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Don’t Get Scammed: Make Sure Your Donations Go Where They Can Actually Help

Don’t Get Scammed: Make Sure Your Donations Go Where They Can Actually Help

When someone is in trouble, there are always people out there who are willing to offer their assistance. It is one of the great things about people. It is truly amazing to watch people come together to support and aid those in need.

Recent events have shook the nation, and these tragic events have brought kind and caring people out from around the country. All of these great people just want to help those affected by recent tragedies. Unfortunately, while most people want to help, there are a select few out there looking to take advantage of the situation.

Scams Taking Advantage of Compassion

Scammers exists in all sorts of capacities, and most of them are heinous. However, this kind of scam truly takes the cake. This latest scam sweeping the nation comes in a few different forms, but they all boil down to the scammer asking their intended victim to donate money to victims of one of the recent tragedies.

If a person has recently seen an ad on social media or received an email or text asking to donate money to the recent tragedies, don’t answer right away. There is a chance that might be a scammer trying to take advantage of people’s kindness and compassion.

Some red flags to look out for are when the donation groups start contacting a person. Most donations and GoFundMe’s don’t go looking for donators, so chances are they aren’t paying for ad space on Facebook or sending out messages to random individuals. Most legit businesses recognize that doing so is a surefire way to get marked as a scam. Yet, scammers do this regardless because they know some people out there won’t question anything, and just want to help out people in need.

How to Avoid This Scam

The best way to avoid scams like these is for a person to do their research. This means not giving money to the first link or GoFundMe that they see. Anyone can create these kinds of links and donation setups. In order to avoid getting scammed, a person needs to do their research and make sure that the donations will actually get to the intended person. This goes for all donations, not just ones setup for the recent tragedies.

Some sites, like GoFundMe, guarantee that any money donated will get to the intended person, one way or another. This helps make GoFundMe one of the safer donation sites to use.

How to Identify Scams

There are all kinds of scams that con-artists can pull in order to take a person’s hard earned money. The best way to avoid any scam is to learn to look for specific signs because even though scams may vary, they often follow the same few tricks. Some things to look out for include:

  • Check sender email address. Scammers often use very random email address that they have disguised to look like something else. Examining the email address of the sender of the message can quickly reveal if something is a scam or not.
  • Don’t be rushed. Rushing through something leads to a person making mistakes, which is why scammers love to rush their victims. Never be rushed into doing something, especially giving money to someone.
  • Don’t be urged into secrecy.Scammers are aware of how sketchy their scams can sound, which is why they don’t like their victims telling anyone else about their situation. Doing so could easily reveal the scenario for the scam it is.
  • Don’t click links in emails. Never click links in emails unless absolutely certain of who the sender of the message is. If a person needs to visit a website from an email, go to the site directly through their internet browser to guarantee they make it to the right site and not a scam site.
  • Don’t give out personal info. Never give out personal information unless they are 100% certain of who they are giving it to.
  • Don’t wire transfer money.Wired money cannot be traced or returned to the victim, which is why scammers love to use this method of money transfer.
  • Too good to be true.When things seem too good to be true, it is usually because they are.

Don’t Stop Donating

Wanting to help people in need is a very good thing. There are people out there who are in desperate need of help. Any little bit can help them. Often times, just knowing that people are out there, routing for them, can help people find the strength to go on.

Unfortunately there are horrible people out there looking to take advantage of people’s compassion. If a person wants to avoid getting conned, they need to do their research before donating any money. They want to be absolutely sure that the money they are giving away is going to the cause they wish to support and not some con-artist’s pocket.

Vaping on the Rise in Schools

Vaping on the Rise in Schools

Vaping on the Rise in Schools

Here in the US, recent studies and surveys have found that smoking amongst teens is actually on the decline. Less and less teens are smoking cigarettes, and that’s great. Unfortunately, that is not the only trend that recent studies have found. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), over 2 million middle and high school students are vaping regularly.

In 2018, the CDC found that 4.9% percent of middle schoolers reported using e-cigs, and 20.8% of high schoolers reported using them as well. This adds up to a lot of students, which means e-cigs are a very big problem amongst minors, but why is that?

How E-Cigs Are Marketed

Many adults and researchers are noticing a shocking trend of how e-cigs are marketed. Their ads most often depict young, “cool” looking people. In addition, the flavors of these devices often seem to be chosen with minors in mind with flavors such as cotton candy and berry punch. Tobacco companies do this because minors, anyone under the age of 25, become more easily addicted to nicotine, and so this age group has been the target audience of tobacco companies for years.

