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NO EXCESS DEATHS. Nothing else should be said about COVID-19, and this should be shouted from the rooftops.

OKAY, NOW LET ME GET TO THE SHOUTING: Over the last two publications of this newsletter (the November 30 edition and the December 7 mid-edition update) I have provided everyone with the research products of two extremely credentialed scientists with backgrounds deep in the mainstream (one from Johns Hopkins and one from Pfizer). One of these folks– Genevieve Briand– is in the US and one– Michael Yeadon– is in the UK.

Briand and Yeadon made the cut as newsworthy because over the last two months each was struck by the dawning realization that despite all the eyewash raining down from “official” sources and being sprayed into everyone’s face by a fever-swamp 24/7 media campaign more monolithic than any seen since the consent engineering for the invasion of Iraq, there have actually been no excess deaths in either the US or the UK during the time each was supposedly being ravaged by plague. NO EXCESS DEATHS.

Both Briand and Yeadon realized that, as Yeadon put it: “If there are no excess deaths, there is no pandemic.” Full stop.

Both Briand and Yeadon echo what I have been pointing out here for many months: The alleged C19 deaths have been normal, predictable deaths from the normal variety of causes, which have just been mischaracterized as “C19 deaths”.

So I ask you: WHY ARE THESE REVELATIONS NOT THE ONLY FOCUS OF ALL COMMENTARY AND DISCUSSION OF THE C19 SUBJECT?!

Why, for instance, are people still talking of vaccines and whether or not they are safe when the rationale for vaccines has been destroyed? Talking about the safety of vaccines in light of Briand and Yeadon’s revelations is letting the tail wag the dog– and hence, losing the argument.

THINK ABOUT IT. AS LONG AS PEOPLE BELIEVE C19 is an unprecedented plague, irresistible pressure will push vaccinations, safe or not, just as irresistible pressure has pushed businesses to demand masks and “social distancing” and allowed government officials to ignore the law and claim the authority to mandate such things, and worse.

There have already been tens of thousands of people who have taken vaccines for which even as little as one-year adverse effects cannot be known. Hysterical fear, professionally ignited and relentlessly fanned, has consumed many, many minds far past the point of rationality.

Hence, as long as people believe C19 is an unprecedented plague, every worker will be required to be vaccinated– safely or not. So, too, will every traveler and every customer of other services. Such demands have been successfully made the interest of every commercial enterprise– by presenting C19 as an unprecedented plague.

Everyone seeking to enter a government building will have to be scanned for a vaccine ID, too. In short order, such a scan will perhaps be necessary simply to be allowed out in public anywhere. And so on, all despite the fact that those who are not vaccinated are no threat to anyone who is– something about which little or no punditry can be seen (outside these pages).

If problems DO surface with the vaccines before all the above is already a fait accompli, we’ll just have more shutdowns and all the rest of the social pathologies of the last ten months until sufficient reassurance is offered to quiet any mainstream concerns… BECAUSE PEOPLE WILL STILL BELIEVE THAT C19 IS AN UNPRECEDENTED PLAGUE.

You can complain all you want that people SHOULDN’T sacrifice liberties and the rule of law for what they imagine is a little safety, but they do. Hence, the only solution to the C19 problem, being as high-momentum a hoax as it has become, is to produce a hurricane of voices showing that C19 is NOT an unprecedented plague.

SO, HERE’S TODAY’S SIMPLE MESSAGE: Stop all tweeting and posting and pontificating in regard to the C19 subject except to announce that the science shows no excess deaths have actually occurred. Change the messaging to nothing but the fact that all the scary numbers said to have been of C19 fatalities– supposedly in addition to the rate of normal fatalities for this year– are just normal expected annual fatalities which have been systematically mislabeled.

That is, change the message to the fact that fatalities ascribed to C19 have been counted in isolation, with the total number characterized as an addition to normal expected death rates, when in fact, each entry in the “C19-related” category is offset by a corresponding reduction in normal and expected fatalities that would otherwise be listed as from other causes (such as influenza, pneumonia, COPD, heart disease, hypertension, etc.), per shameless government instructions to do so– read through this material and its exhibits to see those directives.

