Identity Theft Seminar

okay I think we’ll go ahead and get
started good afternoon my name is Krystal brown
on the chief communications officer here at the University I like to welcome you to today’s
conversation on protecting your identity also have
the pleasure this afternoon introducing doctor and Wiley she is our and drum vice president of information
technology and chief information officer but the wily thank you Chris I thought before we began I would just update you briefly on the
activities the task force that the a precedent
appointed after are breach this a very alarming event that happen University
have put together a group of people from
across the universe students and faculty to try to take a hard look
at what we do to protect our sensitive information how
we function in the area generally cybersecurity and the task force has been working very
hard I we have four group 1 group is looking
throughout the University for places sensitive information is stored and we
are currently trying to gather that information another group has is looking at policy that we have that the system other
institutions have to see if their policy changes that
we should make to help improve our cybersecurity another group
is looking at additional actions we can take systems we can put
in place that were also in hence are security personal information and
sensitive data and the last group has contract did with an outside organization to attempt to
hack our systems so they’re in the process of doing that
right now we’re trying to find out if there are security weaknesses that we have they task force will complete its work up by
June several of our group are really coming
quite close to to the end of their time and I believe
that out this group will come series recommendations but one thing that I’ve learned in
studying this issue over the last several months
is that they’re really is no way that an institution can
absolutely guarantee a security our date always we can do
everything we can we can take steps to improve improve our security but there are people are smarter than we
are dedicated to stealing information and there are also human error and these
kinds of things mean that out we as individuals must be
extremely careful about are personal data and for that reason we
are extremely pleased to have mister Jeff harburg here with us today is the
associate attorney for the Consumer Protection
Division and the administrator the identity theft
broke program in the office at the Maryland
Attorney General he’s a real expert on this topic and I know you well benefit from his comments they should
last about 45 minutes or so at the end at that time mister car berg
says that he would be happy to take questions with that good afternoon i’m
jeff carr Burke and before I get started I just wanna
talk for a moment about some handouts picked up the first
one is is a short letter sort of a checklist if you’re a victim
of identity theft it contains a lot of helpful phone numbers addresses web sites that
sort of thing so if you’re worried about taking notes or if I’m moving a little
too quickly on some the slides please reference this and you can keepin’ make sure you’ve got it all down
accurately as my contact information as well as the contact information for the
attorney general’s office keep that in mind the second thing I’d
like to bring your attention to is this wonderful book put out by the
Federal Trade Commission it handles identity theft in in debt it breaks down identity theft into several discrete categories so if that
ever happens to you you can get detailed information on on perhaps just your situation it also contains helpful sample letters
and sample information as well as a form that you can fill out
to help get your free credit reports so keep that in mind as you as you pick
these up so today I’m going to talk to you about
identity theft might tell you what it is how to protect yourself from it how to
tell if your victim how to recover from it identity theft
and and I’ll talk about some additional resources she should you ever been a victim of
identity theft so what is identity theft broadly
speaking it when someone uses your information your your credentials to obtain goods
and services without your permission it’s one of the fastest-growing crimes
in the country and it its getting bigger and bigger every year
especially now with you know a prevalent computer hacking
czar or data mining and and that sort of thing and I can tell you from my experience victims spend a lot of time putting back
there credit histories and putting their lives
back together so it’s it’s really worth paying
attention to on how to prevent it or how to how to recover from it so there’s something called financial
identity theft and that’s when identity thieves use
your personal information to steal money or or also goods there’s something called existing
account fraud and that’s where a and identity the compromises an existing account a good example of
this is the target is everyone remembers the target security breach in December
affected a lot of people identity thieves were able to obtain the
information for millions and millions target cards and
credit cards and perhaps abuse that information then there’s something else called that
called new account fraud and that’s where identity thieves use
your personal information to establish or create new accounts and
that’s where a scenario that is where identity
thieves steal your name social security number maybe tax number:
other information go out and establish new new account
such as a credit card or a bank loan or home mortgage even there’s also government document fraud
which is very common it’s where someone uses your name
photograph or something to to obtain a a fraudulent driver’s
license or social security card or even your social security benefits
and of course people are often using fraudulent social security
numbers or other temple it identification means
to obtain jobs or apartment rentals in your
name so there’s another category identity
theft called medical identity theft and this is broadly speaking were some
one obtains medical care or treatment using your credentials or
information now I’m sure that you got you walk in
understand why this is particularly dangerous there can be actual physical
consequences to this time type identity theft for example if the
doctors thinks he is treating one person but
really there are two people combining and mixing medical records can
lead to terrible reactions are contraindicated
medications it could also lead to Morse serious
things like being denied certain procedures or treatment criminal identity theft is also as very can also have very serious real-world
effects for example the cell often happens a lot
within families cousins are brothers who may be
close in age if one brother gets pulled over for may
be drunk driving one too many times and decides he doesn’t
want to get in trouble for it again they often pass of are give the name or perhaps other information up his
brother so he hopefully gets out at the ticket it
very rarely works and only ends up in two brothers now
being dragged through the legal system so how does identity theft happen this is what I talk about when I talk
about this I call this sort of the old-fashioned way simply stealing your wallet stealing a
purse stealing your mail you can do that by just simply taking
the mail out of the mailbox or a slightly more sophisticated
operation doing a change of address that’s going to the post office and
actually filling out the paperwork to have all-male routed to a new address dumpster diving this one identity thieves simply go
through go to the trash the garbage to look for a vital piece
information lot of folks don’t realize that if you
throw away maybe a a bank statement a medical bill and some
other information if you piece them together create it can
create a complete picture someone’s identity the other serious
threat dumpster diving is when a business perhaps doctors
office goes out of business and the landlord or somebody just simply
dumps boxes and boxes important records in the dumpster behind
allowing anyone who watched by to pick up hundreds of thousands if I’d
identities to abuse well up of course this is mmm a new phenomenon but stealing files
from businesses are by hacking into the data network is becoming more and more
common every day on the news there’s a new institution or
new business that’s announcing some job dropping number of records that
have been compromise so this is want it to look
out for identity thieves can also obtain
information through fraudulent means that is either tricking
you to handing it over or tricking you to not knowing you’re
handing it over and one of those ways by something
called fishing and fishing is sending emails or
communications appear as there from a legitimate
institution often this is in the form of a up bank email or credit card email it’s totally
fraudulent but it’s been designed very carefully to look like it’s from
master card or bank America not ask you questions like what’s your
login information your credentials annual of course want to hand them over
thinking it’s a legitimate business but what you’re really doing is handing
the keys your financial accounts over two thieves something called skimming as well this
is where small devices often lodged are installed in ATM
machine or perhaps a gas pump and when your card
is swiped it instead of sending the data to where
it’s supposed to go sent a copy of it to a nearby identity so at the end of the day after a busy
day to gas station the identity thief could have dozens and dozens if not
hundreds of new credit card numbers and often times people don’t pay close
attention or don’t recognize swiping their credit card in a hurry
that there’s sort funny-looking thing between the credit card and a the gas pump free texting this is another one that’s growing a
more common as people rely on cell phones this is where people you texture your
telephone or try to communicate via text message as
more and more institutions rely on text communications this is becoming more and more common so
that’s another thing to look out for another concern is that identity thieves
obtain this information nowadays a lot of it through social
media in fraudulent job applications I know a
lot of folks are especially young folks who are maybe
recent graduates are will be graduating soon are looking for
jobs and they fill out maybe applications online or that contact
someone who may appear legitimate online have no qualms about filling in name
address social security number or whatever else this those job
application might look like so you have to be very mindful just how
easy it is to to hand over to give up this information
and make sure that you’re actually dealing with a credible source oftentimes information is just as
valuable as money because the identity thieves well turn around and sell your information to
another identity or they’ll simply use your information
to open new accounts or credit cards that sort of thing so let’s talk about how to protect yourself when you’re protecting yourself sir at
home some things you can do this you can opt out of some junk mail
and pre-screen credit card offers and outline this information on the last page the sand out all that
opt out information is right there at not only will the opting out of these
this junk mail pre-screen credit card offers sort of
cut down on on paper you sir unwanted mail it will also
serve can cut back on the amount of sensitive
information that you may be throwing away your keeping your home now this when I talk to people i cant I
can’t emphasize this enough don’t give out your personal information
a lot of folks think they realize that they know that
but they’re often tricked 32 through some other ways I described
earlier into handing out personal information over the telephone through the mail
especially over the Internet there’s someone that I a story I I tell
sometimes is I do a lot of these talks and I work
with someone who sing the stock may be handful of times maybe ten times and she
knows the talk as well as ideal she knows everything there is to know
about identity identity theft well one day she was home sick with your
child her child was sick her phone rang somebody said this is the
power company we need you to confirm your address and social
security number she was distracted and handed it right
over thinking there was a problem because there’d been a storm in the last
day or two so she this is perfectly natural for someone to call and maybe check on the on my utilities it turns
out it was a scam and so it just takes a moment a just
takes one little lapse for you too give the keys await your
identity scammers also tend to follow the news so