Now, with e-cigs under attack, tobacco companies and smokers alike are rushing to defend the product. Their biggest claim, is that e-cigs are safer than traditional tobacco products. The shocking fact, this is true. With proper guidance from a medical professional, a smoker can use e-cigs to be safer when smoking, and can even use the products to wean themselves off of nicotine altogether.

However, this logic does not apply to minors.

The Dangers of Vaping as a Minor

Minors have less self-control and are more likely to become addicted to nicotine than adults. E-cigs play off that with the hopes of getting younger generations addicted to tobacco to ensure the industry’s survival for a few more years. By becoming addicted to nicotine, teens are more likely to use traditional cigarettes.

Aside from just supplying minors with nicotine, some e-cigs and other vape products can contain marijuana as well.

On top of the obvious side effects that come with using nicotine and marijuana products, there are the unknown side effects of e-cigs. The fact of the matter is that e-cigs are a new type of technology, with many still be studied. Early studies have found that e-cigs can expose a person’s lungs to harmful chemicals, whether they are in the liquids being vaporized or coming from the device itself. These many chemicals have been known to cause cancer. Plus there is the fact that some e-cigs have been known to explode while in use, which is horrible for the person using the device.

Talk to Your Kids

When it comes to talking to kids about e-cigs, the first thing a parent needs to do is educate themselves first. After all, how can a person hope to convince someone to lean one way or another without first having all of the facts? After that, a parent should always be a role model. If they don’t want their child to do something, then they shouldn’t’ do it themselves.

When actually talking to their child, a parent should remain calm and avoid getting angry. If a parent screams and shouts at their child, then the child is less likely to talk to them about anything, especially behavior that they think will get them yelled at. When talking, really listen to the child. When it comes to e-cig use, they may not have all of their facts straight. Some studies have found that many kids believe that some e-cig products, like Juul, are nicotine free when in reality they are not. Sometimes listening to them, and giving them the facts, is all the child needs to change their mind.

After that, help the child learn to recognize and face peer pressure without giving in. Help them come up with good reason to explain why they don’t want to use e-cigs.

While some kids may fight or resist at first, it is important for the parents to talk to their children about this kind of thing. Simply by learning that their parents have a strong negative feeling toward something can convince a kid to stop in time.

School Zone Ahead: Keep an Eye out for Kids

School Zone Ahead: Keep an Eye out for Kids

School Zone Ahead: Keep an Eye out for Kids

Summer is coming to a close, much to the chagrin of children everywhere. The end of summer means it is time to head back to school for another year. While kids are frustrated by the loss of their freedom, their parents are usually rejoicing. They are no longer in charge of keeping their children safe and entertained. However, back to school does come with a view headaches for parents as well as kids.

Arguably one of the worst parts for parents when it comes to school, is dealing with the traffic. Every day, hundreds of parents are all trying to drop off and pick up their students at the same times every day. This creates a lot of congestion around the school, which creates several headaches for parents.

Tips for Driving through School Zones

Driving through school zones is never a lot of fun for anyone, and aside from just being headache inducing, it can also pose some dangers for the students as well. The last thing anyone wants is for a student, a child, to get hurt on their way to school. That is why everyone driving through a school zone needs to drive carefully, regardless if they are dropping off a student.

In order to ensure that everyone stays safe this school year, here are a few tips for drivers passing through school zones.

  • Nevertext and drive. Texting while driving is very distracting, and several studies have shown that distracted driving is actually more dangerous than drunk driving. This kind of driving should never be done, especially in a school zone.
  • Be aware of hotspots. School traffic doesn’t always stick to just school zones. Many students may walk to school and cross roads at certain areas. Recognize these areas and learn to always expect kids there every school day.
  • Yield for school buses. If a school bus is flashing red lights and displaying a stop sign, all traffic has to stop, including traffic traveling in the opposite direction. The only time traffic doesn’t have to stop if it is on the opposite side of a divided roadway. Failing to stop can earn a driver a $1,000 fine.
  • Expect the unexpected. Kids aren’t always predictable, and don’t always act safely. Drivers should always be on the lookout for kids crossing the street, especially in school zones and around known hotspots.
  • Give yourself extra time. There will always be traffic in and around school early in the morning and afternoon. This is unavoidable. Anyone planning on traveling through those areas should give themselves extra time to get through those areas.

