Archive for August, 2010

Facebook Chat Spam Hijacks your Account

Monday, August 30th, 2010

PhotobucketI’m sure most people are aware that you shouldn’t just click any link that is sent to you because there is always the possibility that it’s a virus or some kind of malicious software. People are also getting use to Facebook spam and scams as they become more prevalent, but what about Facebook chat? Would you trust a link sent from a friend on Facebook chat? If your answer was yes you probably shouldn’t because over the weekend Facebook chat had a outbreak of spam messages.

Messages sent over Facebook chat from one of your friends reads, “LOL is this you? and is accompanied by a link. You click the link, intrigued by the question, and disappointingly you end up at a 404 page. Well, what really happened is the website compromised your account and is now sending this message to all your friends who are online. This scam is very similar to the Twitter “LOL this you?” scam back in February.

Scams like these are designed to spread like wildfire and expose your profile and all the information it contains. You should always be suspicious of messages like these and question the person before clicking links you don’t recognize. When in doubt just don’t click the link. You don’t want scammers to have your information on your Facebook profile that could be used to steal your identity one day.

LifeLock Ranked 8th on Inc. Magazine’s Inc. 500 List

Thursday, August 26th, 2010

Inc. Magazine has ranked LifeLock 8th out of 500 companies on it’s 29th annual inc. 500 list. The Inc. 500 list is an exclusive ranking which features the nation’s fastest growing private companies. Inc. Magazine’s list is unique because it takes a look at one of the most important part of out nation economy, the privately owned businesses of great entrepreneurs. Companies such as Microsoft, Visa, Zappos, GoDaddy, Under Armour, Jamba Juice, American Apparel, and others are just some of the hundreds of businesses that have been featured in the Inc. 500 list.

LifeLock’s CEO Todd Davis Comments on being ranked 8th by Inc. Magazine by saying “I truly see this recognition as a testament to our employees’ never ending commitment to provide consumers with the means necessary to help fight the fast growing crime of identity theft. Despite a down economy, the pressure of creating an industry and unwanted distractions, we have been able to stay focused on our overall mission and deliver the most innovative products and world-class customer service.”

The inc. 500 list created by measuring the growth from 2006 – 2009. in that period of time LifeLock grew more than 11,474 Percent. To qualify companies had to generate revenue by the first week of of 2006. Companies also had to be U.S.-based, privately held, for profit, and independent—not subsidiaries or divisions of other companies.

LifeLock is an industry leader in proactive identity theft protection. LifeLock provides the tools to it’s customers they need to discover and fix an identity theft situation before it become serious and causes serious damage. Inc. Magazine’s Inc. 500 list is just proof that LifeLock is growing into a better and better company every day.

Fake “Dislike” button Scam on Facebook

Thursday, August 19th, 2010

PhotobucketThere is a scam born every minute on Facebook, and Facebook just can’t keep up and remove them fast enough. Many of the scams are just designed to spam you and all your friends, it works just like a chain letter. You authorize some spam app on your profile it posts stuff all over your profile and your friends click it and add it to their profile and it perpetuates from there.

The “dislike” button is something people have been asking for from Facebook for a long time now. The scammers used this to their advantage when claiming to be the official dislike button for Facebook. You  click a link from a friends profile that talks about a dislike button. It goes to a screen that wants you to install something to your profile. After you fill out a survey you get forwarded to a Firefox plugin that modifies Facebook’s appearance which isn’t apart of the scam. The Facebook application you authorized secretly post stuff to your profile that continues the spread of the scam.

The scammers are after the information in the survey which could be used to spam your email address or even used to steal your identity. Because the application posts items to your profile it has spread like wildfire through Facebook. Because the scammers deliver an actual plugin that presumably does something people are slow to figure out it was a scam.

Remember never give out personal information over the internet especially not to creepy Facebook applications. If you click something with an interesting title but it wants you to install something before viewing it don’t do it. It’s just spam and you should report it to Facebook.

Man Clones Gift Cards and Makes $6000 Before Betting Caught

Monday, August 16th, 2010

22-year-old Sealtiel Chacon Zepeda from Beaverton, Oregon had an interesting scam going involving gift cards. Instead of just stealing gift cards from people who purchased them he decided to copy un-purchased gift cards from stores instead. He knew the gift cards wouldn’t be any good until activated at the register so he went into his local Fred Meyer store and stole several gift cards. He took them home and used a card scanner, he bought off the internet, to record the cards information. He then snuck the cards back into the store and waited for people to purchase the cards.

