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Archive for the ‘Identity Theft’ Category

Ego Surfing to Avoid Identity Theft

egosurf

This past weekend, I went ego-surfing. It only took a few minutes to find a few sites with my personal information. One site offered information regarding addresses that I lived at when I was a kid. Many sites offered information about my parents and siblings. All sites had some misinformation, including job titles and salary history. Now, this isn’t the first time I’ve posted about the possibility of identity theft due to public sites offering up personal information. It’s been a few years, but my post, Here’s Looking Up Your Old Address! is still relevant today, so please check it out and take heed.

Also, please take a moment to ego-surf on various search engines and then contact sites to remove your information. Moreover, let them know you don’t appreciate your private information being made public. It’s not only an identity-theft issue, but also a personal-security issue.

Since my last post:

Spokeo.com put my information back up; today, I added the page link to a removal request, and I received a confirmation email. It will take 2-3 days to have the information removed from the site (and approximately 7-10 days from search engines).

Radaris.com shows my name and a couple of cities I lived in, but when I clicked on the link, the site states: Information removed.

PeopleSmart.com removed my info, but the company is now affiliated with Identity.com, so it’s back under a new account with various cities on both websites. I am currently trying to get the information removed but am encountering technical difficulties with their email submission webpage at the time of this posting. (I will update readers once information is available.)

Lastly, the most egregious (so far) is MyLife.com; I could not believe the amount of personal information on its page or the runaround I got from staff, requesting removal of said info. After trying to delete personal details online, I called and spoke with a very dismissive agent, then another, then a supervisor. Originally, I was advised it would take 7-10 days to have the info removed from their site; after threatening to contact a lawyer because of ID theft and personal security issues, I was advised the information would be removed from the site today and should be off the web (as much as it can be in the digital age) within 7-10 days.

Now, I’ll be contacting my family and friends, advising them to check this page for site links, so they can sort out their personal info on the web. Afterwards, I’ll follow up on these sites, again.

The police can’t protect consumers. People need to be more aware and educated about identity theft. You need to be a little bit wiser, a little bit smarter and there’s nothing wrong with being skeptical. We live in a time when if you make it easy for someone to steal from you, someone will. – Frank Abagnale

 

 

Free Money, Back Taxes and Phishing…Oh My!

February 25, 2012 2 comments

Photo credit to Google Free Images

Well, it’s that time of year again, and I’ve noticed an uptick in a couple of beneficial programs as well as a warning regarding phishing so I thought I would share them with you.  First off, we have a tax refund alert for those who did not file in 2008; in addition, there is free money for those who will save their tax refunds, and lastly a reminder to not fall prey to an IRS phishing scam.

IRS 2008 Tax Refund alert: calling all low wage earners from 2008 who didn’t make enough to file their taxes, but paid taxes throughout the year.  You can still claim your tax refund by April 17, 2012; if not, it goes back to the US Treasury.  For further information, please check out this article from ABC World News Tonight.

Free Money Newsflash:

New York City’s SaveUSA program offers an incentive to save at tax time. At select Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) sites throughout the City, you may have the opportunity to open a SaveUSA account when you file your taxes. Save at least $200 of your refund for a year and earn 50 cents for every $1 you save. Save $1,000 for the maximum $500 match.”

And it appears this program is getting around so check with your local tax representative for further information:

“Residents who save part of their 2010 tax refund for a year will get a 50 percent match for every dollar saved up to $1,000. The program, “Save USA,” operates in New York and is expanding into Newark, San Antonio and Tulsa, Okla.”

Now that you have ways to make money, please don’t fall prey to scam artists who are phishing for your green!  If you receive an email or text in regards to your refund delete it!  The IRS never emails or texts.  For more information, the IRS released the “Dirty Dozen Tax Scams for 2012.”  Believe it or not, the IRS tax site has great information including tax advocacy, local offices, and how to file for free.

I hope this information proves useful, and your refund is all you expected it to be and then some!

Let me tell you how it will be
There’s one for you, nineteen for me
‘Cause I’m the taxman, yeah, I’m the taxman

Should five per cent appear too small
Be thankful I don’t take it all
‘Cause I’m the taxman, yeah I’m the taxman

If you drive a car, I’ll tax the street,
If you try to sit, I’ll tax your seat.
If you get too cold I’ll tax the heat,
If you take a walk, I’ll tax your feet.

Don’t ask me what I want it for
If you don’t want to pay some more
‘Cause I’m the taxman, yeah, I’m the taxman

Now my advice for those who die
Declare the pennies on your eyes
‘Cause I’m the taxman, yeah, I’m the taxman
And you’re working for no one but me.

-George Harrison

Here’s Looking Up Your Old Address!

March 23, 2011 1 comment
©ehow.com

image ©ehow.com

Here’s looking up your old address, your new address, your relations, and basically anything you may perceive as being private. That’s right, in this day and age you can forget about your privacy, but then again you should be proactive in trying to preserve it due to identity theft.

It’s amazing to me when I see Facebook pages providing full name, date of birth, work and school history, but this information is freely provided by the subscriber and hopefully it will not impact them negatively in the future.

Although I have always considered myself to be vigilant in regards to identity theft, it’s not an easy task. One site after another has popped up with you and your family’s personal information, and the following sites may be a first step in taking back your identity. If you visit the following websites, and click where it states privacy it will provide you with the next steps you need to take in order to take back your identity information. Please feel free to share your comments and knowledge regarding this topic.

http://radaris.com
http://www.spokeo.com
http://www.peoplesmart.com

“Have regard for your name, since it will remain for you longer than a great store of gold.” -Ecclesiasticus