A California woman recently found out she couldn’t open a Comcast account in her name because she owed the cable company a lot of money… even though she’d never been a customer before. She eventually found out that Comcast had allowed people to use her social security number to open up more than a dozen accounts, and then sent a collection agency after her to make her pay for the company’s failure to catch these scammers. [More]
Yesterday we told you about the Sylvan Learning Center in Beaverton, OR, that chose to leave hundreds of file folders containing sensitive customer information in a dumpster instead of shredding them. Now, the folks at Sylvan HQ are doing damage control. [More]
Upon hearing that a man stands accused of stealing the identities of 50 people in order to finance 17 Disney vacations, one might think it sounds like a tall order to successfully get away with that many crimes… and also? Is going on 17 vacations with Mickey Mouse really necessary? [More]
It has to feel completely awful to get a letter from the government saying it’s holding onto your refund check. But even worse, as one couple found out, is the feeling of that happening twice. And then there’s this doozy: Tax officials claim the refunds were put on hold because the state of Mississippi twice has said the husband owed back child support payments. Problem is, the couple has never lived in Mississippi and the man hasn’t father a child there either. Not once, and definitely not twice.
ID Theft Not Just Fodder For Wacky Comedies, Also Tops FTC’s List Of Most Complained-About Issues Of 2012
The Federal Trade Commission has finally sorted through the more than 2 million complaints filed by consumers during 2012, and once again identity theft identity theft was by far the most griped-about issue of them all. [More]
One Pennsylvania man knew he didn’t have a new nose, but someone else was apparently aiming to improve his appearance because the victim’s stolen identity and subsequent fraudulent credit card paid for a $6,000 nose job. Cops were able to locate the suspect because the medical practice that did his nose had taken photos of the patient before the procedure. Oh, vanity! You are a cruel mistress. [More]
Anyone carrying a bag into the movies knows there’s basically only one thing you can do with it: you place that purse/man bag/tote/shopping bag/whathaveyou on the ground and no one drops their soda on the ground nearby. A Connecticut man saw all those bags as a way to make some easy money, crawling around on movie theater floors to steal up to $70,000 a week.
Sometimes, timing can be everything. Catching a fly ball, running into an old friend on the street, buying a winning lottery ticket on your way home from work. One man had great timing when he went into his local bank to discuss some checks forged in his name for around $700. While there, he happened to run into the man who allegedly stole his identity. Convenient!
Stealing anyone’s identity is wrong, no matter who it is, but guess what? If you pretend you’re Jack Nicholson instead of just some regular dude, you’re a lot more likely to get busted. Such was the case for a scammer in Brazil recently, who tried to pass himself off as the actor.
Identity theft can scare the bejeezus out of anyone — drained bank accounts, credit cards set up in your name, purloined Social Security numbers, oh my — but that doesn’t necessarily means you should buy into an expensive credit protection service. Our wise older siblings at Consumer Reports break it down in a new installment of Money Adviser.
If someone swipes your credit card info and goes on a spending spree, there’s a decent chance the company will catch the fraud, freeze your account and refund your money. Things can get trickier when the thief is more careful about his purchases, buying low-cost items at irregular intervals.
It’s a measure of the brazenness and ubiquity of identity theft that a U.S. Senator has become the latest victim of credit card fraud. Thieves stole the credit card numbers belonging to Senator Daniel Inouye (D) of Hawaii, embedded them on the magnetic strip of a fake credit card, and went on a $12,000 Walmart shopping spree.
If you’ve ever wondered how long the effects of ID theft can linger, just ask the upstate New York woman who has been battling National Grid for years because the utility company won’t believe she isn’t the same person who owes $4,800 on an account opened 18 years ago, when she was only seven years old.
One way to protect yourself from identity theft is to “freeze” your credit report. This means that no new lines of credit can be opened in your name because lenders are prevented from taking a look at your credit report. This stops identity thieves from opening credit cards under your name and going on spending sprees. It also means extra hassle for you when you want to legitimately open credit. There’s always a tradeoff between security and convenience. Here’s how to do it.
Even if you’ve never seen the 1989 comedy Weekend At Bernie’s — or its inexcusable 1993 sequel — it’s likely you’re at least familiar with its tale of two morons lugging around a dead body and hilariously pretending it’s still alive. And while it’s all fun and games when you see the film at 4 a.m. on TBS, two men in Denver found out it’s not only not-funny to do the same thing in the real world, it could also land you in jail.