whenever there’s big stories like Obamacare or storm or disaster scammers will pick up the phone say
something that sort of vaguely sounds familiar that you may have overheard on
the on the news in the car watching
television and so people seem to trust that for
some reason so always double-check when you’re before you head out your
information as a Category I want to talk about when
when you’re giving out information over the phone that’s between incoming calls and
outgoing calls if a bank or financial institution calls
you over the telephone they’ll never ask you for sensitive
information they’re contacting you they should already know who you are however if you’re calling out to a financial institution or utility company
they should be asking to verify your identity because
obviously you don’t want your neighbor or someone across the street calling
your bank in making important account changes so just keep
that distinction in mind as you answer the telephone urs people
ask you serious questions did I make the call or did they call me
to ask for this information another thing you can do is buy a
shredder that’s not practical for some people a lot of communities offer shred
days so if you want to save your important
documents into in a safe place in your home you may take it to annual shred day or find some way to
safely dispose of it but it’s important to make sure that you
destroy their at least separate summer these things in
the mail because as i mentioned earlier combining credit card offers and bank
old bank cards or medical documents or utility bills when combined they can offer really
complete picture that up your identity or important
information that one single item may not offer depending on your living circumstances
there some other things you might want to do you live in a community where maybe a
shared mailbox or you have roommates or something you may want to use locking mailbox or you may want to some some banks are some financial
institutions will if you ask allow you to put on an additional layer of security you can
ask for counter withdraws in person only or
certain password before user a card some sort so you may want to just
look into that if you’re worried about that that’s a concern and finally if again if
you live with roommates or maybe a shared environment you wanna buy a small personal safe to
keep important documents like a passport or other medical things
that something that locks to keep it off from from house yes sir maybe people who the information could be abused fell
into the wrong hands protecting your personal information on
the go just be mindful about what you carry in your
purse or wallet I get a lot of phone calls from young
people are just busy people really say I lost my I lost
my purse or lost my wallet I left it on the bus so my first
question is okay what was in it I get sort of want
to responses the first one is I don’t know and they don’t know because they’re in a
panic they lost money they lost something valuable in the bag
they’re just they can’t think clearly second response I get from folks is well by 10 credit cards my passport I’m
social security card my Medicare card you know that they’re
carrying literally almost every important document they have on their person at all times so my point
here is not to leave some need not leave all this home all the time of
course if you wanna care your medical card if you’re
ever in an accident you can get medical care but maybe for going to a concert or
maybe just under the corner for a case of coke just make sure your you’re being mindful about what you’re
actually actually carrying on your purse which which leads me to my next point
make copies at your documents because when you lose those documents are you
lose those your wallet or purse a lot of people are
very panic they’re very upset especially if it if
maybe they were mugged or robbed or they lost in a in some sort of other inside producing circumstance they’re
not sure what they lost what numbers to call to cancel the
credit card where to get things replaced so make a copy of all the important
documents and that way something ever does happen you can go
back and reference you cancel all your accounts and you know which numbers to call of
course keep those keep those copies in and that’s a few
got your call now not to repeat myself too much here
but please the be mindful be aware of who you’re
giving out your social security number two try not to give it out unless it’s
absolutely necessary unfortunately the way the way the world
works some circumstances you are required to
give out your social security number so you have to go out there and live
your life and your business but just don’t go handing it out to anyone who happens to ask over the
telephone her for or who happens to email you telling you that you’ve on the and
international lottery or something just keep in mind that a very limited you number of people
should have access to your social security number again you wear email scams I just
mention this international lottery people people are
never lining up to hand out money you’re never going to find out the you
won the lottery over the Internet you never gonna be emailed and asked to pay taxes on a
lottery some that you haven’t seen scam artists I’m sure y’all from well
aware with up this up the skin test scam tactics but its it happens and that’s way
continue to warn people about it it only takes a moment to a they can
send out 100 these emails 99 people will automatically dismiss
them but it only takes that one small lapse in judgement and all the
sudden you’ve been scammed be careful about where you access
sensitive information on the web if you’re using a shared computer of
course be sure to sign out afterwards or or
maybe not even those aren’t the best times to check
your bank account or whatever financial account you may have up make sure that your if you’re using a
wireless network I would advise against checking some more
sensitive things if you’re maybe in an airport or coffee shop there
is the sophisticated technology does exist to
so that people can essentially see everything you’re doing
online if you’re using a shared open network I also want to talk about password
security the be sure to choose strong passwords
the definition of a strong password is of course changing all the time I would also
advise against using the same password and sign in information for all of your accounts that happens a
