Identity Protection

Location: Scotts Valley, CA, United States

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Vehicles are New Identity Theft Target

Officers say Vehicles are New Identity Theft Target

Criminals are trolling dealership lots and shopping malls, looking for a 16 digit vehicle identification code. In some models, it's inside the driver's side door but on others, it's right in plain sight on the dashboard.

The crooks write down the number. Then they use the number to forge titles for stolen vehicles of a similar make and model. The stolen vehicles are sometimes sold to legitimate dealers, who turn around and sell the vehicles to you.

If you end up buying a vehicle with a stolen identity, the police may seize the vehicle. Your insurance will cover any losses but you'll end up paying in higher rates and fees.

To keep from buying a vehicle with a stolen identity, run a Carfax report on any vehicle you may buy, especially used cars. If you notice any differences in mileage, condition of the car, even it's color, you may be looking at a cloned car.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

ID Theft - Thousands of Banking Profiles Stolen

More than 100,000 customers of Wachovia Corp. and Bank of America Corp. have been notified that their financial records may have been stolen by bank employees and sold to collection agencies.

In all, nearly 700,000 customers of four banks may be affected, according to police in Hackensack, N.J., where the investigation was centered.

The bank record theft was exposed April 28 when police in Hackensack charged nine people, including seven bank workers, in an alleged plot to steal financial records of thousands of bank customers.

Bank records contain sensitive and personal information on each depositor, including their social security number, and other private information such as the mother's maiden name. Used together, perpetrators gain access to the victims finances and often open accounts in the victims name, which the victim may not discover till the collection agencies come looking for payment.

Hackensack Police Chief Ken Zisa said collection agent Orazio Lembo Jr., 35, received lists of people sought for debt collection and gave that information to bank workers, who would compare names with their client lists.

Employees accessed records at Cherry Hill, N.J. based Commerce Bank; PNC Bank of Pittsburgh, and Charlotte-based banks Wachovia and Bank of America, according to police.

The thieves were reportedly paid $10.00 for each individual's record.

This kind of activity behooves us to gain protection, such as the Identity Theft Shield from

Sunday, May 22, 2005

My Experience with Identity Theft

It was just a routine trip to the bank to make a deposit. However, the surprise came about when I noticed that my balance was about $1,500.00 in the red. I closed the account and filed a claim with the banks security department.

Someone in the LA area had become me. They had gotten access to my bank account and obtained an ATM card. They used it to get $300.00 per day for 5 days. In addition they filled their tank with gas a couple of times so the cost to my account was about $1,600.00 before it was over.

That was just the beginning.

Soon after, I discovered the perps had changed by address on my bank account and my statement was mailed to their residence instead of mine. As you know, on your cancelled checks are credit card account numbers and your signature. All data that can be used by a criminal to their advantage.

Then I began to get calls from credit card companies, such as Sears and Macy's, asking me why I was opening additional accounts with them. Of course, it wasn't me. It was the criminal who was claiming to be me.

I filled police reports with my local police department. The Los Angeles Police Department didn't want my report as even though the crime was taking place in their jurisdiction, I was not. They told me there was a lot of ID Theft taking place there. A feeling of helplessness was coming over me. Several calls to the bank security department were not fruitfull. They didn't know who were the perpetrators and it didn't seem like the Police were going to do anythingf

I still have some work to do - as my credit reports are not quite repaired yet.

If I had had a membership with the Identity Theft Shield all the repairs would have been taken care of by Kroll Background America, the world's leading risk consulting company. That would have saved me tons of time and effort.

More on this later . . .