What Is Tax Fraud? And Should I Be Worried About It?
A reader is suspicious of her husband’s “no problem” attitude.
Learn about the latest ID theft schemes so you can protect your personal data
A reader is suspicious of her husband’s “no problem” attitude.
The most common crime isn’t being taken seriously by Americans or Big Business.
The nation’s top crime shows no sign of slowing down though there is one glimmer of hope.
Where rich people shop, how bad customer service really is, and why hackers might stop identity theft.
What happens when you combine identity theft with taxes? Double the trouble and twice the pain.
A new bill in Congress would fine credit reporting agencies bigly for not protecting our information. It’s four years overdue.
In this roundup, we go over a slew of data breaches and cybersecurity risks from companies that have experienced hacks to people who simply won’t change their habits to avoid getting scammed.
Scammers are getting trickier and consumers are falling for it.
It’s a rightfully growing fear among American consumers.
A reader can’t find an answer, but there’s a sure-fire way to get one.
Debt.com has a Friday feature called By The Numbers. It’s compiled by our editors and consists of four randomly weird facts they’ve stumbled across each week while researching the finance-related information we post every day. The feature has become quite popular on social media, so today I’ll pay homage with a much less strange set of […]
Most companies aren’t prepared for data breaches, as more than half of U.S. companies have been hacked so far this year.
More people than ever are worried about ID theft. But big institutions and companies aren’t prepared to handle major breaches and can’t hire workers fast enough.
American businesses and citizens haven’t taken identity theft seriously. They might from now on.
A major credit bureau handed out 143 million Social Security numbers out of laziness and incompetence. Is Trump going to do anything?
The number of data breaches has soared through the first half of 2017, with most hacks hitting the business sector.
Something complicated happened Thursday, and it sounds bad. Actually, it’s worse than that.
One of these tech experts even got ripped off. Learn what they know.
They fear having their Social Security or bank account info stolen the most.
Americans believe their private data is at risk when online shopping or banking, but don’t think their information is at risk on a public Wi-Fi network. Why not?
No wonder why people get their identity stolen.
And cyber security professionals are expecting more to come
And many predict a major cyber attack against the U.S. in the next two years.
And the companies that have it aren’t protecting it.
If you’re deeply in debt and have no money for anyone to steal, you’re wrong.
Companies and organizations can’t find qualified people to fill cybersecurity positions — or time to train them
Connecting to unsecure Wi-Fi leaves you open to hacking.
This week: After her bank account is riddled with fraudulent checks, she wonders: Is anyone safe?
There are more than 8,000 security flaws from four different pacemaker manufacturers.
Most online shoppers do it for convenience, but is it safe?
More than half of Americans have been, or know, a victim of identity theft. They still barely protect themselves.
Rich or poor, hackers want your information
It not only helps him stay debt-free, it also protects him.
Experts say it’s likely that multiple companies will be hacked at same time this year.
Most customers believe companies are responsible for securing their personal information, but only two-thirds of company officers and IT professionals agree with that.
Whether it’s a text message, phone call, email or letter, your banking institution can let you know when fraudulent activity occurs on your account. Do you get fraud alerts?
Businesses are treating their companies a lot like we treat our homes — the physical property is protected, but the online property isn’t.
The younger the consumer, the more likely they are to hand over personal data. The more likely they are to hand over their data, the higher the expectation to use that data positively.
There are the conventional ways to protect yourself from credit card fraud, and then there’s the nuclear option.
Deregulating for its own sake is incredibly stupid — but potentially profitable for internet companies and identity thieves.
Debit card compromises are up dramatically and ATMs are a huge part of it.
Tax-related identity theft is increasing, and experts say we ignore easy ways to protect ourselves by stressing about filing.
A reader thinks his identity was stolen from an urgent care center. Now what?
The Internet of Things and stolen fingerprints are among the biggest scam predictions for 2017.
A reader’s husband doesn’t use half his cards. Should he keep them for emergencies or get rid of them?
