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ID theft

All about how it happens and how you can keep it from happening to you.

ID theft expert identifies new threats to your identity


In this lousy economy people are already taking steps to save money, but they might not be aware of all the new tactics identity thieves are using to steal their credit, savings and identities. It’s National Consumer Protection Week, and while it’s not exactly cause for celebration and silly hats, it’s deserving of observance and participation.

Wayne Ivey has 27 years for law enforcement experience, and has handled more than $45 million in fraud cases in two years. He’s testified as an identity theft expert before the U.S. Congress and the Florida legislature.

And he’s an identity theft victim. If it can happen to him, it can happen to anyone.

“Consumers need to take action. This is a time for everyone to take a good, hard look at their personal information and everything they’re doing that could potentially put them at risk,” Ivey said. “Consumers need to realize that their sensitive personal information is valuable to thieves who are continuously looking for new ways to make a buck.”

Ivey has been working closely with LifeLock, presenting identity theft seminars to law enforcement agencies and helping them create symbiotic relationships to fight criminals. Together they’ve come up with a list of some of the newest strategies identity thieves are employing to steal from consumers.

  • Tax time has always been a period of increased identity theft. Traditionally, thieves have stolen tax forms and tax return checks from mailboxes, but new technologies present new opportunities. File sharing software, allows users to access other people’s computers, including sensitive financial information. If you (or your kids) are using it, you need to stop.
  • There’s always a rash of emails purportedly from the Internal Revenue Service, requesting identity or account confirmation during tax season. These are phishing attempts. Never reply to any emails asking for your personal or financial information; the IRS, banks and credit card companies will never request this information via email.
  • A recent hack of Monster.com illustrates just one of the ploys thieves are using to access job hunters’ information. Another increasingly common strategy is posting a bogus job ad, and conducting bogus job interviews. Once the interview is over, the interviewer requests personal information like birth date and Social Security number under the guise of conducting a background search. Always research a company before giving out any personal information.


 

Published Mar 02 2009, 05:18 PM by IdentityTheft
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