Privacy Invasion, Credit Bureaus and how to prevent a Privacy Crisis

Worried about public and private agencies learning about you and your families’ most intimate personal financial privacy details? You’re not alone. In fact, most people seem to accept the fact that certain “institutions” have your business and personal money and property details in their data bases.

Readers may be interested in how to live privately.

As this article’s subject concerns financial privacy, James Clark King, LLC, publisher has free financial resources which may be of interest to those who wish to preserve and protect their financial privacy.

The credit bureaus have long been established as the “know-it-all” agencies-private agencies that know all there is to know about you and your finances. In fact, one privacy expert, Jack Dunning who was recently interviewed by Privacy Crisis and Privacy Crisis Banking author and privacy expert, Grant Hall, believes the credit bureaus are here to stay and it is difficult to thwart their monopoly and manipulation of the average person’s financial life. I’m paraphrasing Mr. Dunning’s responses to Mr. Hall’s questions throughout the interview and this interpretation is mine as well as my own opinion of his responses. It seems this is a consensus view among privacy experts-that our privacy is evaporating and that there is nothing we can do about it. Grant Hall interviewed PT Shamrock who stresses that privacy is indeed deteriorating and provides insightful information for the perpetual traveler during the interview.

Both Mr. Dunning and PT Shamrock are quite experienced in the privacy arena. And their views are noted and taken seriously by this author.

I wondered what Mr. Grant Hall thinks about our privacy being invaded and whether he echo’s the consensus of the above experts on the subject. Mr. Hall has done radio interviews on the subject of personal and business privacy. In addition, he has written a number of articles on financial privacy. So I contacted him for a mini-interview for this article for the benefit of our readers. Here is the bulk of that interview:

Sue Holtzen: Grant, I am glad you agreed to field my questions. Thanks for your help and clarification on the privacy invasion we as American’s and others in the world face concerning privacy. Tell me, Grant, what is your view on our current state of privacy?

Grant Hall: Hello, Sue. It’s my pleasure to speak with you again. Thanks for thinking of me. In regard to your question concerning our state of privacy, I believe we have to break privacy down, both geographically as well as the kind of privacy we discuss in order to provide a picture of the state of privacy at the current time.

Sue Holtzen: I see. How about the credit bureaus? The three major credit bureaus seem to dictate to the American public as far as their credit or borrowing worthiness is concerned. This seems like a monopoly with Big Brother dictating to the public as well as those who the public wants to do business with. A historical log of the public’s financial history-not always accurate reporting I might add is a permanent record of credit bureaus.

Grant Hall: The credit bureaus do, in my view have a reporting monopoly on the history of Americans’ financial history. And it is not always accurate as you point out, Sue. In my interview with Mr. Dunning, the credit bureaus were discussed and he does, I believe agree with me on that point-that the credit bureaus are dictating to the public and the major ones, the big three are difficult to challenge. In fact, it is my experience they infrequently answer their phones and require endless documentation in order to contest a simple error-perhaps an incorrect date of a payment to a credit bureau subscriber by a clerical person. Something such as this, a simple error can drastically lower a credit score and wreck a person’s creditability.

Sue Hotzen: Do you have any ideas on how to handle these privacy invasions imposed upon us by the credit bureaus?

Grant Hall: Yes. I do not subscribe to the popular view that we have lost our privacy to the credit bureaus. I’m speaking about U.S. privacy now and specifically about the big three credit bureaus. I want to narrow our discussion to these points, please.

Sue Holtzen: Okay, Grant.

Grant Hall: It’s possible to live very well without the credit bureaus’ interfering with your life. And I believe in borrowing and credit as a matter of fact. But I do not believe in bad borrowing. Nor do I believe in being slaves to credit bureaus and their institutional friends.

Sue Holtzen: Please explain.

Grant Hall: Okay. Good borrowing is generally limited to business borrowing following a thorough analysis and a study of the asset to be purchased with borrowed money. I’m in the minority with this line of thinking. I follow these principles. I borrowed money to buy our last home. The credit bureaus were never aware of this debt. That method is fully explained in my financial privacy e-Book, Privacy Crisis Banking.

Sue Holtzen: I read Privacy Crisis Banking, Grant. Essentially, you used money with very low rates or just fees for the transaction, I believe, and the debt was actually shifted to another entity. Is that correct?

Grant Hall: Yes. During that transaction, the cost of money was very low. And I borrowed against an asset and the money was paid back with a credit line. And there were no restrictions on what could be purchased with the money. It’s important to always stay above board in these more complicated and non-traditional loans and transactions. I stress that point. As outlined in the book, Privacy Crisis Banking, large transactions or loans can be achieved while the credit bureaus are unaware of the reason for the purchase. In other words, privacy is achieved. In this case, home privacy, perhaps the most important part of one’s total privacy plan was kept a secret. That is quite different than going to the mortgage company, getting “approved” for X amount of money and buying a house over a thirty year period-a bad idea in my opinion, unless one is truly at the beginning of an uptrend in houses in the area one is buying into and then leverage can be utilized very advantageously. However, in my view, giving the credit bureaus, the lending company and anyone who has access to the credit bureaus’ reports a roadmap to your front door is always a bad idea. That’s why I stress non-traditional borrowing for personal and business privacy.

Sue Holtzen: Thank you, Grant. We’ll continue another time.

Grant Hall: Thank you, Sue.

Sue Holtzen

A List of Ten Stalking Solution Resources

Are you being tormented by a troublesome or dangerous stalker? Perhaps an ex-spouse or lover has you in his sights. Are you in danger? Here are some resources which may prove helpful. A summary of the resource is included as well as a link.