We might have had billions of dollars in tax fraud last year but most Americans aren’t worried about getting scammed.
This is shaping up to be a bad year for data breaches, but does anyone care?
We’re getting our medical data stolen, and most scammers are taking it straight from the hospitals themselves
44 percent of Americans are worried about their personal health care information being stolen and at least one record is stolen everyday.
A reader is angry at his Internet-unsafe fiancee.
By law, every consumer can check their credit for free once every twelve months. There’s even a government-mandated web portal set up where you can download your reports. Just answer a few security questions and you can download the reports from all three bureaus.
When it comes to preventing identity theft, you want to look for two things:
Name variations are often assigned incorrectly, so you can end up with collection accounts that aren’t yours. If you have accounts listed in your credit report that you didn’t authorize or open, it’s a sure sign of theft.
A yearly review is one of your best lines of defense to catch ID theft early.
The Social Security Administration created a special portal where anyone with a Social Security number can set up an online account. Whenever someone tries to claim benefits or use your number, the portal notifies you. This helps you catch Social Security fraud early, which is important because it’s the worst type of theft to handle.
Note: Do wait to do this! If someone steals your Social Security number, they can set up an account in your name. That means there’s a much lower chance of catching the theft, because the thieves intercept all your warnings!
First off, change your passwords often. This helps prevent theft. You should also use one password for only one account. With today’s technology, it’s really easy to use a random password generator to create 16-character strings that are impossible to guess. Then, you save your passwords to a secure online vault or on your smartphone so you don’t have to remember them all.
There’s no excuse for using something easily guessable like Password123 or something equally as guessable.
Some phishing scams are easy to spot, but some are easy to fall for because they really seem legitimate. Phishing scams work by convincing you that a service provider you work with needs information from you. They either direct you to a website where they ask for personal information or they ask you to call them. Either way, their goal is to get things like you Social Security number or credit card account information.
If you receive an unsolicited email that directs you to do something, call the service provider’s main customer service line. Don’t call the phone number listed in the email. Just check the company website and call the main customer service line. This ensures you only respond to legitimate requests for information.
Emails are one of the easiest forms of communication that cyberthieves can intercept. So, whether a legitimate service provider asked for it or not, never email private information. Call and give numbers over the phone if they’re needed or ask if there’s a secure website where you can enter the information.
Nobody but you should have your debit card PIN. And nobody on your social networks needs to know your physical address. Oversharing is a big problem for identity theft and social media is only making it worse. Adjust all the security settings on your favorite social networks so you only share stuff with people connected to you. This will help prevent ID theft and also problems like social media identity theft.
Credit monitoring services alert you whenever there’s a change in your credit profile. This helps you catch identity theft as early as possible. It’s also a good way to track your credit score so you can build credit effectively.
If you can’t afford a paid service, there are free ones available. You may also get a monitoring service free through one of your credit card accounts or bank accounts.
Most people are pretty bad about closing old accounts. You may still have a Hotmail account that you haven’t used in over a decade, but it’s still there. And it leaves you open for identity theft if it gets hacked.
If you stop using a service, make sure to close your account. This step is most often skipped with free accounts; you close paid accounts to stop the bills, but free accounts just get left running. So, instead of just deleting that app that you never use anymore, actually take the step of going online to close the account.
Most forms that you fill out ask for your Social Security number even when they don’t need it. If a service provider wants your Social Security number, ask if it’s required. If not, leave the space blank. This happens often with doctor’s offices and veterinarians. Streaming services don’t need your SSN either.
So, always ask why they need the information and if it’s required. If it’s not, don’t provide it!
Impart all these great identity theft tips that you’ve learned to your kids. Teenagers are terrible about oversharing and they’re often not protective enough of their accounts. They may even give their debit card and PIN to a friend because they need money and they’re feeling lazy.
So, don’t let your best ID theft practices be thwarted by kids that don’t know any better. Teach your kids about identity theft and how to avoid it, so they adopt good security practices as early as possible.
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