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AGO News Releases with Topic: Identity Theft
The Attorney General’s Office today filed charges against a former Washington Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) employee for allegedly using his access to confidential state databases to commit identity theft and steal more than $150,000 in unclaimed property through the Department of Revenue’s (DOR) ClaimYourCash.org website.

Identity theft is a growing problem nationwide, and Washington is no exception. In early March 2014 the Seattle Archdiocese learned that volunteers and employees at parishes and schools became victims of a tax-identity fraud scheme.

 

The fraudsters are at it again. Members and non-members have reported receiving texts that appeared to come from Washington State Employees Credit Union (WSECU) stating their card had been deactivated or suspended. If you received this text, DO NOT respond.
The Washington State Attorney General’s Office and Better Business Bureau are partnering up for National Consumer Protection Week, March 2-8. Both agencies are committed to providing Washingtonians with tools to protect themselves against growing scams and helping people make better purchasing decisions.

AGO, BBB and AARP partner to combat romance scams

As more people go cyber to find love, the Washington State Attorney General’s Office (AGO), the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and AARP warn of an uptick in reports of romance scams. According to the Internet Crime Complaint Center, romance scam victims lost more than $55 million in 2012. To combat this growing epidemic, consumer protection groups are spending Valentine’s Day warning singles about the dangers of “catfishing.”

After high-profile national data breaches, Attorney General’s Office encourages consumers to safeguard data

In recognition of Data Privacy Day, the Washington Attorney General’s Office (AGO) is urging businesses and individuals to take a moment to learn how to better protect information.

Consumers, keep an eye out for a post-holiday email scams carrying malicious malware disguised as a link to a helpful “change of address” form. Malware is software used to disrupt computer operation and gather sensitive information.
Attorney General warns to be wary of scams to follow

Neiman Marcus, a luxury specialty department store, has announced a payment card data breach. The store announced some of its customers’ payment cards were fraudulently used after making purchases at its stores.

STOP.THINK.CONNECT.™ Campaign Encourages Awareness During Cyber Security Month

Better Business Bureau serving Alaska, Oregon and Western Washington and the Washington State Attorney General’s Office are proud to announce their participation as partners of STOP.THINK.CONNECT.™, a global cyber security awareness campaign to help digital citizens stay safer and more secure online.

Progress has been made to protect consumer privacy, but concerns remain  

SEATTLE—Attorney General Bob Ferguson, joined by 22 other state attorneys general, announced progress in their effort to work with Google to improve how it protects consumer privacy, and called on the company to offer greater transparency and more meaningful privacy controls.

 SEATTLE – The Washington State Attorney General’s Office is joining the Federal Trade Commission in warning consumers about a new scam targeting seniors. 

 Consumers should think twice before giving these companies a “second chance”

SEATTLE – Guess who is back in town?  It’s the door-to-door magazine sellers from out of state who appear on doorsteps claiming outrageously priced subscriptions will help fund “second chance” opportunities for inner city youth.  The Washington Attorney General’s Office has issued warnings about such visitors before, and is again alerting consumers to beware of these solicitors and think twice before buying their magazines.

META LINK

SEATTLE – Washington State Attorney General Rob McKenna today warned consumers about a text-message trap to capture financial information and drain credit card and bank accounts. Such text message scams are called “smishing.”

OLYMPIA – Washington State Attorney General Rob McKenna expressed gratitude to legislators today for supporting several of his 2011 legislative proposals.

 Only open government bills, eminent domain bill sidelined so far

OLYMPIA – Lawmakers from both sides of the aisle are again showing their support for Washington State Attorney General’s proposed legislation, enabling most of his proposals to advance beyond the Legislature’s first major cutoff date of the year.

SEATTLE – Despite warnings, many computer users unknowingly leave them themselves vulnerable to financial fraud or privacy invasions. In recognition of Data Privacy Day, Attorney General Rob McKenna today warned Washington residents to protect their personal information by checking the privacy settings on social Web sites and using secured networks.

SEATTLE – Attorney General Rob McKenna’s bill to help fight identity theft by increasing penalties for mail theft will be considered by a legislative committee this week.

