Feature Article
Mark Pribish
ID Theft and Data Breach in the News
By Mark Pribish
Vice President and ID Theft Practice Leader

According to the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse (https://www.privacyrights.org/data-breach/new), there were 497 data breach events totaling just over 30 million records through November 26th of this year.

Now that we are near the end of 2011, I thought it would be a good time to share some of the ID Theft and Data Breach news stories from 2011 to remind us all of the continuing threat of ID Theft and Fraud.

The most interesting fact about the above six news stories is that they were all published in the month of November... of this year!

Other headline news stories in 2011 to take note of include:

To conclude, we need to be proactive in reading about the latest and greatest ID Theft and Data Breach threats – whether it's information technology (e.g. hackers with unauthorized access to computer servers); the insider threat (e.g. employee, customers and vendors stealing personally identifiable information); or organized crime (e.g. using credit card skimmers at gas station pumps and your bank ATMs).

To learn more about these threats and how to protect yourself and your family from Identity Theft, you can read my past newsletters at the Merchants Identity Theft Educational Website at www.idtheftedu.com.


Scam Central

Veterans Become ID Theft Targets

For someone who puts their life on the line in the defense of their country, the last thing they hope to hear is that someone they fought to defend and keep free is taking advantage of them. As some of these individuals begin to advance in age or deal with the effects of injuries from years past, their decision-making skills may begin to weaken. In this vulnerable state, many are caught off-guard and duped into releasing sensitive personal information. That is just what is happening in Grand Junction, CO. A recent article highlights how a group of veterans have recently been targeted by identity thieves, and many have fallen victim to the scam.

How It Works:

Someone is calling veterans at night posing as local VA hospital workers and asking to confirm their Social Security numbers, contact information and bank account information. The scammer gathering the information now has enough sensitive information to commit fraud, perhaps by wiping out the victim's bank account, or simply opening several credit cards and ruining the victim's credit.

Your Defense:

As always, use common sense when speaking with any person calling your home and asking for personal information. It is important that you never give out your personal information over the phone to someone who initiates contact with you. If someone does call you and claims to represent an organization to which you may be affiliated, be sure to document the incident. Gather as much contact information about the caller as possible. If you suspect the call is legitimate, hang up the phone and then call the trusted number for that organization and ask to speak with someone about your recent phone call. Never disclose personal information unless you initiate the call.

Identity thieves are ruthless, and prey on the most vulnerable of victims. Do not let them take advantage of you, or your loved ones.

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