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ID theft

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

January 2011 - Posts

  • BBB warns of W-2 scam

    If you have already received your W-2 form from your employer, you should pay attention to a warning issued by the Better Business Bureau about a new identity theft scam. The scam involves e-mails supposedly from the IRS and is phishing for your W-2 information.


    There are some red flags that should immediately go up to signal scams. First of all, the IRS will not e-mail you. You will receive a letter if they need more information from you. This also applies to your bank, the FBI or your credit cards. None of these organizations will e-mail you, asking you to click on a link to provide personal information.


    W-2 forms are not submitted by individual taxpayers until you file your income tax return. They are submitted to the IRS by your employer. You should never click on any links in unsolicited e-mails. Doing so could infect your computer with viruses and spyware.


    You should never give out personal information like your wages, Social Security number, home address or birth date to anyone who e-mails or calls you. These pieces of information are like gold to scammers because if they have this information, they have all they need to steal your identity.


    If you receive an unsolicited e-mail, pay attention to the spelling. Often times, when it's a scam, there are misspelled words. This usually means English isn't the first language of the sender, who is probably located in another country. 


    If you receive an e-mail that you suspect is a scam, report it to your local police or sheriff's department, as well as to the Federal Trade Commission and your local Better Business Bureau. Copy and paste the URL into an e-mail and send it to these agencies, who can then use the information to track the scammer.


    Being cautious is something you should do in every area of your life when it comes to protecting your identity – but being safe online is crucial.

    Posted Jan 25 2011, 10:39 AM by IdentityTheft with no comments
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  • Small biz now have federal protection against ID theft

    Small business owners now have new federal requirements to protect against identity theft in their businesses.


    The Federal Trade Commission estimates that more than 10 million Americans are victimized by identity thieves each year. As a result, the FTC introduced the "red flags" rule, which requires certain creditors and organizations with covered accounts to implement programs that would identify, detect and address warning signs of possible identity theft during the course of doing business.


    The red flags programs implemented must identify relevant patters, practices and forms of business activity that are "red flags" of possible ID theft and detect those flags, as well as respond appropriately to any flags detected and help mitigate consumer ID theft. The programs must also be updated periodically.


    The rule initially covered any business or organization that had covered accounts. But the rule was modified in late December 2010, so that lawyers, doctors and accountants are exempt from having to comply.


    Under the new law, only businesses and organizations that utilize consumer reports in conjunction with credit transactions, provide information to credit reporting bureaus or loan money will be affected by the rule. This means that most small businesses that offer services may not have to comply. 

    Posted Jan 19 2011, 01:09 PM by IdentityTheft with no comments
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  • Don't ask 'Why?' – ask yourself, 'Why not?'

    This month marks the annual observance of National Financial Wellness Month, pointing out the importance for consumers to pay close attention to their financial health. Now, more than ever, it is important for consumers to be smart about their incomes and protect their nest eggs. 


    It's also important for consumers to take control of securing another of their most important assets – their identities. Identity theft is on the rise, and consumers have to become more proactive to fight this growing threat.


    Here are some suggestions that you can use to protect your financial health and wellness:


    • Educate yourself on the different kinds of identity theft and scams that are out there. 


     • Review your monthly credit card and banking statements. Contact your bank or card issuer if there are any questionable or fraudulent entries.


    • Shred documents that contain your personal information before disposing of them. This includes receipts, bills, bank statements, credit card applications and any other documents that contain your data.


    • Safeguard your identity by enrolling with an identity theft protection service. While none of these services can prevent identity theft, they can help stop the damage it causes. Be sure to choose a proactive service, so that you'll know about the theft before any real damage can be done.


    And be more proactive yourself. You don't want to find yourself asking "Why?" later – it's much better to ask "Why not?" now.

    Posted Jan 12 2011, 12:54 PM by IdentityTheft with no comments
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  • Videos about identity theft contain useful info

    We found some rather interesting posts on YouTube regarding identity theft. There's some useful information in them that every consumer should consider – the information can help prepare consumers and arm them against identity thieves.


    Learn how to steal a person's identity

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=chnzIkDW4VI


    How to fake a credit card

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V3pElQD8UZg&feature=fvw


    How many people would just give out personal information to a stranger?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vUapgAMiBJA


    Identity theft on Facebook is easy

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9LPRaiu0Y8M&feature=related


    Survey scams on Facebook

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fb7GSGTpjoc&NR=1

    Posted Jan 05 2011, 01:04 PM by IdentityTheft with no comments
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