Friday, May 30, 2008

Warning for Customers

Everybody wants your private information. We've warned many of you about it before. Since Cox is such a dominant player in the valley, I thought I'd pass this along. A viewer, who has a account, received the email below. I confirmed this with Cox officials, this is not something they would do! Cox will NEVER contact you asking you to give them this information. (log in name, mother's maiden, password,etc)

Here's the fraudulent email:

Dear Email Account Owner,
This message is from ADRIAN.EDU messaging center to all COX.NET email
account users. We are currently upgrading our data base and e-mail account
center. We are deleting all unused COX.NET email account to create more
space for new accounts.
To prevent your account from being dormant,there is need for you to verify
your details below so that we will know that it is in used.
It is just routine, safe, secure and for everyone's security.You can
change your settings 72 hours after verification is concluded.
Email Login ID :
EMAIL Password :
Mother last Name:
Attention!!! Account owner that does not update his or her account within
a given period of time after receiving this Notification will lose his or
her account permanently. It will show that the person is not using this
Thank you for using COX.NET!
Notification Code:BC1G43TRJ
Sandra Dubois


The above email is simply a way to get you to give up your personal information. Don't do it.

You can get more information on this particular scam at the site here.

Thursday, May 29, 2008


The next time your phone rings, know who is calling you.
That's the advice from the Federal Trade Commission.

Operation "Tele-PHONEY" is underway. It is the largest sweep ever conducted by the FTC on suspected fraudulent telemarketers.

The FTC unveiled the “Who’s Calling?” consumer education campaign, which encourages consumers to:
1) Recognize the signs of telemarketing fraud.
2) Report fraud to the FTC and state attorneys general.
3) Register phone numbers on the National Do Not Call (DNC) Registry if they want to receive fewer telemarketing calls.

The campaign features a new Web site – in both English and Spanish – and two short videos. See the here.

Beware of that "free" gift offer...
Telemarketing magazine subscriptions, these defendants allegedly disguise their sales pitch as a survey, at the end of which they offer “free” or low-cost magazine subscriptions. They send a bill weeks later, stating that consumers agreed to pay several hundred dollars for the subscriptions. When consumers complain or attempt to cancel, the defendants tell them that they are obligated to pay the bill and may not cancel because they entered into a “verbal contract” during the survey call and the defendants have already paid the magazine publishers for the subscriptions. The defendants then attempt to extort payment by harassing the consumers at work, threatening to initiate collection actions, or threatening to submit derogatory information about them to the major credit bureaus.

“The caller asked for my bank account information. I cannot remember everything he said. I just thought that I needed to confirm my account information in order to avoid losing my Medicare benefits.”
Juanita Tortella, 77

Friday, May 9, 2008

William Cushing, Where are You?

Well, it happened.

Nevada's Gaming Control Board did nominate William Cushing to be placed on "List of Excluded Persons". That's only part of the process though. The nomination has to be approved by the state's Gaming Commission. In order to do that, Cushing has to be served with papers notifying him of the nomination, so he can appeal it, if he chooses. Jerry Markling, Chief of the Gaming Control Board's Enforcement Division, says now investigators have to find Cushing. In the past, some people have avoided being served with papers to appear before the Commission. If that happens in this case, the Gaming Control Board can also put a notice in the newspaper which will accomplish the process of him being "served". It'll be a couple months before Cushing's case comes before the Commission.
So what happens when someone on the "List of Excluded Persons" goes into a Nevada Casino? It is not a felony, as has been reported elsewhere. It's a gross misdemeanor. As for the casino, it's a regulatory issue, not a criminal action if it happens.
A question from one of our viewers asked if there is facial recognition security software to tip off casinos if any of the 35 people on the list enter a casino. Markling told me there is software available to do that, he is not aware if any of the casinos use it.

if you're interested in the people "wanted" by the Gaming Control Board click here.

Stay tuned!

