ProtectMyID recently worked with Impulse Research to conduct a survey about tax time and identity theft. The results were so compelling that we're including the news release about key findings and ways to protect your personal financial information here.
Did you know that April is National Financial Literacy month? Having worked in the security and identity theft space for nearly a decade, I've seen how victims of identity theft have been shocked or angered about the crime's effects on their finances. In observence of the coming month, we will be including some posts about the financial side of identity theft.
The purpose of this blog series is to educate people about the ways that identities are stolen.
Keep in mind, these stories are true (although I have omitted specific details for our members’ protection) and are described by our Identity Theft Resolution Agents. As you read these stories, think about ways that you can protect yourself from identity theft.
Identity thief uses the mail to steal tax information and commit multiple crimes
Recently, one of our Identity Theft Resolution Agents received a frantic call from a newly-enrolled member. The member was a victim of identity theft and was very concerned since the theft involved a change of address, multiple accounts, and even a new luxury car. Here’s what happened.
It's tax season, and that means you should keep an eye out for tax scams that will run rampant this time of year. One such scam that fraudsters are taking advantage of are online tax scams. How this works is the victim receives an e-mail requesting that he or she completes an updated version of the government’s W-2 form because of “important changes” within the forms. The updated form is conveniently attached to the e-mail and it appears to have come directly from the IRS.
Convenient, quick and easy, online shopping has revolutionized the exchange of goods and services. While it may be tempting to breeze through the checkout process, don’t ease up on your security defenses. According to research by the National Cyber Security Alliance (http://staysafeonline.mediaroom.com/index.php?s=43&item=71,) many Americans do practice caution when shopping online. Our findings indicate that over 60% of consumers have abandoned a purchase on a specific website since because of security concerns. The reasons vary from lack of information about privacy policies to too much information being requested by the site.
While consumers grasp the importance of protecting their medical and personal information, few individuals take the necessary precautions to avoid medical identity theft. This finding comes from the second annual National Study on Medical Identity Theft by The Ponemon Institute and sponsored by Experian’s ProtectMyID™, a leading, full-service provider of identity theft detection, protection and fraud resolution.
Medical identity theft happens when a person uses your name and address, Social Security number and/or medical insurance policy number to obtain medical services, prescriptions or even surgery. It also occurs when a dishonest person in a medical facility uses your information for fraudulent activity, such as filing for medical services that were never provided. An example of this would be a situation when that imposter benefits financially because the insurance company or federal benefit program would pay them directly for what they think are real services.
Medical services aren’t cheap. In fact, MyBankTracker identified illness as one of the top 10 most common causes of debt. So, medical identity theft and its costly repercussions is something that everyone should be concerned about. In future blog posts, we’ll go into the many different types of medical identity theft. Today, we will go over how to protect your identity from this type of fraud.
WASHINGTON, March 10, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- With security breaches and identity theft cases frequently in the news, consumers are worried about becoming identity theft victims. Responding to this concern, dozens of companies offer identity theft services. In 2009, Consumer Federation of America (CFA) took a critical look at for-profit identity theft services and identified some serious problems, including misleading claims about preventing identity theft, unclear information about how services worked, and exaggerations about what guarantees or insurance provided.(1) Today, CFA released Best Practices for Identity Theft Services, which were developed with a working group consisting of identity theft service providers and consumer advocates. "Our aim is to curb misleading claims in the identity theft service marketplace and promote responsible industry practices," said Susan Grant, CFA's Director of Consumer Protection, who led the project.
Smartphones have changed our lives dramatically. So it’s little wonder that they are also changing the way we file our taxes and track our tax refunds. The TurboTax SnapTax app allows you to photograph your tax documents and file your 1040EZ form directly from your phone. While the IRS2Go app allows you to check your tax refund status, receive tax tips and connect with the IRS through social networking sites.