Understanding How Personal Data Is Shared

We understand the uncertainty around information sharing and we want to help you understand how we obtain information, where we get it from and how you can control it.

Pipl is a search engine, like Google or Bing, that consolidates publicly available people information found in both online and offline sources.

What kind of information is available on Pipl and how do you acquire it?

Pipl finds pieces of public information and consolidates it for you in one profile. This means that if the information is publicly available, both online and offline, we find it, consolidate it and present it in the people search engine results page.

The types of information we feature in a profile include:

  • Contact: name, addresses, emails, and phone numbers
  • Demographic: age, gender, education, and known associates
  • Professional: occupation, employment history
  • Social Media:  profiles, usernames
  • Other: Photos, blog posts, media & publication mentions

To find online information, the people search engine:

  1. Crawls and indexes public web pages that are accessible to everyone on the web (like any other search engine)
  2. Extracts information like names, phones and pictures from these pages
  3. Uses our proprietary technology to cluster the information into personal profiles

Who’s sharing personal information?

ONLINE INFORMATION

Anytime you create a profile on a website, you are sharing information online. This is not limited to just social networks like Facebook or Twitter– eCommerce sites, forums, blogs, etc., also collect your information.  All of these sites contain user profiles or public content related to users, meaning this information is free for the world to see.

OFFLINE INFORMATION

Offline sources include publicly available information in phone books, public records, business contact lists, marketing lists, and publications.

What control do I have over my personal information?

Most websites have customizable privacy settings to hide email addresses, telephone numbers, pictures, friends, or to remove your entire profile. Since Pipl provides only publicly available information to our users, updating your privacy settings will ensure your information is not included in our search results. Also, source websites, in most cases, will remove your information upon request. Once the data is removed from the source, a link should no longer appear in our results page.

The post Understanding How Personal Data Is Shared appeared first on Pipl.

Lack of Awareness, Poor Security Practices Pose Cyber Risks

Are your employees savvy about potential cybersecurity risks to ensure they’re using the Internet safely? How about being able to identify phishing threats or protecting data? 

Those are among the cybersecurity topics that employees from a variety of industries often answered incorrectly, according to an audit from cyber tech provider Proofpoint. Employees who had undergone security training were asked questions on 14 cybersecurity topics, including their understanding of unintentional and malicious insider threats.

Cybersecurity training must cover these topics regularly if employers hope to change workers’ behavior., Proofpoint said in its fifth annual State of the Phish 2019 report.

SHRM Online collected the following articles from its archives and other trusted news outlets on this topic.  

Employees Flub on 1 in 5 Cyber Training Questions 

A recent security awareness audit concluded that workers who take security training choose the right  answers to cybersecurity questions only 78 percent of the time. The findings are based on an analysis of questions Proofpoint asked its customers across a variety of industries. 

That’s not good enough. Organizations need to educate their workers to bolster their understanding of cybersecurity risks and issues, according to Proofpoint.

As cyber attackers increasingly focus their attention on people, not technical defenses, organizations should take a people-centric approach to cybersecurity, the company says in its State of the Phish report.
(MeriTalk)  

[SHRM members-only tools and templates: Laptop Security Policy]   

5 Top Cybersecurity Concerns for HR in 2019 

Security experts say there are a number of data security issues that human resource information technology leaders should pay close attention to this year. Here are their tips for minimizing risk.
(SHRM Online)  

The Growth of Ransomware Extortion Demands

Ransomware is becoming an increasingly common cause of cyber loss for businesses, according to the NAS Insurance 2019 Cyber Claims Digest. Findings are based on an analysis of 2018 claims data.

And costs go much further than just the ransom payment. Technical and legal expenses associated with negotiating and paying the ransom can triple or quadruple the cost of resolving the issue. It’s not uncommon for expenses to go beyond $70,000.
(Insurance Business Magazine)  

Viewpoint: Are Your Employees Really Engaging with Security Awareness Training? 

