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IDENTITY THEFT Just Because You’re Paranoid Doesn’t Mean They’re Not Out To Get You!

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Presentation on theme: "IDENTITY THEFT Just Because You’re Paranoid Doesn’t Mean They’re Not Out To Get You!"— Presentation transcript:

1 IDENTITY THEFT Just Because You’re Paranoid Doesn’t Mean They’re Not Out To Get You!

2 Evan Engler Coordinator of Financial Services NYSUT Member Benefits (631)

3 Facts & Figures Still the fastest-growing crime in America Still the fastest-growing crime in America $15.6 Billion in Consumer Fraud losses annually-FTC* $15.6 Billion in Consumer Fraud losses annually-FTC* $48 Billion in Consumer Fraud losses annually-Javelin** $48 Billion in Consumer Fraud losses annually-Javelin** (Why the disparity? Different methodologies, possible statistical errors) Est million victims in U.S. per year Est million victims in U.S. per year Time-consuming and potentially expensive to correct* Time-consuming and potentially expensive to correct* - Median: 4-6 hrs., minimal out-of-pocket expenses - Severe: hrs., $2,000 out-of-pocket Overall: number of incidents up, severity down Overall: number of incidents up, severity down ID thieves more common, move more quickly ID thieves more common, move more quickly Gender disparity: women 26% more likely to be victims Gender disparity: women 26% more likely to be victims *Source: **Source: ID Fraud Survey Reportwww.javelinstrategy.com

4 Defining the Crime Identity theft occurs when someone uses your personally identifying information (name, Social Security number, credit card number, etc.) to commit fraud or other crimes. Identity theft occurs when someone uses your personally identifying information (name, Social Security number, credit card number, etc.) to commit fraud or other crimes.

5 The Crime Itself Basic – Lost/stolen wallet/purse Basic – Lost/stolen wallet/purse use for purchases use for purchases time frame and security issues time frame and security issues the MOST COMMON form: low-tech the MOST COMMON form: low-tech Account Takeover Account Takeover switch address and billing for accounts switch address and billing for accounts use for purchases, goods & services use for purchases, goods & services Full ID Theft Full ID Theft in addition to Account Takeover in addition to Account Takeover creation of new accounts creation of new accounts other forms on the decline; “new account” fraud is on the rise other forms on the decline; “new account” fraud is on the rise

6 What is Needed (Part 1) Information Information - Name - Address - Phone number - Date of birth - Social Security Number - Driver’s license - Account #s: existing credit cards, checking, savings, utility, policy #s)

7 What is Needed (Part 2) Mother’s maiden name Mother’s maiden name Name of high school/mascot Name of high school/mascot Model of first car owned Model of first car owned Place of birth Place of birth Pet’s name Pet’s name address address On-line ID’s On-line ID’s Favorite color Favorite color

8 Where Do They Get The Info? Lost/stolen purse or wallet Lost/stolen purse or wallet Mail theft Mail theft Your place of business Your place of business time cards time cards ID badges ID badges newsletters newsletters HR updates HR updates

9 Where Do They Get The Info? (continued) Stores/Restaurants Stores/Restaurants purchases with credit cards or checks purchases with credit cards or checks Mailing lists – legal/illegal home/business Mailing lists – legal/illegal home/business Internet Internet - search engines - news archives - public records - internet purchases/auctions

10 An Internet Hacker’s Toolkit Viruses: take over computer, perform mischief and/or destroy content Viruses: take over computer, perform mischief and/or destroy content Worms: Destroy, slow down, frustrate Worms: Destroy, slow down, frustrate Trojan horses: designed to lower your security and let anyone in Trojan horses: designed to lower your security and let anyone in Spyware: programs that run silently in the background, gathering information about your online habits (sold to marketers) Spyware: programs that run silently in the background, gathering information about your online habits (sold to marketers) Adware: similar to spyware, but information delivered to a much larger base of corporate interests Adware: similar to spyware, but information delivered to a much larger base of corporate interests Keyloggers: VERY dangerous; records every keystroke you make (usernames, passwords), and delivers them to a third party Keyloggers: VERY dangerous; records every keystroke you make (usernames, passwords), and delivers them to a third party

