Showing posts with label Identity theft. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Identity theft. Show all posts

Wednesday, July 21, 2021

Six Effective Measures For E-Commerce Fraud Prevention

E-commerce fraud has become highly pervasive and sophisticated, hence bringing e-businesses to a fragile threshold. These frauds can significantly impact customer loyalty, drain revenue, and create legal issues due to the undue exposure of sensitive data. 

It is essential for business owners to stay vigilant to prevent fraud on eCommerce platforms. Identity theft and account takeover are two of the most common e-Commerce fraud types. 

Account takeover can pose any private account at risk; in this fraud type, the fraudster acts like a real customer and gains control over a legitimate account to make an unauthorized financial/information transaction. 

In identity theft, the fraudster gathers confidential data of another user to make transactions on their behalf.

Other subtypes of e-Commerce fraud occur in credit card or card-not-present environments, chargeback fraud, triangulation fraud, hacking, and more. 

This list is not exhaustive and includes other various eCommerce fraud types that can severely impact the company’s bottom line. Cybercriminals make use of intelligent technologies for conducting unauthorized transactions. 

Hence, it is critical to have the best fraud detection and prevention tools in the e-Commerce workflow to eliminate real-time risks. The e-Commerce fraud prevention software is one of the most valuable assets. 

The modern software uses intelligent tools and processes to extract data and perform analytics for risk modeling and prevent fraud before it occurs. It can quickly identify transactional anomalies and detect fraud using AI, big data, and live-streaming visualizations.

To effectively prevent e-Commerce fraud, here are some of the essential measures that merchants and stakeholders can adopt.

PCI Compliance

Companies that make use of credit cards for accepting payments from customers must be PCI compliant. It helps maintain the security of credit card transactions and ensures the safety of the payment systems. 

PCI compliance also enables the customers to trust your system and helps to improve your reputation. For obtaining PCI compliance, stakeholders need to build and maintain a secure network, protect cardholder data, maintain a vulnerability management program, implement strong access control measures, regularly monitor and test networks, and maintain an information security policy. 

PCI compliance reduces opportunities for malicious activity and fraud. It ensures encryption for confidential payment data from falling into the wrong hands.

Address Verification System (AVS)

The Address Verification Service (AVS) is a fraud prevention system. It verifies if the billing address matches the address of the credit cardholder. 

It helps to detect any suspicious credit card transaction activity. After the AVS solution initiates matching the address, the processing network then sends an AVS response code to indicate the match results to the payment gateway. 

Based on the predetermined AVS rejection settings, the system accepts or rejects the transaction.

Regular Site Security Audits

A security audit enables the companies to test and assess the overall security of the e-Commerce platform. It also helps to check if the platform is compliant with necessary regulatory protocols. 

Moreover, the regular site security audits help address the gaps that may act as a potential entry point for the fraudsters to defraud the platform. 

It involves scanning the website for malware, checking the encryption and password strength, removing inactive plugins, and more.

Using An Anti-Fraud Software

You can integrate and deploy an anti-fraud tool with real-time transaction screening and review the available automation features. It can look into the historical and current data to identify any unusual activity across the platform. 

You need to assess handles cases of false declines to ensure that it is not ineffective. The software must continuously monitor internal processes to detect failures and provide 24/7 security operations center support. 

With algorithm-based evaluation capability to assess data sets, it must evaluate the risk of every transaction to reduce the risk of fraudulent transactions on time.

Use Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS)

The e-Commerce business owners must ensure that the websites representing the online store use HTTPS security instead of HTTP. 

HTTPS facilitates user data encryption, including financial information and browsing history, and protects it against an unauthorized breach. It covers the communication between your browser and server from any risk factors like intentional malicious attackers and intrusive companies. 

You require an SSL certificate to use HTTPS. It helps protect sensitive information in the e-Commerce platform.

Fraud Awareness Sessions

While most of the measures mentioned above improve the chances of intercepting the fraud and preventing it, it may sometimes fall short of protecting in instances where it is more pervasive. 

The employees and customers must be well-aware of different fraud types and practice essential safety measures to keep the transactional activity secure from their end. It helps to reduce the impact of eCommerce fraud significantly.

To Conclude:

These are some of the most effective e-Commerce fraud prevention measures. It helps the stakeholders to spot fraudulent transactions and prevent them ahead of time actively. 

It also enables the protection of your revenue and makes your business more reliable and efficient. The dynamic end-to-end payment protection helps in securing the entire consumer payment lifecycle.

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

How to Safeguard Yourself Against Fraud and Identity Theft

Every year, millions of people are the victim of attempted and actual fraud or identity theft. Your personal information including your credit card account information is being transmitted over a variety of new channels, and your risk exposure for fraud is increasing dramatically. 
Many major companies with relatively secure infrastructures have experienced massive data breaches, leaving consumers’ information vulnerable to misuse. In addition, criminals have become more creative in how they target individuals for fraud. Now more than ever, it’s essential that you take steps to protect yourself. Here are a couple of the most important things that you can do to defend yourself against fraud.

