Saturday, January 06, 2018

People with trusts might have to be careful when in their own name, if someone makes an fraudulent id-based claim and judgment; is overseas debt a risk?


Every few days I get an email with a spoofed sender address that purports to claim some stuff was bought using my iCloud signon.   Often they are games, and most of them are in Jakarta.  I think there has been one claim of a purchase on the Philippines (on one of the southern islands having violence), and a couple in former Soviet republics.  So it sounds like a simple phishing attack.

There is never a bill on a credit card, and I forward them to reportphishing@apple.com

I wonder, if someone had my SSN and somehow created accounts in foreign countries and ran up bills, could I ever be pursued for them?  I would think not unless I traveled to the country.

But it is possible for people to be pursued for judgments for fake accounts using their social security numbers.  In my case, I think it would be pretty easy to prove that it wasn’t me. 

Here’s the rub.  I have two trusts based on inheritances.  A lot of it is in my late mother’s name.  Some has been used to my name only, because for some future purchases that works better.  The part under mom’s trust name is supposed to be immune from creditors.  There could be a theoretical risk of seizure of money in my name only.  Inherited money might not be as well protected (if derived from an estate) for essentially “political” reasons, from tampering in a case like this.
  

I’ll check with Apple soon (at a store) and see if they know what is going on overseas.  

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Synthetic identity fraud seems little known but accounts for a lot of identity theft


Here’s a discussion of how “synthetic identity theft” or  “synthetic identity fraud” works.   It often uses social security numbers of minors or of individuals not likely to need credit for years.  The fraudster creates fictitious people out of combinations of real information.

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Note toward the end of the article that legitimate card users are solicited to allow others to use their credit history for compensation. This would sound criminal even on the part of the legitimate holder. I have never encountered this personally.  Note the “data furnishing” process.
  
Experian has a brief blog posting explaining the problem to businesses.  But Experian says that synthetic fraud accounts for 85% of all identity fraud. 

Monday, December 04, 2017

Credit card and telecom companies getting more pro-active with using NCOA to detect consumer relocations


Well, I have to say that the USPS NCOA system is working, as I got an email last night from Verizon Wireless asking me to confirm (with 2-step identification) my recent move to a condo, including the “phone numbers” of my iPad and Midi hotspot as well as main smart phone.

As I’ve noted here before, activity with NCOA can be a useful tool in reducing the risk of identity theft (Sept. 25, 2006). 

I’m also finding that some companies can detect that a UPS store, which claims to be a land address, really is not one and prefer to mail to real residences.  This may be a new security trend, as companies beef up their customer "clientization" databases.  I prefer to get less mail at home and more in a UPS store where there is someone there to receive it when I am away.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Experian gives 12 symptoms of identity theft


Experian (which used to be TRW which in turn used to own Chilton and Pinger) has a list of twelve warning signs that your identity might be stolen. It’s a pretty interesting list.

Particularly disturbing are #8 – you could find out from your employer, who might not be that forgiving – and #9, you get unexpected two-factor authentication requests. 


Failing to receive expected bills (which might be electronic) is another one.
  

I wonder about, if you have a small business, getting unrequested lines of credit. 

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Criminals doing "id theft" of legitimate contractors to scam consumers as imposters


WJLA7 in Washington (Sinclair) is advising users about another scam, possibly with Google Business.

In a few cases, criminals have changed the contact info for legitimate contractors and scammed homeowners after repairs.
  
Customers should verify phone contact in several sources (Including own website). Google is working on confirming address changes with contractors, possibly with 2-step identification. 

Thursday, October 05, 2017

Can public record searches of property be done for nefarious purposes?


What do property records show for the idly curious?

Here’s an article .

I think it’s interesting that you can find out if a couple living in a home is going through a divorce, and might sell for less.  Sounds creepy.


There are all kinds of potential information available, such as trust ownership, trustees, the presence of inheritances or estates, and possibly home-based businesses or controversial activities.  But a lot of it might be very hard to find in some communities.  Generally, the development and clientization (with modern database management systems) of big geographical systems concerning property is likely to make more of this kind of information avaible to snoops over time.

Looking up property might be done in tandem with looking up individuals on various sites, discussed here before.  I think this can get dangerous because some individuals might be politically motivated to look up such information, rather than simply jealous over the loss of a relationship (like for stalking).
  
I’ll note also that real estate sites like Zillow will, in my experience, tend to overstate the values of many properties, given the comps of what neighboring properties have actually sold for. And it may be harder to determine the physical condition of a home. 

Thursday, September 14, 2017

All three major credit companies are snowed with credit freeze requests and cannot get them processed


Now all three major credit reporting companies are having trouble processing requests for credit report freezes due to increasing volume, NBC story here.

Equifax has refused NBC's request for an interview.

All the companies say they are authorizing overtime.

Again, consumers need to watch all their financial statements for unusual charges.  The most problematic situation would be when consumers apply for credit (loan) and find incorrect accounts in their names.

As I've indicated here before (Sept. 2006), a mechanism to use NCOA could force automatic notification of all consumers of any new accounts in their names (similar to email verification for lists).  It has not been done.

My own Equifax subscription notification service did work this morning and provided an updated credit report showing no problems (yet).

Keep in mind that criminals could use stolen information many years into the future.