Id Theft Alerts

November 17, 2011
Protect Your Identity in the Holiday Rush
Smartphone
Many people will be using their credit cards more during the holiday season. This creates increased risk for identity theft. Here are some tips to keep in mind as you do your shopping:
  • Empty your wallet. Only carry what you really need. Get rid of extra cards and absolutely any Social Security Cards.
  • Keep a close eye on your mail. Statements and invoices you don't recognize are a red flag for fraud.
  • Check you credit card statements closely. It is easy to do frequently online.
  • Shred all of the credit card offers that come in the mail.
  • If you shop online make sure the site is secure (has an https at the start of the address bar).
Facebook Hacking Threat

Some hackers recently put up a Facebook page that allowed them to access Facebook user accounts. It was a page that was offering free products and when clicked the Facebook account of the user was saved. The hackers then posted violent and pornographic pictures on the profiles of those affected. [story]

While it is easy to erase the picture it raises the specter of what they could have done with access to the account. Always be careful before you click. If it sounds to good to be true it probably isn't. Always be weary if you are asked to wire money via Facebook. This is a sign that an account may be compromised.
 
Credit Card Thieves Caught Red Handed  

A man was called by her credit card company about a questionable charge. The charge was for a room in a Seattle hotel. Since he knew it wasn't him he called the Seattle police. When the police got to the room they found the two thieves along with more evidence of identity theft. [story]

I don't know if this is a great story that the thieves were caught or a bit creepy that your credit card company knows where you are at all times.
Data Breach Notification Laws

Last month we said data breach notification laws were making their way through congress. This month we are reporting that they are stalled in committee. It is hoped that a national law will replace the patchwork of state laws currently in place. With the toxic atmosphere in Washington it looks like these laws aren't coming in 2011.

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