thought processes going on simultaneously, prioritizing one’s over others in order to function.
OpenPsi, inspired by AI scientist Joscha Bach in Berlin, is another program built into these novel characters. OpenPsi governs a character’s basic needs and thus which pathway to take. OpenPsi is based on German psychologist Dietrich Dörner’s theory that animal behavior is driven by five basic needs: existence preservation (food, water, body integrity—avoidance of pain), species preservation (sexuality, reproduction), affiliation (need to belong to a group, social interaction), certainty (need to predict events and their consequences), competence (capacity to master problems and taks). Each of these needs gets filled or depleted based on time and interaction with various atoms. The status of a need has a significant impact on which pathways a character chooses to take. For example, if the need for water is extremely high, a character will prioritize a water atom in its pathway choice.
For entrepreneurs, Open Cog, together with M Lab from Hong Kong Polytechnic University, supplies a software toolkit to incorporate their characters into whatever applications the market is using: from virtual landscapes to toys and even robots. As a showcase, Open Cog has also developed its own 3D landscape for its characters to function in, inspired largely by the popular building game called Minecraft.
Open Cog’s goals differ from the gaming industry which is already lining up to exploit the new software. While it intends to make a profit, they are primarily interested in using a virtual platform to test their hypothesis about the mind. “The disparity between these models and our experience of the mind is an invaluable guide to follow,” Jeffrey Epstein remarked, the financial guru behind this effort, along with the Hong Kong government and Hong Kong Polytechnic University. “It’s somewhat like building a car, with no instructions, but our impression of what a car can do.”
Over the last ten years, Jeffrey Epstein has become one of the largest backers of cutting edge science around the world. According to New York Magazine, Epstein has donated up to $200 million a year to eminent scientists, including: Stephen Hawking, Marvin Minsky, Eric Lander, George Church, and Nobel laureate physicists Gerard ’t Hooft, David Gross, and Frank Wilczek. Like Open Cog, Epstein is motivated by learning more about the mind, versus creating a new start-up product. He currently sits on the board of the Mind, Brain and Behavior Committee at Harvard. In 2003, Epstein founded the Program for Evolutionary Dynamics at Harvard University, with a $30 million dollar gift to the university. The Program studies the mathematical evolution of micro-biology and has made key discoveries into the treatment of cancer, HIV and other infectious diseases.
While Open Cog’s game software has not yet been commercialized, it is aimed for the market by the half of 2014. The software has already had an impact however on the robot industry where companies such as Hanson Robotics, developed by David Hanson, are incorporating it to advance the way their human-like robots function and interact with people.
While far from being a replica of the human mind, the result of Open Cog’s software are characters that have needs, continuously adjusting and even evolving. And as scientists get closer to mapping the mechanics of the human mind, it’s possible that we’ll discover that we are more pre-determined than we think: that pain is just an electrical impulse, and that free will, though weighing a million different neural filaments or ‘atoms’, is set in genetic stone—but it’s also known that the mind, as in the virtual world, changes its own architecture, and thus will continue to change our destiny.
submitted by yunibyte to Epstein [link] [comments]

It's #BellLetsTalk day in Canada today, what can we do as a collective to promote greater discussions & support surrounding mental health?

.#BellLetsTalk is an initiative created by Bell Canada in an effort to get the ball rolling on mental health discussions for everyone. Texts, tweets, shares and all that lead to donations of $0.05 by Bell.
These donations go to supporting mental health programs all across Canada.
It's often speculated to just be a tax write-off for the company and very well could be as a biproduct but at least it creates dialogue surrounding mental health issues.
As I often see tons of posts with both men & women on here struggling with a multitude of issues with anything as small as car problems or what kind of milk to buy all the way up to finding purpose in life, career changes, dealing with grief & loss, addictions... And so much more.
How can we work together to create a better environment for all of those struggling?
I have to say, I am very grateful to have found this sub. I've received a lot of wisdom from people in all walks of life that have helped me to overcome a plethora of issues in my life.
If you're struggling, I'm here to talk (if & when you are ready.)
Much love ♥️
Edit: It appears that I've caused much distress among a few people observing this post. For all intents & purposes, I have no affiliation with nor do I work for the aforementioned company. Merely trying to raise awareness through social vehicles that are currently on the move.
I appreciate the 'constructive' feedback from a few of you.
It would appear that the usage of a hashtag at the beginning of a sentence bolds a paragraph. Had no idea. Definitely wasn't my intention to bold that text as an effort to promote the company.
Edit: Clarity
submitted by EveryFkinNameIsTaken to AskMenOver30 [link] [comments]

/r/Scams Common Scam Master Post

Hello visitors and subscribers of scams! Here you will find a master list of common (and uncommon) scams that you may encounter online or in real life. Thank you to the many contributors who helped create this thread!

