Monday, July 31, 2006

Bankers Fight Tougher Identity Theft Alerts

Bankers-Fight-Tougher-Identity-Theft-Alerts-audio post - click to play

Is it any wonder why identity theft
continues to
skyrocket with the
attitudes of bankers who are

resisting recently proposed new
rules from
regulators from not one,
but 5 federal agencies?

The prestigious Federal Reserve, our nation's
central bank, unveiled proposals which would
require financial institutions to take detailed
measures to prevent the breach of customer's
sensitive financial data.

But, bankers and their lobbyists have continued
to balk at any attempts to increase consumer
data security - especially from rapid credit
fraud and identity theft.

"This is another unfunded, well-intentioned
mandate that could mushroom into a bureaucratic
nightmare and ultimately cost consumers more
for banking services," said Alan Rowe,
president of First Commercial Bank of Florida.

Here's why:

Under the federal proposal, banks would have to "red flag"
more than 30 types of suspicious
transactions to help
head off possible security breaches indicative of fast moving
identity theft rings and fraud artists.

For instance, a change-of-address request from a
customer quickly followed by
requests for
replacement credit cards
could be a sign that
a fraud artist is at work on that customer's accounts.

But, bankers only concerned with maintaining
their profit margins could care less about
your data being protected from the new threats
and tactics used by modern identity thieves.

"...every time they require us to do something
more, it costs a lot of money," said Randy
Burden", a veteran Orlando banker.

With attitudes like these, is it any wonder
banks both large and small have quietly
Congress for years to derail
any significant
federal laws to stem
the rising tide of out of control identity theft?

This is part of the rationale that has left over
80 million Americans the victims of
identity theft
or compromised personal
data within the past 18
months without
any national law being enacted which would
hold institutions accountable for the inept
and shoddy data security practices which
lead to identity theft.

So, our tip for today is to seek your own protection
from the identity thieves who understand all too well
the dirty secret bankers have kept from the American
public for years.

Enroll in any credible credit monitoring program and
act today to contact your bank to "opt out" of their
affiliate data sharing practices. It is your right under
law to remove your name and personal
from being released without
your consent to their marketing

By doing these two easy acts, you will immeasurably
your odds of becoming a victim of identity
theft and credit
fraud simply due to a company's
lax data security practices which could needlessly
expose your data through another "lost" computer

Monday, July 24, 2006

Half Million Plus Big Apple Identity Theft

Half-Million-Plus-Big-Apple-Identity-Theft audio post - click to play

Q: When is a secure facility not actually secure against
identity theft?

A: When a computer provided to a contractor, to move data
from point to point, can't be located.

This latest security exposure by CS Stars, an independent
insurance brokerage firm located in Chicago, involves the
workers of the New York State Compensation Board.

As a result of the "can not be located" computer, over
500,000 (540,000) individuals highly sensitive
information is at risk to identity theft.

The data which is missing includes:

  • Names
  • Addresses
  • Social Security Numbers (ssn)

While the FBI is still investigating, the company has
indicated no cases of verified identity theft have yet
to occur.

However, due to the latent potential for identity theft
to still happen months after this announcement, the
company has offered to it's impacted clients one year
of free credit reports.

So, our tip for today is for any NY State Workers
CompensationBoard individuals who've filed injury
claims, be extra diligent with your credit. Make sure
to contact the state Compensation Board for your
free credit protection offer.

Their toll free customer service number is
(877) 632-4996.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Lenscrafters Identity Theft Will See Jail Time

Lenscrafters-Identity-Theft-Will-See-Jail-Time-audio post - click to play

In a rare instance of an identity thief actually
getting caught, a Minnesota man will be spending
the next four years in prison for his role in
defrauding 40 innnocent victims. For his part
in the Lenscrafters identity theft, he was
responsible for the fraudulent credit charges of
more than $50,000.

We expose how this identity thief operated so
that you will be aware to guard your own credit
identity safety.

It seems, the Lenscrafters identity thief had
access his mall based office's medical records
and credit card information of patients.

