I’ve been a busy little bee lately… Doing what you might wonder? well, uncovering a wonderful little scam…

This scam involves www.checkgrants.com www.checkgrants.biz and www.checkgrants.net

It all started when I got another of those too good to be true letters and checks in the mail just like the Inslink Financial Inc scam I already told you about. It’s yet another one of those deposit the check and send a percentage to get the rest of the money deals… Yeppers it’s a scam alright…

First here’s the letter/check I received, I blacked out my home address… You can click it to see a large image in a new window to read everything in details.. it’s kinda funny actually!

If you paid attention to the actual check which I’m sure you did you can see it appears it’s from Metavante Corporation, and a little further digging led me to learn that Metavante is a huge financial consortium type company…

So of course I had to go poking around their website to find a contact to ask about all of this, and I found one whom I emailed and actually called, it’s their PR rep, Chip Swearngan, which his contact info you can easily find on the site if you wish. He actually forwarded me to their abuse department who I spoke with on the phone, they do know about this scam involving their company and they are working with law enforcement to put and end to it once and for all.

If anyone receives a letter involving Metavante Corporation they are asked to contact their abuse department at abuse[at] metavante.com (obviously the [at] is supposed to be the @ symbol in the email address…)

When I first emailed Chip about this, this was the response I got:

Metavante is aware of the fraudulent scheme that you have reported. We have been working with law enforcement agencies as these instances are brought to our attention. The check is counterfit and misappropriates the name and trademark of our company. Furthermore the fraud seeks to deceive unsuspecting consumers. We appreciate your notifying Metavante. By copy of this email I will ask our Information Security team to follow up with you.

Then the abuse team contacted me as I mentioned above and well it’s being worked on…

It gets better though.. if you read the letter you’ll see it mentions places to go to send your % commission to collect the rest of your fee. When I first got the letter of course I went to the sites, what’s funny is that it says checkgrants.com is NOT their website, and it directs you to the same .net and .biz sites. When I first got the letter the .net and .biz sites didn’t exist, but the .com version had a brief message directing me to go to the .biz site.

Then yesterday I decided to check on these sites again, well the .com site was online and it was so bad it was actually funny, it’s something out of the web .5 days design period. The site is down now (dunno how that could have happened hehehe) but I managed to grab a screenshot for you, click it to see it larger in a new window:

You see al those people there who are your official grant brokers, well if you look back at the letter I received you’ll see that Jim Welch is my personal grant broker:

Friendly looking guy isn’t he? I wonder who he really is?! Look like he could be an attorney, most likely lifted from some corporate website of somewhere…

Anyway, if you click on any of the names other than Jim, you get a canned brief message telling you to send the commission payment to:

Check Grants
29350 Pacific Coast Highway
Malibu, CA 90265
Fax: 310-421-0311

But if you click on Jim’s profile you get a large in depth message explaining how he wants paid, and that he just happens to be away in Europe on emergency business, yeah the FBI came knocking huh ?!

Anyway here’s the text I lifted from the site, I didn’t have time to grab the pictures but they were just screen grabs from the Greendot site anyway…

Hello, I’m Grant Broker Jim Welch,

If I acquired your grant for you you must choose me to send the 10% commission to.

I had to fly to Europe on an emergency business errand and I will not be back in the United States’ office in Malibu, California until late next month. However, the deadline to pay the commission and qualify to receive the other half of your payment is still 5-days after you cash or deposit the check. I have your checks with me in Europe. Please follow the instructions below to allot me the10% commission of your first payment and I will still send your other check – for the same amount as the first check you received – by Next Day Air from Europe!

I Accept Commission Payments Via: GREENDOT® – A New Way To Send Cash

You can send me a cash payment by adding money onto a GREENDOT® Universal Reload Card or a GRENDOT® MoneyPak (same thing) and sending me the card number. This will allow me to load the money into my bank account instantly. You can purchase these cards in the prepaid section of any Right Aid, Walgreens, CVS, Ralph’s and many other smaller retailers throughout the United States. The prepaid section is the section with the gift cards, cell phone cards and etc.

Here is what the cards look like:

Notice that I’ve circled in red the words MoneyPak on one card and MoneyPak – Universal Reload on the other card. This is because GREENDOT® also sells Pre-Paid Visa & MasterCard Credit Cards as shown below.