  1. The “Escape Stalkers” info series is a Free e-mail privacy course written by privacy expert and author, Grant Hall. This seven part series is available for the asking and serves as an introductory course in stalking prevention.
  2. How to Escape a Stalker in Twelve Hours is an article written by Grant Hall. This piece provides help for those who face an emergency and want to leave their stalker behind in record time. Be prepared for a life-changing event while avoiding future problems with your tormentor.
  3. Privacy Living has overlapping effects and certain aspects of a privacy plan transfer to other areas which may be valuable to the privacy seeker. “Right to Privacy: How to be Invisible as you Drive” provides the solution to stalkers who may have their victim’s Motor Vehicle information.
  4. Self Defense may become necessary for those who are faced with a stalking problem One website we believe is helpful provides information on self defense.
  5. A women’s health website we recommend as an information source can benefit female stalking victims.
  6. Stalkers often go to great lengths to corner their prey. It is not uncommon for a predator stalker to obtain the banking information of the person being stalked. To keep money under the radar, it is necessary to learn to bank anonymously and though the common belief is that money privacy is dead in the water, Grant Hall has proved otherwise, and it is indeed possible to bank secretly in the U.S.A. Here is a free course on banking anonymously. And Hall wrote a complete e-book on how to keep money and assets private. The e-book is called Privacy Crisis Banking and it is available for sale and immediate download.
  7. One of the most challenging privacy living endeavors is working privately. Due to certain employers’ requirements as well as government and private data banks that track one as she works, keeping the source of your livelihood a secret may prove to be difficult-unless you copy someone who has been successful or use proven methods to work privately. How to Escape a Stalker: Work Secretly by Grant Hall is an actual case history of a person who learned how to work under the radar. The article is free of charge.
  8. The most comprehensive study on all aspects of privacy living is Privacy Crisis, an e-book by Grant Hall which covers how to work secretly in detail as well as all other aspects of personal and business privacy living.
  9. Free information on how to establish home privacy and an alternate identity is covered in a recent blog article. And while, one who is searching for stalking solutions may not relish the idea of changing their name to rid themselves of their stalker, Privacy Crisis, author, Grant Hall believes an alternate identity used for non-official purposes is paramount to privacy success-at the higher levels of personal privacy.
  10. Keeping medical treatment private is important to those who want to live privately and escape a stalker. One can also avoid the expensive problem of identity theft while practicing privacy during medical treatment. Here is an article on medical privacy that will be invaluable to the individual who has committed to getting rid of his stalker.  James Clark King, LLCPublisher

Privacy Expert and Author Jack Dunning Interview

Privacy advocates and readers may recognize the name, Jack Dunning who has written extensively on the subject of privacy and other topics through his blogs, websites and books. Grant Hall caught up with “Nasty Jack” and picked his brain on the subject of personal privacy, writing and more. Enjoy the interview.

James Clark King, LLC

Publisher, Privacy Crisis books

www.PrivacyCrisis.com

Grant Hall: Hello Jack. We have communicated and spoken over the years on the subject of privacy. I believe you worked in the field of marketing and mailing lists provided to entrepreneurs and businesses, and have written a great deal on privacy-related matters on your blogs and sites. Am I correct about the mail order lists? I’m doing this from memory. Please provide websites and blogs you are associated with for the benefit of our readers.

Jack Dunning: I did work as a data broker in the direct marketing industry, or junk mail as I eventually decided was its true interpretation. In addition to mass over mailing (1 return for 100 catalogs sent), a major reason for this definition was the loose security measures taken by mail order companies, including support organizations like data brokers and computer facilities, for customer names and personal data in the 70’s and 80’s. There has been some improvement but it is a wonder more data breaches don’t occur today.

I blogged on privacy in the early 2000’s in the Dunning Letter: http://thedunningletter.blogspot.com/  TDL has since been used for other purposes but all the privacy posts are there for search.

About five years ago I started my NastyJackBuzz political blog which is still active today posting on political satire as a Progressive here: https://nastyjackbuzz.blogspot.com/

Grant Hall: How did you become known as “Nasty jack?”

Jack Dunning: Back in the late 70’s, my wife, Barbara and I, created a drink recipe card library for mixed alcohol drinks similar to Betty Crocker’s food recipe library, called the Nasty Jack Drink Recipe Card Library-An Epicurean Prescription for Spirits. Barb came up with the Nasty Jack name she had seen somewhere, and it has stuck over the years, eventually ending up on my political blog. Based on some of the comments I get on the blog, the name is appropriate because I am a passionate Progressive.

Grant Hall: I read a piece I believe you wrote on a credit bureau and the refusal of that company to allow you to correct information contained In their records. Without naming that credit bureau, can you comment on credit bureaus’ authoritarian-like, Orwellian actions based on your knowledge and experience?

Jack Dunning: Yes, this is perhaps the most uncontrolled faction in the financial industry. Credit Bureaus could be considered the epitome of Orwell’s Big Brother because they know everything there is to know about an individual and you have absolutely no control over what they know. Congress, being the doo-willies they are let these companies run rampant over the consumer. Even if they wanted to do something, proven over and over they don’t, Congress doesn’t know enough about Credit Bureaus to know where to start. The blog post you refer to has had 83 comments to date, all complaints about this bureau’s lack of communication.

Grant Hall: In my opinion, the credit bureaus are pseudo government agencies. And they are certainly in bed with banks which depend on them exclusively for information regarding customers’ credibility as well as the credibility of potential customers.  Credit scores are established by these companies and make or break consumers’ ability to borrow money and keep financial credibility. How did these private companies get so much power over the population?

