credit freeze: Understanding Familiar Fraud - 08/13/21 11:19 AM
Have you heard the saying “familiar fraud?” If not, you should. This is a crime that is as old as they come; essentially, it’s a crime where someone is taken advantage of by someone they know. For instance, a woman named Axton Betz-Hamilton had her entire savings account drained and the person responsible was unknown…that is until Axton’s mother passed away, and it was discovered that it was her, Axton’s own mother, who had drained the account.
It’s believed that familiar fraud is not often reported, likely because victims of these crimes think that police won’t take them seriously, or that it … (2 comments)

credit freeze: Protect Your Mail From Thieves - 07/10/21 12:06 PM
Do you have Informed Delivery from the US Postal Service? If not, you should. Every day, it sends you an email that shows what is coming in your mail.
However, there is also the possibility that someone could pose as you and get your Informed Delivery. This means that they could get your mail before you do.
In fact, this is already happening. The bad guys are signing up with the addresses of other people, and then collecting their mail. Why? Because they want to get access to things like credit card applications or new credit cards.
What if your mail contains a check? … (14 comments)

credit freeze: Is Freezing Your Credit Enough? - 11/25/20 04:52 AM
You might think that freezing your credit is enough to keep you safe. In fact, freezing your credit was actually a smart thing to do in order to prevent fraud and stop yourself from becoming a victim of ID theft. It is free to freeze your credit whether or not you are a victim of ID theft, and the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) recommends that people do this in order to protect themselves. But what if it doesn’t work?
Let’s talk about Chuck. Chuck is a guy who contacted the Consumerist with a story about his mother. She was a victim of ID theft … (11 comments)

credit freeze: Freeze Your Credit Now, Before it is Too Late! - 09/30/20 05:31 AM
Do you know what a credit freeze is? It is an action that you can take to lock your credit report down. A lender will be unable to see your credit score, which means that your credit rating and Social Security number will be useless. In other words, they can’t tell if you are a lending risk.
When an ID thief can get access to your Social Security number, they can also apply for credit in your name. However, if the credit file is frozen, the bad guys cannot access it. When you freeze your credit, the file is not accessible.
To gain … (12 comments)

credit freeze: What Happens if Your Social Security Number Gets Stolen? - 09/09/20 05:38 AM
It might be surprising to know that when Social Security numbers were first given out in the 1930s, that they were not used as a form of identification. However, whether you know it or not, most of us use our SSN every day, from visiting our doctor’s office to doing banking transactions. Your Social Security number is likely being accessed by humans and computers on a daily basis.
Your Social Security number is a form of verification, authentication, and it is even used as a password. Simply having it, simply knowing it, and entering it, verifies and authenticates its holder. However, it … (14 comments)

credit freeze: Child Identity Theft: Protecting Your Child’s Identity - 07/29/20 05:54 AM
Do you have a kid who has gotten a pre-approved credit card offer in the mail? If so, their identity might have been stolen. Child ID theft is when a person uses a minor’s Social Security number to commit some type of fraud, which can include opening credit cards, taking out a loan, or even applying for government benefits.
Something like this can go on for years, and you might not even know it. But there are things you can do to protect your child’s identity, so keep reading.
How Does Child Identity Theft Occur and What are the Warning Signs?
In general, child … (2 comments)

credit freeze: Protect Your Identity From Thieves - 04/15/20 06:36 AM
There are tried and true ways to protect yourself from identity theft—ways that you may not have even considered.
Evaluate your passwords. Does every online account have a different password or are you using the same one for multiple accounts? Fix this problem immediately by investing in a password manager software. Avoid using actual words or names, or keyboard sequences. Password managers facilitate the password creation process.
Never post anything personal on social media.This includes your pet’s name, name of your kids’ school or teacher, where you’re going on vacation, the town your parents live in, etc.
Ignore e-mails whose senders you don’t know. … (4 comments)

credit freeze: Check Your Free Credit Report Now - 10/04/18 06:53 AM
When is the last time you checked your credit report? If it has been more than a year, you can get a free one. The issue is, however, is how to really understand it. Here’s some information about obtaining and reading your credit report.
Obtaining Your Free Credit Report
Based on US law, everyone is entitled to look at their credit report from all three major credit reporting agencies. If you want to look at more than that, you can pay a fee. This law dates back to 2003, and all three major bureaus, TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian, must allow people to access … (11 comments)

credit freeze: Freezing Your Child's Credit: What You Need to Know - 05/03/18 07:03 AM
You might not think about this, but identity thieves really want your child’s Social Security number. If they get this number, they can do a lot, including buying a car, renting an apartment, opening a credit card account, or getting a mortgage. The Social Security numbers of children are great for the bad guys for several reasons:
Generally, children have a clean record Crooks can use these numbers to obtain credit Kids usually don’t check out their credit reports until they go to college or buy a car or home. So, the crook can get away with it for years. As … (10 comments)

credit freeze: Get a Credit Freeze NOW Before it's Too Late! - 02/01/18 07:13 AM
What is a credit freeze? It’s an action you take to lock down your credit report. A lender can’t see your score, which means your Social Security number and credit rating is useless to them. In other words, they can’t tell if you are risky or not.
When an identity thief can access your ID aka Social Security number, they can also create credit in your name. However, if your credit file is frozen, the bad guys can’t access it any longer. With a credit freeze, your credit file is inaccessible.
To get access to your frozen credit, when you need to new … (16 comments)

