Identity Theft – Free Safety Online Transaction Tips

Wireless routers have become a mainstream product in the past few years, but are users taking the necessary steps to protect their wireless connection? The consequences of not having the correct safe guards in place can be dire. But those safe guards are generally very easy and are something that users of wireless routers should not overlook.

With the explosion in broadband penetration, use of the internet has grown massively. It is relatively common for households to have more then one computer. It is also common for people to own laptops and want to access the internet from anywhere in their home. A wireless router allows households to connect to the internet from more then one computer at a time, and it allows people to access the internet without the need to be physically connected to a cable.

However, many consumers do not fully understand the need to protect this wireless connection. One of the main culprits is people who do not set a password on their wireless router. This means that anyone within range can access the internet or their computer from their wireless router. The following is just some of the consequences of this:

It is usually very straightforward to set up the correct security settings on a wireless router. Consumers are advised to allows follow the manufacturers instructions, as they may vary. Security settings for the wireless router can normally be access via included software, or a specific URL that you can visit.

The first thing that all consumers should do is to set a different username and password to the default. This should be something personal that others will not be able to guess.

Most wireless routers have built in encryption. This should always be turned on. If the wireless router and devices are built to the wireless B standard, then the encryption should be set to WEP. If the router and devices are the newer wireless G standard, then the encryption should be set to a more powerful WPA. Setting the encryption will prevent anyone else from access the wireless router without the encryption key. This is a very powerful security measure and is almost impossible for an intruder to get around.

Some wireless routers come with MAC address filtering. This means that only computers and devices that are specified can access the wireless router. Turning on MAC filtering offers another layer of protection.

Failing to protect a wireless router from hackers and intruders can lead to very serious consequences. But putting the correct security measures in place is very straightforward. Always follow the manufacturers instructions. Ensure a personal username and password is set. Turn on encryption and add the encryption key to each computer and device. Set MAC filtering if available.

An online transaction is not a new thing right now. You can easily buy a thing with out living your bed room, even the thing you want to buy is in the other country. That is how internet changes our living style.
Easy to access and a lot of product choices. That is way, the online store make a rising number of statistic growth. With a various kind of product, all you need at home will be at your home just by two or more clicks.
It is not only physical products (goods) that available on internet, but also services such as consultant, training, etc.
The other services that you can access by online are banking transaction, insurance, payment, credit card application, credit application, etc.
In some online transactions, you will be asked to submit your private information, such as, your full name, address, and your private security number. When you do this, there is possibility to become the victim of identity theft.
So, how to prevent from identity theft act? Below are a few free tips that you can consider to do before submit your private data or information, in case to prevent you’re self from online identity theft.
1. Do online transaction with a trusted site only.
2. Mostly site serve an official phone number, take a time to cross check the transaction act and ask about how the company will treat your private identity.
3. There are some online law firm or consumer protection organizations which cover some site as a guarantee of you transaction information and private identity data.
4. More big and professional a site, mostly have a big security concern to your safety private information.
Actually, the number of identity theft act by online just in a small percentage amount of all online transactions every time, over the world, but we still need to be more carefully with our transaction information.
Identity theft preventions are one of fair and accurate transactions act (Fact ACT) major titles.

Identity Theft of the Deceased? Steps You Can Take to Prevent Identity Theft of Deceased Family

Everyday thousands of americans have their identity stolen by hackers and criminals who make a living out of taking advantage of other people's credit. ID theft involves your personal information such as your Social Security number, credit card numbers, or other financial account information being used without your permission.. And as much as you may want to believe that it could never happen to you, the fact of the matter is it could happen to anybody. There is really no foolproof way of protecting yourself against identity theft, but there are steps that you can take to protect your ID and foil hackers and thieves. One of the best ways to prevent identity theft is by using professional services dedicated to foiling hackers and thieves.

Here are 6 services that allow you to protect your identity online:


You should always make sure you protect your information with both hands to avoid having it stolen by criminals. You can't trust anybody these days, and you shouldn't. Always make sure who you have shared your information with just in case. There is no foolproof way to fight these criminals, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't take any precautions. By using the above services, you can give yourself peace of mind and reduce the chances of your ID being stolen.