Jack Dunning: The financial industry created a monster. I happened to be in on a meeting in Chicago in the late 60’s at Montgomery Ward where credit bureaus were being given serious consideration by direct marketers. MW had decided to develop their own algorithm for credit worthiness but eventually joined all the others using the FICO score. It was interesting to see the intricacies of what it took to create the credit score. But once the credit bureaus got rolling, their data proved to be something the financial industry could rely on but at the same time the CBs convinced everyone their data and formulas were so proprietary, they must be kept completely secret. Bingo! The credit bureaus of today. The Fair Credit Reporting Act is, in my estimation, the weakest privacy legislation ever passed.

Grant Hall: The masses apparently believe it to be okay to provide their utility companies with their most personal and confidential information. For instance, major cell telephone companies, and internet service providers want to run one’s credit history prior to selling them a basic telephone or internet service plan. I’ve inquired recently and the companies with the best service and largest market share may have relaxed their contract requirements, but still want a customer’s Social Security Number and credit history prior to considering them for telephone or internet service. In my view, telephone and internet service are highly confidential services and essential for nearly everyone. How do you feel about this? As you know, one can buy pay as you go service for telephone and internet service at a premium price while keeping telephone and internet use private.

Jack Dunning: Forget who said it, but it was the CEO of one of the largest data companies commenting something like: Get over it, your personal data is not private. He was right. In the 70s I can remember walking around data broker’s offices observing computer tapes laying on people’s desks, completely unsecured, with thousands of names including their personal data, even social security numbers, with no one at the desk. Never in our office however. If you can’t get it free on the Internet, including the Internet underground, you can buy it in dozens of locations, including the Internet underground.

Grant Hall: The addiction to credit by the American public is clearly learned behavior taught to them by mass advertising representatives, real property propagandists, bankers, and main stream media, not to mention irresponsible parents and certain teachers. Today, many people think in terms of monthly payments, not purchase prices. Look through any set of advertisements and you will find that items I consider to be low cost and medium priced products are advertised based on the cost to make payments, not own the car, furniture or whatever is being peddled. When one pushes the numbers, she will see how ridiculous it is to buy these goods on time. Why not save for the item? To answer that question myself, I know that would cut the middleman,-the bankers and “hard money lenders” out of the equation. And the typical customer, especially the uneducated and undisciplined one wants immediate gratification and cannot turn down that big carrot being waived in front of his face. Of course, once one sacrifices themselves as a debt slave and owes her soul to the customer store, business and personal privacy go by the wayside, too. What is your view on consumer debt and usury by banks and bankers, Jack?

Jack Dunning: In general you are right, but it is doubtful many businesses in this country could survive without credit and/or credit cards. Considering the spending habits of many consumers, they would have nothing without credit, in large part because of your point on “immediate gratification.”  I have always used credit profusely, up to the last few years, when we were able to pay cash for everything. Still charge it on credit cards for the rewards but pay them off every month. Fact: Any personal data any individual has ever put out there is still out there and available for sale somewhere. You might be surprised just how easy a lot of people will give up their private information, including SS number. Many of the companies I worked for in direct marketing eventually decided to handle their own credit; in the beginning it was a gold mine. But later when credit reporting requirements became more complicated, they either farmed it out or sold their credit department. Unfortunately, this collection of personal data goes back into the 1800s, so you can see my resolve that nothing is private anymore. Sorry.

Grant Hall: Turning to the subject of money and property privacy, an interesting and unusual trend may be developing. About thirty percent of long term bonds yield negative interest rates worldwide. About the same percent of countries charge retail customers a fraction of a percent on their money in addition to fees to store money. Of course, with central bankers keeping interest rates at essentially zero for some years, banks have no choice but to do this. Along with this negative interest rate policy, banks have instituted the most privacy invasive stance in the history of the world toward their customers along with severe curbs on customers’ ability to take advantage of free market opportunities. For instance, Switzerland charges one half percent on savings account balances, disallows Americans to become customers, and changed their banking secrecy statute(s) within the last few years while revealing account holders names to U.S. agencies.  What are your thoughts?

Jack Dunning: Afraid you are in an area of some unfamiliarity with me so I don’t really have an opinion.

Grant Hall: The Japanese central bank, another central bank with negative interest rate policy has stopped out their retail banking customers with this charge on money policy. And as you may know, historically, the Japanese have been the most disciplined savers. Money safes in Japan are sold out. Japanese families now have their own “in house banks” in the form of cash stored in their own safes. Likewise, the American savings class has been ruined. Retired workers can no longer earn money on their money. How do you feel about bypassing the banking system except for essential uses and following the trend set by the Japanese and others by storing their cash in safes to avoid fees and to preserve privacy?

Jack Dunning: Basically, I am not in favor of keeping cash in the home. We keep a minimum amount in a Money Market fund for emergencies, unfortunately drawing rock bottom interest. The rest we invest in annuities and have experienced very successful earnings in the past few years, enough to partially fund our semi-retirement.

Grant Hall: I know you have written two books. Please tell us about each book as well as what inspired you to write them.

Jack Dunning: The first was a novel, “Nymphomania Bloodlust,” about a nymphomaniac vampire that is killing Arizona politicians. The other is a humorous memoir “Without the Lampshade-How I Learned to Love my Brown Martini,” about my younger, wild drinking days.

Grant Hall: Provide the stores or websites where each book may be purchased.