credit freeze: How long does Information stay on Credit Reports? - 03/03/16 09:52 PM
If you are concerned how long any negative information will remain on your credit report, it takes seven years from theDate of the Last Activity (DLA) before the item is deleted from your records (and seven to 10 years for bankruptcies). This is a very common question posed to credit reporting agencies.
Credit reporting agencies get your information (bad or good) from lenders and collection agencies. The reporting agencies simply compile the information that comes to them.
Consumer Statements
The credit report may contain not-so-appealing information about a dispute that you were involved in that did not see a resolution. For no fee, you can … (2 comments)

credit freeze: How to Remove Fraudulent Lines of Credit - 01/21/16 10:14 PM
You just learned you have a new credit card account by checking your credit or because a bill collector called you. Problem is that you don’t remember ever applying for it. You must find out what’s behind this new account and how it got there.
Call the corresponding phone number listed with the account seen on your credit report. Begin the process for disputing the entire account. Get the name (and employee ID number) of every person you speak to and a transaction or reference number for every phone call. Speak to the fraud specialist for the issuer of this new … (1 comments)

credit freeze: 8 Tips to protect your Money – and your Identity – from Theft - 10/03/15 11:25 PM
When you hear the dictum, “You should protect yourself from identity theft,” do you equate this with pushing a wheelbarrow loaded with rocks up a hill? It would actually be more accurate to picture slicing into a fresh apple pie, because identity theft protection is as easy as pie. Check out the following things you should do—without breaking any sweat: 
Examine your credit card statements once a month to catch any unauthorized charges. Even a tiny charge should not be blown off, since often, thieves will start out small to “test the waters.” Once they get away with this, they’ll be … (3 comments)

credit freeze: Stolen Social Security number? Don’t Worry! - 03/16/15 11:25 PM
Just when you think it was safe to believe your Social Security number can’t get stolen…news breaks of the Anthem data breach. Over 80,000,000 patient records were compromised, including SSNs and home addresses. Like a meteor striking the earth, a disastrous ripple effect is underway, with patients getting hit up with phishing e-mails.
If you ever suspect your SSN has been stolen, some suggest contacting the IRS and Social Security Administration and notify them of your situation. The thief can do bad things with your number, but if you contact these agencies, can you really protect yourself from that? I’m not … (4 comments)

credit freeze: How to build up or rebuild your Credit - 02/10/15 09:17 PM
After taking all the necessary steps to Fixing a Credit Report after being hacked, it is then tome to rebuild your credit. Bad credit is bad credit no matter how it happens. No matter how responsible you are with your money, you won’t get a loan if there’s no evidence of this. The evidence comes from having credit. You need to show lenders you can be trusted.
Every time you apply for a credit card, this puts a dent in your credit score. In other words, it can negatively affect your scores especially if there are lots of credit checks … (2 comments)

credit freeze: Fixing a Credit Report after being hacked - 02/03/15 08:56 PM
First off, how NOT to fix a hacked credit report: signing on with a service that promises to correct the problem in a jiffy—a “sounds too good to be true” advertisement. A company that claims they will 100% fix your bad credit by removing negative information from your credit report is a bit scammy. In fact, whatever a credit repair company CAN legally do, you yourself can do.
Tips to Know Ahead of Time
If a company takes action against you, you’re entitled to a free credit report if you request it within 60 days of being notified. Experian, Equifax and … (1 comments)

credit freeze: Everything you need to know about a Credit Freeze - 07/14/14 10:39 PM
A credit freeze locks down your credit report so lenders can’t see your scores, making your credit/SSN useless to them because they don't know their risk level. 

If thieves get ahold of your ID, they can’t get credit in your name as long as your credit is frozen. Freezing your credit will seal your credit reports. You’ll need a PIN to access your credit to allow valid services to check your credit when needed. Freezing won’t affect existing credit lines and are free to victims of ID theft. Since 2008, the three big credit bureaus have allowed non-victims to freeze … (1 comments)

credit freeze: 5 Tips to Credit Card Identity Theft Prevention - 01/01/10 10:25 AM
Robert Siciliano Identity Theft Expert
In a recent article in Computer World, Tom Patterson CSO of Magtek, with his Glamor Shot photo, provides “5 counter-fraud tips you’ve never been told”. Anything a consumer can do to reduce their risk for account takeover, they should exercise. While in most cases the consumer isn’t responsible for the losses, as long as you refute the fraud in a specified time frame, and it’s your duty as a citizen to do so. Studies show much of the terrorists funding is coming from card fraud. Card fraud is a breach of national security.
Tip#1 Stare down … (0 comments)

credit freeze: 10 Tips to Secure Online Holiday Shopping - 12/09/09 12:44 PM
Robert Siciliano Identity Theft Expert
UK officials shut down an amazing 1200 online retailers who scammed millions from unsuspecting shoppers. Most of the sites originated from identity thieves in Asia who tricked victims into believing they were legitimate sites. Victims then lost money by entered their credit card data, sending checks or giving up banking details.
The sites sold high end designer items from Tiffany & Co, Ugg and jewelry. In some cases the victims actually received the items, but were counterfeit. Like Mom said, if it’s too good to be true it probably is. Of course nobody running the fake … (0 comments)

credit freeze: Obama; Cybersecurity and Identity Theft Protection Starts at Home - 10/06/09 05:13 AM
Robert Siciliano Identity Theft Expert
Whether you realize it or not one of the biggest threats to your personal security is your computer. And the Obama administration is bringing to light the fact that they believe, and you should too, that one of the biggest security threats to national security is also your computer.
The message is “Think before you click. Know who’s on the other side of that instant message. What you say or do in cyberspace stays in cyberspace — for many to see, steal and use against you or your government.”
The Internet, and the power it has … (0 comments)

Robert Siciliano, Realty Security and Identity Theft Expert Speaker ( Inc)

Robert Siciliano

Realty Security and Identity Theft Expert Speaker

Boston, MA

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Office: (617) 329-1182

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