As time goes on we become more aware of the fact that identity theft is not just about stealing credit. But there is still a long ways to go in completely dispelling that myth. By focusing so much attention on credit cards and bank accounts, we may be completely ignoring other areas of risk, like our social security number.
It’s tax season right now and a requirement on all tax returns is your social security number. Your employer reports your income to the IRS using your social security number, but what if another employer you don’t work for is reporting income attached to your social security number?
It happens according to 2008 FTC statistics, the top states for employment related identity theft are:
- Arizona 33%
- Texas 27%
- New Mexico 23%
- Colorado 22%
- California 20%
*percentage of reported identity theft cases*
The consequences for employment identity theft can include Tax Audits, loss of Tax return funds and charges for additional taxes owed.
There are so many suggestions on how to combat this trend but the most simple one has been overlooked, stop giving your social security number to everyone who asks for it! Everyone who asks does not have a right or need to have it.
Today we celebrate the life of Martin Luther King Jr. Dr King dedicated his life to equality. We often forget that equality comes in different varieties. There is equality in employment, housing education etc. There is also equality under the law.
Displayed on the Supreme Court Building is the phrase “Equal Justice Under Law” But is justice really equal?
If you have a lot of money I suppose you think that it is, but the sad truth is that justice is equal to what you can afford. The person that can afford to pay an attorney for guidance will be treated fairly. Their rights will be protected. The person who cannot afford to pay an attorney often ends up holding the short end of the stick.
And even among those who can afford to pay an attorney, they also end up waiving their rights because they cannot afford to pay an attorney for every single legal issue that they face. LegalShield is a way for everyone to level the playing field.
Imagine being able to have an attorney review every contract before you sign it. Imagine being able to pick up the phone and just ask an attorney when you have a legal question. Imagine being able to get advice on legal issues before they grow out of control. That is the power of LegalShield.
Since I do market online in social networks, I see a lot of people sucked in by hype from questionable business opportunities. The opportunity is just too good to be true.
Unfortunately for many who join these programs they end up getting burned. The find themselves scammed out of hard earned money or become identity theft victims. Most people do not take the time to look into these programs before jumping in with both feet. And when they jump in they give out personal information that they should not be giving out.
You can avoid this if you simply take the time to look into it and think. Before you sign up for things online, look for Red Flags. Here are two simple Red Flags that should warn you to keep away.
Red Flag #1-Give your email address for more information
If the hype page asks you for an email address to find out what it is about, skip it. The following information should be available to anyone going to a recruiting or affiliate page:
- What the program is and any products services it provides
- Terms of Service
Make sure you read these pages. The TOS often will hide small print that reveals a gotcha. For example the hype page says you will get $25 just for signing up. In the Terms of Service you find that it is actually 25 credits which they may call ‘Program’ dollars. And these program dollars have no value beyond what the program creators say.
Red Flag #2 No Corporate information available
Every legitimate business is listed somewhere and you should be able to find information on the corporate HQ not just dozens of affiliate recruitment pages. Three ways you can search:
- Search Google with the program name and the keyyords Corporate Headquarters
- Search Whois.net
- Search Alexa.com
If you cannot find corporate information or that information is hidden treat it as a scam.
Don’t fall victim to scams a phishing schemes that can make you a victim of identity theft.
I read a great blog post the other day about social network sharing permissions. It made me think about how many third-party apps we allow permissions on our different networks like Facebook and Twitter.
Connecting accounts this way is convenient. Think about how often you will use the ‘Login With Your Facebook/Twitter Account’, or accept requests for all the different apps your friends use. How many games are you playing on Facebook? Every time you start playing a new game you have to allow that app permission to access your account.
Maybe it’s time to take a look and clean out your permissions. The more you share permissions, the more you put yourself at risk of identity theft. To read more on this visit the T3KD blog.
2012 is here and for most people that means filing your taxes. How many filings will be done under your social security number? Between 2008 and 2010 the number of identity theft tax filings increased nearly 500%!
How can this affect you? Expecting a refund? The IRS may have sent your refund to an identity thief or even worse, because of the identity theft you could now owe taxes!
But that is just the short term effect, what if you find that you cannot be hired by a company because you already work there? Your Social security benefits balance has been zeroed out? This happened to a California woman. Click the link to hear her story.
Up to 200 illegal immigrants using California woman’s Social Security number
Identity theft is not just about credit cards and bank accounts. It’s an all encompassing nightmare that can affect many different areas of your life, Identity Theft Shield can help.