Jack Dunning: Bloodlust: https://www.amazon.com/Nymphomania-Bloodlust-Jack-E-Dunning/dp/0692608583/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1486774226&sr=8-1&keywords=nymphomania+bloodlust

Lampshade: https://www.amazon.com/Without-Lampshade-Learned-Brown-Martini/dp/0692704744/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1486774289&sr=8-1&keywords=without+the+lampshade

Grant Hall: Do you have other books available? How about other articles, materials, or goods and services that you offer for sale or free of charge? Please provide the websites, blogs, stores where these may be found.

Jack Dunning: Only hundreds of posts on the two blogs.

Grant Hall: Do you feel writers reap a therapeutic value from writing? And once one determines the topic, does the research, makes the commitment, does writing the book tend to complete the Gestalt and make the writer whole?

Jack Dunning: Definitely! Especially political  l blogging. I can also get wrapped up in my fiction because I am the kind of writer that uses no outline. I have a basic plot and storyline and then just let the tale flow. To me it is actually exciting to write in that way and I rarely have writer’s block. I finished my novel in three months. And yes, there is a satisfaction in completion that you finally realize is a creation of your very own.

Grant Hall: Do you have business or writing projects in the planning stage? Share whatever you want readers to know about products and services that may be available from Jack Dunning in the future.

Jack Dunning: I am finishing a novelette about a cross-eyed male rescue cat that was taken from a Washington, D.C. sewer to a shelter, then adopted by a family (Barb and me), later a female cat was adopted from the same shelter, both of which lived with this family in a high-rise on the outskirts of the nation’s capital. The story is told through the eyes and dialogue of the cats. The cats and family lived very happily until the male cat decided he had to return to the sewer and find his mother. Half of the story is the cat growing up in the sewer, the remainder living in the high-rise and return to the sewer, sprinkled with humor and near-tragedy in the sewer.

Grant Hall: I would like to tap into your knowledge base again about certain privacy topics and trends, Jack.  Please share anything you want readers to know about your work or philosophy or anything else you deem valuable for this interview and provide any resources, websites, blogs or links that you want to provide.

Jack Dunning: I became interested in the privacy issue when I entered the direct marketing business, observed how much private information was available on consumers’ lives, and worked within the industry to encourage maximum security of people’s names and personal data. I found minimum interest in securing the names and data but maximum interest in selling it as often as possible. A data broker’s commission was 20%, unheard of in my day when most hucksters were getting 5 to 10 percent. It was a cutthroat business and the data broker was often referred to by some as a prostitute…anything for a buck. I made a lot of money but was always extremely careful about any data within my responsibility. Finally I had had enough, got out of the business and that’s when I started my privacy blog, “The Dunning Letter.”

And then I came across a quote from someone within direct marketing who was the CEO of Sun Micro Systems, a vital force in the industry. This is the quote I couldn’t remember earlier: “You already have zero privacy – get over it by Scott McNealy. It took me a while but I finally realized he was right. Up to that point my agenda was to keep my name and personal data secure within my grasp, even advocating for some time that it should legally be a person’s property. No one was interested, not even the biggest privacy advocates in the country, most of whom I knew personally. It was then that I turned to protection of my private information at the source. I make sure all mailings of a financial nature are shredded, check all bank balances daily, credit accounts weekly, and do credit reports quarterly. It isn’t proof-positive but, unfortunately, it is all that I have, since, like I said, unfortunately, my personal data is already all over the world.

Grant Hall: Thank you, Jack Dunning.

Thank you, Grant.

 

 

 

 

 

Jeff Finkelstein Founder of Customer Paradigm Interview

The company, Customer Paradigm has a website located at www.customerparadigm.com and according to their information focuses on acquiring new customers, keeping customers, and interacting with customers. Jeff Finkelstein, Customer Paradigm agreed to this interview with Grant Hall.
Grant Hall: Hello. Thank you for communicating with me by e-mail. I am interested in learning more about your company. Please tell me about your business and your role in it.

Jeff Finkelstein:

Thanks, Grant!  I founded Customer Paradigm in 2002, and since then, we’ve completed more than 11,300 projects in the website development, marketing and privacy space.  I have a particular focus on Web privacy, and worked at a $47 million venture funded company focused on privacy, prior to forming Customer Paradigm.
We focus quite a bit on eCommerce, and keeping information secure and private.
Grant Hall: We sell privacy books and services at www.PrivacyCrisis.com and I requested this interview because our website visitors, customers, and clients often inquire about privacy issues related to their businesses as well as marketing services available, particularly related to internet sales, marketing, and search engine optimization services. Would you comment on your company’s services available to businesses and website companies? How can individuals and businesses preserve privacy in the face of hackers and identity thieves?

Jeff Finkelstein:

Sure.  Data is valuable.  It’s valuable for a company – it allows an organization to reach back out and hopefully get a past customer to buy from them again.  With a lot of data, you can create a more personalized approach, and really make marketing to the end user even more compelling.
I’ve created marketing campaigns for organizations that connect a real person to other real people, and is compelling and engaging.  And when that real person who received a personalized email message shows up at an event or conference, they truly feel they have a pre-existing relationship with the person sending them a message.
We did all of the early email marketing for the Howard Dean for America campaign, way back in 2003.  Although he didn’t win, we showed their team how to use email in a compelling, personalized way.  They set records for raising money online, and it was fun to help teach their candidate how to better engage with voters.
Fast forward 14 years to the present.  We work on a lot of eCommerce sites that collect payment information, address information and other data from end users.  We also work with companies with more basic, informational websites as well.  But those sites often have payment pages, or contact forms.
A hacker looking to steal data is usually motivated to get credit card information.  They either want to use that credit card information to make purchases on other sites (perhaps to convert it into more untraceable funds).  Or, they’ll try to sell it.
If the site is an eCommerce site, the attackers will often attack the specific files that capture the credit card information during the purchasing process, and then send these details to a remote server.  In some cases, we’ve seen hackers binary encode information like credit card numbers into what looks and acts like a normal jpg graphic; they retrieve the credit card details by simply downloading the file.
Fortunately, there’s ways to keep an eye out for attacks such as this.  Businesses should do automated scans of their sites, and keep up-to-date on security patches.

