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Comprehensive Opt Out List for Marketing Databases

Major data breaches like the recent Epsilon Breach occur frequently, even if you don’t hear about all of them. With all the publicity surrounding this particular breach, people have been asking how to remove themselves from some of those marketing lists that are frequently compromised.

Opting our of marketing databases is one way to lower your risk of becoming a data breach victim.

So, how do I get out of marketing data bases?

Most databases allow you to opt out of having them share and sell your information, you just need to find out how.  Many sites make it tricky to get this done, but most sites that are selling or harvesting your information allow you to do so one way or another.

The Privacy Rights Clearing House lists 135 marketing data brokers who are selling your private information, and tells you whether or not they have opt-out policies. If they do, you have to go to the brokers’ websites and suppress your name yourself. Most of the sites have hard-to-find opt out pages, but you can generally track them down by visiting the Privacy Policy which frequently appears as a link in small print at the bottom of the home page.

Even if you opt out, unfortunately, most of these sites still retain your information in their databases, meaning that you are still at risk of a breach. But until we have stronger consumer rights governing our private and personal information, opting out is the best you can do.

 

The Top 12 Ways Victims Detect Identity Theft

There are many signs that your identity has been stolen, even if you haven’t started to feel the real pain yet. If you detect these signs early, it probably isn’t too late to keep the damage to a minimum if you act quickly. Unless you are already at number 12…

  1. Your bills or statements are not arriving in your mail on time.
  2. You notice unauthorized charges on your credit card bill.
  3. You notice new accounts or erroneous information on your credit report.
  4. You are denied credit for a large purchase.
  5. You receive credit card bills from cards you don’t own.
  6. You are contacted by a collection agency on an item you didn’t purchase.
  7. You receive bills for unknown purchases.
  8. You are unable to set up new banking,loan or brokerage accounts.
  9. You notice withdrawals on your checking or savings account that you didn’t make.
  10. The checks listed on your bank statements don’t reconcile with those listed in your check register. Many times these checks are made out to “Cash.”
  11. You notice a downward trend in benefits on your annual Social Security Statement.
  12. The police show up at your door.

Otago Daily Times Article: Identity Fraud Real Risk

I was recently featured in an article by the Otago Daily Times in Dunedin, New Zealand during my stay there. I discuss the importance of protecting you Identity, not only at home, but also when you travel. With over 9 million Identity Theft victims in 2008 alone, you can never be too careful!

One of the first things American public speaker John Sileo did on his return to Dunedin this month was buy a paper shredder.

Not that he is paranoid, he says, but this self-proclaimed expert on identity fraud does not take chances with personal information.

Click Here to read the entire article.

John Sileo became America’s leading Identity Theft Speaker & Expert after he lost his business and more than $300,000 to identity theft and data breach. His clients include the Department of Defense, Pfizer and the FDIC. To learn more about having him speak at your next meeting or conference, contact him by email or on 800.258.8076

Detection-Fraud: 15 Signs You're a Victim of Identity Theft!

Detection: Fraud and Identity Theft.

“Consumers are spending considerably more time on fraud Resolution, up to an average of 30 hours in 2008. This increase may be attributed to the increased sophistication of fraud schemes.”
–    2009 Identity Fraud Survey Report, Javelin Strategy & Research

Most cases of identity theft are discovered by the victim, which reinforces the importance of monitoring your various accounts for suspicious behavior. Here are a few of the most common warning signs for the detection of fraud, identity theft or data breach:

The Top 15 Ways Victims Detect Identity Theft

  1. You receive a data breach notice in the mail from a company you do business with.
  2. Your bills or statements are not arriving in your mail (or email) on time.
  3. You notice unauthorized charges on your credit card bill or debit card statement.
  4. You notice new accounts or erroneous information on your credit report.
  5. You are denied credit for a purchase.
  6. You receive credit card bills for cards you don’t own.
  7. You are contacted by a collection agency about an item you didn’t purchase.
  8. You receive bills for unknown purchases, rental agreements or services.
  9. Businesses won’t accept your check or credit card.
  10. You are unable to set up new banking, loan or brokerage accounts.
  11. You notice withdrawals on your checking, savings or brokerage account that you didn’t make.
  12. The checks listed on your bank statements don’t reconcile with those listed in your check register. Many times these checks are made out to “Cash.”
  13. You notice a downward trend in benefits on your Annual Social Security Statement.
  14. The police show up at your door.
  15. A subpoena to appear in court arrives in the mail.

According to Javelin Strategy & Research, over the past 3 years, stolen data being used in less than one week jumped from 33% to 71%.  Identity thieves count on our lackadaisical attitude toward monitoring our wealth. Remember, actively monitoring your accounts, credit reports, and other identity documents is the best strategy to catch identity theft in its earliest stages, before it becomes a problem.