Bills to save money, foster open government and protect consumers receive bipartisan support

OLYMPIA – Legislators from both parties joined Washington State Attorney General Rob McKenna today to announce proposals to save money, protect the vulnerable and make government more accountable.

SEATTLE – LifeLock – the identity theft prevention provider whose CEO published his Social Security number in advertisements – can no longer claim its services protect consumers from all forms of identity theft.

OLYMPIA – There’s only one government-authorized Web site where consumers can get their free annual credit report, and it’s not the one with the catchy jingles in television ads. Attorney General Rob McKenna says more needs to be done to protect consumers attempting to obtain the free credit report allowed by law.

OLYMPIA — Washington State Attorney General Rob McKenna and Superintendent of Public Instruction Randy Dorn, in partnership with the Entertainment Software Association Foundation andWeb Wise Kids, today announced the launch of a statewide program that uses video games to help students, teachers, and parents better understand safe use of the Internet and other technology.

If you regularly peruse the Mercer Island Reporter’s police report, you have probably noticed the trend of fraud targeting seniors. Some of the crimes are new. For example, the “Grandma Scam,” in which a young‑sounding person — often overseas and always posing as a grandchild — makes a breathless phone call pleading for an urgent wire transfer to pay a medical bail or to post a jail bond.

OLYMPIA – Credit freezes are hot with consumer advocates concerned about identity theft and privacy protections. Starting this week, Washington residents have even more control over their credit files thanks to changes that are also helping more retailers warm up to the law.
ABERDEEN – Representatives from the Attorney General’s Office and AARP will visit Aberdeen on Thursday, Sept. 11, to promote identity theft prevention and assist the public in keeping sensitive documents out of the hands of crooks. LeMay Mobile Shredding will destroy papers for consumers and small businesses at no charge.
BELLINGHAM – Attorney General Rob McKenna will visit Bellingham Monday, May 12, to promote identity theft prevention and assist the public in keeping sensitive documents out of the hands of crooks. Sound Shredding and Recycling will destroy papers for consumers and small businesses at no charge.
Attorney General Rob McKenna will visit Redmond on Friday, April 25, to promote identity theft prevention and assist the public in keeping sensitive documents out of the hands of crooks. Frontline will be on site to destroy sensitive documents for consumers and small businesses at no charge.

SEATTLE – While Washington has dropped from 7th to 13th in the nation per capita for identity theft cases reported to the Federal Trade Commission, many Washington residents still inadvertently put themselves at risk. Attorney General Rob McKenna will visit Bainbridge Island on April 14 and Redmond on April 25 to promote identity theft prevention and assist the public in keeping sensitive documents out of the hands of crooks. 

Olympia – More than 5,000 Washington residents become victims of identity theft each year according to reports from the Federal Trade Commission. That ranks Washington in the top 10 states for per capita victim reports.  Attorney General Rob McKenna will visit Olympia on Thursday, Oct. 4, to help raise awareness of identity theft prevention and assist the public in keeping sensitive documents out of the hands of crooks.
SEATTLE – Attorney General Rob McKenna applauded decisions by TransUnion and Equifax to offer consumers the ability to freeze access to their credit reports. McKenna said it’s important for consumers to understand how TransUnion’s credit freeze rules differ from Washington laws and to not confuse the credit freeze option – which is free for victims and $10 for everyone else – and a costlier product offered by TransUnion that includes credit monitoring.
OLYMPIA – Attorney General Rob McKenna will be in Tacoma Tuesday September 25, as part of the statewide tour on identity theft. McKenna will speak to local businesses discussing ways to improve data security in the workplace and the security of customer information.  The campaign is a partnership of the Attorney General’s Office, Federal Trade Commission and AARP.
Attorney General Rob McKenna will visit Vancouver on Thursday, Sept. 6, to help raise awareness of identity theft prevention and assist the public in keeping sensitive documents out of the hands of crooks.
SEATTLE – If your Labor Day weekend plans include catching up the household chores, take note: The Attorney General’s Office has scheduled free community shredding events this September and October to help you safely dispose of those old bank statements, cancelled checks and other sensitive papers that have piled up in your home office or attic.
Attorney General Rob McKenna will visit Shoreline on Tuesday, Sept. 4, to help raise awareness of identity theft prevention and assist the public in keeping sensitive documents out of the hands of crooks.
TACOMA – Attorney General Rob McKenna will visit Tacoma on Thursday, Aug. 30, to help raise awareness of identity theft prevention and assist the public in keeping sensitive documents out of the hands of crooks.
OLYMPIA – Attorney General Rob McKenna will headline a 15-city statewide tour on identity theft this summer and fall to educate business owners and consumers on how to keep their personal data safe.  Guard it! Washington is a partnership of the Attorney General’s Office, Federal Trade Commission and AARP.
OLYMPIA – Washington residents have a new way to protect themselves from identity thieves. Attorney General Rob McKenna said today’s signing of a preventative credit security freeze law,  which he pursued during the past two legislative sessions, is crucial in lowering the risk of unauthorized credit or bank accounts being opened. The law also helps shield existing victims from additional harm to their credit reports.
STATEWIDE – Early estimates show that about 6,000 Washington residents turned out today for the first statewide LEGIT Shred-a-thon, carrying bags and boxes of papers containing personal information to be shredded. Organizers deemed the identity theft prevention campaign, which included simultaneous shred events at 29 locations, a huge success.

