Identity Theft

May 1, 2017
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At first glance, internet-connected dolls, robots or other “smart” devices that can interact with your children may seem really cool. After all, your children already talk to their toys, right? Well how do you feel about a hacker listening into everything they say to a doll?

Suddenly the toys go from cool to creepy.

The truth is that beneath the shiny surface of smart toys there is a lot going on that could put your...

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April 28, 2017
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Identity theft is still out there, keeping pace with the latest innovations and security measures, and snaring new victims every day. With the advent of cheaper, standalone, easy-to-integrate biometric technology for authentication, is it...

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April 28, 2017
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Here’s a secret way to keep your identity—and that of your loved ones—secure: Don’t give out your Social Security number unless it’s absolutely required.

That’s right. Most of the time, it’s OK to say no to schools, doctor’s offices, sports clubs and many other organizations that may ask for this nine-digit identifier. In fact, safeguarding SSNs is a key first step to protecting against identity theft and other fraud.

Identity theft continues to afflict consumers in the United...

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April 7, 2017
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Tax identity theft is an easy lucrative way for criminals to make money. Think about it: This fast-growing crime accounts for nearly half—45 percent—of identity theft crimes reported to the Federal Trade Commission.

Want to get to your tax refund before the bad guys? Follow these tips from CyberScout experts:

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April 6, 2017
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Spring has begun, which means open season on travelers who aren’t well-versed in the various scams waiting for them on the seamier side of paradise. While the scams abound, being forewarned is forearmed.

Here are some typical scams that can ruin your vacation, drawn from my book Swiped: How...

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April 5, 2017
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America got mail this weekend, about 30 emails, according to reports. They were written as recently as last year by then-Governor Mike Pence and sent from his personal AOL account. While this is a political story, it is not about politics. It’s about a nationwide problem.

The emails, released to the Indianapolis Star in response to a public records request, include state business. The revelation is that Pence used his private...

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March 16, 2017
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Tax season is underway, and that means your tax refund—and your identity—are in play for identity thieves out to make easy money.

Tax identity theft is a fast-growing crime, impacting more than 260,000 victims a year and costing the IRS more than $3 billion in fraudulent tax refunds, according to the...

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March 1, 2017
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Brace yourself: Tax fraud isn't going away, and if you haven't already filed your return, you could be the next victim.

Tax identity theft happens when someone files a phony tax return using your personal information—like your Social Security number (SSN)—to get a tax refund from the IRS. It also can occur when someone uses your SSN to secure a job or claims your child as a dependent on a tax return. Tax identity theft is the most common form of identity...

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March 1, 2017
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Despite years of battling by the financial industry and a massive change in the way Americans use debit and credit cards, the rate of identity theft soared during 2016, a new report has found. In fact, it hit an all-time high.

An estimated 15.4 million consumers were hit with some kind of ID theft last year, according to Javelin Strategy & Research, up from 13.1 million the year before.

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March 1, 2017
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Spring temperatures and budding plants are starting to edge out the worst of the winter weather, so now is the time to spring clean … your mobile device.

The very first step is to remove apps you never use. Your phone may run slower due to these old downloads, and they may even be wasting your battery life. Don’t worry, depending on the brand of phone and where you downloaded the app, they’ll typically still be sitting there in case you decide to...

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