Cyber Security on February means romance…and romance scams: BBB offers tips to avoid getting duped this month

As the month when Valentine’s Day falls on the calendar, February has a reputation for being “prime time” for romance. It’s also definitely a time when scammers seek to prey on those searching for romantic interests online. Better Business Bureau of Minnesota and North Dakota (BBB) advises people to proceed with caution before they let their hearts—and their finances—get tangled up in a romance scheme.

Romance scams can happen to anyone. You meet someone who seems like a match online, you get to know them, and everything appears to be going well; however, you aren’t able to meet in person for some reason (due to issues they claim such as distance, military deployment, work travel, etc.). Then suddenly your online love interest claims they’re in desperate straits and asks you to wire money, or says they can come to meet you but need you to wire funds for the airline ticket. Be aware that these are classic signs of a romance scam, and if you dip into your own pockets once, he or she will likely continue to find more reasons to forestall a meeting, all the while asking for more money from you—or they may simply vanish into thin air.

BBB offers tips on how to avoid romance scams:

Know your enemy. Before you even set up an online dating profile, simply be aware that not everyone using online dating sites is looking for love. Fraudsters often create bogus online profiles using photos of others. While romance schemes tend to target older individuals, con artists aren’t afraid to flirt with the younger crowd, who gravitate toward dating apps, such as Tinder. Scammers often give themselves away through poor grammar or misspellings in online correspondence.

Keep your guard up. Never send money to people you have yet to meet in person. By doing so, you could find yourself opening a door that’s very difficult to close. If you’re using an online dating service, be especially wary of anyone who asks you to leave the dating website to continue your conversation through email or instant messaging, as this allows fraudsters to carry out their scheme without the dating site having a record of your encounter.

Be cautious if someone claims to be local but is “currently out of the country.” These individuals could be fraudsters operating from overseas, making it more difficult for authorities to track them down. It’s always better to be safe than sorry. Also, be aware that scammers sometimes claim a military connection in an attempt to gain people’s trust.

Stay grounded. Fraudsters often claim to be head over heels in love from the word “go.” Other times they lead their victims on until they feel that the time is right to ask for money. Either way, no matter how much an online relationship feels like the real thing, you should be suspicious if someone you’ve never met starts requesting information like credit card or bank information or asks you to wire funds.

If you think you’ve gotten into a bad situation, tell someone. Sometimes people are afraid to let other people know they’ve been deceived—especially if they’ve sent money away to a supposed love interest. When your instincts are telling you something isn’t right, it’s important that you heed those feelings. Talking things over with friends and family and reporting the scheme to BBB and the FTC can save you money and additional heartache.

Though romance schemes spike during the month of February, it’s important to know that this type of scam happens throughout the year. Often, simply by being cautious and knowing the signs of this nasty fraud, people using online dating sites can steer clear of it.

Hawkfield Gallery Consultants Review – Art Gallery System

Have you ever been in an art gallery?

Or you are one of many people who think that art galleries are limited to the extremely wealthy and highly educated class only?

Once you understand what an art gallery is and how it operates, your perspective about this place will definitely change. Here is an overview of what an art gallery is.

An art gallery is a place where art in all its visual forms is shown and displayed for the public to see. Art galleries may present paintings, sculptures, pictures, drawings and pottery created by individual artist or groups of artists. The main function of these places is to promote art works and their artists, but with the end goal of it being sold to profit.

Some artworks displayed are not directly owned by the gallery but consigned to them by the owner of the piece. Consignment is a common practice in today’s art market. It is an agreement where the artist or the owner of an artwork allows the gallery to display his/her artwork in the hopes that it will attract buyers. When it comes to consignment, try choosing a gallery that has a good chance of selling your art. Hawkfield Gallery have good experience in selling art, they have the ability to successfully market the artwork on your behalf.

Evaluating an art work and determining its potential market price in today’s’ era is a delicate process. Hawkfield Gallery and its fine art consultants utilize comparative sales approach by using recent auction sales as the basis for pricing art works. At times, the gallery also considers the opinion of independent consultants for appraising art work. On their website, you will see a list of artists that the gallery represents as well as the type of services they offer. Moreover, Hawkfield also encourages other artists to submit their work to give them an idea to the fair market value of their works.

Hawkfield Gallery has been operating for many years providing art lovers and collectors quality American arts in reasonable prices. They even assist their clients in tracking down an artwork or even bid on their behalf at auctions.

 

Mövenpick Resort & Spa Tala Bay Aqaba Adds To The Fun Factor With New Family Activities

‘Famolympics’, treasure hunts and cooking classes amongst parent-child activities now available at Jordan’s friendly-family resort

Jordan’s leading family resort, Mövenpick Resort & Spa Tala Bay Aqaba, has enhanced its family offering further by creating several new activities for parents and children to enjoy together, including ‘Famolympics’, treasure hunts and private cooking classes with the resort’s chefs.

