Scam Alert - Beware of This Canada Revenue Agency Letter

Sample CRA scams

Scam Alert - Beware of This Canada Revenue Agency Letter

Canada Revenue Agency recently issued a warning asking taxpayers to beware of a scam letter asking Canadians for personal information. CRA has not sent any such letters asking for any personal information whatsoever. Be extremely careful when you receive this type of mail. Feel free to view the attached picture of this scam letter.

This letter claims that there is "insufficient information" for your tax return and you have to update your records to receive any claims. It does not stop here. There is an attached form asking to fax or email your personal information. This letter is not from CRA. You should be vigilant when anyone (even CRA) asking you to release personal information. If you ever receive any such letters asking personal information, call the institution to verify first. Visit CRA Web site for more info.

If you ever believe you have been a victim or someone has tried to scam you, here is what you can do:

- Call your local RCMP detachment or your Police Department

- Report your situation online through Reporting Economic Crime Online

- Visit PhoneBusters, send an email to, or call 1-888-495-8501

Remember, common sense and vigilance are your best defence.

Why I Switched From Regular Peanut Butter to Organic Peanut Butter

Peanut Butter: Regular Vs. Organic

Let me start with some of the health benefits of peanut butter very briefly.

- Most of the fats (about 47 percent) in peanut butter are monounsaturated fat. This is the fat that lowers bad LDL  cholesterol.
- Peanut butter also contains polyunsaturated fat (about 27 percent). This is the fat that raises
good HDL  cholesterol.
- Peanut butter contains about 8 percent dietary fiber.
- Contains micronutrients such as Vitamin E, Niacin, etc.
- Contains minerals such as calcium, magnesium, potassium, copper, etc.
- Contains Resveratrol, which has natural anti-microbial, anti-inflammation, and anti-aging properties. It helps body to effectively fight off bacteria and various types of fungi.
- Contains folic acid, phytic acid, and phytosterols.

But Beware of Peanut Butter That Is Not Organic

Some of the benefits I mentioned above look really good. However, these benefits will be shadowed by the adverse effects – if your peanut butter is not organic. Consider the following facts –

- Peanuts are grown on the ground and have have soft and porous skin. Non-organic peanuts have very high counts of pesticide residues, as it is a crop that is heavily treated with pesticide. These carcinogenic pesticide residues can cause cancer and other harm to health.
- Non-organic peanut butter has added hydrogenated oil, added sugar, and added salt.
-  Organic peanut butter may have higher nutritional value than traditional peanut butter.
- You will feel the difference in taste in organic peanut butter. It does not taste as good as regular peanut butter (because of no added sugar, salt, fat, etc). It will take some time to get adjusted to its taste.
- You can easily check what foods have what types of pesticides here easily: What’s On My Food?

And I Made Up My Mind

After researching on the pluses and minuses of organic and regular peanut butter, it was not hard for me to do the switch as all the positives outweigh all the negatives. What will be your decision? I suggest you to do some reading and research before you enjoy your next serving of peanut butter.

How to Make Instant Noodles A Healthy Food

Instant Noodles Are Very Unhealthy 

Instant doodles, instant ramen, cup noodles – these are all very unhealthy foods. Manufacturers deep fry them in bad oil (like palm oil) and that’s where all the bad fats (trans fat, saturated fat) come from. Then, these noodles have to be wax coated (the same material they use in Styrofoam containers) so they don’t stick to each other when cooking. And don’t forget about the seasoning or small flavour packets that come with instant noodles. These powders are full of bad stuff such as salt, MSG, fat, and who knows what else!

However, after packing instant noodles with all these bad things, I realise that you may need to eat it once in a while – and that’s OK as long as you are not eating instant noodles frequently. Even if you eat instant noodles once in a while, you can do a few simple things to make it a healthy meal better than just eating only noodles.

Steps to Make a Healthy Bowl of Instant Noodles 

1. Gather some vegetables and cut them in small pieces. 
2. Here are some veggie suggestions. Pick all or some from these based on what you like: Broccoli, Celery, green beans, carrots, tomatoes, little bit of garlic, and any other vegetables you may like. 
3. Boil the required amount of water and add a teaspoon of olive oil. 
4. Throw in your vegetables. 
5. Boil for 3 to 5 minutes. 
6. Throw in noodles. 
7. Cut down on seasoning or flavour packets by adding only half amount. 
8. Boil for 3 to 5 minutes. 
9. You are done.