When a special program detected someone had purchased one of his cards he then copied the information back onto another card. With his newly cloned card he then could make purchases for personal or re-sale. You could even turn the cards into cash by returning items bought with the gift cards.

His crime spree came to an end back in February 2009 when the police arrested him, but not before he managed to steal $6,000 worth of goods from stores like Abercrombie & Fitch, Apple and Best Buy, among others. Zepeda pleaded guilty to the five counts of computer crimes and was sentenced to 18 months in prison. There have been several other instances of this same scam popping up after Zepeda did it, but none that blindsided police like Zepeda’s scam.

22-year-old Sealtiel Chacon Zepeda from Beaverton, Oregon had an interesting scam going involving gift cards. Instead of just stealing gift cards from people who purchased them he decided to copy un-purchased gift cards from stores instead. He knew the gift cards wouldn’t be any good until activated at the register so he went into his local Fred Meyer store and stole several gift cards. He took them home and used a card scanner, he bought off the internet, to record the cards information. He then snuck the cards back into the store and waited for people to purchase the cards.

When a special program detected someone had purchased one of his cards he then copied the information back onto another card. With his newly cloned card he then could make purchases for personal or re-sale. You could even turn the cards into cash by returning items bought with the gift cards.

His crime spree came to an end back in February 2009 when the police arrested him, but not before he managed to steal $6,000 worth of goods from stores like Abercrombie & Fitch, Apple and Best Buy, among others. Zepeda pleaded guilty to the five counts of computer crimes and was sentenced to 18 months in prison. There have been several other instances of this same scam popping up after Zepeda did it, but none that blindsided police like Zepeda’s scam.

Maine School Child Tracking Program Identity Theft a Concern

Friday, August 13th, 2010

A new policy in Maine schools has been designed to use a students social security number to track students K-12 progress through college and into the workforce. The program’s goal is to learn more about what the schools can do to help their students be successful. The information gathered could be used to develop programs and policies that could help accomplish their goal.

The Maine Civil Liberties Union wants to let parents know that the program is optional and could increase the risk of identity theft. The MCLU thought the department of education didn’t do a very good job of informing people of this.  So this week the department of education sent out letters to school districts throughout the state informing school officials they must inform parents that they are not required to submit their children’s social security numbers. Many schools from around the US have stopped using SSN as a student’s identification number. Many of these schools are colleges especially after a student successfully sued an university for violation of privacy and illegal use of social security numbers.

I am not sure what exactly this new policy is going to accomplish but it seems it could do a lot more damage than good. I assume they need the Students SSN so they can track the jobs you obtain and the SSN is the only way to do that without implementing a whole new system. I know if I was a parent in Maine I wouldn’t give my child’s SSN to this program. It seems unnecessary and could lead to an identity theft if the system storing all the information was ever breached. A database with thousands of children’s SSN would be a identity theft gold mine.

Students at Broward Colleges might be an Identity Theft Risk

Thursday, August 12th, 2010

24,000 Broward summer school students have had their sensitive information accidentally released onto the internet after a computer upgrade. The information was available for five days in late May and early June on the internet unprotected. The breach was the fault of The College Center for Library Automation, which provides library services and electronic resources to Florida’s community colleges.

The people who were effected by the breach are going to be receiving letters outlining the situation and  will provide information on how to place fraud alerts on their credit files to lessen the chance of an Identity theft.  The College Center for Library Automation provides services to several other colleges in the state and statewide there were about 126,000 students, faculty and staff that were affected by the glitch.

No one so far has suffered any damages associated with the breach. Students, faculty and staff are still advised to place the fraud alerts on the three major credit reports and renew them every 90 days for the next couple of years.

Two man dressed as Woman Arrested for Identity Theft

Monday, August 9th, 2010

In Flowood Mississippi police arrested two men, who were both dressed as woman, after they attempted to make purchases with a prepaid credit card without showing identification. Marcus Chapman, 22 and 37-year-old Charlie Harvey refused to show their identification when trying to make a purchase, this alarmed the clerk who called the police.

