In the US we are approaching tax time. Scammers are ramped up and looking for your money. Learn these tips and watch your back. Protect and prevent Identity Theft.
1. Text messaging scams or Phexting Like phishing but texting); Criminal hackers have access to technology that generates cell phone numbers and access to mass text messaging services. They send texts that install keyloggers or direct you to websites that
steal your data.
2. Tax Preparer Scams; Reports of tax preparers who tell their clients they have to pay back their 2008 stimulus checks, then pocket the money
3. Basic Phonescams; Using the telephone for scams is back. Scammers call your home posing as local fire dept collecting your personal information for their records in case their is an emergency
4. Caller ID Spoof; New technologies that allow anyone any time to mask what shows on your caller ID and pose as an official, lottery or authority to get you to reveal data or write checks.
5. Late Payment Scam; As people fall behind on their utilities or taxes, lists are created and available either internally or as public record. These lists fall into the wrong hands and thieves call you to collect.
6. Affinity Fraud; The Madoff scandal has inspired a new generation of cons to adopt the Ponzi once again
7. Advanced Fee Fraud; Now more than ever if it seems to good to be true it is. Desperate times mean desperate people are making bad decisions and getting taken to the cleaners
8. Work at Home Scams; Millions of people laid off, millions looking for a job. There isnt a newspaper in the country that doesnt have a work at home scam ad.
9. Foreign lottery scams; The promise of money is overseas, not here at home and criminals are using the phone, email and snail mail to find their victims.
10. Identity Theft; Identity theives raised the bar in 2008 and ID Theft went up 22%. It will go up again in 2009.
11. Check Washing; Checks lost, stolen, pulled from the rubbish, stolen from your home or the entity you wrote it to are equal to cash when they are written with a pen that the ink washes out of.
Check washing is almost a billion dollar problem. I’ll have a video for you soon on this.
Uni-ball pens makes a cool pen that prevents “check washing”. Check washing is using household chemicals that literally wash the ink out of the paper, but the thief will leave your signature in place or do other things to reissue the check and get themselves
"Uni-ball pens with Uni-Super Ink help prevent identity theft,” Says Steve Gradman, who is senior brand manager of uni-ball. Their goal is to help ease the minds of individuals when writing sensitive
materials - from legal and medical documents to checks and tax forms. It’s a simple, inexpensive pen, but it packs a lot of punch when it comes to identity theft prevention.
Who knew a pen packed a punch! Cool! I say if you can stop “check washing” with a pen for a few bucks then thats a smart investment.
I got a pen (a few actually, a couple in the home office, one in the kitchen, one in the car, 2 in my laptop bag because I’m always losing them when I travel.) I’ve known about check washing but haven’t seen lots of reports on it, because banks don’t like
talking about it and the victims are embarrassed by it. So its not often reported in the media.
When a scammer tries to wash or lift the inked information written on the document, the ink remains “trapped” within the fibers of the paper, thereby discouraging the efforts of identity thieves.
As an advocate for uni-ball, and identity theft protection I'll continue to keep this issue in the mind of consumers.
Identity Theft Speaker Expert Robert Siciliano