When it comes to eating, you have the option to make it a healthy one or a junk one. Be careful and selective on what you eat and live a happier and a longer life.

More ATM Tips To Protect Yourself From ATM Scams

How To Protect Yourself From ATM Scams

Ever since I wrote Beware of No Name ATMs, this article has become very popular and I have been contemplating writing on this subject more. Today, I will discuss some more tips you can use to protect yourself from con artists – whether you are in a low-crime country like Canada or travelling in a high-crime foreign country.

Be Always on Alert

While using an ATM machine, always use extra caution and be on alert. If someone bumps into you or tries to talk to you while you are in the middle of a transaction, you need to be careful. Scammers use various techniques to distract you and get away with your bank card – which might be still inside the ATM machine. Let’s look at these scenarios:

Scenario One – Someone Bumps Into You: Con Artist 1 bumps into you and leaves the spot right away. Con Artist 2 appears on the scene and tells you that Con Artist 1 got away with your bank card. Naturally, you will panic and try to pursue Con Artist 1 to recover your card. This is exactly what the Con Artists are hoping for. Your card is still in the machine and once you start chasing Con Artist 1, Con Artist 2 will withdraw all your money easily as you already inputted your password on the machine.

In the above situation, you should remain calm and take out your card from the machine first before chasing anyone. Whenever someone tries to distract you, make sure you have your bank card first before doing anything else.

Scenario Two – Your Card Gets Stuck Inside The ATM: If your card get stuck inside an ATM and a stranger walks up to help you, be very careful. This Con Artist may have tampered with the ATM to make your card get stuck and watched you with a video camera to get your pin. Once you leave the spot to make a phone call to your bank, the Con Artist will withdraw your money as the card is still inside the machine and your password is known to him/her.

Con Artists can play the same game a little differently. Once your card is trapped, a nice person shows up and tries to help you recover your card. He may even give you a few tips to get your card out while entering your PIN. Once you can’t get it out and leave the scene, he will withdraw your money as he has already seen you entering your password.

In a situation like the one above, never accept help from any strangers. Before using any ATM, always make sure the machine is not tampered with in any way. Look for any residue in the card slot, any unusual signs asking to use a different slot or asking you to re-enter your password several times, or anything that does not make sense. If your card gets stuck, try not to leave the machine and call from your cell phone to cancel your card. However, this may not always be possible. Use some common sense-let it be your guideline.

Here is a tip:

Save all the bank and credit card (those you carry) companies’ phone number on your cell phone. This is a very simple thing to do, but regrettably most of us never do it. If you have your bank card provider’s phone number on your cell phone, in the above example, you can just notify them without leaving the ATM machine.

How to Get Free Internet for Your Laptop at Starbucks

Free Internet Wi-Fi on Your Laptop

First Published: August 13, 2009

Whether you are an Internet Entrepreneur, or just a regular Internet addict, chances are high that the idea of having high-speed Internet on your laptop while sipping a cup of coffee has crossed your mind. But the question is, is it possible to get free Internet Wi-Fi access Hotspot service for your laptop while having a cup of coffee for free?

Starbucks coffee shops in Canada and in the US offer free high-speed Internet access for free. To use this free Wi-Fi access, you need to have a user name and password. To obtain this user name and password, you need to buy a Starbucks card.

In Canada, if you are buying your card at a Starbucks location, the minimum amount you need to purchase is $5. Once you have a card, you will be able to register for a username and password and then you will be able to use free high-speed Internet.

A Starbucks card comes with many other perks. My favourite one is unlimited brewed coffee refills with any size cup. Free Internet access is limited to two hours daily; I think this is more than enough for most of our usual daily needs. This program works very similar way in the US as well. Visit and for more information.

I enjoy having a cup of coffee outside while working on my laptop. Starbucks will be able to redirect a good number of customers towards them from other coffee retailers, just by simply having Wi-Fi friendly shops. This is very good for Starbucks from a business perspective. Soon, other coffee players that are not offering free W-Fi, will have to offer this service to hold onto their customers.