 

Grant Hall: Is there a conflict between good marketing and privacy protection? For instance, a consultant or manager of an e-commerce website will want to be available to communicate with prospective customers while at the same time he/she may have strong reservations concerning the security of the website and providing personal information to those who seek goods and services, but only have an internet presence.
Jeff Finkelstein:
I think that the trend that we see is that companies that focus on security and privacy are doing quite well in the marketplace.  Yes, a marketer is always going to want to reach back out to talk to past customers and entice them to buy again.
We’ve found that companies that treat end users with respect and use good judgement are successful.
If you are selling products or services online, you do need a way to deliver a physical or virtual product to the end user.  If the product is good, most end users don’t mind a thoughtful contact from the company to help them learn more.

Grant Hall: Your business provides search engine optimization services according to your website, www.customerparadigm.com. Is SEO an ongoing service that requires continuous involvement by the SEO expert in order to keep organic traffic flowing to the business website? How can a business manager budget for these costs while marketing a few products? Why are more companies providing SEO services and other internet marketing services not amenable to providing services in exchange for a percentage of sales? This lack of interest in working on a “commission” appears to be incongruent to other industries and personnel such as the insurance business, real estate agents,  stock brokerage and portfolio management financial service industries, and other business sectors and industry groups that require the industry professional to prove his/her abilities by producing sales prior to being paid?
Jeff Finkelstein:
Yes, this is a great question.  SEO for a site is kind of like working out.  In order to stay healthy and fit, you need to work out a few times (or more) each week.  You can’t just do one massive workout on January 1st and then you’re good to go for the year.
Sites that rank well are ones that have content that is actively added and curated.  Otherwise, the site becomes more of a static time capsule.  I don’t think that you need to adjust title tags each day or week, but working on your site is always an ongoing process.
Second, most people don’t want to do SEO on a percentage of sales perspective, because there are a lot of factors beyond their control.  Things like price, reputation, other companies and how competitive the space might be.
If you are trying to do SEO in a highly competitive space, you’re going to have to spend tremendous energy to make a small dent in your rankings.  There are some industries where people will spend $100,000+ per month in SEO to rank well.  Spending 5 hours a month is just not going to make a difference.
Most reputable firms will not work on a percentage of sales for SEO.

Grant Hall: On the surface, it would appear many website owners/managers would be open to sharing sales in exchange for services, thus creating a win-win business plan for both sides. This appears to be especially attractive to website companies who have developed a product but lack website development and SEO skills as well as other marketing skills. How do you feel about a service plan with a commission structure in place as payment for SEO and marketing services for selling internet products and services?

Jeff Finkelstein:
With rare exceptions, I always pass on these types of projects.  It usually means that the business owner is strapped for cash, and that all of the risk is on the web development firm or SEO company to produce results.
Again, there’s a lot of factors outside our control.  Perhaps their product sucks.  Perhaps the pricing is way, way to expensive.  Perhaps their delivery times, customer service or documentation is lacking.
To me, a structure like this means that we as an SEO company do all of the work, and then if it’s successful we’ll get 10% as a commission.  If I believe that much in a product, I’d rather buy it wholesale and do all of that myself.

Grant Hall: I am aware of certain website owners and managers who have hired website marketing businesses that charged substantial fees for taking on a customer as well as large maintenance fees for a period of time-sometimes a contract is required for a period of time. Furthermore, I am aware that sales did not increase to justify these marketing expenses. If one is considering a company for internet marketing services, do you believe that company under consideration should be a proven website marketing winner that manages their own in house websites that produce sales and make these websites profitable? What other criteria should a manager use to evaluate a marketing firm’s potential and credibility prior to hiring the company?
Jeff Finkelstein:
Any website – short of a static HTML vintage 1994 site – should be a living, breathing entity.  One that has content, products and information added to it each week.  Security patches come out all the time, and need to be implemented.  Those patches or software upgrades can break existing features, so someone needs to help out.  Or, you might need someone to add more complex content or change the design of the site.  That’s more of a function of running a business that has an active website.  Those are often what maintenance fees can cover.
For our clients, we always offer ongoing support and maintenance, but it’s not required.  We don’t lock people into a long term contract.
As far as criteria a manager should use to evaluate a marketing firm’s potential, I’d look at what they’ve done in the past, and what kind of strategic and tactical plan they can offer to help you solve your business needs.
Many of the people on our team have run Websites in the past, and seen solid success with it.
If you’re looking at a company to help out with SEO, you can ask them what types of keyword terms their site ranks for.  That said, trying to rank broadly for SEO is a highly competitive game.  Instead, ask what tools they use, and how they evaluate success.
And avoid anyone with an SEO performance guarantee.  I can guarantee that you’ll rank #1 for some obscure keyword that nobody ever searches on.  It’s a lot more difficult to rank highly for a keyword that is highly competitive.

