A 12-year-old kid is probably getting his crops slashed and burned by his mum after he racked up $1,400 in Farmville purchases, draining his own savings and running up charges on her credit card. [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.
Richard says his wife’s Hotmail account was hacked, and now she can’t get into her email or fix the problem via Microsoft’s customers service online or over the phone. He writes:
CBS 5 exposed a “gaping hole” in the code of California’s state-run employment website that allows anyone who views the site to access and modify other users’ resumes and personal info simply by changing some numbers in the URL.
John says that his wife’s identity was stolen two weeks ago and since TransUnion shows your full credit card numbers on your credit report, the thief was able to run up a $10,000 credit card bill in his wife’s name.
We love free, and we love attempts to make people savvier about personal finance, so we really like this new personal finance website from the University of Idaho. It’s got all the basics covered, and there are things like checklists and downloadable worksheets so you can practice what they’re preaching. Some of the information is geared specifically to Idaho residents, but for the most part this is useful content that anyone can take advantage of.