lot if one is stacked then use that password to then gain
access to your eBay account your Amazon account your
bank account you know whatever else you may have about their so just be very careful and in your
passwords to strong passwords and of course don’t talk don’t hand out
this passwords i wanna talk to you about
credit cards and debit cards they are they look the same they may
even have the same little logos in the corner but they’re treated very differently debit cards arc excuse me credit cards
have a lot more protection and debit cards if
you have entered into a fraudulent transaction you have up to 60 days to report them
fraud that fraud and you’ll be liable for only six fifty
dollars excuse me however debit cards are treated very
differently that same fifty dollar liability you
only have two days to report that once you find out about
the fraud so compare that time line two months versus two days the other
danger of course is that your debit cards may be linked
to your bank accounts by by definition a they probably are
they’re often linked two-year checking account and perhaps
evening even your savings account and its it’s much easier to fight
charges that may be having gone through than it is to you get money that’s been
stepped out your checking account are to get that back from overseas from
some criminal enterprise I also wanna offer a word of caution
about all checks or maybe voided checks you’ve got lying around I know a lot of folks don’t use checks
anymore some younger younger people may not be very familiar with them but the numbers on the bottom up the
check tell a lot of information about where you bank what your account number is and that
sort of thing so a lot of scams happen when somebody finds may be an old voided
check ur check that’s been discarded somewhere at they call this number whose that they
call this person whose name and address may be on the check and they can find out exactly what bank
they go to and what the account numbers I can set them up for very targeted
attack to extract money from that financial institution so it’s important also to monitor your
your accounts for signs of fraud I tell folks in repeat this again and
again to review your credit reports you’re
entitled to a couple credit reports year you can check from all three credit
bureaus under federal law and under Maryland law so if you space
that out enough for your truly motivated you can check your
credit report every two months or so which is pretty
frequent and get enough to detect a lot of problems they ever so here’s the contact information and
again that’s in the handout I’ve given you both in the book and the printout so to take a step back if you want when
you do check your credit report look for things you don’t recognize look for excessive credit increase just
make sure that everything you that’s on your credit report matches up
to something that you know about or that you opened check your bank account your credit
cards in your utility accounts a lot of folks don’t realize that your
utility accounts can also be compromised or sometimes even abused if the neighbor
is perhaps using excessive amount of electricity
they may try to somehow run an extension cord to one of your
outlet sir perhaps in an apartment living Cup situation I for the folks who have tapped into the electrical supplies
somehow and have been essentially getting free
electricity from their neighbors so check for strange maybe jumps and
usage or other accounts being opened in your name
it’s important to check all your accounts first for strange things you don’t recognize
so how to tell if you’re a victim of
identity theft you can be getting too little male bank
credit card things never arrived this means that maybe
someone is physically stealing your mail right out
your mailbox of your front out your yeah out your mailbox or maybe someone
is going down to the post office and put in a change of address form
sometimes people realize there’s the target identity theft when they get a nice post
card from the post office saying you’ve recently changed your address and
of course that since up all sorts of red flags the flip side of
that is if you start getting too much male
you start getting credit card bills that are in your name
but sound maybe familiar or there’s the right address
but the wrong name you start getting maybe packages that
you didn’t order expensive electronics especially this might mean someone is ordering
things in your name im just trying to maybe pick it up before you get home
from work or school or maybe that they’ve simply committed a fraud and not done it
very well the package said ship to the wrong place and the last thing another sinus is
people contacting you or by telephone or email telling you to pay
your debts especially if you don’t have any bad
debts this is a dead giveaway that you’ve been a victim of identity
theft perhaps even years ago and now the the bad debts work their way through the
collection process and people are now trying to to look for you to pay those bills so common signs include mysterious
charges on your credit card bill this can be one-time big charge maybe think no big screen TV it’s often
high-end electronics like a laptop computer can also be sorta below recurring charge one or two or three dollars in that
doesn’t sound like much but they’d when they do that there they’re charging fifty or sixty or
seventy thousand people a dollar a month and I can be quite a lucrative skin
because lot of folks don’t notice just one dollar missing from their
account each month again if you recognized you see accounts
on your credit report that you didn’t open to be a very very obvious sign that
you’ve been a victim of identity theft or if you go out new apply for a loan or
a car loan or a mortgage in your denied credit or offered very a.m. unfavorable terms this could be a sign that maybe your
credit isn’t as good as you think it is or it could be a sign that maybe someone
else’s abusing York your good credit so that they can get goods and services without paying for
them and finally he ever pulled over in despite staying
out of trouble with the law police officer tells you that there’s a
warrant out for your arrest I imagine that would wake a lot of you up up very quickly to the possibility of
identity theft so now we’ll talk about how to recover
from identity theft the first thing you should do is but