Warning: Here Is What The Cards DO NOT Look Like:

Notice that none of these cards says MoneyPak or Universal Reload! They say Prepaid Visa or Prepaid MasterCard as I’ve also circled in red. You DO NOT want to get any of these cards as I cannot accept them. Again the card you want Must Say, “MoneyPak” or “MoneyPak” & “Universal Reload” near the GREENDOT® logo. If you ask the cashier for a GREENDOT® MoneyPak or Universal Reload card they may hand you a Pre-Paid Visa or MasterCard by mistake, because many of them don’t know the difference. It is your responsibility to make sure the card you load funds onto says either “MoneyPak” or “MoneyPak” and “Universal Reload.”

It cost only $4.95 to load up to $500 on one of these cards. If the 10% commission your paying is over $500 because your first check was over $5,000, simply load money onto additional cards.

Let’s Start

If you don’t know where a local RiteAid, CVS Drugs, Walgreens, Ralph’s or Albertsons supermarket is, Click Here to find the nearest GREENDOT® Universal Reload Card or GREENDOT® MoneyPak vender in you aria.
Come back to this page once you have the card and Click Here electronically send me the number which will be located on the back of this card along with your name and the amount you loaded onto the card. I can then instantly transfer the funds to my bank account and I’ll send you your other check, which is being held in waiting, by Next Day Express Airmail.

There’s is a link there that leads to an http address, not even an https address for you to input the information from the cards. The site is a joke, there are so many spelling and grammar mistakes it’s actually sort of funny… I do think it’s funny how he helps you out by letting you know where to get the card locally and even links to a ‘finder site’ to find places near you to get the card, and he goes in depth about how to do everything..

The site was originally hosted on zettahost.com / atspace.com (same company) and they did an excellent job of shutting the site down for us in record time.

All of the information about these domains is readily accessible through any whois query, and in that query it pretty much tells you who, if anyone is hosting the site:
Registrar: NETFIRMS, INC.
Whois Server: whois.netfirms.com
Referral URL: http://www.netfirms.com
Name Server: NS1.ATSPACE.COM
Name Server: NS2.ATSPACE.COM
Status: ok
Updated Date: 03-aug-2007
Creation Date: 24-jul-2007
Expiration Date: 24-jul-2008

What I found funny is that the domain was registered on July 24th 2007, but yet the ‘About’ page goes to mention about what they (CheckGrants.com) were doing for thousands of people in 2006..?!?!

and here’s the other one:

Whois Server: whois.internet.bs
Referral URL: http://www.internet.bs
Name Server: No nameserver
Status: redemptionPeriod
Updated Date: 08-aug-2007
Creation Date: 24-jul-2007
Expiration Date: 24-jul-2008

This one as you can see has no nameserver which essentially means it’s not hosted yet… have to keep checking that one eh?!

I forgot one didn’t I.. hmm the checkgrants.biz Whois got me quite a bit more information including names, addresses, telephone numbers etc of the registrant, which I’m sure are all false, but I’ve forwarded it all to the proper authorities and they can handle it from there… I’ll leave it as a surprise for you, if you wish to check it out go HERE and learn!

Remember though there is a disclaimer on the link and it might not be accurate, or correct according to NeuLevel Inc who the Whois query went through…. and of course remember please most likely the information in the Whois entry is false and if probably someone else’s address and contact information…

Well that’s my PSA for the day…

These scammers need to be stopped and be shut down!

Inslink Financial Inc

Well I’ve totally lost the post for Inslink Financial Inc, or North American Millions Jackpot or USA Millions Jackpot. So I thought I would post the pictures again of the actual letter and check for all to see. The thumbnails link to large hi-res scans.
Here’s the check they sent to me, yeah it looks very real:

and here’s the actual letter:

And here’s a bit more information:

Robert Smith or Catherine Jennings
Ph: 1-778-316-8161

North American Millions Jackpot
USA Millions Jackpot
Inslink Financial Inc.

