Identity theft protection

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by mranum, Feb 1, 2012.

  1. mranum

    mranum Member

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    Identity theft protection. Anybody ever use it? The better half and myself have been thinking about seriously investigating it. Never had any issues but we do so much of our bill paying online anymore I wonder if it would be wise. Last week my FIL had his debit card compromised. He got his money back easy enough but he happened to catch it within a couple hours of when it was accessed. Could have been worse.

    Looked around and there is a bunch of them. Do any of them cover a family? The ones I see look like they only cover individuals which means 2 policies. One for each of us.
  2. jack404

    jack404 Former Guest

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    simple fact is if they have enough info or doc's , they can pinch your ID even only for a short time , but it can do damage

    they steal some utilities info from your mail box , call up and say they are from welfare and you have been granted a utilities allowance , direct paid to the company , the company then info shares to confirm your account, DOB, SSN etc , and await a payment that wont come ...

    meanwhile they open up a bank account with your details minus the address , they use another one

    they deposit a few grand and get the usual CC card offers which they accept and run up , its only when the CC registration hit the central database can the info protectors catch it , and the cards normally approved and issued and used by the time that happens and often not in the USA , the numbers are emails and global in seconds and the accounts maxed in 2-3 hours

    the ONLY thing to keep you safe is YOU .

    theres lots of good info on how about

    best of luck eh ..
  3. medalguy

    medalguy Member

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    Agree with Jack. No sense spending good money on a service that doesn't really do much for you. Just check your credit file 3 times a year for free (annualcreditreport.com) once for each company, watch your credit card transactions regularly, watch your bank account, simple things like that.

    I also pay my bills online, and I worry a whole lot more about the kid at the restaurant who takes my credit card away for 3 minutes than I do about buying online from Midway.

    I've had a credit card compromised a few years ago. I found the charges, called my card issuer and notified them, and they went through all charges on my current bill and removed all that were not mine. Sent me a new card by overnight courier at no cost to me. No problem to me at all.

    Now as to a debit card-- I won't use one. Money spent with a debit card is gone. No way to get it back in the event of a dispute with a merchant, and frankly I don't see any advantage at all to a debit card over a credit card where I have every protection I could want. I only use a credit card, hardly use cash at all any more. Plus I get miles for every transaction I put on my credit card. The wife and I are taking an Alaska cruise this summer, absolutely free, on the miles I have earned over the past two years.

    Oh yeah, I pay the credit card off every month, in full. :D
  4. mranum

    mranum Member

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    Thanks for the opinions guys! More stuff to ponder.;)
  5. dons2346

    dons2346 Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    We don't have identity theft coverage. We don't pay bills on line instead we have direct pay where it comes directly out of the checking account. This is the most secure way of paying recurring bills.
  6. CampingJosh

    CampingJosh Moderator

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    I for one think that it's worthwhile.

    Identity theft is way more than just your credit card info. It's someone using your Social Security number to get a job (in which case you would owe the taxes). It's someone using your name at the hospital and suddenly you can't get painkillers, etc. when you really need them because some junkie tried to scam the doctors in your name and you got blacklisted.

    The value in ID theft protection is not stopping the crime. You can't do that no matter how vigilant you are.

    The value in ID theft protection is that the company will do the work to make it right. Do you have a spare 300 hours to argue with the IRS? I don't, and I'd rather pay $140 a year to never worry about it for myself or my family.
    The link there is the company I've used since 2008. I would recommend them.
  7. mjp28

    mjp28 Well-Known Member

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    A couple things, anyone can get their ID stolen, you just want to make yourself as safe as you can.

    My mother-in-law had her's stolen, she hasn't worked in over 30 years, had no credit cards in her name, nothing -but- it was a real hassle getting everything straightened out....they figured it was an inside job by someone that knew her.

    Everyone should get their three FREE credit reports annualy from: https://www.annualcreditreport.com/cra/index.jsp

    I get one early, one about in June and one later but that only tells you what has already happened! So you then have two choices for better monitoring 1. pay for it or 2. DIY.

    If you DIY you put freezes on all your accounts and all the other things you can do yourself. For some good information I'd start at a free government site like: http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/microsites/idtheft/

    If you pay at a service like LIFELOCK they do most all of it for you...for a fee of course. They aren't always perfect but if you're worried about it and don't want the hassles of DIY it's better than nothing.
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2012
  8. jack404

    jack404 Former Guest

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    http://www.wnd.com/2012/02/banking-giant-accused-of-laundering-billions/

    NEW YORK – A former employee of HSBC in New York has 1,000 pages of customer account records he claims are evidence of an international money-laundering scheme involving hundreds of billions of dollars by the global banking giant, which reportedly is under investigation by a U.S. Senate committee.

    John Cruz has delivered to WND customer account records he says he pulled from the HSBC computer system before he was fired. Cruz was terminated Feb. 17, 2010, after two years at HSBC for “poor performance,” but he contends he was let go because senior management didn’t want to him to pursue his personal investigation.

    Asked for comment, HSBC spokesman Rob Sherman issued a statement to WND.

