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Identity Theft: The Aftermath 2003

A comprehensive study – to understand the impact of identity theft on known victims as well as recommendations for reform

Conducted by the Identity Theft Resource Center, Summer 2003

Excerpt:
"Study highlights include:

  • Fraudulent charges now average more than $90,000 per name used.
  • Nearly 85% of all victims find out about their identity theft case in a negative manner. Only 15% of victims find out due to a proactive action taken by a business.
  • The average time spent by victims is about 600 hours, an increase of more than 247% over previous studies.
  • While victims are finding out about their cases earlier, it is taking far longer now than before to eliminate negative information from credit reports.
  • A large majority of respondents indicates the opening of a credit card (73%) or takeover of a card account (27%) to be among crimes committed.
  • The emotional impact of identity theft has been found to parallel that of victims of violent crime.
  • The responsiveness toward victims by the various entities with which they must interact continues to be lacking in sensitivity in most cases and has not improved since studies released in 2000 (Nowhere to Turn)."

[FULL ARTICLE]

Category:
Posted on February 27, 2004 at 09:38 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Identity Theft: The Aftermath 2003

A comprehensive study – to understand the impact of identity theft on known victims as well as recommendations for reform

Conducted by the Identity Theft Resource Center, Summer 2003

Excerpt:
"Study highlights include:

  • Fraudulent charges now average more than $90,000 per name used.
  • Nearly 85% of all victims find out about their identity theft case in a negative manner. Only 15% of victims find out due to a proactive action taken by a business.
  • The average time spent by victims is about 600 hours, an increase of more than 247% over previous studies.
  • While victims are finding out about their cases earlier, it is taking far longer now than before to eliminate negative information from credit reports.
  • A large majority of respondents indicates the opening of a credit card (73%) or takeover of a card account (27%) to be among crimes committed.
  • The emotional impact of identity theft has been found to parallel that of victims of violent crime.
  • The responsiveness toward victims by the various entities with which they must interact continues to be lacking in sensitivity in most cases and has not improved since studies released in 2000 (Nowhere to Turn)."

[FULL ARTICLE]

Category:
Posted on February 27, 2004 at 09:38 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Changes to LES may reduce identity theft [Arlington, VA]

ARLINGTON, Va. -- Leave and earning statements for all service members and Defense Department civilians, and paychecks for military retirees will soon have more identity theft protection. Over the next several weeks, the Defense Finance and Accounting Service will drop the first five digits of a person's Social Security number from all pay statements and checks to guard against identity theft.

"The changes apply to everyone," said Patrick Shine, acting director of DFAS. The proposal "originated internally and will be phased in over the next couple of pay periods."

[FULL STORY]

Category: Identity Theft News
Posted on February 27, 2004 at 04:12 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Changes to LES may reduce identity theft [Arlington, VA]

ARLINGTON, Va. -- Leave and earning statements for all service members and Defense Department civilians, and paychecks for military retirees will soon have more identity theft protection. Over the next several weeks, the Defense Finance and Accounting Service will drop the first five digits of a person's Social Security number from all pay statements and checks to guard against identity theft.

"The changes apply to everyone," said Patrick Shine, acting director of DFAS. The proposal "originated internally and will be phased in over the next couple of pay periods."

[FULL STORY]

Category: Identity Theft News
Posted on February 27, 2004 at 04:12 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Woman arrested on identity theft charges [Salina, KS]

By SHARON MONTAGUE
Salina Journal

Stacey R. LaBranche, 21, 217 S. Fourth No. 2, was arrested Thursday in connection with the use of the identity of Melissa E. Clark, 1503 Cloud Circle, to obtain cable television, electrical and gas service.

[FULL STORY]

Category: ID Theft News
Posted on February 27, 2004 at 04:10 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Woman arrested on identity theft charges

By SHARON MONTAGUE Salina Journal...

Category: ID Theft News
Posted on February 27, 2004 at 04:10 PM | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Identity theft up during tax time [Garden City,KS]

By SCOTT ALDIS-WILSON

There are worse things than having to file a 2003 tax return.

Try attempting to file it and finding out someone else has been abusing your Social Security number.

Finney County Undersheriff John Andrews said at least two people got that unpleasant surprise this month and brought their problems to the sheriff's office.

One was a Colorado man who said someone in Garden City was filing a return under his name, and the other was a Finney County woman who discovered someone else was working under her name as far back as 1992.

"The thing that is triggering it right now is tax season," Andrews said. "It is going to become a pervasive problem. It really is."

[FULL STORY]

Category: ID Theft News
Posted on February 27, 2004 at 04:09 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Identity theft up during tax time [Garden City,KS]

By SCOTT ALDIS-WILSON

There are worse things than having to file a 2003 tax return.

Try attempting to file it and finding out someone else has been abusing your Social Security number.

Finney County Undersheriff John Andrews said at least two people got that unpleasant surprise this month and brought their problems to the sheriff's office.

One was a Colorado man who said someone in Garden City was filing a return under his name, and the other was a Finney County woman who discovered someone else was working under her name as far back as 1992.

"The thing that is triggering it right now is tax season," Andrews said. "It is going to become a pervasive problem. It really is."

[FULL STORY]

Category: ID Theft News
Posted on February 27, 2004 at 04:09 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Identity Theft - America's Fastest Growing Crime [Camden, TN]

Identity theft is now America’s fastest-growing crime and “can’t be stopped!” says Cliffene Moore, of Camden, an independent representative for Pre-Paid Legal Services, Inc., a company that works with victims of such crimes. “Anyone with a checking account and/or credit cards is at risk.”

Just like the fashions and fads, this out-of-control problem is mainly in the larger cities but is trickling down to the rural areas like Camden and Benton County. “Everywhere I go I hear, ‘Oh, that happened to my sister-in-law or, my cousin had a big problem with that just last year.”

Internet users are especially vulnerable to these crimes. Anyone shopping online services such as eBay, for instance, puts a lot of information out there for dishonest onlookers, worldwide.

And, it’s not far from home.

“It almost happened to me just before Christmas,” says Cathe Patton, Secretary for US Conservation Services. “I had been shopping on eBay the week before, when I was checking my email and there was an email from (what appeared to be) eBay saying they needed to update my account and started asking for all kinds of information. Since I had already purchased all I was going to for a while, I ignored it. A couple of weeks later, it popped up again. It never occurred to me that it was fraudulent; it had the eBay logo and everything. The next time I was looking at something on eBay, I clicked on questions, and asked about it.

Here is what eBay replied: “We advise you to be very cautious of email messages that ask you to submit information such as your credit card number or your email password. eBay will never ask you for sensitive personal information such as passwords, bank account or credit card numbers, Personal Identification Numbers (PINs), or Social Security numbers in an email itself. If you ever need to provide information to eBay please open a new Web browser, type www.ebay.com, and click on the "site map" link located at the top the page to access the eBay page you need.