Get Fraud Protection

When you’re evaluating how to fight fraud effectively, you should consider enlisting expert help with fraud and identity theft protection. A full-service fraud protection plan will monitor your credit and alert you of suspicious activity, so you don’t have to worry about checking it continuously. Should any type of fraud or identity theft occur, you can have immediate access to help in correcting it.

Beware of Phone Scams

Recently, robocalls have been an increasingly common vehicle for fraud schemes. Usually, it consists of a fraudulent message that’s sent out to thousands of people warning them that they better respond with their personal information or a payment or else they’ll be in trouble. 

In some instances, the calls actually tell people that they have been the victim of fraud and they need to take action to prevent a freeze on their social security account. In actuality, it’s an attempt to gain access to your personal social security information. A similar scheme tells people that they owe money to the IRS and must act right away to avoid criminal prosecution. 

If you get a phone call with a pre-recorded message telling you that you owe the IRS money and you better call and pay it or someone will come to arrest you, be aware that it’s definitely a fraud attempt. The IRS will never phone you to demand money or threaten you with incarceration.

Don’t Open Attachments in Suspicious Emails

If you receive an email from an unfamiliar sender, don’t open the attachment. It may contain a virus, malware, or ransomware that could be used to appropriate your financial data.
Take a proactive approach to safeguard yourself from fraud identity theft by getting expert-level protection and being conscientious about phone and email scams. You can have peace of mind knowing that you're ready to fight back against fraud.

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

4 Ways to Prevent Personal Identity Theft

We’ve all heard about identity theft and how the online environment is making it easier than ever before to have your personal identity stolen. Realize that when your identity is stolen, you’ll be spending months trying to eliminate accounts that were falsely opened, damage to your credit score, and so forth. 

Here are four methods you can utilize to help greatly reduce your risk of personal identity theft.

Shred Your Sensitive Documents

Yes, this time tested method is still vital to employ today. Many lenders and banks will still utilize traditional snail mail to send out vital information about your account. This is to protect against telephone fraud and other potential problems. However, it’s a great way to leak your personal information. 

Make sure that any sensitive documents that you want to dispose of are properly shredded or burned. It only takes a minute and can mean the difference between months of struggling to regain your credit standing.

Don’t Give Personal Information Over the Phone

If you weren’t already aware, then you should’ve learned from above that mail is still a necessary form of personal information exchange. Your credit card company will send sensitive data, such as your new account pin, in the mail to your location. They won’t give you a new pin over the telephone because they know that the telephone make their clients vulnerable to identity theft.

As a general rule of thumb, if you get called by a creditor or bank, don’t give out your personal information. This holds true even if the caller id shows the lenders name. You should opt for communicating via traditional mail or tell the creditor or bank that you’ll call them back. This way, you can dial their number directly so you know that you’re speaking to them.

Use Computer Protection

With the amount of stuff that you probably do online, you’ll be asked for personal information from time to time. Do your best to safeguard against fraud on your computer. 

This means activating the firewall, maintaining virus protection, password-protect any financial documents, and don’t automatically save your login information. These simple measures can help to greatly reduce your risk of identity theft.

Leave Sensitive Documents in a Safe Place

Any sensitive documents such as your social security card should be left in a safe place at home. Don’t make it a habit to travel around with these items as you put yourself at risk for accidentally losing them. 

It’s safer to keep them at home and only bring them to places when it’s necessary to do so.

As you can see, personal identity protection isn’t that hard to do. It simply comes down to having a few key practices that you employ regularly to reduce your risk of theft. The above four practices should be a part of your regular identity protection routine.

Monday, June 24, 2019

5 Easy Precautions You Can Take Against Identity Theft

Did you know that on average, victims of identity theft spend at least 600 hours trying to clear their name? In addition to repairing the financial damage that’s been done, victims also have to prove that they are who they say they are. How unnerving is that?

As horrible as it sounds, there is a bright side to identity theft. Although you can’t be 100 percent sure it will never happen to you, there are things you can to protect yourself.

Monitor Online Accounts

If your bank offers online banking, sign up for it. Frequently log in to make sure you have no unauthorized transactions. Also, make sure to keep your login information safe. Never write it down or save it in your phone. also, never enable automatic logins.

Order Annual Credit Reports

You’re eligible for a free credit report from all three major bureaus. However, there are also apps that allow you to check your credit as often as you like. Credit Karma gives you instant access to your credit report for free. 

Sign up and check your report once a month for anything that looks out of the ordinary. You’d be surprised how many unauthorized accounts slip through the cracks.

Memorize Your Social Security Number

If someone gets a hold of your social security number, your credit can be destroyed in an instant. Play it safe and memorize your social security number. Make sure you contact a criminal defense group if your identity is indeed stolen. 

 Furthermore, make sure to be mindful of your surroundings when giving your social security number to customer service representatives.

Opt Out of Pre-Approved Credit Card Offers

You know those pre-approved credit card offers you get in the mail from time to time? Do not accept them. Tear them into pieces and throw them away. Thieves are notorious for using these kinds of offers to obtain other people’s credit card information. You can also opt out them to ensure you never get the offers again.