If you know of a scam that is not covered here, write a comment and it will be added to the next edition.

Previous threads: https://old.reddit.com/Scams/search?q=common+scams+master+post&restrict_sr=on
Blackmail email scam thread: https://reddit.com/Scams/comments/dohaea/the_blackmail_email_scam_part_4/
Some of these articles are from small, local publications and refer to the scam happening in a specific area. Do not think that this means that the scam won't happen in your area.

Spoofing

Caller ID spoofing
It is very easy for anyone to make a phone call while having any number show up on the caller ID of the person receiving the phone call. Receiving a phone call from a certain number does not mean that the person/company who owns that number has actually called you.
Email spoofing
The "from" field of an email can be set by the sender, meaning that you can receive scam emails that look like they are from legitimate addresses. It's important to never click links in emails unless absolutely necessary, for example a password reset link you requested or an account activation link for an account you created.
SMS spoofing
SMS messages can be spoofed, so be wary of messages that seem to be from your friends or other trusted people.

The most common scams

The fake check scam (Credit to nimble2 for this part)
The fake check scam arises from many different situations (for instance, you applied for a job, or you are selling something on a place like Craigslist, or someone wants to purchase goods or services from your business, or you were offered a job as a mystery shopper, you were asked to wrap your car with an advertisement, or you received a check in the mail for no reason), but the bottom line is always something like this:
General fraudulent funds scams If somebody is asking you to accept and send out money as a favour or as part of a job, it is a fraudulent funds scam. It does not matter how they pay you, any payment on any service can be fraudulent and will be reversed when it is discovered to be fraudulent.
Phone verification code scams Someone will ask you to receive a verification text and then tell you to give them the code. Usually the code will come from Google Voice, or from Craigslist. In the Google version of the scam, your phone number will be used to verify a Google Voice account that the scammer will use to scam people with. In the Craigslist version of the scam, your phone number will be used to verify a Craigslist posting that the scammer will use to scam people. There is also an account takeover version of this scam that will involve the scammer sending a password reset token to your phone number and asking you for it.
Bitcoin job scams
Bitcoin job scams involve some sort of fraudulent funds transfer, usually a fake check although a fraudulent bank transfer can be used as well. The scammer will send you the fraudulent money and ask you to purchase bitcoins. This is a scam, and you will have zero recourse after you send the scammer bitcoins.
Email flooding
If you suddenly receive hundreds or thousands of spam emails, usually subscription confirmations, it's very likely that one of your online accounts has been taken over and is being used fraudulently. You should check any of your accounts that has a credit card linked to it, preferably from a computer other than the one you normally use. You should change all of your passwords to unique passwords and you should start using two factor authentication everywhere.
Boss/CEO scam A scammer will impersonate your boss or someone who works at your company and will ask you to run an errand for them, which will usually be purchasing gift cards and sending them the code. Once the scammer has the code, you have no recourse.
Employment certification scams
You will receive a job offer that is dependent on you completing a course or receiving a certification from a company the scammer tells you about. The scammer operates both websites and the job does not exist.
Craigslist fake payment scams
Scammers will ask you about your item that you have listed for sale on a site like Craigslist, and will ask to pay you via Paypal. They are scamming you, and the payment in most cases does not actually exist, the email you received was sent by the scammers. In cases where you have received a payment, the scammer can dispute the payment or the payment may be entirely fraudulent. The scammer will then either try to get you to send money to them using the fake funds that they did not send to you, or will ask you to ship the item, usually to a re-shipping facility or a parcel mule.
General fraudulent funds scams The fake check scam is not the only scam that involves accepting fraudulent/fake funds and purchasing items for scammers. If your job or opportunity involves accepting money and then using that money, it is almost certainly a frauduent funds scam. Even if the payment is through a bank transfer, Paypal, Venmo, Zelle, Interac e-Transfer, etc, it does not matter.
