PHONE SCAM ALERT: Warrant Hoax

phone-scam

As we come to the end of 2016, I wanted to address how a phone scammer tried to dupe a friend of mine (whose name I won’t disclose for privacy and safety reasons). Fortunately she’s tech savvy, checking with legitimate resources before handing over any money, and took an extra step by sharing her experience on Facebook.

I also wanted to expose these unscrupulous thieves attempting to cheat innocent people out of hard-gotten money before someone less sophisticated falls for this ruse.

This particular scammer, “Vicky/Nicky,” called my friend’s mother – a 78-year-old woman with health issues – upsetting the woman over her daughter (my friend). “Vicky/Nicky” told my friend’s mother there were warrants out for her arrest on felony charges for fraud, causing the mother to go into panic mode (as most mothers would). Neither she nor my friend were aware of this scam, but my friend knew she had no warrants out for anything, let alone wire fraud.

My friend stepped away from her busy job to call the number passed on by her mother. She was immediately connected to “Vicky/Nicky,” who proceeded to tell my friend about the “felony charges” and there would be a meeting with prosecuting attorneys the following day. My friend would be formally arrested soon afterward… unless a specific amount of money was wired.

Fortunately my friend had enough “spidey sense” to check out everything she was told, including contacting several attorneys until one informed her of the scam during a free phone consultation.

TRUTH: If you have an actual warrant, at least two things happen: every city and county mails a letter or an official appears at your front door with verifiable identification and said warrant. No legitimate agency will ever call you on the phone (or send an email) demanding money to make charges go away. That’s not how things work, no matter what these scam artists say.

“Vicky/Nicky” apparently didn’t let up despite my friend being on to the hoax. She had the nerve to call my friend again today little before noon. “Vicky/Nicky” stated she hadn’t received a “court release number” so my friend should be prepared for an arrest and added “Lock up firearms and kennel large dogs.” My friend finally let “Vicky/Nicky” have it in a not-so-nice fashion that there were no warrants in her name for felony charges, and then filed a report with the Federal Trade Commission.

My friend wasn’t alone in being almost duped by “Vicky/Nicky” and people using other names; I did a little research of my own and found a list of others receiving identical calls. I also ran the phone number on Spy Dialer (a free phone lookup service I’ve used several times in the past) and received the following information:

spydialerinfo

Long story short, if someone calls you from 844-201-0035 and says there is a warrant out for your arrest on felony charges, don’t fall for it! Hang up immediately and file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission. Contacting the news media won’t hurt either, and my readers are welcome to share this blog post as part of spreading the word.

Another thing that may help: if a number on your Caller ID is unfamiliar, don’t answer the phone. A legitimate call will likely leave a voicemail; if one isn’t received or you get a recorded message, chances are good you dodged a costly bullet.

Have a happy and safe 2017, my friends and readers. May the New Year bring you prosperity, joy, and not being a victim of scam artists.

Why I Write Wrestling

That Wrestling Show

For all purposes this is the first time that I’m sitting down outside of a blog show and outside of the other outlets to tell you something about me.

The wrestling romance girl.

Yes I have actually been called this a time or two.

What I want to do on my section of this great blog is tell my story to you so that you can understand me a little bit. I’m sure that there is hundred of wrestling writers that opens the door for their readers to know the truth behind the keyboard. That will not stop me from joining the masses in doing this.

I got into wrestling when I was very small when I was in hospital with a friend as this was a regular thing for me by this point. I was about three years old. I was good friends with a boy who was younger than…

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The Latest: ‘On Ice’ To Be Released Fall 2016, ‘Power Play’ Notes, Broadcast 65, and Other News

I haven’t done a blog post for a while and have a little spare time to update everyone on current projects.

On Ice Cover

Let’s begin with the current status of my upcoming novel, On Ice: Power Play Book 2. The book is in editing stages as of this blog post and I received word earlier today that Palm Tree Books is aiming for a Fall 2016 release, likely around start of the 2016-2017 NHL hockey season. As was done with Power Play  last year, a pre-sale event is set to take place prior to On Ice’s official release.

Power Play cover

Other wonderful things happened this past month. As most of you are aware, my current hockey novel Power Play, became my first #1 bestseller in sports fiction upon its October 2015 release and spent nearly two months at #1 on Amazon’s hockey/sports fiction charts. That’s the longest any book of mine remained at the top spot since I began writing sports-based fiction books in 2009.

Power Play received mixed reviews of sorts on Amazon, but consider such novels aren’t everyone’s icing, so to speak. I’m proud of the book’s success and other directions which it is headed, which brings me to my next bit of news.

Broadcast65

I recently had the honor of speaking with some well-connected people at Broadcast 65, a Pittsburgh-based elite media holding company that expressed interest in making Power Play into a film. Nothing is yet official, but I was offered a contract, sent a copy of Power Play to appropriate channels, and gave permission to make appropriate edits to ensure a quality big-screen endeavor. Stay tuned for additional updates as I receive them.

In the interim, I was impressed by Broadcast 65’s current projects and business model enough to become one of the company’s brand ambassadors. Former Trib Total Media sales director for CPU Mitch Belland of Green Bay, Wisconsin is charge of recruiting and hiring. Signing bonuses are being offered to new hires, so anyone searching for new opportunities may call (818) 650-1124 and leave a voice mail selling yourself in 60 seconds.