“If you have any doubt about whether an email message is from eBay, please forward it immediately to spoof@ebay.com and do not respond to it or click on any of the links in the email message. Please do not change the subject line or forward the email as an attachment.”

[FULL STORY]

Category: Identity Theft News
Posted on February 27, 2004 at 04:06 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Identity Theft - America's Fastest Growing Crime [Camden, TN]

Identity theft is now America’s fastest-growing crime and “can’t be stopped!” says Cliffene Moore, of Camden, an independent representative for Pre-Paid Legal Services, Inc., a company that works with victims of such crimes. “Anyone with a checking account and/or credit cards is at risk.”

Just like the fashions and fads, this out-of-control problem is mainly in the larger cities but is trickling down to the rural areas like Camden and Benton County. “Everywhere I go I hear, ‘Oh, that happened to my sister-in-law or, my cousin had a big problem with that just last year.”

Internet users are especially vulnerable to these crimes. Anyone shopping online services such as eBay, for instance, puts a lot of information out there for dishonest onlookers, worldwide.

And, it’s not far from home.

“It almost happened to me just before Christmas,” says Cathe Patton, Secretary for US Conservation Services. “I had been shopping on eBay the week before, when I was checking my email and there was an email from (what appeared to be) eBay saying they needed to update my account and started asking for all kinds of information. Since I had already purchased all I was going to for a while, I ignored it. A couple of weeks later, it popped up again. It never occurred to me that it was fraudulent; it had the eBay logo and everything. The next time I was looking at something on eBay, I clicked on questions, and asked about it.

Here is what eBay replied: “We advise you to be very cautious of email messages that ask you to submit information such as your credit card number or your email password. eBay will never ask you for sensitive personal information such as passwords, bank account or credit card numbers, Personal Identification Numbers (PINs), or Social Security numbers in an email itself. If you ever need to provide information to eBay please open a new Web browser, type www.ebay.com, and click on the "site map" link located at the top the page to access the eBay page you need.

“If you have any doubt about whether an email message is from eBay, please forward it immediately to spoof@ebay.com and do not respond to it or click on any of the links in the email message. Please do not change the subject line or forward the email as an attachment.”

[FULL STORY]

Category: Identity Theft News
Posted on February 27, 2004 at 04:06 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Learn about identity theft [BOISE, ID]

Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden said Thursday that his office will focus education efforts on the growing problem of identity theft. The Federal Trade Commission logged 493 theft cases from Idaho in 2003.

Identity theft occurs when a person assumes the identity of another, usually for the purpose of obtaining credit in the victim´s name.

[FULL STORY]

Category: Identity Theft News
Posted on February 27, 2004 at 04:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Learn about identity theft [BOISE, ID]

Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden said Thursday that his office will focus education efforts on the growing problem of identity theft. The Federal Trade Commission logged 493 theft cases from Idaho in 2003.

Identity theft occurs when a person assumes the identity of another, usually for the purpose of obtaining credit in the victim´s name.

[FULL STORY]

Category: Identity Theft News
Posted on February 27, 2004 at 04:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Can Consumers Fight Back Against Credit Fraud?

In this age of information, credit fraud is not a difficult crime to perpetrate. The idea that a thief could gain access to your account information or personal data is not as implausible as you might think--social security number misuse has increased over the last two years, resulting in a variety of credit-related crimes.

Fortunately, you can fight back against credit fraud by learning how credit fraud and identity theft occur, and by actively monitoring your credit report for unauthorized account use on a regular basis. Your credit report will list any new activity on accounts you haven’t been using, as well as new accounts that you did not open.

One of the best ways to keep track of new information that is added to your credit report is the CreditCheck Monitoring Service, which provides Online Monthly Monitoring Alerts to inform you of new derogatory information, recent inquiries into your credit, and several indicators of possible credit fraud. If you would like to sign up for the CreditCheck Monitoring Service, click here . You’ll get a free copy of your credit report when you sign up for a free 30-day trial.

To have credit report information at your fingertips is the best way to shut an identity thief down--you can begin the process of notifying your creditors of the fraud, changing your passwords, and closing down fraudulent accounts before they wind up in the hands of collectors and compromise your good credit.

How Credit Fraud and Identity Theft Occur
Specific personal data, such as your Social Security number, home address and mother’s maiden name, can be all a thief needs to obtain a fraudulent driver’s license, take over existing bank or credit accounts, divert card statements to a different address, or even apply for new credit card accounts under your name. Thieves can obtain this information in variety of ways, including fishing through trash for account statements, lifting cards from lost or stolen purses, wallets and briefcases, or through telephone or Internet scams.

How to Prevent Credit Fraud and Identity Theft
Customers may be in a position to prevent potential identity theft by closely guarding their personal data. For example, never give out your Social Security number over the phone unless you know the company you are dealing with and have initiated the call.

Similarly, if your mother’s maiden name is not likely to be a secure password, consider changing it to something a little more difficult for a thief to obtain. Also, carry only the cards you are actually going to use, and leave official documents like Social Security cards, passports and birth certificates at home or in a safety deposit box.

Account Takeover Fraud
Credit card account statements contain a lot of sensitive information that you don’t want thieves to get a hold of, and even store receipts will frequently have your credit card number printed on them. Sometimes an account number is all a thief needs to make charges and obtain cash advances. It’s a good idea to shred all financial documents before discarding them.

A thief in possession of sensitive information about you may also be able to go one step further, and commit account takeover fraud, simply by calling your creditor, reading off your account number, a partial Social Security number and your mother’s maiden name, and asking them to change the mailing address on the account. For this reason, if you don’t receive a credit card statement on time, you should call your creditor immediately to verify that the address has not been changed.

Checking your credit report may also reveal activity on an account you don’t use--get a FREE copy of your credit report to see your currently open accounts, and stay on top of the situation with the CreditCheck Monitoring Service.

Pre-Approved Credit Offers
Another source of potential credit fraud is pre-approved credit offers. A thief who intercepts one may fill out the application and change the address to obtain a credit card in your name for which you will never receive a statement. (To combat this, some creditors will not issue a card to a new address on a pre-approved offer certificate, but this policy isn’t universal.) This makes checking your credit report especially important, because it will show you if there are accounts being reported in your name of which you are not aware. The thief may even make the minimum payments for a while, until such time as the card is maxed out. Then the account would eventually be turned over for collections--in your name, and listed on your credit report.

