Scam of the day – January 13, 2015 – President Obama proposes legislation to combat identity theft

Yesterday, in a speech at the Federal Trade Commission, President Obama urged the passage of the Personal Data Notification and Protection Act, which would set a national standard requiring companies that have been hacked and suffered data breaches to notify affected customers within thirty days of learning of the breach.  Presently, there is no federal standard although 48 states have varying laws that apply to notifications by companies suffering data breaches.  This was the first of a number of speeches involving cybersecurity that the President will be giving leading up to his State of the Union address in which he is expected to make this topic a major part of his speech.  Although this seems like a good first step toward greater cybersecurity, some consumer advocates are concerned that a new federal standard may not be as strong as that provided by some states and that the federal law could preempt these more protective state laws.


Cybersecurity has got to be made a greater priority by both business and government, however, regardless of what is done in this regard by private industry and the government, it is important to remember that if you are looking for a helping hand, the best place to find it is at the end of your own arm.  We cannot solely rely on corporations and government to protect our privacy and security.  We all must do the best we can to protect ourselves from identity theft and maintain our privacy as best we can.  You can find many specific tips on how to do this in my book “Identity Theft Alert” which can be ordered from Amazon by clicking on the link on the right hand side of the page.

Scam of the day – March 7, 2013 – Phony FTC complaint letter

The Federal Trade Commmission, FTC does a pretty good job of protecting consumers from fraud.  Unfortunately the latest fraud about which the FTC recently issued a warning is about an email that appears to come from the FTC, but is actually the work of an identity thief.  The phony email contains a good copy of the FTC’s logo and looks quite official.  It is not.  In the email, it informs the  recipient of the email that a complaint against his or her business has been received by the FTC.  A copy of the alleged consumer complaint is accessible by clicking on a link in the email.  If you receive such an email, do not click on the link.  The email is phony and if you click on the link, you will only end up downloading a keystroke logging malware program that will steal the informaiton from your computer including your Social Security number, credit card numbers, bank account numbers and passwords and end up making you a victim of identity theft.


When you receive an email you can never be sure of who sent it.  Sometimes you can immediately tell that the email address of the sender is not a legitimate email address for the company or person that it purports to be, however, other times the email may have been hacked into and you may get an email that actually looks like it is from a legitimate person or company.  Never click on a link or download an attachment in an email unless you are absolutely positive that it is legitimate and the only way to do that is to confirm that the email is legitimate such as by calling on the telephone the person who sent it to you to confirm that it is indeed legitimate.  In the case of this email, your should be immediately skeptical because the email is not directed to you personally and does not contain your name anywhere.  If you have even the slightest thought that the email might be legitimate, contact the FTC at its dedicated line to deal with these kind of scams 877-382-4537 and you can confirm that it is a scam.  Trust me, you can’t trust anyone.