Monday, May 13, 2019

Phishing scam grabs attention claiming your credit score has changed on all three major US companies suddenly



I wanted to warn others about still another phishing scam.  This one purports to tell you that your credit score has changed on Experian, Equifax and Trans Union.

The sender is your logon name for your email provider, and Amazon’s URL is spoofed as the sender.

This seems like a particularly deceptive and dangerous phish.
  
Imagine if this was done in China with a social credit score!  Or if a social credit score were hacked?

Tuesday, May 07, 2019

Could a recent phishing scam about package missed deliveries involved identity theft? Watch and see



Yesterday I got a bizarre email claiming a package sent by me had been returned to a UPS store, turning out to be in South Carolina, that I had never been to.

This appears to be a variation of the better known Fed-Ex phony delivery notice phishing attack.  I covered the details on my Internet Safety blog Monday.  Nevertheless, the possibility of an identity theft scenario could exist.  Someone could create a fake duplicate identity and send illegal materials to frame someone.  But it sounds improbable it could work.
   
I’ll check my credit reports soon again, but this much more likely a variation of a wellknown scam already.

Friday, April 19, 2019

Can automated bill payments improve your credit score?



Experian, in a corporate article by Stefan Lembo Stolba, posted an important article on its consumer site “Can automatic bill payments help my credit score?” 
   
Generally, yes.  One problem I have is that many credit card company sites (Target and Chase) are hard to log on to – passwords expire quickly.  The tendency is for them to be forgotten then if logon is difficult.
   
The Bank of America Bill Pay page has some issues, of not refreshing information between pages, and keeping expired cards. The end result is that sometimes payments go to wrong accounts and aren’t properly credited.

Tuesday, April 09, 2019

Arlington Public Schools (VA) offers adult class in identity theft self-protection



I don’t think I’ve shared an announcement of a class before, but Arlington Public Schools (VA) offers a course for adults in how to prevent identity theft and other scams, Wed. May 15 at 10 AM, with an announcement here.

There will be particular attention to scams targeting seniors and to smartphone security.

The event takes place in an office complex near the intersection of Washington Blvd and Route 50.

Monday, March 25, 2019

Can Dodd-Frank endanger ordinary bank depositors and investors? It's a risk a little bit parallel to ID theft?



I’m not sure which blog to post this on.  It’s not really about identity theft, but it concerns a risk to consumers that is fundamentally parallel to identity theft.

That is, the “bail-in” process of the Dodd-Frank Reform Act of 2010, which Trump has said little about, well, except according to The Atlantic.  

    
Assets, other than savings and deposits insured under the FDIC up to $250000, can be “confiscated” by creditors in some circumstances with a failing bank, even by derivative creditors.  Ivestopedia explains here

The irony is that this risk seems to comport with moral criticisms of “predatory capitalism” from the far Left, as placing the blame on “the system” rather than individuals – except individuals with unearned capital.

Kitco has a similar explanation

A few companies have been sending emails (possible spam) trying to sell protection to consumers.

How Dodd-Frank Affects Checking Accounts
 
Nerdwallet has a tamer discussion (shown).

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

"Suprise medical bills" not covered by insurance can lead to granishments, liens



Tonight, NBC News reported the problem of “surprise medical bills”, resulting in liens and even garnishments in New Hampshire, Vermont, Colorado, Oklahoma, Nevada and Ohio.

Lindsey Bomnin and Stephanie Gosk provided the story.

In one case, a woman had a normal appendectomy, only to get an extra bill for over $4000 from a surgeon, who might have been out-of-network, even though she repeatedly checked in her insurance during the hospitalization.



With my acetabular hip fracture in Minnesota in 1998, I ran into problems with some of the after care, in the rehab, but eventually “won” the argument.  Ironically the surgical device at the University of Minnesota was “free” because it was brand new and experimental (it worked perfectly).

I worked for a debt collection agency, RMA, in St. Paul in the summer of 2003 and might have wound up working in medical collections had I stayed, because I knew a lot about health care.

The arguments posed by debt collectors were “you used to service ….” – personal responsibility carrued to an extreme degree.

Sunday, March 03, 2019

North Korea seems to be creating fake identity accounts on LinkedIn and other social media, and running phishing campaigns with them



North Korea still continues hacking, which persisted during the summit his past week.

Most if the targets seem to be infrastructure, oil companies, and banks.  There seem to have been some attempts at airgaps at electric utilities.

A common technique is to pose as a recruiter (essentially impostering a real person) on Linked in.

This is the first time I’ve heard of Linked-In as a target for identity theft connected to spam.

Nicole Perlroth has a story in the New York Times and MSN.

Social media impersonation may be a technique particularly coming into use now.  But there have been numerous cases of fake accounts for real people in the past on Facebook and Twitter.  It happened to me once, and a friend caught it and the fake account was deleted before I knew about it.

Loose personal information might enable the creation of fake social media accounts.  It’s conceivable a foreign enemy could write posts that resemble what the real person would write, but that would take a lot of effort.  Still, a proof-of-concept attack like that would be very disturbing.