Credit card debt scam
Fraudsters will offer to pay off your bills, and will do so with fraudulent funds. Sometimes it will be your credit card bill, but it can be any bill that can be paid online. Once they pay it off, they will ask you to send them money or purchase items for them. The fraudulent transaction will be reversed in the future and you will never be able to keep the money. This scam happens on sites like Craigslist, Twitter, Instagram, and also some dating sites, including SeekingArrangement.
The parcel mule scam
A scammer will contact you with a job opportunity that involves accepting and reshipping packages. The packages are either stolen or fraudulently obtained items, and you will not be paid by the scammer. Here is a news article about a scam victim who fell for this scam and reshipped over 20 packages containing fraudulently acquired goods.
The Skype sex scam
You're on Facebook and you get a friend request from a cute girl you've never met. She wants to start sexting and trading nudes. She'll ask you to send pictures or videos or get on webcam where she can see you naked with your face in the picture. The scam: There's no girl. You've sent nudes to a guy pretending to be a girl. As soon as he has the pictures he'll demand money and threaten to send the pictures to your friends and family. Sometimes the scammer will upload the video to a porn site or Youtube to show that they are serious.
What to do if you are a victim of this scam: You cannot buy silence, you can only rent it. Paying the blackmailer will show them that the information they have is valuable and they will come after you for more money. Let your friends and family know that you were scammed and tell them to ignore friend requests or messages from people they don't know. Also, make sure your privacy settings are locked down and consider deactivating your account.
The underage girl scam
You're on a dating site or app and you get contacted by a cute girl. She wants to start sexting and trading nudes. Eventually she stops communicating and you get a call from a pissed off guy claiming to be the girl's father, or a police officer, or a private investigator, or something else along those lines. Turns out the girl you were sexting is underage, and her parents want some money for various reasons, such as to pay for a new phone, to pay for therapy, etc. There is, of course, no girl. You were communicating with a scammer.
What to do if you are a victim of this scam: Stop picking up the phone when the scammers call. Do not pay them, or they will be after you for more money.
Phishing
Phishing is when a scammer tries to trick you into giving information to them, such as your password or private financial information. Phishing messages will usually look very similar to official messages, and sometimes they are identical. If you are ever required to login to a different account in order to use a service, you should be incredibly cautious.
The blackmail email scam The exact wording of the emails varies, but there are generally four main parts. They claim to have placed software/malware on a porn/adult video site, they claim to have a video of you masturbating or watching porn, they threaten to release the video to your friends/family/loved ones/boss/dog, and they demand that you pay them in order for them to delete the video. Rest assured that this is a very common spam campaign and there is no truth behind the email or the threats. Here are some news articles about this scam.
The blackmail mail scam
This is very similar to the blackmail email scam, but you will receive a letter in the mail.
Rental scams Usually on local sites like Craigslist, scammers will steal photos from legitimate real estate listings and will list them for rent at or below market rate. They will generally be hesitant to tell you the address of the property for "safety reasons" and you will not be able to see the unit. They will then ask you to pay them a deposit and they claim they will ship you the keys. In reality, your money is gone and you will have no recourse.
Craigslist vehicle scams A scammer will list a vehicle on Craigslist and will offer to ship you the car. In many cases they will also falsely claim to sell you the car through eBay or Amazon. If you are looking for a car on Craigslist and the seller says anything about shipping the car, having an agent, gives you a long story about why they are selling the car, or the listing price is far too low, you are talking to a scammer and you should ignore and move on.
Advance-fee scam, also known as the 419 scam, or the Nigerian prince scam. You will receive a communication from someone who claims that you are entitled to a large sum of money, or you can help them obtain a large sum of money. However, they will need money from you before you receive the large sum.
