Thursday, November 30, 2006

IHOP Privacy Invasion

Who would ever believe your driver's license
is required simply to get pancakes? In a
instance without corporate approval, a suburban
Boston outlet of International House of Pancakes
(IHOP) had invaded the privacy of it's customers.

IHOP-Privacy-Invastion-audio-post - click   to play

It seems, customers were required to leave their
driver's license with a security guard as a
requirement to be seated for service. Evidently
this particular IHOP outlet had previously been
the victim of non paying customers.

What helped to expose this incident as an invasion of
privacy, was a former identity theft victim was taken
aback by that local IHOP's request for his personal

A driver's license contains primary information which
many retailers use to verify identity against credit
cards and check cashing transactions. In the hands
of an identity thief "data collector" it's worth
hundreds of dollars each if sold to the various fraud
rings in operation domestically.

IHOP Privacy Invasion

Massachusett's driver's licenses can still
social security numbers (ssn) on
them along with
your address and date of
birth (dob).

So, our tip for today is to always protect your right
to privacy. Just because some misinformed employee
or business wants access to your personal information
information that does not translate into a legal
requirement. Always question, especially outside
a financial transaction you are generating,
why someone
would need your driver's license
and or social security
number (ssn).

If you were or someone you knew who was a victim of this
privacy invasion and want to eliminate the social security
number from your driver's license, you contact the Mass.

Remember, it's your rights under the law to protect your
personal information.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Protected Identity Theft Scam Run by Inmate From Prison

How is it a man convicted for id theft can orchestrate
a seven state identity theft scheme - while still behind
bars in prison? And, legally be protected from search
and seizure of other people's personal information.

Protected-Identity-Theft-Scam-Run-by-Inmate-From-Prison-audio-post - click to play

Apparently, this con called Holiday Inn hotels claiming to be
a company executive and told the hotel clerks law enforcement
was hunting for an escaped convict who may have checked in
to their property.

"He is extremely intelligent.

He is just not using his intelligence legally."

Evidently so as hotel clerks proceeded to give the con
mastermind the following confidential data on their guests
thus making them targets for identity theft:

  • Names
  • Room Numbers
  • Credit Card information

The inmate, still locked up behind bars, but evidently with
plenty of phone access rights would then call the targeted
hotel guests. He would now pose as an official of the
guest's credit card company claiming there was "unusual
spending" on the targeted credit cards of his intended

Unbelieveably, this inmate would then ask for
the personal
identification number (pin) on the
back of the credit card.

Let's quickly review the information this industrious inmate
was able to collect while locked up behind bars as a convicted
identity theft:

  1. Names
  2. Credit card account information
  3. Credit card PIN numbers

Basically, with this information our inmate could easily
online or via toll free catalog call centers
without the need
to worry about payment.

His unsuspecting victims, courtesy of Holiday Inn, would
now be responsible for the fraudulent purchases.

But, even more astonishing was this inmate
also managed
to acquire traffic tickets from
a local area court house
containing other
people's personal information.

Prison officials could NOT confiscate those tickets as they
are considered legal documents and as such are part of
the protective rights of the inmate.

How ironic is it that a convicted inmate has legal protection
over the rights of other people's personal information?

Criminals, such as this identity theft mastermind, have
demonstrated how adept they are in understanding and
being able to easily exploit the loopholes of our legal and
penal system.

Think again if you feel completely safe against identity
theft in its many forms.

So, our tip for today is to guard well your personal

Not just credit information, but also your public information
profile (pip) should be regularly checked to clear your good
name for any suspicious signs of identity theft fraud especially
the often times hidden types such as fraudulent traffic tickets
which can easily cost you hundreds of extra dollars in your car
insurance premiums.

Remember, the criminals have the means, motive, and the time
to figure out how to beat the system and make you a victim - if
you do not take action to defeat them first.

Finally, tell a friend or associate about the shocking truth of this
ironic story.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Identity Theft Prevention Tips Most Americans Don't Know

Half of America believes they are unlikely to
become identity theft victims, while even more
(70 percent) would take precautions if aware of
what to do.

Identity-Theft-Prevention-Tips-Most-Americans-Don't-Know-audio-post - click to play

These results were recently released from an
Experian, a leading credit bureau, survey
focused on consumer attitudes towards credit
fraud and identity theft.

Surprisingly, 1/3rd of Americans believe there
is "nothing they can do" to prevent identity

"It won't happen to me"

Think so. Then check out these facts revealed
by the survey:
  • 63% had unauthorized purchases against their credit card
  • 55% reported had money withdrawn from their checking account
  • 39% experienced unauthorized account openings or fraud transactions
  • 22% claimed someone obtained a new credit card in their name
  • 9% reported someone opened a new bank account in their name
Identity theft victims will spend months, if not years, plus
thousands of dollars attempting to restore a damaged credit
record. In the meantime, you can be refused new loans, job
opportunities or worse as in the case of false arrest.

This is why it's much easier to put a much smaller amount
of energy and financial resources in knowing how identity
theft criminals operate and even better still - how to
increase your odds of preventing identity theft from
happening to you.

So, our tip for today is to practice safe credit usage.
Enroll in a quality credit and bank account monitoring
service. Plus, now is a great time to get your medical
insurance file and public records profiles checked out
before the holiday season begins.

Remember, identity thieves know this is one of the easiest
times of the year for them to rip you off and to have the
evidence of their crimes be simply lost within the clutter
of holiday shopping fueled by far too available "instant"
credit from retailers eager to make sales.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Identity Theft for Cosmetic Surgery

In an unusual new update to our recent series on
medical identity theft, a California woman paid for
her cosmetic liposuction surgery using the stolen
identity of another woman.