The resort’s 150-metre stretch of private beach is the location for the ‘Famolympics’, which tests a family’s teamwork, agility and coordination at five stations involving mind games, relays, swimming and sandcastle-making.  Treasure hunts make the most of the resort’s Red Sea beachfront location and see teams of parents and children work together to find hidden treasures. Both activities are available at the weekend.

For families who enjoy cooking together, the resort’s first-class kitchen is the perfect place to learn five-star culinary techniques. Supervised by professional chefs, the private midweek cooking classes give families hands-on cooking experience as they create one of three local Jordanian dishes: Maqloobah, Sayadieh and Mansaf, the country’s national dish.

“Family holidays are perfect for enjoying quality bonding time, while creating memories together to take back home,” says General Manager Beat Peter. “When introducing new initiatives, we focus on the dynamics of our guests, try to understand what they want and then work on something that fits with the resources and location that we have. Our beach and beautiful outdoor areas are definitely highlights, so activities that give our guests the opportunity to enjoy this are high on our agenda. We also want to be remembered for more than just our delicious food in the restaurants and the private cooking experience is a way to combine this with a cultural element. Only in making long-lasting moments can we set ourselves apart from others.”

Mövenpick Resort & Spa Tala Bay Aqaba is the only property in the Kingdom to be included in TripAdvisor’s Top Hotels for Families in the Middle East.

 

How the world’s wealthy hide millions offshore – from their spouses

Why an Alaska plastic surgeon took a sudden road trip to Panama with millions of dollars

When Michael Brandner, a plastic surgeon in Anchorage, packed his bags and drove more than 4,000 miles from Washington state to Costa Rica in 2007, he wasn’t just getting away from it all. Not long before, Brandner’s wife of 28 years had filed for a divorce. According to a later indictment and court documents, the doctor “collected” $3 million of his and his wife’s assets, converted them into cashier’s checks and set off on a secret trip.

In Costa Rica, Brandner opened a bank account to deposit some of the money and put a thousand ounces of gold in a safety deposit box. Then he traveled to Panama, where he opened an account in the name of a sham organization, Dakota Investment, according to prosecutors’ documents from the case. In 2008, he deposited $4.6 million into the account. Brandner also did not report the accounts to the Internal Revenue Service. During the divorce proceedings, Brandner claimed the money was tied up in these investments and could not be returned, and that the investments were then lost.

Brandner went to all this trouble, the Justice Department says, to conceal assets from his wife, who could have been awarded some of them. Ultimately, U.S. investigators seized the assets. The doctor pleaded not guilty to the charges, but on April 4 of this year, he was sentenced to 48 months in prison for wire fraud and tax evasion.

[ Pro Axia Consultants Business Consulting Group in Osaka, Tokyo, Nagoya, Japan: SAP Business One ]

Brandner’s case draws attention to a less widely recognized use of offshore accounts — hiding assets from a spouse in divorce — that was highlighted by the leak this month of the Panama Papers, which contain many details about the secretive offshore companies and accounts of public officials, drug kingpins and money launderers. The Washington Post has not reviewed the 11.5 million documents.

Brandner declined to be interviewed directly, but his lawyer, Randall Ensminger, offered several defenses. He says that Brandner did not evade taxes on purpose — he just didn’t know that he needed to file for the offshore accounts — and that he took the money to Panama not to defraud his wife but to protect their assets during a time of emotional upheaval in their relationship. Brandner’s intent in taking the money to Panama was “to protect it on behalf of his heirs,” says Ensminger.

Experts in the industry say that Americans are still hiding money offshore from litigious spouses and tax officials alike, but it is getting harder for them to do so. In the last few years, the Obama administration and the Treasury department have erected staggering penalties for those who hide their wealth offshore, as well as many new reporting requirements, says Daniel Jones, a forensic accountant who specializes in the issue.

Read more here…

 

Movenpick Hotels & Resorts Gears Up for 2022 Football World Cup by Bacall Associates

Movenpick Hotels & Resorts (MHR) will operate a third property in Doha from next week – a strategic move that will capitalise on Qatar’s status as a world-class sports hub and host of the 2022 Football World Cup.

The upscale 139-room Movenpick Hotel Al Aziziyah Doha, located in the city’s internationally-renowned Aspire Zone, also known as Doha Sports City, will open its doors on 1 May, taking over the luxurious Victorian-style building currently occupied by Grand Heritage Hotel Doha.

