Friday, September 15, 2017

Child identity theft

This is something in my opinion doesn't get discussed often because who would think someone would use your child's name, social security number to open up a credit card. Unfortunately this is something that happens. I made a podcast about the recent equifax breach which reportedly has affected over 140 million customers. On this blog I discuss many topics and one of them is identity theft. I would encourage all of you to do what you can to protect your personal identity.

So think of how often you have to submit your child's personal information. When you register child for school you must submit their name, social security number and date of birth. Your question as a parent is to ask how are they using this information? How do they secure this information? Who has access to the files ? this is most likely when this personal information is put out there. I would speak to your local school board or school administration and find out how this information is being stored and secured.

Some of the warning signs your child's personal information is being use would be when you receive a letter from the IRS asking for an income tax filing. Image your young child who has not entered the workforce yet is being asked to pay taxes, another would be when you file for health insurance and they are denied because they have another insurer using insurance. You may get collection notices in your child's name from credit companies. Just to name a few.

In my post I alway advise you to run a credit report at least once a year on yourself. You should run a credit report in your child as well. Should you see any of the warning signs or you notice any unusual activity on your credit report please visit and file a report. I would encourage you to invest in some type of monitoring service or a credit freeze.

I hope this was helpful please leave a comment

Mark Carbajal  

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Safety school bus

The summer is over and time for our kids to go back to school. So I was traveling in my home town started to see all the school buses gearing up for this school year. I wanted to provide an overview on some school bus safety rules when driving during the high traffic schools hours while the buses are on the road. Moreover I want to stress how important it is to use caution while driving when school in session. We want our children to be safe when getting on or off the school buses this year so must be responsible drivers especially during the school year.

When you see a school bus stopped pay attention to the lights which flash on the bus over the main window. I would think of these lights on the bus the same way you understand the lights on a traffic stop essentially they are the same.  The overhead lights on the school bus in particular when you see them flashing yellow this means you should be prepared to stop your vehicle.  Once you see the yellow flashing lights the next light you will see are the red flashing lights. This means the bus will come to a complete stop the stop sign will open up on the side of the bus. On the button of the window shield are yellow lights. When these lights are flashing this means to proceed with caution.  All these lights are to alert you the driver that children are embarking /disembarking the bus so please keep this in mind.

If a school bus is stopped and you pass the school bus when it is stopped there is a very hefty fine or possible jail time associated with this violation. The fines would depend on where you live but in NJ for example a driver convicted of passing a school bus could be sentenced to up to 15 day in jail or community service.  You have the possibility of having five points assessed as well.

I hope this was helpful as always please leave a comment

Mark Carbajal 

Thursday, August 31, 2017

charity scams

Hurricane Harvey was a much larger weather event then what was expected. The massive amount of flooding in Huston and surrounding areas many have lost their homes the recovery process will be long so we as Americans will be attempting to find a way help all those affected by the Hurricane Harvey. Our thoughts and prayers are with all those who have been displaced by this weather event.

We want to do all we can to and I encourage all of you to look for ways to help our friends in Texas. I know most of you will want to make a donation. When we do make donation we want the money to reach the victims to help in the recovery process. So before you make your donation do your research there are a few website you can visit to make sure you are donating to reputable organization. The one I like to use is called Charity Navigator they provide an extensive list or reputable organizations you can make a donations to. The IRS web site also provides some guidance on how to avoid scammers.

First I would not respond to emails or postage asking for donations. They often get your information from donations you may have made in the past or signing up for a newsletter. If you get an email I would delete it or chose an opt- out method provided by the email. Some of the email may claim to be a victim of the hurricane which again you should delete the email and make a donation through a reputable charity.

Again I would urge you all to do what you can to help the victims of Hurricane Harvey. It will be a long recovery process so please donation something anything every little bit counts towards a faster recovery.

Thank you

Mark Carbajal 

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Can you hear me now?

No I am not talking about the sprint guy formerly the Verizon guy, I am talking about a new scam which I have been made recently aware of  this Scam through consumer affairs.  What happens is you receive a call from a computer or a Robo call.  They will ask “can you hear me” you will answer yes. What happens is they will record your “yes” response and use the audio to open up false accounts or services. . You not know until your phone bill show up which will show abnormal activity on your phone bill. According to the FCC or the Federal Communication Commission they have received many complaints from customers stating they have been a victim of this scam.

So what should you do? First you should not answer any unknown numbers if it is important they will leave a message. If you do decide to answer the phone they will ask you to hit a button to stop receiving calls just hang up the phone. They use this tactic to identify live callers because some of the numbers they have on file are disconnected.  Someone may ask for simple yes or no questions in an attempt to get you to answer do fall for this trap do not answer just hang up the phone.

