Archive for September, 2014

Document shredding event battles ID theft

Monday, September 29th, 2014

The Better Business Bureau of Wisconsin will again host its biannual shredding event from 8:30 to 11 a.m. Saturday at 2000 E. Milestone Drive in Appleton. It’s part of the BBB’s effort to help people protect themselves from identity theft by shredding confidential documents.

The public is invited to bring up to three boxes of documents to be shredded for free.

This is the eighth year in a row that the BBB has hosted this community event, and we’re often asked a variety of questions. So, if you’re planning on attending, here are the top 10 frequently asked questions:

1. Do I need to unload the boxes myself? No. You simply stay in your car, pull up to the side of the shredding truck and someone will carry your boxes from your car to the shredder. There will be staff and signs to direct you.

2. What size do the boxes need to be? We do not have a limit on the size of the box. However, the boxes need to be small enough so that they can be lifted out of your car by one person.

3. What if I have more than three boxes to be shredded? We may be able to accommodate extra boxes, depending on space available. However, we reserve the right to turn away anyone with a large quantity.

4. How do I know that it’s safe to drop off my confidential documents? Any documents brought to Shredfest will be shredded on the spot by Arms Inc., a professional document destruction company and a BBB-accredited business. You can even watch your documents be shredded, if you like.

5. Do I need to remove staples, paper clips on other metal objects? No. However, we ask that you remove any large metal clips, if possible. Please do not bring items in plastic bags, which cannot be shredded and may jam the shredder.

6. Is there a charge? No. The event is free and provided as a community service by the Better Business Bureau of Wisconsin, Thrivent Financial – Outagamie County Chapter and Arms Inc.

7. What needs to be shredded? Any unneeded document containing your personal information, such as your driver’s license number, social security number, bank account number and birth date needs to be shredded. In addition, things like pre-approved credit offers, which identity thieves can steal out of your mailbox and use to take out credit cards in your name, also should be shredded. Please do not bring items such as newspapers that do not need to be shredded.

8. Where is the event located? The address of the event is 2000 E. Milestone Drive in Appleton, which is the former Thrivent Financial Credit Union building. It is not on the grounds of Thrivent Financial’s main campus, but rather directly across Ballard Road from the main entrance to Thrivent Financial’s headquarters.

9. Will the event be held if it rains? Yes, Shredfest will be held rain or shine.

10. Will we accept any computer or electronics for shredding? No. Unfortunately, we will only be shredding paper at Shredfest.

For more information about Shredfest,

go to

or call the BBB at


— Susan Bach is regional director of the Better

Business Bureau for northeastern Wisconsin.

She can be reached at

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Identity theft reported: Bentleyville police blotter – The Plain Dealer

Sunday, September 28th, 2014



Theft of identity, Chagrin River Road: A resident came to the station in mid-September to fill out an identity theft report. Police assisted her with filing necessary information requested by a private fraud investigation unit and insurance company.

Driving under suspension, Chagrin River Road: A Shaker Heights woman, 32, was found to driving on two active financial responsibility suspensions on Sept. 25.

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Shred Day helps prevent identity theft

Sunday, September 28th, 2014

MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – Cars lined up to drop off their unwanted documents at “Shred Day.”

People handed over trash bags and boxes filled with papers that needed to be destroyed.

Officials from The Better Business Bureau said identity theft is rising over 40-percent each year.

“Georgia ranks number two in the US in identity theft cases. Anytime you can protect you identity, shred those documents that might have a social security number, or an account number… it saves you the headache later,” said Kelvin Collins, President of The Better Business Bureau.

Collins said shredding personal documents severely decreases chances for identity theft. 

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Bash Bug Opens Hole For Hackers To Perpetrate Identity Theft

Saturday, September 27th, 2014

Don’t Miss This

CARMICHAEL (CBS13) — Cyber experts say a new security threat is targeting personal computers and smartphones.

Ryan Eldridge, the owner of Nerds on Call in Carmichael, says this bug is like not other.

“It’s one of those exploits on the Internet that consumers can’t do much about,” he said. “It’s terrible from a consumer point of view.”

The exploit could take control of hundreds of machines around the world, specifically targeting company services, Apple computers and Android smartphones, because they all use a version of Unix.

“They’re not interested in you. They are more interested in your information,” he said.

The bug is looking for a way past your antivirus software in hopes of cashing in on your personal information.

He says the hackers are usually working from dark places in eastern Europe, China and even Brazil.

“What they’re wanting is constant access to your information. So if they get into a health website and they’re able to get all of your health data they can steal your identity and they got you forever,” he said.

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Postal worker arraigned on mail theft, identity theft; police recover 10000 … – The Oregonian

Saturday, September 27th, 2014

A Portland letter carrier arraigned Friday on accusations of stealing more than 10,000 pieces of mail told authorities after his arrest that he did it to feed his 1-year-old child and his methamphetamine habit.

