Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

698-722 Text

Today I received a text from my bank telling me that a document from them had been returned as undeliverable and telling me to click on the blue hypertext with my banks name dot com.

It didn’t smell right, so I called my bank, and no, they had not sent that text.

Did you know when you get a phone call or text that seems odd to you that not only do you not have to answer, but you can go online and check that number? Just google the exact number and you will find records that show if it is a scam or telemarketer. It is a wonderful resource.

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October 8, 2014 Posted by | Communication, Crime, Financial Issues, iPhone, Scams, Technical Issue | , | 3 Comments

“You Are Having a Problem With Your Computer”

Unknown

The man with the West African accent called at noon, explaining that he was a part of my security network and I was having a problem with my computer. My computer was not on. AdventureMan’s computer was not on.

“WHO are you with?” I asked, two or three more times, and he would explain that hackers were trying to get into my computer through my Windows system. I told him I didn’t recognize the name of his security system and he told me I was registered with them, and read off my (correct) name and address.

Anyone can get my name and address. My magazine subscriptions have my name and address, my bills, you can find my name and address by asking the right questions on the internet. I am so not buying into this.

What was interesting to me was that the caller was enjoying the process. He wasn’t stuck on a memorized script; he had a few points memorized and would repeat them now and then, but he would also improvise. He wanted me to get on my computer and he would “fix everything.”

After a few minutes I said “I think this is a scam. I am going to hang up now and call the police.”

He did not protest, nor did he call back.

August 2, 2014 Posted by | Communication, Crime, Lies, Nigeria, Pensacola, Scams, Technical Issue | , , , , | Leave a comment

My Lucky Day

Woo Hooo on ME! Although I have never been in Nigeria, somehow someone there neglected to pay me my TEN MILLION FIVE HUNDRED THOUSAND DOLLARS! Yes! Yes! This is “online” with my dearest dreams! Someone wants to give me a lot of free money! Wooo HOOOO!

From: “Barrister Afred Mark”
Subject: FOREIGN PAYMENT INVESTIGATING UNIT.
Date: April 28, 2009 3:25:28 PM GMT+03:00

FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA
CENTRAL BANK OF NIGERIA
TINUBU SQUARE LAGOS

FROM THE DESK OF:
AFRED MARK & ASSOCIATE’S
LEGAL ADVISER TO THE
CENTRAL BANK OF NIGERIA (CBN).

ATTENTION:
PAYMENT INVESTIGATING UNIT.

From the records of outstanding payment with the Federal Government of Nigeria, your name was discovered as next on the list of The outstanding beneficiaries who have not received their payments.

I wish to inform you that your payment is being processed and will be released to you as soon as you respond to this letter. Also note that from my record in my file your outstanding payment is US$10.5, (Ten Million Five Hundred Thousand United States Dollars only)

Please re-confirm to me if this is Online with what you have in your record and also re-confirm to me the followings.

(1) Your full name.
(2) Phone, fax and mobile #.
3) company’s name,position and address.
4) profession, age and marital status.
5) Copy of int’l passport or any scanned identity to prove yourself.
As soon as this information are received, your payment will be made to
you in a certified bank draft from central bank of Nigeria and a copy
will be given to you for you to take to your bank and confirm it.

YOURS SINCERELY,
AFRED MARK.
LEGAL ADVISER TO THE
CENTRAL BANK OF NIGERIA (CBN).

What? What? It’s a scam? Oh! Oh, say it isn’t so!

April 29, 2009 Posted by | Africa, Communication, Crime, Financial Issues | , , , | 2 Comments

Business Magnet

These are all so common I hardly post them any more, but I really liked it that this guy’s dad was a “business magnet.”

From: Sihem Aldouri
Ivory Coast West Africa

Dearest One,
Based on your profile I’m happy to request for your assistance and also to go
into business partnership with you, I believe that you will not betrayed my
trust which I’m going to relay on you.