John Sileo became America’s leading Identity Theft Speaker & Expert after he lost his business and more than $300,000 to identity theft and data breach. His clients include the Department of Defense, Pfizer and the FDIC. To learn more about having him speak at your next meeting or conference, contact him by email or on 800.258.8076.

Identity Theft Speaker: Red Flags Rule How-To Guide

Are you one of the 9 million Americans who will have their credit damaged or their bank account emptied this year? Or perhaps your medical treatment will be affected. The cost of identity theft to individuals and businesses is staggering; hence, the Red Flag Rule, enforced by the FTC, federal bank regulatory agencies and the National Credit Union Administration.

There are always “red flags” that pop into our heads but too often we ignore them.  Call it “intuition” or whatever you want; the vital thing is to pay attention.  To that end, many businesses and organizations are now required to implement the “Red Flags” Rule to implement a written Identity Theft Prevention Program.  The goal is to detect warning signs in day-to-day operations, take steps to prevent the crime and limit any damage.

Are you covered by the Red Flags Rule? Read Fighting Fraud with the Red Flags Rule: A How-To Guide for Business to:

  • Find out if the rule applies to your business or organization;
  • Get practical tips on spotting the red flags of identity theft, taking steps to prevent the crime, and mitigating the damage it inflicts; and
  • Learn how to put in place your written Identity Theft Prevention Program.

By identifying red flags in advance, you’ll be better equipped to spot suspicious patterns when they arise and take steps to prevent a red flag from escalating into a costly episode of identity theft.

I’m encouraged that identity theft is taken seriously enough that banks, credit unions and savings and loans are required to implement the Red Flag Rule. Other businesses and even individuals can use this policy as a guide to reduce their vulnerability. Keep in mind that the Red Flag Rules must keep pace with the ever-creative identity thieves.

Identity Theft Speaker & Expert

Javelin Identity Theft & Identity Fraud 2009 Survey

A few weeks ago, Javelin Safety & Research  released its comprehensive survey on Identity Theft & Fraud for the fifth consecutive year.

Let me boil it down to the Top 5 Identity Theft Findings that impact you (and my comments and opinions in parentheses):

  1. Overall Identity Fraud Incidents Increased in the United States (the problem is getting worse as the economy sinks and people turn to crime to pay their bills)
  2. Costs to Consumers are Down (businesses are being forced to take greater responsibility for the liabilities and costs of identity theft – in other words, the burden is shifting from the consumer to corporate America)
  3. Fraudsters are Moving Much More Quickly (the crime of identity theft is moving from garden variety criminals into the hands of organized crime)
  4. Gender Disparity—Women were 26 percent more likely to be victims of identity fraud than men in 2008 (three factors: 1. women’s purses contain more identity; 2. women are less cynical and more trusting of others [a generalization that proves itself anecdotally in my identity theft speeches every week – it is much easier to get a purse from a woman than a wallet from a man]; 3. more women than men are responsible for household finances, putting them at higher risk of losing the data
  5. Low-tech Methods Still Most Popular (technology is an enabler of this crime, but not a root cause – see my post on this topic)

Conclusion? Identity theft isn’t going away – until we deal with it personally, in our corporate boardrooms and legislatively, it will continue to be America’s fastest growing crime.

For more information, check out the Javelin Press Release here:

http://www.idsafety.net/Javelin2009IdentityFraudSurveyPressRelease.pdf

You can download the entire Fraud Report 2009 here:

http://www.idsafety.net/report.html

John Sileo, Identity Theft Speaker and Fan of Javelin’s Studies

The 7 Deadly Sins of Privacy Leadership: How CEOs Enable Data Breach

Technology is not the root cause of identity theft, data breach or cyber crime.

We are.

Too often, technology is our scapegoat, providing a convenient excuse to sit apathetically in our corner offices, unwilling to put our money where our profits are. Unwilling, in this case, to even gaze over at the enormous profit-sucking sound that is mass data theft. The deeper cause of this crisis festers in the boardrooms of corporate America. Like an overflowing river, poor privacy leadership flows inexorably downhill from the CEO, until at last, it undermines the very banks that contain it.

The identity theft and data breach bottom line? Read more

Largest Identity Theft Ring Charged

Are you one of the 200,000,000+ Americans (almost 66% of the US population) who had their identity stolen from TJ Maxx, Marshalls, BJ’s Wholesale Club, OfficeMax, Boston Market, Barnes & Noble, Sports Authority, Forever 21 or DSW?

If so, you need to know that 11 people, including a Secret Service informant, Read more