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Woman #accused in #multiple #identity thefts looks to clear her #name

The suspect in a massive ID theft case from 2013 wants to clear up any confusion about the status of her involvement in the case.

“I just really wanted, you know, my side to be heard,” Pia Sims said

Nearly five years ago, Memphis police accused Sims of stealing the identities of 672 people.

Investigators said they found nearly $50,000 in cash in Sim’s car, along with boxes of tax documents, social security cards and IDs.

Sims called WMC Action News 5 on Thursday, March 15 to set the record straight.

She said she was never convicted of any crime in that case, and the Shelby County District Attorney’s Office confirms Sims was never indicted.

“I have no reason to steal anybody’s identity,” Sims said. “I would help anybody, not hurt them.”

But local business owner Anthony Elmore begs to differ. He said Sims hired him in January to install carpeting in her Orange Mound tax business 5 Star Taxes on Park Avenue.

Elmore said Sims refuses to pay him for his work.

“The sister girl ain’t paid nothing,” Elmore said. “Zonk. Zero. Negative.”

Sim’s side of the story is that the carpet install was shoddy and that her business partner, not her, hired Elmore.

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UK #Citizens In #Danger Of #Identity Theft Due To #Negligence Towards #Cyber Security

Source: National Cyber Security News

A recent survey has found that 52% of Britons aged 18-25 are using the same password for many online services, increasing the likelihood of identity theft. It was also found that the majority had sent critical data such as bank details or passport copies and driving licences via messaging systems. Javvad Malik, Security Advocate at AlienVault commented below.

“Security training or raising awareness of best practices shouldn’t be limited to just corporate employees, rather should extend to all members of the public starting from schools.

It is important that the dangers and risks are understood by all in order to change behaviours.

On the flip side, service providers have their part to play by designing user interface in ways to encourage better security behaviour, for example, making two-factor authentication readily available and easy to understand, as well as having internal monitoring controls to detect where fraudulent or suspicious activity is taking place.”

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5 #Reasons Why a #Credit Freeze Isn’t Enough to Help Protect #Against #Identity Theft

Source: National Cyber Security News

When a data breach happens, it’d be great if you could simply prevent identity theft with a credit freeze. The truth is, nothing can prevent identity theft, although there are things you can do to help protect against it.

Still, with identity thieves taking aim at everything from tax refunds to bank accounts, it’s worth asking the question: “Is a credit freeze a good idea?

It can be. But it may not be enough. Here’s why.

When your personal information is exposed in a data breach, you could face a greater chance of becoming a victim of identity theft. More of your information could be out there. And if it is, it might be for sale on the dark web for criminals to acquire.

Consider this statistic: You are 11 times more likely to be a victim of identity fraud if you are notified of a breach. That’s according to the 2017 Identity Theft Study by Javelin Strategy & Research.

No one wants their personal information stolen in a data breach. But if it happens to you, you’ll probably want to do whatever you can to help protect yourself against identity theft.

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Top 10 #Tips to #Protect you from #Identity Theft

Source: National Cyber Security News

Identity thieves use your personal information without your knowledge. The thief may use your name to recover debt and even commit crimes. The following tips can help you reduce the risk of becoming a victim.

  1. Protect your social security number from identity theft.

Do not carry your social security card in your wallet. If your health plan (except Medicare) or another card uses your social security number, ask for a different number from the company. For more information, see your Social Security number: Key to controlling identity theft pages.

Prompt to protect your SSN and identifiable information

  • Keep your card and any other files showing your social security number in a safe place; do not always carry your card or other documents to display your number.
  • Be careful to share your number, even if you are required; share your SSN only when absolutely necessary.

Protect your personal financial information at home and on the computer.

  • Check your credit report once a year.
  • Check your Social Security income report annually,
  • Protect your PC by using firewalls, antispam / virus software, updating security patches, and changing the password for your Internet account.

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How #Parents Can Protect Their #Children From Infant #Identity Theft

Source: National Cyber Security – Produced By Gregory Evans

An identity thief can wreck credit scores, drain bank accounts, and cause underserved legal troubles. But the victims of identity theft aren’t always adults with established finances.