Man in the middle scams
Man in the middle scams are very common and very hard to detect. The scammer will impersonate a company or person you are legitimately doing business with, and they will ask you to send the money to one of their own bank accounts or one controlled by a money mule. They have gained access to the legitimate persons email address, so there will be nothing suspicious about the email. To prevent this, make contact in a different way that lets you verify that the person you are talking to is the person you think you are talking to.
Cam girl voting/viewer scam
You will encounter a "cam girl" on a dating/messaging/social media/whatever site/app, and the scammer will ask you to go to their site and sign up with your credit card. They may offer a free show, or ask you to vote for them, or any number of other fake stories.
Amateur porn recruitment scam
You will encounter a "pornstar" on a dating/messaging/social media/whatever site/app, and the scammer will ask you to create an adult film with hehim, but first you need to do something. The story here is usually something to do with verifying your age, or you needing to take an STD test that involves sending money to a site operated by the scammer.
Hot girl SMS spam
You receive a text from a random number with a message along the lines of "Hey babe I'm here in town again if you wanted to meet up this time, are you around?" accompanied by a NSFW picture of a hot girl. It's spam, and they'll direct you to their scam website that requires a credit card.
Identity verification scam
You will encounter someone on a dating/messaging/social media/whatever site/app, and the scammer will ask that you verify your identity as they are worried about catfishing. The scammer operates the site, and you are not talking to whoever you think you are talking to.
This type of scam teases you with something, then tries to make you sign up for something else that costs money. The company involved is often innocent, but they turn a blind eye to the practice as it helps their bottom line, even if they have to occasionally issue refunds. A common variation takes place on dating sites/dating apps, where you will match with someone who claims to be a camgirl who wants you to sign up for a site and vote for her. Another variation takes place on local sites like Craigslist, where the scammers setup fake rental scams and demand that you go through a specific service for a credit check. Once you go through with it, the scammer will stop talking to you. Another variation also takes place on local sites like Craigslist, where scammers will contact you while you are selling a car and will ask you to purchase a Carfax-like report from a specific website.
Multi Level Marketing or Affiliate Marketing
You apply for a vague job listing for 'sales' on craigslist. Or maybe an old friend from high school adds you on Facebook and says they have an amazing business opportunity for you. Or maybe the well dressed guy who's always interviewing people in the Starbucks that you work at asks if you really want to be slinging coffee the rest of your life. The scam: MLMs are little more than pyramid schemes. They involve buying some sort of product (usually snake oil health products like body wraps or supplements) and shilling them to your friends and family. They claim that the really money is recruiting people underneath you who give you a slice of whatever they sell. And if those people underneath you recruit more people, you get a piece of their sales. Ideally if you big enough pyramid underneath you the money will roll in without any work on your part. Failure to see any profit will be your fault for not "wanting it enough." The companies will claim that you need to buy their extra training modules or webinars to really start selling. But in reality, the vast majority of people who buy into a MLM won't see a cent. At the end of the day all you'll be doing is annoying your friends and family with your constant recruitment efforts. What to look out for: Recruiters love to be vague. They won't tell you the name of the company or what exactly the job will entail. They'll pump you up with promises of "self-generating income", "being your own boss", and "owning your own company." They might ask you to read books about success and entrepreneurs. They're hoping you buy into the dream first. If you get approached via social media, check their timelines. MLMs will often instruct their victims to pretend that they've already made it. They'll constantly post about how they're hustling and making the big bucks and linking to youtube videos about success. Again, all very vague about what their job actually entails. If you think you're being recruited: Ask them what exactly the job is. If they can't answer its probably a MLM. Just walk away.

