Posts tagged "Sileo"
Tax Time Identity Theft: Part 1 – Tax Preparers | Part 2 – Protecting Computers | Part 3 – IRS & Tax Scams
Tax season can be a stressful time of year for individuals and business owners alike, especially those who fail to plan in advance and then sacrifice focus and performance as they race to meet the filing deadline. But that stress is nothing compared to the potential destruction of your financial reputation brought on by tax-time identity theft. And tax-related identity theft is on a precipitous rise.
An audit published on July 19, 2012 by the U.S. Treasury Department, found that the IRS paid fraudulent tax returns to identity thieves worth a total of $5 Billion in 2011. The study also predicted that the IRS (and therefore, you as a taxpayer) will lose an estimated $21 Billion in fraudulent claims over the next five years. Tax-related information is the Holy Grail of identity theft because it contains virtually every piece of information, including a Social Security number (SSN), which a fraudster needs to defraud you.
A new check fraud scam has reached the Front Range.
It involves a sizable check that arrives in the mail that, once cashed, can make you an accomplice in a money laundering scheme.
I recently appeared on 9 News to address the concern of a suspicious viewer, Martha, who had received such a check in the mail for $2,240.00. It was drawn on the Brown-Forman Employees Credit Union of Louisville, Ky.
The check came with a set of instructions:
No. 1: Have the check cashed at your bank.
No. 2: Pay yourself $300 after cashing the check.
No. 3: Take the rest of the funds to the nearest Western Union and transfer that balance to an address in San Diego.
Holiday Security Tips: On the tenth day of Christmas, the experts gave to me, 10 trusted charities
Because you tend to be more giving throughout the holidays, scammers target you during this time of year. Whether they are asking for a donation to a charity, promising free iPads, claiming to be a friend in need, or are asking you to click on something outrageous or out of character, don’t fall for it.
Solution: Keep your eyes open for these common holiday scams
- Phishing. Thieves, or hackers as they are more commonly known, will send emails that look like they are legitimately sent from a charitable organization when in real-life these are fake web sites that are designed to steal credit card information, donations and your identity. To donate, call or visit the website of a reputable charitable organization.
Would you like to give the people you care about some peace on earth during this holiday season? Take a few minutes to pass on our 12 privacy tips that will help them protect their identities, social media, shopping and celebrating over the coming weeks. The more people that take the steps we’ve outlined in the 12 Days of Christmas, the safer we all become, collectively.
Have a wonderful holiday season, regardless of which tradition you celebrate. Now sing (and click) along with us one more time.
On the 12th Day of Christmas, the experts gave to me: 12 Happy Holidays,
11 Private Emails,
10 Trusted Charities
9 Protected Packages
8 Scam Detectors
7 Fraud Alerts
6 Safe Celebrations
Fiiiiiiiiiiive Facebook Fixes
4 Pay Solutions
3 Stymied Hackers
2 Shopping Tips
And the Keys to Protect My Privacy
Holiday Security Tips: On the eleventh day of Christmas, the experts gave to me, 11 private emails
During the holidays, we tend to spend more time online, searching for the perfect gift, swapping emails with friends, viewing festive holiday pictures, jokes and so on. Cybercriminals know this and guess what? They’re online more, too—looking for ways to lure you into scams to ruin your holidays and steal valuable information. Here are just a few email scams to watch for:
Holiday e-card scams: Each year, more and more people are going the environmentally friendly and cost-effective route by sending holiday e-cards. Cybercriminals, looking to install malicious software on your computer, may join in the fun and send you an e-card with an attachment to open.
Solution: Resist your curiosity to see that adorable elf dance; only open attachments from trusted friends and family. If you don’t recognize the sender, don’t open the e-card.
Holiday Security Tips: On the ninth day of Christmas, the experts gave to me, 9 protected packages
Thieves are on the lookout for the delivery of packages, especially around the holidays. FedEx and UPS packages might sit outside for hours, often in plain view from the street, making a mighty tempting target. Not only can thieves grab the precious contents inside, but also the shipping labels often contain personal information the thieves love to get their hands on.
Solution: Ship packages to your work address, or a PO Box or require a signature
If your employer doesn’t mind your receiving packages at work, have them shipped there since someone is generally available during the day (when shipments arrive). If that doesn’t work, consider getting a PO Box at the post office during the holidays. When all else fails, ask to have your packages shipped with signature required so that they aren’t dropped off unless someone is there to sign.
Holiday Security Tips: On the eighth day of Christmas, the experts gave to me, 8 scam detectors
Most of us are too busy to monitor every form of identity that is at risk. Unfortunately, victims usually get hit when they take their eye off the ball.
Solution: Purchase a comprehensive identity monitoring service
While a partridge in a pear tree may have been appreciated in 18th century England, it’s not a very coveted item these days! Instead, help out the ones you love (and yourself!) by giving the gift of identity theft monitoring.
Holiday Security Tips: On the seventh day of Christmas, the experts gave to me, 7 fraud alerts
George Bailey had his identity taken away to learn a valuable lesson. His guardian angel was able to reinstate it at the end of the movie, but if your identity is stolen, you may not be so lucky. Sometimes there is no possible way to prevent identity theft. The reality of living in the information economy is that your identity will occasionally be compromised. But don’t worry – if you catch fraud quickly, you won’t lose much.
Solution: Use Automated Account Alerts to Catch Fraud Quickly
Catch holiday identity theft quickly by actively monitoring your checking, debit and credit card accounts.
The key is to catch and resolve fraud within 30 days, before it becomes a headache.
Holiday Security Tips: On the sixth day of Christmas, the experts gave to me, 6 safe celebrations
Isn’t it unfortunate that holiday parties, at home or at work, are a major source of data theft? Crafty thieves are searching for smartphones, iPads, financial documents, checkbooks, credit and debit cards, laptops, client lists, thumb drives, files, mail, purses, wallets and all other sources of identity. The data on digital devices is a veritable goldmine equal to making off with the Roast Beast.
Solution: During parties, lock identity behind closed doors (and away from acquaintances)
Ignore the voice of denial (it sounds like Boris Karloff) insisting that your friends, family, co-workers, vendors, customers and colleagues wouldn’t possibly steal from you. Cindy Lou Who didn’t suspect the kindly “Santie Claus” either! I hear hundreds of stories every year after my speaking engagements with the same sad ending: the victim knows the thief! Don’t assume the worst about your guests; just don’t assume anything and protect yourself preventatively.