I have seen an 5-year-old’s identity used by criminals for financial gain, and I have seen an 85-year-old’s used for the same – I have also seen someone no longer living whose identity was stolen to use for criminal purposes. All of these were unfortunate and taxing on the families dealing with the victimization of a loved one by identity theft. However, I feel the “grave robber” identity thief scenario to be one that is somewhat more disturbing; one who steals certainly stoops to a low level, but robbing the dead takes on another baseless level of moral turpitude. In any event, identity theft in particular is highly troubling to many because of the feeling of helplessness as far as preventing it from occurring, whether for the living or the deceased.
Specifically, I would like to examine the identity theft of a deceased family member. Regardless of the fact that one is deceased, postmortem identity theft injures the living, especially dependents who are relying upon the estate for their support. As such, clients who have contacted me for assistance in the probate process, usually the personal representative, want to know everything they can do to preserve the estate’s assets. With equal importance to some of the other financial affairs, preventing identity theft of the deceased person is on the list of “items to do” – when one dies, they are unfortunately exposed to the public record as a deceased individual thus making them a more unique and vulnerable target by identity theft criminals.
It is a good idea to follow these steps you can take to prevent identity theft of a deceased family member:
(1) Consolidate and collect all of the documents, financial and otherwise, belonging to the deceased. This may be an overwhelming task given what one can accumulate in a lifetime, but it is essential for the personal representative of the estate, or executor/executrix, for probate matters and the closing of the estate. Keep these in one, secure, place. By documents, collect also anything electronically stored including the devices storing such data, i.e. computers, disks, CDs, etc.
(2) Write discreet obituaries. Keep in mind, that anything you publish becomes both public and brings attention to the fact of the family member’s death. As such, avoid writing anything that reveals too much about the deceased’s background, occupation, names of spouses and parents, as these can be used by identity theft criminals to open accounts.
(3) Safeguard death certificates and store the original in your safe or deposit box. Also, send death certificates only to trusted institutions and give only to trusted individuals helping you. Therefore, by working with local tax professionals and persons assisting you in the probate and administrative process it can be less risky than those operating from a “remote” location. When the typical estate may need a dozen or so certificates one cannot be too careful with these.
(4) Give prompt notice to credit bureaus by contacting Experian, 1-888-397-3742; Equifax, 1-888-766-0008; TransUnion, 1-800-680-7289. Moreover, send certified letters to them, logging all correspondence, including an explicit request not to issue credit and only to disclose information to the authorized person for the estate. At the same time request credit reports for closing accounts and notifying creditors.
(5) Do not forget to notify Social Security as well as all financial institutions and all entities doing business with the deceased. Accordingly, notify all banks, insurance companies, creditors and collection agencies if any, lien holders and mortgagors, lessors, debtors (including family members who owe money), etc. In addition, notify the Veterans Administration if they are a veteran and the Social Security Administration, the Department of Motor Vehicles, clubs and organizations or anything membership related, etc.
(6) Contact your attorney about destruction of documents. There is a point in time for probate, taxes and financial affairs, that the documents are no longer needed. When it comes time to destroy them do not just burn for shred them unless you are certain nothing can be salvaged. It may be worth looking into a local shredding company or have your attorney or accountant dispose of them.
(7) Be careful how you involve family members and how much information you give to them. To the dismay of many, a common identity theft situation can occur with a family member or friend. Watch closely those who may have felt unfairly treated in the probate process or held resentment against the deceased – scrutinize everyone, but use tact. It will be easier on you, and safer, to use one family member or friend to help you and disclose information. So, while unfortunate, guard information with family and friends, and be careful how you explain why and what you reveal.
The criminal intentions in identity theft of the deceased range from opening accounts to absconding with property. While it is a difficult time to deal with both the loss and matters following death, the stark reality is that when we die we become easier targets for identity theft, as is publicized by many police departments who educate the public on the issue. Information pamphlets can often be found through your local law enforcement agencies. Finding one of these can also help you learn more in general about preventing identity theft and what you can do if it ever happens. All in all, prevention requires more than just being cautious, education and up-to-date information are also critical.

Customizing Men’s Western Wallets

Identity thieves want your personal information and they are desperate to get it. These criminals use stolen personal IDs for their own illicit gain, and they will go to extreme lengths to steal your personal identifying information. Here is a list of ten (10) different ways your ID can be stolen without you even knowing it.

1) Dumpster Diving. Perhaps the easiest way to steal your ID. You might be surprised at all the stuff you inadvertently throw out that contains personal data. Identity thieves simply rummage through your trash to find any personal information you may have thrown away in the trash. Always shred any documents that have your name, social security number or any other identifying information on it before disposing of it.

2) Steal your bank, credit union, credit card, and other financial statements right out of your mailbox.

3) Divert your mail to another address by filling out a change of address form

4) Hack into a bank account or other financial institution.

5) Steal your PIN at a gas station or grocery store Point of Sale (POS), or at an ATM.

6) Clone your credit card number at bars and restaurants where the card is processed out-of -sight behind closed doors.

7) Theft of sales information or receipts from a retailer.

8) Hack into a store's database to access customer information, rewards programs, etc.

9) Phishing attempts. Phishing rhymes with "fishing" and that's exactly what it is - an attempt at fishing for your personal information by online ID criminals. You receive an email that appears to come from your bank, online retailer, or other legitimate company you do business with. The email will ask you to "confirm your account information" by supplying Social Security number, credit card or bank information or other information that is specific to your account. When you send the requested information the thieves can now use it to access your account to commit fraudulent transactions.

10) Theft of your personal information at an auto dealership or mortgage lender. This data is used to access the consumer's credit history for fraudulent purposes.

In summary, you now have a list of some of the ways your ID can be stolen by criminals with malicious intent. Knowing how these crooks can steal your personal data puts you on the path to being more proactive in guarding your personal information and keeping it safe from fraudulent use.

If you are looking for a perfect gift for the man in your life, then how about a customized men’s western wallet! A customized men’s western wallet is also the perfect gift that will please your man that come with a style that resembles a wallet suited for a cowboy, ranch hand or a bronco rider. If you have some creativity, you can easily blend your ideas and skill in crafting an amazingly customized men’s western wallet. Here are the tips that will help you in the whole task.
The first thing that should come to your mind when looking for ideas of customization is the fabric or material to be used. Depending upon the style you have planned to make, let it be simple or complicated one, you should choose a finer material that can help in designing your wallet one of a kind. Buying a customized model can be highly costlier than the ordinary one. And if you have some creativity, these steps will help you save on the cost to design a wallet that suits your specific ideas. The demands for customized western wallets are mainly due the strong crafting and superior material used in its manufacture that adds to its durability and life expectancy. Since they are sewn by hand and designed similarly, they can last longer than any other standard wallets. Once you have prepared yourself for the task, then you should make yourself available with some important things like a customization sketch, a western wallet, computer and scanner.
After choosing the material, you should choose the style to be used in its design. Generally, skins of ostrich, alligator, snake or even leather are used for customizing. You can choose from different styles like the slimfold wallet, the passcase wallet or the traditional wallet for your wallet. There are many more styles to choose from. You should now customize your western wallet with waxed thread or simply hand stitch it. After creating the sketch of a design or theme for your wallet, you should get your wallet oiled or carved. The sketch that you have made should be scanned and then get it leather carved with the help of a professional to customize your wallet.