In fact, according to Robert Chappell Jr, the author of “Child Identity Theft: What Every Parent Needs to Know,” around 1.

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New #identity theft #scheme: #scammers use #US Postal #Service to #steal #information

Source: National Cyber Security – Produced By Gregory Evans

Stepahnie Vagim says it was her quick thinking mailman who saved her from identity theft just two days before Christmas.

Mail theft victim, Stephanie Vagim said, “Apparently someone went online and requested a vacation hold under my address that wasn’t me. He didn’t recognize the name so he brought me the mail.”

In the stack, letters for lines of credit – that a scammer was itching to get their hands on.

“The JC Penny, the Kohls Community Bank. Someone could have furnished their own home brought Christmas gifts for everyone they know and all under my name.”

And Vagim says it was all executed through their USPS website. The thief filled out the “request hold mail service” form to stop deliveries to her home.

The person, according to the form, planned on picking the mail up from the post office without Vagim ever knowing.

We spoke over the phone with a USPS Postal Inspector. He says this is not the first time a crime like this has happened.

“We are seeing this we’ve had similar crimes take place in the Central Valley in the Sacramento in the Bay Area and the key is the minute you realize something is not right say something,” Jeff Fitch said.

Meantime while Vagim is warning people of this new fraudulent scheme, she is hoping the government will find a way to stop it from happening so easily.

The post New #identity theft #scheme: #scammers use #US Postal #Service to #steal #information appeared first on National Cyber Security Ventures.

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Taking #Facebook #Quizzes Could Put You at #Risk for #Identity Theft

Source: National Cyber Security – Produced By Gregory Evans

From phishing schemes to a thief pilfering your passport, there are plenty of ways to fall victim to identity theft. And now, participating in Facebook quizzes is one of them. As ABC News reports, the seemingly harmless surveys that populate your feed could wind up providing unscrupulous hackers with the answers to your online security questions.

Popular Facebook quizzes often ask users to answer a series of sharable personal questions, ranging from the name of their pet to their birth city. Some people see them as a fun way to bond with friends, or a way to make new ones. But as one local police department in Massachusetts recently noted on Facebook, many of these queries are similar—if not identical—to security questions used by banks and other institutions.

“Please be aware of some of the posts you comment on,” the Sutton Police Department in Massachusetts wrote in a cautionary message. “The posts that ask what was your first grade teacher, who was your childhood best friend, your first car, the place you [were] born, your favorite place, your first pet, where did you go on your first flight … Those are the same questions asked when setting up accounts as security questions. You are giving out the answers to your security questions without realizing it.”

Hackers can use these questions to build a profile and hack into your accounts or open lines of credit, the department said. They could also trick you into clicking on malicious links.

Experts say it’s OK to take part in a Facebook quiz, but you should never reveal certain personal facts. Take quizzes only from respected websites, and always carefully vet ones that ask for your email address to access the poll or quiz. And while you’re at it, consider steering clear of viral memes, like this one from 2017, which asked Facebook users to name memorable concerts (yet another common security question).

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How to #Protect #Child #Identity from being #Stolen

Source: National Cyber Security – Produced By Gregory Evans

Many of us have heard news about identity theft, along with the warnings on how to avoid it.  But, do you know that children, including yours, can fall prey to identity predators, too?  According to an FTC report, 6 percent of identity theft victims are people 20 years old and below, and these statistics include young children and infants.  When ID thieves effectively obtain an identity, they can take out credit cards, rent a house and even get a mortgage using the child’s name.

As a parent, do you have a good understanding of child identity theft as well as to protect your child from identity theft? Keep in mind that whenever you give out your child’s social security number and other personal identifying information, you should take extra precautionary measures, because the last thing you may want to happen to your child is to become a victim of identity theft.

Why do thieves have to target children?

Basically, a child has a clean credit record, and this is what thieves are aiming for.  Since creditors and lenders will favor someone with a clean record rather than someone with bad credit, they will be more likely to accept the thief’s application using the child’s good name. Plus, children are not yet taking fail-safe methods to secure their identity, unlike adults who are more aware of the depth of the crime. They see kids as more lucrative targets, because the only time the problem may come to light is when they reach legal age and started checking their own credit or applying for a line of credit themselves, giving criminals ample time to hide their crime while continuously devastating the child’s identity. Therefore, the earlier the thieves started misusing a child’s identity, the longer they can exploit that victim’s credit.