The CreditCheck Monitoring Service Can Help
In many cases, the only way you’ll catch credit fraud early is by obtaining a copy of your credit report. However, most consumers may not have time to order a copy of their credit report on a month-by-month basis, and read through all the information looking for the items that may indicate possible credit fraud.

That’s why the Credit Check Monitoring Service is ideal for consumers who want to keep current on their credit information. At roughly half the cost of ordering your credit report every month, the CreditCheck Monitoring Service provides Online Monthly Monitoring Alerts that show you only recent changes for easy reference. In addition, you can obtain unlimited free copies of your credit report at any time during your paid membership!

Category: Consumer Tips
Posted on February 26, 2004 at 07:44 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Can Consumers Fight Back Against Credit Fraud?

In this age of information, credit fraud is not a difficult crime to perpetrate. The idea that a thief could gain access to your account information or personal data is not as implausible as you might think--social security number misuse has increased over the last two years, resulting in a variety of credit-related crimes.

Fortunately, you can fight back against credit fraud by learning how credit fraud and identity theft occur, and by actively monitoring your credit report for unauthorized account use on a regular basis. Your credit report will list any new activity on accounts you haven’t been using, as well as new accounts that you did not open.

One of the best ways to keep track of new information that is added to your credit report is the CreditCheck Monitoring Service, which provides Online Monthly Monitoring Alerts to inform you of new derogatory information, recent inquiries into your credit, and several indicators of possible credit fraud. If you would like to sign up for the CreditCheck Monitoring Service, click here . You’ll get a free copy of your credit report when you sign up for a free 30-day trial.

To have credit report information at your fingertips is the best way to shut an identity thief down--you can begin the process of notifying your creditors of the fraud, changing your passwords, and closing down fraudulent accounts before they wind up in the hands of collectors and compromise your good credit.

How Credit Fraud and Identity Theft Occur
Specific personal data, such as your Social Security number, home address and mother’s maiden name, can be all a thief needs to obtain a fraudulent driver’s license, take over existing bank or credit accounts, divert card statements to a different address, or even apply for new credit card accounts under your name. Thieves can obtain this information in variety of ways, including fishing through trash for account statements, lifting cards from lost or stolen purses, wallets and briefcases, or through telephone or Internet scams.

How to Prevent Credit Fraud and Identity Theft
Customers may be in a position to prevent potential identity theft by closely guarding their personal data. For example, never give out your Social Security number over the phone unless you know the company you are dealing with and have initiated the call.

Similarly, if your mother’s maiden name is not likely to be a secure password, consider changing it to something a little more difficult for a thief to obtain. Also, carry only the cards you are actually going to use, and leave official documents like Social Security cards, passports and birth certificates at home or in a safety deposit box.

Account Takeover Fraud
Credit card account statements contain a lot of sensitive information that you don’t want thieves to get a hold of, and even store receipts will frequently have your credit card number printed on them. Sometimes an account number is all a thief needs to make charges and obtain cash advances. It’s a good idea to shred all financial documents before discarding them.

A thief in possession of sensitive information about you may also be able to go one step further, and commit account takeover fraud, simply by calling your creditor, reading off your account number, a partial Social Security number and your mother’s maiden name, and asking them to change the mailing address on the account. For this reason, if you don’t receive a credit card statement on time, you should call your creditor immediately to verify that the address has not been changed.

Checking your credit report may also reveal activity on an account you don’t use--get a FREE copy of your credit report to see your currently open accounts, and stay on top of the situation with the CreditCheck Monitoring Service.

Pre-Approved Credit Offers
Another source of potential credit fraud is pre-approved credit offers. A thief who intercepts one may fill out the application and change the address to obtain a credit card in your name for which you will never receive a statement. (To combat this, some creditors will not issue a card to a new address on a pre-approved offer certificate, but this policy isn’t universal.) This makes checking your credit report especially important, because it will show you if there are accounts being reported in your name of which you are not aware. The thief may even make the minimum payments for a while, until such time as the card is maxed out. Then the account would eventually be turned over for collections--in your name, and listed on your credit report.

The CreditCheck Monitoring Service Can Help
In many cases, the only way you’ll catch credit fraud early is by obtaining a copy of your credit report. However, most consumers may not have time to order a copy of their credit report on a month-by-month basis, and read through all the information looking for the items that may indicate possible credit fraud.

That’s why the Credit Check Monitoring Service is ideal for consumers who want to keep current on their credit information. At roughly half the cost of ordering your credit report every month, the CreditCheck Monitoring Service provides Online Monthly Monitoring Alerts that show you only recent changes for easy reference. In addition, you can obtain unlimited free copies of your credit report at any time during your paid membership!

Category: Consumer Tips
Posted on February 26, 2004 at 07:44 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Five Reasons to Check Your Credit Report Regularly

In much the same way that a resume displays your work experience to a prospective employer, a credit report provides prospective creditors (and in some cases employers and insurers too) with a detailed picture of your credit history. And like a resume, your credit report can influence whether you will receive what you are applying for.

Ideally, your credit report is an accurate, up-to-date reflection of your credit history. However, since we don't live in an ideal world, there are many reasons that your credit report could contain inaccuracies that might prevent you from receiving the credit you deserve. The good news is you can take action to keep your report accurate. Here are the top five reasons why you should make a practice of regularly reviewing your credit report:

Inaccuracies & Mixed Credit Files
Many inaccuracies on a credit report can be the result of simple human error, and are therefore are not difficult to dispute. Of course, if you don't order your credit report, you might never know about it. Whether the inaccuracies relate to payments not credited, late payments, or data mixed in from the credit file of someone else with a name similar to yours, you will want to contact the credit bureau to dispute inaccurate information promptly. If you would like to get a free copy of your credit report, click here now.

Tracking Payments
One of the most important elements of credit is a demonstrated history of on time payments. Once you send the check though, anything can happen--a delay in the payment being received can kick you over to a 30-day delinquency. If you call your creditor and explain the situation, they might adjust the information. Of course, if you don't read your credit report, you won't necessarily know which payments are being received and reported properly.

Identity Theft
This issue alone is reason to order your credit report immediately. Identity theft is an insidious crime, involving a thief who assumes your name to open new accounts, divert your card statements to another address, and run up all sorts of bad debt without you ever knowing about it until collectors come calling. Over time, identity theft could jeopardize your ability to obtain further credit. The best way to catch a thief who is using your name is by getting a copy of your credit report, which will show you if there are accounts listed you know you haven't opened. For example, if a thief has intercepted a pre-approved credit card offer in your name and sent it in with a change of address, your credit report will include the account. If you would like to get a free copy of your credit report, click here now.

