Archive for December, 2008

LifeLock protection

Saturday, December 27th, 2008

Types of Identity Theft

There are several different types of identity theft, and any one of them could happen to you.

Synthetic Identity Theft

This first term describes the most common type of identity theft. Criminals steal or make up a Social Security number and then build a total identity with name, address, phone numbers, date of birth etc. If these identifiers even come close to matching your personal information, a subfile may be attached to your credit records. Of course the debts accrued by the perpetrators go unpaid and ultimately damage your credit.

Mailbox Identity Theft

Home mailboxes are a gold mine for identity thieves. The raised red flag notifies them that there’s probably a check for an outgoing bill in the box, and all the criminal has to do to reach in and help himself. Incoming mail is also a rich vein of information for thieves. Think of all the pre-approved credit offers you get in the mail every month; everything the thief needs to perpetrate identity theft is right there. If he’s especially lucky, he might even hit your mailbox on the day one of your creditors sends you those convenient blank checks.

Phishing and Identity Theft

You’ve probably already seen an attempt at this type of identity theft in your e-mail’s inbox. The object here is to trick you into divulging personal information by responding to an email purportedly from a credit card company, your bank or ebay. Commonly the email is sent in the guise of a security maintenance check, asking you to verify your account number or other personal information. The trickiest thing about phishing emails is that the phishers can cut and paste graphics from the authentic company website making distinguishing real from fake nearly impossible. Tip offs are spelling errors, poor grammar, or a general salutation, e.g., “Dear Customer.”

Data Breaches and Identity Theft

In the last few years, hundreds of millions of Americans have been compromised when their personal or financial information was lost, stolen or mishandled while in the hands of private, corporate or governmental entities. Very often this is the result of employees losing laptops, or administrators inadvertently placing information on the internet. The largest data breach to date is the TMX incident in which the data on 94 million TJ Maxx, Marshalls, HomeGoods or Bob’s Stores shoppers was hacked from their network. Though hacking seems to get the most media attention, it actually represents only a small number of data breaches. The largest governmental breach occurred when a data analyst for the US Department of Veterans Affairs took home a laptop containing the records of 26.5 million current and former military members. Unfortunately, his home was robbed and the burglar made off with the laptop.


Visit LifeLock.com and use the Life Lock discount code Defense for the lowest available price.

LifeLock, TransUnion credit bureau team up to better serve customers

Friday, December 19th, 2008

LifeLock and credit bureau TranUnion have come to an agreement that streamlines some of LifeLock’s identity theft protection measures. As LifeLock CEO Todd Davis put it, “protecting customers just got easier.”

Having TransUnion’s cooperation will make it hassle-free for LifeLock to initiate and renew fraud alerts, and obtain credit reports for their clients. The enhanced relationship will also make it easier for LifeLock to place “opt out” orders on their clients’ to keep marketers from calling and sending pre-approved credit offers.

Fraud alerts and credit report reviews are considered the foundation–or bare minimum–of any identity theft protection program, whether it’s implemented by the consumer or  by an identity theft protection service like LifeLock. But accomplishing just those basic efforts hasn’t always been as easy as it should be. (more…)

Identity theft information. Learn more about why you need LifeLock protection.

Friday, December 12th, 2008

Financial identity theft is on the news, in the newspaper, and a topic of conversation wherever you go. It seems everyone you talk to either knows someone who’s been a victim, or has been a victim themselves.

Findings on the impact and scope of financial identity theft:
• So far, 15 million Americans have been victims of financial ID theft. With a national population of 300 million, that means 1 in 20 has been hit.

• Personal financial losses average $1,244.

• The estimated loss to businesses and consumers in 2005 was $56.6 billion.

• All branches of the federal government report losses of personal data, only a small percentage of which was caused by hackers. By far the majority of losses is the result of theft of laptops, disks, drives or unauthorized use by employees.

• Corporate and governmental security breeches account for 217,551,182 compromised records.

• 88 percent of all identity theft is the result of synthetic identity theft, rather than the better known true name identity theft.

• It takes an average of 600 hours to resolve issues of identity theft, though a many victims report that even after that time negative financial information remains on their credit report.

• Victims of financial identity theft report a level of emotional impact similar to victims of rape, assault and repeated battering. Some say they felt dirty, defiled or ashamed.

• Family stress, divorce, difficulty in finding employment and obtaining credit are common byproducts of identity theft

• Most financial identity theft is a crime of opportunity and is perpetrated by family members, neighbors or employees.

What can you do to prevent financial identity theft?
Given that your financial ID is almost entirely in the hands of government and corporate entities, there is little you can do to prevent identity theft. There are, however, steps you can take to minimize the risk and resultant damage should identity theft occur.
• Keep all documents with identifying information under lock and key. Carry no more identification or credit cards in your wallet than is absolutely necessary.

• Do not leave incoming or outgoing mail in your mailbox.

• Check your credit report at least every six months.

• Consider subscribing to an identity theft protection service. Service levels vary, but should include credit monitoring, fraud alerts and recovery services. Visit LifeLock.com to learn more about their service. Enroll using the LifeLock promotion code Defense for the best discount.

