Project Jason Press Release
North Carolina — July 11, 2011 — Author Carole Moore, whose most recent book is “The Last Place You’d Look: True Stories of Missing Persons and the People Who Search for Them,” wishes to acknowledge the expert assistance provided by Kelly Jolkowski, president of Project Jason. Jolkowski, whose nonprofit organization assists families of missing persons, offered information, resources, and recommended contacts from families of missing persons and from reputable organizations that assist them.
"Kelly Jolkowski and Project Jason played a pivotal role in putting together ‘The Last Place You’d Look,’" said Moore. "Not only did Kelly put me in contact with dozens of families, but she also gave me invaluable guidance in finding organizations and individuals to interview about this important subject."
Jolkowski, too, has a missing family member. Her adult son, Jason, disappeared from driveway of their family home in 2001. The Jolkowski did not know where to turn for assistance with a missing adult and in 2003, decided to create an organization that would help families regardless of the missing loved one was an adult or a child.
For “The Last Place You’d Look,” Moore interviewed the families of dozens of missing persons across the county and around the world. According to the National Crime Information Center (NCIC), there are about 100,000 active, open and unresolved missing persons cases that sit on the books in the U.S. each day.
Read more here: #mce_temp_url#
DNA and Child Trafficking
Last week I wrote a story for The Crime Report, a fine online publication of the John Jay Center on Crime, Media and Justice in New York. The story, which you can find here:
centers around the University of Grenada’s (Spain) joint initiative with the University of North Texas Center for Human Identification, DNA-Prokids. The nonprofit (and brainchild of Dr. Jose Lorente) has already compiled a successful record of bringing back home abducted children. These youngters are stolen for many reasons: adoptive purposes, to be indentured as servants or sex slaves, impressed as soldiers and even used to harvest their organs for sale.
Please read about the efforts of the fine people at DNA-Prokid and the job they’re doing.
Florida police find skull in evidence room
And now this word from our sponsor
I’m in the middle of proofing my new book, The Last Place You’d Look: True Stories of MIssing Persons and the People Who Search for Them. It will be published in the spring (no exact date yet, but April or May) of 2011.
This book is a labor of love for me. It tells many personal true stories about families who are looking for their loved ones, the searchers (civilian and law enforcement), agencies, nonprofits and many other aspects of missing persons. I think it’s an important book about a very important and often neglected subject.
Over the next few months, I will share some of the stories and tidbits I collected when writing this book. Until then, stay safe out there!
Why you’re paying more for that sweater
(Note: I found this posted on some place called “Gather.” A woman named “Lynda F” claims to have written it. She’s a liar. This is my work. If you’re a writer, check Gather and see if you are being ripped off, too.)
Shoplifting’s often the culprit behind pricier retail goods. Merchants lose billions each year through theft and pass the costs on to the consumer. Stores use a combination of systems to detect theft, but they don’t always work
Retailers employ security personnel, closed-circuit cameras, anchor merchandise in place and tag items so they set off an alarm if not deactivated. The tagging system, or EAS (electronic article surveillance), can be embedded nearly anywhere, which is good since thieves are inventive when it comes to hiding contraband. They often use undergarments made especially for concealing stolen goods or place items inside shopping bags, clothing or even baby strollers.
It’s not unlikely you’ll spy someone shoplift during the Christmas season.
Think you’ve seen a watch palmed or a nightgown placed in someone’s purse? Get involved — but do it safely and keep your hands to yourself.
* Take a good look so you can describe the perpetrator, but don’t be obvious.
* If the shoplifter’s left the store and you can safely obtain a vehicle description or registration, you’re encouraged to do so. But take no chances.
* Never confront the person or try to stop him.
* And, finally, locate a store employee and advise him of your suspicions. Let the professionals handle it.
Many shoplifters work in organized gangs or teams. Often one will gather items together and deposit them in another place either in the store or dressing room, so her partner can conceal them. If you see someone carrying things from one spot to another and then putting them down, you could be watching a shoplifter at work.
Staying in a hotel? Stay safe
Travelers present an especially attractive opportunity for criminals because they’re in less-than-familiar territory and carry money. One of the best places for thieves to target travelers is at their hotel. You can reduce your chances of becoming a bull’s eye for criminals if you pay attention to details, trust no one and remember a few simple rules:
- Crowded lobby? Keep an eye on your bags. This is a prime place for thieves to lift luggage.
- Room on the ground floor? Tell the desk clerk, “No thanks.” You should also nix one that can be accessed by an outdoor staircase. Instead, try to stay on higher floors in hotels with interior hallways and reduce the opportunity for burglaries.
- Your phone rings and it’s the front desk. The credit card information they took from you when you checked in was accidentally deleted from the hotel computer. They apologize for the inconvenience, but would you mind giving them that information again? If you’re smart, you won’t. It’s likely a ploy to get your credit card information.
- You’re in your room and someone knocks on the door. Don’t open it. Instead, ask who it is. If the person isn’t known to you, keep it locked. What if he says he’s hotel security or there to fix your plumbing? Call the front desk and check him out first.
- Call the hotel on an outside line and ask what room you are in. They should connect you without telling the caller your room number.
Police know you reduce your chances of becoming a victim by eliminating opportunities that make you a sitting duck.
As if phishing scams aren’t worrisome enough, there’s another new twist to keep you awake at night: pharming.
Pharming’s a bit like phishing, but harder to detect. Phishing is when someone sends you an email claiming to be from eBay, Paypal or a bank or another company with which you do business. The emails includes a clickable link that takes you to a Web site designed to look like it belongs to the business. Once there, you’re urged to provide information ranging from account and social security numbers to passwords.
To avoid falling victim to a phishing scam, all you have to do is avoid clicking on the hot link and filling out the requested information. Pharming is different in that it actually implants software into the recipient’s computer itself or corrupts servers directing Internet traffic so that legitimate traffic is sent to fake addresses.
Pharming works because it replaces the numerical address of the site you are trying to reach with a fake one that takes you to another site mirroring the authentic one.
How can you tell if you are on a real site? Try this:
· Make sure the site displays a padlock symbol.
· Click on the lock symbol.
· Check the address displayed. Is it the one you are trying to reach?
· Don’t neglect to check the portion that starts with: http. In this case, it should start as “https.”
The simple act of keeping your antivirus program and firewall up-to-date can go a long way toward preventing pharming.
Cell phone hacking
If you have your cell phone password turned off, you may find that you and Paris Hilton have something in common – you’re both sitting ducks for hackers.
As the hotel heiress discovered, a cell phone can store valuable and confidential information. Unfortunately, cell phones share vulnerabilities with computers in that hackers can bypass some of the phone’s security measures. How is it done? Most hacking takes some cooperation from you – the victim.
Cell phone security is based on a password system. The password – usually four letters or numbers – has to be typed into the cell phone before the user can enter the system, make a call, access the address book or any of the other data stored on the phone. But many companies allow customers to “bypass” the password feature and skip the authentication step. In theory, the cell phone company can use caller ID to determine that the person checking your voicemail and other messages is the user – because the call is coming directly from the phone.
But it doesn’t always work that way. Hackers have learned to spoof the caller ID feature, making the phone company and the phone itself believe that it is being legitimately tapped for information. Obviously, as has happened in the Hilton case, someone with access to the private information of others can do lots of damage.
The solution? Although cell phone technology will undoubtedly devise ways to lock information safely into a phone, law enforcement officers know that the old saying “where there’s a will, there’s a way” is never more true than when applied to the criminal element. In the meantime, use your password feature to access your telephone’s database and thwart would-be hackers