January 28 is Data Privacy Day, an international event promoting awareness of how personal information is collected, stored and shared – and how that information may be better protected. Attorney General Rob McKenna and King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg, who are Co-Chairs of Washington’s Law Enforcement Group against Identity Theft (LEGIT), are taking this opportunity to ask businesses to reinforce their work to protect consumer data.
The storm has passed and now we begin the process of assessing the damage and cleaning up the mess. At my home in Olympia, we had more than 15 inches of snow, which combined with thick ice brought down numerous branches and two entire trees. Thankfully the trees didn’t fall on our house or cars, but we can’t just leave them lying in the yard. Like many of you, we need to hire someone to help. But how do we make sure we hire the right help and not a greedy dishonest scammer?
We have been warning seniors about “grandparent scams” since 2008, but grandparents continue to wire money to these imposters because it’s hard to say no when Johnny calls desperate for money to help him out of a bad situation.
My New Year’s resolution for 2012 is to make healthier decisions; that means eating better, exercising more and taking the stairs instead of the elevator. I know I’m in good company since many Americans also choose resolutions about health and wellness. In our noble efforts to improve our physical health, we need to be sure to guard our financial health as well.
Today, many consumers aren’t “shopping ‘til they drop.” Rather, they’re clicking on online deals until they get carpal tunnel syndrome. Beyond the tingling, weakness and finger or hand-muscle damage that comes with the syndrome, there are other dangers, too.
Shopping during the holiday season can be exhilarating if you find a treasured item for a bargain price, but it can also be a nightmare if the gift never arrives, you’re mugged on the way to the car or your bank account is drained by a phishing scam. Here are a few tips and resources to help keep you, your purchases and your finances safe.
Today the Utilities and Transportation Commission ordered Everett-based residential moving company A & R Moving to cease and desist. The mover was also fined $10,000 for refusing to obtain a permit to legally operate a residential moving company within Washington state.
A great way to help protect your identity is to shred anything that contains sensitive personal information, including account numbers, birth dates, passwords or PINs, signatures, or Social Security numbers.
Children, as well as adults, are at risk of being victims of identity theft. It is a growing problem that can go on undetected longer and is harder to recover from. Unlike adults, who should be checking their bank and credit card statements and credit reports regularly, children often don’t know they have become a victim until they grow up and are denied a student loan or credit card. By then, the damage has been done and can be extensive.
As a victim of identity theft or fraud, you should take the following steps as soon as possible.
- Report the crime to the police or sheriff's office.
- Place a fraud alert and/or security freeze on your credit reports.
- Report the crime to your bank, creditors and credit reporting agencies.
- Ask businesses to provide info about transactions made in your name.
- Contact the Federal Trade Commission’s Identity Theft Hotline 1-877-IDTHEFT.
You can reduce your likelihood of becoming an identity theft victim, as well as cut down on unwanted sales pitches, by following these guidelines.
I will be sharing tips all week on how to guard against identity theft and what to do if you are a victim of identity theft. Identity theft is one of the fastest growing consumer scams in America. It’s difficult to know exactly how many victims exist, but the numbers are staggering. A nationwide survey by Javelin Research estimates that 8.1 million adult Americans were victims of identity fraud in 2010. Identity theft topped the FTC's list of consumer complaints again in 2010, accounting for 19 percent of the 6.1 million complaints.
According to the Federal Trade Commission complaint, Reebok made unsupported claims in advertisements that walking in its EasyTone shoes and running in its RunTone running shoes strengthen and tone key leg and buttock muscles more than regular shoes.
We have warned you before about skimming scams, and how hard it is to detect the small bits of plastic on ATMs. Anyone can fall victim and not realize it until after the thieves have racked up large purchases using the stolen card information. This is includes our state’s top law enforcer, U.S. Attorney Jenny Durkan.
At the end of today’s Backpage.com news conference, Attorney General Rob McKenna spoke about the civil antitrust lawsuit filed by the US Department of Justice to block AT&T Inc.’s proposed acquisition of T-Mobile USA Inc.