Sources for this article and for further information about financial identity theft include:
• US Dept. of Justice (www.usdoj.gov/criminal/fraud/websites/idtheft.html)
• Javelin Strategy and Research (www.javelinstrategy.com)
• Privacy Rights Clearinghouse (www.privacyrights.org)
• Identity Theft Resource Center (www.idtheftcenter.org)

The Top 5 Reasons You Need LifeLock

Monday, December 8th, 2008

Reason Number 5: Are you really going to re-gift another fruitcake this year? Visit LifeLock.com and enroll using the LifeLock promotional code Defense and you can give identity theft protection to the people you love for only $9 a month.

Reason Number 4: The U.S. Department of Justice considers identity theft to be the single largest crime problem in the nation, surpassing drug trafficking.

Reason Number 3: International crime rings that used to focus primarily on drug trafficking have now turned their attention to high-tech hacking and identity theft, which in turn provides revenue for drug trafficking.

Reason Number 2: There were more data breaches by August 2008 than in all of 2007. Those 449 reported data breaches exposed more than 22 million records. But it’s even worse than that. Surveys show that roughly half of the private and public entities that admitted to having data breaches don’t report them or notify their customers or constituents.

Drum roll, please …

The Number 1 Reason You Need LifeLock: Every year you make a New Years Resolution to get in shape and be more conscientious about your personal finances. But did you place fraud alerts on your credit files and renew them every 90 days?

Did you order your credit reports from all three credit reporting agencies and review them? Did you remove your name from junk mail and phone solicitation lists? Did you photocopy the front and back of everything in your wallet and make a comprehensive list of all the contact numbers in case your wallet is stolen? Did you monitor 10,000 websites to make sure your personal information isn’t being bought, sold or traded?

No, you didn’t. But don’t beat yourself up about it. Just go to LifeLock.com, use the LifeLock promotional code Defense, and them take care of all of that and more. That way you’ll have more time to get in shape.

LifeLock: A thoughtful gift idea for hard to buy for people

Friday, December 5th, 2008

Visit LifeLock.com to learn more about the identity theft protection service chosen by more than 1 million Americans. Give LifeLock as a Christmas gift using the LifeLock promotion code Defense and pay only $9 a month to protect someone you love.

We all have hard to buy for people on our Christmas shopping lists. But choosing a thoughtful gift for an elderly man or woman might be the most challenging.

One of the most thoughtful Christmas gifts for an elderly family member is LifeLock identity theft protection. Seniors are especially vulnerable to identity theft, but Life Lock’s services can protect them.

  • WalletLock™: Lost or stolen wallets are the most common source for identity thieves. Only LifeLock offers this service to immediately cancel and replace driver’s licenses, credit cards, Social Security cards … any official or financial documents that were in the wallet.  This service is essential for elderly people who have memory disorders or dementia.
  • Junk mail reduction: Less junk mail and pre-approved credit offers means fewer opportunities for identity thieves. Stolen mail is the second most common sources of information for identity thieves.
  • TrueAddress™: Identity thieves commonly divert their victims’ mail by submitting a change of address. LifeLock’s TrueAddress™ tool monitors these submissions to make sure your loved one’s identity isn’t threatened.
  • Fraud alerts: Anytime a prospective creditor checks customers’ credit file, the customers are called to verify the applicant’s identity. LifeLock will help renew the fraud alert every 90 days so their protection is uninterrupted.
  • Credit reports: LifeLock will help the customer get annual credit reports to check for any erroneous or unusual new entries.
  • eRecon™: Millions of stolen identities are bought, sold and traded over the Internet every year. eRecon™ monitors the sites used by identity thieves and crime rings for any aspect of a customer’s identity.

An example of the ID thieves LifeLock can protect you from

Thursday, December 4th, 2008

More than a million American consumers have chosen LifeLock for identity theft protection. But millions more without Life Lock protection become identity theft victims every year.

The following article illustrates the value of LifeLock’s comprehensive identity theft protection.

Kimberly Foulks joined the legions of criminals caught by law enforcement officials after being pulled over for simple traffic violations. In her case, Fort Wayne, Indiana police found identification, checkbooks and gift cards, all bearing several different names. As if that wasn’t enough, Foulks also had outstanding warrants.

As the investigation against her progressed, police searched storage units rented by Foulks and discovered altered birth certificates and more IDs. They also found DVDs, electronics and jewelry.

County prosecutors charged Foulks with 66 counts of check fraud, theft and forgery.

But then the feds stepped in. Foulks, who also went by the name Kimberly Snyder, was charged in federal court with aggravated identity theft, securities fraud and bank fraud. Federal prosecutors say that over a period of roughly 18 months, she cashed about 900 counterfeit checks and used the money to make purchases worth more than $125,000.

Foulks will be sentenced in January 2009, and has made a plea agreement with the federal prosecutors.

Earlier this year, Ashley Snyder, Foulks’ daughter, admitted to participating in identity theft schemes with her mother. After pleading guilty to three counts of forgery, Snyder was given a suspended prison sentence, but will remain on probation for four years. She is also required to make $541 in restitution.

LifeLock helps protect their members’ credit, finances and reputations with a full slate of tools and strategies, including several Life Lock exclusives like WalletLock™, TrueAddress™ and eRecon™.

Visit LifeLock.com to find out how LifeLock can help you. Use the LifeLock promo code Defense and get their award-winning service for only $9 a month.