I am Sihem Aldouri 19 years old and the only daughter of my late parents
Mr. and Mrs David Kouame.My father was a highly reputable business magnet-(a
cocoa merchant)who operated in the capital of Ivory coast during his days. It is
sad to say that he passed away mysteriously in one of his business trips abroad
in Europe year 12th.Febuary 2005.Though his sudden death was linked or rather
suspected to have been masterminded by an uncle of his who travelled with him at
that time.

But God knows the truth! My mother died when I was just 8 years old, and
since then my father took me so special before his death on February 12th 2005
he called the secretary who accompanied him to the hospital and told him that he
has the sum of Ten Million five hundreds thousand United State
Dollars.(USD$10.500.00) left in a security company in a metallic trunk box, but
the security company didn’t know the contents because it was registered as
family valuables items for security reasons.

I am just 19 years old and a university undergraduate and really don’t know
what to do. This is because I have suffered a lot of set backs as a result of
incessant political crisis here in Ivory coast. The death of my late father has
actually brought sorrow to my life.

Sir/Madam, I am in a sincere desire of your humble assistance in this
regards. Your suggestions and ideas will be highly regarded. For you to assist
me in this transaction I will offer you 15 percent of the total sum. please if
you have any question to ask me about this transaction do not delay to contact
me on my above email address. I await your urgent response as soon as possible.

Thanks and best regards.

Yours Truely.

Sihem Aldouri.

Hmmmm, let’s see, what is 15% of 10.5 million? Hmmm. . . .AdventureMan could retire. . . . and when we get the money from Publisher’s Clearing House . . . we will like like kings!

June 4, 2008 Posted by | Crime, Financial Issues, Language | , , | 8 Comments

The Olive Oil Scandal

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A good friend gave me a subscription several years ago to The New Yorker, and at the time I didn’t know how lucky I was. First, I loved the cartoons. A couple magazines later, I got pulled in by some of their excellent travel and political writing. Later, the fiction issues pulled me in and introduced me to authors I had never read before. In no time at all, I was totally addicted.

Now, when The New Yorker arrives, Adventure Man and I fight to see who gets to read it first! Often he wins; he skims it. He knows I will take too long getting through it.

It was the New Yorker magazine who informed me about the great olive oil scandal.

I love olive oil. I only use other oils in baked goods, where the olive oil might give an odd taste, we use olive oil almost exclusively. Or so I thought.

In the August 13 Issue of the New Yorker, Tom Meuller starts like this:

On August 10, 1991, a rusty tanker called the Mazal I docked at the industrial port of Ordu, in Turkey, and pumped twenty-two hundred tons of hazelnut oil into its hold. The ship then embarked on a meandering voyage through the Mediterranean and the North Sea. By September 21st, when the Mazal II reached Barletta, a port in Puglia, in southern Italy, its cargo had become, on the ship’s official documents, Greek olive oil. It slipped through customs, possibly with the connivance of an official, was piped into tanker trucks, and was delivered to the refinery of Riolio, an Italian olive-oil produce based in Barletta. There it was sold—in some instances blended with real olive oil—to Riolio customers

Between August and November of 1991, the Mazal II and another tanker, the Katerina T., delivered nearly ten thousand tons of Turkish hazelnut oil and Argentinean sunflower-seed oil to Riolio, all identified as Greek olive oil.

Riolio’s owner, Domenico Ribatti, grew rich from the bogus oil, assembling substantial real-estate holdings, including a former department store in Bari. He bribed two officials, one with cash, the other with cartons of olive oil, and made trips to Rome, where he stayed at the Grand Hotel, and met with other unscrupulous olive-oil producers from Italy and abroad. As one of Italy’s leading importers of olive oil, Ribatti’s company was a member of ASSITOL, the country’s powerful olive-oil trade association, and Ribatti had enough clout in Rome to ask a favor—preferential treatment of an associate’s nephew, who was seeking admission to a military officers’ school—of a high-ranking official at the Finance Ministry, a fellow-pugliese.

