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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Jan 20, 2012 / 25 Teves 5772

If an online offer seems too good to be true, it probably is

By Mark Kellner



http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | If your e-mail address becomes somewhat widely known, you'll probably receive junk e-mails, also known as "spam." Most of these are easy to dismiss, and many are caught in "spam filters" provided by our employers or e-mail service providers.

In recent months, however, I've noticed a recent upsurge in e-mails promoting various "directories" and "associations" that, supposedly, will give someone recognition for their accomplishments and provide all sorts of networking opportunities. If you're listed in one of these publications, which often use the words "Who's Who" in the title - of which more in a moment - you are deemed part of a select group of notable individuals.

A quick Google search of some of these "who's who scams" reveals plenty. There is a valid "Who's Who" directory series published by Marquis Who's Who, LLC, of Berkeley Heights, New Jersey. The Marquis firm, for many years a unit of the Reed Elsevier publishing empire, is now part of National Register Publishing, another reputable directory publishing firm that's well known in the industry and which has a long history.

The key fact to remember about the Marquis volumes is the firm never charges someone to be listed, and never asks a "listee," as they call those included, to buy anything.

That's not true for the other "Who's Who" merchants out there. The spam e-mails will state that your listing is free, but once you submit your data, get ready for a steady stream of phone calls and e-mails urging you to buy all sorts of stuff, including the volume in which your information appears.

Legally, it appears, these other operations are legitimate, to the extent that you are provided a product for which you pay a price or fee. However, as the New York chapter of the Better Business Bureau notes in its Website entry on such directories, that price can be as much as $1,000 for a single volume. (http://bit.ly/A0qiH9)

The same goes for groups with names claiming to be organizations of "professional women" or "successful individuals" or a "national academic society." There are well known and established academic honors societies, groups of professionals (usually organized by profession) and other groups to which the successful might belong. Generally, such organizations don't blast out mass e-mailings looking for new recruits.

However, because almost anyone likes to be recognized, and because many of us want to network and advance in our careers - especially during challenging economic times - offers such as these can be very appealing. It's incumbent upon consumers to be extremely diligent in checking out anything that comes in via e-mail, unless the vendor is really well known to us. If something seems a bit fishy - such as high-pressure sales tactics - it's probably best to just run away.

Again, many of these offers are thwarted by good spam detection systems. But in the past year, I've heard more than one story from a smart individual who's been taken in by these deals, and while they each, fortunately, have been able to get out, others may not know the score. The Internet is both a help and a curse here: a curse, because that's how the offers come in, but a help, because, again, a Google search of the generic "scam," or better still, the specific name or address of the firm/organization, will yield tons of information on who is really on the up-and-up and who may be suspect.

There are few shortcuts in this life, and paying to have your name and life's details listed in a volume of dubious reputation isn't likely to get you anywhere but poorer, and perhaps wiser.

Proponents of free speech and free enterprise might argue that these merchants are just operating a business. While that's true, it is also my opinion that purveying what appear to be false hopes is not how life should be lived.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

JWR contributor Mark Kellner has reported on technology for industry newspapers and magazines since 1983, and has been the computer columnist for The Washington Times since 1991.Comment by clicking here.

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