Sunday, April 22, 2012

Inside Job in Western Union: Are They Really as Secure as They Say They Are?

Here is real life situation but I did not name names to protect the identities of parties concerned - a certain sender sends money via a remittance facility (Western Union). The intended recipient visits one of the Western Union branches to collect the money but is surprised by the news that the money has already been collected four days ago. Since the intended recipient did not collect the money four days ago, the only possible explanations are either somebody intercepted the important details which is not possible because the sender and the recipient has been doing this for more than two years every month and the process of sending info are really secure, or somebody inside Western Union had access to the information like the MTCN and the amount expected - who else could have known that in this particular case.

In this Western Union case I am talking about, I have so much reason to believe that it was an inside job  in Western Union because when I saw the transaction slip used for the erroneous withdrawal, the amount written on the amount expected field had already deductions for the documentary stamp tax. And who else would have known the deducted amount but a Western Union agent, not the recipient. As a person who has transacted with Western Union many times, what I understand is that when making a withdrawal, the MTCN has to be 100% correct and the amount expected must also be 100% correct, down to the last centavo (aside of course from the proper IDs presented). If these two information are not accurate then the transaction must be suspected as fraudulent, based on my own opinion.

But why does Western Union not act upon disputes by recipients? They refer to the legal term "privity of contract" which means that only parties to contracts (in this case, the sender and Western Union only) should be able to sue to enforce their rights or claim damages. The implication of this is that the true, intended recipient,who may not have any Treasury Management training even if Western Union commits the mistake of allowing a withdrawal made by a wrong recipient (usually fraudulent), cannot take any legal action against Western Union since their accountability is primarily to the sender.

I personally think that this can add security for the sender but is very inconvenient and unfair to a recipient. Western Union must be held accountable for their negligence especially when there is much reason to believe that fraudulent or erroneous transactions are made by dishonest insiders. This can lead to a pattern or even become a "modus operandi" by Western Union employees, agents or insiders. Just my two cents.

Trying to Get Back to Running

Tomorrow I am getting back into running. It has been months since I last ran and I have felt my fitness level drop. I am not as agile as I want to be but am thankful that I am still able to do more strenuous activities.

I have thought about reading about lipofuze reviews but decided on just sticking to what I have been used to. So tomorrow, by hook or by crook I am waking up early to jog in a sports facility in Marikina. My goal is to be able to do this at least once a week for a month and then move to twice a week.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

You Meant Evil But God Meant It For Good...

This past week, our summer youth camp entitled "Real Steel" focused on a character in the book of Genesis who is one of my favorites. He is Joseph a.k.a the dreamer. God used him to save His people from the famine during their time but had to prepare him by allowing him to through very difficult times in his life.

Joseph was hated by his brothers so much that they plotted on killing him but sold him to slavery instead. As a slave, he was framed and put in jail for a crime he did not commit and then forgotten by friends he helped. Through all these, Joseph showed he was a spiritual Hercules by remaining faithful to God and responding positively in the different unfavorable circumstances.

If you are going through difficult times in your own life, you can still choose to be productive, be the best you can be and respond to the oppression around you.

Genesis 50:20 "But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive."

Friday, April 13, 2012

Access Financial Products at Lenddo

When financial needs arose in the past I used to always set as one of my options, using a credit card or getting a fast cash loan. But after experiencing some financial setbacks and eventually freedom from the control of lenders with the help of my reliable wife a.k.a finance manager, applying for a quick cash loan has become the least of my options during sudden financial emergencies.

But as a last resort, I would probably utilize the services of which is like a social network-dependent site that gives anyone his or her credit score based on their online social network. Any person who signs up can increase his or her "Lenddo score" by providing access to your online profiles in Facebook, Yahoo, Google and LinkedIn. As the member builds his or her own Lenddo community, attends a class online about becoming financially responsible and successfully borrows from and repays Lenddo, his or her Lenddo score also increases, as well as the community he or she belongs to. Having a higher score gives the member more access to financial products such as student loans or business loans in the Philippines available at Lenddo but limited to the purposes of home improvement, education, medical emergencies and career-based relocation.

Aside from having a high Lenddo score, what a member actually needs to have are a job, SSS number, a TIN, the right purpose for the loan without any collateral except their online reputation. This kind of service is first of its kind and because it is unique, I think it will catch the interest of many. Most loan service sites do not operate the way Lenddo does. I like their idea of an online scoring system which has a lot to do with making their financial products available. To learn more about, feel free to browse the slide presentation below.

View more presentations from Lenddo

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Thoughts to Ponder During the Holy Week | The Passion, Death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ

Tomorrow is the start of a holiday in the Philippines known as the Holy Week. It is a commemoration of the Passion, Death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ. Usually, majority of Filipinos visit catholic churches, fast, and make physical sacrifices even to the point of having themselves nailed on a wooden cross. Most do this to sort of pay for the sins committed.

But what I have learned from the Bible, as I have read in different forms such as book-form, kobo ereader or an ebook reader, is that these sacrifices are unnecessary, unacceptable and actually not enough to satisfy God’s righteous and holy justice when it comes to sin in general. The only acceptable sacrifice was already made by Christ.

Why? Because no matter what man does or whatever man offers, we are still sinful and everything we offer or do has been tainted with sin. On the other hand, Jesus, who claimed to be 100% God and 100% man, lived a sinless life. That made Him the only sacrifice that was acceptable to God.

A great parallelism is the lamb that was brought by the Jews for their annual sacrifice for their sins. The lamb had to be spotless, without blemish or defect. Any other animal that was not perfect was unacceptable. Jesus is the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. He was figuratively spotless, without blemish or defect because He was sinless and only His sacrifice was accepted by God.

His death, burial and resurrection was the only solution to satisfy God’s justice system for all mankind. That is why whoever “believes” in Him shall not perish but shall have eternal life. This is not a matter of religion but is about having a right relationship with God - the forgiven sinner, because of faith in Christ, becomes the child of God.

The Bible is clear that we can know that we have eternal life. So, the question is, do you know that you have eternal life? Do you know that when you die you are going to heaven? Do not be deceived because the apostle John clearly declared, ”And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life. I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life.” (1 John 5:11-13)