As far as keeping kids safe around school traffic, parents should teach their kids the following:

  • Crosswalksafety. Teach kids to only cross streets at designated crosswalks. This prevents them from crossing where other drivers would not expect to see pedestrians.
  • Wear bike safety equipment. If kids are biking to and from school, they should wear safety equipment. This will keep them safe and protected while biking.
  • Practice school bus safety. Teach children not to run out in front of school buses. Even though traffic should stop when children are boarding, not every drivers does. If a child runs out in front of a stopped school bus, they could get hit by a car.
  • Avoid blind spots. Teach kids to avoid walking in areas with low visibility, as drivers will be more likely to hit them.

Drive Safely Near Schools

As the end of summer draws nearer, everyone is prepping for the start of a new school years. Students are dreading the loss of their freedom, while parents are mentally preparing to face the school traffic once again. Even drivers without students may end up facing the traffic brought on by the new school year.

When driving through school zones, or other known hotspots, drivers need to keep an eye out for kids who may be crossing the street. After all, no one wants to get into an accident, especially one with kids. Luckily, as long as driver remains alert and cautious, there shouldn’t be any problems.

Are you looking forward to the new school year for your kids, or are you dreading the upcoming surge in traffic? Let us know in the comments down below.

Can Plastic Water Bottles Left in Hot Cars be Dangerous?

Can Plastic Water Bottles Left in Hot Cars be Dangerous?

Can Plastic Water Bottles Left in Hot Cars be Dangerous?

Summer is in full swing and people are doing everything in their power to beat the heat and stay safe. After all, no one wants to suffer from heat related illnesses such as heat exhaustion and heat stroke. One of the best ways to avoid both of those conditions is for a person to remain hydrated throughout the day.

This is why thousands of people travel with a water bottle in their car. This ensures they have water with them whenever they may begin to feel a bit parched. While some people prefer reusable water bottles, some people would rather buy plastic water bottles. Unfortunately, many people are not aware of the dangers that can come with leaving plastic water bottles in the car on a hot day, and it isn’t for the reason one might suspect.

Are Heated Plastic Water Bottles Toxic?

For several years now, people have worried about the health safety of plastic water bottles. In 2007, emails began circulating through people’s inboxes with the claims that leaving water bottles in hot cars would create a chemical reaction within the plastic. This reaction would supposedly cause the plastic to release chemical compounds, BPA and DEHA, into the water.

Neither of those chemicals are very good for human consumption.

Naturally, these emails caused quite a stir and some panic as well. Even though these myths were later debunked by studies performed by the American Cancer Society and the International Bottled Water Association, many people still believe those emails.

There are now questions of whether or not heating plastic water bottles causes them to release phthalates into the water, which would cause other serious health problems for anyone who drank the water. However, there has yet to be any definitive answer in regards to that particular question.

While these chemicals could pose a serious health hazard if leeched into the water, they are not the reason that plastic water bottles should not be left in hot cars.

Can Water Bottles Start Fires?

The reason plastic water bottles shouldn’t be left in cars is far fierier than that. The irony is that plastic water bottles can actually lead to car fires. As impossible as that may seem, it is very true, and a real problem. That is why fire departments all over the country are warning people about the dangers of leaving a plastic water bottle in a hot car.

The problem is that the clear plastic and water work together to create a makeshift magnifying glass. Anyone who ever burned ants as a kid knows how dangerous a magnifying glass can be. If direct sunlight falls onto a plastic water bottle, it can concentrate the sun’s rays on a set point in a car, and, with enough time, cause that point to ignite.

If left unchecked, that fire can quickly and easily consume the entire vehicle.

This means that a person should never leave a plastic water bottle anywhere in a car where it will be exposed to direct sunlight. Doing so could have disastrous results. Better to take the bottle with you, or at the very least, tuck into a secure and covered place where the sun will never find it.

Stay Hydrated This Summer

When the weather heats up like it does every summer, it is important for everyone to remain hydrated. One of the best ways to do that is for a person to keep some water with them at all times. Water bottles are a great way to do that. However, plastic water bottles can, surprisingly, pose a fire hazard.

Why not avoid that potential fire hazard and purchase a reusable water bottle. After all, there are plenty of water bottles out there, and they are better for the environment. Plus, some reusable water bottles are designed to keep water cooler longer, and they really work!

Are you staying hydrated this summer? Tell us how you keep yourself cool and hydrated while you travel this summer. You never know, you might inspire someone to do the same!