Archive for January, 2013


A 2011 law passed in Colorado extended significant protection to many kids in the state’s foster care system, but now one state Senator wants to expand its reach.

Earlier this month, that would expand the law to cover not only kids in the state’s foster care program, but also those who are in the custody of the state’s Division of Youth Corrections, and mental hospitals, according to a report from the Centennial Citizen. Anecdotally, many who have participated in the system have told stories of having their Social Security number compromised to obtain credit, and typically these incidents take years to discover because in many cases, when kids are affected, they have no reason to suspect there’s outstanding credit in their names until they turn 18 at the earliest.



Consumers nationwide now have a wealth of information about themselves listed online in various places, some of which they know about, and others they don’t. As such, many now want to do more to protect themselves.

Because of the greater amount of attention now being paid to consumers’ online privacy and the ways in which they can protect themselves from potential issues that stem from sharing personal data, many are now far more cautious when approaching online services, according to . It seems that many Web users now look for far more information about about the ways in which their data might be shared as well.



Millions of singles turn to Internet dating sites each year in the hopes of finding a mate. I know because I was one of them.

In 2001, on a dare from my brother and sister, I signed up for JDate and went out with one person. Long story short, we’ve been happily married for 10 years and have two beautiful children.

In my brief online dating experience I joined many other hopeful suitors who trust these services with their personally identifiable information, credit card numbers, photos, and even details about their interests and lives. But is that information well-protected by the matchmaking companies? Winning hearts is great, but should you have to lose control over your identity to do it?


Help! I’ve been the victim of identity theft!” I can’t tell you how often I get those calls to my office. People rarely expect it to happen to them and when it does, they feel at a loss to know exactly what to do.

There are several things you should do if you are the victim of identity theft but here are the very first five actions to take as soon as you discover that you are a victim:

1. Contact the creditors of the accounts that were compromised, whether it’s your loans, credit cards, utilities, bank accounts, etc. In some cases, you might be responsible for some of the charges incurred, but that is handled on a case-by-case basis from each service provider or lender. Worry about that later. At this point, you need to alert them to the fraudulent activity to help prevent any further misuse of your account. (more…)

Man with laptop

In the past several years, the number of incidents of related to consumers’ tax returns has surged, and there seems to be little the Internal Revenue Service can do about it. Now, some experts say that a major reason for this increase in fraud could be the result of the agency’s e-filing option.

The ability to submit one’s taxes online is a major convenience for both Americans across the country who may fret every filing season, as well as the IRS itself, which can handle the hundreds of millions of submissions it receives every year more expediently, according to . But all that ease of use can also pose a major problem for taxpayers because it opens the door for identity thieves to more quickly get in and out of the system when they try to commit fraud.


1_Adam Unpluggeed in Air

A funny thing happened on my way from Los Angeles to Washington, D.C., this week, I found myself on a flight without Wi-Fi. The prospect of being unplugged for more than four hours on a flying machine without the ability to communicate with (or distract) colleagues, with zero information from the outside world — let’s just say I almost lost it.

I had two newspapers and a book by my favorite fiction writer, Vince Flynn, but I was not connected. And somehow, the thought of being alone (even though I was on a full flight) for a large chunk of time was daunting. And, let’s face it, the fact that we’ve all become so co-dependent — with freaking MACHINES — is kind of pathetic. But here we are.



There’s more to travel than road trips and games, as travelers can be prime targets for scams. To make sure you keep every cent in your pocket, we’ve listed the most common scams to watch out for.

‘Free’ Wi-Fi: You might think you’re being slick by “booting” free Wi-Fi at the airport, but think again. That fake access point could cost you, says Robert Siciliano, an online security expert with McAfee.

“Bad guys are setting up fake access points that are called an evil twin,” he explains. “They’ll often have names like AT&T free Wi-Fi, but really it’s just some guy sitting in the terminal with a router who’s watching all the traffic go through that device, including your bank activity, passwords and usernames.”


Eating apple

Scammers are taking advantage of a product financing offer that presents identity thieves with the opportunity to fraudulently obtain instant credit approval to make online purchases.

IDentity Theft 911, a provider of identity theft resolution services, has received nearly two dozen complaints at its Fraud Resolution Center related to unauthorized purchases made through the online Apple Store by way of an offer to provide instant financing through Barclaycard.

The crime is relatively simple to carry out. All the scammers need are the basic types of information commonly exposed in consumer data breaches, such as a victim’s name, birth date, address, Social Security number, employer and email address.