Who Can Lawfully Request My Social Security Number? #social #security #number, #ask


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Who Can Lawfully Request My Social Security Number?

The dramatic rise in identity theft over the last several years has resulted in many changes to the list of people and businesses that are legally entitled to request a Social Security number (SSN).

Not long ago, people provided their Social Security numbers without a second thought. Criminals took advantage of that complacency, and as a result, the federal government established the Identity Theft Task Force in 2006. One of the first recommendations the task force made was decreasing the unnecessary use of Social Security numbers. Much work remains in overcoming old procedures and habits in this regard, but any progress on this issue is better than the status quo.

Who has the right to request your SSN? Federal law mandates that state Departments of Motor Vehicles, tax authorities, welfare offices, and other governmental agencies request your SS number as proof that you are who you claim to be. However, the Privacy Act of 1974 requires that government agencies at the local, state, and federal level disclose to each person whether submitting your Social Security number is required, details on the use of this information, and what law or authority requires its use.

Please note that this Act stipulates that no one can deny you a government service or benefit for failing to provide your SSN unless federal law specifically requires it.

You aren t legally required to provide your SSN to businesses unless one of the following is true:

You ll be engaging in a transaction that requires notification to the Internal Revenue Service; or

You re initiating a financial transaction subject to federal Customer Identification Program rules.

If you refuse to provide your SSN, companies may choose not to do business with you, but there s no law that prevents them from asking for it. These are some examples of businesses that require a Social Security number for legitimate purposes:

Insurance companies
Credit card companies. lenders, and any other company receiving a credit application from you
The three main credit reporting agencies: TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian
Any company that sells products or services that require notification to the IRS, including investment advisors; banks; real estate purchases; financial transactions over $10,000, such as automobile purchases; and other financial transactions

It s important to remember that, once a company has your Social Security number, there are few restrictions on what they can do with it. You ll therefore want share this information only when absolutely necessary or required by law. Being very careful about sharing your SSN or any other personal information is a recommended way to help deter identity theft.

Copyright 2017 IdentityHawk

The articles and information available are for educational and reference purposes only. They do not constitute, and should not be construed as, legal or financial advice. Any legal or financial principles discussed here are for general information purposes only and may differ substantially in individual situations and/or in different states or countries. For specific legal or financial advice, please consult a licensed attorney or a financial professional. IdentityHawk does not control or guarantee the accuracy of any information provided through external links from the articles on this website to any other website, nor does the IdentityHawk privacy policy apply to any personal information that may be collected via the external links.

*Identity theft insurance underwritten by subsidiaries or affiliates of Chartis Inc. The description herein is a summary and intended for informational purposes only and does not include all terms, conditions and exclusions of the policies described. Please refer to the actual policies for terms, conditions, and exclusions of coverage. Coverage may not be available in all jurisdictions. View the summary of your benefits. If you cancel your membership in the first 30 days, the insurance coverage will be cancelled as of your original membership start date.

Coverage for residents of New York is limited to a $25,000 maximum. New York residents: view the summary of your benefits .

IdentityHawk provides you with the tools you need to access and monitor your financial/credit information through the program’s credit reporting and monitoring benefits. IdentityHawk provides only limited credit monitoring services which are accessible to its members via the identityhawk.com website. IdentityHawk is not accepting new customers. Credit information provided by TransUnion Interactive, Inc.


Had Your Credit Card Hacked Lately? #post50,credit #cards,credit #card #theft,stolen #credit #card,ann


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Had Your Credit Card Hacked Lately?

My credit card information was just stolen — again. This is the fifth time in the past three years, which, if polling my Facebook friends is any indication, is about par for the course. It happens to everyone, it seems, about once every nine months. And for the record, each time I was hacked, my credit card was still physically in my possession.

There’s no need to tell you what a pain in the ass this is, but I will anyway. You have to switch all direct billings from the old card to a new card — and you invariably forget a few which means you get dinged with late fees. You also have to update all those online shopping sites where you have your credit card info stored. And of course you have to check all three credit scoring sites to see if the theft is causing you any lingering damage. In terms of inconvenience, credit card theft is just one Dante circle removed from losing your whole wallet and having to cancel and replace everything.

The good news is that none of my five thefts have cost me a penny, for which I am very grateful. And in four of the five instances, it was Chase — my credit card provider — that discovered the fraud and told me about it. I hadn’t had a clue.

In all five cases, Chase closed my account, issued me a new one on the spot and sent me new cards overnight. I get the idea that they have an Amazon-size warehouse full of customer service reps who do nothing all day but close accounts that have been infiltrated by thieves.

In my most recent theft, most of the charges were made in Tokyo and they included a dating app, some junk food bought in a mini-mart, and a bunch of other small purchases. The way credit card thieves frequently work is to first test the waters with small purchases to see if they go undetected before they try to charge something larger — you know, felony-like larger. In my case, it was a stay in an expensive hotel in Beverly Hills. Nope, I told the helpful Chase rep, I’ve never been to Japan or an expensive hotel in Beverly Hills.

I can’t complain about Chase’s fraud detection unit; they seem to be right on top of things. But what I don’t get is why this keeps happening and why there doesn’t appear to be much of an effort to catch the bad guys. And I certainly don’t mean to single out Chase. Credit card fraud is an equal opportunity crime. No one is immune and it certainly doesn’t matter which lender you have although different cards hold you to different levels of liability.

Given the prevalence of the problem, where’s the prosecution? For the number of thefts to be this widespread, doesn’t it mean that people see this as a crime that’s easy to get away with?

The Nilson Report puts credit and debit card fraud at $11.27 billion in losses in 2012. That’s certainly nothing to sneeze at.

In fact, credit card fraud — along with national security as it relates to terrorism and identity theft — are the top two things we most worry about, says Unisys. Almost 40 percent of us were deeply concerned about the security of shopping and banking online.

How are these thieves doing it? Sometimes they just outfox you, technologically. They install skimmers in ATMs or at gas station pumps when no one is around that record credit card information surreptitiously. The information is later resold to criminals who create counterfeit
cards or charge items over the phone or the Internet.

Other times, though, it is simply you being careless. So what can you do about it (besides paying cash for everything)?

1. Make sure no one is looking over your shoulder when you are paying with a credit card in stores. The Department of Justice’s website says that this is a still a common way to steal credit card numbers. It’s easy to get distracted.

2. Lower your voice, or better yet, keep your mouth shut.
Limit what you say on your mobile phone in public. Thieves get ahold of people’s credit card numbers by listening to cardholders’ conversations with hotel or rental car companies, according to the Department of Justice. Instead of holding those conversations within earshot, move to a quiet place. Never recite your credit card information in a busy lobby or from the back of a cab.

3. Get a home shredder.
Yes, it’s come to that. Destroy every check and credit card or bank statement before throwing them in the trash. Some thieves are dumpster divers, says the DOJ. It only takes one stray receipt to give a criminal all the access he or she needs.

4. Watch where you eat.
Dishonest wait staff have been known to use hidden or handheld devices to copy your credit card for later counterfeiting. They are often tied to a local crime ring, or seasonal and transient workers, said KrebsonSecurity.com .

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Earlier on Huff/Post50:

Advance Fee Fraud

The Scam . The con artist sends a letter or email — purportedly only to a few recipients but actually to several thousand — making an offer that would result in a large payoff for the victim. The details vary, but generally the story is that a person, often the wife or son of a deposed African dictator, knows about some unclaimed fortune that they are willing to share with the scam victim in return for an advanced fee (e.g. bail money for the imprisoned millionaire). Once money starts coming in, the con artist will continue asking for more, claiming that problems have arisen. How To Protect Yourself . The FBI advises that if you “receive a letter from Nigeria asking you to send personal or banking information, send the letter to the U.S. Secret Service, your local FBI office or U.S. Postal Inspection Service.” You can also register a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission’s Complaint Assistant here.

