Tag: Identity Theft

Tax Preparation Precautions

Big Bear Lake, CA, March 27, 2013 – It’s time to file your taxes, and you should be aware of safety precautions to protect your personal identity from being stolen. During tax season, a lot of sensitive, private information is exchanged causing consumers to be vulnerable. The following five tips will protect your personal identification during tax preparation: Know Who’s Helping You: Work with someone familiar and trustworthy. If you’re thinking of hiring a new accountant or using a tax preparation service, do some research first and check with the Better Business Bureau for complaints. File Your Taxes As Soon As Possible: Filing sooner rather than later gives identity thieves less time to file tax returns with stolen Social Security numbers. Use Secure WiFi to E-File: If you’re filing through TurboTax or another online program, be sure to send your personal information through a secure password protected wireless Internet connection. Mail Taxes Personally: If you’re mailing your tax forms using the US Postal Service, don’t put your taxes in someone else’s hands. Mail the information directly at the post office and cut out the middleman. Watch Out for IRS Email Scams: A huge red flag is an “IRS email”, this is likely a phishing scam, since proper notification for personal information will only be sent to you from the IRS through regular mail....

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Big Bear Sheriff’s Station Hosts Free Seminar on Identity Theft and Scams

Big Bear, CA, April 10, 2012, 5:00pm – In order to raise community awareness, the Big Bear Sheriff’s Station is offering a free seminar on identity theft and common fraud scams on Wednesday evening, April 11th.  Our local Sheriff’s Department has received an increased number of reports of scams and identity theft over the past three months.  Identity theft occurs when someone uses your personally identifying information, such as your Social Security number, without your permission to commit fraud or other crimes.  “Scam” is a term that covers a variety of crimes, ranging from bogus Internet auctions to the infamous Nigerian advance fee fraud schemes.  According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, an estimated 8.6 million households in the U.S. experienced some form of identity theft in 2010 with the direct financial loss estimated at $13.3 billion.  And, according to the Federal Trade Commission, California ranks third in the nation per capita for identity theft.  Although senior citizens were once considered to be the most common victims, the 18 to 29 year old age bracket accounts for almost 30% of all identity theft complaints.  All Valley residents are invited to learn more about how identity theft is committed, common Internet scams, techniques to avoid becoming a victim and information on what to do if you are victimized.  Seating is limited to 100 attendees on Wednesday at 6pm in Hofert Hall...

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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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Community Services District Responds To Identity Theft Allegations

Big Bear City, CA, March 17, 2011, 9:00am – At a special meeting of the Board of Directors of the Big Bear City Community Services District on March 15, Board President Jeff Newsome released a statement which says: “The Board of Directors of the Big Bear City Community Services District wishes to assure all of its customers that their personal and confidential information is secure. The Board of Directors has taken steps to ensure that the recent address releases and identity theft allegations, although not a violation of federal law, state law, or CSD Resolution No. 937, have been addressed and rectified through appropriate procedural modifications.”  Mr. Newsome also said that all of the received public record requests regarding this matter will be honored and satisfied in a timely manner. [audio:http://kbhr933.com/wp-content/uploads/SP30532.mp3|titles=CSD...

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