Phone scams

You should generally avoid answering or engaging with random phone calls. Picking up and engaging with a scam call tells the scammers that your phone number is active, and will usually lead to more calls.
Tax Call
You get a call from somebody claiming to be from your countries tax agency. They say you have unpaid taxes that need to be paid immediately, and you may be arrested or have other legal action taken against you if it is not paid. This scam has caused the American IRS, Canadian CRA, British HMRC, and Australian Tax Office to issue warnings. This scam happens in a wide variety of countries all over the world.
Warrant Call
Very similar to the tax call. You'll get a phone call from an "agent", "officer", "sheriff", or other law enforcement officer claiming that there is a warrant out for your arrest and you will be arrested very soon. They will then offer to settle everything for a fee, usually paid in giftcards.
[Legal Documents/Process Server Calls]
Very similar to the warrant call. You'll get a phone call from a scammer claiming that they are going to serve you legal documents, and they will threaten you with legal consequences if you refuse to comply. They may call themselves "investigators", and will sometimes give you a fake case number.
Student Loan Forgiveness Scam
Scammers will call you and tell you about a student loan forgiveness program, but they are interested in obtaining private information about you or demanding money in order to join the fake program.
Tech Support Call You receive a call from someone with a heavy accent claiming to be a technician Microsoft or your ISP. They inform you that your PC has a virus and your online banking and other accounts may be compromised if the virus is not removed. They'll have you type in commands and view diagnostics on your PC which shows proof of the virus. Then they'll have you install remote support software so the technician can work on your PC, remove the virus, and install security software. The cost of the labor and software can be hundreds of dollars. The scam: There's no virus. The technician isn't a technician and does not work for Microsoft or your ISP. Scammers (primarily out of India) use autodialers to cold-call everyone in the US. Any file they point out to you or command they have you run is completely benign. The software they sell you is either freeware or ineffective. What to do you if you're involved with this scam: If the scammers are remotely on your computer as you read this, turn off your PC or laptop via the power button immediately, and then if possible unplug your internet connection. Some of the more vindictive tech scammers have been known to create boot passwords on your computer if they think you've become wise to them and aren't going to pay up. Hang up on the scammers, block the number, and ignore any threats about payment. Performing a system restore on your PC is usually all that is required to remove the scammer's common remote access software. Reports of identity theft from fake tech calls are uncommon, but it would still be a good idea to change your passwords for online banking and monitor your accounts for any possible fraud. How to avoid: Ignore any calls claiming that your PC has a virus. Microsoft will never contact you. If you're unsure if a call claiming to be from your ISP is legit, hang up, and then dial the customer support number listed on a recent bill. If you have elderly relatives or family that isn't tech savvy, take the time to fill them in on this scam.
Chinese government scam
This scam is aimed at Chinese people living in Europe and North America, and involves a voicemail from someone claiming to be associated with the Chinese government, usually through the Chinese consulate/embassy, who is threatening legal action or making general threats.
Chinese shipping scam
This scam is similar to the Chinese government scam, but involves a seized/suspicious package, and the scammers will connect the victim to other scammers posing as Chinese government investigators.
Social security suspension scam
You will receive a call from someone claiming to work for the government regarding suspicious activity, fraud, or serious crimes connected to your social security number. You'll be asked to speak to an operator and the operator will explain the steps you need to follow in order to fix the problems. It's all a scam, and will lead to you losing money and could lead to identity theft if you give them private financial information.
Utilities cutoff
You get a call from someone who claims that they are from your utility company, and they claim that your utilities will be shut off unless you immediately pay. The scammer will usually ask for payment via gift cards, although they may ask for payment in other ways, such as Western Union or bitcoin.
Relative in custody Scammer claims to be the police, and they have your son/daughtenephew/estranged twin in custody. You need to post bail (for some reason in iTunes gift cards or MoneyGram) immediately or the consequences will never be the same.
Mexican family scam
This scam comes in many different flavours, but always involves someone in your family and Mexico. Sometimes the scammer will claim that your family member has been detained, sometimes the scammer will claim that your family member has been kidnapped, and sometimes the scammer will claim that your family member is injured and needs help.
General family scams
Scammers will gather a large amount of information about you and target your family members using different stories with the goal of gettimg them to send money.
One ring scam
Scammers will call you from an international number with the goal of getting you to return their call, causing you to incur expensive calling fees.

