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Teaching Kids About Identity Theft

May 13, 2013 5 comments

Today, E-Crime Expert is pleased to introduce Nancy Parker, who is a freelance writer which loves writing articles on opinions and social awareness. Nancy is a frequent contributor for http://www.enannysource.com.

According to Julie Myhre*:

Identity theft occurs when someone gets a hold of someone else’s personal information and poses as that person or uses that information to create their own fake identity. This information can be a full name, social security number or a bank account number“.

For children, identity theft occurs a little differently. Child identity thieves are looking for their victim’s Social Security number. Since children don’t have any credit history, it makes it easier for thieves to use their Social Security number and a false birthday to open credit cards.

Read bellow this interesting interview conducted by Michelle LaRowe:

“Identity theft is a real problem and, sadly, children are not exempt from having their identities stolen. Recently, I connected with Julie Myhre, who covers identity theft for NextAdvisor.com, and here is what she had to say.

eNannySource: How does identity theft happen?

Julie: Identity theft occurs when someone gets a hold of someone else’s personal information and poses as that person or uses that information to create their own fake identity. This information can be a full name, social security number or a bank account number. It’s usually easier for identity thieves to get information about an adult because adults have a lot of personal information about them; however, it is important to also remember that children can be victims of identity theft too. There are a lot of different ways that adults can be hacked; some of these include not having privacy settings on social media, clicking on phishing emails or pop-ups, losing a wallet, throwing away documents that contain personal information, and ATM or credit card skimming, among others.

For children, identity theft occurs a little differently. Child identity thieves are looking for their victim’s Social Security number. Since children don’t have any credit history, it makes it easier for thieves to use their Social Security number and a false birthday to open credit cards. The unfortunate part about this is that people who were victims of child identity theft don’t usually realize it until they are older and trying to apply for a credit card or loan. Thieves usually gather children’s personal information from sports team applications, school documents and any other documents that would have your child’s Social Security number on it.

eNannySource: How is it prevented?

Julie: There are a lot of different steps that you can take to prevent identity theft. One of the major ways to prevent identity theft is to sign up for an identity theft protection service. Most of these services monitor your personal information regularly and alert you if they notice any suspicious or possibly fraudulent activity. A good amount of these services also offer family plans, which will allow you to protect your whole family – including your children – from identity theft.

Some other options to prevent identity theft include shredding all documents that contain yours or your child’s personal information, checking your bank accounts and credit card statements regularly, monitoring your credit report and, lastly, knowing what you and your child post online. A lot of people don’t realize how much information they post about themselves and their family on social media. It’s fine if you want to include some personal information – such as your full name and photo – but make sure that you set your profile to private. Monitor what you and your child post on social media, and check the privacy settings regularly – at least monthly.

eNannySource: What basic things can parents teach children to avoid identity theft?

Julie: Parents should teach their children about identity theft in a similar manner that they teach them about strangers. If you think about it, it’s essentially very similar – someone you don’t know is trying to take something from you. Parents just need to teach their children that their personal information is private and they should not reveal any of it to people they don’t know. Children won’t understand the details of identity theft, so it’s important not to go into too many details. The bottom line is personal information should be kept personal, and it’s important that parents recognize that and teach it to their children.

eNannySource: What age do parents have to start worrying about identity theft?

Julie: Parents should begin to think about ways to protect their child from identity theft as soon as their child has a Social Security number.

eNannySource: Is it worth investing in some type of protection?

Julie: Yes, in most circumstances identity theft protection is worth the investment. The value of identity theft protection isn’t necessarily in the active personal information monitoring, because the reality is that people can do that part themselves. Instead, the value lies in the identity theft recovery that these services offer. In the instance that yours or your child’s identity is stolen while you’re signed up for an identity theft protection service, you are provided with all the information and tools you need to recover yours or your child’s good name. Identity theft protection services represent you when you’re dealing with the banks, credit bureaus and creditors. It lightens the load on the victim’s side and helps alleviate the nightmare of identity theft. The identity theft recovery assistance is a valuable tool to have if yours or your child’s identity is stolen.

eNannySource: What about the Internet? What are the top tips for parents of kids who use the Internet?