What signs should warn you that your child is being victimized by id theft?

In order to know if your child’s identity is stolen, you should be vigilant in spotting any of these red flags:

• Pre-approved credit card offers – If your child receives unsolicited offers from credit card companies at a very young age, it may be a sign of identity theft.

• Collection agencies looking for your child – Are there collection agencies calling you for an unpaid bill in your child’s name? Don’t take this simply as a case of mistaken identity, there’s a chance that thieves have actually opened up a line of credit with your child’s identity and left it unpaid.

• Account statements from Social Security – SS account statements are records of annual contributions or benefit claims and these are usually sent to people who have a job. So, unless your kid has a job, receiving a social security account statement in the name of your child is indicative of identity fraud or theft.

Child identity theft protection: four important things to remember

Keep personal identifying information private – never share your child’s identifying information, especially his/her social security number and full name, to someone who has no legal business with you. A child’s social security number, along with the full name and date of birth, are what a thief needs to hijack your child’s identity.

Keep every one of your child’s documents at home safe and locked in a secure place. Ask questions if you must – if you are asked by the school, pediatrician or other organizations for your child’s social security number, don’t hesitate to ask why they need it and how they are going to protect it. Also, try asking if it’s okay if you give them another form of identification apart from your child’s social security information.

Finally, ask who will have access to your child’s information and how they are going to dispose of your child’s information afterwards. Watch out for the red flags – the warning signs mentioned above, such as phone calls or emails, concerning your child’s credit should not be taken lightly. Always watch out for these suspicious activities, because they indicate fraud. Educate children about online safety.

In the modern day we live in, children have become more inclined to use the power of the Internet. But, it’s also a place where identity thieves usually thrive. Emphasize to your kids not to give out their personal information and the passwords and usernames to their online accounts to strangers they met online. They should also avoid visiting unfamiliar sites or clicking strange links to prevent viruses and malware from invading their computer, because this method can be used by criminals to access their private information.

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Cybersecurity #begins and #ends with the #trusted #identity

Source: National Cyber Security – Produced By Gregory Evans

There are nearly two billion usernames and passwords available for sale in the black market, according to a recent joint study carried out by Google Inc. and the University of California. A significant percentage of those login credentials can be used to directly access Google accounts, driving security researchers’ new focus on machine learning methods to keep password authentication processes from slowing down progress within cloud environments.

“As you start adopting cloud services, as we’ve adopted mobile devices, there’s no perimeter anymore for the company,” said David McNeely (pictured), vice president of product strategy at cybersecurity firm Centrify Corp. “Identity makes up the definition and the boundary for the organization.”

McNeely stopped by the set of theCUBE, SiliconANGLE’s mobile livestreaming studio, and spoke with co-hosts John Furrier (@furrier) and Dave Vellante (@dvellante) at CyberConnect 2017 in New York City. They discussed the weaknesses of current password models, a growing interest in just-in-time permission and the future role of machine learning for enterprise cloud security. (* Disclosure below.)

Password vaults create weaknesses

Flaws in password-protected computer security models have been well-documented. Centrify works with a number of customers who use password vaults or managers, repositories for access credentials that can be “checked out” for a day and used by system administrators to grant them control over every computer in an organization. Often, the passwords are placed in a clipboard file which can be easily accessed by a hacker.

“We been spending a lot more time trying to help customers eliminate the use of passwords, trying to move to stronger authentication,” McNeely said.

Security problems have been exacerbated by models where system administrators are automatically granted persistent access across network. Hack one, hack them all. To address this weakness, Centrify has been developing a just-in-time workflow access request model, where no administrator can enter systems databases until a set of approval protocols have been followed.

“That’s the one that’s a little bit newer that fewer of my customers are using, but most everybody wants to adopt,” McNeely said. “The malware can’t make the request and get the approval of the manager.”

The concern about this approach is that it can slow down enterprise workloads. This is where machine learning could have a major impact by analyzing system entry requests based on patterns of historical access. Behavior-based systems can evaluate more than 60 different factors, such as where the device owned by the requestor is physically located and if that matches an administrator’s profile.

