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ID theft

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

July 2012 - Posts

  • Google: Stop with the begging already...

    Google is begging Youtube users to use real names when posting commentary. And it's getting downright pathetic.


    The begging first began in June when Google gave Google+ users the ability to use their Google+ profiles on their user channels. It's supposed to go like this: When you attempt to post a comment on a video, a box pops up that requests you enter your full name. Once you do this, your information from your Google+ account will appear.


    You can opt out of this, choosing instead to use a made-up name. But you have to justify your decision by choosing one of the following options: "My channel is for show or character," "My channel is for a music artist or group," "My channel is for a product, business or organization," "My channel is well known for other reasons," "My channel is for personal use, but I cannot use my real name" or, my favorite, "I'm not sure, I'll decide later." Yeah, Google. I'll get back to you on that one.


    The requests are apparently falling on deaf ears, because the commentary is still as much a mess as ever. 


    Personally, I think this stinks. Let me have my anonymity when I post commentary. Isn't that what the whole commentary thing is for? You can post what you really think without worry of retribution. 


    And who does Google think they are, trying to make us do this? I'll tell you who they are – a business that seeks to find even more ways to sell our identities to their advertisers. Not to mention that identity thieves can troll the site, seeking the information they need to commit any number of crimes.


    It appears that Google has backed off a bit, and this whole thing may just die a slow and painful death. I just hope it doesn't become a mandatory thing. Because then I'd be forced to post some really severe commentary. And yes, I'd sign that bee-otch.

    Posted Jul 26 2012, 01:56 PM by IdentityTheft with no comments
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  • Newest Facebook scam: Tag, you're it

    If you receive an e-mail claiming to be from Facebook and claiming you've been tagged in a photo posting, beware.


    The latest malware attack comes disguised as a photo post tag. The e-mail says it's from "notification@faceboook.com" – note the three O's. If you click on the link embedded in the e-mail, you'll be taken to a screen that begins to infect your computer with malware. But before you get a chance to truly panic, within seconds your browser is taken via a META redirect to the Facebook page of another person.


    When you receive e-mails such as this, and are unsure of the origin, be sure to hover your mouse over the link. It will show you the true destination.


    To be extra safe, just don't click on links embedded in unsolicited e-mails. Make this a rule of thumb, and you'll likely be safe. You should also set up a firewall, and make sure your computer is outfitted with the latest in anti-spyware and anti-malware software. Be sure to update your software and protections as often as you are prompted to.

    Posted Jul 18 2012, 04:25 PM by IdentityTheft with no comments
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  • Obama utility bailout is a scam

    People fall for identity theft scams every day, and it seems a new scam pops up just about every day as well.


    A new scam that has been making its way across the United States has fooled thousands of victims so far into thinking that President Barack Obama's administration will help them with their utility bills. This comes just in time for the soaring temperatures, which mean higher cooling costs. Aid, true aid, would be most welcome – this has made lots of people vulnerable to this particular scam.


    The scam, disguised as a bailout, involves giving the victims bank account and routing numbers to use when paying their bills online – but this requires that they register with their Social Security numbers, as well as other personal information. 


    News flash: The Obama administration has never rolled out any such program.


    The scam fooled hundreds of people in Tampa, Fla. last week, and you can bet it's coming to your town as well. If someone comes knocking on your door and handing out pamphlets about this program, don't be fooled, even if they are wearing uniforms bearing the logo of your local utility company.


    You may even see a Facebook post from a friend who says the program worked for him or her, because on the surface, the program seems to work. And spreading "success" stories on social media has played an active role in making the program seem legit. Once the bogus information is used to pay the bill, the victim gets a confirmation notice that the bill has been paid. The payment is later voided when the scam is discovered. 


    Some people admit to being fooled because they figure that it's legit because it's an election year – that Obama has rolled the program out to secure votes. 


    Don't fall for this scam. There is no such program, and attempting to use the information provided by scammers can result in not only your bill being unpaid, but also late fees and service interruption. 


    Posted Jul 09 2012, 12:04 PM by IdentityTheft with no comments
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