Thursday, May 8, 2008

If you didn't see the News 3 Investigators piece on problem landlords, click here to see it. We profile 3 landlords who own properties in Las Vegas. The properties are the top 3 in terms of city code violations. By the way, if you there's a chronic problem at a property where you live, the city of Las Vegas would like to hear about it. 229-6615. The neighborhood services department pretty much is complaint driven. That means they won't know about a problem, unless you notify them. If you don't live in the city limits of Las Vegas, contact Henderson, North Las Vegas, or Clark county, depending on where you live.

I spoke with Jerry Markling with the Nevada Gaming Control Board's Enforcement division about cheaters. The Board will decide whether to forward a new name for the "List of Excluded Persons" to the Gaming Commission. Some also call this the "Blackbook". William Cushing, according the Gaming Board, has had a long history of cheating casinos. If Cushing is put on the "List" he won't be allowed in most casinos. This "List" is pretty interesting. There are just 35 people on it. (34 men 1 woman) Once you're on, you're pretty much on their for life. You can request a judge to take you off if you can prove your case. According to Markling, that's never happened.
If you to check out the "List of Excluded Persons" click here.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

10 Steps to find out if your rental home is in foreclosure

We originally posted this information back in January 2008. It's still accurate, and still the "gold standard" since it takes you right to the county websites!

We get many, many phone calls from people who need to rent a home, but wonder if the rental they're looking at is in foreclosure or soon will be. The county recorder's office says on a daily basis, renters are learning the home they're living in went into foreclosure. The scary part is that the renters only learn this when they find a notice on their front door telling them they have a few days to move out! Unfortunately, there is no quick 1-800 number to call and get an answer.

Instead you have to do a little detective work. The Watchdog is watching out for you. We've made this as simple as possible and have put a step by step list on how to see if the home you're renting, or want to rent, is currently in foreclosure. It would make a lot of sense to check this on a monthly basis.Here we go!

1. Get the address of the rental property. If it's not in the rental ad, call and get it. Or better yet, set up an appointment to look at the house. That way you'll be sure the address you're given is accurate.

2. Go to the Clark County Assessor website here.

3. In the top left corner, click on address search and then enter the address. Keep in mind you enter the house number, the street name, the type of street (court, circle, road, etc) on separate lines. If you don't know what city or town the rental is in.. just leave that unspecified. Even though the rental home is in Las Vegas, it could show up under another town, such as Spring Valley, etc. Anyway, enter the address information and hit submit..

4. You should see a listing with the exact address. It's probably the first one on the list. Click on the parcel number.

5. Under general information you should see the homeowner's name and address, and also the parcel number again. Write that parcel number down .. you'll need it.

6. Go to the the Clark County Recorder website:

7. The second listing on the upper far left side of the site is "search records" .. click on that.

8. In the middle of the page you'll see several options to search on. Simple, Advanced, Instrument ID and Marriage.

9. Click on "Advanced Search".

10. The only thing you want to concern yourself with on this page is "legal descriptions". There are four lines under legal descriptions .. you want to use the first line which shows parcel number. In the blank space NEXT to parcel number, you want to enter the parcel number you wrote down.

*Do not enter the dashes between the number .. just the numbers*.

Then click on the button below that says "Detail Data".This should take you to the "Web Services Detailed Data Results."You'll notice each entry has an instrument number and a document type. If default paperwork has been filed with the recorder's office, it should be listed here. The most recent actions are listed first. If it's not listed now .. you may want to check back on a weekly or monthly basis. If you see something that might be a default, or you want more information, write down the instrument number and take it with you to the county recorder's office. They are there to help you and that instrument number will prevent you from going through all these steps again.

Some detailed documents are ONLY available at the county recorder's office. Employees there will help you find what you're looking for.Where is the County Recorder's office? It's inside the big stone-looking building at 500 S Grand Central Parkway known as the Clark County Government Center. It's across from the Premium Outlet Mall and near the World Market Center. The recorder's office is on the second floor. The phone number is 455-4336.