Broadcast 65 officially launched June 5. Not only have they secured financing for upcoming films The Penalty Box Occupant and DA COACH but also a local cable deal thanks to Aubrey Bruce. Special thanks also goes to Bob Kresson for helping get the aforementioned films in motion.

Visit their web site for the latest on more exciting things to come.

Alex from Worthy Book Club also contacted me about the possibility of Power Play being featured on their web site. Alex has followed my work for some time and we plan to speak further about the book and other opportunities.

On a final note, I am currently accepting bookings for summer and fall. Web and personal appearance requests may be made by contacting donovanrutherford74@gmail.com with “Book L. Anne Carrington” in the subject line.

Whether a reader or fellow author, I hope all of you are experiencing successes of your own. Here’s to a happy and productive upcoming summer for all!

#PerfectlyImperfect, NHL Eastern Conference Final, and Special Kindle Book Promotions

friday-13

Friday the 13th is usually associated with bad luck, but who says good things can’t happen on this particular day? I can name at least two! Let’s start with author Harper Sloan holding her second #PerfectlyImperfect Facebook event on Friday, May 13. In light of this past week’s Paul Blake drama, Harper aims to bring back the social media movement that it is okay to not be perfect and to turn what happened this week into something that can motivate others to love themselves.

Share a photo of yourselves with the #PerfectlyImperfect hashtag and a few words of something you love/learning to love about yourselves. Photos can be anything from casual shots sans makeup, messy hair, walking the dog, at the gym, whatever you like!

PerfectlyImperfectCover

Harper’s book Perfectly Imperfect is currently on sale for a perfectly low price of 99 cents.

Next on the agenda: Pittsburgh Penguins fans, unless you lived under a rock all week you’re already aware of our team advancing to the Eastern Conference Finals. Game 1 against Tampa Bay kicks off in Pittsburgh May 13 at 8:00 PM Eastern.

Power Play cover

You’re probably wondering what the aforementioned have to do with a book promotion. I’m happy to announce that my current novel, Power Play, will be on sale at 34 percent off the original Amazon list price May 13-15. For anyone who hasn’t gotten a copy, this weekend is the time to take advantage of a special opportunity.

Yes, Power Play is a hockey-themed novel, but also features a “perfectly imperfect” female main character who isn’t a tall, willowy size 2 yet achieves success in professional hockey – on an all-men’s team to boot!

Success and self-love shouldn’t be measured in dress size…but how we perceive and motivate ourselves. I hope you join others in celebrating the great people you are.

#BoycottPaulBlake: A Book Cover Male Model Bullies Authors On Social Media

boycott paul blake

Before delving into my latest blog post, I want to thank New York Times and USA Today best selling author Harper Sloan for bringing up an important topic yesterday on Facebook. Be warned some subsequent comments are a bit raw, but considering the subject at hand, it’s easy to understand why so many fellow authors are angry.

I normally don’t get involved in “controversial” subjects, so to speak, but this is something close to my heart. Not only did I attempt suicide a few times in my late teens through my mid-30’s and been treated for Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) since being diagnosed at age 21, but also battled with my weight long as I’ve existed on Earth.

I was on a good weight loss path until undergoing two total knee replacement surgeries in 2015, a complex and painful procedure from which one doesn’t recover overnight (it actually takes 12-18 months to completely heal). My physical activity level was compromised for periods of time as a result, I’d fallen back into old lifestyle habits, and gained back weight I’d worked to lose (and then some) prior to the surgeries. Now working with a health coach, I’ve resumed being active while aiming towards a size I’m happy with – not the unrealistic image society dictates.

Which brings me to a book cover model named Paul Blake. There are three people in life you never want to piss off: the one who prepare your food, work on your hair, and authors. Authors may come from different walks of life and write a variety of genres, but when someone hurts one, the offender better prepare to take on the rest of us.

Let me quote Mr. Blake’s eloquent first post on social telling an author to kill themselves:

“Lori Garside you should go eat your last Dairy Queen Blizzard and then hang yourself in the closet.”

paul blake post

Here is another example of Mr. Blake’s fine character:

paul blake post 2

Body shaming is bad enough, but it is not okay to tell someone to commit suicide. Many of us know at least one person who lost their life in such a fashion or are survivors of suicide themselves. I don’t know if this guy is on steroids or not – it isn’t my place to judge – but the irony of him body shaming women is he used to be overweight!

Unfortunately Paul Blake hasn’t stopped with hateful and nasty posts. A book cover model’s success is determined by authors, and incensing at least one author can potentially break that model’s career. In today’s modern technology and popularity of social media, word is much easier to spread, so let this be a warning to other book cover models.

Apparently Mr. Blake assumes all female authors are non-working women sitting at their computers eating ice cream all day. What he fails to realize is many of these women juggle writing careers, “regular” jobs, charity work, and families (while writing remains my primary vocation, I recently began a brand ambassador position with Broadcast65, which I’ll discuss in a future blog post). He’s also complained about people who post about body shaming, accusing them of “promoting obesity,” not to mention he’s a hypocrite in general.

Authors, ask yourselves: Do you want the image of such a person emblazoned on covers of your books? I think not, which is why I’m spreading the word to boycott him. Other people lost jobs for posting less harmful things on social media, so why should he get away with it? Here are his accounts I managed to find:

Paul Blake Facebook
Paul Blake Instagram (the coward has since made it private)

You can also read additional details about his actions on CreativeWriter.com.

Authors and readers, #BoycottPaulBlake and let it be known appalling behavior of his and others will not be tolerated in silence by the author community.