The opening marks a Doha hat-trick for MHR, which already operates Movenpick Hotel Doha and Movenpick Hotel West Bay Doha, and will take the Swiss hospitality firm’s total Qatar inventory to more than 640 keys.

Movenpick Hotel Al Aziziyah Doha will not only be well-placed to host top-ranking international sports teams, with Aspire playing a critical role in the run up to the World Cup, but will also cater to corporate groups staging events at the nearby Qatar National Convention Centre (QNCC), now considered a regional hub for meetings and events.

“This property already has a loyal guest following and we look forward to building on this legacy, showcasing Movenpick’s unique style of Swiss hospitality,” said Mr. Andreas Mattmüller, Chief Operating Officer, Movenpick Hotels & Resorts Middle East and South Asia.

About Movenpick Hotels & Resorts:

Movenpick Hotels & Resorts, an international upscale hotel management company with over 16,000 staff members, is represented in 24 countries with 83 hotels, resorts and Nile cruisers currently in operation. Around 20 properties are planned or under construction, including those in Chiang Mai (Thailand), Bali (Indonesia) and Marrakech (Morocco).Focusing on expanding within its core markets of Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Asia, Movenpick Hotels & Resorts specialises in business and conference hotels, as well as holiday resorts, all reflecting a sense of place and respect for their local communities. Of Swiss heritage and with headquarters in central Switzerland (Baar), Movenpick Hotels & Resorts is passionate about delivering premium service and culinary enjoyment – all with a personal touch. Committed to supporting sustainable environments, Movenpick Hotels & Resorts has become the most Green Globe-certified hotel company in the world. The hotel company is owned by Movenpick Holding (66.7%) and the Kingdom Group (33.3%). For more information, please visit www.movenpick.com.

For further information on Movenpick Hotels & Resorts please contact Zoe Slater (zoe@bacall.net) or Nat Frogley (nat@bacall.net) at Bacall Associates tel: +44 (0)20 7630 2880; www.bacallassociates.co.uk

 

 

Mossack Fonseca Supports National Reforestation Day

The Mossack Fonseca Group recently planted over 1,000 seedlings in Camino de Cruces National Park as a part of National Reforestation Day and the “Alliance for a Million.”

Panama City, Panama – November 25, 2015 /PressCable/ —

Taking a more proactive approach to the issues associated with global climate change, the Mossack Fonseca Group offered its support for the reforestation efforts adopted by Panama and much of the rest of Central America through its participation in National Reforestation Day. Recognizing the importance of the role trees play in the recovery of degraded soils, the protection of the water supply, the absorption of carbon and the emission of oxygen, the planting of a wide variety of tree species on such a grand scale is a highly beneficial measure for further protecting the environment from the potentially devastating effects of unchecked climate change.

The firm has a long history of environmental consciousness and has frequently participated in projects similar to the reforestation efforts taking place in Panama. In this particular instance, a large contingent represented the Mossfon Family at Camino de Cruces National Park to take part in the “Alliance for a Million” project undertaken by ANCON. In planting over 1,000 young seedlings throughout the park, members of the firm were able to assist ANCON as it seeks to achieve its lofty goal of stimulating the growth of forest and fruit species across 1 million hectares. With a focus on targeting the areas with the most pressing need for regrowth, members of the firm helped to ensure that forest management areas, river banks, natural forest areas and groundwater recharge zones benefited from the immediate attention.

Those participating in National Reforestation Day surely understand the impact that deforestation has had on the world at large, but Central Americans in particular are acutely aware of the consequences that have been wrought throughout the region. Over the last 40 years alone, 40 percent of the rain forests have been cleared or burned, affecting the region’s ecological balance to a significant degree. Deforestation has affected air quality, caused soil instability and endangered the 80 percent of terrestrial life that calls the forest home. Given the pervasive and accelerated nature of climate change, efforts such as the one undertaken by ANCON and the firm are necessary for ensuring future environmental stability.

About the Firm The Mossack Fonseca Group is a firm that provides exceptional legal, trust and investment consultancy to clients across the globe. Founded in 1977, the firm offers comprehensive services across every continent, specializing in international business structures, commercial law, wealth management and trust services.

For more information about us, please visit http://www.mossfon.com

Contact Info:

Name: Mossack Fonseca

Organization: Mossack Fonseca

Address: 54th Street, Marbella, Panama

Phone: 507-205-5888

 

Mossack Fonseca on Panama: Enters Phase II of the OECD Global Forum Review

At the 8th meeting of the OECD Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes, held in Barbados on 29-30 October 2015, Panama was officially accepted into Phase 2 of the information exchange peer review process.

The Global Forum peer reviews occur in two Phases: Phase 1 reviews assess the quality of a jurisdiction’s legal and regulatory framework for the exchange of information, while Phase 2 reviews look at the practical implementation of that framework.