STATEWIDE – Washington residents and news media can meet with officials from the state Attorney General’s Office, U.S. Attorneys Office, Internal Revenue Service, U.S. Postal Inspection Service and local police and sheriffs departments on April 28 when they blanket the state to help educate the public about reducing their risk of becoming identity theft victims. Experts will be present at 29 locations as part of a statewide shred-a-thon organized by Washington’s Law Enforcement Group Against Identity Theft, better known as LEGIT. Consumers and small businesses are invited to bring sensitive documents to be destroyed at no charge by commercial shred trucks, which are donating their services. Details at www.atg.wa.gov/Shredathon.aspx.

OLYMPIA – Attorney General Rob McKenna will conduct a press conference tomorrow on proposed legislation that would give all Washington residents the opportunity to freeze unauthorized access to their credit reports.

Olympia - Governor Chris Gregoire and Attorney General Rob McKenna have sent letters to state agency directors urging them to take steps now to protect personal information from landing in the hands of identity thieves.

Federal investigators in Western Washington are sharpening their focus on employees at banks, medical establishments and other institutions who are stealing or selling personal identifying information.
SEATTLE – The recovery of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs laptop stolen in a May burglary is good news, said Washington Attorney General Rob McKenna, but he said veterans and active-duty military whose personal information was stored on the computer should continue to take precautions until the investigation is complete.
OLYMPIA – Washington veterans and active-duty military whose personal information was potentially compromised in the recent U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs data security breach have the ability to request a credit report security freeze to help protect themselves from identity theft.
OLYMPIA – Attorney General Rob McKenna today asked the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to assist Washington veterans whose information was stolen in agency’s recently reported data security breach.
SEATTLE – Attorney General Rob McKenna today warned consumers to watch out for callers who claim you have won a voucher for free gasoline then ask for a checking account number.
SEATTLE – Attorney General Rob McKenna this week filed formal objections to the Internal Revenue Service’s proposed rules that would make it easier for businesses to sell and share personal information included on tax returns.
PIERCE COUNTY – A Pierce County woman today pled guilty to two counts of identity theft in the first degree, one count of theft in the first degree and six counts of theft in the second degree. The case was filed in Pierce County Superior Court by the Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit in August 2005.
OLYMPIA – Attorney General Rob McKenna announced new recommendations for reducing identity theft in Washington during a press conference today at the State Capitol.
SEATTLE – Attorney General Rob McKenna convened Washington’s first statewide summit to address identity theft on Wednesday in SeaTac, bringing together nearly 300 leaders from the public and private sectors to discuss how to tackle what has become the fastest-growing crime in the United States.
TACOMA– Two people were arraigned in Pierce County Superior Court today on fraud and identity theft-related charges filed by the Attorney General’s Office.
SEATTLE – Attorney General Rob McKenna warned consumers today to be wary of phone calls and e-mails from con artists who – piggybacking on recent security breach reports – pretend to be from the fraud department of a bank or credit card company.
OLYMPIA – Attorney General Rob McKenna issued the following statement regarding developments today in the security breach at CardSystems Solutions, Inc.:
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