In light of the recently announced Equifax data breach, the Identity Theft Resource Center is making an understandable, timely request of all three credit reporting agencies: help consumers protect their information and their credit reports with a free one-year freeze.
Recently, a local government official in Texas made headlines for urging citizens who ignored the evacuation order to write their names and their Social Security numbers on their arms with permanent marker, presumably to make it easier for emergency personnel to identify their bodies following the storm. As an organization that promotes education and awareness on identity theft and privacy, we are compelled to comment on this kind of advice.
The ability to pay at a customer-centric point of sale system is both convenient and easy. It also means not having to turn your credit card or debit card over to an employee, limiting the risk that any tampering or cloning can take place with your card. But scammers learned a long time ago that they could steal your credentials or wipe out your account with a tiny bit of readily available technology.
As college students head off to campus in the coming days, scammers and identity thieves are waiting for the chance to strike. From housing and utilities scams to credit card fraud to fake job offers, there is a wide range of crimes that incoming college students should be wary of.
“Score one for the good guys,” as the saying goes. The IRS has reported a nearly fifty percent decrease in the numbers of identity theft complaints from taxpayers, as well as a resulting decrease in a number of fraudulent returns that get paid out to scammers.
Only a few years ago, a data breach or hacking event typically led to the theft of instantly usable information like credit and debit card numbers. Thieves would either use that data quickly to make large purchases or sell the information to other scammers.