The Basics of Offshore Asset Protection

Equifax Inc. is one of the top three consumer credit reporting agencies, including Experian and TransUnion. Founded in 1899 as Retail Credit Company, by 1920 it had offices in the United States and Canada, and by the 1960's protected millions of credit histories. It changed it's name from Retail Credit Company to Equifax in 1975 and is traded on the New York Stock Exchange as EFX. It is a Standard and Poors (S&P) 500 company. The company corporate headquarters is in Atlanta, Georgia but it has over 4000 employees in 13 countries and reports $1.4 billion in revenue.

Equifax has had its share of criticism and has been fined by the Federal Trade Commission twice for violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act. In the years prior to the Fair Credit Reporting Act, the criticism involved the extensive and invasive nature of the information that Equifax was gathering about consumers. At this point it was still called Retail Credit Company, and it gathered and sold information, whether true or rumor regarding private information such as marital status, employment history, sex life and political affiliation. Additional criticism occurred because of allegations that they were not only encouraging their employees to obtain this information by any means necessary, but they were also willing to sell it to anyone willing to pay.

These complaints and the advent of computerized records led to a hearing by the U.S. Congress on the subject of consumer information: what can be obtained and who it can be provided to. As a result the Fair US Credit Reporting Act was enacted in an effort to protect consumers from unlawful gathering of private and inappropriate information, as well as providing rules for the release of this information.

Equifax has been fined twice by the Federal Trade Commission for violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act. The first instance involved all three major credit reporting companies (Equifax, Experian, and Transunion) for an amount of $2.5 million dollars for charges that they were not providing customer service during phone call inquiries for information and copies of a consumer's credit report. Apparently they did not learn their lesson as Equifax was again fined the sum of $250,000 for identical infractions of the Fair Credit Reporting Act.

Recently Equifax introduced a 3-1 Monitoring System. For $12.95 a month, consumers will receive monitoring of their credit report for all three major credit agencies of Equifax, Experian and TransUnion; automated and customized alert notification of changes to any of these three credit agency reports; unlimited access to their Equifax Credit Report; $20,000 Identity Theft Insurance policy with no deductible although certain limitations and exclusions apply and a customer service center 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Several different additional services, like Score Power, are also available and vary in type and cost from $8.95-$39.95. ScorePower is one such service which provides access to your FICO or "credit" score (not all reports provide your score, just a listing of creditors and financial information); and explanation of that your score means, how credit lenders see your credit information; a comparison of your score and the ability to use the Equifax online dispute feature free to dispute errors on your credit report. An "Interactive Score Simulator" is also available allowing you to virtually determine how your future financial decisions (buy a house, car or add a credit card) may affect your credit score.

Some consumers may feel that the price of $12.95 a month ($155.40/year) is not a good value for the money and services offered. Consumers should take into consideration that one free three agency credit report is available to them each year, however additional reports may cost approximately $10.00 each. The Equifax service does offer some advantages such as customization, wireless alerts, identity theft insurance and convenience.

Is offshore asset protection legal or is there a sleaze factor associated with it? There are a lot of myths surrounding it , which is nothing but a useful way to protect your assets in case you are facing litigation.
In offshore asset protection, you register all your assets in a foreign jurisdiction which is way beyond the reach of anyone who can benefit by selling it off. Since all your assets are registered in another jurisdiction, nobody can claim their rights on your assets legally.
A lot of creditors get discouraged the moment they hear the word offshore asset protection because of the cost of pursuing a lawsuit in a foreign jurisdiction. As I said before, there are a lot of myths surrounding it rather than facts. Let us look at some of them.
If I use asset protection services offshore , will it trigger an audit by the IRS?
Most people think that these services are only for the filthy rich people who wish to hide their assets from the IRS. But this is wrong. If you use it for legitimate means then it will not trigger an audit by the IRS. It is not a crime to business with a foreign country.
Why use offshore asset protection then?
It has been noted that the United States Jurisdiction tends to favor the plaintiff over the defendant on many occasions. If you are facing litigation and end up losing the case, then you may end up losing all the property that you have accumulated over the years. Hence it is common to use asset protection to save some of your assets.
How do I go about it?
You need to meet your attorney before you decide on using offshore asset protection services. There are a lot of requirements that need to be completed and your attorney will be the best person to advice you.

Tid Bits of Help: Protecting Your Identity and Your Computer

Identity theft encompasses the news on an almost daily basis. Should you be scared? Yes, absolutely. Identity theft can ruin your credit rating for years, which impacts your ability to purchase an automobile, a house or even get a credit card. LifeLock can provide you with the assurance you need against identity theft.

The LifeLock plan protects you against unsolicited credit offers, assures that credit requests were really requested by you and guarantees their services up to one million dollars!

LifeLock is a company based in Tempe, Arizona. The company was founded in 2005 by professionals with years of experience in the banking and credit industry. This was the first company of its kind to work with all three major credit bureaus and ChexSystems. ChexSystems is a corporation that regularly deals with misused savings and checking accounts. Although this company is privately held, it is aligned with the National Crime Prevention Council, the Better Business Bureau Reliability Program and Verisign, among others.

