Tag Archives: identity theft

Beware of SMiShing in Your Text Messages

Latest Identity Theft Scam — SMiShing

SMiShing Identity Theft

A. Lewis ward & Associates provides legal education and resources to guard against Identity Theft

With every new technology advancement, there also arrives a new risk of identity theft.

Recently, NBC News alerted its audience that the latest ID Theft Scam was an offer to “receive a free $1,000 Walmart gift card,” with this new wrinkle – it was propagated over short message service (SMS) text messages rather than in email messages. Thus the name, SMiShing, a combination of SMS and Phishing for personal information by email.

Of course, if you click the link, the sender can confirm that your number is active, which will surely result in more fake text messages. And after the link is clicked, typically you are asked to provide a credit card number and verification “just to cover the costs of shipping and handling your gift.” NBC’s Suzanne Choney writes that, “you know what happens when someone has that information: They use it to buy their own gifts!”

Consumers are urged to report these SMiShing texts by calling the Federal Trade Commission Consumer Response Center toll-free at 877-382-4357, or by going to its website: https://www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov/

Other Resources

Consumer Advice from the Anti-Phishing Working Group (http://www.antiphishing.org/resources/overview/)

The Anti-Phishing Working Group, Inc. is a worldwide coalition of institutions uniting the government, business and law enforcement response to cybercrime.

FBI Fraud Schemes Information Page (http://www.fbi.gov/scams-safety/fraud)

This Federal Bureau of Investigation web page provides warnings and action steps to protect against common fraud schemes, including telemarketing fraud, health care fraud, identity theft (including Phishing and SMiShing), and those strange letters from supposed Nigerian government officials.

Source: NBC http://www.nbcnews.com/technology/technolog/smishing-text-messages-seek-your-credit-card-info-947348

Protect Against Identity Theft

“Back Up” Your Wallet: 7 Steps You Can Take To Protect Against Identity Theft

We’ve all heard about “backing up” computers to protect our data–but what about your wallet?

If your wallet ever falls into the wrong hands, it won’t be a welcome hassle, but there are precautions you can take to make the process easier and help you protect against identity theft.

Here are 7 suggestions for securing and backing up your wallet:

  1. Do not sign the back of your credit cards. Instead, put “Photo ID Required.”
  2. When paying credit cards with a check, DO NOT put the complete account number on the “For” line; just include the last four digits. The credit card company knows the rest of the number, but anyone else who handles your check as it passes through all of the different processing channels won’t have access to it.
  3. NEVER print your Social Security Number on your checks (you can always add it if necessary, but if it’s printed, anyone can get it). Also, keep your work number and address printed on your checks as opposed to your home information.
  4. Copy both sides of the contents of your wallet: license, debit or credit cards, etc. Keep your photocopy in a safe place so you’ll know everything that was in your wallet in case of loss or theft, including card/account numbers and phone numbers needed to cancel accounts.
  5. Terminate immediately. In the event your items are stolen or misplaced, you can easily terminate credit cards, which should be done immediately. Just call the toll free numbers on your copies.
  6. File a report. Along with canceling accounts, immediately file a police report in the jurisdiction where your credit cards and any other important belongings were stolen. This proves to credit providers that you were diligent, and it’s the first step toward a potential investigation.
  7. Place a fraud alert with the three national credit reporting organizations, along with the Social Security fraud line. This can stop identity thieves in their tracks.

Important Telephone Numbers:

Equifax: (800) 525-6285 www.equifax.com

Experian (formerly TRW): (888) 397-3742 www.experian.com

TransUnion: (800) 680-7289 www.transunion.com

Social Security Administration (fraud line): (800) 269-0271 www.ssa.gov

By following these 7 rules, you can decrease the chance of fraud and protect against identity theft, as well as lessen the trouble if it does happen. At A. Lewis Ward & Associates, we certainly hope our recommendations help strengthen the defense of your identity against identify theft.