Online shopping scams

THE GOLDEN RULE OF ONLINE SHOPPING: If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
Dropshipping
An ad on reddit or social media sites like Facebook and Instagram offers items at huge discounts or even free (sometimes requiring you to reblog or like their page). They just ask you to pay shipping. The scam: The item will turn out to be very low quality and will take weeks or even months to arrive. Sometimes the item never arrives, and the store disappears or stops responding. The seller drop-ships the item from China. The item may only cost a few dollars, and the Chinese government actually pays for the shipping. You end up paying $10-$15 dollars for a $4 item, with the scammer keeping the profit. If you find one of these scams but really have your heart set on the item, you can find it on AliExpress or another Chinese retailer.
Influencer scams
A user will reach out to you on a social media platform, usually Instagram, and offer you the chance to partner with them and receive a free/discounted product, as long as you pay shipping. This is a different version of the dropshipping scam, and is just a marketing technique to get you to buy their products.
Triangulation fraud
Triangulation fraud occurs when you make a purchase on a site like Amazon or eBay for an item at a lower than market price, and receive an item that was clearly purchased new at full price. The scammer uses a stolen credit card to order your item, while the money from the listing is almost all profit for the scammer.
Instagram influencer scams
Someone will message you on Instagram asking you to promote their products, and offering you a discount code. The items are Chinese junk, and the offer is made to many people at a time.
Cheap Items
Many websites pop up and offer expensive products, including electronics, clothes, watches, sunglasses, and shoes at very low prices. The scam: Some sites are selling cheap knock-offs. Some will just take your money and run. What to do if you think you're involved with this scam: Contact your bank or credit card and dispute the charge. How to avoid: The sites often have every brand-name shoe or fashion item (Air Jordan, Yeezy, Gucci, etc) in stock and often at a discounted price. The site will claim to be an outlet for a major brand or even a specific line or item. The site will have images at the bottom claiming to be Secured by Norton or various official payment processors but not actual links. The site will have poor grammar and a mish-mash of categories. Recently, established websites will get hacked or their domain name jacked and turned into scam stores, meaning the domain name of the store will be completely unrelated to the items they're selling. If the deal sounds too good to be true it probably is. Nobody is offering brand new iPhones or Beats or Nintendo Switches for 75% off.
Cheap Amazon 3rd Party Items
You're on Amazon or maybe just Googling for an item and you see it for an unbelievable price from a third-party seller. You know Amazon has your back so you order it. The scam: One of three things usually happen: 1) The seller marks the items as shipped and sends a fake tracking number. Amazon releases the funds to the seller, and the seller disappears. Amazon ultimately refunds your money. 2) The seller immediately cancels the order and instructs you to re-order the item directly from their website, usually with the guarantee that the order is still protected by Amazon. The seller takes your money and runs. Amazon informs you that they do not offer protection on items sold outside of Amazon and cannot help you. 2) The seller immediately cancels the order and instructs you to instead send payment via an unused Amazon gift card by sending the code on the back via email. Once the seller uses the code, the money on the card is gone and cannot be refunded. How to avoid: These scammers can be identified by looking at their Amazon storefronts. They'll be brand new sellers offering a wide range of items at unbelievable prices. Usually their Amazon names will be gibberish, or a variation on FIRSTNAME.LASTNAME. Occasionally however, established storefronts will be hacked. If the deal is too good to be true its most likely a scam.
Scams on eBay
There are scams on eBay targeting both buyers and sellers. As a seller, you should look out for people who privately message you regarding the order, especially if they ask you to ship to a different address or ask to negotiate via text/email/a messaging service. As a buyer you should look out for new accounts selling in-demand items, established accounts selling in-demand items that they have no previous connection to (you can check their feedback history for a general idea of what they bought/sold in the past), and lookout for people who ask you to go off eBay and use another service to complete the transaction. In many cases you will receive a fake tracking number and your money will be help up for up to a month.
Scams on Amazon
There are scams on Amazon targeting both buyers and sellers. As a seller, you should look out for people who message you about a listing. As a buyer you should look out for listings that have an email address for you to contact the person to complete the transaction, and you should look out for cheap listings of in-demand items.
Scams on Reddit
Reddit accounts are frequently purchased and sold by fraudsters who wish to use the high karma count + the age of the account to scam people on buy/sell subreddits. You need to take precautions and be safe whenever you are making a transaction online.
Computer scams
Virus scam
A popup or other ad will say that you have a virus and you need to follow their advice in order to remove it. They are lying, and either want you to install malware or pay for their software.

Assorted scams

Chinese Brushing / direct shipping
If you have ever received an unsolicited small package from China, your address was used to brush. Vendors place fake orders for their own products and send out the orders so that they can increase their ratings.
Money flipping
Scammer claims to be a banking insider who can double/triple/bazoople any amount of money you send them, with no consequences of any kind. Obviously, the money disappears into their wallet the moment you send it.