what’s called a fraud alert on your credit report this is a good first step it’s a 90-day fraud alert that I’ll is sort axis or to
the red flag for creditors or lenders so that if you are someone in your name is applying for
credit creditors and lenders should take extra steps to verify that
it’s actually you and not the identity if you notify
just one of these places that you need a fraud alert they will
alert the other two as well again this when I’m talking about the recovering
from identity theft also to follow the steps in this handout 1234 the next thing you should do is file a
police report and this will come in handy in in later steps Maryland law requires
that the police will up take a police report and provide you
a copy of the police report occasionally some police departments a
police agencies are unfamiliar with the lawn Maryland
regarding identity theft side included the relevant statutes so
that you can show it to the police officer and let
them know what your rights you’re entitled to and if you’re still turned away of
course please contact the attorney general’s office or more than happy to discuss the matter the third thing is file file a complaint
with the Federal Trade Commission the federal trade commission also has a
number excellent resources like I said the the big publication the
big book that I handed out today was put out by the Federal Trade
Commission they know a lot of they know a lot about identity theft in offer very
great information so that should always be a step too step as well and finally called the
identity theft unit we can provide materials advice or
contact information we often act as I want to say tour guide
but we can help make sure that every problem you encounter weekend
either solve it or make sure we can find someone who solved it for you so finally you’re going to want it if
new accounts were opened in your name going to want to
dispute those fraudulent accounts by closing them or its an account that
you that you establish that was compromised
think a few the target card for example you want to close that account have them
reissue a new credit card or debit card when you dispute these fraudulent
accounts you of course want to send the request in writing and keep a copy up at the letter you
sent you also may want to send a copy up the police report most financial
institutions these days are unfortunately so familiar with identity
theft that now fortunately they have a pretty
streamlined process up how to make a claim for identity theft
oftentimes I’ll send you what’s called affidavit and you can fill
it out and and submit your claim some of them do ask you to summit a
police report as well so when you’re disputing the against it
to expand on disputing the fraudulent charges in writing you gonna want to make sure that you
include any relevant information in your identity theft case include copies your credit statements are your your up bank statements or credit card bills
that sort of thing there’s another step that’s pretty
Maryland specific you can apply for what’s called and identity theft passport and this is
a a the application requires you you know
tell us about your identity theft and you include a copy of your police
report and then will issue you a card that you can carry on your person that
can be used to dispute identity theft help prove that you’re a
victim of identity theft to some vendors or lenders creditors and
lenders or you can also I think it’s very
helpful to keep on your person if you’ve ever been a victim medical or
identity are medical or criminal identity theft because hopefully you can convince the
police officer that you’re a victim of identity theft in don’t deserve to spend the weekend in
jail get it straightened out before you end up in handcuffs you can also freeze your credit report
now freeze is different than a fraud alert lot of
folks well sort makes up the two terms but it’s important to note that there’s
a very big distinction between fraud alert and a credit freeze or security freeze
it sometimes called a freeze completely blocks information
on your credit report from from anyone seeing from would be
lenders or creditors attaching new accounts to your name to do that your contact each three
credit reporting agency separately and I’ve included updated information in
this on how to contact the credit reporting agencies the male via telephone or or via the
internet credit freeze in maryland the most they
can charges five dollars to freeze or on for your credit report however if you have filed a police
report your victim of identity theft you’re allowed to freeze the credit
report for free so again it’s important to get that police report
because it comes in handy in so many steps down bro there’s
something new in maryland thats or maryland was one of the first states
to to put this protection in place that allows a credit freeze for children and protected consumers so parents if you
want to make sure that your child’s identity will be or your
credit report history will be safe when they turn 18 you may want to look into freezing your
children’s credit and that way when they need a job or or perhaps a loan or something when
they’re moving out at the house they’ll have a clean history for for them to go up be in the world have included that
information under numbers 6&7 there are special
instructions for if you want to put a a credit freeze
in place for children or protected consumers if you’re a victim of medical identity
theft you’re going to want to follow essentially the same steps as financial identity theft gonna wanna
file a police report dispute the fraudulent charges in
writing course and you’re going to want to put a fraud alert on your credit his credit report you also gonna want to however the diff
the big difference in medical identity theft is that you’re going to want to take a
look your medical history our medical records unfortunately
there’s no central database or central agency that has all your medical records
so this can be quite confusing or time-consuming are possible even frustrating as you
seek to go out and clear your medical history if the person may be filed was getting
prescriptions in your name you may have to go to through the
pharmacy the benefits provider if they’re obtaining medical care you
may have to go to the hospital or the doctor it you just have to sort of chase down
all leads you’re going to want to put a flag on your medical medical records for