However, by early 1992 Ribatti and his associates were under investigation by the Guardia di Finanza, the Finance Ministry’s military-police force. One officer, wearing a miniature video camera on his tie, posed as a waiter at a lunch hosted by Ribatti at the Grand Hotel. Others, eavesdropping on telephone calls among Riolio executives, heard the rustle of bribe money being counted out. During the next two years, the Guardia di Finanza team, working closely with agents of the European Union’s anti-fraud office, pieced together the details of Ribatti’s crime, identifying Swiss bank accounts and Caribbean shell companies that Ribatti had used to buy the ersatz olive oil.

The investigators discovered that seed and hazelnut oil had reached Riolio’s refinery by tanker truck and by train, as well as by ship, and they found stocks of hazelnut oil waiting in Rotterdam for delivery to Riolio and other olive-oil companies.
The investigators also discovered where Ribatti’s adulterated oil had gone: to some of the largest producers of Italian olive oil, among them Nestlé, Unilever, Bertolli, and Oleifici Fasanesi, who sold it to consumers as olive oil, and collected about twelve million dollars in E.U. subsidies intended to support the olive-oil industry. (These companies claimed that they had been swindled by Ribatti, and prosecutors were unable to prove complicity on their part.)

You can read this entire fascinating article here: Tom Meuller: Slippery BusinessGive yourself plenty of time. It is an article well worth reading.

There is another good reference here: The Great Olive Oil Scandal from PalestinianOliveOil.org
Investigators have gathered evidence indicating that the biggest olive oil brands in Italy — Bertolli, Sasso, and Cirio — have for years been systematically diluting their extra-virgin olive oil with cheap, highly-refined hazelnut oil imported from Turkey. [1]

A 1996 study by the FDA found that 96 percent of the olive oils they tested, while being labeled 100 percent olive oil, had been diluted with other oils. A study in Italy found that only 40 percent of the olive oil brands labeled “extra-virgin” actually met those standards. Italy produces 400,000 tons of olive oil for domestic consumption, but 750,000 tons are sold. The difference is made up with highly refined nut and seed oils. [2]

EVEN THE BIGGEST OF THEM WILL MISLEAD THE PUBLIC…

“In 1998, the New York law firm Rabin and Peckel, LLP, took on the olive oil labeling misnomer and filed a class action suit in the New York Supreme Court against Unilever, the English-Dutch manufacturer of Bertolli olive oil. The firm argued that Bertolli’s labels, which read “Imported from Italy,” did not meet full disclosure laws because, even though the oil had passed through Italian ports, most of it had originated in Tunisia, Turkey, Spain or Greece. “Bertolli olive oil is imported from Italy, but contains no measurable quantity of Italian oil,” according to court documents.”

Curezone lists manufacturers of adulterated olive oil and marketers of the same oil. It is disgusting. We pay high prices for junk-olive oil. From Curezone.com/forums

The Guilty

Below is a list of known adulterated brands and dishonest distributors with links to information about their cases.

Adulterated brands of extra virgin olive oil
with country of origin

Andy’s Pure Olive Oil (Italy)
Bertolli (Italy)
Castel Tiziano (Italy)
Cirio (Italy)
Cornelia (Italy)
Italico (Italy)
Ligaro (Italy)
Olivio (Greece)
Petrou Bros. Olive Oil (California)
Primi (Italy)
Regale (Italy)
Ricetta Antica (Italy)
Rubino (Italy)
San Paolo (Italy)
Sasso (Italy)
Terra Mia (Italy)

Distributors caught selling adulterated olive oil

Altapac Trading
AMT Fine Foods
Bella International Food Brokers
Cher-Mor Foods International
D&G Foods
Deluca Brothers International
Gestion Trorico Inc.
Itaical Trading
Kalamata Foods
Les Ailments MIA Food Distributing
Lonath International
Mario Sardo Sales, Inc.
Petrou Foods, Inc.
Rubino USA Inc.
Siena Foods Ltd.
Vernon Foods

So who do we trust? How do we know that we are getting a quality, unadulterated product? This is fraud in an international scale!

October 25, 2007 Posted by | Arts & Handicrafts, Bureaucracy, Cooking, Crime, Cross Cultural, Customer Service, Diet / Weight Loss, Health Issues, Italy, Lies, Shopping, Technical Issue, Turkey | , , , , | 29 Comments