Clothing

Escrow Wolves in Sheep’s Clothing

Escrow Wolves in Sheeps Clothing

The word unscrupulous does not go far enough to describe those who seek to gain by others misfortune or bad luck; we have to add words like devious, deceitful, cunning, and not least of all merciless and cruel.

Predators

For this is the world of praying on the innocent and unsuspecting; and worse even, perpetrating fraud in the guise of help. What, indeed, could be more contemptible?

This is the world where the weary online buyerwell read by now about online auction frauds and false promisesto safeguard his money turns to an online escrow service to make sure that he receives and approves the merchandise before his funds are released to the seller.

He Googles “Online Escrow” and is met with a host of sites, one seeming more legitimate than the next. He reads the “about us” carefully, and as much of the fine print as he has time or mind to absorb. Finally settles on one: Integrity Escrow.

He establishes an account, and his email is verified by the site, over a secure https link. So far so good. Seeing the https and the little security symbol in his browser makes him feel warm and fuzzy.

He then provides the details of the transaction, and, as a final step, deposits the purchase amountin this case $3,500in his newly established escrow account.

And that, as the saying goes, was the last he saw of that money.

Impersonating the Solution

Turns out Integrity Escrow was nothing but a slick impersonation of a bona fide escrow company, establishednormally in China, Russia, or the former Eastern EUfor the sole purpose of stealing your money while pretending to do the exact opposite, i.e., preventing theft.

Did I say unscrupulous? Yes, it is a step down from out and out theft; it is stealing in the guise of helping.

Unfortunately, online escrow fraud is escalating, due to factors such as:

Online identity/credit-card theft
The Anonymity of the Internet
A lamentable lack of public awareness about fraudulent escrow sites
Web hosting companies that allow fraudulent escrow sites to be created with stolen credit cards, and then allow them to remain on their service even after they have been reported.

To this I would add an increasing number of tech savvy criminals with zero concern for their fellow man.

How Do They Do It?

Luckilyfor the Fake Escrow Detectivethose who set up fraudulent escrow sites are, as a rule, lazy people, who wouldnt (probably couldnt) create original copy if their lives depended on it. No, too much work.

Lazy people normally resort to templates, made to order scam sites (which abound as well) where they go to download a respectable site. As for trust-inducing copy, few sites are better than bona fide online escrows, such as Escrow.com, which is where they go for the words.

Voila: A new online escrow site.

The Detectives

The fraudulent online escrow detectives have seen this all before, and many, many times. They recognize the templates; they recognize the words.

And so they should, because those words are normally stolen from their own sitesthese private eyes are normally employed by the bona fide escrow companies to search out, track and close down as many fraudulent sites as possible.

The Hunt

I asked one of these detectives, Brandon Abbey of Escrow.com, how they find out about the fraudulent sites.

“There are a couple of ways we hunt down the fraud sites,” he said.

“Quite often someone calls our customer support department to inquire about a particular site. In this case, the site is reviewed and if fraudulent a notice is sent to the hosting company.

“The note to the hosting company is a request for them to review the site giving consideration to their Terms of Service (TOS) and Acceptable Use Policy (AUP), and it usually results in the takedown of the site.

“Some hosting companies, however, take the stance that they are not responsible for the content on their servers regardless of what it is. There are specific laws that address certain things like child pornography but nothing we can point to regarding the escrow fraud.”

What if nobody calls you? I wondered. How do you track them down?

“Often we Google a word-string (phrases) taken from our own site, and youd be surprised how often we get hits. This means weve found a fraudulent site which came to us for the copy.

“Now, when we find a fraudulent copy of our site we can send a Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) notification to the ISP and that usually works.

“The main problem is that the ISPs are afraid of someone suing them for shutting down a site. The reality is no one has ever been sued by a Romanian scammer.

“We have also built a library of templates, which we can track down; as well as a library of phrases that we Google.

“On a good day (or bad day, depending on viewpoint) some of these searches will come return over a hundred matches. We then inspect each site to see if it is legitimate. If suspicions we forward the notice to the hosting company asking for a TOS and AUP review.

“As you can imagine some hosting companies are better than others. Generally, hosting companies in the US are very responsive.

“Xinnet, on the other hand, a hosting company in China, has supported some of the scam sites for months at a time.”

Valuable Advice

How can, I wondered, the average Internet user protect him- or herself against online escrow fraud?

“Of course,” said my detective, “it is important that people do research on these site before ever sending money or merchandise. In fact, I suggest doing a WHOIS search on the domain. This way you can discover how long the site has been up, where it is being hosted, how many times the site has been taken down. These are clues.

“If it smells fishy at all to you, go elsewhere.”

Safeguard Your Money

It is your money. Handing it over to a cyber criminal probably has not yet made it onto your top-ten list of what to do with it.

There are many great deals online. There are many great auction houses online. There are bona fide online escrow sites, but nowhere near as many as there are fraudulent ones.