Inquiries
If you're shopping around for a loan or more credit, you should know that when creditors check your credit, it places an inquiry on your credit report. Inquiries can add up, which is often interpreted as a negative by creditors. For this reason, too many inquiries can actually make getting credit more difficult. Moreover, if you didn't authorize someone to look at your credit report and they did, they may have broken the law. If you would like to see who's been looking at your credit, click here to get a free copy of your credit report.

Credit Fraud--Unauthorized Charges
Credit fraud involves the theft of your credit card or account number to make unauthorized charges to your account. Though consumers are protected financially from this abuse, other creditors may take note of all this activity and decide to raise your interest rates or refuse to grant you a loan. Ordering your credit report will help you catch new activity on accounts that you haven't been using, or may have closed.

When it comes to managing your credit worthiness, your credit report is your best resource. Ordering your credit report gives you the opportunity to manage your credit wisely today, while planning your credit strategy for achieving future goals--a credit-savvy move every consumer should make!

Category: Consumer Tips
Posted on February 26, 2004 at 07:31 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Five Reasons to Check Your Credit Report Regularly

In much the same way that a resume displays your work experience to a prospective employer, a credit report provides prospective creditors (and in some cases employers and insurers too) with a detailed picture of your credit history. And like a resume, your credit report can influence whether you will receive what you are applying for.

Ideally, your credit report is an accurate, up-to-date reflection of your credit history. However, since we don't live in an ideal world, there are many reasons that your credit report could contain inaccuracies that might prevent you from receiving the credit you deserve. The good news is you can take action to keep your report accurate. Here are the top five reasons why you should make a practice of regularly reviewing your credit report:

Inaccuracies & Mixed Credit Files
Many inaccuracies on a credit report can be the result of simple human error, and are therefore are not difficult to dispute. Of course, if you don't order your credit report, you might never know about it. Whether the inaccuracies relate to payments not credited, late payments, or data mixed in from the credit file of someone else with a name similar to yours, you will want to contact the credit bureau to dispute inaccurate information promptly. If you would like to get a free copy of your credit report, click here now.

Tracking Payments
One of the most important elements of credit is a demonstrated history of on time payments. Once you send the check though, anything can happen--a delay in the payment being received can kick you over to a 30-day delinquency. If you call your creditor and explain the situation, they might adjust the information. Of course, if you don't read your credit report, you won't necessarily know which payments are being received and reported properly.

Identity Theft
This issue alone is reason to order your credit report immediately. Identity theft is an insidious crime, involving a thief who assumes your name to open new accounts, divert your card statements to another address, and run up all sorts of bad debt without you ever knowing about it until collectors come calling. Over time, identity theft could jeopardize your ability to obtain further credit. The best way to catch a thief who is using your name is by getting a copy of your credit report, which will show you if there are accounts listed you know you haven't opened. For example, if a thief has intercepted a pre-approved credit card offer in your name and sent it in with a change of address, your credit report will include the account. If you would like to get a free copy of your credit report, click here now.

Inquiries
If you're shopping around for a loan or more credit, you should know that when creditors check your credit, it places an inquiry on your credit report. Inquiries can add up, which is often interpreted as a negative by creditors. For this reason, too many inquiries can actually make getting credit more difficult. Moreover, if you didn't authorize someone to look at your credit report and they did, they may have broken the law. If you would like to see who's been looking at your credit, click here to get a free copy of your credit report.

Credit Fraud--Unauthorized Charges
Credit fraud involves the theft of your credit card or account number to make unauthorized charges to your account. Though consumers are protected financially from this abuse, other creditors may take note of all this activity and decide to raise your interest rates or refuse to grant you a loan. Ordering your credit report will help you catch new activity on accounts that you haven't been using, or may have closed.

When it comes to managing your credit worthiness, your credit report is your best resource. Ordering your credit report gives you the opportunity to manage your credit wisely today, while planning your credit strategy for achieving future goals--a credit-savvy move every consumer should make!

Category: Consumer Tips
Posted on February 26, 2004 at 07:31 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Seminar helps seniors fight identity theft [PUEBLO, CO]

Identity theft is the fastest growing crime in the nation, and senior citizens are often a major target. On Wednesday, a seminar was held in Pueblo to help alert seniors how to protect their identities and life savings.

Janice Friddle, director of the AARP Elder Watch program, says thieves prey on the elderly because of their higher credit rating. "Certainly their credit ratings might be higher. They might have more credit accessible to them, and thieves love to get ahold of somebody that has a high dollar amount attached to their name," said Friddle.

[FULL STORY]

Category: Identity Theft News
Posted on February 26, 2004 at 03:43 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Seminar helps seniors fight identity theft [PUEBLO, CO]

Identity theft is the fastest growing crime in the nation, and senior citizens are often a major target. On Wednesday, a seminar was held in Pueblo to help alert seniors how to protect their identities and life savings.

Janice Friddle, director of the AARP Elder Watch program, says thieves prey on the elderly because of their higher credit rating. "Certainly their credit ratings might be higher. They might have more credit accessible to them, and thieves love to get ahold of somebody that has a high dollar amount attached to their name," said Friddle.

[FULL STORY]

Category: Identity Theft News
Posted on February 26, 2004 at 03:43 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Identity theft: It's all in your mind

Jo Best
ZDNet UK
February 26, 2004

There's no doubt identity theft is a growing problem. The problem is, the place it could well be growing most is in consumers' minds. According to new research, consumers are more aware than ever that identity theft is a threat but they feel more vulnerable to it than they did a year ago.

The research, conducted by Opinion Research on behalf of RSA Security, found that 63 per cent of consumers were more aware of identity theft issues now compared to last year, but only 18 per cent of consumers felt themselves to be any safer as a result and 26 per cent thought they were actually less safe.

But when it comes to protecting consumers from identity theft it's all me, me, me – of those who did feel safer in 2004, around half did so because they'd implemented measures themselves while less than a third thought they were more protected because of new developments in technology or business processes in banks.

Consumers' fear of ID theft doesn't just harm confidence, it could actually be hurting online business, the figures suggest. The number of consumers unwilling to share data with online shops has risen from 35 per cent in 2003 to 44 per cent this year.

[FULL STORY]

Category: Identity Theft News
Posted on February 26, 2004 at 03:39 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Identity theft: It's all in your mind

Jo Best
ZDNet UK
February 26, 2004

There's no doubt identity theft is a growing problem. The problem is, the place it could well be growing most is in consumers' minds. According to new research, consumers are more aware than ever that identity theft is a threat but they feel more vulnerable to it than they did a year ago.

The research, conducted by Opinion Research on behalf of RSA Security, found that 63 per cent of consumers were more aware of identity theft issues now compared to last year, but only 18 per cent of consumers felt themselves to be any safer as a result and 26 per cent thought they were actually less safe.