No matter how vigilant you are, there’s always the risk of identity theft. Even a disgruntled waiter can snap a photo of your credit card and go on a shopping spree. Play it safe and stay on top of your finances and purchases. 

If something doesn’t look right or you don’t remember giving that aforementioned waiter a tip, act upon it. The sooner you identify an issue, the sooner you can rectify it.

Saturday, May 18, 2019

How To Guarantee Safe Financial Transactions Online

When you are dealing with financial transactions online, there are times when you may be putting your accounts at risk. Maybe you use PayPal or some other e-wallet, BitCoin wallets or any type of cryptocurrency, FOREX exchange, or day to day internet banking with your bank, your transactions need to be safe and secure at all times.

Use VPN Software

Sometimes we need to connect to our financial accounts no matter where we are. This could mean using WiFi that you have no affiliation with such as at the airport or train station.

The risk here is that this is the ideal network for a hacker to gain access to other people’s devices or connections to the World Wide Web. One way is to secure your Internet browsing. As a result, the best way to protect yourself is to use the best vpn addon for firefox, then connect to your financial accounts.

The VPN will create a secure connection that is encrypted. Anyone looking at your internet connection will probably just ignore it because there is not much chance of them being able to hack such advanced encryption. There will be much easier targets that are not using any form of encryption.

Use Anti-Virus Software

Anti-virus companies are great at creating detection tools that will discover viruses, attempts by websites to download spyware on your computer, and so on. If you cannot afford a paid version, then use one of the free versions.

However, paid versions are much better and can cost less than $10 a month, which is a small price to pay to avoid having your computer hacked by a virus that has been programmed to send information on your computer to someone online committing cybercrimes.

Wait until you are at home

Using your home router is the safest possible place to transact financially online. This will not come as a surprise. Although it does not offer 100% security, there is little chance that someone is sitting outside your home trying to hack your home WiFi router. 

On the other hand, if you live in an apartment block or area where the population is dense, then you may want to consider using some form of protection.

One place where you may feel safe using the internet for financial transactions is at work. However, who knows what your IT team is up to. 

Someone in the team could have sold access to the network to someone looking to steal data, or worse still, they could be using the IT system themselves to steal data. This is why in general your home router is the safest place for financial transactions.

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Use Encryption Tools to Encrypt Your Files

This may seem overkill, but once you have installed a file encryption tool, then you are protected. It takes very little time to install such software, and it is so easy to use that it is just too hard to ignore it. Yes, it might be overkill, but at least you know that your files are safe.

Make sure you use an encryption tool that is up to date because sometimes encrypted files are also a flag for intruders who will recognize that these files have been encrypted and may wonder why. On the other hand, it is more likely to dissuade anyone from trying to hack your computer because it is so well locked down.

The reason this software is so useful is that so many people use Excel spreadsheets to store passwords, financial accounts, and so on. If you do use an excel spreadsheet, you should also be using the Excel password protection tool that is built-in plus adds encryption on top of any financial information you keep on the spreadsheet will be secure even if you lose your laptop or telephone.

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Thursday, April 18, 2019

Letters and Emails and Calls—Oh My! How to Avoid Getting Scammed

A sweepstakes prize notification comes in the mail. Some anonymous phone call promises you a free vacation. Through an ominous sounding email, you are warned of potential prosecution for tax evasion or public humiliation for visiting an inappropriate website.

These are only but an example of the many types of fraudulent snail and emails and phone calls. This bombardment of scams preys a poem victims responding to high pressure and lack of information. Here are a few ways you can avoid the scams.

Do a Search

Often, scammers will have an email or phone number but no identity of the company or entity. This alone can signal a potential scam. Not surprisingly, the cheats do not want themselves revealed.

Type in the email address, regular mail address, or phone number into an online database or reverse search service. If the scammer has done this with other people, chances are people have talked about it online.

Include in your Google search a few words or phrases from the message. This may generate hits from government or consumer watchdogs, such as the Better Business Bureau, that contain warnings. If you’re suspicious, contact your local Better Business Bureau, state consumer protection office or the Federal Trade Commission.

Smell a Phish

Phishing refers to attempts to get your personal and financial information, such as Social Security numbers, bank account numbers and credit card account numbers. Often, these scammers will mimic a legitimate company (including one with whom you have dealings) or a government agency.

The call, mail or email may contain a warning that you will face prosecution or other dire consequences unless you hand over information and pay money. Other scammers phish by claiming that they need updated information from you or that an invoice his due.

The IRS will not call you to collect on unpaid taxes. Instead, it will send you an official notice based upon items specific to your tax return or situation, which a scammer likely would not have. Credit card and other companies with whom you deal already obtained information from you when you opened the account. Contact your companies to learn their procedures for contacting you. Ignore invoices for items you have not ordered or companies you have not contacted.

Check for grammatical and spelling errors as well as for the original source of the email.

Avoid Those Who Want You to Be “Up Front”

This is not a call for you to be dishonest. It is a warning to avoid those who want you to pay in advance for particular items.