John Paul Osburn, 32, made his first court appearance in a downtown Justice Center courtroom before Multnomah County Circuit Judge Youlee You on 114 counts of mail theft and 30 counts of identity theft along with a methamphetamine possession count and a weapons charge. He pleaded not guilty and will make his next court appearance on Oct. 6.

Osburn is accused of stealing all classes of mail that he was given to deliver on routes in Northeast and Southeast Portland, said Assistant Special-agent-in-charge John Masters of the Office of Inspector General for the post office. “It a significant amount,” he said.

Among the stolen mail recovered were paychecks, financial statements, medical test results, vehicle registrations, utility bills, legal correspondence “and a letter from the Multnomah County District Attorney,” Kevin Demer, an assistant district attorney, said in a probable cause affidavit.

The recovered mail was postmarked from October 2013 to April 2014 and from ZIP codes 97213, 97266, 97212, 97205, 97215, 97211 and 97233.

A storage unit owner discovered heaps, bags and boxes of mail in a locker that had been rented by Shawna Marie Barrett, 33, Osburn’s girlfriend, authorities said.

The unit was put up for auction when the rent went unpaid and was opened Tuesday. Postal service investigators, with help from the Portland Police Bureau, recovered the mail and other evidence Wednesday and again Thursday.

When agents opened the 5-by-10-foot storage room, it was “filled with mail 5 feet high,” according to court documents. Officials estimated that there were at least 10,000 pieces of stolen mail in the storage unit and in the couple’s apartment.

The mail in the storage room included everything from greeting cards, medicine parcels and business mailings, and most had been opened, according to the probable cause affidavit filed Friday in Multnomah County Circuit Court.

Osburn was hired in June 2013 and assigned to the Rose City Park Post Office as a part-time employee; he did not have a dedicated postal route, Masters said. Court records show that he admitted to daily use of methamphetamine and marijuana.

“The USPS OIG considers the allegations of delay, destruction, or theft of any U.S. Mail by any Postal Service employee to be a very serious issue. When such allegations are made, the USPS OIG vigorously investigates those allegations, as we did in this instance,” Masters said in a news release.

Osburn and Barrett were arrested Thursday by Portland police in Southeast Portland in a white Cadillac Escalade. Authorities discovered six credit cards — only two in Osburn’s name — in the car, along with a woman’s passport in a different name than Barrett’s, investigators said. They also found a Postal Service gas credit card and several keys with tags that said “Property of the U.S.P.S.”

The items were separate from more mail in the car. When asked why, Osburn told police so “they could use it escape, like in the movies,” the affidavit said.

They also found a loaded semi-automatic rifle in the Cadillac with one round in the chamber that belonged to Osburn.

According to court documents, Osburn said his post office supervisors “asked him to resign every day” and that he took home all the mail he couldn’t deliver on time so Barrett could open it.

Osburn said he most often took the cash from greeting cards, and that Barrett took the stolen credit cards and used them, according to the affidavit.

He admitted to authorities that he started stealing mail when he was assigned to the Lents Post Office a few months after starting to work there in June 2013, and that he had worked at six or seven post offices in the past year “and that the last mail he took home was on the last day he worked,” the affidavit said.

Osburn was and booked Friday morning into the Justice Center Jail, where he is being held of $727,000 bail.

Barrett was booked and then released, Masters said. She also made her first court appearance Friday and will return in two weeks. The judge told both Osburn and Barrett not to contact each other either in person, on the telephone, through social media or by notes.

Barrett is accused of receipt of stolen mail and identity theft.

According to court records, Barrett was convicted in June 2012 in Grant County on methamphetamine possession. Osburn, who arrested in Grant County on the same day, was acquitted of methamphetamine charges.

Sgt. Pete Simpson, a spokesman for the Portland Police Bureau, said Osburn was arrested on accusations of shoplifting this past summer; those charges are pending.

People who had their mail stolen will be notified by agents with the inspector general’s office, Masters said.

Anyone with additional information related the case is asked to the office of the inspector general at 1-888-USPS-OIG (1-888-877-7644) or online.

— Stuart Tomlinson 

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New Law Helps Protect Against Child ID Theft

Saturday, September 27th, 2014

But it turns out that more than 50,000 children in Florida are victims of identity theft each year, according to the state’s Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.

Earlier this month, a new law aimed at reducing that figure went into effect.

The Keeping I.D. Safe (KIDS) Act allows parents and legal guardians to establish a credit record for their child and then freeze it.

Fraudsters target children — who typically have a blemish-free financial record — and use their Social Security numbers to apply for credit. Parents are also less likely to monitor a young child’s credit report, so identity thieves can operate undetected for years.