I would recommend you report the unknown callers to the FCC or so telemarketer/spammer/hackers  can be on file with the both agency to help warn others. If you haven’t done so register with the National Do not call Registry. This will not stop the calls from Robocalls but it will stop telemarketers.

There are a few free apps you can down load to your smartphones such as “hiYa” app. This app will check your contacts and past calls on your phone. Once it has completed this process it will identify spammer/telemarketer/hacker on your phone. The app will block any unwanted calls or calls which have been reported through the app as  telemarketers.  

Please use the following websites to report spammer/telemarketer/hacker

I hope this post was helpful please leave a comment 

Mark Carbajal 

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Candle safety

We all buy candles to light up our home. They look nice the add something to d├ęcor in your home. We use them in areas of your home to provide light in dark areas on your home.  When you receive a report of an upcoming storm you may purchase candles as a backup lighting so when the power in your home goes out you will still have light at home. Which I would recommend you want to be prepared for any and all emergencies but any open flame is a fire hazard. According to the National Fire Protection Association the responded to over 9,000 home fires which were started by candles in the home and almost half of the fire reported were started in the bedroom.  So here are some the steps you can take when you are using candles in your home.

When you are using candles in your home you should blow out the candles when you leave the room or go to bed. The fires which stated in the bed room falling asleep were one of the reasons why the fire was started in the first place. The area in which the candle is being use should be clutter free a flat surface the clearance around a candle should be at least 12 inches aw away from anything combustible. When lighting candles make sure you keep hair or loose clothing away from the open flame as it could catch fire. Your candles should never burn to close to the base of the candle. Allow the candle to burn at lease a thumb size away from the base or candle holder.

Your best bet it to use flameless candles they look a lot like candles and they look just as beautiful. If you need to light up a poorly lite area you may want to consider purchasing some battery operated motion lighting which is very cheap these days. When you hear of an upcoming storm flash lights are great.

I hope this post was helpful as always please leave a comment

Mark Carvajal 

Monday, May 15, 2017


This is relatively a new type of virus attacking personal computers and large corporations. It is called Ransomeware typically when you think of holding something or someone for ransom you think of a high profile people being the target but in ransomeware anyone responsible for securing large amounts of information on a database could be the target of a virus called ransomeware.

This virus enters your computer the by an error by the end user either by opening up an email with and attachment of a Trojan horse type of virus. It can also be embedded in some programs which come with your computer. Once the virus is in your computer it will shut down your data and your computer in some way then demand a ransom. There are others which will make your computer work slower and then provide you with a link in order for you to pay to have your computer fixed. What the ransomeware is trying to do is to get your personal online information so they can use it to break into your online accounts. Another form of ransom ware is locking out your computer preventing your from logging into your operating system. They will make the lock out page look very official like the division of homeland security or computer locked out by the FBI and the only way you can unlock the computer is by paying an online fine to unlock your computer.

So how do your fix this problem should you be the victim of this type of virus? You can reboot the computer and start it up in safe mode. This will allow you to run your latest antivirus software to remove or isolate the virus. However if this does not work then I would recommend backing your important data prior to any attack to an external USB drive or external drive so your important information can be recovered in the event of a ransomeware attack.  The best way to prevent any attack on your computer is be careful of which information is downloaded, do not open emails you may be Leary of and always keep your antivirus software up to date.

I hope this was helpful as always please leave a comment

Mark Carvajal 

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Grease fire Safety

This is the nightmare scenario you are home cooking in your kitchen and all of the sudden a pot or pan of grease catches fire. You may instinctively try to extinguish the fire with water because naturally you think water puts out many fires. However in the case with a grease fire you will only spread the fire around your home causing more damage to your home.

You may be surprised to know that one of the leading cause of home fires and injuries in grease fires. There are many causes of how grease can catch on fire one of them is not cleaning your stove. Over time your stove will collect grease which is very flammable. So as a preventative measure please keep your stove clean and clear of grease. Another cause if kitchen fires is unattended cooking. When you are cooking a meal never leave cooking off unattended if fort any reason you need to leave the kitchen area please turn off your stove. I highly recommend having a small fire extinguisher in your home a small fire extinguisher can costs around $15.00 to $30.00.

In the unfortunate event you have a grease fire first you have to make a decision is the fire small enough for you to handle and do you have an escape route. You want to have a way out in case you are unable to put out the fire. If you decide to put out the fire you should first turn off your stove and do not move the pot or pan as by doing this you could spill the grease. In a grease fire you have to remove the oxygen you can place a lid over the pot or pan to smother the fire if you do not have a cover you can use a cookie sheet to cover the fire to remove the oxygen. You can use baking soda to put out the fire as well Do not use water!!!  Do not use a towel or apron to smother fire!!!!Once the fire has been extinguished wait for the pot or pan to cool before removing it from the stove as the pot or pan may still be hot.   

I hope this post was helpful as always please leave a comment

Mark Carvajal