One of these types of scams inform you that you have won a prize, but you must furnish your credit card and other financial information to pay for shipping and handling. Not surprisingly, the charge appears on your card, but no prize appears at your door or mailbox. The pay up front scams often populate themselves in work-at-home for other employment schemes, promises for debt relief and mortgage assistance. Often, these “pay in advance” scammers do not have a company name or address.

Additionally, be aware that legitimate, professional agencies will never ask for payment in the form of gift cards. Scammers often ask for forms of payment that you can’t recover or cancel if you second guess them later.

Avoiding scams through the mail, email and telephone requires that you resist. That is, don’t succumb to the pressure to respond immediately. Investigate the message or claim. Consult legitimate online resources, official agencies (local, state and federal) and your own common sense. Often, no response to the message is the best approach.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Is Freezing Your Credit a Good Idea?

Your credit might be in danger. In fact, technology has created countless ways in which hackers and thieves steal identities and wreak financial havoc on innocent victims. Most people protect themselves by having some form of protection as part of their account.

However, many people choose to freeze their credit as an additional security measure against identity theft. But is freezing your credit a good idea?

There are pros and cons to freezing your credit and understanding the requirements in freezing it will help you decide if it’s the right choice for you.

Why Freeze Your Credit?

A credit freeze has traditionally been offered to account holders who’ve experienced some forum of identify theft of fraud. Recently, the practice has become popular among those who just want to protect themselves in advance.

By freezing your credit, you put your credit report on hold and prevent anyone from gaining access to your credit score or financial history. In fact, not even you can access it without following specific procedures to unfreeze it.

A credit freeze fully protects your reports from access to anyone. Credit inquiries that are commonly performed for loans, purchases, and accounts are also locked out when your credit is frozen.

Benefits of a Freeze

But why would you want to fully lock down your credit? Quite simply, it’s the most secure way to safeguard your credit from financial hackers. It prevents would-be thieves from accessing the most valuable information you have about your money.

If you use a service that monitors your credit, chances are you’ll only find out that you’ve been a victim of identity theft after it’s already occurred. However, by freezing your credit, you proactively prevent any attack on your finances.

What to Watch Out For

Freezing your credit also has some drawbacks that you should consider. It can be an inconvenient way to protect your credit given the difficulty of allowing anyone to access your credit.

So if you want to apply for a loan, rental, or make any purchase that requires a credit check, you’ll have to plan in advance in order to allow the lenders access.

This also requires you to go through specific procedures, which can take time and cost money. There is a fee involved in unlocking your credit, as well as the need to provide a special pin number that you’ve established beforehand.

The cost of unfreezing your credit will vary depending on your local requirements. Different lenders use specific credit bureaus. You may need to unlock your credit with all of them if a lender requires it.

However, if you’re freezing your credit with a help of a mortgage broker due to identify theft, then the fees will not be required. In all other cases, you will likely need to pay for any changes to the status of your credit freeze.

Most people aren’t aware of the frequency with which lenders and other parties perform credit inquires. So make sure that you understand which ones do, in order to prevent the inconvenience and cost of freezing your credit repeatedly.

The following are just some examples of when someone might require access to credit:

  • Mortgage
  • Insurance
  • Credit
  • Loan
  • Job application
  • Cell phone service
  • Home utilities
  • Online transactions

In order to protect your credit from identity thieves, there’s no better way than freezing it. It prevents access to your credit score and protects your most valuable information.

Although there are some drawbacks with respect to the fees and inconvenience of freezing your credit, the benefits can outweigh them with the full protection it provides and the peace of mind you’ll have around your personal finances.

Venetia Rose has been a freelance writer and blogger. She loves to share and keep herself updated with the latest tips in mortgage and financial consulting. Her interests are cooking, photography, craft and painting. Follow her on Face book

Saturday, April 5, 2014

The Truth About Identity Theft: 6 Tactics To Keep You Safe

The problem of identity theft is growing worse every year. Criminals with the smallest amount of personal information can now steal an identity and cause damage that could take years to repair. Criminals are also finding new and inventive ways to steal identities. Six tactics will help to protect anyone from identity theft.

Manage Passwords and PINs Carefully

All passwords and personal identification numbers (PINs) for credit cards should be managed carefully. The passwords and PINs should not correspond to numbers or words that could be guessed by a criminal. Passwords should be changed every 30 to 60 days to something completely different. You should also not keep all your passwords and pins the same across the board. This can be just be inviting a thief to access more information then they originally could have.

Shred Documents or Go Paperless

Picking bank statements and other papers out of the trash is still an effective way to steal an identity. It is important to shred all documents that contain personal information or account numbers. It could help to sign up for paperless billing with banks and utilities to eliminate printed documents from the trash completely.

If you choose the route of going paperless, the only other idea you have to worry about is keeping your passwords safe. Considering that you should have a different password for each and every account, sometimes it is good to have these passwords written down somewhere in case of an emergency. But you want to be careful with where you store these passwords and make sure they are out of sight and reach of anyone looking.

Store Wisely

For documents that cannot be shredded, think of a secure location for them. There are safety deposit boxes at every bank or you could invest in a fire safe to keep in your home. The point is, you want to make these documents unreachable to anyone outside of your family.