Identity-Theft-for-Cosmetic-Surgery-audio-post - click to play

Apparently, this identity theft criminal was successful
in not only getting over $5,000 of liposuction surgery,
but also managed to secure "several" post surgery

This woman identity theft was caught, however, by authorities
after completing a finance request to pay for the surgery.
Also, having a distinctive tattoo evidently lead investigators
to identify this vain thief from her past arrests.

So, our tip for today is to be on guard with your credit beyond
what most consumers consider are typically card fraud related
incidents of identity theft.

Because there are many ways, like this identity theft
liposuction crime, your credit can be accessed without
your authorization it's
prudent for you to consider credit
. Active credit monitoring can alert you via wireless
or email alerts when suspicious activity first takes place given you
the necessary time to limit or even prevent extensive damage to
your credit.

Plus, to find the often times hidden, past incidents of non-
credit report damage such as liens or court judgements
from criminal activity committed in your
, get your personal information profile (pip).

You will be shocked to know the volume of information on file
with your public information profile that presents over 400 ways
an identity thief can easily ruin your good name. Any one of
those 400 ways can cost you your job, force you to pay
auto insurance, or even land you in jail.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Car Purchase Identity Theft of Wheelchair Bound Woman

Identity theft criminals have proven again
they have no shame as a crippled, wheelchair
bound woman was recently served with an overdue
bill for a car purchase she didn't even buy.

Car-Purchase-Identity-Theft-of-Wheelchair-Bound-Woman-audio-post - click to play

Evidently, a wiley identity thief had somehow managed
to acquire some very basic personal information on the
woman & subsequently used in an obvious scam attempt.

Posing as a bill collector acting on behalf of the original
debtor, AutoPrime, made repeated phone requests to
the wheelchair bound woman to pay off an auto
purchase bill of $5,537 she allegedly co-signed

The "bill collector" never provided any proof her
signature had been used nor any original billing
statements for the car she supposedly bought.

Just a lump sum amount was ever provided.

But, it seems, the phone caller became very specific
when requesting the following highly confidential
data from the disabled woman:

  • Social Security Number (ssn)
  • Date of Birth (dob)
  • Bank Account Number

However, this woman may have been physically
disabled to the point of not being to operate a car,
but she was not in anyway mentally incapacitated
as she put the would be identity thief in a
defensive position
with her own line of

"What car? Where is this car?

I do not own a car."

"I said no and hung up."

The disabled woman even filed a claim with the Better
Business Bureau who's investigating in her local area.

So, our tip for today is for you to share this story
with any loved ones or associates who like this
elderly disabled lady, can fight back against
be identity thieves seeking your
personal information

Question any unsolicited phone callers requesting
your highly confidential personal information - especially
if they are attempting to pressure you over the phone
without provding any valid written proof.

Besides, you have rights protected under the federal
government which prevent debt collector's from
continually harassing you unfairly.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Newest Identity Theft Risk for 1.4 Million Americans from Same Offender

In another example of how a stolen computer needlessly
exposes millions of innocent Americans to identity theft,
1,400,000 potential victims have just been added to the
list of over 94 million others already victimized.

 Newest-Identity-Theft-Risk-for-1.4-Million-Americans-from-Same-Offender audio post - click to play

Evidently, the Colorado Department of Human Services which
is responsible for the confidential personal data of those
individuals who pay or recieve child support. But, an outside
company, Affiliated Computer Services (ACS), actually handles
the payments for the Colorado Department of Human Services.

"That's my personal stuff. That's about me, my
family. We're the only ones that should know
that information"

Somehow, the desktop computer located within an office only
accessible by a security card key, was stolen from a secure
facility of ACS.

That computer contained records of 500,000 people paying
recieving child support within the state of Colorado.

An additional 900,000 new employees just hired in Colorado
or elsewhere in America within the past 8 months were
also impacted by this latest security breach.

But, this is not the first security breach at ACS. The local
Sheriff's department found at least one employee at the computer
consulting firm lied and covered up mistakes that allowed inmates
to gain unauthorized access to personal information.

So, our tip for today is for anyone who's involved with child
support payments associated with the Colorado Department of
Human Service. Contact any of the three major credit bureaus
immediately to place a "free" fraud alert on your file.

Also, it would be wise to also investigate your options for credit
monitoring as identity theft can actually be committed
or even years after an initial security breach.

Make sure, too, to tell a friend or associate you know who
could be negatively impacted by this latest security breach.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

New York Gets Credit Freeze

An important new law takes place today for
residents of the state of New York. For the
first time, New Yorkers can "freeze" their
credit reports to unauthorized access.

New-York-Gets-Credit-Freeze-audio post - click to play

This law means that an identity thief can
not take advantage of the readily available
"instant" credit to quickly defraud you.

new york credit freeze law to fight identity theft

New York, however, joins a short list of
other states which have credit freeze laws
either on the books or have already enacted.

Only slightly less than half of the 50 states
within America have enacted credit freeze

Fortunately for New Yorkers now there is a
very effective deterrent to identity theft
and even better still its free to first time

And, a credit freeze does not lower your
credit score
which is used by lenders to
determine how much and what loan rates
you qualify for.

Plus, you can always temporarily "lift"
the credit freeze for specific lenders
you might be needing to apply for a loan

Either way, the credit freeze is a great
new option for you to control your credit
file access.

So, our tip for today is to run (don't walk)
to your nearest phone and contact any of the
three major credit bureaus to place a credit
freeze on your file.

Also, make sure you tell any friends or associates
of this important new development.