Monday, November 30, 2009

Being wired can unknowingly open oneself to identity & physical theft

With the proliferation of networking & social services (twitter, facebook, myspace, etc...) people can unknowingly provide a thief with all the info they need to steal a person blind. The internet never forgets. Something you mention casually may piece together a complete picture of your life over the course of a year.

For instance, the iPhone & new "droid" phones have built in GPS/Geotagging features . The holidays provide opportunity for people to take lots of photos of Christmas presents, family functions, home interiors & so on. Combine that with the instant upload features of Twitter or Flickr & you have just shown the world that you have a 50" TV hanging on your wall along with your address where it can now be picked up. Should you decide to ever leave the house for a vacation or,.....uh,...... ever, you have just shown that your house may be empty for them to come by & pay your valuables a visit.

With the holidays being in full swing there will be plenty of digital locations where a person may post something about their family online. It can be easy to provide family members names, locations, birthdays, pet names, favorite cars, etc.... giving a complete guide to all of the favorite security answers that may be asked should one forget their password to an online account. Remember, this could be something that you may not even do. Your nephew, niece, cousin, etc... who visits may even do this not realizing the implications of their actions. It is very simple to associate family members making it childsplay to get all the info a thief needs to access your online identy & claim your physical one as well.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Identity thieves can buy bank account details lawfully from ebay, craigslist, etc...

Anyone has the ability to purchase used ATM's from another individual with no regulation whatsoever. Most of the time these ATM's still contain all of the users bank info for at least the past 6 months. The short story is that for as little as $500 a person can lawfully purchase thousands of credit/debit numbers, personal info, bank account numbers & pins for thousands of users.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Hancock Fabrics customers in several states experience ATM banking theft

Customers in several states who shopped at Hancock Fabrics have had their bank accounts emptied via ATM withdrawls. It is presumed that everything originated in Wisconsin however, people as far away as California & Missouri have had their checking accounts emptied sometimes, months after shopping.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Medicare mails postcards with SS#'s

An insurance mailer contracted by Medicare has mailed out postcards with recipients social security numbers in plain sight. They have offered credit monitoring for 1 year but after that, people are on their own.

Friday, November 13, 2009

arstechnica tips on protecting ones identity

arstechnica has posted 5 reminder tips on how to protect yourself from identity theft:
1. protect against spyware/malware
2. fraud alerts
3. Google the kids
4. medical identity
5. social networking

Remember, most identity theft is actually done through physical means but that doesn't mean you should leave your electronic door wide open for them. Make sure to always have up to date virus protection & run periodic scans on your computer for bad software that might unknowingly be on your computer. All of the necessary software can be found on the net for free so there is no excuse.

Police arrest victim after DNA database linked ID thief to victim

An Oregon woman was recently held overnight after warrants had been issued for her arrest. It seems that various law enforcement agencies across the country had incorrect data entered into them due to a Florida woman using the Oregon womans identity to commit various crimes including prostitution & theft. In some cases, the victims DNA & photo had been linked with the thiefs causing greater confusion. Click the link below to read the whole story.

This problem began when the Oregon womans purse became lost 5 years ago. She had taken the precautionary measure (at the time) of cancelling her credit cards & getting new identification cards but that did little good.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

FTC Extends Enforcement Deadline for Identity Theft Red Flags Rule

The FACTA Red Flags compliance deadline has been delayed again, this time for 7 months until June 1, 2010.

At the request of Members of Congress, the Federal Trade Commission is delaying enforcement of the “Red Flags” Rule until June 1, 2010, for financial institutions and creditors subject to enforcement by the FTC.

Bank Employee Charged with Identity Theft, Fraud

Employee with access to PII comits ID Theft. This is why the FTC wants all businesses to tighten up their policies and procedures. I find it interesting that this has been going "over an eight-year period."

Just another article about ID Theft being an inside job.


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