11 New School… “Phishing” - hunting for information; s or pop-ups sent to your computer, ostensibly from financial institutions or other companies “Phishing” - hunting for information; s or pop-ups sent to your computer, ostensibly from financial institutions or other companies “Pharming” - fake web sites on servers; authentic looking, but gathering data for criminal interests “Pharming” - fake web sites on servers; authentic looking, but gathering data for criminal interests “Skimming” – using electronic readers/storage devices to steal credit or debit card numbers “Skimming” – using electronic readers/storage devices to steal credit or debit card numbers “ Screen scrapers ” – can snatch and send images of what is on your screen to a third party (account numbers, usernames, etc.) “ Screen scrapers ” – can snatch and send images of what is on your screen to a third party (account numbers, usernames, etc.)

12 …and Old School “Dumpster diving” – your garbage can be a treasure trove of information for ID thieves: bills, bank statements, old W-2’s or tax forms… “Dumpster diving” – your garbage can be a treasure trove of information for ID thieves: bills, bank statements, old W-2’s or tax forms… “Pickpocketing” – what are you carrying around every day that a thief can use? “Pickpocketing” – what are you carrying around every day that a thief can use? “ Pretexting ” – using false pretense on the phone (or via ) to get you to give up valuable information: “I’m calling from the Hurricane Relief Disaster Fund…” “ Pretexting ” – using false pretense on the phone (or via ) to get you to give up valuable information: “I’m calling from the Hurricane Relief Disaster Fund…”

13 What Can Happen Then? Info used to obtain documents to create fraudulent ID Info used to obtain documents to create fraudulent ID Internet sites – “Entertainment only” – for IDs, licenses, birth certificates Internet sites – “Entertainment only” – for IDs, licenses, birth certificates Contact account issuers to change address, then run up charges Contact account issuers to change address, then run up charges Use pre-approved offers to open new accts – use until limit is hit – delinquent account on your credit report Use pre-approved offers to open new accts – use until limit is hit – delinquent account on your credit report Open bank accounts to write bad checks Open bank accounts to write bad checks Establish new lines of credit/loans/mortgages Establish new lines of credit/loans/mortgages

14 What Can Happen Then? Forge counterfeit checks or debit cards Forge counterfeit checks or debit cards Clone cell numbers to make calls or establish new service in your name Clone cell numbers to make calls or establish new service in your name Obtain utility services in your name Obtain utility services in your name Use info to file for Gov’t. loans/grants/benefits including unemployment and/or tax refunds Use info to file for Gov’t. loans/grants/benefits including unemployment and/or tax refunds Once debt is accumulated, file bankruptcy in your name to avoid payment Once debt is accumulated, file bankruptcy in your name to avoid payment Provide your name to police if arrested; when they don’t show for court date, arrest warrants go out in your name Provide your name to police if arrested; when they don’t show for court date, arrest warrants go out in your name Applications limited only by their imagination and intelligence Applications limited only by their imagination and intelligence

15 Remember…An Ounce of Prevention is Worth a Pound of Cure Now That I’ve Scared You …… What Do You Do?

16 The Basics Carry only what you need – no SSN or extra credit cards Carry only what you need – no SSN or extra credit cards Passwords Passwords create different passwords: no “magic password” that provides access to ALL your accounts create different passwords: no “magic password” that provides access to ALL your accounts rotate regularly rotate regularly be creative – mix letters & #s be creative – mix letters & #s Invest in a cross-cut shredder (or BURN everything) Invest in a cross-cut shredder (or BURN everything) Locked mailbox or PO box Locked mailbox or PO box Check your credit report and review your file annually– Check your credit report and review your file annually– Do not provide personal or financial information over the phone or in public areas Do not provide personal or financial information over the phone or in public areas

