Thursday, August 22, 2013

New kind of burglary motivated only by identity theft

The “girls” (that’s what my mother would have called them) on the NBC Today show today (Thursday August 22, 2013) reported some new schemes for identity theft.

One is that burglars sometimes come into homes and photograph person records and leave without a trace, particularly homes without security systems and without high cylinder locks (and have only older locks that can be picked easily by “bump keys” – as was demonstrated about five years ago by the character “Kate” or “Katrina” on “Days of our Lives”). 

Another ruse is advertising vacation rentals, and either then breaking into them, or using the personal information collected for identity theft. 

Still another ruse is to offer services to put people on “do not call” lists.

The show advised carrying personal hotspots when you travel, rather than using hotel Internet (although https should make most activity reasonably safe in a reputable place).  It also advised against posting details of your trip online until you get back home. (An iPad can serve as a hotspot, at least with Verizon.)  

ABC “World News Tonight” Wednesday (Aug. 21) ran a report indicating that most burglaries happen during the day time on weekdays.  For vacationers, it recommended irregular timer lights and devices that mimic the sound and light effects of television sets to come on and off.   It also showed how modern home security systems can be monitored from smart phones – but that requires adding security cameras to your system.   

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