If you work in the collections department for a wireless company and you’re trying to contact a delinquent customer but don’t have a home phone number for him. What to do? If you’re T-Mobile, apparently you just find someone else with the same name and assume he’s the guy. [More]
With so many purchases being made online these days — and with more people using credit cards to buy things at retail locations — it’s surprising we don’t hear about massive data breaches every day. But alas, ID theft is an all-too-frequent occurrence, so it couldn’t hurt to know in advance the steps to take to minimize the damage.
They probably didn’t know it at the time, but when customers at an Italian restaurant in Seattle complained that their credit card accounts appeared to have been compromised, they were setting off a chain of events that would ultimately result in the arrest of a man in Romania believed to have stolen at least 44,000 credit card numbers.
If you make an error while writing a check, how thoroughly are you shredding it when you toss it out? And in an era where some banks let you deposit checks just by taking a photo with your smartphone, what are you doing with those pieces of paper after the money has cleared?
After months of being told “it wasn’t us,” and pointing the finger at everyone from clever hackers to Apple Store employees, AT&T has finally admitted that an employee at one of its vendors is responsible for illegally accessing customer accounts. Which vendor? AT&T isn’t saying.
Consumers filed more than 1.8 million complaints with the Federal Trade Commission last year. And for the 12th year in a row, identity theft accounted for the biggest slice of the complaint pie.
While smartphones have given millions of Americans something to do on the train instead of staring blankly out the window while wondering where that smell is coming from, they may also be leading to an increase in ID theft.
Following the hack of Zappos.com and 6pm.com there are probably quite a few of you looking for a way to create strong passwords and also remember them. Back in December, our safety-conscious friends at Consumer Reports ran a guide to creating strong passwords that are also easy… well, easier, to remember. Here it is.
Late Sunday night, several readers wrote in to say they had received an e-mail from the shoe-selling folks at Zappos.com letting them know that their personal information, including part of their credit card number, may have been compromised by hackers.
We’ve already seen credit cards that generate unique, random security codes every time a card user makes a purchase, so that it would require the buyer to have the physical card on them in order to buy something. But here’s a card that wants the ID thief to think he’s more clever than he is.
Credit protection programs often cost money. So what’s a someone who can’t get the credit to buy such a program supposed to do? Well, in this case the answer was apparently “steal someone else’s credit card number.”
Imagine opening the mail to find a notice from a collections agency that says you owe nearly $700 for a DirecTV account that you never opened at an address you’ve never even been to. Chances are, the first call you’d make would be to DirecTV. But for one person this actually happened to, that was a dead end.
It’s not unusual for a credit card thief to charge some outlandish amount to the victim’s card, hoping to score big before setting off alarm bells. But police in Boca Raton, FL, say they are trying to hunt down a criminal who only charged about $14 at Burger King, ever day… for more than 50 days.
It’s bad enough to find out you’ve been the victim of identity theft. It’s even worse to sit and watch as the thieves spend the money they acquired with your credit card information.
Tomorrow, Consumerist Executive Editor Meghann Marco will be sitting down for a chat with Jon Leibowitz, chair of the Federal Trade Commission. And after the two are done discussing the NBA playoffs, they’ll get around to more relevant issues. That’s where we’re seeking your guidance.
It’s bad enough when someone finds a way to swipe your personal info to use for their own illegal purposes. But it’s a special kind of jackass that has the temerity to send you a “Thank You” note after stealing your funds.
If you’re going to use someone else’s identity to go on a shopping spree, you might as well go hog-wild and hit some upscale stores. At the very least, don’t go shopping at a discount warehouse store where you’ll need to have your picture taken for your membership card.
Reader Lisa would like to ask the Consumerist hive mind for advice on cleaning up her recently hacked Gmail account. Here’s her story: