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Identity Theft

Protect yourself from fraud and identity theft with the latest news, articles, and editorials from Adam K Levin.


  • Data Leak at Stem Cell Bank Makes My Blood Run ColdData Security, Blog, Identity Theft

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    The database compromise club has a new member. Mazel Tov, Cord Blood Registry. You are the latest organization to fail in your responsibility to your clients by neglecting to provide even minimal security for their personal data. Your membership card is in the mail. Who is CBR? Before diving into the data leak, let’s learn a bit more about Cord Blood Registry. CBR is perhaps the world’s largest stem cell bank storing more than 350,000 […]

  • The Church of Identity TheftBlog, Identity Theft

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    Identity theft can happen to anyone, anywhere—and under an almost endless array of circumstances. Every year, various organizations like the Federal Trade Commission, Javelin, Gartner, Ponemon Institute, Pew and others issue reports that cite an array of victim counts anywhere from 9 million to 15 million Americans per year. Why the variance? Well, aside from various designations and inarticulate categorizations among federal and state jurisdictions, or unwillingness or inability on the part of law enforcement […]

  • A 17-Year ID Theft Saga Finally EndsBlog, Identity Theft

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    For those who say that identity theft isn’t a big deal, that it can generally be resolved by making a few phone calls to banks and credit card companies when your credit card is compromised or new accounts opened in your name, to quote Rod Serling, “Submitted for your consideration” the case of a Florida grandfather of nine, Lawrence E. Smith. ABC News‘ Jessica Hopper reports that Mr. Smith filed for a $704 tax refund […]

  • How the Feds Got the Guy They Already HadGovernment, Blog, Identity Theft

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    You have to appreciate genius. You also have to scratch your head and ask whether the inmates (literally) are running the asylum. On January 20, 2011, the United States Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio announced that Dimorio McDowell, the leader of an identity theft ring that ran up $250,000 of fraudulent charges, was sentenced to more than 14 years in prison. Unfortunately, while the crime is not unusual and the amount wasn’t shocking, […]

  • The Javelin Conundrum: Making Sense of the Latest Identity Theft NumbersData Security, Blog, Identity Theft

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    At first blush one might be cheered by the results of the newly released Javelin Strategy & Research 2010 Identity Fraud Survey Report. The Good News Identity fraud incidents decreased in the United States by 28%. That’s three million less victims than reported in their findings in 2009. The total overall fraud amount dropped from $56 billion to $37 billion in 2010. The mean loss per consumer dropped from just under $5,000 to just over […]

  • Big Apple Store Scam Arrests Bring ID Theft Back to BasicsBlog, Identity Theft

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    I know, the threat of identity theft may still seem abstract to you. What does identity theft really mean, anyway? A big arrest in Manhattan may make the whole concept a bit more literal. The district attorney of Manhattan recently arrested 27 (alleged) balls of slime for taking stolen credit card numbers on a two-year shopping spree at Apple stores across the country. The scam was moderately sophisticated. The crime ring’s founder, Shaheed Bilal, and […]

  • 10 Super Bowl Scams (and How NOT to Get Played)Lifehacking, Blog, Identity Theft

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    This week, tens of thousands of hysterical Steelers and Packers devotees are descending upon Arlington Stadium in Texas — ready to party like it is 1999. They will be joined in restaurants, bars and living rooms around the globe by tens of millions (indeed, hundreds of millions) of fellow football fanatics, as well as those of us who simply like to celebrate everything, including but not limited to, sunrise and sunset, totally revved up for […]

  • 12 Tips for Protecting Your IdentityBlog, Identity Theft

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    Just how many Americans have been victims of identity theft? No one really knows, but rest assured it’s more than a handful. The FTC estimates that more than 9 million Americans become victims of identity theft each year. And according to a Javelin study conducted in 2009, that number jumps to 11.1 million consumers, costing a total of $54 billion in damages. Honestly, I think all of these numbers are low. And regardless of whether […]

  • Mac Attack: Data Breach At McDonald’sData Security, Blog, Identity Theft

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    The list of major American consumer brands that have suffered data breaches this year has grown by one in the last few weeks. But it’s a big one – McDonald’s™. The company was recently victimized by data breaches that left the personal data of its customers exposed to cyber criminals. The fast food giant fumbled a major e-mail campaign last month, leaving a wide-open gap for online scammers to lift key data like names, birthdays, […]

  • ID Theft Watch: One iPhone App Too ManyBlog, Privacy, Identity Theft, Technology

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    My name is Adam and I own an iPhone. In that regard, I’m not alone. I have about 85 million fellow iPhone “friends.” Sure, that’s about 415 million fewer friends than Mark Zuckerberg, the co-founder of Facebook. But still, 85 million is no trifling number. Even more telling, The New York Times reports that iPhone users are purported to be more sexually active than Blackberry or Android users. While flattering, I can’t vouch for that […]

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