Sex Offender Volunteered For High Football Team

In Seattle a Level III sex offender was allowed to work as a volunteer with the Evergreen High School football team, according to school officials. It was the head coach’s responsibility to see that the volunteer passed a background check before having contact with students.

Two female students who serve as managers with the football team alerted authorities after the volunteer made comments that made them feel uncomfortable. He was subsequently arrested for failing to register as a sex offender.

Sex offenders are “offensive”  because of their nature. It’s how they are wired. They simply don’t know any better. Even if they know right from wrong, they can’t help themselves; it’s their “way”. Pit-bulls are often aggressive dogs that attack for no reason. It’s their nature. Golden Retrievers are big dopey dogs who just want to play and show affection. It’s their nature.

It’s disappointing that the coach didn’t do his job properly. What may have happened is the coach took a liking to the volunteer and “trusted” that he didn’t have a record. The coach like most people didn’t want to believe he was in the presence of a bad egg. None of us want to admit we are in the presence of evil.

His denial and lack of accountability put his students at risk. Those days should be over because we live in such a litigious society. However our “niceness” often makes us stupid. The girls on the other hand who spoke up were immediately listened to and were taken seriously. Good for them. 10 years ago, and even today sexual harassment of this nature would be blamed on the women and swept under the rug. Fortunately we are becoming more civilized.

Robert Siciliano is a Personal Security Expert and Adviser to For more information see Intelius at Sex Offender Check to reduce your chances of encountering a bad guy. See him discussing Sex Offenders on Fox Boston. (Disclosures)

10 of the Dumbest Criminals

It’s impossible to write about home security and personal safety and not to come across with dumb criminal stories. Listverse did a great job of compiling the following; I did a decent job of summing it up:

1. – Dumb criminal robs a store at knifepoint and stole a pair of boots, gets away and then gets caught. At court he arrogantly puts his feet up on the defense table, wearing the same boots. Busted.

2. – Dumb criminal guy and two dumb criminal women in a department store stuffed their bags with curtains. As they all headed to separate exits they were busted. The store was having a convention of detectives.

3- Dumb criminal breaks into a woman’s house and robs it then assaults her. She had only a few dollars so he demanded she write him a check, to his given name.

4. – Dumb criminal walks into a store, gets groceries and plunks down $10.00 on the counter. When the clerk opened the register he grabbed the tray and ran. Apparently the clerks were changing shifts because he got $4.37. Which meant the shorted himself $5.63.

5. – Dumb criminals descend on a safe and use what they think are cutting torches in the form of a welder. They welded the safe shut.

6. – Dumb criminal on a motorcycle robs store with his helmet on. Clerk gives him the money and he leaves. He forgot his name was inscribed on the face of his helmet.

7. – Dumb criminal steal a woman’s purse and is caught. At trial he forgoes his lawyer and represents himself. When cross examining the victim he says “Did you get a good look at my face when I took your purse?”

8. – Dumb criminal is arrested for armed robbery and pleads not guilty. At trial as a witness is being questioned he gets up and accuses her of lying and says “I should have blown your head off!” “If I’d been the one that was there.”

9. – Dumb criminals try to steal a car then get chased off by the owner. Owner hails a police car and the criminals hop a fence. The fence surrounded the property of San Quentin prison.

10. – Dumb criminal breaks into a bar and accidently shoots himself in the foot. He leaves the bar and also leaves a trail of blood right to his house.

Robert Siciliano personal security expert to Home Security Source discussing Home Security on Fox Boston. Disclosures.

Auditioning For The Bachelorette

I know plenty of people who openly love trash TV and others who say it’s their guilty pleasure. Every time I see trash TV on in my house I remind my significant other it’s making her dumber one IQ point for every minute of consumption. So after an hour of TV her IQ is at about 40.

Turns out the auditioning for the bachelorette meets similar standards I’d probably put in place when little predators start swarming my house.

Contestants for the popular ABC show The Bachelorette have to go through a grueling background check that includes a six-hour test with 1200 questions, a session with a psychologist, blood and alcohol testing. I LOVE THAT!!!!!!!! I’m sure the motivations of the producers are more in line with good TV and reducing liability, but it’s a good start.