In 2006, LifeLock received venture capital from Bessemer Venture Partners, which has been in business since 1911 and has a history of extremely successful business ventures.

What does it do?

It does more than just monitor your credit applications. It takes a proactive stance to eliminate your names from junk mail lists and pre-approved credit offers. When someone does apply for credit in your name, you will get contacted to ensure that the credit request is valid.

Once you enroll in LifeLock, the three credit bureaus are contacted within the hour. Within 7 days you should receive a confirmation request from the credit bureaus about the lock on your account. Within a month, you should receive a copy of your credit report from all the three major credit agencies so you can know exactly what information is currently stored by them.

Although the lock must be renewed every 90 days, it will take care of the automated renewal for you.

How much does it cost?

There are two separate plans, one for the individual and one for a business. The individual plan costs $10 per month or a discounted fee of $110 per year. Each adult in the household will pay the same amount, but for families with children under the age of 16 who wish to ensure their child's identity is not stolen, the price is $25.00 per year with an adult purchase.

The business plan actually involves multiple plans. You can select plans that will protect your employers, your customers, web business interested in ensuring their customers are valid and companies that have already experienced identity theft. Prices are not published on their site, but can be retrieved by contacting the company.

Oh please protect me from “people have a right to know” that leads to “let’s make it easy for people to find out” lines of thought.
Now, don’t get me wrong for some things, “people have a right to know” is incredibly important – but not everything about everyone. For example, there’s a site called and their line is Not your grandma’s phonebook. Duh! My grandmother would never tell what anyone’s financial information was! (even if you paid her)
This is an online USA phone book with a variety of personal information. There’s basic: address, phone number(s) and everyone living in the house. It lists your legal name and if you use a nick-name. It goes on to offer the chance to find out everything ever posted on social networking sites, your approximate credit score, other financial information all sorts of information you don’t want anyone getting their grubby mits on. Especially since for a mere $2.95 for a YEAR you can have a membership and find out detailed information on anyone listed. Oh, yea don’t you just love that?
To get removed from the list – I’ve done it and I am removed – this is what you do:
Folks, please share this info with others.
Now for part two of my venting: hackers!
I know we all wish that hackers, spammers and that ilk would get a life. But the problem is – that seems to
their life. So now what? We don’t have the right to run each other’s lives – I know I don’t want that responsibility! However, I am very tired of having to know or find ways to protect MY computer because someone has decided it would be a great idea to find another virus of some sort to send out to unsuspecting computer users.
We are all busy working our businesses, playing, shopping all that stuff we shouldn’t
to worry about who’s trying to find a back way into our systems. For every “illness” that strikes our beloved computers – and now those phones (I knew that would happen sooner or later) – there has to be a company out there finding ways to fight the darn things! NO, I’m not here to suggest/recommend any one company, just stating facts.
Of course there’s the email thing. But why would anyone open an email regarding:

Protecting Yourself From Identity Theft is Impossible

Every person yearns for protection, safety and accountability. As the cases of identity theft increase so does the number of credit monitoring plans and identity theft insurance companies. These companies have become so many that it has become a nightmare for those applying for a protection plan to be able to select a reputable theft protection service that suits their needs.

There are many reputable companies recommended to help you protect yourself from fraud and theft.

Features of a reputable protection plan

o It should provide excellent services to its clients at an affordable cost.

o The company should be able to provide effective theft detection solutions.

o The company should be in a position to provide extra services such as a credit monitoring plan for all your credit files to enhance safety.

o The company should also guarantee protection to your family members.

A reputable security company should be able to assist you solve your problem amicably during difficult situations. Many incredible companies offer an early theft detection plan to minimize theft cases and protect their customers from being victims of fraud. These services are affordable making them accessible to all regardless of their economic status. Most companies charge a monthly fee of $10 which is a small price to pay for the safety and comfort you will feel while knowing your identity is protected and safe from criminals.

Most reputable companies are certified and are popularly known by many people. A company that does not provide accurate information about its products is not a good company in most cases it usually has ill motives. There is a list of all the recommended larceny protection services to assist you make the right choice and choose a protection plan that will not disappoint you in future.

Tips to guide you select an appropriate identity theft protection service

o Carry out an intensive research on the protection plans to help you choose the best plan.

o Choose the most effective plan from a reputable company.

o Go through the numerous reviews to know the pros and cons of the prospective plan.