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Ann Brenoff Senior Writer/Columnist, The Huffington Post

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Had Your Credit Card Hacked Lately?

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Milwaukee Criminal Defense Lawyer, Ritter Law #milwaukee #criminal #attorney, #milwaukee #criminal #defense


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  • Drunk Driving / OWI
  • Drugs and Guns
  • Sex Offenses
  • Computer Crimes
  • Property Crimes / Theft
  • Domestic Violence
  • Violent Crimes / Homicide
  • Juvenile Justice
  • Traffic Offenses / License Issues
  • Probation Revocation

What Ritter Law Clients Say

Allison: I wanted to thank you for your support and the professional manner in which [my son’s] case was conducted. I thought [the judge] was very considerate and balanced. I didn’t realize how distressed [my son] was about jail until I saw his relief.

I hope our paths cross again under better circumstances in the very near future. Congratulations again on winning this case .

DW [Client’s father]

Why Retain Ritter Law?

Attorney Allison Ritter is:

Retain an attorney who knows the ropes, a criminal defense lawyer who can get you positive results and is not learning their profession with your case.

Retain a criminal defense attorney who has compassion for your difficult situation, a lawyer who is truthful, a warm sincere person whom you can trust.

Retain an attorney you can afford. Only a few people in this world have unlimited pockets to pay for their defense, don’t hand over your house. You CAN afford a great lawyer.

Milwaukee Criminal Defense Lawyer

Attorney Allison Ritter practices only criminal defense. She is a seasoned criminal attorney with years of defense experience and hundreds of trials under her belt. If you are being investigated or have been charged with a crime, whom you get to represent you can make a huge difference. Your choice of attorney can affect what crime you get charged with and, ultimately, what happens to you in the criminal justice system as a result.

Experience Can Make the Difference.

Ritter Law Office features the talents of one Southeastern Wisconsin’s most experienced criminal defense attorneys, Allison M. Ritter .

Experienced and Effective Criminal Defense Attorneys

Allison Ritter has 20 years of legal experience, including several years as prosecuting attorney in the Milwaukee District Attorney’s Office. This veteran defense attorney knows well how Wisconsin prosecutors handle cases. As criminal defense lawyer defending you, Allison can provide highly effective negotiating skills on your behalf.

Retain An Experienced Criminal Lawyer Quickly

You need an experienced criminal defense lawyer now. If you wait to hire a criminal defense attorney, you could lose important opportunities to substitute against harsh judges, set forth defenses motions, preserve critical evidence, and make claims against the state.

Police and prosecutors cannot be trusted to protect your rights. You need a criminal defense attorney you can trust to be on your side. The police and prosecutors will use everything they can against you so it is very important that you not speak to them or anyone else until you have retained a criminal defense lawyer you trust.

Experienced criminal defense attorney Allison Ritter fights for every client and takes the time to listen to what you want.

Great Lawyers Are Affordable

A great lawyer is not inexpensive, but what is the true cost of NOT hiring the best lawyer you can afford? Your life and future depend on how your criminal matter is resolved.

There are criminal defense lawyers who work in part for pride and fulfillment, who are rewarded and gratified by the chance to see justice done. This lawyer is honest and affordable. Attorney Allison Ritter offers quality criminal defense representation for a reasonable fee. She wants to win FOR YOU.

If you are in Milwaukee or the surrounding communities in southeastern Wisconsin, and you are charged in a criminal case, do what is best for you: call Milwaukee criminal defense lawyer Allison Ritter.

Free consultations Off-site and weekend appointments available
Visa and MasterCard accepted

Ritter Law Office is a criminal defense law firm with attorneys experienced in plea negotiations, trials, appeals, and getting results. The lawyers are located in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and serve criminal defendants in Milwaukee County, Waukesha County, Ozaukee County, and Washington County, including the Wisconsin communties of Milwaukee, Waukesha, Racine, West Allis, Wauwatosa, Cudahy, Whitefish Bay, Mequon, Shorewood, South Milwaukee, Oak Creek, Franklin, Greendale, River Hills, West Bend, Hartland, Glendale, Greenfield, Pewaukee, Brookfield, Delafield, Mukwonago, Fond du Lac, Sheboygan, Port Washington, Juneau, Menomonee Falls, Cedarburg, Grafton, and Germantown.

2266 N. Prospect Avenue, Suite 312 Milwaukee, WI 53202-6306 (414) 220-0000 Fax (414) 220-0001


Identity Theft – San Diego County District Attorney #preventing #identity #theft #online


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What is ID theft?

When discussing identity theft, the first problem is defining it. Jurisdictions across the country and within California define it quite differently. Generally, ID theft occurs when someone represents that he/she is you by using your personal information and does so for fraudulent or other improper purposes.

It is often broken down into three broad categories. “True name” fraud occurs when someone uses your personal information to open a new account. In an “account takeover”, the person gains access to an existing, legitimate account. Someone who uses your personal information to avoid prosecution commits “criminal” identity theft.

How prevalent is it?

ID theft has been called the fastest growing crime in America. It remains, however, difficult to quantify for a number of reasons. Many states do not have a specific ID theft statute. Even when such a statute exists, as in California, the definition of ID theft often varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. The format of crime reporting can easily overlook cases, and many victims never report it to police.

Who are the victims?

Individuals are often told they are not the victim since they didn’t lose any money; the credit card company or bank is the victim since they took the financial loss. This is incorrect. Both the individual and the financial institution are victims in the typical ID theft case. Individual victims come from all walks of life. They include teachers, nurses, secretaries, police officers, CEOs, construction workers, retired persons, students, TV news anchors, and even personnel of district attorney’s offices. Teenagers can also be targeted for ID theft. Watch this 11 minute teen identity theft video to learn more.

Where do they get your personal information?

Although computer “hacking” gets the biggest headlines, it is probably the least common means by which someone gets your personal information. Mail theft, dumpster diving, and theft of company records by employees continue to be the most common ways of obtaining personal information. Find out where criminals get your personal information by watching this teen identity theft video .

What should I do if I am a victim?

For cases of “true name” and “account takeover” ID theft:

Be sure to report the crime to your local police department. Obtain a copy of the police report.

Contact the three major credit reporting companies. Ask them to place a fraud alert on your credit report and to indicate on your reports “My ID has been used to apply for credit fraudulently. Contact me at [telephone number] to verify all applications.” Ask the credit bureaus to remove inquiries generated due to the fraudulent accounts and to remove the items that are due to the criminal activity of the identity thief. Here’s where to write or call:

We suggest you send a letter by certified mail explaining how your identity was used to obtain credit in your name. Include a copy of the police report.

In addition, here are other steps you should take if appropriate in your case:

ATM cards: Report stolen ATM cards immediately. When you get a new card and account number, do not use the same password as the stolen card.

Checking: If your checks have been stolen, or fraudulent information has been provided to a bank, notify the bank and appropriate check verification companies and place a stop payment on any outstanding checks you did not write.

Creditors: Contact all your creditors in writing by certified mail to inform them of the theft and ask that old accounts be closed as “account closed at consumer’s request.”

Driver’s License: If someone is using your driver’s license number as identification for bad checks, contact the Department of Motor Vehicles to issue a fraud alert. Request a new license number and fill out a complaint form.

Health insurance: If your health insurance card is stolen, report it to your health insurer.

Long Distance: If your long distance calling card has been stolen, call the carrier to cancel the account and open a new one. Also call if you discover fraudulent charges on your bill.

Passport: Notify the nearest regional passport office to prevent the use of your name in a fraudulent passport.

Small claims or civil judgment: If a civil judgment has been entered in your name for actions taken by the identity thief, contact the court where the judgment was entered and report that you are a victim of identity theft. If you are wrongfully prosecuted for criminal charges, contact the state Department of Justice and the FBI to ask how to clear your name.

