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The deadline has passed for the new EMV credit cards to be issued to consumers; it was October 1. EMV credit cards are new credit cards that use a computer chip that will automatically make and encrypt a brand new number every time the card is used by consumers. Creating these new EMV credit cards with the computer chips being able to make new numbers every time it is used will dramatically cut down on the credit card fraud that happens so much these days.

New EMV Credit Cards Have Not All Been Issued Yet

According to a report by USA Today, under the new regulations, if the new machines for these new credit cards are not installed at retailers or if the credit card companies don’t issue these new credit cards soon, if the event of fraud happens, it will be the retailer’s fault or the credit card company who was supposed to issue the new cards, fault. It depends on which one hasn’t gone by the new law.

A thief (dressed in black and eye-masked) pops up from behind a laptop's screen and hides the real URL by planting a fake one on it, clumsily written on a piece of cardboard as a visual metaphore for the phishing technique. Then, he "kindly" invites the user to fill in his/her bank account's password.

However, issuing these new credit cards as well as installing the new machines is a difficult task. This is because more than one billion credit cards have to be reissued. As for the new machines for these new cards, some stores have been more responsible than others and have installed them already. These stores include Wal-Mart, Costco, and Walgreens. However, many stores are falling behind in doing what they should have done already.

Only 40 Percent of Americans Have Received the New Cards

Although the deadline has passed us, according to a survey by CreditCard.com, only about 40 percent of Americans have received their new credit cards with the computer chip. However, according to Visa’s Stephanie Erickson, by the middle of September, Visa has already reissued 151.8 of these new EMV cards. Although that might sound like a big number and a lot of cards reissued to a lot of people, that only accounts for about 20 percent of the cards that need to be reissued to Visa users.


Not only all of this, but although these new cards are supposed to cut down on a lot of credit card fraud, it actually makes room for more scammers to do their damage. credit_card_logoThis is because these scam artists are now pretending to be the credit card company and are contacting consumers through email and asking them to update their personal information or to click on a link in the email. According to Forbes, either way is a cause for fraud to happen because on one hand, if you provide them with your personal information because you think it is your credit card company, you have just handed over some very sensitive information to scammers. If you click on the link, you may be downloading keystroke malware that scammers use that can steal your information while you are unaware of it downloading and taking your personal information.

How to Tell You Are Being Scammed

If this happens, how can you tell if the email is from the legitimate credit card company you know and trust? According to the report, you can’t just look at the email header and tell it is from your credit card company because they could just be using a faker header. What you need to do is check the address of the email sender and if it looks fake, it probably is.

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A woman from Guam, by the name of HeeJaJeong who owned a convenient store has been convicted of abusing the federal welfare program and was ordered to spend 8 months on house arrest and 5 years on probation. The territory of Guam has been a United States territory since 1898. According to the federal US judge, the woman sentenced owes the United States government $400,000 for abusing the federal Supplement Nutritional Assistance Program.

Abusing the SNAP Welfare Program

food couponAccording to USA Today, in March of 2014, Jeong signed a plea agreement admitting to one count of abusing the welfare program. According to the report, she not only allowed customers to use their SNAP benefits to obtain store credit at the end of the month when they ran out of the benefits, as long as they paid at the beginning of the month when they got their benefits again, but she also allowed her customers to buy unauthorized items with their SNAP benefits such as diapers, cigarettes, and betel nuts.

Because of this woman’s actions with the unauthorized use of the customers SNAP benefits and allowing them to purchase items not allowed to be purchased with their SNAP benefits, she has cost the United States Department of Agriculture hundreds of thousands of dollars.

More Abuse Against SNAP

She was not the only convenient store owner that was caught doing this. She was one of four different store owners that were caught abusing the welfare benefit program in 2014. The average amount of SNAP benefits for each transaction in Guam costs $13.03. Many of the purchases made by customers ranged between $100 and $500.

SNAP-LogoWhile allowing some customers to have store credit at the end of the month as long as they paid their bill at the beginning of the month with their SNAP benefits, some stores even charged customers extra fees for using store credit. Although Jeong admitted to allowing customers to have credit in her store and using their SNAP benefits to pay off that credit at the start of the month, she did deny that she charged them additional fees for being allowed to have store credit. Also, according to her lawyer, Peter Perez, said although she allowed this to happen, she did so because the customers asked her to, not because business was slow at the time.

Court documents showed that during the summer of 2013, federal agents had warrants for the stores that were under suspicion of the SNAP benefits abuse, according to Guam Pacific Daily News.

Reduced Sentence for Cooperating

Both Joeng’s attorney, Peter Perez and the Assistant United States Attorney, Maverick David said Jeong fully cooperated with prosecutors which allowed her a reduced sentence.

Similar Case, Similar Sentence

According to the reports, this is not the only case that happened about SNAP benefits fraud. In January of this year, Kun Sup Song who is the owner of Sky Mart in Yigo, which is in Guam, did the same thing and received the same sentence for it. However, he was ordered to pay a restitution charge of about $170,000 for his actions against the welfare benefit program.

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As a general unwritten rule law firms refrain from using social media to their advantage and as a way of PR management.  Managing the process of marketing legal services can in fact be a dreadful experience whether it occurs in the real or of the virtual world.  Managing public relations for all law firm online using social media has both its advantages and disadvantages.

Why Aren’t There More Law Firms In Social Media?

lawyers_social_mediaEven though social media has been around for a while, people are still very skeptical when it comes to using social media for managing public relations of a law firm.  For many owners of law firms and senior partners, social media seems like something which is for younger people only and something which is not serious enough in order to be used as a way to manage public relations of a law firm.  Needless to say, that the very fact that social media has been around for a certain amount of time shows us that it is not going anywhere in any recent time.  Also, this might be and the right way for law firms to use this to their advantage by opening more profiles on social media which will allow them to reach a customer base which they can only dream of.


Expanding The Business

Using the social media can definitely be an advantage in the public relations of your law firm.  Especially in a lot of other law firms failed to use social media, this means that in a way you will reach a unique customer base.  If you would like to expand your business, perhaps you should try advertising your law firm is social media rather than going for traditional ways of advertising in the newspapers or on television.

Inexpensive Ways Of Managing Public Relations

When it comes to managing public relations opening of few profiles on the social networks is definitely the easiest way to do this.  Not only that it is basically inexpensive (all parts from some soft costs), but you will be also be able to manage it yourself.  Furthermore, you will be able to spread your own opinions and get in touch with your clients and your potential clients.  You will also be able to give press release which will be absolutely accurate to the message you want it to convey.


Who Should Manage Your Social Networks: Should You DIY Or Hire A Team?

I would suggest that you, at first at least, manage the public relations yourself in the social media.  Later on, if there’s a need for it you can assign a team that will work diligently on preserving the image that you have in the social media and which will allow all for clients and potential clients to contact you at any given time of the day.

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