Archive for August, 2015

4 Back-to-School Identity Theft Tips to Keep Kids Safe

Saturday, August 29th, 2015

By Jocelyn Baird, NextAdvisor.com

Summer is drawing to a close, which means children across the country will be lacing up new sneakers and sitting down in new desks for the start of another school year. Parents have enough to worry about when sending their young ones out into the world without them, but how much does the average parent know about protecting their child’s identity? It’s something to think about, especially given the uptick in data breaches with health insurance providers like Anthem which exposed children’s social security numbers alongside their parents’. Child identity theft is a big deal, and it happens more often than parents probably realize.

Most 8-year-olds and their parents aren’t checking their credit, and why should they? Sadly, that’s the exact reason a minor’s identity is so appealing to identity thieves: it’s a blank slate. Unless a parent has opened a credit card in his or her child’s name, added them as a joint account holder or identity theft has already occurred, a child’s credit is clean. Since it’s not in parents’ heads to check their children’s credit, identity theft might go unnoticed for years. In 2012, approximately 2.5% of households with children under 18 in the U.S. were expected to experience identity theft at some point, a number that has surely risen with increase in identity theft overall. Fortunately, there are some ways that parents can protect their children from falling victim to identity theft.
Keep kids safe with these identity theft tips

1. Talk to your child about information safety. Children are taught early to memorize important information about themselves, but it’s important that they understand when it’s not a good idea to give out data. In addition to discussing why social security numbers, home addresses, telephone numbers and even their birth date is all valuable information they shouldn’t write down or tell just anybody, it’s wise for parents to monitor their children as best they can. In the age of the smartphone, kids are more easily communicating with people they don’t know through text message, apps and other Internet means. If you aren’t sure talking to your child is enough, consider using parental control software to help keep an eye on what they do on their devices.

2. Guard their social security number. If the school administration or after school program asks for your child’s social security number, find out the reasoning and see if you can avoid giving it out. Likewise, when it comes time for any start of the school year doctor’s visits, remember that in many cases you aren’t required to provide a social security number when asked. If you do give it out, make sure you know the privacy policy of the school, club or doctor’s office and how the information will be handled, stored and discarded. At home, be sure that all family members’ social security cards are locked away in a fire-proof safe or lock box.

3. Read up on the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act. Also known as FERPA, this federal law protects the privacy of your child’s student records. It gives parents the right to inspect and review their children’s education records, which includes any forms that the school collects containing personal information. Under FERPA, you can also opt out of allowing the school to share any information provided in your child’s educational records for non-educational purposes. You should also know about the Protection of Pupil Rights Amendment, which allows parents to view any instructional materials and surveys before they are distributed to students — as well require parental permission before students can participate in any Department of Education-funded survey, analysis or evaluation which reveals personal information.

4. Consider signing up for an identity theft protection service. While they can’t stop identity theft from happening, these services offer an extra layer of protection by scanning the Internet black market for personal information — such as social security numbers and medical IDs — and credit reports for suspicious activity. Many of the top-rated services offer affordable family plans that allow you to protect your entire family — including your minor children. You can learn more about the best identity theft service plans for families by reading this blog post.

Being aware that your child’s identity is at risk is the first step toward protecting them. Paying attention to what information is shared and who it’s shared with, as well as being on the lookout for any suspicious activity, will hopefully help keep your student’s credit nonexistent until he or she is ready to start building it as an adult. Learn more about identity theft and get more tips for protecting your entire family by following our blog.

This blog post originally appeared on NextAdvisor.com.

Article source: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/nextadvisorcom/4-back-to-school-identity-theft-tips-to-keep-kids-safe_b_8051384.html

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Suspect wanted for identity theft, forgery

Saturday, August 29th, 2015

A burly forgery suspect is wanted for identity theft and forgery for attempting to pass a fraudulent check at a local credit union.

The suspect, who police say weighs between 300 to 350 pounds, entered the Safe One Credit Union at 400 Oak St. on both Aug. 3 and Aug. 5. He used someone else’s identification as he tried to pass the check.

The man is described by police as white, late 20s to early 30s, with a beard and curly hair. He was wearing a white baseball cap and gray T-shirt. 

Anyone with information regarding this case is asked to call Detective Chance Koerner at 326-3861 or the Bakersfield Police Department at 327-7111.

Article source: http://www.bakersfield.com/news/breaking-news/2015/08/27/suspect-wanted-for-identity-theft-forgery.html

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10 ways college students fight ID theft

Saturday, August 29th, 2015

College is a time of eye-opening experiences, opportunities and challenges. So why let an identity thief ruin it?

Identity theft is something you might not know is even happening until you try to apply for a loan or a credit card and get turned down, find that money has trickled out of your bank account, get refused for an apartment lease or file your income tax return online to discover someone else already did in order to steal your refund.

