YOUR Information First
March 2008 / issue #9

In this issue:

• Latest ID Theft News
Feature Article
Facts and Stats
Scam Central
More Resources

LATEST ID THEFT NEWS 


Visit our Educational Website for more news and resources.

FEATURE ARTICLE 

ID Theft and Tax Preparation; Did You Know?
By Mark Pribish

As I was preparing to write this month’s column on identity theft and tax preparation, it occurred to me that everyone could learn something from three personal and real life stories that made me scratch my head and say, “Huh!”

My first story begins a couple of years ago when I was driving in Ohio on business and stopped to fill my rental car up with gas. Right next to the gas station was a lawn mower repair business that had a BIG sign that said “WE REPAIR LAWN MOWERS.” Right next to that big sign was a little sign that said “we also do taxes.” It made me wonder why someone would be motivated to have their tax return done by a business that specializes in the lawn mower repair business.

My second story is about how my former neighbor – who has since moved to Michigan – was looking for a new job and made a decision to work for a tax preparation service. 

>>Read On...

FACTS AND STATS

The number of US adult victims of identity fraud was
8.4 million in 2007,
decreasing from 10.1 million in 2003 and 9.3 million in 2005


SCAM CENTRAL  

Beware of the "Hit Man or Assassin Scam" 

The next time you open an email, be wary if the message is targeting you, literally.

How It Works:
In this scam, thieves try to obtain your money and your personal information by sending you a phishing email.  In the email, an unknown person claims to be a "hit man" or “assassin” hired to kill the recipient of the email. This email tries to extort money and/or banking account information in exchange for the recipient’s life.

The good news is, this email is fake and is just part of an ongoing scam that is targeting unsuspecting consumers in the US. If you receive this type of email, simply delete it and do not respond to it in any way. 

Your Defense:
To protect yourself against potential identity thieves, always take the following precautions:

  • Be skeptical of communications you receive from sources you are not expecting. Verify the authenticity of phone calls, standard mail, faxes or e-mails of questionable origin before responding.
  • Do not transfer funds or reveal secret passwords, PINs or other security-based data to third parties; genuine organizations or institutions do not need your secret data for ordinary business transactions.
  • Do not open attachments to e-mails of possibly questionable origin, since they may contain viruses that will infect your computer.

If you believe your identity has been stolen, call 866.SMART68 today.

MORE RESOURCES

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