Social Security: Order a free copy of your personal Earnings and Benefit Estimate Statement from the Social Security Administration and check it for accuracy. Notify the SSA of any fraudulent use of your number. The San Diego phone number is 619-557-5257.

U.S. Mail: Notify the Postal Inspector of any fraudulent use of your name via the mail. In San Diego, the number is 619-233-0610.

Finally, consult an attorney to determine legal action you can take against creditors and credit bureaus if they refuse to remove fraudulent entries from your credit report. Call your local county bar association for a referral to an attorney.

For cases of “criminal” ID theft:

“Criminal” ID theft is by far the most difficult for the victim. There may be convictions in their name or warrants for their arrest.

San Diego County has established procedures for these situations. If you find out there is a criminal case or arrest warrant in your name, go to the courthouse responsible for the case or warrant. Bring photo identification with you. Advise the clerk’s office of the problem. They will direct you to the appropriate office for assistance. A clerk will take information from you and make a copy of your ID. You will be fingerprinted so that your prints can be compared to those of the person on the warrant. An identity hearing will be set, usually at least two weeks later.

The identity hearing will be heard by a judge. Results of the fingerprint comparison and any other relevant information will be given to the judge at that time. If the court finds that you are indeed the wrong person named in the case or on the warrant, the judge will order those records corrected. You will also receive a copy of an “Identity Certificate” or other document detailing the results of the hearing.

What agency is responsible for taking an ID theft report?

ID theft frequently crosses jurisdictional boundaries. The crimes often occur outside the city or county in which the victim lives. Under those circumstances, where does the individual report the crime? It can be reported in the jurisdiction where the crimes occurred. In California, it can be reported to the police agency responsible for the jurisdiction in which the victim lives. Under Penal Code section 530.6, the law enforcement agency where the victim lives must take a report of suspected identity theft. If the crimes occurred outside their jurisdiction, they must forward the report to the appropriate agency for investigation.

What laws are used to prosecute cases of ID theft?

In California, Penal Code section 530.5, Using Personal Information of Another, is perhaps the most common law charged. False Personation, grand theft, credit card fraud, perjury, and burglary statutes are frequently used in these cases.

Where can I get additional information?

For additional information and answers to questions you may have, contact


Identity Theft Protection Services – Plans, LifeLock, identity theft protection service.#Identity #theft


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Proactive

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When you help protect your identity, you’re helping protect your finances, your credit and everything you’ve worked so hard for. Make sure you have comprehensive protection.

Different Plans for Different Needs

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Proactive protection designed to help protect against identity theft.

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Choose the Right Plan for You

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  • Credit Monitoring
  • Bank & Credit Card Activity Alerts †
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  • Annual Credit Reports & Scores

The credit scores provided are VantageScore 3.0 credit scores based on data from Equifax, Experian and TransUnion respectively. Any One-Bureau VantageScore mentioned is based on Equifax data only. Third parties use many different types of credit scores and are likely to use a different type of credit score to assess your creditworthiness.

  • Monthly Credit Score Tracking:

    The credit score provided is a VantageScore 3.0 credit score based on Equifax data. Third parties use many different types of credit scores and are likely to use a different type of credit score to assess your creditworthiness.

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    The credit scores provided are VantageScore 3.0 credit scores based on data from Equifax, Experian and TransUnion respectively. Any one bureau VantageScore mentioned is based on Equifax data only. Third parties use many different types of credit scores and are likely to use a different type of credit score to assess your creditworthiness.

    1 Credit reports, scores and credit monitoring may require an additional verification process and credit services will be withheld until such process is complete.

    2 For LifeLock Ultimate Plus™ three bureau credit monitoring, credit monitoring from Experian and TransUnion will take several days to begin.


    Identity Theft Monitoring and other paid protection Services #identity #theft #monitoring, #identity


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    For-Profit Identity Theft Services

    At IdentityTheft.info, we believe everyone can protect themselves from identity theft by taking advantage of the information provided throughout our web site. However, we recognize there are consumers who may prefer the convenience and assistance of using a for-profit or a non-profit business or agency offering professional identity theft prevention, protection and recovery services and products. If you seek a non-profit agency to assist you, please visit our non-profit category .

    As recently as five years ago, there were very few for-profit firms offering services and products specifically designed to protect consumers from identity theft or, if victimized, to assist them in recovering from the crime. Today, there are dozens of companies offering a wide-range of services from credit monitoring, to the placement of fraud alerts, to opt-out services, to identity theft insurance and recovery services.

    As with all consumer decisions, you should take the time to investigate the identity theft product or service you are interested in to be sure it actually accomplishes what you require. Many firms selling identity theft products and services offer a tiered approach where you pay higher fees for additional levels of service. But, the additional layers of service and the additional expense may be unnecessary depending upon your needs. So, consider any offer carefully in light of your specific requirements.

    Available For-Profit Services:

    NOTE: www.IdentityTheft.info does not endorse the below products/services and is not affiliated with them in any way.

    Identity Theft Prevention and Survival – Offers a variety of identity theft related services and products

    Debix – Offers a variety of identity theft related services and products

    Identity Guard – Offers a variety of identity theft related services and products

    Trusted ID – Offers a variety of identity theft related services and products

    LifeLock – Offers a variety of identity theft related services and products

    Pre-Paid Legal Services – Offers a variety of identity theft related services and products

    Equifax – Offers a variety of identity theft related services and products

    Experian – Offers a variety of identity theft related services and products

    TransUnion – Offers a variety of identity theft related services and products

    Identity Truth – Offers a variety of identity theft related services and products

    ID Watchdog – Offers a variety of identity theft related services and products

    Loud Siren – Offers a variety of identity theft related services and products


    Identity Theft – FBI, identity theft gov.#Identity #theft #gov


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    Identity Theft

    Identity theft gov

    A stolen identity is a powerful cloak of anonymity for criminals and terrorists and a danger to national security and private citizens alike. For the FBI, identity theft is nothing new we’ve been dealing with criminals faking IDs for decades, from check forgers to fugitives on the run. But the threat is more pervasive and the scams more sophisticated than ever, including online elements. The FBI uses both its criminal and cyber resources along with its intelligence capabilities to identify and stop crime groups in their early stages and to root out the many types of perpetrators, which span the Bureau’s investigative priorities.

    The FBI also taps into its investigative partnerships with federal, state, and local law enforcement (including dedicated task forces in major cities) as well as information-sharing partnerships with every sector of business, government, and education. The Bureau also reaches out with information and education to make sure identity theft doesn t happen to you.

    To specifically address the growing problem of identity theft, Congress passed two laws:

    • The 1998 Identity Theft and Assumption Deterrence Act, which amended Title 18, U.S. Code, Section 1028 to make it a federal crime to knowingly transfer or use, without lawful authority, a means of identification of another person with the intent to commit, or to aid or abet, any unlawful activity that constitutes a violation of federal law, or that constitutes a felony under any applicable state or local law.
    • The 2004 Identity Theft Penalty Enhancement Act, which established penalties for aggravated identity theft, which is using the identity of another person to commit felony crimes, including immigration violations, theft of another s Social Security benefits, and acts of domestic terrorism. The act required the court to sentence two additional years for a general offense and five years for a terrorism offense.

    Along with names, Social Security numbers, and dates of birth, fraudsters also use Medicare numbers, addresses, birth certificates, death certificates, passport numbers, financial account numbers (i.e., bank account, credit card), passwords (e.g., mother s maiden name, father s middle name), telephone numbers, and biometric data (e.g., fingerprints, iris scans) to commit identity theft.

    According to the Federal Trade Commission, identity theft complaints nearly doubled between 2010 and 2015. However, the number of identity theft victims and total losses are likely much higher than publicly-reported statistics. It is difficult to provide a precise assessment because different law enforcement agencies may classify identity theft crimes differently, and because identity theft can also involve credit card fraud, Internet fraud, or mail theft, among other crimes.

