Posts Tagged: ‘identity theft’

Identity theft has become a huge problem, affecting millions of Americans. And a company called Lifelock claimed to protect you from Identity theft. Unfortunately, Lifelock has been in the news lately because its CEO has had his identity stolen more than a dozen times…

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This is an amazing, unbelievable – some would say shocking – revelation. Office copying machines contain hard disks that store an image of every page copied by the copier. The material is not encrypted, so if a burglar, corporate spy or identity theft ring gets hold of the copier’s hard disk, they can access a […]

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Yep. You read that right. This morning I found an article from Murad Ahmed in The Times that said that British police — specifically the Central Police e-Crime Unit — have arrested a man for phishing for login and password information for the online role-playing game RuneScape. If the charges are proven true, this crime would be identity theft in its purest form — stealing actual game characters and their goods.

RuneScape is an online game with more than 10 million members, Ahmed said. He didn’t report on how many of those members might be affected.

So why would someone be interested in stealing virtual goods, anyhow? Simply put, there’s a market for it. People want powerful items and characters, but they don’t want to spend the time it takes to go through the game and level their characters up and find rare weapons, so they buy them from others.

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T-Mobile is the fourth-biggest wireless phone provider in the United States and in the United Kingdom. Recently, however, the company is suffering a string of public relations fiascoes. In the United States, there was the situation in which Sidekick phone users found that their information went missing — it didn’t matter to a lot of people that the hardware on which the data was stored wasn’t owned by T-Mobile, it just mattered that their Sidekicks were T-Mobile phones.

Then the wireless carrier’s network went out. Earlier this month, as Ina Fried wrote, lots of people (myself included) found themselves unable to make calls on their T-Mobile phones on November 3 because of a network outage.

Now from the United Kingdom comes news that a T-Mobile employee allegedly sold personal information on thousands of customers to third parties, according to the BBC and the Guardian. Richard Wray of the Guardian said the data breach was the biggest of its kind to date…

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While politicians and economists debate whether or not the recession is truly over in the United States, many average Americans are still struggling with making ends meet. Rounds of layoffs and an increasingly competitive job market create challenges for job seekers. For some, months may pass without any leads. I think most people would become discouraged in such a situation. I also think most people would jump at a seemingly legitimate job offer in a heartbeat.

That’s a big problem. There are many scam artists who target job seekers. For one thing, people looking for a job are vulnerable — they are looking for a way to improve their lives. For another, it’s natural for humans to feel excited and happy when an opportunity arises. It’s not necessarily natural for us to step back and examine the opportunity critically. But that’s exactly what we need to do before responding to a job opportunity.

Last night, I received a tweet about a supposed work-from-home program headed by Google. I was immediately skeptical — I follow Google pretty closely as part of my job and I hadn’t heard of any plans to create such a program. What’s more, the tweet claimed that the program had been covered in major news outlets. Again, that seemed odd to me; surely I would have heard about such a thing! I decided to investigate.

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When I first got a chance to check out the World Wide Web (and this would be either in 1992 or 1993), I was convinced it would be huge. Today, I see that I was thinking too small. The Web has become an indispensable part of my life. I wouldn’t have a job without it. But the Web also creates opportunity for unscrupulous people to prey on victims.

The Web has injected new life into the world of con artists and snake oil salesmen. It’s easier than ever to cast a wide net (no pun intended) over thousands of potential victims. And while the technology is relatively new, the tactics are ancient.

To con someone, you have to convince your victim that he or she needs whatever it is you’re providing. You do this by playing upon the victim’s vulnerabilities. Usually this involves triggering some very basic emotional responses. The big three are fear, greed and hope. Humans happen to respond pretty handily to those three feelings.

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According to this article by John Leyden in The Guardian, more than a third of people interviewed in an informal survey could be talked into giving out confidential security information held by the companies they work for.

The thing is, this was a very informal survey. By informal, I mean 600 people at London tube stations.

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I don’t carry cash anymore. I use my debit card almost exclusively, though I admit it makes tipping a pain in the neck. It looks like I’m going to have to change my habits.

Back in 2007, TJX Companies, the parent organization of retailers T.J. Maxx and Marshall’s, announced that it’d had a security breach in which millions of credit and debit card numbers (and driver’s license numbers, names and addresses) had been stolen.

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