Julie: The most important tip that parents need to follow when their children use the Internet is to monitor what your child is doing and posting on the Internet. Have open communication with your child and make them aware that they shouldn’t be putting any personal information on the Internet – even if it’s your home address in a private message to a friend. Check in with your child and make sure these rules are being followed on all platforms, including the computer, cell phone and tablet. Check your child’s privacy settings on their phone and social media once a month to make sure the information they post on the Internet is set to private”.

*Julie Myhre is the Content Manager at NextAdvisor.com. You can review identity theft protection reviews and learn more about identity theft on the site.

To read the original post and find more about Julie, please click here.

This interesting interview nicely connects to one of E-Crime Expert‘s blog post, called: How secure is your Child’s Social Security Number?

If you have any question you could contact: dan@e-crimeexpert.com

Additional information can be found at: www.e-crimeexppert.com

Hit the “subscribe” button in order to be notified when new videos and Articles are posted on this blog.

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What to do in case of credit/payment card fraud: real life example!

This weekend E-Crime Expert encountered a financial fraud which happened to us in real life. Money was fraudulently withdrawn from our (Dan’s) account. Luckily, we immediately identified the fraud which enables us to cancel the card and report the fraud in order to be reimbursed.

1.      How it could be detected:

i. Go log into your online banking account (Fig. 1)

(I am using a mobile platform for my online banking)

Fig. 1.

photo 1

ii. Type your user name or card number and password (Fig. 2)

 Fig. 2

photo 2

iii. Select one of your accounts and then go through your transaction records carefully and see if there is any transaction you do not recognize (this is how I identified the fraud in my VISA account).Fig. 3.

Fig. 3

photo 3

iv. Most likely the fraudulent transaction will be from a service provider or vendor that you had nothing to do with it (as it happened in my case) Fig. 4.

 Fig. 4

photo 4

2. What to do if you suspect fraudulent activity:

 Despite your best efforts, there is still a chance that you will become a victim of payment card fraud. You will save yourself time and worry by following the steps below:

  • Call your financial institution immediately. You can find the phone number easily on the back of your card (Fig. 5).

Fig. 5 photo 5

 It may want to cancel your current card and mail you a new one. Check to verify that your mailing address has not been changed.   

  • If you still have your card, but fraudulent purchases have been made on the account, call your financial institution, and ask them to issue you a new one.   
  • Contact the national credit bureaus to let them know you are a victim of fraud. They will place a “Fraud Alert” on your file. You can also request copies of your credit report, which you should review carefully. For North America:                                   Equifax: 1-800-465-7166 or www.equifax.ca
                                                                                TransUnion: 1-866-525-0262 or www.tuc.ca
  • Diligently check your statements in the following months to make sure the problem has been completely resolved.
  • Report the fraudulent activity to the proper authorities, including the police or to the Internet Crime Complaint Center:

i. Mastercard:

To successfully fulfill your mission of how to contact MasterCard fraud,

  • you can call 800-627-8372.
  • If you’re not in the United States, contact MasterCard fraud by calling 636-722-7111.
  • If it’s an emergency related to possible fraud, MasterCard will accept international collect calls.

ii. Visa:

  • Call the bank or other organisation that issued your card, if you know the telephone number. They will immediately block your card and organise a replacement
  • If you do not have your card issuer’s telephone number, use the menu on the Global Card Assistance Directory page for help. 

To use the Global Card Assitance Service Directory Click here.

From the pull-down menu choose the country you are in now. Call the telephone number that appears in the right-hand box. Calls might be free but may carry local telecom fees if one dials using a mobile phone or calls from within a hotel.

If outside the US please make a reverse-charge call to +1 303 967 1096, if within the US, simply dial +1 800 847 2911.