Although the number of reported incidents is low, Donna Wood, spokeswoman for the Polk County Sheriff’s Office, said it could rise once people become more aware of the new law.

The KIDS Act was introduced by Sen. Nancy Detert, R-Venice, in the Florida Senate and Rep. Heather Fitzenhagen, R-Fort Myers, in the state House of Representatives. It was signed by Gov. Rick Scott in June and became effective Sept. 1.

Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Adam Putnam has also been a vocal supporter of the bill.

“Now we have the capability to prevent our kids from facing serious financial challenges in the future by protecting their identities,” Putnam said in a statement.

In 2012, the Identity Theft Assistance Center (ITAC) — a national consumer advocate for identity theft victims — sponsored a study to determine the frequency, sources, and consequences of child identity theft. The Child Identity Fraud Report polled 5,100 adults with dependents under the age of 18.

The study revealed about one in 40 respondents had a child who was a victim of identity fraud. Other findings included Social Security numbers are the top compromised identifier, and that 17 percent of children were victimized for a year or longer.

Prior to the KIDS Act being enacted, there was no way to freeze a child’s credit report in Florida. Now, the action can be completed by paying a $10 fee to one of the major credit reporting bureaus: Equifax, Experian and TransUnion.

The fee is waived if a child has already been a victim of identity theft.

For more information on protecting your child from identity theft, visit

[ John Ceballos can be reached at or 863-802-7515. ]

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5 Charged in Identity Theft Ring That Is Linked to Bank Tellers

Saturday, September 27th, 2014

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Kenilworth Police: Text message may have led to identity theft

Saturday, September 27th, 2014

Kenilworth Police CarKenilworth Police Department

KENILWORTH — A text message may have led to a theft of a man’s identity, according to Kenilworth Police.

Just before 10 p.m. on Sept. 19, police received a call from someone who believes he was the victim of a scam and, possibly, the theft of his identity. He reported receiving a text message from a phone number reporting a problem with his bank account.

He told police he called the number and the person on the other end of the phone asked for his personal identifying information. Believing the call was real, the victim provided his information.

The victim was advised to contact the credit bureaus to place a fraud alert on his name and given other advice on how to protect himself.

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Authorities: Woman faked her own identity theft – KPLC

Saturday, September 27th, 2014

A Jennings woman has been charged with filing a false police report, after an investigation by the Jefferson Davis Parish Sheriff’s Office into a complaint of identity theft.

The woman had called the Sheriff’s office and told them that someone had tried to purchase a car and satellite television services using her name.

“Detectives assigned to the investigation discovered that Mandi Gallagher, 26, of Jennings, had, in fact, traveled to the car dealership herself and attempted to purchase a vehicle. On the way out of the dealership, Gallagher was involved in a crash,” said Christopher Ivey, commander of the Criminal Investigations Division at the JDPSO.

When questioned by detectives, Gallagher admitted that she provided false information in her report and that no one else had been involved in the incident. She was arrested and released on a summons on charges of maintaining false public record and theft.

Copyright 2014 KPLC. All rights reserved.

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Shred Right, Omaha! Don’t become a victim of identity theft

Friday, September 26th, 2014

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV)- It’s one of the fastest growing crimes in America. Million Americans fall victim to identity theft each year. KMTV Action 3 News and Datashield have teamed up for the third straight year to help protect you and your family from falling victim.

“The criminals are out there, the bad guys are out there,” said John Magistro, Data Destruction Manager with Datashield. “They do everything they can to try and get personal information.”

According to the Consumer Federation of America, more than 13 million Americans were impacted by identity theft-related crimes in 2013.

“Identity theft is everywhere, taking those necessary steps, such as what we’re going to do on Saturday, is shred up all that stuff and make sure it doesn’t end up in the wrong hands.” explains Magistro.

Shred Right, Omaha! will be held Saturday, September 27th from 8am-Noon at Westwood Plaza, 125th and Center.

Magistro says every step is taken, from the time you drop off your documents to the time it hits the shredder, to keep your sensitive information private.

“We take very step necessary, that we don’t even see it until after it’s shredded, it stays in locked containers.”

Old checkbooks, billing information from the utility companies, all hold your identity. But so do other documents you may not even think about.

“A lot of junk mail has enough personal information on it from you’re ready to buy a new car to you’re the winner of this sweepstakes, send us your information.” said Magistro.

And it’s not just paper documents. Electronics, like cell phones and hard drives, are loaded with gigabytes of information. Those too, can be destroyed.

“We just shred them into little tiny pieces, less than an inch by an inch, and that’s guaranteed that no information is getting off of there, they are completely destroyed.” adds Magistro.

For more information of identity theft and how to protect yourself from becoming a victim click here.


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