Grant Hall: Can you comment on affiliate marketing and do you assist companies with attracting and recruiting affiliates at your company?
Jeff Finkelstein:
We will often help people integrate affiliate marketing tracking systems into their site, and suggest that this can be a great way to drive additional traffic to a site.  If done really well (and you have big margins you can entice affliates with), this can be a great channel.  That said, this is not something that we usually manage for our clients, as it does require a very active role and day-to-day management.
Grant Hall: Please tell us anything thing else you would like for us to know about your business and feel free to expand into any areas we have not covered thus far. And point our readers to any links on your website that you believe would be helpful and educational for business people interested in your services.
Jeff Finkelstein:
Most of what we focus on these days are helping eCommerce sites that use the Magento platform stay secure, as well as implement new designs, features and functionality.  More information can be found on our site here: http://www.CustomerParadigm.com.
Grant Hall: Thank you for the interview. We will post it on our site at www.PrivacyCrisis.com or www.PrivacyCrisis.com/blog and you are welcome to post in on your website as well.

Do bankers understand money?

Inflation. CPI. Nonsensical terms to be sure. But ask any managerial level banker and they probably subscribe to those terms-meaningless, oxymoron-like, bordering on the absurd and in the vocabularies of all who make your mortgage and loan decisions.

Devaluation not inflation is the correct way to describe the erosion of purchasing power. However, in order to understand this correction in verbiage, it is necessary to first learn the basics, the fundamentals of any monetary system or medium of exchange without biases. An article which may be useful to understand the loss of purchasing power is located at:

http://www.privacycrisis.com/article_financial_privacy.htmlt:

Imagine people in a land with diverse products and services to sell. Mabel has a pie baking business and her husband Cleve has hogs and milk in excess supply. Art is a skilled mechanic and his brother Billy builds houses while their sister Ruth and her husband practice medicine and provide nursing services. Sue, their neighbor teaches school. Bret writes computer programs and provides search optimization services. May makes winter coats. Gabriel cuts hair. Charlie has used cars for sale. And three hundred other community members possess skills and services and have products for sale.

There is no accepted method of exchange in this fictional community.

Grant Hall wrote Privacy Crisis Banking and this book explains money and banking as well as business and investment privacy. The book is available as an e-book for immediate download at:

http://www.privacycrisis.com/orders_index.html

It becomes cumbersome for Cleve to hall hogs and milk to May’s store to trade like values for like values. Charlie wants Mabel’s pies for desert, but doesn’t want eleven hundred of them at once-the number that is valued to equal one of his used automobiles. And others face the same dilemma. How to “buy” goods and services? What to do?

A community meeting is held to establish a suitable and convenient means of exchange, a monetary system that can serve the consumers and survive without being devalued over time. This community is aware of what happened to previous currencies-those money systems that began at 100 and were devalued to 2 or 3 due to the instant gratification needs of the cons who initiated them in the first place without consent of those who eventually lost everything because of the Ponzi scheme. This responsible community is determined to establish a money system that works-without devaluation or “inflation,” that scam word that money creators conned everyone into believing was a normal phenomenon when in fact it is nonsense, a lie used to control and make a population poor within a hundred years or less, or much less depending on how much abuse is exercised by the controllers.

Property is held by the community in the form of farmland  and producing oil wells. The city hall and the surrounding buildings are also owned by “the state.” In addition, money is owned by the community which has been collected for revenues on these properties.  And there is an income stream from other diversified properties.

First, the value of all properties is determined as well as the bottom line figures  for all businesses. The final value is established based on the current value of spot Gold. Next, this figure is converted to the value of Gold in troy ounces. It is determined that this state owns property and current profits from their business that is the equivalent to 99,000 ounces of Gold at today’s price. With this value in mind, this community establishes a money system and a bank. The properties and business revenues remain owned by the community while the bank has the power to distribute receipts in paper or digital form up to the value of all their assets. Receipt issuing power is only increased when new business profits are generated and only up to that value per the value of the new profits. And this becomes the money policy of the people who own the money.

Stockholders or community members are entitled to their share of ownership of the property and may receive this ownership in the form of the receipts. Or their account is credited to equal their share and this account may be drawn from to buy goods and services.

A means of exchange has been established and commerce begins without the inconvenience associated with bartering hogs for coats and the like.

Devaluation of the community bank will only occur when the collateral behind the money receipts fluctuate in value such as a decrease in the price of oil and land and buildings and other property held by the community.

Market values only contribute to any debasement of the newly established currency.

J. Baily

Keep Your Privacy While Getting Medical Treatment

Can a privacy conscious person keep her privacy in the face of a serious disability? Will a long term illness or treatment for an injury compromise a person’s privacy lifestyle? These are questions many will face at some point in their lifetimes. This piece will address potential privacy compromising issues one will face during a period of illness.
Calling a physician’s office may be the first privacy medical hurdle one has to clear as medical office personnel often attempt to obtain your health insurance information prior to making an appointment. You will be asked for your insurance company name, your policy and certificate number, and the doctor’s assistant will verify your coverage and co payment amount as you’re on the telephone. Your name, address and telephone number will be required information. Often your e-mail address will be requested but not required. Social Security Numbers will sometimes be requested and it is possible to keep this important identifier mum-and it is recommended you do so. Grant’s books are clear about how important it is to keep your Social Security Number confidential as you prevent identity thieves and other criminals out of your life while living a privacy lifestyle. In fact, preventing medical identity theft should be a primary concern as you get treatment as medical identity theft is one of the fastest growing white collar crimes in the country.
Once you have met the basic requirements for a medium level privacy lifestyle and have this identity theft prevention plan system in place, you will be prepared to avoid unwanted privacy invasions when an emergency medical condition warrants medical treatment. Your mailing address will not lead anyone to your doorstep, the telephone number provided for medical treatment cannot be traced to you or your family, and you can meet the requirements of your medical providers while keeping yourself safe during this period of time. If you need guidance on how to get started, we have resources that will help.
Free personal privacy courses are available for those who wish to receive these by e-mail. Courses are written by Grant Hall, author of Privacy Crisis and Privacy Crisis Banking.