“The whole idea is to try to get computers to make a decision based on behavior,” McNeely said. “It’s going to help us enormously in making more intelligent decisions.”

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Identity #theft alert: How 77,0000 Canadians lost $99 million last year in #extortion, #phishing and #romance scams

Source: National Cyber Security – Produced By Gregory Evans

Identity #theft alert: How 77,0000 Canadians lost $99 million last year in #extortion, #phishing and #romance scams

Randy Chester was visiting one of his usual second-hand haunts this summer, a Value Village in Toronto’s east end, when he spied a beautiful shirt and vest for $20. Excited about his new finds, he tapped his debit card, only to be shocked by the resulting message: Insufficient funds.

“I was upset because I knew I had money,” he recalls. He tried the card again at a variety store, a restaurant and then at an ATM belonging to his bank, CIBC, and got the same message. When he called the bank to see what was going on, they asked him if he had been shopping at Yorkdale Mall in the city’s north end. There was a $1,500 purchase debited from his account, but Chester, a cancer patient on disability who uses a walker, had been at a medical appointment at the Princess Margaret Cancer Hospital that day.

“It’s like, hello!” he jokes. “Value Village, yes. Yorkdale Mall, no. I couldn’t get there with my walker.”

Then he remembered that a young man had called him on his flip-phone a few days before, claiming to be from CIBC and saying there was a problem with his debit card. Chester knew better than to talk to anyone about his banking information and hung up. The next day, he got a text message, purportedly from CIBC, that had the last four digits of his debit card number in it, and asked him to text back “Y” for yes if it was his account. He assumed because they had his number already, it was legitimate. He hit Y and send.

“The bank told me they would never send a text message,” says Chester, 61. “I didn’t know that.”

Once he reported the problem, the bank locked down his account, reversed the charges, and gave him a new bank card. But it’s impossible to tell how the scammers got his bank information, which is often the case when it comes to identity theft, says Jessica Gunson, the acting call centre and intake unit manager at the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre in Thunder Bay, Ont.

“It certainly sounds like a variation on phishing,” she says, but notes that it’s unusual because the thief already had Chester’s bank information when he or she sent the text.

“We do know thieves have been known to dumpster dive, and it underlines the importance of having a paper shredder in the home and in the office. We need to treat our personal information like cash.” For that reason, experts advise leaving your Social Insurance Number card and birth certificate in a safe place at home, since thieves can do a lot of damage with your name, birth date and SIN.

The Canadian Anti-fraud Centre, jointly managed by the Ontario Provincial Police, the RCMP, the federal Competition Bureau, manages the central database for fraud complaints. Investigators across the country rely on its vast stores of data to compare notes on mass-marketing fraud and online scams. In 2016, it logged more than 77,000 complaints that resulted in losses of more than $99-million, with the top scams by complaint involving extortion, phishing, and fake computer-service companies. The frauds that resulted in the most money lost were romance scams, at more than $20-million.

Though Gunson could not begin to guess how criminals got Chester’s information, she said it is important never to leave a paper receipt of a transaction in or near the banking machine, and to use online banking to check balances, rather than printing them out at ATMs.

“When it comes to identity theft and identity fraud, the difficulty is in pinpointing the source. Unless (investigators) find a boiler room where people are mass producing ID, it is difficult to determine on an individual basis where it is coming from.”

The good news is most cases of identity theft and identity fraud result in little financial loss to the victims, but Gunson says it takes time and effort to untangle the mess.

In Montreal, actor Paul Burke figures someone used a surveillance camera or fake keypad or card reader to obtain his PIN, which they used to empty his account of $700 in the summer of 2010. He called the bank, which contacted the RCMP. And then he waited.

“ I called them back after a week and I said, ‘I have zero money. I need my money back,” says Burke, 48.

Within a day or two of that call he had the money in his account, but to this day he has no clue what happened.

“It was so bizarre. I consider it a one-off, but obviously I should be more careful.”

The post Identity #theft alert: How 77,0000 Canadians lost $99 million last year in #extortion, #phishing and #romance scams appeared first on National Cyber Security Ventures.

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