Head Office:
Suite 500
3100 Temple Drive
Windsor, Ontario, Canada N8w 5j6

US Branch:
Suite 500
665 Broadway St.
New York, New York US 10012

John Adams
Chief Financial Officer, Phd

Essentially it says I’ve won $250,000 and if I don’t clain the prize in thirty days it will be returned to USA Millions Jackpot…

but I thought it was the North American Millions Jackpot, but now they say it’s the USA Millions Jackpot.

-Says I have to cash check and give them $2,900 for taxes by calling Rob or Catherine at the above listed number… umm yeah right..

Well I knew it was a scam but I was curious so I called Horizon Bank just to see, they directed me to customer service and immediately knew what I was talking about. So it’s well known to them…

as I said this is an abridged version of the original post, I can’t even find it on Google Cache…

and as sort of an update to this I’ve got yet another scam post coming up in a few.. need to scan it in.. but it’s another good one…

The professionals in the field of website development look for internet advertising of their web portfolio so that they could showcase their talent to more and more people around the world. No business can prosper without good online marketing. Even no one is coming to buy a domain on your site unless you don’t tell them that you are selling cheapest domain name.

Vinnies Birthday!

Today is my son Vincents 2nd birthday!! WooHoo…


And I can’t get any of my previous posts back, for some reason only a couple survived which sucks…

so I have to really start over, I think I’m going to repost a couple of them when I get time though

Edit- It seems now like I’ve only lost June and July.. odd, they weren’t there before

starting over…

this is rather pointless…

ran into problems, tried to restore database and now pretty much nothing works.. I give up
so I guess it’s time to start all over again… oh well, a chance to start a new I guess…

I got a few posts restored, but not many.. who knows why it won’t work correctly anymore, my luck I guess… oh well.. 6 months worth of posts pretty much all gone

The Consumerist and other stuffs

Hey, my post about my great experience with Streamlight and their customer service hit the front page of The Consumerist today, and it’s also being ‘StumbledUpon’ as well…

oh and I got this today for review:

hehe.. cool RC Toy!!!

Oh, so that’s the good news, my bad news streak goes on though, my neighbors 50 ft tree fell into my yard last night and is now balancing on my small little tree/bush about to fall into my house and take out my sliding glass doors and my kids bedroom window and possibly damage the addition to my house… it’s a rental property so tracking down the owner took a bit of time, and he tells me to take it up with my insurance company, so I called them and they said it’s most likely his responsibility. I was talking to my insurance rep and he asked me if the tree was dead or alive, well it’s dead, so according to him since the tree is dead and was so tall it lies on the owner to have it removed before something like this happened, he called it negligence on the owners part, so we’ll see what happens there… now I just have to hope and pray my poor little tree doesn’t give out anytime soon…

ah well… Anyone have an extra Four Leaf Clover they can send me? Maybe a horse shoe or even a rabbits foot? I need some help here, this bad streak of mine needs to end…


This post is basically a thank you link to Streamlight for taking care of fixing my flashlight…

Long story short, my cousin died last year, committed suicide, and his wife either threw away his stuff or gave it away. He was into law enforcement so he had quite a collection of related items, and one of the cooler things he owned were various flashlights. So after he died, his wife sold the house and moved out, she said to go in and take whatever I wanted because the new owners were going to demolish it anyway for a parking lot. Well, it’s a shame really the stuff that she left, all the cupboards were full of food, I found literally thousands of pictures of him and the kids and a whole lot of other stuff that most people would not be throwing away… but anyway, one of the things that she left was his Streamlight SL-20XP, if you know about flashlights then Streamlight should be a common name to you, if not, well, they are pretty much the best lights going.

They are very big in law enforcement, emergency services etc because they are extremely durable, lightweight and very bright, and rechargable as well. After bringing the SL-20XP home I found that the switch didn’t quite work right, and Streamlight does offer a lifetime warranty on their products, but I wasn’t sure how it would work since I wasn’t the original owner. So I emailed them and they said to send it back for repairs, not only did they replace the switch, but they gave me a brand new battery and lens as well. The customer service through email was excellent, very friendly and helpful. I’m very happy with my ‘new’ light, that also comes with quite a few memories as well.