In short, become part of a monolithic roar awakening people to the fact that C19 is NOT an unprecedented plague.

Again, focusing on any aspect of the C19 subject OTHER than that it is NOT a terrible scourge is to concede the one thing fueling all the other pathologies against which you would rail, and which, if conceded, makes all the rest of your arguments futile.

What we are faced with is a civilizational coup attempt– a serious-as-a-heart-attack assault on what remains of classical liberalism in the Western World. We are being berated and blustered and bullsxxed into enserfment, paralyzed into inaction or spooked into running in 50 different directions while we are shorn of our unalienable rights under a mantra of “public necessity” and illusions of technocratic benevolence and competence.

It’s time and past time to wake up, get on the same page, and drain the fuel out of the panic-mongering false narrative that is making this nightmare possible.

***

BTW, RESEARCH SUPPLEMENTING Genevieve Briand and Michael Yeadon’s will be most helpful, and isn’t necessarily hard to do. Here, for instance, is the recent post of Germany’s officials concerning the 2020 death rate compared to recent past years:

Note that the humps in 2020 in this graph in the comparative charting (the first and biggest of which is implied to be C19 deaths by the “of which COVID-19” isolated portion on the bottom) actually follow humps of the same or even greater fatality rates in prior years. Also, note that some spikes observed in representations of 2020 deaths, such as the spike around week 33 to week 35 (August) in the model above, aren’t C19 attributed even by the relevant panic-mongering governments (although they might in part be from “lockdown”-related pathologies…).

HERE IS THE CDC’s modeling of US deaths by cause during this past year:

Focus on the middle-of-the-pack ranking of respiratory disease fatalities this year– where C19 fatalities are accounted, and the kind which is most typically ascribed to C19, whether accurately or not. (But in regard to US data, it is better overall that you see– and point your readers toward– Genevieve Briand’s much more comprehensive and competent presentation found here.)

Both of these graphics were acquired from the relevant sources yesterday after simple searches. You can do this, too.

***

P.S. OPPOSE ALL FURTHER “C19 BAILOUTS”. These simply encourage people to quietly watch their businesses and jobs evaporate under illegal “lockdown” orders by paying them to do so through the inflation-generated diminishment of your assets (and everyone else’s). Better that these folks be feeling the pain and up in arms in defense of their rights and their property.

“The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.”

-H.L. Mencken

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Uncategorized

A Consumer Action News Alert • December 2020 www.consumer-action.org

 
SCAM GRAM is Consumer Action’s monthly e-newsletter alerting you to the dirtiest players in the world of tech fraud, credit card scams, ID theft, and general con-artistry. Don’t be fooled by liars, cheats, and crooks; wise up with SCAM GRAM!
 

  A sting of their own
 
The good news? Scientists have risen to the occasion and created viable COVID-19 vaccines in record-breaking time, allowing governments around the world to soon pull off what will be the biggest, most lifesaving mass vaccination effort in history. The bad news? Con artists have been following the headlines, and they’re ready to jab the public. We’re here to inoculate you against those who will undoubtedly use confusion around the vaccination timeline and process in an attempt to “sell” you on their own concoction of lies.

The truth is that the Pfizer vaccine passed all administrative hurdles just this weekend (and (and is now being shipped to the U.S..for immediate use), and the Moderna version is expected to follow suit. But getting vaccinated shouldn’t cost you any money: The federal government has prepurchased millions of doses, although supplies will need to be rationed in the early stages, going to healthcare workers and the vulnerable first.

Knowing this, scammers may court you with calls, emails, and texts pretending to be with the CDC or your local health department, directing you to give them money or personal information in order to get “your” dose. The real government will never do this. Another tip? Based on its biology, the vaccine is very fragile and needs to be kept at far below freezing temperatures prior to use to remain effective.

As Operation Stolen Promise 2.0 (the government’s effort to stop COVID-19 vaccine fraud and other counterfeit ‘Rona products) states, the vaccine must be “properly and efficiently distributed through a secure supply chain.” This means the real deal will end up at your local CVS or Walgreens, where it can be kept cold prior to the administration–not on some strange website, online marketplace, or street corner kiosk. And would you really want to inject yourself with a mystery substance mailed to you from a deep, dark corner of the internet?  

