Is It Possible to Catch Child Identity Theft Early?

Is It Possible to Catch Child Identity Theft Early?

03/29/2017 09:14 pm ET | Updated 1 hour ago


By Jocelyn Baird,

One of the more insidious kinds of identity theft is child identity theft. Since children aren’t supposed to have credit in the first place, this crime is often not discovered until years after the fact, when the child has grown into an adult and goes to open their first credit card or apply for a loan. Realizing that what should be a pristine credit history has been tarnished is a devastating feeling, and it can leave both the young adult as well as their parents or guardians confused, angry and discouraged. Parents with children under 18 might be wondering if there’s any way for them to catch child identity theft closer to when it happens, rather than finding out years later. We’ve got the answer to that question as well as tips on proactively protecting your kids from identity theft.

Can you catch child identity theft early?

In some cases, yes. There are some warning signs to look out for, as outlined by the FTC, which can indicate that there might be a problem if you notice them. These include (more…)

Personally Identifiable Information Found on 40 Percent of Used Devices in Largest Study To-Date


National Association for Information Destruction (NAID)

Mar 24, 2017, 13:15 ET

PHOENIX, March 24, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — The National Association for Information Destruction® (NAID®) announced today the results of the largest study to date of the presence of personally identifiable information (PII) on electronic devices sold on the second hand market. The study showed that 40 percent of devices resold in publicly-available resale channels contained PII. NAID commissioned CPR Tools, Inc. to analyze the used devices, which included used hard drives, mobile phones and tablets.

The current state of electronic storage has made it possible for nearly every adult to carry a form of data storage device. “As data storage is included in nearly every aspect of technology today, so is the likelihood of unauthorized or unintended access to that data,” states CPR Tools CEO, John Benkert. He goes on to say, “Auction, resell, and recycling sites have created a convenient revenue stream in used devices; however, the real value is in the data that the public unintentionally leaves behind.”

While there have been similar studies over the past decade, the NAID study is unique insofar as the recovery process used to locate the data on more than 250 devices (more…)

How to protect yourself from Identity Theft ID theft is real but overhyped by companies selling pricey services. These eight steps can secure your identity for less.

How to protect yourself from Identity Theft

ID theft is real but overhyped by companies selling pricey services. These eight steps can secure your identity for less.

Consumer Reports Money Adviser: July 2010

After trending downward for four years, identity theft is on the rise again. Last year more than 11 million consumers were hit by the crime. That’s a record, according to Javelin Strategy and Research, a California company that has surveyed 5,000 adults on the subject every year since 2003. The jump is partly a result of the recession, Javelin says, when fraud tends to spike.

But you don’t need to sign up for expensive services offered by credit-reporting bureaus and other companies to keep your identity safe. Most of their products are unnecessary or ineffective, or they duplicate things you can do yourself—free. Our own assessment of some two dozen identity-theft protection products crowding the market found dubious value. Here’s how to protect yourself.

1. Get serious, not scared

Don’t let the horror stories freak you out. The worst-case scenario—where (more…)

This Scam Surpassed Identity Theft for the First Time Ever Last Year

Photograph by Detroit Free Press MCT Graphics/Getty Images

This Scam Surpassed Identity Theft for the First Time Ever Last Year

Mar 03, 2017

More U.S. consumers complained about imposter scams than identity theft for the first time in 2016, as fraudsters relied more on the phone and less on email to find victims, the Federal Trade Commission said on Friday.

Impostor scams accounted for 406,578 of the 3,050,374 consumer complaints received in 2016 by the FTC’s Consumer Sentinel Network, just above the 399,225 received for identity theft, the agency said.

Debt collection generated 859,090, or 28%, of all complaints, more than any other category. Complaints overall fell 3% from the record 3,140,803 set a year earlier.

The FTC attributed the rise in impostor scam complaints to more fraudsters pretending to be trustworthy government officials, like from the Internal Revenue Service demanding payment of taxes.

Impostor scams topped the list of complaints from military personnel, accounting for 32% of the 115,984 received.

The 19% drop in identity theft complaints, meanwhile, came as authorities try to educate consumers about protecting personal data and reporting suspicious activity quickly.

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Of the consumers reporting fraud, 77% said scammers contacted them first by phone, up from 54% just two years (more…)

Prevent Identity Theft From Affecting Your Taxes


When your identity is stolen, you have so many potential issues to deal with — changing passwords, closing accounts, dealing with fraudulent charges, and placing fraud alerts with the credit bureaus — that you may forget about potential tax fraud. Armed with your personal information, identity thieves can file a fraudulent tax return in your name and receive a refund before you realize your information has been compromised. Sometimes taxpayers are unaware of the breach until they have problems filing their taxes.