Door to door scams

As a general rule, you should not engage with door to door salesmen. If you are interested in the product they are selling, check online first.
Selling Magazines
Someone or a group will come to your door and offer to sell a magazine subscription. Often the subscriptions are not for the duration or price you were told, and the magazines will often have tough or impossible cancellation policies.
Energy sales
Somebody will come to your door claiming to be from an energy company. They will ask to see your current energy bill so that they can see how much you pay. They will then offer you a discount if you sign up with them, and promise to handle everything with your old provider. Some of these scammers will "slam" you, by using your account number that they saw on your bill to switch you to their service without authorization, and some will scam you by charging higher prices than the ones you agreed on.
Security system scams
Scammers will come to your door and ask about your security system, and offer to sell you a new one. These scammers are either selling you overpriced low quality products, or are casing your home for a future burglary.
They ask to enter your home
While trying to sell you whatever, they suddenly need to use your bathroom, or they've been writing against the wall and ask to use your table instead. Or maybe they just moved into the neighborhood and want to see how you decorate for ideas.
They're scoping out you and your place. They want to see what valuables you have, how gullible you are, if you have a security system or dogs, etc.

Street scams

Begging With a Purpose
"I just need a few more dollars for the bus," at the bus station, or "I just need $5 to get some gas," at a gas station. There's also a variation where you will be presented with a reward: "I just need money for a cab to get uptown, but I'll give you sports tickets/money/a date/a priceless vase."
Three Card Monte, Also Known As The Shell Game
Unbeatable. The people you see winning are in on the scam.
Drop and Break
You bump into someone and they drop their phone/glasses/fancy bottle of wine/priceless vase and demand you pay them back. In reality, it's a $2 pair of reading glasses/bottle of three-buck-chuck/tasteful but affordable vase.
CD Sales
You're handed a free CD so you can check out the artist's music. They then ask for your name and immediately write it on the CD. Once they've signed your name, they ask you for money, saying they can't give it to someone else now. Often they use dry erase markers, or cheap CD sleeves. Never use any type of storage device given to you by a random person, as the device can contain malware.
White Van Speaker Scam
You're approached and offered speakers/leather jackets/other luxury goods at a discount. The scammer will have an excuse as to why the price is so low. After you buy them, you'll discover that they are worthless.
iPhone Street Sale
You're approached and shown an iPhone for sale, coming in the box, but it's open and you can see the phone. If you buy the phone, you'll get an iPhone box with no iPhone, just some stones or cheap metal in it to weigh it down.
Buddhist Monk Pendant
A monk in traditional garb approaches you, hands you a gold trinket, and asks for a donation. He holds either a notebook with names and amounts of donation (usually everyone else has donated $5+), or a leaflet with generic info. This is fairly common in NYC, and these guys get aggressive quickly.
Friendship Bracelet Scam More common in western Europe, you're approached by someone selling bracelets. They quickly wrap a loop of fabric around your finger and pull it tight, starting to quickly weave a bracelet. The only way to (easily) get it off your hand is to pay. Leftover sales
This scam involves many different items, but the idea is usually the same: you are approached by someone who claims to have a large amount of excess inventory and offers to sell it to you at a great price. The scammer actually has low quality items and will lie to you about the price/origin of the items.
Dent repair scams
Scammers will approach you in public about a dent in your car and offer to fix it for a low price. Often they will claim that they are mechanics. They will not fix the dent in your car, but they will apply large amounts of wax or other substances to hide the dent while they claim that the substance requires time to harden.
Gold ring/jewelry/valuable item scam
A scammer will "find" a gold ring or other valuable item and offers to sell it to you. The item is fake and you will never see the scammer again.
Distraction theft
One person will approach you and distract you, while their accomplice picks your pockets. The distraction can take many forms, but if you are a tourist and are approached in public, watch closely for people getting close to you.

General resources

Site to report scams in the United Kingdom: http://www.actionfraud.police.uk/
Site to report scams in the United States: https://www.ic3.gov/default.aspx
Site to report scams in Canada: www.antifraudcentre-centreantifraude.ca/reportincident-signalerincident/index-eng.htm
Site to report scams in Europe: https://www.europol.europa.eu/report-a-crime/report-cybercrime-online
FTC scam alerts: https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/scam-alerts
Microsoft's anti-scam guide: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/safety/online-privacy/avoid-phone-scams.aspx
https://www.usa.gov/common-scams-frauds
https://www.usa.gov/scams-and-frauds
https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/features/scam-alerts
https://www.fbi.gov/scams-and-safety/common-fraud-schemes
submitted by EugeneBYMCMB to Scams [link] [comments]

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