According to the prosecutors on the case, this
identity thief would print extra receipts
containing the patient's credit card
during purchase transactions. This
identity thief then would sell the stolen
to credit fraudsters who
would specialize in conducting illegal purchases
- mostly within days involving a local celluar
phone service.

This type of identity thief, known as a
"data collector", is exactly why the California
senator instrumental in the 2002 landmark
security breach disclosure law has been hard
at work this year with a new bill to stop the
printing of consumer's full credit card
on retail receipts.

So, our tip for today is twofold:

Make sure you adopt a credit monitoring service
to alert you to the often times "hidden" misdeeds
from identity theft.

Secondly, before you conduct credit card purchases
at retail locations which may also have your personal
information on file, as in the case of Lenscrafters,
find out if their point of sale terminals truncate
the credit card number. Truncation means the
printer only displays the last four digits of the
card number.

If the retailer's point of sale terminal does not
truncate the full credit card number from their
printed receipts, then either pay cash -or- use
a credit card with a low available balance
to limit
your potential losses from fraud.

Do not, however, write a check as that's an even
worse way to expose yourself needlessly to id
theft fraud.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

$2 million Identity Theft of The Dead

$2-million-Identity-Theft-of-The-Dead-audio post - click to play

Is there no shame left amongst identity thieves?

Apparently, with at least one identity thief,
there is no limit. In this latest installment,
we expose the misdeeds of an identity theft
involving a Kentucky man who scammed his way
to nearly $2,000,000 over a three year period.

It seems, this identity thief, was actually a
financial planner who figured out how to use
the confidential personal data of more than
160 deceased persons.

The data he got his hands on was:

  • Names
  • Social Security Numbers (ssn)

With the 160 deceased persons information, the
identity thief was able to acquire 700 credit
cards from 15 financial institutions. This
highly productive identity thief then used those
credit cards to illegally purchase goods.

All of this criminal identity theft and credit
fraud was conducted from his home near
Louisville, Kentucky.

Fortunately, for criminal investigators, this identity
thief left a paper trial from two phony business fronts
and the detailed tracking spreadsheet on his computer
which ultimately lead to his arrest.

The identity thief is now facing up to 40 years in
for his crimes.

At least in this instance, one identity theft learned crime
does not pay - especially against the dead.

End note:

Want more podcast articles like this and free tips to
avoid becoming the next identity theft victim?

Also, share this with a friend and get your good will
for the day.

Friday, July 14, 2006

HUD Identity Theft Fear Govt Data Not Secure

HUD-Identity-Theft-Fear-Govt-Data-Not-Secure-audio post - click to play

The Department of Housing and Urban
HUD, has become potentially
the latest victim
of insider driven identity theft.

A two year employee was arrested June 26th
after she passed a phony cashier's check at
a Maryland bank which lead to a subsequent
investigation by federal agents and a search
warrant of her office.

Surprisingly, it seems this thief had access to
"personal client information" housed on HUD's
computer system even though the investigation
revealed she held a larceny conviction and had
used a series of false aliases.

Further, a search of the thief's apartment revealed
"numerous boxes" of data commonly associated
credit card, bank fraud, and identity theft.

So, our tip for today is if you either work for HUD
or have submitted any personal information on their
consumer applications, be advised to check back with
us for further developments on this developing story.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Fight Identity Theft with New Ohio Tool

Fight-Identity-Theft-with-New-Ohio-Tool-audio post - click to play

A fraudulent driver's license is the second most
common way stolen identity information is used.
However, only a very small percentage (3%)
identity theft victims ever knew a thief had
used their personal information to acquire a
fake driver's license in their name.

Now, there is an important new weapon available
to consumers to fight back against unauthorized
use of their driver's license information.

Starting this month in July, at least for Ohio
residents, there's a new web site which
consumers to verify when the
most recent
driver’s license was issued
in their name.

As a sidenote, Ohio driver's licenses historically
contain a treasure chest of data highly prized by
identity thieves:

  • Name
  • Street Adddress
  • City
  • State
  • Zip
  • Social Security Number (ssn)

With this rich bounty of personal information
with social security numbers, an identity
thief can
easily open up new credit accounts to
commit fraud
in your name.