In 2014, it was the No. 1 problem reported to the Federal Trade Commission, which received 332,646 complaints, up from 290,099 a year earlier.

College students who grew up with computers but are still learning the ways of finance can leave themselves open to identity theft.

“When people go to college today, they are independent for the first time,” said Rod Griffin, director of public education for Experian, a credit-reporting agency. “They are wide open. They tend to be very trusting and that poses risks for them.”

According to a study by Javelin Strategy Research, 22 percent of students were notified that they were a victim of identity fraud either by a debt collector or when they were denied credit, three times higher than average fraud victims.

Campus life has its own challenges.

“Sometimes when people arrive on campus, they can be overwhelmed with the new location, new friendships, meeting people,” said William McElrath, Monmouth University’s police chief. “They sometimes forget the normal procedures that they might have taken when they were home.”

Press on Your Side doesn’t want that to happen. So here are 10 really important things to remember. Get the highlighter out and clip this.

Ten things to remember

Buy a shredder. Use it for any mail or paperwork that contains personal information, such as your name, or financial details.

“If it has your name on it, shred it if you are going to get rid of it,” Griffin said. “ID thieves go through the trash and they find documents and they are off to the races.”

Use a lockbox to store personal documents and valuables in your room. When you’re at college, you are surrounded by people you don’t know.

“Don’t walk around campus with your Social Security card,” said Karen Goff, assistant provost and dean of students at Georgian Court University in Lakewood. “If you lose your wallet, you’ve lost critical information that can unlock all sorts of information about you personally.”

Take Logaina Elattar’s advice. The Georgian Court senior from Millstone has memorized her Social Security number. “I just keep (the card) at home. I don’t keep it with me,” said Elattar, 21.

Have strong, unique passwords for your computer and any online websites, such as your bank or shopping sites. “Obviously, you don’t want it to be abc1234,” said Melissa Companick, president and chief executive officer of the Better Business Bureau of New Jersey. A good password has a combination of upper and lower case letters, characters and numbers.

And don’t put your passwords on a piece of paper tacked next to your computer. “If you need to keep a list of them, keep them locked up and secured somewhere,” Companick said.

Password managers, such as Dashlane, are helpful as well.

Don’t share your passwords with anyone. Not even your best friend. “No matter how close you are with someone, it is not best to share your password with people,” Goff said.

A college’s internal website, such as those that allow for communication between students and professors or have details about tuition bills or financial aid, contain important personal information, so keep that password private as well.

Lock your dorm door. It sounds simple, but it will prevent a crime of opportunity, McElrath reminded Press on Your Side. Griffin added: “Instead of stealing your stereo, today they steal your identification documents and credit-card numbers.”

Make sure your smartphone or tablet computer is protected with a passcode. These devices contain all sorts of personal information. “Obviously, we are in a mobile world, we are connected all the time,” Companick said.

Beware of browsing the web on unsecured wifi networks. Scammers can tap into your activity. Make sure you log off of computers, networks and websites after you’re done browsing.

Be wary of email scams. Fraudsters will try to net your personal information by sending out phishing emails that look like legitimate messages from your telephone company, bank or other people you do business with.

Don’t click on links in emails or open attachments, or give out personal information to people who call on the telephone. “Don’t respond to those things,” McElrath said.

Check your bank and credit-card statements regularly. “Online banking makes it easy,” Companick said. Obtain your free credit report and check it for inaccuracies.

Don’t share your credit card or debit card, Goff said. It doesn’t matter if it’s just to a person to get you something at the store or cafe.

Do you have a consumer problem that needs solving? Contact David P. Willis at 732-643-4042, pressonyourside@gannettnj.com or facebook.com/dpwillis732.

Article source: http://www.app.com/story/money/business/consumer/press-on-your-side/2015/08/28/press-side-college-theft/32288261/

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College students are major targets for identity theft

Saturday, August 29th, 2015
Visa
FILE – This Feb. 2, 2011 file photo shows a wallet containing cash and a Visa card in Surfside, Fla. Visa Inc. releases quarterly financial results on Thursday, July 23, 2015. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee, File)

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – College students heading back to campus are the major targets for identity theft. Identity thieves don’t care if you’re a struggling student and don’t have a lot of money. What they want is your clean credit.

Javelin Strategy Research found more than 20% of students are notified of fraudulent activity. That’s 3 times more than the average person.

College students are one of the biggest victims of identity theft because they have clean credit, and many of them are starting to use credit cards for the first time.

American International College’s IT department has seen students lose their identity because they don’t keep track of their activity. “Your credit statements, your bank statements, check them weekly, not monthly,” says Mimi Royston, AIC Chief Information Officer. “Don’t wait for the statement.”

College students are 4 times more likely to be the victim of “familiar” fraud, which is fraud committed by a roommate or acquaintance.