Does your organization have a formal security awareness and training program? I’m constantly surprised at how often the answer is an awkward and uncomfortable “no.” Implicit in the awkwardness is the recognition that such a program is a critical piece of a strong security strategy. Without awareness and training, it’s likely that security will not be front of mind for your end users—but that doesn’t mean that organizations with formal programs are effectively engaging their employees.
(Security Training)    

Five Strategies to Get Employee Buy-In For Security Awareness Training 

Last year, the FBI reported a staggering $12.5 billion has been lost due to e-mail fraud, underscoring the critical risk that exists each time  employees open their inboxes. A single weaponized e-mail could lead to a substantial data breach or financial loss.

But how can HR teams secure employee buy-in for cybersecurity best practices, while avoiding training burnout? The answer is empowerment.
(Forbes)

EEOC Opens Calendar Years 2017 and 2018 Pay Data Collection

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) today opened a Web-based portal for the collection of pay and hours worked data for calendar years 2017 and 2018.  The URL for the portal is https://eeoccomp2.norc.org.

As ordered by the court’s recent decision in National Women’s Law Center, et al., v. Office of Management and Budget, et al., Civil Action No. 17-cv-2458 (D.D.C.), EEO-1 filers must submit Component 2 data for calendar year 2017, in addition to
Component 2 data for calendar year 2018, by Sept. 30, 2019.\

Employers, including federal contractors, are required to submit Component 2 compensation data for 2017 if they have 100 or more employees during the 2017 workforce snapshot period. Employers, including federal contractors, are required to submit
Component 2 compensation data for 2018 if they have 100 or more employees during the 2018 workforce snapshot period.  The workforce snapshot period is an employer-selected pay period between October 1 and December 31 of the reporting year.
Federal contractors and other private employers with fewer than 100 employees are not required to report Component 2 compensation data.

The EEOC has contracted with NORC at the University of Chicago to conduct the Component 2 EEO-1 Compensation Data Collection for 2017 and 2018.

In addition to the data collection portal available for all filers, a data file upload function and validation process is expected to be available no later than Aug. 15, 2019, as an alternative data collection method for employers who prefer to
utilize data file upload capability. Information regarding the data file upload function is available at https://eeoccomp2.norc.org.

Additional resources for filers, including Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs), Sample Data Collection Form, Instruction Booklet for Filers, User’s Guide, Fact Sheet, and more, are available at https://eeoccomp2.norc.org.

4 Tips for Traveling with Other Families on Vacation

Author: PeopleFinders on July 12th, 2019

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Summer vacations are a beloved time of bonding for many families. After all, the kids are out of school, plenty of vacation destinations run discounts, and other families are similarly taking vacations.

Going on your summer vacation with another family may be a great way for your kids to spend some time with their friends, and for you to get to know those friends’ parents. You may even be able to unlock group discounts with a larger vacation group.

However, just like when you’re traveling on your own, you need to take safety precautions when traveling in groups. Follow these tips to ensure that your vacation is as safe as possible.

Carry Digital Copies of Important Documents

When you’re on vacation, keep some of your important documents on hand. Especially if you’re outside the U.S., it’s important to have digital copies of passports, ID cards, tickets, confirmations, and insurance information.

Planning to have excursions with all the kids but not all the parents? You may also want to share handwritten statements from each parent that give the other parents permission to accompany children into amusement parks and other attractions.

You should back up all those documents on your phone, a computer, and a portable memory card, so you have as many copies as possible. A number of apps allow you to lock your photos behind a password. So, even if someone steals your phone, the thief can’t access those photos.

Stay Connected

Speaking of phones, make sure that every adult in your party is carrying a phone. You need to be able to contact one another, especially if something goes wrong. And don’t merely ensure that each person has a phone; make sure that the phones are charged and ready to go.

Encourage people to charge their phones before they go to sleep. And buy portable chargers, so you can charge on the go if you start running out of juice. If your kids are old enough to have cell phones, do the same thing for them as well.

For international expeditions, purchasing multiple international plans might not be feasible. Don’t worry, though; there are other ways to get international phone service.

Be Careful About Your Social Media Presence

Sharing photos and videos about your trip on social media can definitely be a great way to preserve your memories and connect with the people you love who aren’t with you on the trip. However, you should make sure that you think about what you’re posting before you post it. Letting the world know that your home is currently empty might invite robbery.

