April 14: Craigslist scam

Today's news for the Last Frontier

April 15, 2008 

Craigslist scam hits Anchorage. Fake rental ads are showing up on Craigslist’s Anchorage site, according to a report by KTUU. The property for rent is real, but the ad is not. The scammer, calling himself “Rev. William,” offers Anchorage property hunters a great deal: a three-bedroom home with a big backyard (pet friendly!) on Lake Otis Parkway for just $1,000 a month with a $500 security deposit. Only issue? The keys are with him in Nigeria.

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Alaska Airlines to offer Wi-Fi. Alaska Airlines is among a handful of airlines looking to offer wireless Internet access on flights, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. American, Southwest, Alaska and Virgin America are all planning trials that offer broadband-speed service for laptops, media players and gaming devices. But don’t expect to make phone calls from 35,000 feet. Skype and Wi-Fi phone service aren’t part of the plan. Alaska’s testing starts this summer.

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Beach scene “straight out of a horror movie.” Dozens of dead bodies littered a beach in Southeast Alaska last week, says the Juneau Empire. The corpses are actually the empty shells of young male tanner crabs that have molted, casting off their old shell to grow a bigger one. In this case, it was a mass molting. “It’s very easy and not at all surprising to mistake a cast-off shell of a crab for actually being a crab,” said shellfish biologist Gretchen Bishop. “They even will leave behind the outer coating of the eyeballs and mouth parts.”

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What Alaskans earn. Fairbanks real estate broker Twila Schuster was on the cover of Parade magazine this week alongside teen popster Miley Cyrus and redneck comedian Jeff Foxworthy. All she had to do was reveal what she makes in a year (that’s $173,300 – gross, she points out). “I didn’t do it because I was thinking ‘I hope I get on the cover of Parade,’” she told the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner. “I was doing it because I always look at that issue.” The “What People Earn” edition is among the Sunday magazine’s most popular.

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Health insurance jumps by a third. Premera Blue Cross small-business health insurance premiums will increase by almost 29 percent in July, says the Alaska Journal of Commerce. The premiums cover 1,800 small employers and 30,000 Alaskans – slightly more than half of small Alaska businesses. Premera cites fast-rising medical costs and an increase in the use of health care services in Alaska last year. The rate increase won’t happen until the individual policies are renewed.

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