Cleaning the Clutter Out of Your Life

While anyone who reads me knows I’m all about personal security and preaching the need for home security systems, I’m also a big advocate for personal balance too. Meaning I come from the old school of motivation, personal responsibility, eating right, exercise, healthy relationships, perspective, spirituality etc. You get the picture.

You may know or have heard, if you don’t like your life, change it.

Anyway, one of the first steps that one can do to get order in their life is to remove the clutter. That clutter can be people or things. And for the purposes of this post we are talking things.

First, it’s Spring, which means Spring cleaning, which means looking inside and outside your home at everything you haven’t touched in a year. Do you really need it? That’s often a hard question to answer. That tool you bought that you used, and may use again, but haven’t used it for two years, do you really need it?

Here are some tips:

#1 Toss or recycle everything that is of no value to you or anyone else. That’s the quickest way to clean out.

#2 Determine what you can donate. Give it away. The Salvation Army or Good Will and many Big Brothers/Big Sisters take donations. Pack up your trunk and donate it. Sometimes they will pick it up too.

#3 Sell it on eBay. I’m amazed at what people will buy off of eBay. I’ve sold more broken down items that I specifically said were broken down. Selling electronics and other harder to find or odd items are easily sold on eBay. List it for bid at .99 and accept what you get and move on. Get the eBay mobile application and walk around your house and start listing all the stuff on shelves and in boxes. It took me less than an hour to list 19 items.

#4 Sell it on Craigslist. I’m further amazed at what people buy on Craigslist. Get the CraigsPro app and start snapping. I like this the best because it’s so easy that all of a sudden you start looking at all your clutter like money sitting there collecting dust. Things that I thought I needed that I used in the past year I realized I really don’t need. And now they are gone and I have a fat envelope.

Remember this is about cleaning the clutter, not holding onto your stuff for dear life and listing it at 10 percent off what you paid for it in 1992. At best it’s worth 10 percent of what you paid for it. GET RID IF IT. A hundred dollar table,10 bucks.

Just be very alert to Craigslist scams. Never ship anything to a Craigslist buyer, never click links in an email from someone responding to your Craigslist ad, if they leave a phone number in the ad realize even if it’s a local number it could be a scam. If you dive into the process you’ll quickly see the scams.

Clean the clutter!

Robert Siciliano personal and home security specialist to Home Security Source discussing ADT Pulse™ on Fox News. Disclosures

Scammer Guilty of $2.7 Million Online Auction Fraud

Auction scams are messy. Consumers who are new to the world of online auctions are more likely to fall victim to deals that are too good to be true. Victims either get stuck with inferior or counterfeit goods, or they are charged and never receive the purchased item at all.

My spouse used eBay to search for skin care products, and was pleasantly surprised by the low prices she found for the products she wanted. Since she doesn’t have much experience with eBay, she called me over to help her complete the transaction. I saw that the seller had no feedback from previous buyers, and suggested that my wife hold off on the purchase. She begrudgingly agreed with me, and the next day when she logged in, the seller had been suspended from eBay. (I told her I’m wicked smart!)

If it looks like it might be fraud, it probably is.

A Romanian man recently pled guilty to charges of wire fraud and conspiracy before a Chicago judge, after having acted as a money mule in a scheme that scammed eBay, Craigslist, and AutoTrader users out of $2.7 million. The man’s associates in Romania used auction websites to sell nonexistent cars, motorcycles, and RVs. Buyers paid by wiring money to the scammers’ accounts, but never received the expensive items they had supposedly purchased.

Online classified and auction websites could prevent fraud and protect their users by incorporating device reputation management. One anti-fraud service getting lots of attention for delivering fast and effective results is ReputationManager 360 by iovation Inc. This software-as-a-service incorporates device identification, device reputation and real-time risk profiling. It is used by hundreds of online businesses to prevent fraud and abuse in real time by analyzing the computer, smartphone, or tablet connecting to their online properties.

While iovation does not collect any personally identifiable information (PII) from their business clients, they have a very unique view into the connections between computers and the accounts they access. For example, what might typically look like one transaction to a single auction site is often a coordinated attack across multiple sites.  When a group of devices hits multiple sites, across various industries, iovation can detect the attacks through velocity triggers and shared experiences across their customer base to alert the affected business and thwart the attacks.

A device reputation check used on a scammer setting up a new account in an online action site would stop him at the front door, leaving no chance to post fake items for sale which would soon cause damage to the business and its customers.

eBay makes safety recommendations for users, and the first rule is to use eBay’s built in payment system, and not to use alternate payment methods, like wiring money.

Never provide sensitive personal information like your account password, a credit card or bank account number, or your Social Security number in an email.

Before you bid or buy on eBay, know your seller. Look at your seller’s feedback ratings, score, and comments to get an idea of their reputation within the eBay marketplace.

I generally recommend using PayPal to help prevent online identity theft. If you use your credit card, check your statements frequently and refute any unauthorized charges immediately.

Robert Siciliano, personal security and identity theft expert contributor to iovation, discusses scammers and thieves on The Big Idea with Donnie Deutsch. Disclosures.