The best option is to keep your social media profiles private, so only approved people can see your posts and photos. But even public profiles can keep you safe as long as you’re careful.

Vet Other Adults in Your Party

When you invite another family on your vacation, you’ll probably know them pretty well. And if you know them well enough to have them come with you, you probably trust them to an extent. Or, at least, you think you can…. Alternately, dual vacations can actually be a great way to get to know a family you don’t know all too well, especially if your children are already friends.

In either case, a great way to try and make sure that the other family is safe for your children to be around is to use a site like PeopleFinders.

PeopleFinders makes it easier to find out if someone is safe. Just get a full name, and then perform a background check. PeopleFinders may help you find out if a member of the other family has a hidden criminal history. If you find out that he or she has previously been arrested for or convicted of violent crimes, you can rethink your decision to invite that other family on your family trip.

Conclusion

A multi-family vacation can be incredibly fun. You get to have other parents there to help corral the children, your kids get to have fun with other kids their age, and everyone gets to know each other a little better.

Just like any other vacation, however, it’s important to think about safety first. Before you start planning your vacation, you should check out the adults with PeopleFinders to make sure that you and your family will be safe.

Keep safe in all aspects of your life by checking out the other content in the PeopleFinders blog.

image attribution: Zarya Maxim – stock.adobe.com

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Categorized in: Culture

IRS Proposes Rule to Ease Liability Under 401(k) Multiple Employer Plans

The IRS has proposed a rule that would make 401(k) multiple employer plans (MEPs) more attractive, especially for small employers, by addressing the risk posed to a MEP by one member’s bad actions.

All employers in a MEP could face penalties under the unified plan rule if one employer violates its fiduciary responsibilities—for example, by failing to funnel employee contributions to the plan on schedule. The “one bad apple” liability risk that a negligent member can pose to an entire plan has been a major stumbling block for employers considering whether to participate in a MEP. The Department of Labor (DOL) lacked the authority to address this issue when it released its own proposed rule on MEPs last October. That rule, which would let unrelated businesses in different industries join in an “open” MEP offered through association retirement plans, has not yet been finalized.

The new proposal, which the IRS published July 3 in the Federal Register, would apply to “closed” MEPs, which must share common relationships such as being in the same industry, and would apply to open MEPs when the earlier DOL rule becomes final.

Currently, “MEPs are hard to do,” commented Robert Toth, principal at Toth Law and Toth Consulting in Fort Wayne, Ind. “It is also quite a task to remove an uncooperative MEP member,” he noted.

[SHRM members-only toolkit: Designing and Administering Defined Contribution Retirement Plans]

A Unified Plan Rule Exception

Under the unified plan rule, a MEP is qualified based on all employers in the plan. Consequently, the failure by one employer to satisfy a qualification requirement would disqualify the plan for all participating employers.

The new proposal would provide an exception to that if certain other requirements are met. For instance, the MEP’s other employers could spin off the noncompliant member’s assets and account balances into a separate plan.

The IRS proposal offers a solution that would be “clear, effective and easy to follow and would remove one of the most significant barriers to establishing a MEP,” said Rob Neis, a partner with law firm Eversheds Sutherland in Washington, D.C., and former benefits tax counsel at the Treasury Department. “The Treasury Department and IRS should be commended on taking this important step toward making MEPs more widely available to the employers that need them, particularly smaller employers,” Neis said.

Rule Mirrors SECURE Act Provision

The Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement (SECURE) Act, passed by the U.S. House of Representatives May 23 and awaiting a vote in the Senate, addressed the same liability issue by providing a safe harbor for employers in a MEP.

“The proposed regulations closely follow provisions of the SECURE Act,” Neis said. The SECURE Act ,provides that if an employer participating in a MEP fails to comply with the qualification requirements, “the unified plan rule is not violated if the plan assets attributable to that employer are transferred to a single-employer plan maintained solely for the employees of that employer, and that employer is solely responsible for any liabilities associated with the plan qualification failures. The proposed regulations would do the same thing.” Neis explained.