Questions like “Do you love your mother”  are part of the 1200. That’s a good question. I’d also ask “If you date my daughter would you do anything to her that would make you fear a walk in freezer and a wood chipper?” That’s a good question too.

Next they sit you down in front of 8 producers who grill you. That would be my mom, dad, dads wife, me, sig other, and my 3 biggest meanest burliest biker friends. Preferably the ones with scars on their faces.

Then they do a blood and urine test for drugs and alcohol and sexually transmitted diseases. And finally a psychologist interviews you.

I have a whole new respect for trash TV.

Robert Siciliano is a Personal Security Expert and Adviser to For more information see Intelius at Date Check to reduce your chances of encountering a bad guy. See him discussing dating security on E! True Hollywood Stories. (Disclosures)

Home Invasion Was ‘Worst of the Worst’

A woman and her boyfriend and 2 other people robbed 5 people during a home-invasion robbery. The woman was given the maximum sentence of 19 years and four months in prison.

She was convicted of robbery, burglary, making a criminal threat and assault with caustic chemicals. The judge said “As robberies go this case is the worst of the worst,” The judge called it a cruel and callous, said the Prosecutor.

The boyfriend tied up five victims, doused them in lighter fluid and threatened to set them ablaze. One of the victims was sexually assaulted.

Predators don’t play by the same rules as you or I do. Their thought process is one that revolves around controlling others and manipulation. They take and take and what they give back is misery.

Locking your doors isn’t enough. Locking your windows isn’t enough. In order to prevent a crime like this the homeowner needs a comprehensive home security review. Bring in the local police to give your home a once over. Invite a local locksmith to determine what the best locks for your doors are.

Call a home alarm installer to discuss your home security. Consider taking it up a notch and installing home security cameras. Consider a do it yourself wireless home alarm system or hire a professional. But please, whatever you do, do something. The worst thing you can do is nothing.

Robert Siciliano personal security expert to Home Security Source discussing home invasions on the Gordon Elliot Show. Disclosures

Baseball Coach Listed as A Sex Offender

In  Ostego Michigan a local summer baseball league coach was been removed from his position Friday after school officials found out he was listed on the Michigan State Sex Offender Registry.

He was coaching for a week when am aware parent notified the school, he was a sex offender from 1996. As a parent, you should be the one notifying school officials because you are aware of these issues. You can do a search on “sex offender registry” to locate those in your area and check out Neighborhood Watch.

The parent telling the school shows a flaw in the schools system of effectively vetting out someone who has a past of inappropriate behavior with children. The school district went on to say they screen volunteers in the hundreds of background checks they do his may have been overlooked. What is also a possibility is he lied on his application which skewered the results.

Officials point to the sex offender putting his name alongside his father’s name on the application as his father may have some ties to the league. This may have been done to confuse the background check process.

If you are a sex offender, and you have been prosecuted for something you did to a kid, what the heck could possibly be your motivation work want to work alongside kids, and possible discovered? There’s no way to rationalize irrational behavior.  I think these kids and their parents dodged a bullet.

That parent who brought to to the attention of the district is a hero.

Robert Siciliano is a Personal Security Expert and Adviser to For more information see Intelius at Sex Offender Check to reduce your chances of encountering a bad guy. See him discussing personal security on NBC Boston. (Disclosures)

Sex Offenders and Predators and Criminals Oh My!

The wizard in the Wizard of Oz wasn’t so much a wizard at all. But in the end he did have some sage advice that he bestowed upon Dorothy to give her direction and guidance. I’m no wizard either. But I have enough of a clue that it might benefit you from reading these posts here and there.

Anyone who follows my posts knows I discuss numerous issues revolving around personal security. My fascination with the bad guy and what you need to do to protect yourself is what gets me out of bed every day. I don’t worry so much, but I’m concerned. I see news reports every single day of people of all ages being violated in ways that bother me to the point of having to act. And there seems to be no end to it.

I feel that if I don’t do something about it then who will? Fortunately there are companies that I’m grateful to work with that support my beliefs and provide products and services to mitigate any harm that might come to you. So they help me spread the message and I thank you for coming back to learn and when needed, supporting them.