I own two 3D cell Maglights and like them very much, I keep one in my car at all times, they are great lights overall, but the Streamlight is much better honestly. It might not be as heavy as the Mag, but it’s much brighter, my 3D cell mag has peak beam candle power of 22,000 with an average of 76.8 Lumens, while the Streamlight has 25,000 peak beam candle power and 150 lumens, this thing is extremely bright, it will brighten up any area…

Anyway, I just wanted to throw a link to Streamlight up, and let everyone know about their great products and excellent customer service!! They really went above and beyond for me, thanks guys!

Here’s a pic of the Streamlight, I have the all black version, and the specs are following the pic…


The SL-20XP is a full size professional grade, lightweight, high-intensity, rechargeable flashlight.

8 watt halogen bulb with a 100-hour lifetime
Pre-focused halogen beam of up to 25,000 peak beam candlepower; 150 lumens
Lightweight, super-tough nylon polymer case with non-slip rubber comfort grip
Runs 1.5 hours
Constant-on and momentary modes
Three-position (on-off-blink) push-button switch guaranteed for life
High-capacity sub-C, nickel-cadmium rechargeable battery
Length: 13”
Weight: 16 oz.
Available in black, yellow or orange

Digg this story to let everyone know that Streamlight is an excellent company, with customer service that goes above and beyond!

About Career Ramblings

There are so many blogs out there today, where does one go to find good content? We have so many choices where to go, and honestly a lot of them just aren’t that great. Most of the blogs you’ll run across have to do with making money online, and they usually have no clue what they are talking about. Don’t get me wrong, there are some very good blogs about doing this, but they are few and far between…


If you are looking for something with good content that is actually helpful you can stop over at Jane May Blogs, she has quite a bit of very good information about ways to make money online. She mentions many tips, tricks and just good ways to do the things you want to, online and even in ‘real life’.


Jane May Blogs has sort of a sister site called Career Ramblings, that is essentially about career development, but has so much more there to take in. With a name like Career Ramblings I was pretty much expecting to see a blog about someone bitching and moaning about their career. Blogging about the things that go on in their life and workplace, but it is very far from that.


The tagline on the site is ‘Your Professional Development: steps to a successful future’, this tagline is very appropriate for some of the content on the site, as it does pertain to managing your future and making the most of it. Reading through it I found many posts about what students can do to help themselves better prepare for the future, very insightful and interesting reading.


A lot of what is on Career Ramblings is helpful stuff that pretty much anyone can use, even the most seasoned professional can learn something I’m sure, but there are some off-topic things that make Career Ramblings have a more personal feeling to it, it’s about business but yet not all business. It’s nice to read through and find sort of a break in the information to gain a bit more insight into the authors, and learn a bit more about who they are, it’s a nice personal touch I think.


Quite a bit of what you’ll find on Career Ramblings is advice to the newcomers that are trying to make a go at it in the workplace, such as resume writing tips, and interview tips. You’ll also find much more though, you’ll find advice on promoting an already established business and even tips for getting a business started. The things I’ve found on Career Ramblings are very insightful and helpful, things that can actually help you be everything you can be in your career and in your life. I even found home remodeling, and general money saving tips floating around in there.


Overall the writing in the career development related posts is intelligent but not to the point as to confuse people, it is written at a level where everyone can understand it easily, not quite layman’s terms, but still very understandable for even the novice entrepreneur or student. It is done in a friendly style as if they were talking directly to you, almost like you were sitting one on one chatting over coffee.


The look and feel of the blog is very good as well, the color scheme is subtle, but personally I might change that background to a darker shade of blue, the main banner sort of blends into it. There are not many ads around to distract you from your reading, they are well placed, and blend in nicely. One thing I might do if I were the owners though is watch the Google ads a bit and maybe filter them, while I was visiting, there was an ad for a ‘get rich quick scheme’ on Career Ramblings, it was gaudy and just out of place. It had, in gold lettering, ‘Get Rich!!!’, and the entire banner was done in a black and sort of metallic gold style. It seemed much out of place, and detracted from the professional feel of the site.


Being that I am a ‘professional’ reviewer I could go on and on, the best thing to do is stop by and start reading and learning from their collective knowledge, everyone can always learn more. So this is the end of my review for Career Ramblings, if you wish you can review them as well, it only needs to be 200 words, and they will link back to you, this of course will send a bit of traffic your way and help you out as well. So stop by and check out their Rules post to see what exactly you have to do to get back linked from a PR6 site.