The proposed regulations provide more details than the SECURE Act on spinning off the assets of “bad actors,” Neis added. The additional details address notices, timing and similar matters. “It’s fair to say that the proposed regulations would cure most of the problems caused by the unified plan rule and that the SECURE Act provisions addressing the unified plan rule would no longer be necessary,” he said.

Gray Areas Remain

The proposed regulations still leave unresolved issues regarding “the forced spinoff of a recalcitrant participating employer,” Toth pointed out. “The IRS proposal only really addresses a small part of what actually happens under these circumstances—all of which will eventually need to be addressed,” he noted.

This may take a significant regulatory effort, he added, especially if the SECURE Act becomes law.

“The legislation would give the Treasury and the IRS the authority to issue these types of regulations,” Neis said.

DOL Proposes Rule to Ease Liability under 401(k) Multiple Employer Plans

The IRS has proposed a rule that would make 401(k) multiemployer plans (MEPs) more attractive, especially for small employers, by addressing the risk posed to a MEP by one employer member’s  bad actions.

A long-standing issue with MEPs has been the penalties all employers in the plan could face under the “unified plan rule” if one employer violates fiduciary rules—for example, by failing to funnel employee contributions to the plan on schedule. The so-called “one bad apple” liability risk that a negligent member can pose to an entire plan has been a major stumbling block for MEPs and was not addressed by a DOL proposed rule on MEPs that was issued last October. That rule, which would let unrelated businesses in different industries join in an “open” MEP offered through association retirement plans, has not been finalized.

The new proposal, which the IRS published July 3 in the Federal Register, would apply to “closed” MEPs, which must share common relationships such as being in the same industry, and would apply to open MEPs when the earlier DOL rule is finalized.

Currently, “MEPs are hard to do,” wrote Robert Toth, principal at Toth Law and Toth Consulting in Fort Wayne, Ind. “It is also quite a task to remove an uncooperative MEP member,” he noted.

[SHRM members-only toolkit: Designing and Administering Defined Contribution Retirement Plans]

A Unified Plan Rule Exception

Under the unified plan rule, a MEP is qualified based on all employers in the plan. Consequently, the failure by one employer to satisfy a qualification requirement would disqualify the plan for all participating employers.

The new proposal would provide an exception to that if certain other requirements are met. For instance, the MEP’s other employers could spin off the assets and account balances of the noncompliant member into a separate plan.

The DOL proposal offers a solution that would be “clear, effective, and easy to follow, and would remove one of the most significant barriers to establishing a MEP,” said Rob Neis, a partner with law firm Eversheds Sutherland in Washington, D.C., and former benefits tax counsel at the Treasury Department. “The Treasury Department and IRS should be commended on taking this important step toward making MEPs more widely available to the employers that need them, particularly smaller employers,” Neis said.

Rule Mirrors SECURE Act Provision

The SECURE Act, passed by the U.S. House of Representatives on May 23 and  still awaiting a vote in the Senate, addressed the same liability issue by providing a safe harbor for employers in an MEP.

“The proposed regulations closely follow provisions of the SECURE Act,” Neis said. The SECURE Act provides that if an employer participating in a MEP fails to comply with the qualification requirements, “the unified plan rule is not violated if the plan assets attributable to that employer are transferred to a single employer plan maintained solely for the employees of that employer, and that employer is solely responsible for any liabilities associated with the plan qualification failures. The proposed regulations would do the same thing.”

The proposed regulations provide more details than the SECURE Act on spinning off the assets of “bad actors,” Neis added, including details regarding notices, timing and similar matters. “It’s fair to say that the proposed regulations would cure most of the problems caused by the unified plan rule and that the SECURE Act provisions addressing the unified plan rule would no longer be necessary,” he said.

Gray Areas Remain

The proposed regulations still leave unresolved issues regarding “the forced spin-off of a recalcitrant participating employer,” Toth pointed out. “The IRS proposal only really addresses a small part of what actually happens under these circumstances—all of which will eventually need to be addressed,” he noted.

This may take a significant regulatory effort, he added, especially if the SECURE Act becomes law.

“The legislation would give Treasury and IRS the authority to issue these types of regulations,” Neis said.