There are a few issues that I tap into every week that there is a ton to write about and unfortunately the issues will never go away. Sex offenders make the news multiple times daily and I could write 100 articles about them. They attack children and often attack women, and sometimes men. Children and their parents, elderly and women on the dating scene are readers I want to educate.

I find that predators naturally go after those who may be considered a bit more vulnerable or are often entering situations where they are more vulnerable. Either way, my goal is to empower the reader and provide them with options and solutions so they don’t end up a victim.

Going forward you will see numerous posts on sex offenders, who they are and where they are, dating in all its forms and how to protect yourself, criminals in our society and who they have access to and how to protect yourself from them. This will be a constant beating of the drum that at times may be repetitive, but repetition as they say is definitely the mother of skill.

I always appreciate your feedback and comments. Thank you so much for your time and attention, and please keep your head up and pay attention.

Robert Siciliano is a Personal Security Expert and Adviser to For more information see Intelius at Sex Offender Check and Date Check and Neighborhood Watch to reduce your chances of encountering a bad guy. See him discussing Safe Personal Dating on Tyra. (Disclosures)

10 Ways to Prevent Social Media Scams

The trouble with social media revolves around identity theft, brand hijacking and privacy issues.  The opportunity social media creates for criminals is to “friend” their potential victims in order to create a false sense of trust and use that against their victims in phishing or other scams.

It was big news when someone had their Facebook account jacked by someone who impersonated the victim, claiming to have lost their wallet in the UK and begging for a money wire. Now it’s old news, but it’s still happening.

  • Register your full name and those of your spouse and kids on the most trafficked social media sites. If your name is already gone, include your middle initial, a period or a hyphen. You can do this manually or by using a very cost effective service called
  • Get free alerts. Set up Google alerts for your name and kids names and get an email every time someone’s name name pops up online. You want to see if someone is talking about you or using your name.
  • Discuss social media with your kids. Make sure they aren’t providing their “friends” with personal information that would compromise their security or your families.
  • Monitor what they do online. Don’t sit in the dark hoping they are acting appropriately online. Be prepared to not like what you see.
  • Maintain updated security. Whether hardware or software, anti-virus or critical security patches, make sure you are up to date.
  • Lock down settings. Most social networks have privacy settings that need to be administered to the highest level.
  • Always delete emails you receive in social media from those who you don’t know. I’m messaged all the time by scammers and I’m sure you are too.
  • Don’t enter all the “25 most amazing things about you” or whatever other games that extract your personal information. Nothing good can come from that.
  • Always log off social media sites when you walk away from the PC. If you are ever at someone else’s home or on a public PC, this habit will save lots of aggravation. My sister-in-law, a Boston Bruins fan, left her Facebook open on the family PC. I changed her Facebook picture to the Philly Flyers and wrote Go Phillys! as her status. Bruins lost that night. I blame her.
  • Do not activate geolocation services that tell the world your every move. Nothing good can come out of allowing anyone in the world to stalk your every move.

Robert Siciliano personal security expert to Home Security Source discussing Facebook Jacking on CNN. Disclosures.

Why You Need to Pay Attention to Credit Card Statements

Despite what silly James Bond-esque credit card commercials may imply, credit card companies don’t really protect you to the degree you expect. If a credit card company detects irregular spending on your credit card, they may freeze your account or call to verify your identity. While these measures do help secure your card to an extent, but they cannot prevent or detect all types of credit card fraud.

The Federal Trade Commission recently filed a lawsuit describing a criminal enterprise responsible for “micro charges,” fraudulent charges ranging from 20 cents to $10, to as many as one million credit cards since approximately 2006. Because the amounts were low, most of the fraud went unnoticed by cardholders. Money mules were used to divert the funds to Eastern European countries. (“Money mules” are typically individuals who are recruited to assist in a criminal enterprise via help wanted advertisements on job placement websites. In this case, the mules believed they were applying to be financial services managers.) These mules opened numerous LLCs and bank accounts. They also set up websites with toll free numbers, creating an apparently legitimate web presence. Thanks to this facade, the websites were granted merchant status, allowing them to process credit card orders.