But when it comes to protecting consumers from identity theft it's all me, me, me – of those who did feel safer in 2004, around half did so because they'd implemented measures themselves while less than a third thought they were more protected because of new developments in technology or business processes in banks.

Consumers' fear of ID theft doesn't just harm confidence, it could actually be hurting online business, the figures suggest. The number of consumers unwilling to share data with online shops has risen from 35 per cent in 2003 to 44 per cent this year.

[FULL STORY]

Category: Identity Theft News
Posted on February 26, 2004 at 03:39 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Alleged scam artist who preys on seniors charged [CANTON, IL]

Vacuum cleaner scheme

LEWISTOWN -- Thomas Schierer, 37, of East Peoria, was arrested Feb. 9 on charges of financial exploitation of an elderly person, theft by deception, harassment through electronic communications, and violation of the Transient Merchant Act.

Schierer appeared in court Feb. 10, and bond was set at $25,000. He posted bond. His next court date is at 2 p.m. March 24 for a preliminary hearing.

Following an investigation by Canton Police Department, Assistant State's Attorney William Loeffel obtained a warrant for violation of the Transient Merchant Act, a class B misdemeanor, on Dec. 22. The information alleges Schierer conducted business as a transient merchant, selling Kirby "vacuum cleaners and cleaning services ... without first obtaining a license from the City of Canton."

[FULL STORY]

Category: ID Theft News
Posted on February 26, 2004 at 03:35 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Alleged scam artist who preys on seniors charged [CANTON, IL]

Vacuum cleaner scheme

LEWISTOWN -- Thomas Schierer, 37, of East Peoria, was arrested Feb. 9 on charges of financial exploitation of an elderly person, theft by deception, harassment through electronic communications, and violation of the Transient Merchant Act.

Schierer appeared in court Feb. 10, and bond was set at $25,000. He posted bond. His next court date is at 2 p.m. March 24 for a preliminary hearing.

Following an investigation by Canton Police Department, Assistant State's Attorney William Loeffel obtained a warrant for violation of the Transient Merchant Act, a class B misdemeanor, on Dec. 22. The information alleges Schierer conducted business as a transient merchant, selling Kirby "vacuum cleaners and cleaning services ... without first obtaining a license from the City of Canton."

[FULL STORY]

Category: ID Theft News
Posted on February 26, 2004 at 03:35 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

$56 million to farmers upheld [MINNEAPOLIS, MN]

BY LEE EGERSTROM
Pioneer Press

The Minnesota Supreme Court on Thursday upheld a $56 million judgment against BASF Corp. in a class-action suit brought by farmers charging the chemical manufacturer fraudulently priced herbicides sold between 1992 and 1996.

BASF, a New Jersey-based unit of BASF AG of Germany, said it will appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.

The battle over the farmers' herbicides has been in state court for seven years. The ruling Thursday is the fourth court decision that has either granted the farmers standing in the class action suit or remanded the case back to jury trial.

"We've seen delay for the sake of delay," said Douglas Nill, a Minneapolis attorney who was among lawyers representing the farmers. "We've had a paper blizzard. They've been pounding us with paper for seven years."

The issue is whether BASF committed consumer fraud by representing two herbicides, Poast and Poast Plus, as being separate chemicals usable on different farm crops, when the Environmental Protection Agency had certified both formulations as acceptable for most major and smaller farm crops.

[FULL STORY]

Category: ID Theft News
Posted on February 26, 2004 at 03:31 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

$56 million to farmers upheld [MINNEAPOLIS, MN]

BY LEE EGERSTROM
Pioneer Press

The Minnesota Supreme Court on Thursday upheld a $56 million judgment against BASF Corp. in a class-action suit brought by farmers charging the chemical manufacturer fraudulently priced herbicides sold between 1992 and 1996.

BASF, a New Jersey-based unit of BASF AG of Germany, said it will appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.

The battle over the farmers' herbicides has been in state court for seven years. The ruling Thursday is the fourth court decision that has either granted the farmers standing in the class action suit or remanded the case back to jury trial.

"We've seen delay for the sake of delay," said Douglas Nill, a Minneapolis attorney who was among lawyers representing the farmers. "We've had a paper blizzard. They've been pounding us with paper for seven years."

The issue is whether BASF committed consumer fraud by representing two herbicides, Poast and Poast Plus, as being separate chemicals usable on different farm crops, when the Environmental Protection Agency had certified both formulations as acceptable for most major and smaller farm crops.

[FULL STORY]

Category: ID Theft News
Posted on February 26, 2004 at 03:31 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Seniors, disabled cautioned [CHICAGO,IL]

Senior citizens and people with disabilities should be on alert for calls from people claiming to be state employees and asking for personal information, such as a bank account or Social Security number, Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan said Saturday.

[FULL STORY]

Category: ID Theft News
Posted on February 26, 2004 at 03:29 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Seniors, disabled cautioned [CHICAGO,IL]

Senior citizens and people with disabilities should be on alert for calls from people claiming to be state employees and asking for personal information, such as a bank account or Social Security number, Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan said Saturday.

[FULL STORY]

Category: ID Theft News
Posted on February 26, 2004 at 03:29 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Top court restricts Consumer Fraud Act [NJ]

MDs, lawyers, other professionals can't be sued over advertising

BY KATHY BARRETT CARTER
Star-Ledger Staff

Doctors, lawyers and other professionals regulated by the state cannot be sued under New Jersey's Consumer Fraud Act for making false or misleading claims in their ads, the state Supreme Court ruled yesterday.

The court, in a 6-0 decision, threw out consumer fraud claims against Joseph Dello Russo, the celebrity eye surgeon who has performed 15,000 Lasik surgeries at three facilities in New York and New Jersey.


The ruling turns back an appeals court decision that said professionals regulated by the state can be sued under the consumer fraud law if they "engage in common commercial activity designed to attract the patronage of the public."

In reaching its decision, the state Supreme Court said New Jersey's 40-year-old Consumer Fraud Act has never applied to doctors, lawyers, architects, accountants and other "learned professionals."

[FULL STORY]

Category: Identity Theft News
Posted on February 26, 2004 at 03:25 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Top court restricts Consumer Fraud Act [NJ]

MDs, lawyers, other professionals can't be sued over advertising

BY KATHY BARRETT CARTER
Star-Ledger Staff

Doctors, lawyers and other professionals regulated by the state cannot be sued under New Jersey's Consumer Fraud Act for making false or misleading claims in their ads, the state Supreme Court ruled yesterday.

The court, in a 6-0 decision, threw out consumer fraud claims against Joseph Dello Russo, the celebrity eye surgeon who has performed 15,000 Lasik surgeries at three facilities in New York and New Jersey.