Check Accounts and Credit Reports Regularly

All accounts should be checked regularly for any usual activity or changes in information. This should include bank accounts, credit card statements and accounts with utilities or other companies. They should be checked to ensure the address and other data is correct. They should be checked for unauthorized activities. This is especially important when looking at a credit report.

Protect Incoming and Outgoing Mail

Identity thieves can steal mail directly from a mailbox. It is important to use a locking mailbox or to have a mail slot that leads into the home. Outgoing mail should be put in a secure mailbox and never left in an unprotected location for pickup.

Never Respond To Unsolicited Requests for Information

Unsolicited requests for information should be ignored. This includes emails and mailed letters. If the request seems legitimate and is from a known source, then it is best to find the official number of the institution and contact them directly to see if the request is valid. Be especially leery of websites that ask for personal information. The only thing you should be giving out to a site should be an email address. Never give any numbers of your social security number out over the internet. This is an easy way for criminals to get their hands on your information.

Scan For Spyware and Malware

Spyware and malware can extract personal information from a computer and record keystrokes. Computers should be scanned for spyware and malware once every week or month depending on usage. Installing active antivirus software will help as well.

Part of avoiding identity theft is quickly recognizing anomalies and staying out of uncertain situations. It is important to scrutinize everything before providing personal information over the phone or online. Personal information needs to be protected at all times as if identity thieves were waiting around every corner.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

5 Ways You Can Lower Your Risk of Identity Theft

Identity theft is one of the fastest growing crimes in the world. With the interconnectedness of countries, people, and information systems, it has become easier for identity thieves to hack into your accounts and steal your personal information, allowing them to assume your identity and wreak havoc on your life. Fortunately, there are ways you can protect yourself against these criminals. While there is never a guarantee that you won't fall victim to an identity theft, by taking some simple, preventative security measures you can help ensure your safety online and restore your peace of mind.

Guard Your Information

Many people have their social security cards with them in their wallets, along with their driver's license and credit cards. Imagine what would happen if your wallet or purse was stolen. The person who stole it would have access not only to your credit card numbers and basic information, but your social security number, as well. Always make sure your social security card, passwords, ATM PIN numbers, and other sensitive information is not stored anywhere that someone could easily find if they stole your wallet or purse.

Be Observant

It is very common to receive your bank statement in the mail or a statement notification online and ignore it. Identity thieves rely on this behavior in order to get away with their scams. Many identity thieves would be caught earlier on if the person whose identity they stole had looked at their credit card and bank statements. Always make sure you scan for any suspicious activity, and report anything that is out of place to your bank immediately.

Make Sure You're Secure

When you shop online or bank, always ensure the website has a security certification so your information is secure. You can tell whether or not a website has this certification and security by checking in the browser box right before the "http". If there's a green icon with a padlock or similar image, the site is protected. But if the icon is not there and the box or icon (or sometimes the text) is not green, you are not on a secure site. Never shop or bank on a website without the green icon indicating that it is secure.

Take Care What You Share

Shared computers can be an open door to identity theft if you're not careful. Any website you visit will result in your web browser leaving a cookie, or tracking device, that shows where you've been online. But if you go to your bank website, shop online, or enter personal information anywhere, the next person might be able to go through your history and find your information. Always clear all cookies before you leave the computer, and completely log out of all account-based sites.

Post Office Only

There are remote mailbox locations all over your city, and they make it extremely convenient for you to deposit mail. But they also make it convenient for thieves to steal your outgoing mail before the mail carrier gets to it. Never deposit bills or anything with personal information in a remote location; take it straight to the post office.

By following these tips and applying them to your daily life, you can help prevent identity theft from happening to you. Always keep your information secure, and never share your passwords with anyone. Don't carry valuable information like your social security number with you, and never print it on your checks. By keeping your information as safe as possible, you can help avoid becoming the victim of an identity thief.

Lewis Brooks researches technology and safety. He often blogs about everyday concerns of virtual safety in the modern world.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Reducing Your Spending On Loss: 5 Tips For Protecting Your Assets

We grow up accustomed to the fact that we're going to deal with some loss along the way. We've all dropped a great dessert, or maybe even had someone steal something we liked. But when it comes to our financial standing, there are some things we can do to protect ourselves from loss. Whatever your financial status may be, you can use some of the following five tips to protect your assets.

Invest in proper insurance

If you are the proud owner of a business, it is imperative that you have liability insurance to shield your pockets. A sudden accident on the work site or another unfortunate incident could leave an unprotected business owner stripped of their assets in a lawsuit. Homeowner’s insurance is a great advantage in case of a natural disaster, and auto insurance is a must-have for your vehicle.

Keep an eye on your bank accounts

Monitor your bank account on a regular basis, and be sure to report any suspicious activity as soon as your recognize it. If you are in a business partnership, make sure to formalize the union to protect your assets in case of disaster. Remember that anything that your business partner does, you are considered responsible for as well. Simplify joint accounts wherever possible to ensure that anyone with open access to your financial assets does not abuse the privilege.