The victims of this scam would see the fictional merchant’s name and toll free number on their credit card statements. If they attempted to dispute a charge, the toll free numbers would go to voicemail or be disconnected. Most frustrated consumers may not bother to take the additional step of disputing a 20 cent charge with the credit card company.

The money mules involved in this scam have been located, but the true scammers have yet to be identified.

If you fail to recognize and dispute unauthorized transactions on your credit card statements, you take responsibility for the fraudulent charges. While 20 cents may not seem worth the bother, these seemingly minor charges are certainly funding criminal activity, and perhaps even terrorism. So take the time to scrutinize those charges every since month.

Robert Siciliano, personal security adviser to Just Ask Gemalto, discusses credit card fraud on NBC Boston. (Disclosures)

Could Your Neighbor be a Grim Sleeper?

Serial killer “Grim Sleeper” was captured in LA. Lonnie David Franklin Jr. was at one time was an employee for the LAPD. The Los Angeles Police Department had been hunting a man who had stalked South Los Angeles since 1985, killing at least 10 women. “Franklin allegedly killed seven women between 1985 and 1988, when his crimes seemed to abruptly stop, authorities say. The slayings resumed with three more between 2002 and 2007, police said. The Grim Sleeper serial killer had a lengthy criminal history stretching over four decades but was never sent to prison despite calls by law enforcement officials for tough sentences, according to Los Angeles County court records” It’s always very disappointing when criminals are let out only to commit another crime. It’s even more disappointing when the system enables these same criminals by giving them lean sentences or letting before their sentence is up. According to the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics “In 2008, over 7.3 million people were on probation, in jail or prison, or on parole at year-end — 3.2% of all U.S. adult residents or 1 in every 31 adults.”  2,304,115 were incarcerated in U.S. prisons and jails in 2008 There is an old saying born of motorcycle gangs called “one percenters”.  The theory is 1% of all people come out of their momma just bad. According to these stats, it may actually be 3.2 percent.

Robert Siciliano is a Personal Security Expert and Adviser to For more information see Intelius at Criminal Check to reduce your chances of encountering a bad guy. See him discussing self defense on Youtube.  (Disclosures)

Giving Your Credit Card to a Hotel? Watch Your Statements.

Personally, I don’t particularly enjoy staying in hotels. Sure, after a long day of travel, the hotel is a relief, but in most cases, I’d much rather sleep in my own bed. Criminal hackers, on the other hand, love hotels.

According to a recent study, 38% of all credit card breaches occur in hotels. Despite several high profile breaches that recently affected payment processors and banks, the financial services industry only accounts for 19% of breaches. Retailers came in third at 14%, and restaurants fourth at 13%.

Over the past five years or so, I’ve noticed a trend in which criminals go after the most likely targets, and those victims beef up their defenses in response. So the bad guys move on to the next most likely target – one that hasn’t learned from others’ mistakes.

Hotels are easy targets because they are all credit card-based. It is possible to reserve a room without providing a credit card number, but they don’t make it easy. And hotels themselves certainly aren’t fortresses designed to keep bad guys out. They’re designed to be open and inviting, with, at best, a bellman whose focus is assisting guests rather than guarding the front door. Maybe that mentality exists in hotels’ IT security departments, too.

The root of the issue is the hotel industry’s insufficient security measures to prevent data breaches. Many rely on older point of sale terminals and outdated operating systems, which are more vulnerable to hackers. When the recession hit, many hotels cut back and decided to hold off on upgrades. While their defenses were down, hackers slithered into their networks to steal guests’ personal financial data. Once thieves have accessed this data, they can clone cards with the stolen numbers and use them to make unauthorized charges.

As a consumer, your only recourse is to pay close attention to every single penny charged to your credit card, and dispute any fraudulent or incorrect transactions, no matter how small. Check your statements frequently and be sure to dispute all unauthorized charges within two billing cycles, or 60 days.

Canada and Mexico have adopted smart cards, which use “chip and PIN” technology, making the credit card data useless to potential identity thieves. Eventually we may see the adoption of smart cards in the U.S., which would put an end to this madness.

Robert Siciliano, personal security adviser to Just Ask Gemalto, discusses hackers hacking hotels on CNBC. (Disclosures)