    “We support efforts to protect the integrity of the financial system, and our commitment to AML (anti-money laundering) includes rigorous internal processes and a close working partnership with regulators and law enforcement,” the statement said.

    One of the largest banks in the world, London-based HSBC has about 7,500 offices in more than 80 countries and territories in Europe, North and South America, the Asia-Pacific region, the Middle East and Africa.

    In his position as an account relationship manager, Cruz worked in the HSBC southern New York region, which accounts for about 50 percent of HSBC’s North American revenue. He was assigned to work with several branch managers to identify accounts in which HSBC might introduce additional banking services.

    Cruz told WND he has “firsthand knowledge and proof of how HSBC transferred billions of dollars through accounts linked to companies that did not exist.”

    “I had poor job performance because the portfolio of HSBC accounts I was given to work ended up being 90 percent fictitious and fraudulent accounts,” he said. “How could I expand HSBC bank relations with fraudulent accounts that were created to be used for illegal money laundering?”

    Meanwhile, the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations has begun probing money-laundering activity at HSBC, according to a Reuters report last week, with the intention of scheduling hearings in the spring.

    Elise Bean, chief legal counsel and majority staff director for the Senate subcommittee, told WND the panel has “no comment” on any possible HSBC investigation.

    Cruz came to WND with the 1,000 pages of evidence before the committee’s investigation of HSBC was reported.

    He previously brought his complaint to Jeremy Scileppi, bureau chief of the Suffolk County District Attorney’s office on Long Island.

    “Scileppi was no more interested in hearing what I had to say than was the HSBC senior bank management,” Cruz said. “I got stonewalled. That’s when I decided to write a book.”

    Titled “World Banking World Fraud: Using Your Identity,” the book was published Oct. 7, 2011.

    Scileppi and the Suffolk County District Attorney’s office did not respond to a WND request to confirm Cruz’s claim.

    Cruz said that in the two years he worked for HSBC, he eventually discovered that money laundering was being carried out not only by branch managers but also by senior officers of the bank, both within the U.S. and internationally.

    “From what I saw, I came to suspect HSBC had become the Mexican drug cartels’ bank of choice,” he said.

    The customer account records suggest identity theft was used to capture legitimate Social Security numbers and create bogus retail and commercial bank accounts through which HSBC employees could deposit and withdraw hundreds of millions of dollars on a daily basis, apparently without the knowledge of the identity-theft victims.

    Cruz said he ultimately was fired after his supervisors made numerous attempts to discourage him from pursuing his personal investigation.

    “When I began bringing to the attention of my supervisors suspicious activity in accounts that needed to be reported to legal authorities, including the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, I was told to shut up,” he said.

    His job required him to access the HSBC computer system to find accounts to contact and visit in person.

    “I was shocked to find accounts through which millions of dollars were being deposited and withdrawn without any apparent business activity being conducted,” he said. “Then when I went to visit the business, I found nothing – shell companies, vacant offices with no furniture, or no such business whatsoever at the address listed on the account records.”

    Cruz said he never imagined that keeping his job at HSBC would mean turning a blind eye to criminal behavior.

    “I always thought that if you ran a bank, you would keep away from customers with fake names,” he said. “Instead, what I found at HSBC were thousands of accounts established for phantom businesses that had apparently only thousands of dollars of claimed business each year, but millions of dollars flowing into and out of the accounts every month.”

    One of Cruz’s first calls on an HSBC customer required a drive east on the Long Island Expressway to visit a small insurance company. But the phone number turned out to be disconnected, and the tax ID number corresponded with another HSBC customer from Yonkers who had recently closed his account with the bank.

    Another business Cruz visited, near the Brentwood Station on the Long Island Rail Way off Suffolk Avenue, turned out to be an abandoned building that evidently had not been occupied in some time. It had broken windows, and weeds pushed up through the cracked cement in the parking lot.

    WND has contacted HSBC customers identified in the account records. They appeared to fall into several distinct categories, including former customers of the bank who claim to have closed their accounts and people with no HSBC account history who were independently victims of identity theft related to credit card use.

    In all cases WND investigated, the Social Security numbers used to open the HSBC accounts were legitimate and connected to the person in whose name the retail or commercial bank account was opened.

    In most cases, WND found the phone numbers listed with the HSBC accounts to be disconnected or assigned to new users who claimed no knowledge of the accounts.
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2012
  9. armedandsafe

    armedandsafe Guest

    I have a VISA debit card via my credit union. Same protections as with their credit card.

    Pops
  10. Millwright

    Millwright Well-Known Member

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    One thing all the "experts" agree upon, mranum, is not to use your "debit card" in any potentially compromising situation ! Which makes them pretty much useless ! You're opening yourself to a host of scams from "shoulder surfers" to "phone snitches", to "skimmers" depending upon the venue you use one. Worse, its an "open seasame" to criminals to your bank account without the mandated "protection" afforded credit card users.

    FWIW, I suppose you could always establish a separate account with the debit feature, this limiting your risk to an amount you select. >MW
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