    Some of the more prevalent schemes criminals are using these days to steal identities include suspicious e-mail and/or phishing attempts to trick victims into revealing personally identifiable information; smash and grab burglaries involving the theft of hard copy driver s licenses, credit cards, check books, etc.; and computer and network intrusions that result in the loss of personally identifiable information.

    The FBI is working to address an emerging identity fraud threat stolen identity refund fraud. This scheme involves perpetrators acquiring victims’ dates of birth and social security numbers, and then filing fraudulent tax returns using this information, directing the refunds to prepaid debit cards or bank accounts under their control. Victims often don’t realize that they have been targeted until they try to file their legitimate tax returns or receive a tax audit notice in the mail.


    Why a Company Thief May Get Away with It #employee #theft #prosecution


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    Employee Theft: Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Report It

    Most small business owners don t get the police involved when they catch an employee stealing from them, new research finds.

    While 64 percent of small businesses have experienced employee theft, only 16 percent of those reported the incident to police, the study found.

    It s important to look at this topic because such theft represents a loss to the tax base and would also seem to put such businesses at risk, and so, put our overall economy at risk, said study author Jay Kennedy, a University of Cincinnati criminal justice doctoral student.

    Kennedy found four main reasons why employers are hesitant to get the authorities involved.

    • No real victims. The business owner does not see the victimization as serious enough to warrant his or her time and trouble beyond firing the employee.
    • Attorney advises against it. The business owner seeks counsel from a third party, usually his or her attorney, who often advises that the employer s costs in time and effort for a successful prosecution outweigh any likely benefits to the employer. For instance, one company went through all the time and steps for a successful prosecution of an employee who stole $200,000. The employee was convicted, put on probation and ordered to make restitution at the rate of $50 per month, Kennedy said. In essence, the small business will never recoup the stolen funds.
    • Emotional ties. Many of those employees caught in theft have worked alongside business owners for many years, and may even be family. In the intimate environments that are small businesses, you may know this person s spouse and children, or may see him or her in family settings at the holidays, Kennedy said. All in all, you just want to put the betrayal behind you as much and as quickly as you can.
    • Business owners see the police/criminal justice system as ineffective or incompetent. Since thefts by employees may involve complex finances that are not the specialty of a beat cop, small businesses often assume that a responding officer won t have the business background to appreciate or even, initially, do much about a reported crime other than write up a report. Or, small business owners assume the police are busy with more traditional, street-level law enforcement duties.

    The research found that the most common item stolen was cash. Overall, 40 percent of thefts in small businesses are of money.Kennedy said that the cash thefts reported in his study ranged from $5 to $2 million, with $20,000 being the average amount stolen.

    Kennedy hypothesized that the higher the dollar amount in a theft, the more trusted the employee conducting the theft. He said most people believe that employees who steal are doing so because they are poor, in desperate need of money for, say, medical treatment or other dire circumstances.

    Anecdotally, I ve founded in my research that these crimes actually tend to be a matter of lifestyle enhancement, Kennedy said. Those convicted of fraud cannot account for how they spent the money.

    In addition to cash, 18 percent of thefts were of products sold by the business, 12 percent were of materials (items that go into the production of a firm s product offerings), 8 percent were of tools and 6 percent were equipment.

    The study revealed that most of thefts do not happen in a one-time incident, but represent an employee who steals over time. According to the research, 61 percent of reported thefts were ongoing schemes and ranged in duration from a low of about two weeks to a high of 20 years. The average duration of a theft scheme was 16 months before the employee was caught. Kennedy said in most cases the theft is discovered by sheer luck .

    Say the employee who is stealing goes on vacation, and someone else steps in to take over duties, he said. The person stepping in notices something funny and begins asking questions.

    The research found 60 percent of the employees most likely to steal were categorized as general or first-line employees, those at the lowest hierarchical level without supervisory responsibility. About 20 percent were managers/executives; the rest consisted of small percentages of accountant/bookkeeper/finance professionals; receptionists and secretaries; and billing/purchasing professionals.

    Kennedy said that, somewhat surprisingly, only about 2 percent of cashiers those handling cold, hard cash at a cash register were likely to steal.

    The study was based on surveys of 314 small business owners in Cincinnati. The businesses covered a range of industries, including the finance/banking sector; manufacturing sector; service sector; and restaurant/retail sector. Kennedy also conducted 30 in-person interviews with some of those surveyed.

    The research will be presented during this week s (Feb. 18-22) annual meeting of the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences in Philadelphia.

    Chad Brooks is a Chicago-based freelance writer who has nearly 15 years experience in the media business. A graduate of Indiana University, he spent nearly a decade as a staff reporter for the Daily Herald in suburban Chicago, covering a wide array of topics including, local and state government, crime, the legal system and education. Following his years at the newspaper Chad worked in public relations, helping promote small businesses throughout the U.S. Follow him on Twitter .


    Do You Have to Place a Fraud Alert with each Credit Reporting


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    Do You Have to Place a Fraud Alert with each Credit Reporting Company?

    Dear DRP,

    No, you do not need to request another fraud alert with Experian.

    How Requesting a Fraud Alert Works

    When you request a fraud alert or security alert be added with any of the three major credit reporting companies, the company you contacted will notify the other two and alerts will be added with those agencies as well.

    You should receive confirmation from each company that the alert has been added. If not, you can contact each agency individually to confirm that the alert is on file their files.

    An initial security alert will remain on your report for 90 days. You can request a free copy of your report when you add the alert so that you can review it carefully and determine whether there are any signs of identity theft.

    Keep in mind that each credit reporting agency may have slightly different information, so you will want to review all three credit reports.

    Additional Things to Know About Fraud Alerts

    Along with adding the initial alert, Experian will automatically opt you out of receiving pre-approved offers for six months.

    Should you ever need to request an initial alert in the future, you can always add it directly by visiting Experian’s Fraud Center .

    Be sure to contact your local police department to file an identity theft report and then contact Experian if you suspect there are fraud-related items on your report.

    Once you’ve filed a police report you can request a seven-year victim statement be added. It will include two telephone numbers that you provide so lenders can contact you before granting credit in your name.

    Thanks for asking.
    The Ask Experian team

    Better detection and protection for identity theft and credit fraud. More identity and account alerts, with credit lock to prevent unauthorized inquiries.

    Related Articles

    I Am Having Trouble Answering the Online Security Questions. What Should I Do?

    I cannot access my credit report online. I was asked several security questions about accounts I did not recognize. I have the form to request the report

    How Do I Report Identity Theft?

    How do I add a fraud statement to my credit report? I want to warn creditors that I have recently been a victim of identity theft and

    What Should I Do if I Don t Recognize a Creditor on My Credit Report?

    I have two items on my credit report that I am not familiar with. I do not know what these entries are for. What should I do? –

    How can you recover from credit fraud?

    If you think you have been a victim of identity theft or credit fraud, visit www.experian.com/fraud. On the site, you can request a free initial security alert be added

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    Security Assessment, VAPT, ECSA Training in Bangalore, Chennai, Mumbai, Pune, Delhi, Gurgaon,


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    A penetration test is done to evaluate the security of a computer system or network by simulating an attack by a malicious user / hacker. The process involves active exploitation of security vulnerabilities that may be present due to poor or improper system configuration, known and / or unknown hardware or software flaws, or operational weaknesses in process or design.

    This analysis is carried out from the position of a potential attacker, to determine feasibility of an attack and the resulting business impact of a successful exploit. Usually this is presented with recommendations for mitigation or a technical solution.

    About this workshop

    This workshop gives an in-depth perspective of penetration testing approach and methodology that covers all modern infrastructure, operating systems and application environments.