How to Use Social Data to Stop eCommerce Fraud

Social media data is rapidly becoming a more useful tool for ecommerce fraud prevention around the globe. The most technologically advanced fraud prevention solutions use machine learning  in combination with social media data to determine if a transaction is fraudulent.

For example, an automated solution might see what social media networks a person is connected to and/or how many connections they have to help determine fraud risk. However, most of these machine learning fraud solutions are far from being mature. For most merchants, the best use of social media data is still for manual review by fraud analysts.

North American fraud analysts often approve a transaction by verifying the purchaser’s identity using multiple points of personal information – including social media accounts. Fraud analysts everywhere use people search engine tools like PIPL Pro to confirm an identity by reverse-searching the email address and/or phone number associated with an online order. What differs in the U.S. and Canada is that fraud analysts will also check to see if the person and email address being searched are connected to social media accounts on networks like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Using PIPL’s search engine, fraud analysts can click on the social media account links to check out the customer’s actual social media account and whatever public-facing postings they’ve made. It only takes a few seconds to see if the person is connected to social media accounts and, if so, if the accounts have long been in use and have human generated or bot-like postings.

Travel False Positives

Beyond general identity verification, there are specific instances when social data will be the most effective type of information for deciding whether to approve or deny a transaction.

One of the first uses of social media accounts for fraud analysts was to reduce customer insults during trips for business and vacations. It used to be that the credit card owners would have to notify their credit card company ahead of any overseas trip or seriously risk having all their transactions in Paris or Rome flagged and blocked for fraud. Those days are largely over thanks in part to people’s habit of publicly announcing their trips on social media. Now fraud analysts can often determine if an overseas or out-of-area charges are due to a client visiting somewhere unusual or whether they are still at home and their card has been stolen.

 

Friendly Fraud

False fraud claims perpetrated by actual customers or those close to them (AKA “friendly fraud”) can be very hard to catch. However, one way to detect if the goods you shipped actually reached their intended destination is through social media.

Using PIPL Pro, you can go to the social media profile of the person listed on the order and, if they are connected on social media, jump to the social media profiles of their significant other and/or close family members. If the customer, their child or their significant other really were behind the purchase – one they decided was important enough to break some laws – there’s a good chance they will be showing off their new purchase on one of their social media accounts.

 

Uncovering shoplifting and complex fraud rings

Social media is even more useful for loss prevention and fraud investigations than simple yes/no answers on ecommerce transactions. Organized crime groups have targeted brick-and-mortar retail establishments with shoplifting teams for years. Often it will be the job of one gang member to distract shop staff while at least one other gang member starts pocketing goods. The prevalence of omnichannel retail has taken organized crime group tactics to new levels. Now, there are cases where a team member orders goods online for in-store pickup using a fraudulent credit card while another team member is waiting in-store to pick up the goods as the order goes through before there is enough time to review the purchase.

Even when loss prevention personnel and local police identify one of the fraud perpetrators, finding the other group members and taking them off the street can be quite difficult. However, the moment you have identified one crime group member finding the others can be as simple as spending a few hours studying their social media connections, store footage and other details to which you already have access.

Crime groups, like everybody else in the 21st century, are increasingly organized online as well as in the real world.  Moreover, despite what you hear in the news about the “dark web” and mysterious criminal hackers, much criminal activity is coordinated via social media networks open to one and all. Finding an entire shoplifting street crew can be a simple as taking a look at a confirmed criminal’s social media profiles and looking for which friends or connections post frequently on their profile, what online groups they belong to and searching with a hawk’s eye for any posts using criminal code or slang. Actual cases have been cracked this way.

 

Don’t Underestimate Social Media

Social media networks have rapidly expanded over much of the globe over the past decade. Most social media users no longer reside in the U.S. and the user base is no longer restricted to developed countries. There are plenty of social media networks that are popular in Eastern Europe, Brazil, India and elsewhere and which have accounts tied to a person’s real-world identity via PIPL’s search engine.

North American merchants and fraud prevention solution vendors have been using social media data in some form or another to prevent ecommerce fraud since at least the start of this decade. However, most fraud analysts in European and fast-growing ecommerce markets (such as India) have yet to take advantage of social data for fraud prevention even while they use these social networks in their personal and business lives. Try to be ahead of the curve, not behind it.