Guest post by Beth Oslowski

American work force costing you money?

The office supply store manager looked up the printing cartridge number, headed for the isle it was on and brought it to the register. One hundred and eleven buckoos later, I was out the door. The printer had flashed a warning indicating the ink was low and I had headed out to replace it as I expected some planned printing would deplete the supply entirely. Two weeks later, I opened the sealed package and discovered the manager had sold me a drum, not the cartridge I had ordered. Mistakes are acceptable, but today, I find the level of mistakes uncommon, and I attribute these mistakes to the illiteracy problem in America, as this problem is prevalent within our work force.

A recent call to an educator friend, a career teacher with a Master of Science Degree provided facts to support my view. This man said that over fifty percent of all high school attendees do not graduate high school in the state of California. The numbers are similar in Arizona and Nevada, I believe.

A friend of ours suffers from  residual pain from a traumatic injury. While at the doctor’s office, the medical assistant asked, “Mrs. Ellenns, how would you like to pay for your co-pay today, credit or debit card?” “Currency, she replied.”  She was met with a glazed look by the thirty-something year old assistant who returned to her station and asked her coworker what currency meant.

It took five store clerks in a large department store to sell me a computer component as I insisted in buying the product with cash and not providing my ISP subscription data to them to store in their database. Privacy carries a high price in terms of time and effort and is always a bit more expensive than living as the masses. And this time, effort, and money is a great  investment based on my many years of experience.

In 1971, everyone graduated from high school. Perhaps two or three of each one hundred students in my town had to take a summer course to satisfy a Math or English requirement  to get their diploma, but they did graduate. On a rare occasion, a student was not capable of doing high school work and did not graduate. This was rare and many with below average learning ability managed to complete the “required” twelve years of formal education. It was nearly impossible to get a job or join the military without a high school diploma. GED’s were frowned upon by many and seen as a last resort to gaining the high school equivalency of a twelve year formal education. In fact, the GED was called, “high school equivalency test,” and most who thought of dropping out of high school were counseled against it by well informed, experienced, high school educators and counselors.

I don’t know about you, but the current inabilities of the work force causes me to expend extra time, effort, and money. Never before do I recall having to repeat myself so often and go through so many people just to buy and obtain ordinary day to day goods and services. Is America now a third world country due to our devalued currency and uneducated work force?

Readers may e-mail Grant Hall at contact@PrivacyCrisis.com

Thanks.

Grant Hall

www.PrivacyCrisis.com

www.PrivacyCrisis.com/blog

Can you Live Under the Radar in a Police State?

Wondering why you have to provide finger prints and have your name run through a bad boy/bad girl database just to open a simple checking account down at the local bank? It’s just a thumb print and the data base that you’re checked against is just to make sure you’ve never defrauded a bank. Not such a big deal. Or is it?

How about screening the bank for a change? Have they received government bail out money that will further devalue your purchasing power? Ask their manager to explain the Federal Reserve Sytem to you. I’ll bet he/she can’t. In fact, I’m betting when you question one simple banking policy, the manager will excuse himself and run from your questions, and turn your business down based on you’re being a time-consuming question box and possibly a troublemaker.

The masses are asses and have no idea how the world really works. They resemble the proverbial frog placed in a pot and left to be boiled alive as the temperature slowly rises until finally the frog dies from the heat. Are you a frog in the water? Do you understand the absurdity of being “required” to provide finger prints to a private company in order to store your money with them? Are you capable of critical thinking and do you understand the risks of banking in a police state where your entire net worth can be assessed with the stroke of a few keys by those with the keys to certain databanks?

Ever hear of NORFED, the company that was raided and shut down by government as they allowed an option to the losses of purchasing power through an asset-backed sytem of barter?

Countless companies and individuals have lost everything simply because their assets were an open book to those with the power to access the information and the force to confiscate these assets. Culprits could include identity thieves, sue-happy lawyers, stalkers, disgruntled ex-husbands and wives, ex-employees, various agencies, and others.

Privacy is a big deal to those of us who value our freedom. Many problems could have been avoided if a personal privacy and financial privacy plan had been in place. Perhaps you understand the need for peronal privacy and/or banking secrecy, but have no idea about how to obtain either. We offer Free privacy information courses by email to subscribers. You may be interested in listening to some of Grant Hall’s radio interviews as he discusses personal privacy, banking secrecy, financial privacy, how to avoid identity theft, how to stop stalking and more.

Perhaps you are interested in learning to live an anonymous lifestyle. We recommend Hall’s first book, Privacy Crisis. It is available for purchase and immediate download. You can be reading this e-book within minutes once you pay for it online. His New Book, Privacy Crisis Banking, provides infomation and resources on all aspects of business and personal financial privacy and contains information that has never before been offered in print. Use the same methods and resources modern privacy pros use to shield their business from the outside world.