    This workshop is designed to teach security professionals the tools and techniques required to perform comprehensive information security assessment.

    Participants will learn how to design, secure and test networks to protect their organization from the threats hackers and crackers pose. This workshop will help participants to effectively identify and mitigate risks to the security of their organization s infrastructure.

    This 40 hour highly interactive workshop will help participants have hands on understanding and experience in Security Assessment.

    A proper understanding of Security Assessment is an important requirement to analyze the integrity of the IT infrastructure.

    Expertise in security assessment is an absolute requirement for a career in information security management and could be followed by management level certifications like CISA, CISSP, CISM, CRISC and ISO 27001.

    There are many reasons to understand Security Assessment:

    • Prepare yourself to handle penetration testing assignments with more clarity
    • Understand how to conduct Vulnerability Assessment
    • Expand your present knowledge of identifying threats and vulnerabilities
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    • Become more marketable in a highly competitive environment

    Therefore this workshop will prepare you to handle VA / PT assignments and give you a better understanding of various security concepts and practices that will be of valuable use to you and your organization.

    This workshop will significantly benefit professionals responsible for security assessment of the network / IT infrastructure.

    • IS / IT Specialist / Analyst / Manager
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    Anyone aspiring for a career in Security Assessment would benefit from this workshop. The workshop is restricted to participants who have knowledge of ethical hacking countermeasures.

    The entire workshop is a combination of theory and hands-on sessions conducted in a dedicated ethical hacking lab environment.

    • The Need for Security Analysis
    • Advanced Googling
    • TCP/IP Packet Analysis
    • Advanced Sniffing Techniques
    • Vulnerability Analysis with Nessus
    • Advanced Wireless Testing
    • Designing a DMZ
    • Snort Analysis
    • Log Analysis
    • Advanced Exploits and Tools
    • Penetration Testing Methodologies
    • Customers and Legal Agreements
    • Rules of Engagement
    • Penetration Testing Planning and Scheduling
    • Pre Penetration Testing Checklist
    • Information Gathering
    • Vulnerability Analysis
    • External Penetration Testing
    • Internal Network Penetration Testing
    • Routers and Switches Penetration Testing
    • Firewall Penetration Testing
    • IDS Penetration Testing
    • Wireless Network Penetration Testing
    • Denial of Service Penetration Testing
    • Password Cracking Penetration Testing
    • Social Engineering Penetration Testing
    • Stolen Laptop, PDAs and Cell phones Penetration Testing
    • Application Penetration Testing
    • Physical Security Penetration Testing
    • Database Penetration testing
    • VoIP Penetration Testing
    • VPN Penetration Testing
    • War Dialing
    • Virus and Trojan Detection
    • Log Management Penetration Testing
    • File Integrity Checking
    • Blue Tooth and Hand held Device Penetration Testing
    • Telecommunication and Broadband Communication Penetration Testing
    • Email Security Penetration Testing
    • Security Patches Penetration Testing
    • Data Leakage Penetration Testing
    • Penetration Testing Deliverables and Conclusion
    • Penetration Testing Report and Documentation Writing
    • Penetration Testing Report Analysis
    • Post Testing Actions
    • Ethics of a Penetration Tester
    • Standards and Compliance

    DMB Interlock – Safety Services, Inc #interlock #montana, #ignition #interlock, #ignition #interlock


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    Our Customers and Employees are the very backbone to the success of DMB Interlock Safety Services. The owners will strive to ensure that each customer is treated with the utmost care and service, providing them the service they deserve. Our employees and Contract vendors will be compensated competitively, providing a work environment in which they can be proud to be a part of.

    Our success will be ensured by providing our customers a personalized service during every transaction, with fanatical attention to detail in everything we do. The competitive strength of the company is outlined in our every day operating principals of Safety, Accuracy, Timeliness and personalized friendly service.

    Please feel free to contact us and let us know how we are doing. We thank you for your business and look forward to serving you in the future.

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  • Identity Theft Protection Information – Resources #child #identity #theft #statistics


    #

    Identity Theft Protection

    When the average American thinks about personal security, identity theft protection may not be the first concern that comes to mind. While most people have at least heard of identity theft and identity fraud, many of them are unaware of how widespread and complex the problems actually are.

    The Social Security Administration (SSA) has called identity theft one of the fastest-growing crimes in America. 1

    ID theft: Making a plan to protect yourself

    There are many ways these crimes can occur, which makes them especially difficult to protect against. # Criminals do not have to break into your home to commit identity fraud and access your money; there are many other ways that criminals can steal your information and misuse it for their own gain.

    For instance, your identity can potentially be compromised even when you are engaged in perfectly legitimate everyday transactions, such as paying your medical bills, ordering a gift online or swiping your debit card at a restaurant. So how is the average consumer supposed to guard against this threat?

    • $110/year
    • $10/month, plus applicable sales tax
    • $275.50/year
    • $25.00/month, plus applicable sales tax

    LifeLock® standard membership includes:

    • LifeLock Identity Alert ® system†
    • Black Market Website Surveillance
    • Reduced Pre-Approved Credit Card Offers
    • Live Member Support 24/7/365
    • $1 Million Total Service Guarantee
    • Lost Wallet Protection §

    LifeLock Ultimate™ service includes all the benefits of LifeLock standard protection plus additional benefits such as:

    • Checking and Savings Account Application Alerts
    • Bank Account Takeover Alerts
    • Credit Inquiry Activity
    • Online Annual Credit Reports and Scores
    • Monthly Credit Score Tracking
    • Court Records Scanning
    • Unauthorized Payday Loan Notifications

    • Identity Theft Protection
    • Credit Reports and Credit Scores
    • Fraud Alerts
    • Lost Wallet Protection
    • Internet Scanning
    • Medical Benefits Protection
    • $1 Million Service Warranty
    • Facebook Privacy Monitor
    • Junk Mail Reduction

    • Identity Theft Protection
    • Credit Reports and Scores from 3 Bureaus
    • Address Monitoring
    • Loss Wallet Protection
    • Notification of Credit Changes
    • Personal Recovery Assistance
    • $1 Million Loss Reimbursement Insurance

    • Identity Theft Protection
    • Internet Scan
    • Credit Monitoring
    • Address Monitoring
    • Loss Wallet Protection
    • All Clear Surveillance Alerts
    • Identity Theft Resolution
    • $1 Million Identity Theft Insurance

    Sources and Research
    1. Social Security Administration. Identity Theft And Your Social Security Number. SSA Publication No. 05-10064. August 2009.
    Network does not cover all transactions and scope may vary.
    The benefits under the Service Guarantee are provided under a Master Insurance Policy underwritten by State National Insurance Company. Under the Service Guarantee, LifeLock will spend up to $1 million to hire experts to help your recovery. As this is only a summary, please see the actual policy for applicable terms and restrictions at LifeLock.com/legal
    LifeLock, the Lockman Icon and Relentlessly Protecting Your Identity are registered trademarks of LifeLock, Inc.
    *Fastest alerts require member s current email address.
    #No one can prevent all identity theft.
    §Coverage excludes pictures, cash and cash equivalents.

    Learn more about ID theft protection

    What is identity theft?

    What is identity theft? This crime involves illegally obtaining someone s personal identifying information or data, such as a Social Security number. Identity fraud is what takes place when this information is used after it has been stolen. There are many types of identity theft. and the financial consequences vary greatly depending on the type of information that is stolen and how it is used.

    Where identity theft occurs
    • Wallet and/or credit card theft
    • Mail theft
    • Online attacks
    • ATM skimmers
    • Data breaches
    • Dumpster diving for personal documents

    Of course, these are only a few of the ways that thieves can obtain your personal data. As technology continues to evolve, crime evolves with it. Now, perhaps more than ever, it is essential for consumers to proactively protect their identities.