Use a quality home security system

Your home is a place where your valuable property should be safe. However, many homes are vulnerable. With a system from a company such as Vivint Home Security or others, you can shield your possessions from unscrupulous burglars who seek valuables of all kinds. A Peoria AZ specialist in home security suggested that in the United States a burglary occurs almost every 14 seconds. So, an investment into a decent system can be a great protection against loss of assets in your future.

Minimize online transactions

In this high-paced technological age, the desire to conduct business online for convenience is high. However, millions of people find themselves the victim of identity theft and other online capers where cyber-criminals can drain assets. Keep your online transactions to a minimum, and invest in the best virus protection possible. Keep your bank information safe, and never enter personal information in an unsecured site. Aim to do transactions over the phone, by certified mail, or in person, wherever possible to offer yourself an extra edge of security.

Protect your assets after you are gone

Designate a responsible power of attorney to manage your finances in case you are unable to for any reason. If you plan to leave some of your assets to children or other relatives, remember to place them in a legacy trust. An estate planner can help you set up a trust in your state so you can comfortably leave wealth to your heirs.

No matter the type of assets that you have, it is important to protect them from harm. A financial planner can help you place your assets in an ideal arrangement where they will not be depleted. Seek wise investment advice before placing any of your finances in the stock market or other money account. Using this information can help keep your assets secure at all times.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Stop Your Employees Fiddling the Paper Work

The Greater London Police were called in to investigate fraud committed by staff working for Serco in August 2013. It was discovered that employees had fiddled the paper work to claim prisoners were being made ready to be transported to court, when in fact they were not. They were working for Serco who had been awarded a contract worth £285million to transport the prisoners across London.

Serco had been aware that there were some internal problems when persistent delays were reported in the transportation of the visitors from courts to jails in the summer of 2012. As a result of the delays they created an official improvement notice but that wasn't enough to solve the problems. Instead of improving their work the employees simply fiddled the paperwork. In addition to this problem Serco has also been accused of overcharging for their contracts and as a result they must allow an outside forensic audit to find out if they have been acting and performing dishonestly.

Protecting Your Business

Fraud happens, it’s something that costs businesses in the UK millions of pounds and it can leave companies closed and individuals behind bars. As a business owner it’s very important that you try to protect your company from those who are always looking to make money off the back of others.

The Greater London police have provided a lot of advice regarding fraud for business owners. Fraudsters find all sorts of ways to target businesses, whether they are attacking you from the outside or internally. You may be targeted by a lone fraudster or a gang, either way you must be aware of some of the methods that could be used.

Transferring Money

Criminals will use telegraphic transfer requests to take money from your account. The criminals get hold of your bank details and most commonly send a transfer request from another country. A letter is produced and sent to your bank requesting the money and the bank will send the amount that’s been asked for.

An Inside Job

Employees are increasingly being involved in cases of business fraud. The individuals often work on their own to try and gain personal details in order to commit fraud through identity theft. The criminals will come to work for you with the intention of stealing from you but often they will target other employees within your company. The employees may be questioned in a relaxed or social setting and unwittingly give away some information that the criminal can use to their advantage. Alternatively they may be threatened or blackmailed into delivering financial data of the company.

Suspecting Fraud Within Your Company

If you think your company may have been targeted by fraudsters you will need to discover what’s been going on. You can use your internal audit systems and enroll the assistance of forensic accountants in London so you’re fully aware of the extent of the damage to the assets of your company. You must also make a report to the police who will be able to investigate the incident.

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Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Protecting Against Identity Theft

Here are some figures to ponder over -- In the US alone, 2012 saw over 12.6 million people fall victim to identity theft. This translates to roughly a victim every three seconds. From the finance point, almost $21 billion was lost as a result of such theft. Close to 1 in every 4 customers had their identities hacked into because they responded to a fraudulent data breach letter.

With every passing day, cyber criminals are getting smarter in the way they go about their work, and they are able to scale most safety protocols put in place. Individuals 50 and older may be use to simpler times, but with a large number of senior citizens now turning to the Net for their banking and finance requirements, it is important for them to understand how to protect themselves.

Here are a few simple ways for individuals older than 50, and anyone else, to avoid being scammed and hacked and to keep their identity details safe from cyber criminals.

The core of your identity is your social security number, and it is the simplest piece of information with which a cybercriminal can create a whole new identity for themselves. Never carry your number on your person or in your wallet. Ideally, have it memorized and use it only when absolutely required in public places.

Pins are an essential part of every banking instrument. You have one for your credit card, debit card, any banking related privilege cards and more. Many people who are prone to forgetting their PINs tend to write them down on a piece of paper and keep it in their wallet or save it on their mobile phone. Losing both of these can mean that your PINs are out for all to see. When keying in your PINs, always place a palm over the keypad.

One way identity theft occurs is when people actually take the trouble of going through your garbage or stealing your mail. Having a secure place for disposal and ensuring that any document with your account number or other private details is thoroughly shredded before being thrown away is important.

Make it a habit to scrutinize all bills and statements, especially those related to online transactions, to make sure private information is not left for prying eyes.