Book Review:

As more money is poured into banks, more security becomes vital. Privacy Crisis Banking: Bank Secrecy Plan & Resource Guide to Protect Identity, Money, and Property discusses the importance of security and privacy when managing one’s personal finances and accounts, how to prevent identity theft, and other concerns keep in mind for when banks go wrong. Privacy Crisis Banking is a choice pick for anyone worried about their personal finances. –Midwest Book Review

Always keep everything legal. It is never necessary to break laws for privacy purposes and doing so would defeat the purpose of establishing an anonymous lifestyle.

Thanks. Enjoy the courses and privacy books.

James Clark King, LLC

Publisher

Your Right to Financial Privacy

 Right to financial privacy

Bankers and banks dislike your questioning their polices-often they don’t know the source of their money, let alone their bank’s policies.

Try asking a manager to define the Federal Reserve System. I did. In fact, a few years ago, I asked ten bank managers to define the Federal Reserve System, and not one could do it.

Think the member banks of the Federal Reserve System have a right to track and trace you and your property? Whose money is it anyway? Do they want your SSN, home address, home telephone number, and previous banking historical information to track and trace you so that when you become suspicious, they can “freeze” your account? Is carrying cash grounds for having it taken by law enforcement?

Today, residents of  Police State U.S.A. need banking secrecy more than any time in history. Citizens’ money and property are being confiscated without cause. A truck driver’s truck was searched and police discovered $432,000, the money was taken, the driver was not charged, and he was released.

Do you risk having your cash or bank account stolen by criminals, discovered by private investigators, or fear an account garnishment by “you know who?”

Privacy Crisis Banking is a New Book written by Grant Hall and Published by James Clark King, LLC. The book will be available everywhere books are sold during the Fall, 2011.

Read  about why not to use “banking passports and nominees for banking.

See the full cover of Privacy Crisis Banking.

You may be interested in our Free financial privacy information courses. Here’s another banking secrecy article that you may have Free of charge called Total Banking Secrecy in the U.S.A.

Our first book, Privacy Crisis provides the reader with a comprehensive understanding of high-level privacy principles and tactics. It is the best-selling privacy and identity theft e-book on ClickBank (www.ClickBank.com) for the fifth straight year. Buy the book.

Privacy Crisis Banking will provide never, before published information on banking secrecy and financial privacy as well as resources for making your money invisible. You can learn how to create an “invisible mortgage,” cash checks and bank online without a Social Security number, and register a business privately-without a trace to your identity. Resources for banking secrecy are included in Privacy Crisis Banking. Available as an e-book on our site, through e-readers, and hardcover everywhere books are sold, fall, 2011.

Grant Hall, Author, Privacy Crisis Series of books

James Clark King, LLC, Publisher

www.PrivacyCrisis.com

Privacy Crisis Banking: excerpts from Grant Hall’s New Book

Privacy Crisis Banking: Bank Secrecy Plan & Resource Guide to Protect Identity, Money, and Property is a New book written by Grant Hall and published by James Clark King, LLC. The book will be available for purchase as an e-book from this website and as a hardcover in bookstores everywhere. Look for the book in the fall of 2011. You can have financial privacy and banking secrecy in the U.S.A. and in other parts of the world.

Here are excerpts from Chapter 8: Offshore and Domestic Banking Considerations and Preparation

BANKING PASSPORTS” AND WHY NEVER TO USE ONE

I grew up reading a number of privacy books whose authors wrote about escaping greedy ex-wives and their money-grubbing attorneys, or other undesirable people or circumstances many of us have to deal with during crisis periods in our lives. These authors touted the virtues of living under the radar on sandy beaches in faraway places, to escape the shafting penalties handed down by courts to “innocent” plaintiffs. And mentioned within these fairy tale paragraphs were stories of how “so and so” had purchased the ultimate remedy to stave off the enemy—a “banking passport” from an offshore “broker” who sold bogus passports issued by defunct countries. Please don’t fall for this out-dated, worn-out scam. Provide true and correct information to financial institutions which meet your business needs and privacy requirements.

Upon reflection, the stories of luring the gullible escapers of reality to their new promised land with unidentifiable money—disguised through a fake passport issued by a country that had its name changed—seem more outrageous today than when I first read of these tales some thirty-odd years ago. I imagine there are far more failures than successes concerning the use of phony passports sold for banking purposes. Don’t participate in these frauds. Such tactics may provide Big Bureaucrat, in any number of jurisdictions, with all the ammunition he needs to seize your assets and throw your ass in jail pronto.

Treat offshore banking as you would any new business venture. Do your research, prepare your application(s), gather your references, make contact with prospective institutions, and be honest and truthful about yourself, your business, and your requirements—and you will do fine.

BANKING NOMINEES; NONSENSE FROM NON-EXPERTS

Not much has changed since my writing and speaking campaigns against the use of banking nominees, first exposed in late 2006. That’s when Privacy Crisis, first edition, was published, and I’ve followed up with my comments on the subject during interviews on talk shows since that time. Always, I have advised against the use of having someone else be in control of your assets, the one and only exception being when one is disabled and cannot make his or her own decisions. But to use another to control money for privacy purposes is a bad idea—an idea formed without the full benefits associated with study, time, and experience with experts and the practical application of using bank secrecy in real time while under fire, as I had to do once in my life. And I used the same entities, with the same structures, outlined in this book and Privacy Crisis. Doing so, I managed to escape unscathed and without spending one thin dime on legal costs for a matter that could have resulted in substantial costs, had the structure to prevent the damages not been in place and had I not had the knowledge base of privacy living to make myself “invisible.” 

Thanks for reading.

James Clark King, LLC, Publisher

Grant Hall, Author