  Puppy surprise
 
Whether you’re a singleton living alone and looking for someone to love or a parent in desperate need of a furry friend for your restless child, pandemic-induced social isolation–combined with holiday gift-giving–has pushed more people into attempting to procure puppies. Lots more! The rising demand for dogs and the increasing scarcity of the real deal has resulted in big business for con artists who know how to tug at our heartstrings (and our wallets) with professional-looking websites showcasing fluffy Fidos.

The gutsy grifters are even creating enticing social media ads that appear to come from legit animal rescue organizations! The problem is so widespread that the Better Business Bureau (BBB) has put out an alert summarizing how “the projected dollar loss from these [puppy] scams is expected to top $3 million [by the end of 2020], more than six times the total losses reported in 2017.” The median loss per victim? $750!

The BBB has analyzed the criminals’ changing tactics as well, noting that, whereas scammers before may have asked for money via wire transfer, which could have tipped off would-be victims, they’re now “accepting” payment through popular digital methods, such as Zelle and Cash App. And if you’ve learned anything from SCAM GRAM lately, it’s that scammers follow the news–which is why it’s not surprising to learn they’re also charging buyers “extra” for bogus COVID “vaccinations,” climate-controlled crates, and other such believable nonsense.

(This woman lost over $9,000 to the add-ons!) Worried the seller you’re considering isn’t legit? Check out PetScams(dot)com, where they may already be blacklisted. Oh, and that cute puppy pic you’ve fallen in love with? Do a reverse image search to see if it even belongs to the seller or if it’s been pulled off a breeder’s website. Finally, insist on at least having a live video chat with any seller (and doggo) before forking over hard-earned funds for your new BFF. Even better, check out your local animal shelter for dogs that need a home.  

  Presenting…  
 
This is (not) the way. Forgot to put that $60 animatronic Baby Yoda (sorry, “The Child”) toy in your cart when it was available in early November? Now is not the time to snag one from a rando Mando ad targeting you on social media, lest you meet a fate similar to that of many online shoppers who wrote that they “also made the mistake of ordering the one [Baby Yoda toy] offered on Facebook.”

And while “the pics & description were of this legit toy, including the animatronics,” they “received a cheap rubber hand puppet.” As the BBB points out, con artists have been showcasing the professional photos of in-demand toys, like the talking Baby Yoda, and claiming in pop-up ads in Google searches and elsewhere (even on “Star Wars” knockoff websites) that the toys are underpriced due to “flash sales” and the like.

Don’t buy it! “These are not the Star Wars deals you are looking for,” the BBB banters. In short, buy from a trusted retailer only, and be careful to whom you give your personal and/or financial info. May the force be with you.

Game over. If you think spending nearly $60 for a talking, Force-wielding Baby Yoda is a lot, try snagging a newer gaming console. Whether it’s the pricey PlayStation 5 or the extravagant Xbox Series X, you could find yourself shelling out close to a grand to get your hands on one. In an attempt to caution consumers who can’t grab the console of their choice,

CNN drives home the point that it’s “nearly impossible to buy anywhere,” before explaining (in detail) how “you’ve probably spent many an afternoon frantically refreshing multiple browser tabs to no avail, getting increasingly frustrated at your chances of joining the next generation of gaming.”

This maddening combo of cost, scarcity, and what has become a “robust resale market” driven by unscrupulous bot-wielding buyers has been a boon for criminals, who have designed many an online “shop” to scam the desperate out of their dollars. Unfortunately, as the BBB points out, you’re unlikely to actually receive a package from an unknown “company” selling a major gaming system.

And if you do? It probably “isn’t a gaming console–instead, it’s a valueless phone cover or similar small object,” and subsequent “attempts to contact the company are predictably useless.” Don’t play games with your gifts–learn how to ascertain real sellers from virtual hijinks here.
 
Going once, going twice…Perhaps puppies and PlayStations aren’t really your speed; you’re more of the “grab a gift card and get it over with” type of holiday shopper. As simple as this seems as it should be, gift card giving is not without perils. One good thing about purchasing the plastic in a pandemic, however, is that you’re less likely to grab the card from a rack at your grocery store checkout line, where criminals could have tampered with it and altered or written down important numbers, and more likely to order directly from a retailer’s website–the safest way to go.