Panama’s Foreign Ministry noted that the country’s implementation standards for the exchange of tax information upon request will be assessed, with particular attention to those jurisdictions with which Panama has agreements that allow the exchange of information.

Panama’s Deputy Foreign Minister Luis Miguel Hincapie said “This step reflects the commitment of Panama in this area and the significant progress in updating our legal framework. In a short time we have adapted to the standards of fiscal transparency while at all times defending national interests”. He went on to say that President Juan Carlos Varela, in his recent speech at the General Assembly of the United Nations, announced that Panama, like its major trading partners, is committed to the automatic bilateral exchange of tax information, but with some conditions. The President said the exchanges will have to take into account national circumstances, the international geopolitical environment, and the right of each country to take the necessary measures to ensure that the automatic exchange of information is not misused to impair the competitiveness of some countries for the benefit of others. President Varela proposed that the issues be incorporated into the regular agenda of the United Nations to ensure that they are discussed by the countries on equal terms.

There are now 96 jurisdictions which are committed to making the first exchanges of information in 2017 or 2018. Panama has committed to commence automatic exchanges in 2018.

Meir Ezra: The Benefits of Being Unreasonable

You succeed when you are unreasonable. You neither give nor accept excuses. You insist on success.

L. Ron Hubbard defines reasonableness as faulty explanations.” When you agree with faulty explanations, you are too reasonable.

Examples of faulty explanations:

“I can’t repair your furnace today as it might rain.” The truth is, the repairman is going to a basketball game.

“None of the staff will work past 5:00.” The truth is, the manager does not want to work past 5:00.

“I can’t pay you as I promised as my wife is sick and can’t fix our meals.” The truth is, he is spending the money elsewhere.

“We’ll never get this project done today as we’ve never done it in one day before.” The truth is, they’ve never tried to get it done in one day.

Why Agree?

If you agree with faulty explanations, you agree to fail. Excuses, justifications and reasonableness produce nothing.

Yet disagreeing often helps you succeed.

“If you can’t fix the furnace today because of the rain, no problem. I’ll see if I can find someone who repairs furnaces, despite the rain.”

“I believe lots of people will work past 5:00. You are the manager and need to handle the schedules. Do you need me to show you how to do it?”

“Well, I’m sorry about your wife, but don’t see how that’s related. You agreed to pay me today, so I’ll have to get the money from you right now as you promised.”

“So what if we’ve never done a project like this in one day. We are better at this than ever before and I think we can get it done if we get going right now!”

The sun shines, the birds sing and everything improves when you disagree with faulty explanations. The lies disappear, the truth comes out and the solutions are obvious.

As well as being unreasonable about problems with others, you must be unreasonable with yourself. For example, “I’m tired and want to go home early. Too bad! I need to disagree and WAKE UP! I’ll take a brisk walk. Today should be a day I can be proud of.”

The most important thing you must be unreasonable about is DOWN STATISTICS.

“The one big god-awful mistake an executive can make in reading and managing by graph is being reasonable about graphs. This is called JUSTIFYING A STATISTIC.”

“One sees a graph down and says `Oh well, of course, that’s———–‘ and at that moment you’ve had it.”

“Never JUSTIFY why a graph continues to be down and never be reasonable about it. A down graph is simply a down graph and somebody is goofing.” — L. Ron Hubbard

At some point, we have all given or received excuses for stagnant or shrinking statistics. Because these are faulty explanations, no solutions are possible.

“Reading skills are getting worse in the United States because we have too many television channels.”

“Our business failed because nobody would buy our stocks any longer.”

“No one buys cars from Pete because he’s too old.”

However, when you disagree with explanations and find the truth, the solutions are OBVIOUS. Examples:

“Television has nothing to do with reading skills. What else could it be? Oh! Are children taught to use a dictionary?”

“Your business didn’t fail because nobody would buy your stocks. It failed because you didn’t know what you were doing. Do you know how to make a profit? Did you test-market your product? Do you know how to advertise?”

“People do buy cars from older sales people. Was Pete working every day? Has anyone trained him to sell?”

Exercises

In the examples below, decide which are reasonable explanations and which are the truthful statements.

“I can’t lose weight because (I’m too busy) (I’m lazy and addicted to chocolate).”

“Company profits are soaring because (I’m very charming) (the new computer system doubled our efficiency).”

“I have no money because (I don’t do financial planning) (of the economy).”

“I’m single and lonely because (I don’t get out and meet people) (no one likes me).”

“I can’t find a good assistant because I (have too many jobs) (am not taking the time to find one).”

“I let people boss me around because (I’m kind and caring) (I don’t stand up to them).”