Do all the online research you can. When you have found a site that seems legitimate, you can do one of several things:

Firstly, while fraudulent sites can buy the necessary certificate to make it a secure site, they seldom do;
Secondly, you can check at escrow-fraud.com to see if the site you have decided on is listed as a fraudulent site by them; they also maintain a list of bona fide sites;
Thirdly, you can call the sites customer service department to make sure they are based in the United States. If you have any doubts about that, ask them to call you back, and check the caller IDif its an international call, beware. Also, if the site does not have a customer service department, again, beware;
Once you know that youre talking to a U.S. based service department, ask any questions you can think of to ensure they are legitimate, such as which bank are they using for their escrow accounts, and who is their main contact at that bank (whom you can then call to verify that this online escrow company does in deed have an escrow account there);
If the answer is a well-known American bank, and if the customer service rep can supply contact information at the bank, you are 99% there. Then, if you want to reach 100%, make that final call to the bank to rule out any vestige of doubt.

Now you have found an online escrow company you can trust.

Enjoy your purchase.

P.S. Escrow.com is an online escrow company you can trust.

Women Fashion

Women Fashion Trends 2010

It has rightly been said by fashion gurus that year 2010 is and will continue to be an interesting and exciting year for fashion. With the end of the global financial crisis and recession trend, an upheaval in the fashion world was seen in the beginning of the year and this is continuing. In all the fashion shows that have taken place so far, a new standard of fashion rise up is seen. The latest trends in women fashion 2010 have been inspired by yesteryear’s classic styles with a dash of sex, skin, colors, and embellishments and of course attitude and glamour. Let us see some of the latest women fashion trends 2010.

2010 Fashion Colors, Prints and Patterns

There is a mix of soft, delicate styles with sporty look in the Spring/Summer 2010. No doubt, you could trace a touch of past fashion but mixed with modern outlook in this season. The popular colors for the year are neutral shades, sober colors and also other colors like the blues, pinks, browns and surprisingly a color like neon green. An important aspect of women fashion trends in 2010 is that heavy patterns and prints, earthly tones teamed up with bold and outrageous designs are in this year. So there is nothing wrong or embarrassing to experiment with neutral attire, team up with bright colored footwear like pumps and jewelries to bring some color to your look. Or get yourself a gorgeous dress with huge floral or other prints all over, and team it up with patterned hand bags and stockings and hooped jewelry.

Fashion Trends 2010 in Women Fashion Wear

While the last decade saw the fashion circuit being dominated by tight jeans, the women fashion wear trends in 2010 has seen the emergence of loose pants. So go for baggy jeans and throw on a loose kurti or tunic this year. Wearing sporting attire is also a trend in 2010. So you can see in the fashion stores, designer jogging suits and fashionable sweat pants. These two trends have clearly shown that fashion 2010 is more focused on comfort, rather than looks.

Hot ladies shorts in bright and vibrant colors have made their way in 2010. Colorful chunky jewelry and accessories and big glasses play a major role in adding glamour to your ensemble. Do not wear too short shorts so as to make yourself a fashion disaster. A sultry and sexy high dress is in for those who do not prefer to wear shorts. This particularly looks good on those who have well toned legs and skin.

Full skirts are out in 2010 and this trend has been replaced bandage skirts. In fact, the fashion designers have concluded that the bandage skirt is the “it” piece of fashionable clothing for women for work or a night out. A fitted top gives the perfect slim figure look, accentuating the waistline. Mini skirts in neutral tones are also in this year.

Women fashion trend 2010 has also seen the casual fitted t-shirts paired with denim jeans looking good on women for that cool look. Denim jeans will never be going out of fashion. There is a comeback of torn jeans teamed with white t-shirt.

Business suits in the form of blazers and formal trousers are still in, giving importance to masculine gender dresses. This has now been extended to long length blazers with leggings or shorts, with beads and bangles for that feminine look. The knee length Capri, showing off a toned calf, is also seen among the younger lot in 2010. It is decent, cool and still looks hot.

Another fashion trend that is seen in 2010 is to be bold and beautiful with some revealing styles. Long, floor length dresses are gone. In fact women are willing to go sleeveless with strong lines to look sexy just by displaying enough cleavage, and a cut at the waist defining the curves rather than being covered by wearing a long dress. The revealing fabric is in fashion.

2010 Fashion Footwear & Accessories

Fashion accessories trends in 2010 show the emergence of large accessories. Do not hesitate to wear large sized chains, striking studs, over sized chain bags, shimmering bracelets, big pendants, bold cuffs and rings. Stilettos are out this year. Instead, flat shoes, pumps, tiny heel shoes, and boots with buckles and zippers are in.

Conclusion

Try out styles that look good on you. Fashion trends 2010 have shown a number of options for mixing and matching and coming up with the right style. It is necessary to be fashion conscious but not necessary to stick to them always. If you feel that a certain style is out of fashion, do not worry, fashion trends keep on changing and when an old style is back in fashion, you wear it at the right time. 2010 is a year of taking hold of the importance of being a woman and embracing the womanhood’s essence. The basic point of fashion is to be comfortable in what you are wearing.

Read more on Women Fashion Trends 2010 at Fibre2fashion is World’s Largest Apparel Marketplace. Find Buyers, Suppliers, Manufacturers, Exporters, Importers of Textile, Garment & Fashion Industry.