Washington State

Office of the Attorney General

Attorney General

Bob Ferguson

The UK Times is reporting that banks may stop reimbursing identity fraud victims who post personal information on Web sites such as MySpace and Facebook. The Times doesn’t quote any bank officials in its story, strangely. But the article does help raise a red flag concerning the amount of personal information available on social networking sites.

According the article, banks will normally reimburse any debts racked up in an ID fraud victim’s name, but they are becoming increasingly reluctant to cover those who have been “negligent” with their personal details – by posting them online, for example. The story includes stats from an Equifax report that says that while most social-network sites give you a choice to block general traffic, about 30 percent of users don't use the protection options. One in four of the 10.8 million users on sites such as Facebook, MySpace and Friends Reunited in Britain expose information such as contact details, dates of birth and home addresses on their online profiles, it said.

We’ve posted warnings before, but we’ll say it again: Don’t post personal information online. ID theft is only one cyber hazard. Many teens and kids use social networking sites, which are also prowled by sex predators. See our site for tips on how to keep your family safe online.

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