So, our tip for today for Ohio residents is to
immediately take advantage of this new resource
to combat the often early and hidden signs of
identity theft. Go to this Ohio Bureau of Motor
Vehicles (BMV) website which allows you to enter
in your driver's license number, date of birth, and
the last four digits of your social security number.

With this information input, you will then be
able to verify if the most recent issue date
corresponds with your very own. If they
match, you are okay - but if the issue dates do
not match - then you may be an identity theft

Monday, July 10, 2006

Hoosiers New Identity Theft Protection

Hoosiers-New-Identity-Theft-Protection-audio post - click to play

An important new law to protect Indiana residents against
identity theft fraud is now in effect as of this month.

The law requires companies to notify Indiana consumers
if there is a breach in security which compromises
personal identification information.

Failure to do so will result in fines up to $150,000.

So, our tip for today is to be aware of your increased
rights as a resident of Indiana. Also, make sure to
tell your friends or associates living in the Hoosier
state of this important legal development designed
to protect them from identity theft fraud by providing
quicker public disclosure.

Friday, July 07, 2006

$50,000 Reward Leads to Stolen VA Laptop Recovery

$50,000-Reward-Leads-to-Stolen-VA-Laptop-Recovery-audio-post - click to play

Here's how to earn a quick $50,000 profit from identity theft.

[Warning, this is satire based on actual current events
is not an endorsement to commit identity theft!]

First, get an over worked friend for any non law enforcement
related federal government agency to bring home their laptop
containing social security numbers of millions of law abiding

Especially target government agencies which are headed by
polictical appointees that have publicly demonstrated a
disregard for consumer information security policies
and procedures.

Make sure you tell your friend to get an email reply
from his
immediate supervisor relinquishing
them both from responsibility
for breaking agency
policy resulting from letting the laptop leave the agency
premises containing sensitive consumer information.

Next, tell your friend to report the laptop "stolen" by thieves
immediately after a suspicious "break in" of his home which
leaves all of his other valuables like jewelry & televisions

Finally, to get your $50,000 payday courtesy of Uncle Sam, you
must contact the authorities with the location of the
"found" laptop immediately after a "reward"
is posted
to the general public for information needed to recover
the stolen consumer data.

You may have to wait 30 - 60 days for the entire process to
work, but it's well worth it as the public embarassment of
the government agency will surely generate the reward you

Oh, by the way, you can enlist your other friends in private
companies as well, but the rewards there are not as immediate.
You may have to simply settle for getting a contract to study
the problem of identity theft or review their information
security procedures after the fact of identity theft.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Largest Online Identity Theft Ring Busted

Largest-Online-Identity-Theft-Ring-Busted-audio-post - click to play

In what law enforcement officials described as one
of the largest illegal online centers that trafficked
hundreds of thousands of stolen credit card numbers,
the website founder is going to jail.

Andrew Mantovani, a 24 year old man, was sentenced
to 32 months in jail in Newark, New Jersey.

He pleaded guilty in November, 2005 to being the
ringleader of the website which
he operated as an online marketplace where
could buy and sell stolen identity

In addition to stolen identity information, buyers
could also acquire credit and debit card
from sellers on the Shadowcrew

Among Mr. Mantovani's illegal activity which
ultimately lead to his conviction were:

  • Online "phishing" and spamming
  • Obtained personal information from victims
  • Purchasing merchandise online using stolen identities
  • Stealing 18 million email addresses containing passwords

Operating the website which trafficked 1.5 million stolen credit
and debit card account information totallying $4 million in damages.

While the Shadowcrew website was shut down by the FBI in
Oct., 2004, the on-going prosecution of the 21 total people
directly associated with this identity theft ring lead up to
Mr. Mantovani's recent federal court sentencing.

In addition to the 32 months in jail, the Shadowcrew
ring leader will also have to spend 3 years in probation
as well as pay a $5,000 fine.

So, our tip for today is to protect yourself against
the countless criminal masterminds still at large.

Arm yourself with continuous identity theft monitoring
to guard against hidden criminal trafficking of your
personal information in the many other ShadowCrew
like websites not yet busted by law enforcement.