I believe that Identity Theft is a topic that is not spoke about enough. There are millions of consumers yearly who fall victim to Identity theft. My goal is to give the necessary information to help protect yourself!
In this Article I will outline the techniques that fraudsters are using to steal innocent consumers identities, and ways to protect yourself from each.
Most people wouldn’t think twice about using an ATM machine, however now consumers are falling victim to “Fake ATM’s” or “Modified ATM’s”. How it works? A recent fraud ring was arrested for purchasing multiple ATM’s and modifying them to gather and store credit card information as well as pin numbers for each account.
This technique works when a fraudster does one of the following:
A) Purchases a legitimate ATM, then modifies the “Magnetic Reader” to store your credit card details as you swipe your card. This ATM has also been equipped with a small pinhole camera that is placed over the pin pad to capture your pin number.
B) A “fake” or “false” faceplate is placed over the front of the actual ATM. This “false” faceplate is designed to grab your credit card details, as well as your pin number.
With this type of fraud, it is a little easier to protect yourself.
* Only use ATM’s that are located at a Bank Branch.
* You should always check the credit card reader slot for any obtrusive materials.
* Pull on the credit card reader to make sure no devices are attached over the actual reader.
Phishing pages are used for the sole purpose of gathering as much personally identifiable information as a fraudster can. How it works? The fraudster will setup a webpage that looks identical to the company he is trying to phish information for. Let’s use Paypal as an example. You’re a paypal member, and have been for years. Out of the blue, you get an email stating that “Your Paypal Account has been Suspended.” Within this email, it states that if you don’t update your personal information, that you’re Paypal account will remain suspended. In reality, this email was not sent by paypal, but was “Spoofed” to look like it is coming from Paypal. Once you go to the site, and put your information in, that information is instantly sent to the fraudster via email. The fraudster will either sell your information or use it for personal use.
Phishing Pages have been around for a long time, and are sometimes almost impossible to catch.
– Keep in mind that MOST of your larger companies will never ask for personally identifiable information through an email.
– If you receive an email like stated above, open up a new Internet Browser and type in the website yourself, then login to your account and check to see if you have been suspended.

Stopping Identity Theft – 10 Easy Steps to Security by Scott Mitic

Nowadays, as the benefits of technology improved the lives of humans, the same technology can endanger us as well. Information is wide open to everyone. However, people can take advantage of what should be a positive effect of the rise of information. Theft is still present around even in the virtual world. People steal personal information of others is presently known as internet identity theft.

More and more people who are onto the internet post and get information for free especially because of the social networking and online transactions. Personal identities and information have become opportunities for people to hack and steal. Thieves can use stolen information like credit card numbers and personal accounts online for their own benefit.

Aside from identity theft, these thieves are also swindling other people by offering fraud transactions or inflicting computer viruses. They also get into human and sex trafficking. As they take advantage of other people online, there's a greater risk that comes along with the new technology.

This is the reason why internet users must be alert to these internet thieves and be responsible in giving out their own identities and accounts online. It is the responsibility of everyone to protect themselves from these threats. This is why we have internet security. Internet security is like a lock to our cabinet to keep the thieves from breaking into our personal stuff.

Here are the different ways we can safeguard our information and identities from possible threats:

First, install an anti-virus and anti-spyware program into your computer system. Computer viruses slow down the computer's system and destroying its performance. This doesn't just create problems but with viruses, the computer ceases to function according to the commands, thus making it easier for hackers to get personal and confidential information. Therefore, putting up an anti-virus program is like making your computer system armed for battle in case the enemy attacks. It does not only prevent your computer from getting harmed, it also protects your information from being stolen by thieves.

Second, watch out for hidden viruses that are attached to some internet links. Usually, these hidden viruses secretly creep into your computer system without notifying the user. Be careful what you click especially those seemingly interesting links online. They may be a jump-board where virus can enter your computer and destroy your data or make your information vulnerable for theft.

Lastly, no matter how much computer companies keep their users protected, it is the main responsibility of the user to protect him from possible theft. By not giving out too much information about him, it is the first step towards keeping yourself safe from threats. Especially in social networking sites where the profile is open to public, users should safeguard their own details to avoid internet identity theft and prevent further damage to you.

Technology opens us to a wide array of information. However we need to be careful in giving out information or taking information as much as it can harm us or benefit us from. Use information wisely. Watch out for internet identity theft.

Imagine my surprise when I received a letter from the State Bar of Montana in regards to my application to take the Bar Exam, and reading the letter that basically stated, “You told us you had no delinquent accounts, but your credit report shows two credit cards that have not been paid for two years with outstanding balances of several thousand dollars.” Both delinquent accounts were fraud and it took a lot of time to clean it up and prove to the State Bar that I did not lie to them and be able to sit for the exam and then admitted as a practicing attorney in Montana.
My experiences were nothing compared to what some people have gone through after a criminal has stolen important personal information. That’s why the book “Stopping Identity Theft: 10 Easy Steps to Security” by Scott Mitic, CEO, TrustedID, Inc. is so important. This book can save people time, money, and a lot of headaches.
The description of Nolo/USA Today reads as: Nolo, the leading publisher of legal information for consumers, has teamed with USA Today, the nation’s largest circulation newspaper, to produce great books that feature up-to-date legal and financial expertise, a reader-friendly style and USA Today’s famous graphics. I found this book to be exactly that.
The book is easy to read and contains a ton of examples of identity theft and practical solutions to stop it from happening to you and those you care about, and what to do if it does happen. Chapters include:
One: Identity Theft – What’s the Problem? Information on who commits identity theft, how they do it, what they like best, and a start of how to protect yourself.
Two: Know Thy Credit Report. This chapter explains what your credit report is, what it contains, and why it is important. It provides information on who can get it, why you should get it regularly and review it, how to correct errors on it, and how to put a freeze on it if something is amiss.
Three: Keep Prying Eyes Off Your Financial Accounts. Learn about credit cards, debit cards, and checks and how to keep these accounts more secure. This chapter details many ways that thieves steal this information and how you can prevent it.
Four: Secure Your Online Presence. E-mail, Web-surfing, Instant Messaging, and Social Networking all have risks and this book shows you what they are and how to better protect yourself from Virtual Identity Theft online.
Five: Spot ID Theft Scams Before They Spot You. Foreign Money Offer Scams, Fake Survey Scams, Vishing Scams, Expired Car Warranty Scams, and Tax Scams are some of the devious methods outlined in this chapter that have cost innocent and unaware victims. I’ve deleted and hung up on quite a few of these myself, it is too bad some people have fallen for them.
Six: Be a Savvy Shopper. This chapter outlines risks and solutions to them when shopping online or in stores. Protect yourself shopping by adhering to the suggestions in this book.
Seven: Take Control of Your Data. This chapter discusses organizations that sell the data they have collected from you, and how you can minimize this and opt out of certain mail and telephone call lists. You can also learn the answer to the question, “Are you giving out more data than you need to?”
Eight: Clamp Down on Thefts of Your Health Coverage. The story of the woman who still had the person who stole her medical identity’s blood type in her hospital records is enough to want to read this chapter on preventing medical identity theft. While losing money is terrible, medical identity theft can be life threatening.
Nine: Watch Your Family’s Back. This chapter provides strategies and suggestions to help keep your kids and older people in your lives from falling victim to identity theft. If you think it is not a problem, think again, identity theft of kids and older people is on the rise.
Ten: Have a Safe Trip. This chapter contains practical advice on securing your important possessions while traveling. It provides measures to secure your property and advice as what to do in case something is lost or stolen.
Eleven: React Quickly If Your Identity Is Stolen. Read this chapter and apply the knowledge immediately upon suspecting you are a victim of identity theft. It is a good resource if something ever happens.
Twelve: Stay Ahead of the Curve. This chapter provides additional resources to help the reader stay ahead of the criminals. It is a good resource to have handy.
Some of the information in this book is quite revealing. You may wonder who would fall for some of the schemes disclosed in the text. I mean come on, we have all received things in e-mail that we know are bogus. Unfortunately many people have fallen for these tricks, and many more probably will. The amount of money that has been scammed and stolen from people is shocking.
This is a very good book for illustrating the various ways criminals are scamming people, because knowledge of these scams will help you be more aware. The book also contains some great advice on how to protect yourself and loved ones, as well as what to do if you do fall victim to identity theft. In today’s world, it is up to all of us to live more safely and stop criminals by not providing them the easy opportunities. Reading “Stopping Identity Theft: 10 Easy Steps to Security” will prepare you to live more safely.