By default, no authorized bank or official representative will ask for your password or secret personal details. Any phishing mails received soliciting the same should be reported as spam.

Keep personal details safe by storing them in secure places. Never leave important documentation around and always make sure to completely shred and dispose of anything with such information that you no longer need.

Hacking sites is a common affair these days. Hackers are able to recreate, quite closely, bank sites and have found means of directing traffic there. Always make sure that you have a secure Internet connection before you log on to websites. Securing your Wi-Fi network will ensure no one can access it and see your history. All URLs or website addresses should be accurate; this means that they will have to start with http:///

Many times, people receive strange looking mails from folks who may be familiar to them asking for monetary help from distant countries. These are phishing mails, and they mean that your friends' IDs have been hacked and used for such dubious messaging.

It is important to invest in a quality malware and anti-virus system for your computer. These are constantly updated to deal with newer threats in the cyber world and are a must on every system.

Choose passwords that will sound convoluted to others but make perfect sense to you. At the end of the financial year, have your credit rating evaluated and check for any finance loopholes. These are some of the ways in which consumers of all ages can protect themselves from identity theft.

Author Bio
Joshua Turner is a writer who creates informative articles in relation to business. In this article, he offers advice against identity theft and aims to encourage further study through a Norwich Online Masters in Information Assurance. 

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Assessing the Damage After Your Identity Has Been Stolen

The Traveler’s Guide to Preventing Identity Theft offered by Guest Door is a wonderful resource with many hints that can help you prevent identity theft. If you travel frequently, or you’re concerned about protecting your identity while you’re out and about, you should read over this info. But what do you do if your identity is stolen?

You get that dreaded phone call: there’s been suspicious activity on your credit card and your bank wants to know if you've been engaging in a spending spree. You’re shocked and appalled. Your identity has been stolen and you've got to act quickly if you want to protect yourself from additional theft and damage.

You’re understandably overwhelmed. What do you do? You want to figure out how this has happened. There are a few steps you’re going to have to take to protect your wallet and your credit:

Contact Equifax, Experian, or Transunion Immediately

You’re going to have to place a fraud alert on your credit report. You won’t have to call all three. Once you contact one agency, they’ll inform the others. They’ll also be sending you a copy of your credit report for you to review. Fraud alerts are extremely important because it requires companies to verify your identity before issuing a line of credit in your name. This will prevent thieves from opening any more new accounts in your name.

Contact Creditors Right Away

If the perpetrators have opened new accounts, contact those creditors and notify them of fraudulent activity. The accounts will be closed and you’ll have to fill out a fraud affidavit. If accounts that you opened have been compromised contact those creditors and let them know your identity has been stolen. The accounts will be closed and you’ll be able to review any charges to determine what activity has been taking place.

Contact Local Authorities

The next step is to contact local authorities and alert them to fraud. A detective will be assigned to your case and you can ask for any details about the charges. You’ll want to let them know what was spent and how your identity was stolen. When you finish providing information to the police, be sure to write down the case number and detective’s name. You’ll have to include this information on any fraud affidavits.

File a Complaint with the FTC

You’ll also need to notify the Federal Trade Commission by calling 1877-IDTHEFT.
Change all Online Passwords

You’ll want to change all your online passwords. The thieves may have acquired information from one of your accounts. Additionally, this may be inconvenient, but you should never store passwords online or on your computer.

Always Keep Records

You’ll want to keep updated records throughout the process. You should keep up with details of your dealings with any creditors, companies, and detectives. You should always write down the name of anyone you speak with, their title, the company they work for, the date, and time as well as a short summary of the discussion you had.

You’ll need to keep all this information in one location that is safe. It’s evidence that you will need later. You might find yourself being diligent initially, but important information may surface later. You need to track everything until all of your disputes are resolved.

Identity theft shouldn't ruin your life or your credit if you can manage to stay calm, be organized and take those first crucial steps involved in resolving any issues. You can bounce back from this stressful situation and you can stop those identity thieves right in their tracks. It might be tough initially, but it’s not an impossible situation.

Author Bio:

If you are still curious on what more steps to take in preventing identity theft, you can visit GuestDoor. You can also visit Traveler's Guide to Preventing Identity Theft.  

Friday, February 22, 2013

Top 3 Identity Protection Services

While there may be hundreds of identity protection services available on the market today, you may not know what you should be looking for in way of protecting yourself. One of the best ways to decide on which service may be best for you is to compare several companies and read reviews so that you can be properly informed and be confident that you will be well looked after. In this article we will share the top 3 identity protection services that are available for you to choose from. 


This is an affordable plan that only costs $9 a month. This service is perfect for protecting your bank account information and you can contact them at any time of day or night regardless of the time of year. The only problem with this coverage is that they cannot protect your vehicle registration plate or any of your insurance records. On a recent poll taken though, 9.33 people out of 10 voted that this was still the best service for protecting both you and your family from identity theft protection. 

They have recently added a new protection to their line-up. For an extra $15 a month you can be covered for up to a million dollars if you find yourself in trouble. Lifelock will be there to act as power of attorney on your behalf. They also guarantee that they do not under any circumstance sell your data to third party firms as trust is one of their prime concerns. 