The ruling turns back an appeals court decision that said professionals regulated by the state can be sued under the consumer fraud law if they "engage in common commercial activity designed to attract the patronage of the public."

In reaching its decision, the state Supreme Court said New Jersey's 40-year-old Consumer Fraud Act has never applied to doctors, lawyers, architects, accountants and other "learned professionals."

[FULL STORY]

Category: Identity Theft News
Posted on February 26, 2004 at 03:25 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Clement raises consumer fraud awareness [CLARKSVILLE, TN]

By JIMMY SETTLE
The Leaf-Chronicle

Mary Clement, director of the Tennessee Division of Consumer Affairs, maintains that her office is making a dent in the volume of consumer fraud cases statewide, while also increasing its own profile among businesses and the consuming public.

"In the last five years, this office has returned over $14 million back to consumers," Clement said during a Monday morning swing through Clarksville, part of her campaign to increase awareness during this National Consumer Education Week.

"We're trying to bring awareness to what we do," Clement said. "It's just my belief that this should be a customer service office. Businesses should have a voice, and consumers should have an equal voice. Businesses don't have to look at us as an adversary.

[FULL STORY]

Category: Identity Theft News
Posted on February 26, 2004 at 03:21 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Clement raises consumer fraud awareness [CLARKSVILLE, TN]

By JIMMY SETTLE
The Leaf-Chronicle

Mary Clement, director of the Tennessee Division of Consumer Affairs, maintains that her office is making a dent in the volume of consumer fraud cases statewide, while also increasing its own profile among businesses and the consuming public.

"In the last five years, this office has returned over $14 million back to consumers," Clement said during a Monday morning swing through Clarksville, part of her campaign to increase awareness during this National Consumer Education Week.

"We're trying to bring awareness to what we do," Clement said. "It's just my belief that this should be a customer service office. Businesses should have a voice, and consumers should have an equal voice. Businesses don't have to look at us as an adversary.

[FULL STORY]

Category: Identity Theft News
Posted on February 26, 2004 at 03:21 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Authentify Thwarts Identity Theft

Authentify Thwarts Identity Theft With a Modern Twist to a Familiar Technique, Adding a Personal Touch to an Internet Transaction

CHICAGO, Feb. 23 /PRNewswire/ -- The medical doctor from Amarillo, Texas was surprised to receive an automated call asking about a pending credit transaction on a Web site. After all, he was at home watching television and wasn't online. The working mother from Virginia was angry that what she took for a telemarketing firm should dare to ring her phone at 2:30 in the morning. That is, until she realized it was an inquiry about a financial transaction being attempted via the Internet against one of her accounts. These encounters and many like them are part of the growing success story behind a patent-pending process developed by Chicago based Authentify, Inc.

In simple terms, Authentify enables the telephone as an authentication tool for Internet transactions. Authentify has developed a process that permits Web sites or other network access points to place an automated telephone call to the person involved in the transaction. Once they have answered the call, the person will be prompted for information being displayed on their computer screen ensuring that the person on the phone is in control of the web session.

[FULL STORY]

Category: Identity Theft News
Posted on February 26, 2004 at 03:14 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Authentify Thwarts Identity Theft

Authentify Thwarts Identity Theft With a Modern Twist to a Familiar Technique, Adding a Personal Touch to an Internet Transaction

CHICAGO, Feb. 23 /PRNewswire/ -- The medical doctor from Amarillo, Texas was surprised to receive an automated call asking about a pending credit transaction on a Web site. After all, he was at home watching television and wasn't online. The working mother from Virginia was angry that what she took for a telemarketing firm should dare to ring her phone at 2:30 in the morning. That is, until she realized it was an inquiry about a financial transaction being attempted via the Internet against one of her accounts. These encounters and many like them are part of the growing success story behind a patent-pending process developed by Chicago based Authentify, Inc.

In simple terms, Authentify enables the telephone as an authentication tool for Internet transactions. Authentify has developed a process that permits Web sites or other network access points to place an automated telephone call to the person involved in the transaction. Once they have answered the call, the person will be prompted for information being displayed on their computer screen ensuring that the person on the phone is in control of the web session.

[FULL STORY]

Category: Identity Theft News
Posted on February 26, 2004 at 03:14 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Inmate Pleads Guilty On Identity Theft [MEMPHIS TN]

[This story is one for Leno. An inmate serving 12 years in prison for identity theft was found guilty of identity theft...while in prison! The prison job they gave her was...drum roll please...typing license numbers and other personal info into computers! --ScamSafe Editor]

Memphis, TN - An inmate who led an identity theft ring at the Tennessee prison for women has pleaded guilty in Memphis Federal Court.

Twenty-seven-year-old Patricia Johnson will cooperate with the prosecution of eight co-defendants. Johnson faces a maximum of 30 years in federal prison when she's sentenced May 28th.

Johnson and the co-defendants were charged last October with using stolen social security numbers and other personal information to steal the credit accounts of individuals at department stores.

[FULL STORY]

Category: ID Theft News
Posted on February 26, 2004 at 02:21 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Inmate Pleads Guilty On Identity Theft [MEMPHIS TN]

[This story is one for Leno. An inmate serving 12 years in prison for identity theft was found guilty of identity theft...while in prison! The prison job they gave her was...drum roll please...typing license numbers and other personal info into computers! --ScamSafe Editor]

Memphis, TN - An inmate who led an identity theft ring at the Tennessee prison for women has pleaded guilty in Memphis Federal Court.

Twenty-seven-year-old Patricia Johnson will cooperate with the prosecution of eight co-defendants. Johnson faces a maximum of 30 years in federal prison when she's sentenced May 28th.

Johnson and the co-defendants were charged last October with using stolen social security numbers and other personal information to steal the credit accounts of individuals at department stores.

[FULL STORY]

Category: ID Theft News
Posted on February 26, 2004 at 02:21 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Bills target identity theft, documentation [RUTLAND, VT]

By BRUCE EDWARDS Herald Staff

Identity theft is a mushrooming problem in this country, with an estimated 10 million victims and a cost of $53 billion in the last fiscal year alone, according to a Federal Trade Commission survey.

Based on separate FTC figures, Vermont appears to have remained relatively untouched by the problem, with only 159 identity theft cases reported to the FTC last year. Only North Dakota and South Dakota had fewer reported cases.

But Vermont Assistant Attorney General Julie Brill has a pretty good hunch that there are likely more identity theft victims in Vermont than found in the annual FTC report.

"We're currently not high ranked nationally on a per-capita basis, but it is growing definitely in Vermont," Brill said. "We also think there a lot of victims in Vermont who are not filing their complaints with police departments or our office because they're not sure what anybody is going to do about them."