According to police the two men first went to Walgreens and then to Radio Shack. The police thought at first that these two were trying to disguise their identity by dressing up as woman. As it turns out  it’s a lifestyle choice for the two of them and it had nothing to do with concealing their identity.

The police recovered the credit cards on Chapman that had the name of a Greenville woman, who told authorities she had never owned a credit card. Police are unsure how Chapman obtained the card or how it was made. An attorney of one of the defendants says it was found in a discarded wallet in an office complex. Police think this is an unlikely story. Police have charged Chapman with identity theft and Charlie Harvey with accessory to identity theft.

Billionaire Donald Bren Identity Theft Victim

Friday, August 6th, 2010

PhotobucketAn unknown man has stolen a tax refund check from Billionaire Donald Bren worth 1.4 Million dollars. The thief then went into the Cerritos branch of East West Bank and opened a bank account in Bren’s name to deposit the check. In Weeks following the deposit 1.1 Million was slowly drained from the account and sent to other account at different banks.

The man was captured on the bank security cameras and even though Donald Bren is the 16th richest man in America the bank employees didn’t recognize the name. Because the didn’t recognize the name they also didn’t notice that the man didn’t look anything like Donald Bren. The thief opened the account with a fake social security card and drivers license.  I can’t blame the bank attendants on this one I didn’t know who he was either. If I guy would have walked into a bank and told me his name was Steve Jobs and wanted to deposite 1.4 Million into my bank I would give him a funny look. Donald Bren not so much!

This kind of situation just proves that no one is protected from identity theft. Even if you’re the 16th richest person in the US you can’t take your identity for granted. It also proves just how easy it is for someone to pull off an identity theft scheme even for someone as famous as Donald Bren. Protect your identity with the best identity theft protection service money can buy, LifeLock. LifeLock is the industry leader in identity theft protection. You can receive a discount on a LifeLock membership with promo code  DEFENSE .

Watch for Identity Theft During a Move

Thursday, August 5th, 2010

Moving is always hectic even if you hire a service to do it for you. When moving you typically loose track of just about everything you own as it disappear into matching boxes with magic marker scribbles on top. So it’s no wonder that a move is a time when you are more vulnerable to identity theft. Many people throw out a lot of unnecessary papers and open their homes to movers who have access to their belongings. It’s a crazy time but don’t leave yourself open to identity theft, with a couple consideration you could be a lot better off.

When considering throwing away unwanted papers shred them before you do so. You don’t always know what information you are just throwing away! Make sure to shred everything that could potentially have any identifying information on it. If you don’t have a shredder go out and buy one, they are not that expensive and typically last pretty long.

Forward your mail ahead of time. As soon as you know your new address make sure you schedule it to be forwarded to your new address through the post office. It’s a simple thing, but you can’t imagine how many people don’t do this. You don’t want the new residence of your house or apartment gaining access to your mail. You could receive something sensitive and it could be sent right to them.

When the movers arrive make sure you have all your sensitive information in a safe corner where the movers understand they are not to go through. Many moving companies don’t move important documents anyway so they won’t have a problem with that. Make sure you stay home during the move to keep an eye on the movers. You don’t necessarily have to watch them just be home so they don’t feel they can go through your stuff without you knowing. If you follow these simple guild lines you will be a lot better off. Don’t let a move be more than just a move, protect yourself from identity theft.

Identity Thieves selling Children’s SSN as CPNS – Legal Loophole!

Wednesday, August 4th, 2010

A CPN is a Credit Privacy Numbers, a nine-digit numbers that act as a social security number. It’s designed to protect the borrowing and personal history of the person holding the CPN. Ever since Congress made the law that legalizes the numbers it has been viewed as a loophole for several reasons.

Identity Thieves have been selling CPNS of children and because they are not SSN and are only used to obtain credit for some reason it’s not illegal to sell them quite yet. A person is responsible for credit applied for using either their SSN or CPN so when thieves sell people CPNS that aren’t their own it’s going on someone else’s credit. I assume that using someone else’s CPN is illegal but actually selling them isn’t from what I have read.

This could be a big problem in the future, but I’m assuming that a law will popup that will fix the loophole and make the selling of CPNs illegal. For now if you are in need of a CPN don’t purchase it online. Contact an attorney and have them apply for one though the federal government’s social security office.