It’s Not THAT Big of a Deal

With online commerce growing everyday, using credit cards is the easiest and most convenient mode of online payment. And during the early years of online transactions, the use of credit cards has spawned a new breed of criminals that have made a living at the expense of these credit card owners. It's now more commonly known as Identity Theft. The new crime emerging in the last years of the 20th century and is only now being recognized for the damage it can do to many unsuspecting credit card holders.

What Gets Stolen?

Identity theft is basically a crime of stealing personal data for personal gain. Credit card numbers, bank account numbers, Social Security numbers and PIN are the most common personal data that can get you into trouble once stolen or lost. And of these, Credit card numbers are the easiest.

There are basically three ways that credit card data can fall into unscrupulous hands. Firstly, thieves can just take note of your credit card number when you use them in merchant stores. Every card holder is vulnerable. Even when paying for your meals in a restaurant can be risky. You'll never know if the waitress or cashier is in cahoots with some syndicate preying on unwary customers paying with their cards.

Secondly, thieves can hack into unsecured online transactions to capture not only your card information but also the other personal data typically required to effect an online payment for card verification. Telephone purchases can also be eavesdropped to surreptitiously obtain such information. Lastly, lost and stolen credit cards find their way in the hands of unscrupulous people who find the window between the time they are lost and the time the card is reported.

So what Do We Do About It?

There is only so much a credit card user can do to minimize the risk of falling victim to Identity Theft. Credit cards in themselves have very low security features against fraud. Those holograph symbols are there to prevent fraudulent duplication of the card. But the card itself is not necessary to make fraudulent transactions. Bear in mind that many merchants accept "Not Present Credit Purchases", so there is no need for the physical credit card or the person owning it for a purchase to take place.

For online transactions, most reputable online merchants are using security encryption schemes to protect its customers. Online customers are now advised to refrain from making such payments on the net on merchant sites that do not use such schemes. And there are secure payment sites like PayPal and other payment bureaus that use encryption methods that make it increasingly difficult for online hackers to steal your credit card and personal data.

The FBI and the US Postal Inspection Services are the government agencies tasked with combating credit frauds. But prosecution is often initiated for frauds committed involving $5000 and above. The bureaus are constrained by limited resources to pursue all criminals. The best way to do for us consumers is to really get a good grip of our cards and be constantly updated for credit protection methods.