Vermont is one of only a few states that doesn't have an identity theft law on the books. But that could change this year if the Senate acts on a bill that passed the House last year.

[FULL STORY]

Category: Identity Theft News
Posted on February 26, 2004 at 02:17 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Bills target identity theft, documentation [RUTLAND, VT]

By BRUCE EDWARDS Herald Staff

Identity theft is a mushrooming problem in this country, with an estimated 10 million victims and a cost of $53 billion in the last fiscal year alone, according to a Federal Trade Commission survey.

Based on separate FTC figures, Vermont appears to have remained relatively untouched by the problem, with only 159 identity theft cases reported to the FTC last year. Only North Dakota and South Dakota had fewer reported cases.

But Vermont Assistant Attorney General Julie Brill has a pretty good hunch that there are likely more identity theft victims in Vermont than found in the annual FTC report.

"We're currently not high ranked nationally on a per-capita basis, but it is growing definitely in Vermont," Brill said. "We also think there a lot of victims in Vermont who are not filing their complaints with police departments or our office because they're not sure what anybody is going to do about them."

Vermont is one of only a few states that doesn't have an identity theft law on the books. But that could change this year if the Senate acts on a bill that passed the House last year.

[FULL STORY]

Category: Identity Theft News
Posted on February 26, 2004 at 02:17 PM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Arrest made in identity theft case [SALINA, KS]

By DAVID CLOUSTON
Salina Journal

The fraudulent use of a woman's Social Security number in order to obtain jobs with local restaurants has led to the arrest of a Salina woman, police officials said Monday.

Police Lt. Mike Sweeney identified the woman arrested as Marcia Moreno-Palacios, 31, 730 Fairdale. She was working at a McDonald's restaurant. She was arrested Saturday.

[FULL STORY]

Category: ID Theft News
Posted on February 26, 2004 at 02:15 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Arrest made in identity theft case [SALINA, KS]

By DAVID CLOUSTON
Salina Journal

The fraudulent use of a woman's Social Security number in order to obtain jobs with local restaurants has led to the arrest of a Salina woman, police officials said Monday.

Police Lt. Mike Sweeney identified the woman arrested as Marcia Moreno-Palacios, 31, 730 Fairdale. She was working at a McDonald's restaurant. She was arrested Saturday.

[FULL STORY]

Category: ID Theft News
Posted on February 26, 2004 at 02:15 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Act can help you fight identity theft, protect your privacy

Imagine that some unscrupulous bank employee took your credit report, complete with your Social Security number, and started applying for credit cards in your name.

So you put a fraud alert on your credit file, warning companies not to issue credit. But one ignored it and issued another card to the identity thief.

Then imagine that when you got the bills from the thief's latest shopping spree, you contacted the bank that issued the card, but the bank wouldn't give you any information.

All those scenarios would have played out differently under the new Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act, which provides more tools to fight identity theft and protect consumers' privacy.

Under the law, you can request that not all of your Social Security number appear on your credit file. Also, it will be illegal for companies to ignore a fraud alert.

And every identity theft victim who files a police report can get transaction records from businesses where a thief opened accounts or bought things in his or her name.

"Before this law passed, a consumer did not have the right to obtain records where the thief used their name," said Ed Mierzwinski, consumer program director at the U.S. Public Interest Research Group, a consumer organization in Washington, D.C. "Before the business would say: 'How do we know you're not a fraudster? We can't give you records you say aren't yours.' Now they have to."

The FACT Act makes sweeping changes and additions to the Fair Credit Reporting Act, which governs the accuracy and privacy of the information used in credit reports. The new act adds several provisions to combat identity theft and to enhance accuracy and consumer access to credit information. The changes affect insurers, lenders, collection agencies, employers, rental agencies and all companies that use, compile and furnish information for consumer reports.

[FULL STORY]

Category: Consumer Tips
Posted on February 26, 2004 at 02:10 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Act can help you fight identity theft, protect your privacy

Imagine that some unscrupulous bank employee took your credit report, complete with your Social Security number, and started applying for credit cards in your name.

So you put a fraud alert on your credit file, warning companies not to issue credit. But one ignored it and issued another card to the identity thief.

Then imagine that when you got the bills from the thief's latest shopping spree, you contacted the bank that issued the card, but the bank wouldn't give you any information.

All those scenarios would have played out differently under the new Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act, which provides more tools to fight identity theft and protect consumers' privacy.

Under the law, you can request that not all of your Social Security number appear on your credit file. Also, it will be illegal for companies to ignore a fraud alert.

And every identity theft victim who files a police report can get transaction records from businesses where a thief opened accounts or bought things in his or her name.

"Before this law passed, a consumer did not have the right to obtain records where the thief used their name," said Ed Mierzwinski, consumer program director at the U.S. Public Interest Research Group, a consumer organization in Washington, D.C. "Before the business would say: 'How do we know you're not a fraudster? We can't give you records you say aren't yours.' Now they have to."

The FACT Act makes sweeping changes and additions to the Fair Credit Reporting Act, which governs the accuracy and privacy of the information used in credit reports. The new act adds several provisions to combat identity theft and to enhance accuracy and consumer access to credit information. The changes affect insurers, lenders, collection agencies, employers, rental agencies and all companies that use, compile and furnish information for consumer reports.

[FULL STORY]

Category: Consumer Tips
Posted on February 26, 2004 at 02:10 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Fed's Minehan-new laws help against identity theft [BOSTON, MA]

BOSTON, Feb 24 (Reuters) - Boston Federal Reserve President Cathy Minehan said on Tuesday recent changes in legislation will help clamp down on identity theft, which has surged in recent years.

In comments that did not touch on the economy, Minehan said recent legislation adds another layer of protection for consumers.

"Here at the Fed, we are very concerned about consumer protection because it is important for the validity of our economy," Minehan told a Consumer Protection Week conference.

[FULL STORY]

Category: Identity Theft News
Posted on February 26, 2004 at 02:03 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Fed's Minehan-new laws help against identity theft [BOSTON, MA]

BOSTON, Feb 24 (Reuters) - Boston Federal Reserve President Cathy Minehan said on Tuesday recent changes in legislation will help clamp down on identity theft, which has surged in recent years.

In comments that did not touch on the economy, Minehan said recent legislation adds another layer of protection for consumers.

"Here at the Fed, we are very concerned about consumer protection because it is important for the validity of our economy," Minehan told a Consumer Protection Week conference.

[FULL STORY]

Category: Identity Theft News
Posted on February 26, 2004 at 02:03 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Football player arrested in identity theft ring [DAVIS, CA]

By The California Aggie (U. California-Davis) | U-wire
Published Wednesday, February 25, 2004

(U-WIRE) DAVIS, Calif. — Junior Aaron Plunkett, a wide receiver on the UC Davis football team, was arrested in conjunction with a Bay Area identity theft ring, according to a report in Thursday's San Francisco Chronicle.

