Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Experian's tips for vacation travel

Experian has an article giving advice on avoiding tech scams while on summer vacations. 

Attackers may set up similarly spelled names to legitimate hotel servers within a few hundred feet of the hotel.

Experian recommends either getting a VPN or using the hotspot from your own smartphone provider (which can be put on the phone or be a separate physical device – although the latter means one more electronics item to get through the TSA).

Experian has a separate article on preparations before leaving home for the airport. It recommends limiting the credit cards you carry to just two or three, and contacting your credit card company for these cards.  It is also advisable to contact your home security company. 

Friday, July 13, 2018

Mueller's probe reports widespread identity theft as a result of Russian hacking; who is liable?

Around noon today, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein announced indictments of twelve more Russians for hacking activity associated with the 2016 elections, as part of Mueller’s probe.

The announcement seemed controversial since it occurred during Trump’s Europe trip.  

Rosenstein emphasize that no American citizens were charged, and that there was no finding that the hacking changed the election.

But he said that around eleven individuals had their identities stolen.  It was not clear if these were Americans or other western nation citizens.
It is possible for people to be held liable for misuse of their identities in some circumstances.  Some employers presume that associates will take absolute responsibility for any misuse of their identities, as with credit checks. So this is a noteworthy announcement.

Sunday, July 01, 2018

112-year-old veteran in Texas has bank account drained by identity thieves

Sometimes the very elderly are targeted by identity thieves.
Richard Overton, in Austin, TX, now 112 and a WWII veteran, found his bank account drained by an identity thief who had found his social security number and checking account number.
CNN has a detailed story here. The GoFundMe account that funds his home health care was not involved. Fox News has a similar story here
It’s very important for everyone to watch bank accounts regularly online and notice irregularities. The news stories don’t report if the bank can recover any money. It is also unclear if his identity was breached by any one of the major corporate breaches recently (like Equifax).