You’d think business owners and the people that they hire to run their businesses would have gotten it by now. It’s one month away from the seventh anniversary of 9/11 and unfortunately as I write this, I can still hear the last… “it’s not that big of a deal”
ringing in my ears.
Do you remember the penultimate season of the Sopranos on HBO a couple years ago? Being from Jersey and having grown up in a predominately Italian town, I’m a big fan of the crime drama. Tony’s
is always on the look-out for new, interesting and illegal ways to keep him, Carmela, Meadow & AJ in the lifestyle to which they have become very accustom.
One of those scams involves Tony’s nephew and newly appointed Capo (captain) Christopher Moltasante. Chris & his crew are skimming credit card numbers all throughout Jersey and selling them to two highly suspect men of middle-eastern dissent.
Remember how the scam almost put poor Artie Bucco’s restaurant out of business? American Express revoked his merchant account. He confronted his employees and started to lose trust in them. Turns out his hostess, one of his must trusted employees, was skimming the cards right under his nose and giving them to her gangster boyfriend. Another hostess dropped dime on her way to expensive new shoes.
How about the scene where one Chris’ crew collects the
from the orthodox Jewish motel owner; he looks up from his prayer book long enough to take the fat envelope of cash and hand the
out, then he goes back to prayer. It’s only on screen for a few seconds.
A Jew is taking money from men of middle eastern dissent (possibly terrorists), via the mob, for stolen credit cards which could be used by other men of middle eastern dissent to buy missiles and launch them into Israel or fund other terrorist acts anywhere in the world – including the United States. If only we could all be so cooperative in positive uplifting endeavors
David Chase the show’s executive producer took it right there. But what does a storyline from a fictional television show have to do with 9/11? Mr. Chase used his television show to produce a near documentary on how identity theft funds terrorism. He got it right. But what had people talking? – The “gay capo” Why? Repeat after me, “it’s not that big of a deal.” The “it” I’m referring to is Identity Theft.
19 men of middle-eastern dissent were able to board planes, that they later hijacked, then deliberately, callously and with no regard for human life, crashed into the World Trade Center, The Pentagon, & a small field in Pennsylvania, with stolen identities (DMV & character identity theft). The planning and execution of those attacks were paid for with funds derived largely from credit card fraud (financial identity theft)including the phony documentation that allowed these men to learn how to pilot airplanes and live and work among us (DMV & SS ID Theft)
Richard Clark, President Bush’s former chief counter-terrorism adviser, said, “I fear identity theft more than al queada.”
Apparently, while in office former acting NJ Governor Richard Codey heard him. On September 22, 2005 he signed the New Jersey Identity Theft Prevention Act into law. The law is appropriately aimed at the business community because criminal enterprises are not going to go after one or two identities when they can get hundreds, thousands, tens of thousands, even hundreds of thousands with the same effort and minimal risk.
The law is, however, misnomered. It alludes to there being a way to prevent identity theft, when in fact there is none. Too many pieces of data are residing in databases which can be compromised, and thanks in part to the internet even a novice thief can reconstruct a near complete identity with several bits of that data cobbled together. Gregory M. Lamb in his article for the Christian Science Monitor, “The end of privacy”
In the July 23, 2006 Star-Ledger reporter Ralph Ortega went undercover to chronicle how easy it is for illegal immigrants to obtain all the necessary documentation to gain employment. On July 21st just two days prior to that report two brothers from Texas were busted for selling fake IDs. Police believe they traveled the country selling bogus documents, including Social Security cards and driver’s licenses from all 50 states.
You think I got all of that from a television show? No, I got it from the same place David Chase did, the 9/11 Commission Report. Mr. Chase used his shady characters to tell a very real and dangerous story, one that needs to be told over and over again until business people in NJ & around the country wake -up. Business owners need to get educated on how to protect their businesses, their employees, customers, vendors and themselves. Our military is fighting battles identity theft could be funding- it is a big deal- a very big of a deal, one that you wouldn’t want to find yourself on the wrong side of.

What Are the Advantages and Disadvantages of Identity Theft Protection Services?

Financial Education Services also known as FES is headquarter in Farmington Hills, MI and has approximately 200 plus employees worldwide. The majority of the services offered by FES are proprietary products developed by FES. There are as well some partnerships most notably, LifeLock the number 1 provider of identity theft protection.

The founders of this company, Mike Toloff and Parimal Naik come from a very successful background relating to the financial services industry and over the last 9 plus years have taken what was once an operation ran from a small back room in a shopping mall to a state of the art facility with representation across the country

Today's market place demands products that will not only help consumers reenter the market place but as well help to educate them on important factors related to financial literacy that were never taught during formal educational years.

It is this combination of products, service and education that has helped FES to become a powerhouse in the market place today and what separates them from there competition. When you educate your customer base you have a potential for not only referral business but as well retention of existing clients.

Financial Education Services products consist of Credit Restoration, Positive Credit Building, Pre-Paid MasterCard, Wills and Trusts and the inclusive FES Protection Plan Membership that includes previous mentioned services along with DebtZero (Debt Pay-off System) and My Financial Lockbox.

The business model or distribution of these financial services is delivered through a network of independent distributors or what FES refers to as "Agents". Agents are compensated for the sale of these products and also have the ability to build teams of agents and receive overrides and bonuses based on their team production.

The business model is a form of MLM or as more commonly referred to as Network Marketing. The unique thing about the FES model as that agent's can opt to simply sell the products and not participate in the team building aspect of the business although to maximizes the compensation plan you will want to participate in both sales of products as well as team building.

Well let's examine the facts; it is estimated that over 50 million Americans have less than a 599 credit score (Sub-Prime Credit), 90% of the population does not have a will and trust combination, the average consumer household debt is approximately 20K with no plan in place to pay it off and identity theft is the fastest growing crime in America. With that being said, it's almost a certainty that most people know someone that can use the services that Financial Education Services provides.

The most likely candidates for the FES business opportunity are professionals in the financial services industry such as mortgage brokers and Real Estate professionals. There has also been a recent surge in interest from the insurance industry.

This opportunity just like any other home based business is great for anybody looking to enter the network marketing industry. There are no license requirements for the agents since FES is licensed and bonded in all 50 states including Puerto Rico.

The bottom line is if you're the type of persons that needs the services offered by FES, will to sharing products that can benefit others or enjoy working from home than the Financial Education Services opportunity could be right for you.