    Takeaway

    IdentityTheftProtection.org is here to offer you the information you need when it comes to helping secure your identity and protecting your finances along with your good name. To learn more about common types of fraud and how they occur, read through the resources offered on this website.

    Don’t give criminals the chance to take advantage of your identity. Get informed about identity theft protection today.

    Identity Theft Articles


    The 4 Best Identity Theft Protection Services for Seniors of 2017 #best


    #

    The 4 Best Identity Theft Protection Services for Seniors

    Identity theft among senior citizens is on the rise, so it s more important than ever for seniors to think about investing in identity protection. When making your choice, you should not only consider the price, but also the types of protection the service offers. Seniors are at a high risk of medical ID theft, so choosing a company that monitors your medical benefits, in addition to your other personal information, is ideal. You also want to look for companies with excellent customer support to ensure a real person is available to help you with any questions or help you if you become a victim of ID fraud. The four companies listed below offer some of the best identity theft protection for seniors and make a good place to begin your search.

    IdentityForce is one of the best identity theft protection services available and, accordingly, it is also one of the best ID protection services for seniors. IdentityForce monitors all your basic personal information, including your name, address, Social Security number, and bank accounts. You receive email notifications if anything changes so you re always in the loop. If at any time you have any questions about your account or any notifications you ve received, you can always contact IdentityForce by phone or email and one of their support representatives will help you. Fraud specialists assist you in reclaiming your identity if it is stolen by an identity thief, so you won t have to do everything on your own. With the growing problem of medical ID fraud, IdentityForce also monitors your medical benefits to make sure they are not being used by anyone but you and your family.

    If you choose to go with ProtectMyID, you ll have all your bases covered. They monitor your credit reports and personal information to make sure nothing looks out of the ordinary. Seniors will also appreciate the fact that ProtectMyID keeps an eye on your medical benefits, since medical ID theft is becoming a widespread problem. Not only is medical ID theft illegal but it s also potentially dangerous to your health. With this service, you re notified if anyone tries to use your identity to get a medical procedure. ProtectMyID also has several different customer support outlets, including phone and email, so whether you just have a question or you suspect you re the victim of identity theft, someone is always there to help you through it.

    FICO Identity Ultimate provides quality identity theft protection for seniors at a very reasonable price. There s a three-month minimum subscription, but you can test out the service for 30 days before making a purchase. FICO Identity Ultimate monitors your credit and personal information, including your name and Social Security number, to make sure your identity hasn t been stolen. You get alerts via email letting you know of any suspicious activity so you can take immediate action. On-Call Protection Specialists help you throughout the whole process of reclaiming your identity, which helps make the whole process go much more smoothly. Another great aspect of FICO Identity Ultimate is they help reduce the amount of junk mail you receive which, apart from being annoying, can also be a source of information thieves use to steal your identity. This service isn t offered by all identity theft protection services, so if you re interested, FICO Identity Ultimate could be the right solution for you.

    TrustedID offers quality customer support and excellent coverage of your basic personal information. The only component it doesn t check for is unauthorized loans taken out in your name. However, it does watch out for any unauthorized use of your credit and debit cards, your Social Security number, and your name and address, among others. You also get access to your credit reports and scores. Like IdentityForce, TrustedID emails you alerts so you always know if there is anything suspicious occurring. You re then put in contact with a fraud specialist who helps you place fraud alerts on your account and manage your case. This identity protection service is a bit more affordable than some of the others on this list, so if budget is a big concern for you, TrustedID could be a good fit.

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    We find the best of everything. How? We start with the world. We narrow down our list with expert insight and cut anything that doesn’t meet our standards. We hand-test the finalists. Then, we name our top picks.


    DALLAS PATENT LAW ATTORNEY-LITIGATION-TRADEMARK-COPYRIGHT-TRADE SECRET #attorney, #lawyer, #attrorny, #atroney, #attroney, #lawer, #laywer,


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    Contact Us

    Mailing Address

    Wilson Legal Group P.C.
    16610 Dallas Parkway, Suite 1000
    Dallas, Texas 75248
    Telephone: 972-248-8080

    Questions or Comments?

    Meet Our Legal Team

    The Wilson Legal Group P.C.

    Be influenced by nothing but your clients interests. Tell them the Truth. –Arthur C. Nielsen

    The W ilson L egal G roup specializes in Patents. Trademarks. Copyrights. Trade Secrets. and Complex Litigation in the Dallas Fort-Worth Metroplex. Our firm combines the talent and expertise of our attorneys to provide you with the strong and knowledgeable representation you need. With attorneys who have backgrounds in the sciences, have years of experience defending and protecting intellectual property, and who are talented entrepreneurs, the Wilson Legal Group is specially equipped to meet your needs and to provide you the guidance and representation needed to protect your intellectual works.

    Our Patent attorneys have assisted numerous clients to obtain patents and have represented our clients in hundreds of Patent Litigation matters to protect and defend their inventions. Their backgrounds in the sciences give them a unique ability to understand and appreciate your invention and, combined with their extensive law experiences, enable them to craft strong applications and defenses for our patent clients. They have successfully taken numerous cases to trial and have reached settlements favorable to our clients in scores more. Our success is due to our attorneys strong concern for our clients best interests that drives them to protect our clients inventions and rights thereto.

    Our Trademark attorneys understand that a trademark is your company s signature, a sign of your company s credibility and reliability. As skilled entrepreneurs, our attorneys know the importance of your company s trademark and the detrimental effects the misapporpriation of that trademark can have. Our trademark attorneys have a passion for protecting our clients and their companies rights and strive to give our clients the strong defense and protection they need. They will work tirelessly to ensure that your intellectual properties are not stolen or abused.

    Our Copyright attorneys understand the importance of your creative works and will vigorously fight to defend your interests. Our attorneys have assisted numerous clients to register copyright protection for their intellectual and creative works. They have helped clients to properly license their works, ensuring that they get what they deserve for their creations. Our attorneys refuse to allow your intellectual works to be stolen or misappropriated. They will strive to defend your work and to ensure that you are properly and fairly compensated for its use.

    Our Trade Secret attorneys have the experience and skill necessary to provide you the protection and security you need for your trade secrets. Further, our attorneys have years of experience in trade secret litigation and will provide the agressive representation needed to prosecute or defend against trade secret infringment.

    At the Wilson Legal Group, our skilled intellectual property lawyers are also prepared to assist with all your Licensing needs. From negotiations to preparing agreements to enforcing those agreements, our attorneys will work with you every step of the way to ensure that your intellectual works have the solid protection needed. Additionally, our Domain Name Protection attorneys will fight vigorously to protect your internet presence associated with your intellectual properties in any domain name dispute you may face. We will guide and aid you every step of the way through proceedings brought under the Uniform Domain-Name Dispute Resolution Policy or the Anti-Cybersquatting Consumer Protection Act; our team of legal professionals will work tirelessly to give you the best representation possible.

    With Complex Litigation attorneys who are certified by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization, have experience as former Dallas County prosecutors, and have defended clients business and property interests, the W ilson L egal G roup is specially equipped to serve all your legal needs and address the particular concerns of your case. Our attorneys have used their wide breadth of experience to assist our clients to form business entities, to market their inventions, and to protect their property. Whether your facing the excitement of starting a new company or the burden of a business dispute, let the Wilson Legal Group give you the benefit of their knowledge, talent, and experience to help make the proccess as smooth and easy as possible.

    Our patent, trademark, and copyright attorneys:

    • Have degrees in at least one scientific or engineering field;
    • File international and domestic patent applications;
    • Have over a decade of experience in intellectual property prosecution, litigation, and licensing;
    • Are admitted to practice before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board and the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office;
    • Anticipate and pre-emptively defend against opposition and litigation from competitors.

    The W ilson L egal G roup will not allow you to be taken advantage of but will strive to protect your rights, to fight for your interests, and to give you the strong and aggressive representation your case demands.