San Jose police investigators uncovered two rings that targeted customers in seven Bay Area restaurants. The rings, each having ties to one another, had been operating for months. As of Thursday, 13 of 14 suspects had been arrested after months of investigation.

Plunkett's arrest came a few weeks ago. He is currently waiting for a court hearing about the allegations after having a prior hearing postponed.

[FULL STORY]

Category: ID Theft News
Posted on February 26, 2004 at 01:56 PM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Football player arrested in identity theft ring [DAVIS, CA]

By The California Aggie (U. California-Davis) | U-wire
Published Wednesday, February 25, 2004

(U-WIRE) DAVIS, Calif. — Junior Aaron Plunkett, a wide receiver on the UC Davis football team, was arrested in conjunction with a Bay Area identity theft ring, according to a report in Thursday's San Francisco Chronicle.

San Jose police investigators uncovered two rings that targeted customers in seven Bay Area restaurants. The rings, each having ties to one another, had been operating for months. As of Thursday, 13 of 14 suspects had been arrested after months of investigation.

Plunkett's arrest came a few weeks ago. He is currently waiting for a court hearing about the allegations after having a prior hearing postponed.

[FULL STORY]

Category: ID Theft News
Posted on February 26, 2004 at 01:56 PM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

FTC Releases Top 10 Consumer Complaint Categories in 2003

Identity Theft Complaints Continue to Top List; Internet Related Fraud Complaints Soar

The Federal Trade Commission has released its annual report detailing consumer complaints about identity theft and listing the top 10 fraud complaint categories reported by consumers in 2003. For the fourth year in a row, identity theft topped the list, accounting for 42 percent of the complaints lodged in the FTC’s Consumer Sentinel database. The FTC received more than half a million complaints in 2003, up from 404,000 in 2002, and Internet-related complaints accounted for 55 percent of all fraud reports, up from 45
percent in 2002.

"The lines between ID theft in the online and offline world are often blurred. The FTC report underscores the growing threats to consumers and businesses perpetrated by criminals, and ITAA will continue to work with the Commission to combat these threats," said ITAA President Harris N. Miller.

ITAA is the secretariat of a new coalition formed to combat criminal activity in the online world, the Online Identity Theft Prevention Coalition. The coalition will unite technology, financial and eCommerce companies to share information about ID theft, educate consumers to combat online ID theft, work with government to cultivate an environment that protects consumers and businesses from online fraud, and help promote technology that would prevent online ID theft.

[FULL STORY]

Category: Consumer Tips
Posted on February 26, 2004 at 12:52 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

FTC Releases Top 10 Consumer Complaint Categories in 2003

Identity Theft Complaints Continue to Top List; Internet Related Fraud Complaints Soar

The Federal Trade Commission has released its annual report detailing consumer complaints about identity theft and listing the top 10 fraud complaint categories reported by consumers in 2003. For the fourth year in a row, identity theft topped the list, accounting for 42 percent of the complaints lodged in the FTC’s Consumer Sentinel database. The FTC received more than half a million complaints in 2003, up from 404,000 in 2002, and Internet-related complaints accounted for 55 percent of all fraud reports, up from 45
percent in 2002.

"The lines between ID theft in the online and offline world are often blurred. The FTC report underscores the growing threats to consumers and businesses perpetrated by criminals, and ITAA will continue to work with the Commission to combat these threats," said ITAA President Harris N. Miller.

ITAA is the secretariat of a new coalition formed to combat criminal activity in the online world, the Online Identity Theft Prevention Coalition. The coalition will unite technology, financial and eCommerce companies to share information about ID theft, educate consumers to combat online ID theft, work with government to cultivate an environment that protects consumers and businesses from online fraud, and help promote technology that would prevent online ID theft.

[FULL STORY]

Category: Consumer Tips
Posted on February 26, 2004 at 12:52 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Identity Theft Hitting Close to Home [Wausau, WI]

By Karen Kostko

In April of 2003, Ben Castner received one phone call that would change the way he looked at his personal life forever.

"My wife calls me one night at work and says there's this detective on the phone wanting to verify your social security number," he says.

The detective was from the Wausau Police Department. He discovered that Ben had become a target of one of the fastest growing crimes, identity theft.

"They were working on a sting, and my name was on the list," Ben says.

Turns out, Ben’s previous employer hired a temp agency to shred payroll documents. Ben's name was in that pile. The person in charge of destroying the information decided to do something else, he decided to steal Ben's identity.

[FULL STORY]

Category: ID Theft News
Posted on February 26, 2004 at 12:40 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Identity Theft Hitting Close to Home [Wausau, WI]

By Karen Kostko

In April of 2003, Ben Castner received one phone call that would change the way he looked at his personal life forever.

"My wife calls me one night at work and says there's this detective on the phone wanting to verify your social security number," he says.

The detective was from the Wausau Police Department. He discovered that Ben had become a target of one of the fastest growing crimes, identity theft.

"They were working on a sting, and my name was on the list," Ben says.

Turns out, Ben’s previous employer hired a temp agency to shred payroll documents. Ben's name was in that pile. The person in charge of destroying the information decided to do something else, he decided to steal Ben's identity.

[FULL STORY]

Category: ID Theft News
Posted on February 26, 2004 at 12:40 AM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Priest Identity Theft [TOLEDO, OH]

WTOL-TV, TOLEDO, OH

OREGON -- Police have made an arrest in the case of a priest who was the victim of identity theft.

In a News 11 exclusive earlier this month, reporter Dan Bumpus talked with Father Joe Steinbauer from Oregon. Steinbauer was at the main library in downtown Toledo when he realized his wallet was missing. A few days later, he discovered someone was using his credit cards and taking money out of his checking account. The suspects were caught on surveillance tape using the ATM at an Oregon gas station.

[FULL STORY]

Category: ID Theft News
Posted on February 26, 2004 at 12:37 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Priest Identity Theft [TOLEDO, OH]

WTOL-TV, TOLEDO, OH

OREGON -- Police have made an arrest in the case of a priest who was the victim of identity theft.

In a News 11 exclusive earlier this month, reporter Dan Bumpus talked with Father Joe Steinbauer from Oregon. Steinbauer was at the main library in downtown Toledo when he realized his wallet was missing. A few days later, he discovered someone was using his credit cards and taking money out of his checking account. The suspects were caught on surveillance tape using the ATM at an Oregon gas station.

[FULL STORY]

Category: ID Theft News
Posted on February 26, 2004 at 12:37 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack