Saturday, February 28, 2009

ATM Skimming - What is It?

ATM skimming is a method used for stealing your identity during an ATM transaction. This method utilizes a credit card skimmer to collect, record and store your credit card number and pin number. The person "Skimming" your card can then use this information to program his own credit card with your information!

This skimming device, when placed on the ATM machine is virtually undetectable if you are not looking for it. It looks like a normal part of the ATM. And just when law enforcement agencies have gotten a handle on the technology being used by ATM skimmers, along comes a break through technology that is leaving even veteran investigators astounded. The first device discovered by an ATM user and obtained by authorities was taken to the CIA and they indicated they had not seen anything like it!

The method used included two devices. A type of skimmer placed over the card slot on the ATM accompanied by what appeared to be a speaker mounted on the ATM above the keypad. When the card was inserted, a device placed over the slot scanned the magnetic strip and the account information was sent (wireless ) to a modified cell phone hidden behind the fake speaker placed on the ATM above the keypad. A small camera concealed in the fake speaker would then record the pin number entered and stored it on a flash memory card.

The perpetrator would then steal a gift card that has not been activated and transfer the account information to the gift card via the magnetic strip thus turning it into an ATM card. This device has been credited with stealing in excess of $300,000 from peoples accounts in Pennsylvania!

In order to prevent being taken at the ATM, the obvious safeguards should be taken. Look for anything that just doesn't appear to belong, or looks out of place such as the fake speaker or a skimming device placed over the card slot. Also, when typing in your pin number, shield the keypad with your other hand in case there is a camera watching. Always check your bank statements or better still, apply for on line account monitoring with your bank so you can check instantly to see if someone has been in your account.

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Friday, February 27, 2009

Desjardins supports Fraud Prevention Month

March is the ideal month for Desjardins to remind its members and clients of the importance of protecting themselves from identity theft.

MONTREAL, Feb. 27 /CNW Telbec/ - During the 2009 campaign to raise
awareness about fraud prevention, Desjardins Group is pleased to join the Fraud Prevention Forum along with several other partners, chaired by the federal Competition Bureau.

Throughout March, caisses, branches and other components of Desjardins
Group will be raising awareness about identity theft among their members and clients, highlighting the importance of following rules to guard against identity theft and protect their personal information. Web surfers can go to to learn more about different types of fraud, like phishing, and how to protect themselves.

"A study by the Canada Research Chair in Security, Identity and
Technology showed that in 2006-2007, Québec had 338,000 cases of identity theft, which is why we feel it is important to raise awareness among our members and clients about this fraud that is being committed every day," stated Yves Beaudoin, Vice-President, Specialized Advisory Services Division, Fédération des caisses Desjardins.

This presents yet another opportunity for Desjardins to encourage its
members, clients and employees to adopt good behaviours to protect their identities and their personal information.

"Our alliance with the Bank Crime Prevention and Investigation Office
(BCPIO), a group that is part of the Canadian Bankers Association (CBA), whose main objective is to share information in order to prevent financial crimes, and our ties with the Institut de sécurité de l'information du Québec (ISIQ) show that we take identity theft very seriously," said Yves Beaudoin.

Other than this campaign, Desjardins has instituted several precautionary measures - and has for some time now - to ensure the security of its members and clients and their personal information. In fact, these measures are posted in the Online security section of its Web site at More than just a source for reliable information, it's also a tool to raise awareness and educate people on the different types of fraud being committed.

About Desjardins Group

Desjardins Group is the largest cooperative financial group in Canada,
with overall assets of $150 billion, as at September 30, 2008. It comprises a network of caisses, credit unions and business centres in Québec and Ontario, and some twenty subsidiary companies in life and general insurance, securities brokerage, venture capital and asset management, many of which are active across the country. Drawing on the expertise of its 40,000 employees and the commitment of more than 6,500 elected officers, Desjardins offers its 5.8 million individual and corporate members and clients a full range of financial products and services. Its physical distribution network is complemented by
leading-edge virtual access methods. To find out more, consult

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Identity Theft Protection and Tax Scams

You need to make identity theft protection a number one priority in your life. The fact is that statistic reveal that in any ten year period, you are likely to become the victim of identity theft. In other words, you actually run the risk of becoming the victim of identity theft more than one time during the course of your adult life.

In considering your identity theft protection needs and objectives, you need to make yourself more familiar with some of the different types of identity theft schemes that are being "pulled" in this day and age. For example, one type of identity theft scam that is being used today in many countries around the world involves issues pertaining to tax payments and tax refunds. Simply, an identity thief will contact you through the Internet, by phone and sometimes even in person under the guise of needing to get information from you in regard to your taxes.

In undertaking identity theft protection related to a tax scam online, you need to be on guard for what might appear to be an official looking email regarding your taxes. Oftentimes such an email will indicate that you are due a supplemental income tax refund. But, in order to process the refund, it is necessary that you provide personal and financial information about yourself. In the alternative, the official looking email might contain a link that purports to take you to the website of a taxing authority. Once at this sham site - which will look very official, in fact - you will be asked to input your personal and financial data ... all of which will go directly into the hands of an identity thief.

In the brick and mortar world, when it comes to identity theft protection against a tax related scheme, you need to guard against phone calls allegedly from a tax official. Once again, the pitch is a good deal like what might happen online. For example, you are due a tax refund but personal and financial data is needed in order to process the refund itself. (A similar pitch is made when a thief actually goes door to door working to steal identities using the tax scheme as the pitch.)

In the end, by taking care to develop a comprehensive identity theft protection plan you will be in the best position to protect yourself against becoming the victim of this crime. You will be able to better ensure that you do not have your identity stolen today or at any point in the future.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Hoax Emails - Stealing Your Identity

What is a hoax email? Simply put, one that is a fake, counterfeit or a forgery. The forged part is that of the sender's identity and his or her intention. The email may appear to have come from a legitimate source - perhaps your bank, PayPal or even eBay. Even the actual name of the sender may look genuine and impressive (such as

The text of the email may look exactly like that on your own bank's (or other source's) real, official, site. The logos will look the same. Even the wording may appear the same.

They may even exhort you to "be careful regarding your online security and ensure you are dealing with a trusted source". these guys are clever, very clever.

The email may send you to a hoax website or web page. Again, this may look wholesome and perfectly genuine, although on closer inspection, the address bar will show that the site in question has an address different from that of your own bank (or other institution). This is the point where you will be asked for your personal information - date of birth perhaps. Name, address, login name or password. You must not give these details.

Any reputable institution would never ask for these details by email. They would, if they were writing to you at all, call you by name (not "Dear customer") and they would always have security measures in place to protect you from fraudulent activity such as a secure web page - look for the "https" in the address name or the "padlock symbol" at the bottom of the web page.

Simple emails like these can be sent to millions of people at once, making it easy for the criminals to pocket many millions of dollars of cash.

By Dr. Mark Clayson 

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Sunday, February 15, 2009

High-Tech Driver's Licence to help stop ID Theft, Fraud

British Columbians will soon be carrying new, redesigned, high-tech driver’s licences that will be harder to alter, forge or obtain under different identities than current licences, Solicitor General John van Dongen announced today as part of government’s latest efforts to prevent identity theft and other criminal activity.


“Driver’s licences are widely trusted as ID and, when tampered with, can cost people, businesses and financial institutions millions of dollars each year,” said van Dongen. “The cutting-edge features we are introducing, like facial recognition technology, will greatly enhance the integrity of these cards as identification.” (read more)

Buyinga Reliable Shredder

Identity theft is a major crime in this day and age. Therefore, a good game plan needs to be a paramount concern for you. When it comes to identity theft protection you need to take all steps possible to ensure that you do not become the victim of this serious crime.

A common tactic that is employed by people involved in this type of crime is what commonly known as dumpster diving or trash mining. As these monikers suggest, through these tactics, an thief actually goes through trash in order to obtain documents and materials that contain personal or financial information about an individual. The bottom line is that when it comes to identity theft measures, a huge number of people do nothing when it comes to disposing of documents and materials that contain personal or financial information.   (read more)