    The law office of Wilson Legal Group P.C. represents clients nationwide and local clients from Dallas and other Texas areas, including Austin, Houston, Fort Worth, Arlington, Carrollton, Plano, Allen, Lewisville, Flower Mound, Irving, Denton, McKinney, North Richland Hills, and all cities within Dallas County, Tarrant County, Collin County, and Denton County.

    Copyright 2011 Wilson Legal Group P.C. All Rights Reserved.

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    Fraud Alert #cell #phone #identity #theft


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    Home Fraud Alert | Learn How

    Fraud Alert | Learn How

    Putting a fraud alert on your credit file is one of the first things you should do if you suspect someone is trying to open credit accounts in your name. It might be something you want to do, even if you don t think identity theft is an immediate threat.

    Realize, however, that it s a fairly weak solution as it only asks creditors to consider being more cautious when opening new accounts in your name. If you re seriously concerned about fraud, I would suggest a two step process:

    A security freeze can stop new credit accounts from being opened and a credit monitoring service can alert you if anything slips through the cracks.

    Fraud Alert Video

    2:08 minutes From the U.S. Treasury Dept. Explains the steps you can take to protect yourself from identity theft, including implementing fraud alerts.

    Credit Reports Fraud Alerts

    Fraud alerts are not a cure-all, however. A fraud alert can be ignored by creditors. If you suspect you re a victim of identity theft, or have already become a victim, fraud alerts are only a start in trying to protect your credit. You also need to pay close attention to your credit reports with credit monitoring and consider a credit freeze an even stronger option than a fraud alert. It tightens access to your credit data even more by allowing you to freeze all access to your credit file.

    What is a Fraud Alert?

    A fraud alert is something that the major credit bureaus attach to your credit report. When you, or someone else, tries to open up a credit account by getting a new credit card, car loan, cell phone, etc. the lender should contact you by phone to verify that you really want to open a new account. If you aren t reachable by phone, the credit account shouldn t be opened.

    A creditor isn t required by law to contact you, however, even if you have fraud alert in place.

    How Do I Set Up a Fraud Alert?

    It s pretty easy. Just contact each of the fraud department of the credit bureaus and ask them to flag your credit file for fraud. You ll probably talk to an automated voice response system and it should only take a few minutes. You should consider using your cell phone as a contact number, so creditors can reach you more easily.

    You can also request fraud alerts online. Here are the locations for Equifax and Experian:

    Vendors like Lifelock previously used the fraud alert process to alert creditors of potential fraud. The great thing about these services was that they would automatically update the fraud alert every 90 days. Because of a lawsuit, however, these vendors are no longer allowed to place alerts and you will have to keep the alert updated every 90 days.

    The bureaus claim to share fraud alert data once you contact one of them. However, some studies have shown that this process doesn t always work so your best option is to contact each bureau individually to place an alert.

    What Happens When I Activate a Fraud Alert?

    • Within 24 hours, an alert should be be activated at the credit bureau. You should receive a confirmation in the mail a week or two after your call. If you don t receive this confirmation, call a place the alert again.
    • Your name will be removed from all pre-approved credit and insurance offers for two years.

    The fraud alert will remain in place for only 90 days. When the time runs out, you ll need to reactivate the alert. You can also apply for a 7-year victim statement that will keep the alert in place for, you guessed it, 7 years. For this, you will have to provide proof that you ve been a victim of fraud.

    Fraud Alerts for Minor Children

    The credit reporting agencies do not knowingly maintain credit files on minor children. If you suspect that your minor child s information has been used fraudulently, you should contact the credit reporting agencies directly and report the illegal use of your child s information to law enforcement.

    You ll need to supply each credit reporting agency with your child s:

    • Complete name
    • Address
    • Date of birth
    • A copy of the minor child s birth certificate
    • A copy of the minor child s social security card
    • A copy of your driver s license or other government-issued proof of your identity, which includes your current address
    • A current utility bill containing your current address so the credit reporting agencies may promptly respond to your request.

    Send the information (I would suggest using certified mail) to the fraud department of the credit bureaus .

    What Are the Drawbacks of a Fraud Alert?

    Activating a fraud alert will cause you a problem if you re used to walking into an electronics store, signing up for their amazing don t pay anything until 2010 credit offer, and walking out of the store with a new big-screen TV. With a fraud alert active, you have to be available at either your work phone or home phone to approve opening the credit account. No big deal. It will just require a short delay in your instant gratification and a call-back to the credit company authorizing the new account.

    If you can live with that, putting a fraud alert on your credit will help protect you in some situations.

    NOTE: You want to be cautious if you re just about to apply for a home loan or refinance. Let your broker know that you have a fraud alert in place because you re trying to protect yourself against fraud.

    On the plus side, a fraud alert won t cause any problems with your current credit card, bank or credit accounts. It s focused on new credit accounts, not the ones you already have opened.

    How Can I Remove a Fraud Alert?

    If you decide you want to remove a fraud alert you ll need to request it in writing. You ll have to include your name, social security number, current and previous addresses, date of birth, and telephone number and send it to the fraud department of the credit bureaus where the alert has been placed. I d also suggest using certified mail or overnight shipping. You want to be able to track a letter that has all that critical data. You could also just wait the 90 days for the alert to expire.

    Save On Identity Theft Services


    Identitiy Theft #identity #theft, #identity #protection, #identity #fraud, #identity #theft #help, #identity


    #

    Identity Theft

    Identity Theft Warning Signs

    • Unusual activity on your credit report
    • Missing bills and statements
    • Emails or texts asking for sensitive information
    • Calls from creditors about accounts you never opened or loans you never applied for

    Thousands of men and women meet online every day and while online dating has expanded the dating universe like never before; a few bad guys fly under the radar and attempt to scam innocent people. While scams asking for money are more common in online dating, it is important to be aware of other equally important fraudulent practices such as identity theft.

    What is Identity Theft?

    To put it simply, when someone steals or attempts to steal your identity it is known as identity theft. Identity thieves use the victim’s personal information and details to fraudulently pose as the victim, usually for financial benefits.

    How Do Thieves Steal Identities?

    The identity thief uses the victim’s identity for personal gain and this leads to identity fraud. They make use of personal information such as bank account details, social security or tax file numbers, credit card details or any other financial account information for their personal benefit. They can get hold of this information through various online and offline methods.

    • Phishing They send emails or pop-up messages, pretending to be your financial institution to get you to reveal your personal details.
    • Pretending Once they obtain your personal email address or phone number, again they pretend to be your financial institution to get a hold of your information.
    • Changing Your Address If they know your home address, they can change the address and divert your bills and bank statements to a different address.

    In the offline world, some identity thieves resort to literally stealing your information.

    • Stealing They steal wallets, credit cards, mail from mail boxes, pre-approved credit offers etc. At the corporate level, they even target companies and steal personnel information from their databases.
    • Dumpster Diving They rummage through the rubbish to look for identifying information or bills they can use.

    Staying Safe

    Don’t become a victim of identity fraud; take these steps to prevent it from happening to you while you’re dating online.

    • Do not post or share any personal information and details with anyone, no matter how safe you think it might be. Bank account details, a credit card number or a social security or tax file number is often all a thief needs for fraud.
    • If you are talking to someone on the phone, get to know them before you give them your cell phone number. Identity thieves have been known to use home and work phone numbers in reverse phone directories to reveal addresses etc so it s probably best you get to know someone a little before you share your contact details with them.
    • Keep a log of your chat or IM sessions wherever possible, just in case you need it in the future.
    • Do not entertain any requests to cash a cashiers check as these checks are usually fake and as a victim you not only lose your money but could also reveal sensitive personal information to the scammer.
    • Monitor your credit reports regularly to ensure there has been no unusual activity on your account. You can also freeze your report so credit issuers can only access your report when you give them permission to do so.
    • If you receive emails, text messages or phone calls asking you for sensitive information, make sure you double check with the bank or financial institution as they will usually not ask for sensitive information over the phone.
    • Use a locked mail box so your mail cannot be stolen and make sure you shred paper before you throw it in the garbage.