When you have secured some identity protection arrangement with a reputable company, you can have a peaceful night’s rest in the knowledge that your social security number will never be used to defraud you. Many people panic when they learn that they may have made some mistakes and revealed their personal information to the wrong persons. When you have secured the services of a good company, you can always consult the staff of that company for some advice.
Protection companies are always helpful when it comes to handling intricate matters that arise when colleges, employers, and government agencies come into contact with our crucial personal information. One of the best ways of catching fraudsters is through tracking the possible ways through which the personal information can be used. As an individual, panic may come in the way of your rational thinking, in which case the protection company will come to your rescue.
It has been proven that personal identity fraud reduces dramatically when there is a commanding presence of personal information protection companies. Residents of Wisconsin, Ohio and Nashville know this since this is where the survey was carried out.
It is through credit monitoring services that are provided by these service providers that excessive damage is controlled. In some cases where the service provider is highly successful, their efforts might lead to the arrest and prosecution of the gangs that engage in these activities. The main problem with this approach is that many of these gangs and individuals succeed because of the assistance that they get from employees of the companies that handle your personal information for legitimate purposes.
Although the services offered are always very helpful, it is not a guarantee that you are going to remain completely safe from fraudsters. This is because the information that leads to identity theft comes from many sources most of the time. Another disadvantage of these services is that they expose you to unnecessary scrutiny and disclosure of so much personal information as the company tries to unravel the mystery of your identity theft. Therefore, try this out and you will be satisfied.

6 Easy Steps To Prevent Identity Theft

Cheque Fraud is one of the oldest types of financial crime. Even in our computer and internet technology era, many still prefer to pay by cheque or bankers draft. The cause of this is people do not trust computer technology and have misconceptions about online banking. This is understandable because of the fact most of these humans are computer illiterate and what is unknown to human mind causes fear or rejection. This fear, however, is totally obsolete for statistics show online banking is safer than cheques. To protect yourself from cheque fraud I will show you some guidelines of necessary precaution you should take before you receive or send a cheque. Than it is your responsibility to inspect and analyze the cheque.

There are three main types of cheque fraud:

* Counterfeit Cheques - These are not written or authorized by legitimate account holder. The existence of counterfeit cheques is supported by new technology. Thieves use printers, copiers and newest software to make clone cheques with high resemblance to the original. Many times these are hard to recognized as false even by experts.

* Stolen Cheques - Cheque is not signed by account owner, rather stolen, usually out of the glove box of your car or your house. The signature is then forged and cheque used as pleased. Most of the time once you recognize your cheques are missing it is too late.

* Altered or Forged Cheques - The Cheque is properly issued by the account holder but has been intercepted and the beneficiary or the amount of the item have been altered or new information added. To do so, sharp instruments and chemicals are used.

* Closed Account - Bank accounts which are not used anymore or are closed, but cheques still exist for this particular account. If you don't destroy those cheques you can be a potential victim.

* New Account - An identity is stolen or made up by false documents. If a fraudster has personal documents and some personal information, he can request a bank account in your name. Bankers, unknowingly accept these requests and open new accounts, giving scammers the opportunity to steal money from individuals or businesses in your name.

* Overpayed Cheques - A false cheque issued by your "business partner" with a larger sum than required. The thief will then ask you if you can give him the change, making up different excuses why he transferred the overpayed sum. The cheque is false and will be declined by the bank and you will end up losing the amount you gave him in exchange. Read Nigerian Fraud.

Some steps you can take to prevent your cheque being forged or information added after you wrote the cheque:

* Leave no gaps in your words

* Draw a Line after the name, amount and else where empty space was left

* Use full and correct names for all the information

* Prohibit transfer of cheque

* Never pre-sign cheques

* Don't leave your chequebook in the glove box of your vehicle, a large percentage of stolen chequebooks are taken from cars

* If you close an account, destroy any remaining cheques relevant to that account

Identity theft has become so prevalent in today’s society that no one is safe from it. Every day on the news we hear of hackers getting into a government database and stealing valuable information.
Identity theft is now so common that people struggle to find new ways to avoid it. In this article, I discuss 6 different ways to avoid identity theft, including how to use credit cards properly, using checks properly, and other pertinent information.
1. When ordering checks, always have the bank put only your first name, middle name initials on your new checks. A thief will not know if you sign your checks with your full name, or if you use your initials. However, the bank will know this, and see a red flag immediately if there is any change in your check writing behavior.
2. Never sign your name on the back of your credit card. Not only will the person stealing your identity have your name, but your signature, and will be able to forge it easily. Instead, write “PHOTO ID REQUIRED” on the back of the card.
3. When ever you write a check for your credit card bill, do not put the full credit card number in the “memo” or “for” line on the bottom left of the check. Only use the last 4 numbers of your Cc number here. The credit card number will be in full on your statement that you send in with your payment, and the people handling your check will not know the number of your credit card.
4. Never have your SS# printed on your checks. Also, never put your actual home address on the checks, using a PO Box instead. If you don’t have a PO Box number, then use your work address. Use your work number instead of your home phone number, also.
5. Always know exactly what you have in your wallet. The best way to do this is to simply photocopy the contents, insuring that you get both back and front of any credit card, operator’s license, or identity document. Keep this photocopy in a safe place where it can easily be located by both you and your spouse or significant other if traveling. Never carry it with you!
6. A little know fact is that when checking into a hotel or motel, you are generally issued a key card to open the door to your suite. Did you know that this card contains all your vital information, such as address, phone number, credit card number and expiration date? Do not turn the card in when checking out of the hotel, but instead simply destroy the card. It is included in the price of your room. And if turned in, any dishonest employee with access to a card reader can gather your information.
Using common sense and being aware of your environment can save you costly theft of your credit card or personal information. To insure this doesn’t happen, visit [] for more information.