AIC freshman Austin Leclerc told 22News, “They probably have the closest access to you and all of your other belongings since you dorm with them or spend most of your time with them in college.”

“I just try not to think about it,” says AIC freshman Shawn McBride. “There’s a lot of things that can happen at college when you’re away from home. I obviously try and be smart and not get caught up in it.”

The Better Business Bureau recommends college students take these steps to protect themselves:

  • Sign up for security alerts on your accounts and have them sent to your cell phone.
  • Send important documents home, not to the school mailbox.
  • Put passports and social security cards under lock and key.
  • Shred financial documents.
  • Never lend your credit or debit card.
  • Make sure your computer has up-to-date antivirus software.

Article source: http://counton2.com/2015/08/28/college-students-are-major-targets-for-identity-theft/

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Cuomo to college students: fake IDs pose identity theft risk – WGRZ

Friday, August 28th, 2015

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Article source: http://www.wgrz.com/story/news/2015/08/27/cuomo-to-college-students-fake-ids-pose-identity-theft-risk/71277984/

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College students are major targets for identity theft

Friday, August 28th, 2015

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – College students heading back to campus are the major targets for identity theft. Identity thieves don’t care if you’re a struggling student and don’t have a lot of money. What they want is your clean credit.

Javelin Strategy Research found more than 20% of students are notified of fraudulent activity. That’s 3 times more than the average person.

College students are one of the biggest victims of identity theft because they have clean credit, and many of them are starting to use credit cards for the first time.

American International College’s IT department has seen students lose their identity because they don’t keep track of their activity. “Your credit statements, your bank statements, check them weekly, not monthly,” says Mimi Royston, AIC Chief Information Officer. “Don’t wait for the statement.”

College students are 4 times more likely to be the victim of “familiar” fraud, which is fraud committed by a roommate or acquaintance.

AIC freshman Austin Leclerc told 22News, “They probably have the closest access to you and all of your other belongings since you dorm with them or spend most of your time with them in college.”

“I just try not to think about it,” says AIC freshman Shawn McBride. “There’s a lot of things that can happen at college when you’re away from home. I obviously try and be smart and not get caught up in it.”

The Better Business Bureau recommends college students take these steps to protect themselves:

  • Sign up for security alerts on your accounts and have them sent to your cell phone.
  • Send important documents home, not to the school mailbox.
  • Put passports and social security cards under lock and key.
  • Shred financial documents.
  • Never lend your credit or debit card.
  • Make sure your computer has up-to-date antivirus software.

Article source: http://wwlp.com/2015/08/27/college-students-are-major-targets-for-identity-theft/

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Indy man falls victim to identity theft

Friday, August 28th, 2015


master computer

master computer

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (Aug. 27, 2015)– Indy resident James Stone found out that he was a victim of identity theft when he was served court documents from Huntsville, Alabama this week.

“Whoever this person is got a hold of my information, my name, my driver’s license number, my date of birth,” said Stone.

The court documents claim that Stone failed to appear in court for something that he claims he never did.

“I have not been to Huntsville, Alabama in 20 years,” said Stone.

According to the documents, Stone was operating with no license back in August. Stone said he was never in Alabama and showed police the documentation to prove it. This sparked the identity theft investigation by IMPD and Marion County Sherriff’s officers. Authorities are searching for the person who was using James Stones name and information during the time of the traffic stop.

“I don’t know how this gentleman got my information or who it is. I just want it to be resolved and taken care of,” said Stone.

Authorities say thousands of people become victims of identity theft each year. The Indiana Attorney General Office suggests placing a security freeze on your credit card and avoid sharing your credit information on line. Even for those who take those precautions, you can become a victim of identity theft.

“The only thing that I do online is I pay a few bills and I don’t even use my driver’s license number,” said Stone.

For information on how to protect yourself from identity theft, click here.

Article source: http://fox59.com/2015/08/27/indy-man-falls-victim-to-identity-theft/

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Attorney General: Medical ID theft growing threat

Friday, August 28th, 2015
Hacker

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) The Indiana Attorney General is warning of medical identity theft, now a greater concern than financial identity theft, he said.

According to Attorney General Greg Zoeller, the recent hack on locally based Medical Informatics Engineering, or MIE, is the biggest in Indiana history. 1.5 million hoosiers and 3.9 people nationwide were impacted. However, he said it’s part of a growing trend.

Medical theft is when someone uses a patient’s health insurance or plan information to get medical treatment.

A recent study by the Ponemon Institute revealed that medical identity theft has nearly doubled in recent years, from 1.4 million victims in 2010 to more than 2.3 million last year.

That’s why Zoeller said it’s necessary to look over your explanation of benefits forms that come in the mail after any procedure instead, not just throwing it away.

