Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Widespread identity theft of minors reported again


Just as dead people are targets for identity theft, recent reports have covered children's identities being stolen, sometimes even by parents desperate to pay bills, as in this New York Times story by Ron Lieber in April 2015.

Typically, minors don't find out they have a problem until they are of college age and start trying to get their first credit cards, or first apartments and cars.  Kids who work while in college or even high school  have a better chance of finding out they have a problem earlier, as some employers will run checks.  

Monday, November 21, 2016

"Ghosting": identity theft of dead people


The AARP has recently advised families to take active steps to protect their deceased loved ones from identity theft, especially for IRS tax refund scams; an earlier article.



The crime is called “ghosting”. and is hard to catch.  The IRS has guidelines here.

Families should not publish exact birth-dates in obituaries.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Facebook identity scams? Fake senders?


Can people's Facebook accounts get hijacked?

I don't know.  I got a mystery message this morning about my government benefit.  No, it wasn't social security.  I was supposed to know what she was talking about.  I don't. Some "lucky fund from the government".

Then her messages went blank, saying that the Facebook sender needed verification.