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Absolutely Accurate News

January 2013


IDENITY THEFT - Who's Copying Your Life?



Now that the Holiday's are a pleasant memory of time spent with people that know and enjoy the real that possibly hundreds of strangers, businesses and information-gathering machines have had access to your private financial identification numbers...there won't be a better New Years' Resolution than to verify that YOU are the only one living and spending on your behalf.  

Besides the common methods of ID theft chronicled below, I would like to draw your IMMEDIATE attention to yet the latest and greatest innovation to embezzle your hard-earned assets.  Radio Frequency IDentification (RFID) readers - please take a moment to watch this very informative video - it is extremely alarming! 

WTHR_The Risk inside your credit card
The Risk inside your credit card

There are 5 sub-categories of identity theft:
* Criminal identity theft (posing as another person when apprehended for a crime)
* Financial identity theft (using another's identity to obtain credit, goods and services)
* Identity cloning (using another's information to assume his or her identity in daily life)
* Medical identity theft (using another's identity to obtain medical care or drugs)
* Child identity theft.

The US Government Federal Trade Commission states that the best way to detect identity theft is to monitor your accounts and bank statements each month, and check your credit report on a regular basis. For additional information on protecting your identify, click here 

If you find that your identity has been stolen, follow these steps to stop further problems and repair the damage done:

Going forward, learn to protect yourself; identity theft can be partially mitigated by NOT identifying oneself unnecessarily (a form of information security control known as risk avoidance).  Be aware of the techniques that thieves use to obtain personally identifiable information to authenticate themselves to impersonate others and be on the look out!

  • Rummaging through rubbish for personal information (dumpster diving)
  • Retrieving personal data from redundant IT equipment and storage media including PCs, servers, PDAs, mobile phones, USB memory sticks and hard drives that have been disposed of carelessly at public dump sites, given away or sold on without having been properly sanitize
  • Using public records
  • Stealing bank or credit cards, identification cards, passports, authentication tokens (pick-pocketing, housebreaking or mail theft)
  • Common-knowledge questioning schemes that offer account verification and compromise: "What's your mother's maiden name?", etc.
  • Skimming information from bank or credit cards using compromised or hand-held card readers, and creating clone cards
  • Using 'contactless' credit card readers to acquire data wirelessly
  • Observing users typing their login credentials, credit/calling card numbers etc. into IT equipment located in public places
  • Stealing personal information from computers using spyware
  • Hacking computer networks, systems and databases to obtain personal data, often in large quantities
  • Advertising bogus job offers in order to accumulate resumes and applications typically disclosing applicants' names, home and email addresses, telephone numbers and sometimes their banking details
  • Exploiting insider access and abusing the rights of privileged IT users to access personal data on their employers' systems
  • Infiltrating organizations that store and process large amounts or particularly valuable personal information
  • Impersonating trusted organizations in emails, SMS text messages, phone calls or other forms of communication in order to dupe victims into disclosing their personal information or login credentials
  • Brute-force attacking weak passwords and using inspired guesswork to compromise weak password reset questions
  • Obtaining castings of fingers for falsifying fingerprint identification
  • Browsing social networking websites for personal details published by users, often using this information to appear more credible in subsequent social engineering activities
  • Diverting victims' email or post in order to obtain personal information and credentials; such as credit cards, billing and bank/credit card statements, or to delay the discovery of new accounts and credit agreements opened by the identity thieves in the victims' names
  • Using false pretenses to trick individuals, customer service representatives and help desk workers into disclosing personal information and login details or changing user passwords/access rights
  • Stealing checks to acquire banking information, including account numbers and bank routing numbers
  • Guessing Social Security numbers by using information found on Internet social networks
  • Low security/privacy protection on photos that are easily clickable and downloaded on social networking sites
  • Befriending strangers on social networks and taking advantage of their trust until private information are given.

All of us take pride and pleasure in the fact that we are unique but, when all is said and done, the police are right: It all comes down to fingerprints.  Never allow yourself to be made a victim. Accept no one's definition of your life, but define yourself. Take ACTION to prevent your information falling into the wrong hands.

Wishing all of you a healthy, happy and successful New Year just being YOU!!!!  Stay safe!



Mary Goehring


Transcription Plus, LLC


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In this Issue

Idenity Theft
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Debra Massack
 Certified Medical Transciptionist


Debra Massack has been with Transcription Plus, LLC since October 2009.  Debra spent 20+ years as a legal assistant working in personal injury, wrongful death and medical malpractice litigation, where she learned about many medical conditions, the human body and its functions.  Debra combined here interest in medicine and health care with her legal transcription skills and began her medical transcription career with Transcription Plus, LLC.  Debra specializes in cardiology and family practice.

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