What do you do if you fall victim to tax-related identity theft? Start by responding to any IRS notice as instructed. Your first hint that there is an issue could be a notice from the IRS asking you to verify your identity because of a suspicious tax return with your Social Security number.

Remember that almost all legitimate IRS contact will be through a letter in the mail. Since your information has already been compromised, you may receive threatening phone calls from scammers pretending to be IRS agents demanding immediate payments under threat of arrests or legal action. Do not fall for these scams.

If you find that you cannot file your taxes electronically because a (more…)

In the Wrong Hands: Child Identity Theft

In the Wrong Hands: Child Identity Theft

February 27, 2017 07:00 AM

It’s a crime that happens in the Twin Cities: children’s financial identities are being stolen and parents often don’t know it’s even happened until much later, according to law enforcement.

Carnegie Mellon University study found that more than 10 percent of the minors in the sample population had someone else using their Social Security number. That rate is 51 times higher than the rate for adults the 2011 report.

READ ALSO: Carnegie Mellon University Study on Child Identity Theft

“Nobody’s identity is safe including minors,” Eagan Police Det. Desiree Schroepfer said. “A lot of times, these parents don’t find out until months or in cases years, that makes it very difficult for law enforcement to follow up on that.”

Eagan police followed the case when a father learned, only after the military ran a credit check on his newly enlisted son, that someone else had opened a $9,000 car loan in his son’s name back when he was 12 years old.

5 EYEWITNESS NEWS discovered there is no one agency or state department that tracks the full (more…)

Cloudflare Security Breach Exposes Data Among 3,400 Websites, Password Change Recommended


Cloudflare Security Breach Exposes Data Among 3,400 Websites, Password Change Recommended

By Mae Cervantes , Feb 25, 2017 05:09 PM EST
Cloudflare security breach exposed data among 3,400 websites, which Google’s Project Zero analysts recommend changing the passwords while the company is still fixing the bugs. (Photo : Cloudflare/Youtube)

Cloudflare security breach exposed data and changing the passwords are recommended among 3,400 websites. Cloudflare is an online content delivery network, which offers CDN, DNS, DDoS protection, and security.

Some usernames and passwords were leaked because of a security bug that affected 3,400 websites, including Uber, Fitbit, and OkCupid. However, 1Password has the end-to-end encryption, which means no data was exposed. The leaked passwords were cached by search engines, which recommends users to change it.

Cloudflare: What To Blame?

According to 9 To 5 Mac, Cloudflare admitted the security breach, but the other security researchers claim that the company is underplaying the incident. The company revealed in the post that there is no evidence of malicious reports of bug being exploited.

Tavis Ormandy of Google’s Project Zero was seeing corrupted web pages. Ormandy revealed that he found “private messages from the major dating site,” which contained online password manager data and frames from adult video sites, as per CNET.

Ormandy suggested that (more…)

Cybercriminal selling nearly one million Coachella accounts on the dark web

Cybercriminal selling nearly one million Coachella accounts on the dark web

An underground data trader is reportedly selling Coachella accounts for $300.

Cybercriminal selling nearly 1 million Coachella accounts on the dark web
The data on sale inlcudes usernames, hashed passwords and email addressesiStock

Nearly one million Coachella accounts are reportedly currently up for sale on the dark web. An underground data trader is allegedly selling over 950,000 Coachella user accounts data, which includes usernames, hashed passwords and email addresses, for $300.

“Coachella complete database dump from this month,” the cybercriminal, who uses the handle Berkut, wrote in their listing, on the popular dark web marketplace Tochka, Motherboard reported. The data on sale does not allegedly include payment data, according to a sample of 10,000 accounts provided by Berkut and analysed by Motherboard.

According to the cybercriminal’s Tochka listing, around 360,000 accounts relate to the main Coachella website, while 590,000 are linked to the message board. The data from the message (more…)

4 Types of Identity Theft and How to Avoid Them

4 Types of Identity Theft and How to Avoid Them

If someone steals your identity, it may take you weeks or months to clear up the resulting mess. Taking a few precautions can help keep this nightmare from ever happening.

Feb 22, 2017 at 7:44AM
Hacker on a laptop computer


Identity theft is a serious problem, and it seems to get worse every year. Identity thieves stole $15 billion from their victims in the year 2015 alone, according to the 2016 Identity Fraud Study by Javelin Strategy & Research. Since new embedded microchips have made it much harder for identity thieves to counterfeit credit and ATM cards, other types of identity theft are now on the rise.

New account identity theft

If a fraudster can get your Social Security number, he can use it to open bank accounts and sign up for credit cards in your name. These identity thieves will use tricks like making large deposits of bad checks into an account on a Friday or Saturday so that they have extra time to withdraw the money before the checks are returned. Or they’ll apply for a credit card online, using a stolen Social Security number and birth date, and then max out the card and disappear. This (more…)