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Online tips from the iDesk

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Making big money from home sounds like a dream job, but often times, work from home ads are scams. There are plenty of scams to go around on the internet, so how do you know if an online ad or e-mail is legitimate? Scammers are getting pretty inventive with their tricks so it is best to do some research first. Scammer-Alert.com is a website dedicated to exposing the truth about online money making scams. It is run by a man named Frank Matthews. We are not quite sure where he gets his information from, but he does offer some good tips. The North Carolina Department of Justice also keeps track of online job scams. Visit the Consumer Protection Division where you can see a list of the most recent scams, or file a complaint about a scam you have found. If you are not sure, you can always call the DOJ's toll free number, 1-877- 5-NO-SCAM. Monday is National Doctor's Day, so make sure to say thanks to your doctor. If you are looking for a physician you can trust, head to the web for plenty of resources. The first place to go is the North Carolina Medical Board's website. You can search by a doctor's name, or by location. For example, if you need a cardiologist and you live in Wilmington, NC Medical Board online shows a list of 17 physicians specializing in cardiology, along with license details, and contact information. ABMS.org offers a similar service, along with explanations of what being board certified means. They also offer advice on how to be a smart patient. Vitals.com is another site where you can research a doctor's experience, license, and training. But since the site isn't regulated by a government agency, the results are not guaranteed to be one hundred percent accurate. If you are still not sure if the physician you've chosen is legit, check them out with the Better Business Bureau, to see if other patients have issued formal complaints. Want to know what's happening in our state government? A new website aims to help. NCOpenBook.gov was created by an executive order signed by Governor Bev Perdue. The website's intent is to make state government more transparent, and allow residents access to what is going-on in government. The website has a searchable database of about 2,500 state contracts and 5,000 available grants. The site also features detailed information about the performance of state agencies.

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