Quick. In 2012, what was the number one complaint submitted to the FTC?
You guessed it: Identity theft. And it has been the number one complaint for 13 years straight.
That makes Data Privacy Day the ideal time to think about how you can protect your identity.
Latanya Sweeney, the FTC’s Chief Technologist, recently told us that something as simple as an online resume could be a treasure trove for identity thieves. It turns out that a web search can reveal the names, Social Security numbers, and birthdates of thousands of people because this information appears in many online resumes.
This just in: The revision of the FTC’s free guide, Net Cetera: Chatting with Kids About Being Online, is hot off the press. The booklet has updated tips for parents, teachers, and other adults to use when talking with kids about online safety and digital citizenship.
Another day, another announcement about a data breach.
As news trickles out about retailers that have been hacked, you may be wondering what you can do to protect yourself from fraud. Even if you’re not sure that your accounts have been affected, you can do a few things to protect your accounts, your money, and your credit reputation.
The Federal Trade Commission has sued one of the world’s reputedly biggest spammers and the company it says he used to send thousands of false, alarming and threatening emails disguised as information about the Affordable Care Act.
Office for Victims of Crime, U.S. Department of Justice
Being a victim of identity theft can be complicated and frustrating. While it may take time to figure out what happened and begin to fix the damage from this crime, there are programs and trained victim service providers available to help you through the process.
Quick: name a way your kids could rack up hundreds of dollars in charges in under 15 minutes without you being the wiser.
One answer: through an app on your iPhone or other Apple device.
Today, the FTC announced that it has reached a settlement with Apple, resolving allegations that the company didn’t get parental consent for many of the charges racked up by their children in kids’ games.
Deputy Inspector General for Investigations, Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration
Have you ever wondered how ID thieves get their victims’ personal and financial information? One way you may not have thought of is dishonest tax preparers. Each year, Treasury agents investigate allegations of criminal misconduct by tax preparers — a group that plays an important part in our nation’s tax system.
When identity thieves target taxpayers to obtain improper tax refunds, it causes serious consequences for the victim and for the IRS. The IRS is taking steps to make it more difficult for perpetrators to successfully file falsified returns using others’ personal information (prevention) and to make it more costly if caught doing so (deterrence). But as the voice of the taxpayer, my focus is on IRS’s victim assistance to those who find themselves impacted by identity theft.
The FTC warned people last summer about illegal prerecorded sales calls from scammers pitching safety alert systems for older adults. And now, the FTC and the Florida Attorney General have acted to temporarily halt and freeze the assets of an Orlando-based operation that not only used illegal robocalls to pitch so-called “free” medical alert devices to older consumers, but also lied about the cost and quality. The FTC and the Florida AG are working to permanently ban the operation from illegally pitching their products and to get refunds for victims.