Cyber Security on February means romance…and romance scams: BBB offers tips to avoid getting duped this month

As the month when Valentine’s Day falls on the calendar, February has a reputation for being “prime time” for romance. It’s also definitely a time when scammers seek to prey on those searching for romantic interests online. Better Business Bureau of Minnesota and North Dakota (BBB) advises people to proceed with caution before they let their hearts—and their finances—get tangled up in a romance scheme.

Romance scams can happen to anyone. You meet someone who seems like a match online, you get to know them, and everything appears to be going well; however, you aren’t able to meet in person for some reason (due to issues they claim such as distance, military deployment, work travel, etc.). Then suddenly your online love interest claims they’re in desperate straits and asks you to wire money, or says they can come to meet you but need you to wire funds for the airline ticket. Be aware that these are classic signs of a romance scam, and if you dip into your own pockets once, he or she will likely continue to find more reasons to forestall a meeting, all the while asking for more money from you—or they may simply vanish into thin air.

BBB offers tips on how to avoid romance scams:

Know your enemy. Before you even set up an online dating profile, simply be aware that not everyone using online dating sites is looking for love. Fraudsters often create bogus online profiles using photos of others. While romance schemes tend to target older individuals, con artists aren’t afraid to flirt with the younger crowd, who gravitate toward dating apps, such as Tinder. Scammers often give themselves away through poor grammar or misspellings in online correspondence.

Keep your guard up. Never send money to people you have yet to meet in person. By doing so, you could find yourself opening a door that’s very difficult to close. If you’re using an online dating service, be especially wary of anyone who asks you to leave the dating website to continue your conversation through email or instant messaging, as this allows fraudsters to carry out their scheme without the dating site having a record of your encounter.

Be cautious if someone claims to be local but is “currently out of the country.” These individuals could be fraudsters operating from overseas, making it more difficult for authorities to track them down. It’s always better to be safe than sorry. Also, be aware that scammers sometimes claim a military connection in an attempt to gain people’s trust.

Stay grounded. Fraudsters often claim to be head over heels in love from the word “go.” Other times they lead their victims on until they feel that the time is right to ask for money. Either way, no matter how much an online relationship feels like the real thing, you should be suspicious if someone you’ve never met starts requesting information like credit card or bank information or asks you to wire funds.

If you think you’ve gotten into a bad situation, tell someone. Sometimes people are afraid to let other people know they’ve been deceived—especially if they’ve sent money away to a supposed love interest. When your instincts are telling you something isn’t right, it’s important that you heed those feelings. Talking things over with friends and family and reporting the scheme to BBB and the FTC can save you money and additional heartache.

Though romance schemes spike during the month of February, it’s important to know that this type of scam happens throughout the year. Often, simply by being cautious and knowing the signs of this nasty fraud, people using online dating sites can steer clear of it.

Bacall Development: 5 reasons to renovate a commercial property

A lot of commercial property owners want their properties to stay where it is because its location is part of their long-term plan and finding or building a new structure involves a lot of money. If you want to improve the value of your property, Bacall Development suggests that you renovate it.

Bacall Development and its associates is a firm that executes an advanced upgrade to a property. It can also handle every aspect of property redevelopment and the ground-up development process. The Bacall team provided the following good reasons why you should renovate a commercial property.


You can achieve improved traffic for your business if you choose to renovate a commercial property. Additional promotional opportunities could happen if people keeps on talking about your commercial property renovation, which can result in a new advertising campaign. You can also attract new people to your space by renovating your commercial property while improving your building investment.


Attaining more effective operations is possible with a renovated commercial property because providing more space for your staff can help them perform their tasks better than before. Enhanced efficiency within your staff members will do great for your business, right?

Changes can also happen to a business in an instant, so performing renovation to your property is often needed to deal with those changes. Note that renovation requires careful thinking because future operations depend on this matter.


A commercial property renovation is necessary to accommodate more equipment. This way, more opportunities and improved works await your business. Installing new wiring, IT systems, and other machinery can deliver more worthwhile results.


Your renovation plans may include new energy efficient changes to save costs in the future like upgrading the heating and cooling systems along with the windows and insulation. The green market offers excellent products to the public often that are designed to make your property more energy efficient.

Low rates

Take advantage of the low pricing and commercial loan rates because interest rates are low today based on reviews, and there’s the option of the US Small Business Administration 504 Loan as well. Take advantage of those in case you need a loan to finish your commercial renovation.

Contact Bacall Development in case you need help in construction. Look for their contact details on their official website. You can be certain that your business will have efficient operations in the future with their service. Drawing the interest of many customers to your business is one of the several things that commercial property renovation can give to you.

Mossack Fonseca on Panama: Enters Phase II of the OECD Global Forum Review

At the 8th meeting of the OECD Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes, held in Barbados on 29-30 October 2015, Panama was officially accepted into Phase 2 of the information exchange peer review process.

The Global Forum peer reviews occur in two Phases: Phase 1 reviews assess the quality of a jurisdiction’s legal and regulatory framework for the exchange of information, while Phase 2 reviews look at the practical implementation of that framework.

Panama’s Foreign Ministry noted that the country’s implementation standards for the exchange of tax information upon request will be assessed, with particular attention to those jurisdictions with which Panama has agreements that allow the exchange of information.

Panama’s Deputy Foreign Minister Luis Miguel Hincapie said “This step reflects the commitment of Panama in this area and the significant progress in updating our legal framework. In a short time we have adapted to the standards of fiscal transparency while at all times defending national interests”. He went on to say that President Juan Carlos Varela, in his recent speech at the General Assembly of the United Nations, announced that Panama, like its major trading partners, is committed to the automatic bilateral exchange of tax information, but with some conditions. The President said the exchanges will have to take into account national circumstances, the international geopolitical environment, and the right of each country to take the necessary measures to ensure that the automatic exchange of information is not misused to impair the competitiveness of some countries for the benefit of others. President Varela proposed that the issues be incorporated into the regular agenda of the United Nations to ensure that they are discussed by the countries on equal terms.

There are now 96 jurisdictions which are committed to making the first exchanges of information in 2017 or 2018. Panama has committed to commence automatic exchanges in 2018.

Tyler Texas Fraud Lawyers, TX

Tyler, the “Rose Capital of America”, is the county seat of Smith County, Texas. Tyler hosts the Texas Rose Festival annually every October and is also the home of the University of Texas, Tyler campus. Longview, Texas is located in Gregg and Harrison Counties. The major economic sector of Longview’s economy covers the East Texas oilfields. Together, Longview and Tyler make up the major cities in the East Texas region. Kilgore, also located in East Texas, is the home of Kilgore College and is located in Gregg and Rusk Counties.

Our team of attorneys and support staff assist individual and institutional clients in Tyler, Longview, Kilgore and their surrounding counties recover losses caused by the inappropriate actions of investment firms and their advisors. Our firm members have over 100 years of combined experience in the areas of securities and securities law. Contact us to receive a free consultation to discuss your case.

You can visit our website : Shepherd Smith Edwards & Kantas LTD, LLP