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Federal Employees News Digest : Aug 26, 2013
Kristi Dougherty General Manager Phil Piemonte Managing Editor Sherkiya Wedgeworth Online Managing Editor Becky Fenton Circulation Manager Nathan Abse Writer Mike Causey Columnist Edward Zurndorfer Columnist Published by 1105 Government Information Group, Anne Armstrong, President. 1105 Government Information Group is part of 1105 Media, Inc. Neal Vitale, CEO. Corporate Headquarters: 1105 Media, Inc. 9201 Oakdale Ave., Suite 101, Chatsworth, CA 91311 www.1105media.com Office: 8609 Westwood Center Drive, Suite 500 Vienna, VA 22182-2215 Phone: Editorial: (703) 891-8554 Subscriptions: (800) 989-3363 Fax: (703) 876-5130 Internet: www.FederalDaily.com Subscription Rates: 1 year---$39 Site Licenses are available: E-mail: FENDsitelicense@ FederalDaily.com For single article reprints (in minimum quantities of 250-500), e-prints, plaques and posters contact: PARS International Phone: (212) 221-9595 E-mail: email@example.com www.magreprints.com/QuickQuote.asp The Comptroller General has ruled that federal agen- cies and departments may buy Federal Employees News Digest publications with government funds. This decision is No. B-185591. Federal Tax ID 20-4583700. DUNS #612031414. FEDERAL EMPLOYEES NEWS DIGEST (ISSN 1065-0970) is published weekly except first week in January and last week in December by 1105 Media, Inc., 9201 Oakdale Avenue, Suite 101, Chatsworth, CA 91311. Annual subscription rate is: US $39. Subscription inquiries and customer service: Mail to: Federal Employees News Digest, PO Box 15428, N. Hollywood, CA 91615-5428, customerservice@feder- aldaily.com or call (800) 989-3363, fax (818) 487-4550. © Copyright 2013 by 1105 Media, Inc. All rights reserved. Reproductions or distribution in whole or part prohibited except by site license or reprint purchase. The information in this newsletter has not undergone any formal testing by 1105 Media, Inc. and is dis- tributed without any warranty expressed or implied. Implementation or use of any information contained herein is the reader's sole responsibility. While the information has been reviewed for accuracy, there is no guarantee that the same or similar results may be achieved in all environments. Technical inaccuracies may result from printing errors and/or new develop- ments in the industry. This publication's subscriber list, as well as other lists from 1105 Media, Inc., is available for rental. For more information, please contact our list manager, Merit Direct. Phone: (914) 368-1000; E-mail: 1105media@ meritdirect.com; Web: www.meritdirect.com/1105. August 26, 2013 Vol. 63, No. 6 2 Visit us on the Internet at www.FederalDaily.com in places like Ogden, Utah, where lots of people work for the IRS, the Air Force or the Forest Service. And Huntsville, Ala., where Uncle Sam is even more important to the local economy than he is here in Capital City. In many small towns, it's the federal prison, or maybe the Social Security office or mail-processing facility, that are the primary employers. Whether you think feds are overpaid or underpaid (each side has the data to prove its claim), it is good to have a fed- eral job in times like these. And if you are retired, it is hard to do better than being a former, long-time civil servant. Most private-sector firms don't offer pension plans. Of those that do, none have any kind of inflation protection for retirees. You leave with $500 a month in 1999 and today, in 2013, you still get $500 a month. Having a pension, an annuity, a so- called structured settlement, makes you--- or your neighbor or family member--- darned lucky. And in the computer age, it also makes you a tempting and depend- able target. Especially if you are having financial problems. Especially the kind where you want and need a big chunk of change but have nothing to sell or trade to get it. The cover story in the September issue of NARFE (the magazine of the National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association) is called: "Don't Take The Bait!" It deals with so-called pension advance offers designed to get retirees to part with some or all of their benefits. You sign it over to them, then they give you a check. Sometimes they also make you take out an expensive life insurance policy with guess who as the beneficiary. That way they literally have you coming and going. NARFE said that a number of its mem- bers, or their family members, have been approached by the pension advance art- ists. Con artists are professionals, and they are good at what they do. Many are excellent actors. Most are poison to your wallet or purse. One person, a Federal Aviation Administration employee in Oklahoma, told author David Tobenkin that even though she is still working, she has been getting pension-advance messages from a finance company. New York and several other states are investigating these com- panies, who wouldn't be in the business if they weren't making money. The scams come in several flavors. Crooks may offer you a financial pay- ment, a check up front. Or set up an arrangement where you (in theory) make money by lending it to others. The offerer, of course, acts as middle man. The catch is that he gets paid, but your creditors don't repay the loans you made to them. A federal fraud investigator told FEND that there are "a whole bunch of schemes with one goal: To get you, or the targeted individual, to believe they are honest and you are smart." He said that in his experience he found that older men, generally, get lured in because they think they can spot a good deal. Many of these guys never had a chance to show their financial know-how in their jobs, so when a deal comes along, they jump at it. "Women," he said, "are different. They are more risk-averse and less likely to think they are getting a good deal." He said that more often than not, women who do fall victim think the scam artist "is sympathetic, and that the money they get in advance will be used to help a friend or relative." Whatever your motives, he said, run--- don't walk---when somebody approaches you with this kind of deal. He said to con- tact your state's Department of Financial Service, or attorney general's office. Like your parents said, if it looks too good to be true, it probably is too good to be true. Whether it is you who has been approached, or a friend or relative, be very careful. And spread the word. INSIGHT by Mike Causey continued from page 1
Aug 19, 2013
Sep 2, 2013