you receive care and make sure that you are
in touch with your health care provider to make sure that your medical records are in fact your
medical records because you don’t want it the you’ll be paying for anyone else’s
medical care or having their history wind up on your records criminal identity theft this one’s a
little different as well there’s not sense there’s not really a
clear solution to this you’re going to want to come contact the
relevant law enforcement authorities in your jurisdiction it here in maryland
you’re gonna wanna contact the state’s attorney’s office to get a letter to explain what’s going
on you’re going to explain your victim of identity theft and you gonna wanna contact maybe the
police department as well work with all the relevant law enforcement
agencies to make sure that you are in fact recognized as a victim of
identity theft rather than a criminal so here some practical tips when you’re
recovering from identity theft write down all the folks you talk to and
believe me you will talk to a lot of folks you’re going to spend a lot of time on
the telephone or writing letters so my my best advice is is keeping no
bookkeeper a a file all the folks you talk to keep
their phone numbers their names positions what they said because the
unfortunate truth is that victims are often repeat victims
identity thieves will open fraudulent account in your name use
all the info user identity for as long as they can
and when they’re not getting any more they’ll sell it to the next guy down the
line you may do the same thing or oftentimes debt collectors end up
with years old identity up unpaid medical bills or
credit card bills that were result identity theft so the person has
to keep disputing the charges again and again as
it moves from either the at the for debt collector to debt
collector to keep copies of all the correspondence
received from the for me that the businesses or the law enforcement authorities or or
whoever whatever’s applicable to your situation and again I can’t stress enough because
these these problems tend to pop up a month
later a year later even five years later so keep copies of all the problems are all the records even if you think
the problem is solved so we’ll talk about credit monitoring
and identity theft protection services so recently there’s been a lot of things
in the news about security breaches and when that happens oftentimes it’s not
just the financial account information it’s breached like a credit
card number it’s often the underlying personal
information such as your name social security number
that sort of thing so a lot of folks are now looking into
credit monitoring services and the these credit monitoring services
which is again something different than the fraud alert or the credit freeze now
we’re talking about a credit monitoring service some of them
may include incorporate the other two elements but a monitoring service
generally monitors whether or not someone is using
your name or opening new accounts and we’ll contact you in the event that
someone is using your name or trying to open new accounts so my advice when you’re if you’re
looking into credit monitoring service is treated like you would any other
insurance or financial product shop carefully compare what they actually do look to
see whether or not they’ve been in trouble with up state or federal government’s before make sure that you understand that
there’s a difference between some the services some of them offer insurance to help reimburse you for lost for you know
your trouble and some them take active steps to
monitor or actually protect you so a lot of folks this is new territory
there’s a lot of strange terms being thrown around so
compare carefully what they cost what they
actually do in and I’ll how long that protection last many other services if you think this is
too confusing or a few happen to you know a few wanna take an
active role in your financial life many of the services can be provided are
performed by for free you can check your credit
report up to six times a year for free and you can put the credit
freeze in place for free if you’ve already been a victim or it’s the you know those sort of
low-cost five dollars per credit reporting agency however some folks don’t have the time
or the mindset to keep track of their finances there’s enough going on so they well they can afford it may just wanna buy
one the services and that’s fine lot of folks do that are very happy with
the products we don’t endorse any specific company but we just encourage consumers
to do their research in 2008 something called the mail &
Personal Information Protection Act went into effect that requires a couple things it
requires when there is a security breach it requires
businesses to to reach out to the attorney general’s
office notify us that there’s been a security breach and it also requires the business to
reach out to the affected Maryland residents and the letters usually contain sorta
five different points and information it’ll tell you what happened who the
businesses that had the breach it will contain information for the
attorney general’s office in the Federal Trade Commission and it will provide some sort of
statement requiring her informing you that you can contact
these these places for more aid information on
identity theft they will also contain any contact
information for the credit reporting agencies so if you’ve been the victim Ave
security breach I suspect a lot of the folks who are interested in stock me have some interest and in that what do
you do you follow largely the same steps just
assume that you’ve sort of been a victim of identity theft place a fraud alert check your credit
reports monitor your credit reports close any
affected accounts now this applies more for maybe a credit card security breach it for your bank card security breach
you wanna close out that debit card and ask for maybe a new account number if you want to you can freeze your
credit reports a frieze isn’t perfect for everyone if
you’re getting ready to maybe buy a home or take out a loan or
something if you need sort of an open line of credit it may be better
to wait until after those transactions to obtain credit freeze and finally if you want
some information or if you’re unsure about whether or not this strange letter in
the mail that you just got is actually legitimate feel free to reach out to the identity