3.  What you need to be prepare to provide when calling:

  • The name of your card issuer
  • The type of card — for example, Visa Electron, Visa Classic, Visa Gold
  • The country where the card was issued

It will help if you can also tell them:

  • Your 16-digit Visa/MasterCard account number
  • If you have your own card account or a partner card
  • Your name as it is printed on the card
  • The address where your statement is sent
  • Your home telephone number
  • How the card went missing or what transaction you find illegitimate
  • Other personal details that will be used as a security check to confirm your identity
  • The identity of the primary cardholder, if you are the secondary cardholder.

4. Tips to stay safe:

i.                    How to prevent identity theft

Identity theft involves acquiring another person’s identification information (such as a social insurance number or any unique identifier) without a person’s knowledge for the purpose of impersonating him or her to commit fraud. The best defense against identity theft is to prevent thieves from getting the information in the first place.

Here are guidelines to follow:

  • Never leave your purse or wallet unattended – keep your personal data and information guarded at all times.   
  • Sign your credit and debit cards in permanent ink as soon as you receive them.   
  • Call your card issuer if a new or reissued card does not arrive when expected.   
  • Don’t carry your social insurance card, birth certificate, or passport in your wallet or purse unless it’s absolutely necessary. Cancel any inactive payment card accounts.   
  • Never throw away receipts in a public trash container. When disposing of receipts or old statements, be sure to destroy the areas where the account number is visible. In general, you should keep all your receipts in a safe place to refer to if you suspect suspicious activity.
  • Check your statements frequently and carefully. Be sure you are familiar with all account activity on the statement. If you find an unauthorized or questionable transaction, call the appropriate organizations immediately.
  • Do not write your credit or debit card account number on a cheque, or use it for identification when paying by other means.
  • If your social insurance card or driver’s license is missing, contact the appropriate agency immediately.
  • Never give any payment card, bank, or social insurance information to anyone by telephone, even if you made the call, unless you can positively verify that the call is legitimate and there is a true need for the information.
  • Keep a list of all your credit accounts and bank accounts in a secure place so you can quickly call the issuers to inform them about missing or stolen cards. Include account numbers, expiration dates, and telephone numbers of customer service and fraud departments.
  • Make a note of when your financial statements arrive each month. If your statements stop arriving, contact your bank immediately.
  • Obtain a copy of your credit report once a year from one of the national credit bureaus. You are entitled to a free copy of your report if you are denied credit. Otherwise, most credit bureaus will charge a small fee. If the report data is incorrect, write the credit bureau immediately and keep a copy of your letter.

 ii.                  How to prevent fraud while using your payment card

Payment cards are used everyday by billions of people throughout the world. By following the steps below, you will significantly reduce the chances of fraudulent activity occurring on your account:

  • When making a purchase, keep your card in view at all times. Retrieve the card as soon as the transaction is complete and make sure it is yours.
  • Memorize your passwords and personal identification numbers (PINs) so you do not have to write them down. Be aware of your surroundings; make sure no one is watching you input your PIN.
  • Never sign a blank receipt slip. Draw a line through any blank amount lines that appear above the total amount line.
  • Save all of your receipts so you can refer to them at a later time. Never discard your receipt in a public trash container.
  • Do not provide your account number over the phone unless you are positive the call is legitimate and there is a legitimate purpose to disclose your account number. Never provide your number over the phone if you didn’t initiate the call.
  • Avoid saying your account number aloud at a merchant location or over the phone if others can hear.

iii.                How to prevent fraud while shopping online

Shopping online opens up a world of choices and convenience – as well as some risks that require extra vigilance. Here are some tips to ensure that your online shopping experience remains safe and enjoyable:

  • Make sure you are doing business with a reputable Internet merchant. Check with the Better Business Bureau or provincial and local consumer agencies to find out about past complaints or experiences from other customers. You can also look for the following information on the website to check if a merchant is reputable:
    • Privacy policy – A reputable website often has a clearly stated privacy policy in an accessible place. Read the privacy policy so you know exactly how the merchant intends to use your information.
    • Information about the offer – make sure you learn all you can about the offer, including the delivery date, terms of warranty, cancellation policies, how to contact the company if you have questions, etc.
    • Information about the merchant – make sure to find the company’s physical address and telephone number.
    • Security – Reputable websites often provide information about how they protect your financial information when it is transmitted and stored.
  • Guard your personal information. Don’t provide information that you are uncomfortable giving. Never give anyone the password that you use to log on to your Internet Service Provider or online bank account.   
  • Keep records. Print out all information about your online transaction and keep it in a safe place to refer to at a later time.   
  • Pay with a payment card – as this is often the safest way to pay online. In North America, the cardholder has the right to dispute charges if the goods or services were misrepresented or never delivered. Also, you are not responsible for fraudulent purchases made on your account.   
  • Make sure the merchant that you are dealing with has proper security measures in place. Your computer browser can tell you if the place where you are about to send the information is secure. Look for an unbroken key or closed lock at the bottom of the browser window. If you cannot determine this, do not put your credit or debit card information over the Internet.
  • Hover the weblink on the browser you are using to see if there is no hidden link from a fake or illegitimate cloned website.

iv.                 Setting up your best security for your Visa Card:

Visa has developed several layers of fraud prevention and detection systems and programs, giving you multiple checkpoints for security to protect your business and make transactions more secure. Visa’s Layers of Security complement each other and work together, so by implementing multiple services you can help reduce your risk of fraud.

The Layers of Security:

Layer # 1 – Chip & PIN

Many Visa cards now contain a micro-computer chip that securely stores encrypted information to complete transactions. As well, Personal Identification Numbers (PINs) are used for cardholder authentication when chip cards are used in Canada. This helps make counterfeiting virtually impossible.

Layer # 2 – Verified by Visa

The Verified by Visa (VbV) program is a worldwide service that confirms a cardholder’s authenticity in real time. This helps protect merchants from fraudulent transactions and chargebacks, while protecting cardholders from unauthorized use of their Visa cards.

Layer # 3 – Three-digit Code (CVV2)

The CVV2 is a three-digit security code on all Visa cards that helps ensure a customer making an online or phone purchase has a genuine Visa card in hand.

Layer # 4 – Address Verification Service (AVS)

When fraudsters try to order online, by mail or by phone, AVS can help stop them in their tracks. Account number information obtained from a receipt or a stolen card does not include an address or postal code. AVS checks a cardholder’s address and/or postal code against the card issuer’s records in real time, giving you the opportunity to stop a transaction if desired.

Layer # 5 – Visa Advanced Authorization (VAA)

Available through most card issuers, VAA lets you immediately identify and respond to emerging fraud patterns and trends. As transactions are processed through VisaNet® Advanced Authorization, VAA evaluates an authorization request data in real time and assesses and assigns a risk rating – helping you better identify potential fraud.

5.      Additional contact numbers for Canada only:

MasterCard Issuer Security Phone Numbers in Canada:

ATB Financial: 1-800-661-2266
BMO Bank of Montreal: 1-800-361-3361
Bridgewater Bank: 1-866-398-4404
Canadian Tire Bank: 1-800-459-6415
Capital One Canada: 1-800-481-3239
CIBC:   1-800-663-4575
Citibank Canada: 1-800-305-7259
Credit Union Electronic Transaction Services: 1-800-567-8111
Direct Cash Bank: 1-888-466-4043
GE Money Canada: 1-800-243-2222
HSBC Bank Canada: 1-866-406-4722
MBNA Canada: 1-800-379-2744
National Bank of Canada: 1-888-622-2783
Peoples Trust: 1-866-452-1138
President’s Choice Bank: 1-866-246-7262
RBC Royal Bank: 1-800-361-0152
Sears Canada: 1-800-288-9965
Walmart Financial Services Canada: 1-888-925-6218
Wells Fargo Financial: 1-888-295-0050
     

 If you have any question you could contact: dan@e-crimeexpert.com

Additional information can be found at: www.e-crimeexppert.com

Hit the “subscribe” button in order to be notified when new videos and Articles are posted on this blog.

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