Lifelock has a dedicated identity alert system that sends you notifications if it detects that anyone is trying to use your personal information to apply for payday loans, mortgage loans, ordering new checks, paying for utilities, auto loans, purchasing items from a store, applying for a credit card, or paying for wireless services. Lifelock also offers assistance in keeping your children's identification safe as well. 

Identity Force 

This service is still affordable at $12.95 a month. This company boasts that they offer real identity theft insurance and not just a simple service guarantee. 

The disadvantage to using this company is that it does not offer family coverage or protection for your vehicle registration. 

This company too offers a $1 million dollar coverage and is a great competitor to other leading companies such as Lifelock. The Department of Homeland Security and the FAA have been clients of this company for many years as the company has been in existence since 1978. The security system used within this company is industrial strength protection using an ID Analytics engine to search for stolen information across the internet including in chat rooms and on criminal websites. If detection of fraudulent activity occurs, you are immediately notified which allows you to take action before too much damage can happen. Many other identity theft protection services will not offer coverage for people who live in New York, Identity Force prides themselves on taking care of these neglected citizens. 

While some other companies such as Lifelock do offer one million dollar coverage, their stipulation is that coverage is only if you fall victim to identity theft while under their protection. Identity Force will cover up to a million dollars to you even if it is with no fault of their own. 

Protect My ID 

This coverage is a little more expensive and comes in at $15.95 a month. This service is known for their superb help and support features although it could have more additional features included within their policy. 

While many people are satisfied with this company's service, it only rates an 8.78 out of 10 due to needing help in some areas. 

Things they can boast about though are keeping a constant eye on your sensitive information and resolving any case of identity theft in top notch time and will guarantee you a reimbursement of your lost wages, stolen funds not replaced by credit card companies or bank and any legal fees. This company keeps track of all of your credit reports and lets you know if anyone has tried to get a line of credit or open up a new account under your name. It can also detect if someone is trying to add a new address or redirect your mail to a new place. 

Fraud Resolution Agents will also work closely with you if you do become a victim of identity theft. They will help you clear your name, talk to your creditors and resolve any other issues you may have regarding this fraud. If you need help cancelling any credit or debit cards when you wallet is lost or stolen, they are available to help when you contact their website. 

There are pros and cons for most identity theft service companies out there today on the market. It is up to you to determine what is the most important to you and pick the company that can give you that protection, help and peace of mind. If you are still unsure of what to do after your research, be sure to talk to other family members to see what choice they have made and why. 

Author Bio: The author of this post is interested in writing about travel and technology. If you are still curious on what more steps to take in preventing identity theft? Visit GuestDoor To know more about Traveler's Guide to Preventing Identity Theft.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

10 Important Business Laws

There are different policies and rules that must be followed when you are going to start your own business. You have to know these things in order to operate smoothly. In this article, you will be given an overview of the 10 most important laws related to business.

1. Customer Information

The law provides that you should be keeping customer information securely. There is a limitation when it comes to this. You cannot give out any information about your customers to anyone. This rule applies to all types of businesses.

2. Protection of your customer’s identity

There are different victims of identity theft. You may not determine when someone has taken something like your customers information. But this can be avoided when you know the law about customer’s identity protection. You have to exhaust every possible way to make sure that hackers or other identity theft will not be able to take anything from you; this is one of the most important rules.

3. Credit information

When you are going to accept payment through credit card, you need to ensure that the customer’s credit information will not be put in stake.

4. Business permit

You need to have all the documents needed before starting the operation. You need to understand the importance of ensuring that you have everything you need before starting or you will be sanctioned.

5. Tax Identification Number

You need to have your TIN; this is a very important requisite because you are part of a State that can legally demand for taxes.

6. State and Local Taxes

When registering your account, you need to arrange your taxes. You may be asked to pay for local and state tax. In order for you to know the tax that you are going to pay, you need to ask the assistance of the people from the taxing department.

7. Hiring Employees for Your Business

When you are going to hire employees, you need to know your responsibilities as an employer. Make sure that you know the different benefits that they must be receiving. Study the Labor Law for you to understand this part.

8. Business name

When registering the business name, you should make sure that you are not taking somebody else’s registered title. It would be safe if you were going to choose a unique one. Register it so you can ensure that you own it.

9. Business Area

The location of your business is very important; you must be choosing the best area. In this part, you must know the different ordinances and zoning law in the place you have chosen. This will allow you to operate smoothly.

10. Business Structure

You should also be registering the business basing it from its legal structure. Decide if it is going to be a corporation, a partnership or a non-profit organization. You must settle this while you are on the process of registration.

Author Bio:
Burton Copeland is highly recognized with over two decades as leaders in the defense of corporate and commercial fraud allegations. Our team of expertise criminal lawyers will help you to resolve your problems regarding business crime. We provide a full range of legal services to clients ranging from fraud & regulatory crown court advocacy general, serious crime police station advice, prison law professional disciplinary proceedings, to road traffic and motoring offenses."

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