theft unit were more than happy to verify that yes in fact the business in
question did have a security breach we post the information online and we’re
happy to answer any questions about identity theft when when people call in and ask so the identity theft unit include all
this information again on the front page this handout if you
get suspicious calls or emails or respite from debt collectors and
you’re confused you think you may be a victim course please reach out to us we are
more than happy to handout preventative information I’m I’m
very happy and %uh prevented him information rather than recovery
information but all the same work very happy to help so here’s some
additional resources yet Federal Trade Commission and among
others and I just wanna conclude today by by
talking about my goal today was to make you aware that
there are problems with identity theft sure you’re all aware that already
though there only so many things you can do to prevent identity theft its chip at things change the tools the identity
thieves using hackers use changing every day the biggest thing you
can do is take an active role in your financial life monitor your bank accounts monitor your
credit reports monitor your utility statements because a lot of identity theft problems are not
that big a deal if they are addressed promptly however the longer I a and identity
theft problem goes on the harder it is to solve in the more
problems that may cause for example I get a lot of very frantic
calls from people who applied for a job or need a mortgagor’s they need to be
approved for a loan or a background check tomorrow when this problem just popped
up and I say well this is usually maybe two or six or
eight week process to get this cleaned up so there can be a real loss of at an
opportunity if you don’t keep an active role in your I’ll financial well-being so a I will now take questions about
identity theft if anyone has any apologists the folks
in the live stream who can’t sort ask questions right now
but anyone in the audience has any questions or would like me to clarify something and be more than happy
to up the the question was checking how many times
you can you check your credit report and people say you can check your credit
report once a year all that sort of a simplification there are three credit reporting
agencies out there and your entitled under federal law check your
credit report with each of those three credit reporting agencies once per year so there’s there’s three
they don’t always contain the same information but they often are similar and the numbers four five and six under Maryland law you may check your
credit report once a year from those same credit reporting
agencies so if you space those out check equifax in January in TransUnion
in March you know follow that sorta petr you can
check them quite often from each other a credit reporting agencies then it’s
your question sure yes right honestly there’s not much you can do to
the question was asking about credit cards and maybe leave your sight
when you’re paying for your bill at restaurants or these devices the
skimming devices that may be attached to a gas pumper an ATM how to combat this really the best way
as you know things look very strange at the
gas pump you maybe wanna take it in person or report it or
something but really the best thing to do is monitor your credit report are your
credit card statement as as frequently as you can because nowadays I get lot reports that I don’t want to say
waiters but people can just take a picture of your credit card with their
smartphone and that sort of all it takes and so on checking your credit credit
card statement is important and because you have that sixty-day protection it sorta gives you
a little bit us like to check for those problems on as I mentioned before credit card
companies are now very very familiar with identity theft and they’re getting very very good at
detecting it this may have happened to some you or someone you know if you’ve
gone out of state credit card is company is called you an ass if you’re
really in Florida are really traveling to New York other times you may be sitting quietly
at home and asked about these purchases that you may be in made in
philadelphia or something you say no I’m I’m here in College Park so credit
card companies are getting very good at detecting sort of unusual purchases that may be out of your
typical spending patterns so just check your statement tripling look
for strange behavior that sort of thing yessir massive on repeated have reaped surprise would you
be before the current reporting agencies
were to suffer a massive security breach how surprised would I be a I guess after
doing this job for a while become quite cynical I’ll in just
expecting the worst all the time I hope that they don’t II truly believe
that they’re doing the best they can and they are on the cutting edge this sort of thing but it could happen I
suppose yes in and the agency’s process working with me to protect me
how much of my purse information do they gather which is in their files which began to
be taken by security breach well I ice the the question was how how vulnerable as
as information what sort of information the credit reporting agencies dealing
with when he’s fixing these problems they have extensive up access your
information after all they’re the folks who put
together your credit report so they would have in axe you know access to a maybe by all accounts you’ve opened our
world credit card you have I’m not sure if they have maybe your
credit card numbers routing numbers to your bank account but they certainly
have a pretty good picture for your credit history is mean that sort of the intrinsic nature
out the credit report and of course there are I mean this is
humans are are the ones who were doing this work so
you know I’m sure there’s occasionally a bad actor somewhere in
the process but I ice I strongly believe that they’ve got the
backup procedures in place to handle this when
it comes up I don’t know to answer questions we’re
all were all at some risk we all have to
sort of put her head down to go out there and do business in the world
anyway so again the sort of best thing you can
do is be aware and look for problems as they pop up 0 can you can you talk a little bit more
but credit report threes and what that
really means and for example if you freeze credit report kid then the authorized on freeze report a credit freeze the
