Tag: consumer protection

Fight Back Against Identity Theft

Big Bear, Ca April 8, 2011 3:00 pm – Many residents in the Big Bear Valley have experience with attempted identity theft.  They may have received a phone call from a person who represents themselves as a bank or agency.  During the conversation, the caller asks for verification of a social security number.  Hopefully awareness of the risk of identity theft will keep most people from giving out this information.  What many may not be aware of is that what is thrown in the trash can be mined for information as well.  The trash cans at our local Post Offices are overflowing with mail that is unwanted.  Some of this mail may include pre-approved credit card applications, checks for cash advances on credit cards, or other letters that include personal information.  It has been reported to KBHR that trash collectors have been seen going through the dumpsters outside the Big Bear City Post Office.  When asked, the Postmaster has stated the Post Office has no way to secure trash outside their facility.  It is each customer’s responsibility to ensure that mail thrown away in the Post Office does not include personal information.  If Big Bear Valley residents suspect that someone is using their identity, their child’s or another family member’s social security number, they should take four steps immediately.  1) Place a fraud alert on credit reports.  2) Close...

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Identity Theft as Easy as Throwing Out Trash

Big Bear, Ca March 28, 2011 8:00 am – Your identity can be taken as easily as throwing out the trash.  In 2007, a mountain resident had her identity stolen and at least 10 different charge accounts opened in her name.  Recently, the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s detectives were able to follow the trail of items purchased with these accounts and raided a residence in Los Angeles.  They found almost 1,000 individuals’ names, birth dates, and social security numbers, along with counterfeit driver’s licenses, credit cards, and check books using these names.  It is suspected that the thieves routinely went through trash from banks, car dealerships and other businesses, gathering personal information.  Businesses can protect their customers by implementing a security program, evaluating information collected, and ensuring that sensitive information is protected.  Consumers can minimize their risks by being careful with whom they share information.   The San Bernardino County Sheriff recommends the following links with additional about protecting yourself and your customers against identity theft: Federal Trade Commission: Fighting Back Against Identity Theft FDIC: Identity Theft & Fraud [audio:http://kbhr933.com/wp-content/uploads/SP30570.mp3|titles=Identity Theft Easy as Throwing Out...

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