And although you might be inclined to buy a card, or bulk gift cards, for less through an online auction site, know that this is where scammers often sell used counterfeit and ill-gotten cards (including those bought with stolen credit cards), or cards that simply aren’t worth as much as they claim. As ScamBusters points out, “Auction gift card scams now pose a much bigger threat than gift cards displayed on public racks in stores.” Yikes!  

  Tips!  
 
Shop smart. So, you’ve read (above) about the massive amounts of gift-related fraud occurring online during the holidays and you’re thinking, “I won’t be a victim, because I buy local.” Think again! Because of the virus, crafty conmen have been going viral with targeted counterfeit “events” that sound like ones you’ve attended in the past, selling worthless tickets to those who would have shopped in person, but must now attend holiday markets and pop-up shops online.

Beware: Typically, real events don’t charge admission. In any case, the best way to protect yourself from bogus charges during the holidays is to use a credit card so that you can dispute the charges if anything untoward occurs (e.g., your card is rung up for hundreds of dollars when you thought all you had bought was one $20 ticket to a virtual market). Credit card companies can also alert you if and when something shady is occurring. American Express, for example offers cardholders account monitoring, online safety protection, and fraud alerts.

Chain of fools. ‘Tis the season for the tried-and-true Secret Sister, the Secret Santa, or some predictable variation of a secret something or other. The con’s out of the bag though: These social media-fueled “gift exchanges” are really just glorified pyramid schemes, which, like the chain letters of yore, promise more gifts, wine, money, etc. to those who forward the offers to more “friends,” yet always fail to deliver (and may even cost you those friends!).

And, well…they’re illegal. The misleading missives may be particularly enticing this year, however, since TIME magazine has now officially declared itas “The Worst Year Ever–and who wouldn’t feel better if “up to 36 gifts” showed up at their doorstep? “If there’s EVER been a year we need random fun presents to come in the mail IT’S 2020!!!!!!” shouts one exclamation-laden, punctuation-missing proclamation.

But like most things in 2020, no good will come of this–don’t make Annus Horribilis even more terrible by passing it along. What’s more, giving your address could make things go from bad to worse. You can do some good, however, by reporting these types of social media posts to the U.S. Postal Inspection Service.
 
Don’t bank on it. Perhaps it’s because they’re generally less familiar with paper checks, opting instead to use Venmo, Cash App, or the like. Whatever the reason, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) reports that twentysomethings are “more than twice as likely as people over 30 to report losing money to fake check scams.”

It appears scammers are aware of this because they’re specifically targeting college students by pretending to be the students’ professors, even somehow mimicking .edu email addresses, “hiring” the students for various odd jobs, and writing them checks to pay for their work–checks for “too much” money. Check scams always follow this “oops, too much” pattern; the scammer will claim they need money “back.” Anytime you encounter this, it’s bogus!

Yet, sadly, you’ll still be on the hook for the real money that you sent the scammer from your bank account before your bank realized that the check you deposited was no good. Banks have to make the face value of a deposited check available in your account within a few days, but it can take them weeks to figure out it’s a fake. Still, confused? Check out the FTC’s excellent infographic on check scams here. 
 
Seeing the bigger picture. Zoom has been in the headlines a lot recently, and not necessarily for its heartwarming ability to connect people remotely in the cold age of COVID. The video conferencing giant just settled a very public case with the FTC over its failure to properly encrypt user meetings, leading to the infamous “zoom bombings,” as well as the shoddy software it installed on participants’ computers, allowing hackers an “in” through their webcam.

While Zoom is expected to get safer or to get fined by the FTC, the popular company can’t necessarily stop criminals from operating in its name, which is what scammers are now doing–sending emails prompting Zoom users to click on a link that (surprise!) downloads malware to the users’ computers. The emails state that the Zoom account in question has been suspended and must be reactivated, or that a meeting must be rescheduled, or some other such “bait” to get the users to click. But not you–you can zoom in to this article to see the whole picture.