Original blog post written by former Pipl Technology Evangelist Ronen Shnidman. Ronen is now Managing Editor @ about-fraud.com

The post How to Use Social Data to Stop eCommerce Fraud appeared first on Pipl.

Party City to Pay $39,000 To Settle EEOC Pregnancy and Disability Discrimination Suit

Party Supplier Fired Employee Due to Pregnancy and Pregnancy-Related Condition, Federal Agency Charged

HOUSTON – Party City Corporation has agreed to pay $39,000 in lost wages and damages and to provide other significant relief in order to settle a pregnancy and disability lawsuit filed earlier this year by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity
Commission (EEOC), the federal agency announced today. Party City a party supply retailer based in Rockaway, N.J., and operates in the greater Houston area.

According to the EEOC’s lawsuit, Party City fired Jahneiss Groce because of her pregnancy and pregnancy-related medical condition. The suit alleged that in December 2015, Groce sought medical care due to a pregnancy-related condition and sought a
reasonable accommodation. The local store management conveyed the request to Party City’s human resources department. After obtaining additional medical information, Party City denied Groce’s request and terminated her employment on Feb. 1, 2016.
The EEOC determined that Groce was discharged on the basis of pregnancy and disability, less than one year after being hired.

The EEOC charged that Party City’s conduct violated both the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The EEOC filed suit (Civil Action No. 4:19-cv-00824) in
U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas, Houston Division, after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process. Party City denied liability. The parties agreed to resolve the dispute by
entering into a three-year consent decree.

On July 12, 2019, U.S. District Judge Ewing Werlein, Jr. signed and entered the decree. In addition to the monetary award for Groce, the decree provides for significant non-monetary relief, including an injunction prohibiting any future
discrimination on the basis of pregnancy or disability. Party City is also bound under the decree to develop training about its policies and the PDA’s and ADA’s requirements.

“The law requires companies to gather all relevant facts necessary to conduct an individualized assessment of a disabled employee’s ability to perform the essential functions of her job,” said Regional Attorney Rudy Sustaita of the EEOC Houston
District Office. “The EEOC will vindicate the rights of pregnant employees who are discriminated against.”

Lloyd Van Oostenrijk, trial attorney for the Houston District Office, added, “This settlement is the best avenue to address the concerns raised by the EEOC and Ms. Groce’s complaint.”

The EEOC advances opportunity in the workplace by enforcing federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. More information is available at www.eeoc.gov. Stay connected with the latest EEOC news by
subscribing to our email updates.

Is That Amazon Seller Legitimate?

Author: PeopleFinders on July 12th, 2019

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Amazon is the number 1 online marketplace for a reason. For shoppers, the site makes it easy to get your necessities alongside novelties and treats, all conveniently delivered right to your door. For sellers, Amazon is a successful existing e-commerce site, so they merely list items to start turning a profit.

On both sides, Amazon is a valuable tool.

However, although Amazon does its best to vet sellers, that doesn’t mean scams are completely nonexistent. Because so much of Amazon’s stock is sold by third-party companies, it’s incredibly important that you make sure you can trust the sellers behind your items of interest. Make sure you take these things into account as you peruse Amazon listings.

What things should you keep in mind to verify if an Amazon seller is legitimate?

  1. The number and types of products they sell
  2. The quality of product images
  3. Amazon user reviews

The Number of Products

Most genuine third-party stores on Amazon only offer a select grouping of products. Amazon itself, of course, provides a huge variety, and physical retailers that you visit in person will provide hundreds or even thousands of products. However, Amazon third-party sellers are usually small or mid-size businesses that don’t bring in enough revenue to have their own e-commerce sites, and they usually specialize in a specific type of product.

One of the biggest red flags is if a company has literally thousands of products listed, especially if those products all have keyword-heavy titles, no reviews, and generic thumbnails. Check how new the seller is. See where the products are shipping from. Scammers sometimes pump out product listings in bulk in an attempt to get a massive amount of orders fast on items it’ll never deliver.