17 The Basics (continued) Register for “Do Not Call” list Register for “Do Not Call” list Opt out of Opt out of the sale of your information by the institutions you do business with the sale of your information by the institutions you do business with pre-approved credit offers by calling OPT-OUT (they will require SSN) or at (preferred: “permanent” opt-out vs. “five-year” option) pre-approved credit offers by calling OPT-OUT (they will require SSN) or at (preferred: “permanent” opt-out vs. “five-year” option) Remove your name from commercial marketing databases: Direct Marketing Association ($1) Remove your name from commercial marketing databases: Direct Marketing Association ($1) Keep a list or photocopy of all credit accounts with expiration dates and phone numbers in safe secure spot Keep a list or photocopy of all credit accounts with expiration dates and phone numbers in safe secure spot

18 The Basics (continued) Be alert to telephone scams – be wary of providing personal information over the phone and notify institutions of suspicious inquiries Be alert to telephone scams – be wary of providing personal information over the phone and notify institutions of suspicious inquiries Do not give out financial information unless you have initiated the call and know the person/institution you are dealing with Do not give out financial information unless you have initiated the call and know the person/institution you are dealing with Block line of sight when using ATMs, phone or bank cards Block line of sight when using ATMs, phone or bank cards Do not sign up for unfamiliar contests or sweepstakes Do not sign up for unfamiliar contests or sweepstakes

19 The Basics (continued) Restrict use of SSN in business relationships – ask for alternate PIN – push the issue – if required ask for company Privacy Act notice Restrict use of SSN in business relationships – ask for alternate PIN – push the issue – if required ask for company Privacy Act notice Carefully review your copy of your SS Personal Earnings & Benefits Statement Carefully review your copy of your SS Personal Earnings & Benefits Statement Be cautious of the need/use of child’s SSN or the appearance of your child’s name in mail solicitations Be cautious of the need/use of child’s SSN or the appearance of your child’s name in mail solicitations Never throw away receipts in public trash cans Never throw away receipts in public trash cans Stay up to date: or Stay up to date: or

20 What Do You Do? – Your Mail Do not use your mailbox for outgoing mail Do not use your mailbox for outgoing mail Never put acct # on outside of envelope (OR on personal checks) Never put acct # on outside of envelope (OR on personal checks) Be conscious of how and what mail you discard Be conscious of how and what mail you discard Track arrival of regular bills Track arrival of regular bills Put response postcards in envelopes Put response postcards in envelopes Have mail held or picked up when you are away Have mail held or picked up when you are away

21 What Do You Do? – Bank Accounts Ask bank or creditors to add security protection to accounts – special code or password Ask bank or creditors to add security protection to accounts – special code or password Carefully review statements Carefully review statements Checks Checks don’t preprint personal information on checks don’t preprint personal information on checks report lost/stolen checks immediately report lost/stolen checks immediately review shipment completely review shipment completely pick up at bank instead of delivery pick up at bank instead of delivery store cancelled checks securely store cancelled checks securely

22 What Do You Do? – Credit Accounts/Credit Cards Sign credit cards in permanent ink immediately ---add “ask for photo ID” Sign credit cards in permanent ink immediately ---add “ask for photo ID” Never write PIN’s on cards (or anywhere else) Never write PIN’s on cards (or anywhere else) Cut/shred old credit and ATM cards Cut/shred old credit and ATM cards Destroy unwanted credit card convenience checks Destroy unwanted credit card convenience checks Use credit cards instead of Use credit cards instead of debit cards whenever possible

23 What Do You Do? – Credit Accounts/Credit Cards FRAUD ALERTS: Creditors must use “reasonable policies and procedures” (usually a phone call) to verify your identity before issuing new credit in your name Initial: 90 days, issued upon request, may be renewed Extended: 7 years, requires Identity Theft Report CREDIT FREEZE: Restricts access to your credit report; potential creditors cannot get access until you remove the freeze; in New York, free for first-time users or identity theft victims, $5 each time it is used thereafter

24 What Do You Do? – Credit Accounts/Credit Cards (continued) Cancel credit accounts no longer in use Cancel credit accounts no longer in use Draw line through any blank area above your signature Draw line through any blank area above your signature Lost/stolen credit cards Lost/stolen credit cards report immediately report immediately ask issuer to close account and start new one if needed ask issuer to close account and start new one if needed update any automatic payments update any automatic payments

