Global Payment Inc-Update


Global Payment has officially confirmed the breach of information although they are saying that it is contained and that no names or Social security number were lost.  The estimate is that 1.5 million cardholders were affected.  They have also confirmed that VISA has dropped them from their registry of provider that meet security standards.

http://www.timesunion.com/business/article/Visa-discontinues-Global-Payments-3454033.php

 

Please do not misunderstand what it means by VISA ‘dropped’ them.  Global is indeed still processing payments for VISA.  Global expects to be reinstated.  What this means is that if you have a VISA card you can still be affected by this security breach.

It is also possible that this information is being used right now.  You need to be alert and be aware.  Steps that you can take:

  • Just because names and SSNs were not lost does not mean that anyone is safe.  Thieves can still access information about you online.  Update your passwords to your accounts.
  • Make sure that your browser, antispyware, and antivirus protection is up to date.
  • Do not overlook a missing credit card statement, it could be an indication that your account has been stolen and the thief turned in a change of address, redirecting that statement to them.
  • Check your credit card statement closely for fraudulent charges no matter how small.  Thieves often test cards by submitting charges for as little as five cents.
  • Put identity theft protection in place now before you become a victim.

Identity Theft Shield will not only help you with getting the credit side fixed by working on your behalf with creditors, investigators will look for non-financial issues and help fix those too.

 

 

Global Payments Inc suffers dataloss and merchants could be on the hook!


Once again a payment processor suffers a dataloss. Sadly merchants could be bearing the financial burden on this even though they are not the ones who lost the information. That’s bad for the merchants.

It’s also bad for the consumers whose information was lost. While consumers may not have to shoulder the financial burden, Personally Identifying Information has been exposed. The exposure of your personal information puts you at risk of becoming an identity theft victim, and the financial burden is not the only problem you have to worry about. You are more than your credit score!

Global Payments Inc has scheduled a press conference for Monday morning, look for a more in depth update then.

http://news.yahoo.com/mastercard-tells-banks-possible-security-breach-154439326.html

Top Scams of 2011?


According to Scambusters.org, Identity theft continues to be the number one scam.  What we need to remember when we look at statistics, is that the reality is worse.  Statistics are taken from the number of reported cases.  There are many more cases out there that are not reported because the victim thought it was minor inconvenience or because they simply have not discovered that they are a victim yet.

Early detection is important, the quicker you discover that you are a victim, the less time a thief has to do damage.  Find out how LegalShield can help!

Take a look at my YouTube Channel!


Don’t forget to keep an eye on my Youtube channel!  You’ll find informative videos including several LegalShield Videos.  Find out how Legal Shield can help with legal issues and identity theft issues or how you can help others while building your own business with a product that everyone really needs.

See what LegalShield can do for you!

The IRS and Identity Theft


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:

  1. Arizona 33%
  2. Texas 27%
  3. New Mexico 23%
  4. Colorado 22%
  5. 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.

 

How many permissions do you have on your social networks?


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.

How many tax returns?


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.

 

Time to lighten things up for Christmas


There are two central figures that represent Christmas, Santa Claus and the baby Jesus.  Both have been identity theft victims, at least in the movies. so since it is the holiday season, I thought I would focus on those movies and lighten things up.  Two of these movies are perfect for family viewing and many of you may have already watched them this year.

How the Grinch Stole Christmas

We all remember Dr Suess’ classic book.  The Grinch is a well known holiday classic, and I really prefer my Grinch animated with Boris Karloff reading the story.  The Grinch had a nefarious plan that hinged on stealing Santa’s identity so that he could steal all the Christmas cheer from Whoville.

The Nightmare Before Christmas

All Jack really wanted was a little love.  Seeing how well loved Santa was, Jack decided to take his place.  Eventually Jack learned that he was loved too for different reasons.

The Life of Brian

The Life Of Brian 3 Wise Men

This one is strictly for the adults and some people may find it a bit offensive but after all it is Monty Python.  Poor Brian comes into the world mistaken for the Messiah.  To Brian’s credit he did spend his life trying to convince people that he was not the Messiah.

These three movies just go to prove one thing, no one is safe from identity theft.

Your trash is fair game for anyone who wants it


Are you shredding all of your personal information before you put it in your trash? If not you are an identity thief’s dream. Do your realize that it is absolutely legal to go through someone’s trash? That’s right anything in your garbage is fair game once it is put out for collection.


Police will root through your trash to find evidence of wrongdoing then use that evidence against the individual to secure a warrant.  Private investigators go through people’s trash to find evidence to support claims of their clients and it’s all perfectly legal.  Your garbage is not protected by any implied expectations of privacy.   And identity thieves are perfectly within their legal rights to root through it too!

That little fact became an issue in the case of California vs Greenwood in May of 1988. the court ruled that garbage placed on a public street is readily accessible to children, animals and others. What that means is that an identity thief who roots through your trash and removes documents you have thrown out is not violating any laws at that point. It becomes a crime when he uses the information to commit identity theft.

So the smart person knowing that his garbage is fair game will shred everything to thwart the thief. After all if you are placing a whole document in the trash, it is easy to pick up, fold up and put in a pocket for later use. However if you are putting out shredded material an identity thief must collect it all and then spend hours trying to reconstruct it. There are much easier ways to get information than that.

Taking stock and taking charge


Back in 2007, the Federal Trade Commission published a booklet called “Protecting Personal Information: A Guide for Business” that gave five tips for protecting personal information.

The booklet concentrates on five key things that we can also do as individuals to better protect our information.

Take stock

What personal or sensitive information do you have?  Any form of identification should be considered personal and/or sensitive.  Whether it identifies you or accounts you hold, property etc.  You need to know that you have it and get it all together in one place.

Scale down

Honestly evaluate your situation do you really need 15 credit cards?  Do you really need a credit card from every retailer you shop at.  If you have a Visa that is accepted at Sears, JC Penney, Macy’s etc do you really need a separate credit card from each retailer?

Another big and unnecessary risk we take is with all those retailer loyalty cards.  How many do you have hanging from your keychain right now?  Every one of those little keychain cards represents a different database that you are now listed in.  Do you really shop at that retailer often enough for it to be worth the risk?  If not, opt out of the program.

Lock it

Separate your information into what is necessary and what is not.  Secure your personal information.  A home safe or strongbox can serve this purpose.  Any documents you are not using should be locked away in a safe place.

Pitch it

Now how about that pile of unnecessary documents and cards?  First things first.  If you are planning to scale back on credit cards, contact these creditors and close those accounts! Identity thieves love dormant accounts.  Properly shred all of the documents and cards that you have deemed unnecessary.

Plan ahead

There is an old adage, “Hope for the best and prepare for the worst.”  That is exactly what you need to do, prepare for the worst.  There is no way to completely eliminate your risk of becoming an identity theft victim, so you need to be prepared when and if it happens to you.

Photocopy the contents of your wallet and lock it up with the rest of your important information.  If it is ever lost or stolen, you will know exactly who to contact to close the accounts.  It also will be easier to list what was stolen or lost on the police report that you file.

Make a list of all the loyalty rewards programs you are enrolled in so that you can easily contact them.

Have something in place to help you fix it!  Restoring an identity is not as simple as many think.  According to Wiley Rein Publications, it can take an average of 600 hours and an average cost of $1,400 to restore an identity.  This is where Identity Theft Shield from LegalShield can help.