The Product Images

When you submit a product to Amazon for sale, you need at least one image. Most genuine sellers have multiple images. If you’re interested in buying a product, pay close attention to all these images. Scam products will still have pictures–and they may look genuine–but those images were likely pilfered from elsewhere.

If the company has a number of pictures for a single product that all look different or have different styles, reverse search a few images. You may find that it’s a picture stolen from another retailer’s listing.

The Reviews

Most people use reviews to an extent to decide whether they want to buy a product. Having other people tell you about the flaws in a product can make it easier to decide against buying it and experiencing those flaws for yourself, and the same holds true for positive reviews. However, the star rating of the reviews isn’t the only thing to look at.

Review faking is a problem on Amazon’s platform. And although the company does its best to take down false reviews as soon as possible, it still happens. Even if you see a product with hundreds of positive reviews, make sure you read those reviews in detail. If they’re all written in some type of pseudo-English, or they all came in within a two-day span, then it’s a good idea to be wary.

On the other hand, if the review comes from a verified Amazon buyer, you can feel more confident in its legitimacy.

Should I Rely upon Amazon’s Policy Guidelines?

Amazon has policy guidelines in place to fend off scammers as much as possible, but it still happens. Rather than relying upon Amazon, you should instead take things into your own hands. Use a site like PeopleFinders to make researching companies easier.

When you first find a new company on Amazon that’s unknown to you, search online to find more information about it. Try to find a phone number, CEO name, or address that the company has claimed.

Then, you can use PeopleFinders to try and see if it actually does own that information. Perform a people search on the CEO or company board members. Plug any phone numbers you find into the reverse phone lookup. Check the headquarters using the address lookup. Starting with those small pieces of information, PeopleFinders may be able to help you turn them into usable knowledge for your next Amazon purchase.

Conclusion

Millions of people use Amazon without running into any problems. Even products that don’t work very well can sometimes just be the product of lazy manufacturing rather than an intentional scam.

However, if you do run into a scammer, it can be difficult to get your money back. It also sets you back because you don’t have the item you ordered in the first place. Don’t blindly trust Amazon to control these factors. Take matters into your own hands, and use PeopleFinders to check out these companies on your own.

Image attribution: William W. Potter – stock.adobe.com

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Categorized in: News

North Liberty Police Department to Pay $12,000 to Resolve EEOC Discrimination Finding

Officer Was Subjected to Sexual Harassment, Retaliation and Finally Constructive Discharge, Federal Agency Charged

INDIANAPOLIS – The North Liberty, Ind., Police Department will pay $12,000 and make significant revisions to its anti-harassment policy and procedures to resolve a sexual harassment and retaliation discrimination charge by the U.S. Equal
Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the federal agency announced today.

The EEOC’s investigation found reasonable cause to believe that the North Liberty Police Department subjected a police officer to a hostile work environment due to pervasive sexual harassment and that the officer was disciplined and forced to
resign in retaliation for making protected complaints about the sexual harassment.

Such alleged conduct violates the Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which protects people against sexual harassment. Title VII also protects employees from retaliation and reprisal from their employer if they make a sexual harassment
complaint.

The conciliation agreement settling the discrimination charge provides $12,000 in monetary relief to the employee. The agreement establishes that the police department will revise its written policies and procedures prohibiting harassment on the
basis of sex, as well as prohibiting retaliation for complaining about, reporting or otherwise opposing such harassment. The revised policies and procedures will be published in the employee handbook and will be given to all employees upon hire. The
company will also provide all employees, including management, compliance training on sex discrimination and sexual harassment; workplace civility training; and bystander training on sex discrimination and sexual harassment.

“Sexual harassment continues to be an issue in the workforce, and around 70% of employees fail to complain about it due to fears, including fears of retaliation,” said EEOC Indianapolis District Director Michelle Eisele. “Employers that review,
update, and revise existing policies help their employees bring harassment issues to light so they can be resolved in the appropriate manner.”

The EEOC advances opportunity in the workplace by enforcing federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. More information is available at www.eeoc.gov. Stay connected with the latest EEOC news by
subscribing to our email updates.