25 What Do You Do? – Computers Firewall protection – especially DSL or cable modem Firewall protection – especially DSL or cable modem Use credit cards, NOT debit cards, for online purchases (as well as any other kinds of purchases!) Use credit cards, NOT debit cards, for online purchases (as well as any other kinds of purchases!) Don’t store information in accounts on websites, or use online “wallets” Don’t store information in accounts on websites, or use online “wallets”

26 What Do You Do? – Computers Before buying from Web site: Before buying from Web site: check with Better Business Bureau check with Better Business Bureau check the site’s privacy policy check the site’s privacy policy ensure site is secure and protects your personal info before sending it ensure site is secure and protects your personal info before sending it - https in address line of browser - “Lock” icon in address line OR at bottom right of browser

27 What Do You Do? – Computers (continued) Do not respond to internet or phone solicitations even from businesses you recognize Do not respond to internet or phone solicitations even from businesses you recognize Check for spyware regularly at home & work – Spybot®, Ad-aware® both effective AND free Check for spyware regularly at home & work – Spybot®, Ad-aware® both effective AND free If setting up a home network, enable encryption on wireless routers immediately If setting up a home network, enable encryption on wireless routers immediately When disposing of an old computer, do not rely on “delete” function to remove files – use a strong “wipe” utility program When disposing of an old computer, do not rely on “delete” function to remove files – use a strong “wipe” utility program

28 Rules to Follow Document Everything!!!!!!!! Document Everything!!!!!!!! Follow up on your actions Follow up on your actions Be persistent Be persistent Don’t give up Don’t give up Don’t give in – and never, NEVER agree to pay ANY portion of the debt!!!!!!! Don’t give in – and never, NEVER agree to pay ANY portion of the debt!!!!!!! Keep records of all correspondence (dates, time, etc.) – include commitments to take action Keep records of all correspondence (dates, time, etc.) – include commitments to take action

29 Things To Consider If creditors, agencies or credit bureaus are uncooperative, consult an attorney that specializes in consumer law – NYSUT Member Benefits Trust-endorsed Legal Service Plan If creditors, agencies or credit bureaus are uncooperative, consult an attorney that specializes in consumer law – NYSUT Member Benefits Trust-endorsed Legal Service Plan To deal with stress and anxiety To deal with stress and anxiety psychological counseling may be needed psychological counseling may be needed you can network with other victims via The Identity Theft Resource Center (www.idtheftcenter.org) you can network with other victims via The Identity Theft Resource Center (www.idtheftcenter.org)www.idtheftcenter.org

30 Identity Theft Coverage Relatively new - offered by limited carriers Relatively new - offered by limited carriers Most commonly a rider on existing insurance Most commonly a rider on existing insurance Coverage focuses on Coverage focuses on 1) Education – Who, What, When, Where, Why & How? 2) Prevention 3) Restoration 4) Reimbursement

31 Identity Theft Insurance Coverage includes $ benefit for victims to cover Coverage includes $ benefit for victims to cover - lost wages ($500 week x 4 weeks) - loan re-application fees - attorney fees - misc. costs for documentation, postage, copying materials, etc. Premium costs Premium costs $15-25k coverage/$100 deductible ($25 to $125 annually) $15-25k coverage/$100 deductible ($25 to $125 annually) Hand holding varies from plan to plan Hand holding varies from plan to plan

32 NYSUT Member Benefits Programs Identity Theft 911 Identity Theft Added to MetLife Home/Renters/Condo/Mobile Home Insurance Policies - Specialists in Education & Restoration Equifax – Credit Watch Gold Equifax – Credit Watch Gold - Voluntary Program - NYSUT Member Benefits Discount - Includes ID Theft Insurance coverage

33 NYSUT Member Benefits For information about the programs mentioned in this presentation or for information about contractual expense reimbursement/ endorsement arrangements with endorsed program providers, please call NYSUT Member Benefits at or visit us at For information about the programs mentioned in this presentation or for information about contractual expense reimbursement/ endorsement arrangements with endorsed program providers, please call NYSUT Member Benefits at or visit us at

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