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  • moving

    Moving: A Dangerous Time for Your IdentityConsumer Protection, Identity Theft

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    Summertime offers an endless list of ways you can take it easy, unless it’s doesn’t. It’s also moving time. Whether we’re talking about college kids coming home for a few months or simple relocation, there’s nothing relaxing about a move — or simple. Get it wrong, and you become vulnerable to identity theft and other forms of fraud. For most people, moving is sufficiently stressful, without any complications or threats of crime, but what most […]

  • Could Your Campaign Contribution Expose You to Identity Theft?Politics, Identity Theft

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    Over the past few years, we’ve experienced more ginormous data breaches than any of us can, or would even care to, remember. Against this backdrop, reflect upon the fact that political campaigns know as much, if not more, than advertisers about us — what inspires us and what will move us to vote. The Wild West Consider the various kinds of information a campaign crunches to determine who might be persuaded into voting for their […]

  • Scams

    6 Scams to Watch Out for This SummerPersonal Finance

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    Summer will be here before you know it, and with it come new and old scams. As you consider possible escapes — travel to exotic places; trips to the beach, the mountains or the golf course; a staycation to get much needed work done around your house — bear in mind that these diversions provide the perfect opportunity for con artists and identity thieves just waiting to insinuate themselves into your life, becoming the sand […]

  • How the Government Is Doing a Terrible Job Protecting Your Social Security NumberColumn, Data Security, Blog

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    The Social Security Administration sent 352 million notices by snail mail in 2015. With volume like that — much of it containing valuable fraud-enabled information — you’d think the SSA would have a great system for protecting sensitive personally identifiable information from the constant threat of identity-related crime. Think again. Recently, the Office of the Inspector General of the SSA published a report entitled “Social Security Administration Correspondence Containing Full Social Security Numbers.” While it […]

  • Tax fraud

    Why the IRS Needs to Stop Letting Taxpayers Use Stolen Social Security NumbersPersonal Finance, Identity Theft

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    While you’d never know it if you listen to politicians on the right and left argue, there are some truths out there, things that don’t yield to debate. I’m talking basics, like it’s easier to walk through an open door, and the Internal Revenue Service shouldn’t be in the business of providing open doors to pervasive forms of fraud. Are you rolling your eyes? Well, it’s happening once again at everyone’s favorite punching bag, the […]

  • The Real Tax Nightmare May Be on the WayColumn, Blog

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    Tax Day has come and gone. You pulled together the myriad facts and figures that determine what you owe, or the size of your refund. And now you’re waiting for your checks to arrive — or, if you are the nervous, slightly paranoid, type like me, you may be worried about an audit or some other correspondence indicating that you’ve got work to do. While potentially daunting, it’s unlikely an audit or legal notice awaits […]

  • Privacy and security

    8 Ways to Protect Your Privacy OnlineData Security, Privacy

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    The only sure thing in the world of information security is that there is no such thing as a failsafe solution. It’s crucial not only to keep abreast of the latest threats out there, but to also act as though the mission is to find your way to safety from the middle of a lawless demilitarized zone that’s lousy with enemy snipers. Sound extreme? Remember that Cold War classic “A Few Good Men” when Colonel […]

  • iPhone Privacy

    Privacy vs. Security: Where Should We Draw the Encrypted Line in the Sand?Data Security, Privacy

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    The recent Game of Phones between the FBI and Apple underscored an area in our jurisprudence that is screaming for more clarity. If there is a tipping point when the protection of consumer privacy should yield to the needs of a criminal investigation, where is it? Few will dispute the obvious cases where the Constitutional rights of a citizen are disrupted by a judge who knows (or at least has access to) the legal precedents […]

  • Will the Obama Administration Side With Debt Collectors?Column, Blog

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    With the Supreme Court in flux, the highest authority in U.S. law has punted a landmark case over to the executive branch, effectively asking it to decide whether debt collectors can charge interest rates so high they’re deemed illegal in some states. In Madden v. Midland Funding, LLC., a debt collection company purchased the plaintiff’s charged-off debt, but the plaintiff resided in New York state where the usury limit is 25% annually. The complaint was […]

  • Fraud

    A Tax Fraud Survival GuidePersonal Finance

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    Despite tales of highly sophisticated, fluid-fingered cyber ninjas working tirelessly to penetrate heretofore impenetrable, firewalled, super secure databases, many identity thieves actually have a pretty easy job getting what they need to make a killing. The number of people out there with tight personal cyber security is fairly limited — those who only go online via virtual private networks (VPNs) and communicate solely via encrypted email and messaging apps. They aren’t so easy for the […]

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