So confident is Lifelock in its $10-$15/month “identity theft protection service” that its CEO Todd Davis posts his social security number in its ads. Unfortunately, his identity has been stolen 13 times since doing so, reports the Phoenix Times. The FTC fined Lifelock $12 million in March for deceptive advertising.
Writer/director/actor Tyler Perry updated his website on Friday with a friendly letter to his fans. He talked about wrapping up his latest theatrical tour, and how beautiful his vacation spot was, and then ended on a strange note: “By the way, some idiot stole my credit card number. Can you believe that? Take a look at all the stuff they charged. If you know any of these people, call the police.” The charges, mostly airfares between L.A., Las Vegas, New York and Fort Lauderdale, came up to more than $28,000. [More]
If you spend a lot of time online, you’re probably aware of phishing scams and know what to look out for. In other words, you’re not one of those ignorant types who clicks on links and starts entering personal information without hesitation. Writer and blogger Cory Doctorow is what you might call hyper-vigilant–he keeps unique passwords, uses a VPN when going online in public, and generally knows not to trust strangers. Still, he got phished a couple of weeks ago. [More]
Dan can’t get his postal carrier to understand the concept of people moving away–if you’ve ever lived in Dan’s apartment, you’ve always lived in his apartment. [More]
The Better Business Bureau says tomorrow is Secure Your ID Day, which means 55 BBB locations around the country will provide free shredding services. You can frustrate identity thieves who planned on digging through your trash to find out your secret info by putting your files through the shredder. [More]
A reader just had his credit limit lowered on a credit card due to some bad credit history that he says isn’t his. He’d like to see what’s going on with his credit report, but Equifax says he’ll have to pay for the privilege, because they have no record of any inquiries in the past 60 days. The reader asks, “Has this happened to anyone else, where a credit card company waited over 60 days to notify them of credit limit reductions? Also, does this violate the FCRA?” [More]
Several alert readers sent us this advertisement that ran on the front page of CNN.com today. Wait–is the census going to steal my identity? Is my name, race, and birthdate all someone needs to open a credit card in my name? No. You do not need identity theft protection because of the census. Equifax has just mashed up some good information about how to avoid census scams with a sales pitch for credit monitoring services. [More]
Albert Gonzalez, the mastermind behind most of the multi-million dollar credit card breaches in the past few years, is being sentenced this week. (Feds are asking for 25 years.) Now his former accomplice, Stephen Watt, has told Wired that while Gonzalez was busy stealing and selling credit card data he was also being paid under the table by the U.S. Secret Service to inform on others, earning as much as $75,000 in cash annually. [More]
A new study finds that the young and the feckless are the most at risk for identity theft. 18-24 year olds are more likely to be victimized because they don’t check their accounts frequently or thoroughly enough. You can beat the statistics, though, if 1 in 20 times you’re tempted to check your friend’s Facebook updates you instead scrutinize your account statements. [WashingtonPost] (Thanks to Timothy!) [More]
Max Vision, the security consultant who was first sent to prison in 2001 for messing with the Pentagon, has now been sent to 13 years in prison for “stealing nearly two million credit card numbers from banks, businesses and other hackers,” reports Wired. The FBI took a renewed interest in Vision in 2006 after he successfully made a power grab on several competing black market ID theft websites. “I’ve changed,” Vision wrote in a letter to the court, and although he faced life in prison, he was given the shorter sentence partly because he’d cooperated with the government. With good behavior he’ll be back out in 2018. [More]
J.J. Luna, a former security consultant turned author, released a guide ten years ago that showed readers how get rid of paper and digital trails. The subject matter is probably a little too paranoid for most of our readers, but it overlaps with issues we talk about all the time here, like identity theft and online security. He’s just released a revised version, so he’s giving away the 2000 edition in PDF format for free. Well, in exchange for your email address. [More]
New Jersey politicians appear to be engaged in some sort of contest to see who can get the most stringent anti-junk mail law passed. First an Assembleyman introduced a bill a few weeks back that would ban companies from mailing unsolocited checks to consumers. Now the Assembley’s Consumer Affairs committee has proposed starting a “Do Not Solicit” list, which would block credit card companies from offering new cards to consumers who aren’t interested. [More]
Even if you always look for skimmers and hidden cameras when you use an ATM, you still might be a victim of identity theft if the ATM is later sold on eBay or Craigslist. [More]
When Campbell changed his phone number with Sprint earlier this year, the company immediately assigned his old number to a new customer. They also gave that customer full access to Campbell’s account.
News reports are coming in from several states detailing a debit card identity theft scheme in which thieves steal debit card info and pin numbers, then withdraw money from customers’ accounts.