question was regarding credit freezes a credit freeze is
something the US to put in place through the credit reporting agencies
and they will a block information for many would be
creditors or lenders for example if I had your name and
Social Security number in all other relevant information I
couldn’t just walk into Best Buy in open a Best Buy card in your name and
then fill my truck with big screen TVs I would have to the you know I would be
prevented from that transaction alternatively if you walked
into Best Buy in your head your credit frozen you have
to first unfreeze your credit before you can open that new credit card and they
would you put the freeze in place the credit reporting agencies will give you the instructions so that you
can do one of two things when you want to open a new line of credit you can lift it for one single
transaction or more commonly if you’re let’s say
moving homes and you need to open a cable account utility
accountant a mortgage you can remove the freeze completely and
complete your transactions and and put it in place again later and to
address your question about the minor security freeze yes once you put
the freeze in place it will stay in place for the minor
until they they would have access to their credit report when they turned 18 or or under some circumstances 16 or 17
with up up panel up final cooperation something what do you think about the password protection applications on the
Internet something like last pass for example is
that a good way to store your passwords to be honest I’m not that familiar with
them I I personally don’t use one but I know a lot of people who do and
you work in technology related field to really say that they are in I’ll really well made and really a good
service because they provide very strong passwords in a
protected from you know anyone whose I guess the answer
your question I’m not I don’t have a lot to say about them but I before you use one do your
research I personally don’t use one but I know a lot of people who do and use and are very happy with them if you
don’t use one how do you remember your passwords good
question a lot of my accounts have what’s called
two-step verification so if I sign into my lets a Facebook
account i get a text my phone says computer XYZ just signed in just logged into your
account can text to this number to verify or
something so some accounts do allow that two-step verification
otherwise I I don’t know I just keep good track my
passwords and and sometimes I forget them but most the
time I manage not so if you’re going to system to remember your password it practiced place two-step verification I believe so I I think the two-step
verification a lot of web sites gmail I believe has that feature a lot
of the serve important web sites will have that for example that a lot of
banking web sites now don’t just ask you a password I’ll ask
you to sign in with your password then enter a PIN number then answer some
question and recognize some image so they’re putting more and more steps
sort of between you and the access to the information one other thing I tell folks and this is
sort of hard to remember sometimes but when they ask you those questions
you know what’s the name of your your mother’s grandfather that sort of
thing you don’t have to answer this honestly if you want to say purple there that’s
something that only you would know not someone who maybe gotta a good look
at your social media page Facebook page in could answer some
others questions so those reminder questions you don’t
have to necessarily tell the truth on those if you become 65 No you gotta give the
medicare called you medicare court requires used social security number which stoop and the Fed cured said well again this is one of those
scenarios we just have to sort of except the rest that’s out there I think now I’m not sure if they’re
moving towards a non social security number for the Medicare
card but I i heard that some Mr again just it’s one of those things arrest
that you might have to take if you wanna all the rules and and that sort of thing
your medical care if there’s been an accident just something to be be aware of that
you ever do lose your wallet just make sure that it’s not only by cards that could have been lost but it
could be giving the identity access to my whole financial profile so maybe take other steps like putting
in the credit freeze or whatever else and I think that again I’d hate to say
there are no easy answers but part of the battle is just being
aware that things could go wrong in ways that you can necessarily predict
if you lose your wallet or your Medicare card yes if one were to simply get rid of all
those charge cards and get reversed an account dramatically
reduces risk red I’m not certain a and I say that because
I I talk to a lot of folks older folks
particularly you say they don’t trust the Internet they don’t do any other stuff I think it
sometimes can put you at a disadvantage because you’re not checking your credit
card statements are you not checking these other things and people may still
target you even if you totally avoid the internet
or totally avoid credit cards and that sort of thing you make it may put you in a position to
not recognize when you are a victim of identity theft
so I think the spirit if your question is sort of going off the grid and that sort of can keep you from
hearing about if you are affected by somebody security breaches for example if you sort of go off the
grid in the year 2015 but institution had access to your
information in 2008 has been hacked and the data breach
occurred you would be at risk there so it’s really tough to have a complete
complete security the the question was did they ever catch
the the identity thieves and today hit to
that question i I say yes sometimes know the IRS every
time this year puts out a big press release about how many identity thieves they’ve recently
arrested a rounded up and the fact that identity theft continues to grow I’m not sure if that
means people are just sort of returning to their work once they’ve done their
prison time or up its people you people are attracted to
this sort of crime all the time I do know that some people are Kat and I
don’t know I certainly don’t know the percentages how many or Qatar how many go back to it
once out of jail already well thank you very much

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