“They may know about the procedures or service you received so it’s sensitive. People need to make sure they are paying the right person and be careful that the scam artists don’t take your money,” said Zoeller.

Zoeller said to be weary of phone calls or emails wanting information or money; it may not actually be from your doctor’s office.

Not only is money at stake, but having false information and procedures on your medical record can also cause incorrect diagnoses.

If you think your medical information has been compromised, get copies of your records from health providers and write to your health provider to correct mistakes, notify your insurance provider and all three credit agencies. Click on this link to file a complaint or call 800-382-5516. The attorney general recommends everyone taking advantage of the website, for protection.

Below is a list of more prevention tips from the attorney general’s office.

Medical ID theft prevention

  • Closely monitor health insurance statements and bills for unusual activity.
  • Don’t provide medical information to someone who calls or emails about a recent breach. Only provide information if you initiate contact.
  • Protect health insurance card as carefully as you would your Social Security card.
  • Use strong passwords and change them frequently for your online health accounts.
  • Safely store paper health records and shred unneeded documents.
  • Be careful who you give your health information to and be wary of unsolicited offers for free medical services.

Financial ID theft prevention

  • Freeze your credit with three credit agencies to prevent new lines of credit being opened in your name.
  • Consider placing fraud alerts on your credit reports.
  • Take advantage of free two-year credit monitoring being offered by MIE or other breached entities.
  • Review and monitor your credit report. A free credit report can be requested from each of the credit bureaus once a year through Annual Credit Report.

Article source: http://wthitv.com/2015/08/26/attorney-general-medical-id-theft-growing-threat/

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Man who posed as war hero guilty of identity theft

Friday, August 28th, 2015



A federal jury Thursday returned a guilty verdict in the case of a Junction City man who stole his fathers identity to apply for a loan to buy a $490,000 house.

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KANSAS CITY, Kan– A federal jury Thursday returned a guilty verdict in the case of a Junction City man who stole his father’s identity to apply for a loan to buy a $490,000 house.

Matthew Williams, 47, was convicted on one count of bank fraud and one count of aggravated identity theft. During trial, prosecutors presented evidence that Williams filled out a loan application with Pulaski Bank using his father’s name, Social Security number and other identifying information in an attempt to get a loan to buy a house in Shawnee, Kan. The defendant was in bankruptcy proceedings at the time.

The government presented evidence that Williams claimed to be an Army veteran and recipient of a Purple Heart award for valor in Vietnam. Williams’s father, Earl, fought in both Vietnam and Desert Storm and earned a Purple Heart, as well as other commendations.

Sentencing will be set for a later date. He faces a maximum penalty of 30 years in federal prison and a fine up to $1 million on the bank fraud charge, and a penalty of 2 years consecutive to any other sentence on the identity theft charge.

Article source: http://www.kake.com/home/headlines/Man-who-posed-as-war-hero-guilty-of-identity-theft-323128671.html

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Crowd turns out for identity theft, fraud-protection workshop at Hagerstown … – Herald

Friday, August 28th, 2015

Delaney Workshop

Delaney Workshop

U.S Rep. John Delaney, D-Md., speaks at an Identity Theft Fraud Prevention Workshop at Hagerstown Community College Wednesday evening.

Delaney Workshop

Delaney Workshop

U.S Rep. John Delaney, D-Md., speaks at a Identity Theft Fraud Prevention Workshop at Hagerstown Community College Wednesday evening.

Delaney Workshop

Delaney Workshop

Over 100 people attended a Identity Theft Fraud Prevention workshop at Hagerstown Community College Wednesday evening. The event was hosted by U.S Rep. John Delaney, D-Md.

Delaney Workshop

Delaney Workshop

HCC President Guy Altieri talks about the college’s cybersecurity program with U.S Rep. John Delaney, D-Md., before a Identity Theft Fraud Prevention Workshop at Hagerstown Community College Wednesday evening.



In case you missed it…

Those who were unable to attend Wednesday’s workshop on identity theft and fraud but are in need of help may contact U.S. Rep. John Delaney’s Hagerstown office at 301-733-2900 for more information and resources.

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Posted: Thursday, August 27, 2015 7:00 am
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Updated: 3:22 pm, Thu Aug 27, 2015.

Crowd turns out for identity theft, fraud-protection workshop at Hagerstown Community College

There was standing room only at Hagerstown Community College Wednesday evening, as dozens of people turned out to learn how to take a stand against identity theft and fraud.

U.S Rep. John Delaney, D-Md., hosted the forum and workshop on the heels of a major data breach of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management’s databases.

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      Thursday, August 27, 2015 7:00 am.

      Updated: 3:22 pm.

      Article source: http://www.heraldmailmedia.com/news/local/crowd-turns-out-for-identity-theft-fraud-protection-workshop-at/article_b6419c9e-4c58-11e5-8ebc-cb08c3199542.html

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