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jonpais

ID Theft - A Reminder

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A couple weeks ago I was preparing to make an estimated tax payment to the IRS when to my horror I discovered a ton of money had been withdrawn from my bank account over a period of weeks through what is known as ACH (clearing house) fraud.

They’d been transferring huge amounts of cash on a daily basis. Fortunately for me, in the USA, provided you notify the bank within 60 days of the statement in which the disputed amounts appear, you’re entitled to a reimbursement within ten days of up to $250,000 per account. In Vietnam, it’s capped at $2,500. And in other countries, you must give notice much sooner than 60 days - or consumer protection is all but non-existant!

Facebook, Yahoo, Google and probably just about everyone else on the planet has had security breaches. Equifax, the largest credit reporting agency in the States, was hacked last year, leading to the personal information of 150 million Americans being leaked. This, in spite of the fact that they’d been warned repeatedly by the government that there were holes in their security.

The thing is, Equifax, Experian and Transunion all stand to profit hundreds of millions of dollars selling extra services each time there is a breach. So they have little incentive to patch them up. They even had the audacity to charge $10.00 to put a freeze on credit reports until the government stepped in. What a cash grab - just imagine: 150,000,000 citizens paying ten dollars each to safeguard their credit!

So remember to use strong passwords and make sure they’re different on every account. Change them regularly. Use a good anti-virus app like bitdefender and install a VPN on all your devices. If your bank offers text notifications for transactions, sign up for them. Check your credit report annually. And if you notice a few pennies deposited in your bank account for no reason, notify your bank immediately. 

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34 minutes ago, BTM_Pix said:

Scary stuff.

Glad you got it sorted.

I was a victim of something mysteriously draining my bank account recently myself and here I am on my to tell my wife that our account must have been hacked.

16755673058_89dbfab3c1_b.thumb.jpg.ea1d0d314d547fe8aacadcb31f73568e.jpg

😂.  My bank must have just figured I was buying one Leica L mount lens every other day for three weeks.

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36 minutes ago, jonpais said:

😂.  My bank must have just figured I was buying one Leica L mount lens every other day for three weeks.

With all the new cameras I guess it's the season for it!

On a more serious note, good to hear you were fortunate, and +1 to the advice you gave.

I have my own domain name and as such can give every site I sign up for a unique email address.  Therefore, when I get put on a SPAM email list I can look at which email address the email is to, and see which site has been hacked.  It happens quite frequently and the sites basically never tell you that they've been hacked, so it's going on all the time in the background.

The internet used to be like the Wild West, and still is, but now it's like a B-movie version set in the future with AI and hacking and the pirate bay and the Silk Road 😞😞😞. Luckily there are little islands of refuge like EOSHD :)

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8 minutes ago, no_connection said:

Don't forget the "agree not to sue" clause when you did that. At least they got roasted for it.

Right.

Immediately after the senate hearings with Equifax, the taxpayers’ representatives promptly passed a law making it impossible to sue.

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1 hour ago, kye said:

I have my own domain name and as such can give every site I sign up for a unique email address.  Therefore, when I get put on a SPAM email list I can look at which email address the email is to, and see which site has been hacked.  It happens quite frequently and the sites basically never tell you that they've been hacked, so it's going on all the time in the background.

 

I really really should do this myself, as it is a smart idea, but I'm lazy.... however it would also be so simple to do.

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12 hours ago, IronFilm said:

I really really should do this myself, as it is a smart idea, but I'm lazy.... however it would also be so simple to do.

I'd encourage you to also do it..  it's a bit of work to set it up, but once it's setup it has very very little maintenance.  I auto-pay the hosting invoices and every couple of years I have to renew the domain name, but unless there's a problem that's basically it.

If you have tech questions then PM me, happy to help :)

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Oh I already have this set up (if you send anything to @IronFilm.co.nz it will still get to me even if it isn't one of my usual regular email addresses @IronFilm.co.nz, I set up all my websites and hosting myself), I just need to do it.  Probably can't be bothered changing it for my many existing log in details, but for new ones? Yup!

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Another tip. If your in the US and even if you haven’t moved and have lived in your house for decades, go to the post office and file a change of address form or do it online for $1, put in your real address (new or not) as the new address. Identity thieves can open up credit card and bank accounts in your name and have the statements and other documents sent to different addresses and then use that address for future crimes.

By doing the change of address form USPS will forward every piece of mail with your name on it to your current address for six months, even those bank statements that were being sent out of state. 

Plus you get a 15% of moving coupon from Best Buy in the mail... who doesn’t need a new SD card or hard drive?

Wife has a security clearance and had info including fingerprints stolen from the OPM breach in 2014. Didn’t find anything until we moved in late 2015 and suddenly got statements for business credit card accounts with huge balances on them that were being sent to Florida.

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