Identity Theft

January 26, 2017
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Never mind his crowd-favorite pledge to build the Great Wall of Mexico with a “big, fat door,” President Donald Trump’s cornucopia of campaign promises included many a forgettable vow. But you had to be whale-spotting from a lily pad on Loon Lake to miss the president’s pledge to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

What may not be as obvious is the effect that such a move could have on crime — specifically...

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January 13, 2017
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It’s difficult to imagine life without the internet. But the very same wonderful attributes that make it convenient and accessible also bring significant risks.

Hackers and thieves gladly exploit these vulnerabilities, and in recent years they’ve become increasingly brazen, their schemes more sophisticated and slippery than ever.

At CyberScout, we believe prevention is key to keeping your identity and data safe in 2017 and beyond. But you, the consumer, are the first line of...

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January 12, 2017
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Tax day is months away, but take steps now so you can file your return early—before identity thieves beat you to the punch.

Many victims of tax-related identity theft uncover the fraud after they have filed their returns, leading to delayed refunds and additional problems with the IRS and Social Security Administration.

One way to stay ahead of the bad guys is to file your taxes early, in...

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January 11, 2017
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A new scam targeting Netflix users is being reported by a cyber security company that says the scammers are trying to get credit card and other personal information.

FireEye Labs first reported the phishing scam earlier this week, saying customers should be wary of any emails asking them to update their Netflix member information. Netflix had not posted any guidance for customers on its blogs nor released an official statement at the...

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January 7, 2017
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More troubling evidence that banks and retailers push convenience on consumers to boost profits—while knowingly making it easier for criminals to steal—arose this week. Case in point: the terribly bungled rollout of newfangled “eATM” cash machines by Chase. Last year, you may recall, Chase promised to upgrade all its ATMs to this fun new technology.

The so-called eATMs use smartphones instead of debit cards to authenticate...

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January 6, 2017
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Have you seen the Geico ad with the talking parrot? A 19th-century ship is boarded, the captain surrounded by pirates. The leader shouts, “Let’s feed him to the sharks,” (pirate cheers and swords held high) “and take all his gold” (more cheers). The parrot repeats these lines, and adds, “and hide it from the crew. They’re all morons anyway.”

The voiceover at the end of the Geico ad explains, “If you’re a parrot, you repeat things....

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December 7, 2016
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With this year almost over and a new year waiting on the horizon, it’s a good time to take stock of the various threats to individuals’ identities that took hold during 2016. From large-scale data breaches to scams that affected consumers one-by-one, the variety of methods and sheer volume of security threats that thieves use is staggering.

Here are some of the scams, fraud attempts, data breaches, and other related identity theft crimes that the...

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December 7, 2016
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We thought we'd put an identity protection spin on the song, "Twelve Days of Christmas."

Instead of offering partridges, turtledoves, French hens, and other delightful but somewhat impractical gifts, we have reliable tips to keep your good name and credit safe.

1.   Pay attention to website URLs. Online searches can lead you to scammer-run websites that...

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December 6, 2016
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Employers collect and store vast amounts of personally identifiable information from job candidates and employees: Social Security numbers, birth dates, driver’s licenses, protected health information, financial and investment account information, emails and passwords, and more.

All of this data—often the domain of accounting and payroll departments—is valuable to identity thieves who employ methods ranging from simple dumpster-diving to sophisticated...

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December 2, 2016
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Long live the payment card magnetic stripe! You won’t need those chip cards at gas stations for a looong time.

The march toward protecting consumers from credit and debit fraud with newfangled chip cards is slow, but steady. How slow became apparent Thursday, when Visa and Mastercard announced they were giving gas stations an extra three years to comply with new liability rules that essentially force merchants to upgrade their...

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