    Getting Help

    Sensitive information in the hands of a thief can lead to several kinds of identity fraud – credit card, bank and finance, government documents (getting a driver’s license in the victim’s name; using social security number), getting a job pretending to be the victim, renting services etc. Obviously an imposter is bad news and if you think you are a victim of identity theft/ fraud, you must get help immediately.

    • File a police report.
    • Immediately notify creditors.
    • Dispute unauthorized transactions and doing so will help restore your name and credit report.
    • Set up a fraud alert on your credit report to prevent the thief from opening further accounts
    • Close the accounts that have been tampered with

    In addition, take a look at the links below for detailed information about identity theft and fraud.

    More Information

    • The US Federal Trade Commission s Identity Theft site
    • The National identity theft information and help website for the UK.
    • Guide for Identity Theft Victims

    Identity Theft and Fraud Legislation


    Credit Card Help: 10 things you should know about identity theft #credit


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    10 things you should know about identity theft

    Identity theft is often in the news, but there are a lot of misconceptions swirling around about how to best protect yourself.

    While some identity thieves focus on getting your credit cards and maxing them out before you even realize they’re missing, an increasing number are using other pieces of information about you — such as online shopping account or email login credentials — in order to steal your entire identity.

    A February 2014 study by Javelin Strategy Research found that 13.1 million identity-theft cases were reported in 2013, resulting $18 billion in losses. An increasingly common method of identity theft is account takeover fraud, which was approximately 28 percent of fraud cases in 2013. Instead of just using a card for unauthorized transactions, fraudsters dive deeper and hack into existing accounts, change settings and make purchases in your name online. Such activity accounted for $5 billion in fraud losses in 2013.

    No one is immune to identity theft, but armed with a little knowledge about how identity thieves operate — and a little common sense — you can stay one step ahead of them.

    1.Thieves don’t need your credit card number in order to steal it. Conversely, they don’t need your credit card in order to steal your identity. Identity thieves are crafty; sometimes all they need is one piece of information about you and they can easily gain access to the rest. As a result, says Heather Wells, recovery manager at ID Experts, an identity protection company, today it’s crucial to lock up important documents at home. “Secure birth certificates, Social Security cards, passports, in a safe deposit box or in a safe hidden at home,” she says. “And that includes credit cards when not in use.”

    2.The nonfinancial personal informationyou reveal online is often enough for a thief. Beware of seemingly innocent personal facts that a thief could use to steal your identity. For example, never list your full birthdate on Facebook or any other social-networking websites. And don’t list your home address or telephone number on any website you use for personal or business reasons, including job-search sites.

    3.Be careful with your snail mail. “Follow your billing cycles closely,” says Lucy Duni, vice president of consumer education at TrueCredit.com. “If a credit card or other bill hasn’t arrived, it may mean that an identity thief has gotten hold of your account and changed your billing address.” Al Marcella, professor at Webster University’s School of Business and Technology in St. Louis, and an expert on identity theft, suggests when you order new checks, you pick them up at the bank instead of shipping them to your home. “Stolen checks can be altered and cashed by fraudsters,” says Duni. And never place outgoing mail in your post office box or door slot for a carrier to pick up. Anyone can grab it and get your credit card numbers and other financial information. Bring it to the post office yourself.

    4. Review all bank and credit card statements each month, preferably once a week. Watch for charges for less than a dollar or two from unfamiliar companies or individuals. Thieves who are planning to purchase a block of stolen credit card numbers often first test to check that the accounts haven’t been canceled by aware customers by sending a small charge through, sometimes for only a few pennies. If the first charge succeeds, they’ll buy the stolen data and make a much larger charge or purchase. They’re guessing — often correctly — that most cardholders won’t notice such a tiny charge. In addition, many of the fraud alerts you can set on your accounts aren’t triggered by small dollar amounts. Reviewing your credit report on a regular basis is also a good idea, but usually by the time a fraudulent transaction reaches your credit report, it’s too late.

    5.If an ATM or store terminal looks funny, don’t use it. “Make sure there is no device attached to any ATM card slot you use,” says Wells. “As a general rule, the mouth of a card receptacle on an ATM machine should be flush with the machine or have only a very slight lip.” If it looks or feels different when you swipe your card, or has an extra piece of plastic sticking out from the card slot, it may be a skimmer, an electronic device placed there by thieves that captures your credit card information when you swipe it. If you notice it after you’ve already inserted your card, you should alert your bank so they can watch for any fraudulent charges to your account.

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    6. Identitythieves love travelers and tourists. Scott Stevenson, founder and CEO of Eliminate ID Theft, an ID theft protection company, cautions travelers to be alert to strangers hovering around whenever you use a credit card at an ATM or phone, and to avoid public wireless Internet connections unless your laptop or smartphone has beefed-up security protection.*

    7. Identity thieves are sneaky; you need to be sneaky, too. There are a few simple things you can do to protect your credit card in case it falls into the wrong hands. “Sign your credit card with a Sharpie so your signature can’t be erased and written over,” suggests Echo Montgomery Garrett, a writer in Marietta, Ga. Consultant Sarah Browne of Carmel, Calif. had all but one credit card stolen from a hotel room. The card that was spared still had the “Please Activate” sticker on it. Though Browne had activated the card, she forgot to remove the sticker. “The thieves must have known that you have to activate a new card from the phone number listed with the credit card company, so they didn’t bother with it,” she said, and since then, she leaves the activation stickers on all of her cards. Indeed, when a thief struck a second time at a public function, Browne’s stickered cards were again left untouched.

    8.Pay attention at the checkout line. If a cashier or salesperson takes your card and either turns away from you or takes too long to conduct what is usually a normal transaction, she may be scanning your card into a handheld skimming terminal to harvest the information. But they don’t need a handheld scanner to capture your information. According to Mark Cravens, the Anti-Scam Doctor and author of “The Ten Commandments of Investing,” they can take a picture of the front and back of your card with a cell phone or merely swap out cards. “Look at your card when they hand it back and make sure it’s yours, and not another gold, silver, or blue card that looks like yours,” he says. “You may not notice they swapped your card for days.”

    9. Go paperless in as many ways as possible. Sandy Shore, training manager with Novadebt, a nonprofit, New Jersey-based credit-counseling agency, suggests clients cut back on the mail they receive from banks and financial institutions by discontinuing paper bills and statements. “Access your financial statements at the issuer’s website instead,” she says. This strategy has the added bonus of an environmental benefit. Similarly, Vaclav Vincalek, president of Pacific Coast Information Systems, an IT security firm, recommends that whatever paper receipts and financial statements you do receive go through the shredder instead of into the wastebasket. “Never throw away a credit card slip,” he says. “Instead, shred anything that has any number, name, address on it.”

    10. If you suspect you’ve fallen victim to identity theft, file a 90-day fraud alert. If you are worried that your personal information — credit card or otherwise — may have been compromised, contact one of the major credit bureaus (Equifax, TransUnion and Experian) and request an initial 90-day fraud alert for your credit report files with each bureau. The alert grants you a free credit report from each bureau and instructs potential creditors to contact you directly before opening any new lines of credit in your name, decreasing the risk of unauthorized credit activity. Then, if after reviewing your credit reports you discover fraudulent activity, consider taking the alert a step further and freeze your credit while you dispute the illegitimacies. However, unlike a free fraud alert, a credit freeze costs about $30 and locks your credit report, preventing all access to new lines of credit.

    * – As originally published, this story incorrectly stated that your hotel room keys contain your personal information.