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Hackers are making a lot of money thanks to phishing attacks these days, and now they are also focusing on gift card scams. One of the most notorious scam groups, Scarlet Widow, which is out of Nigeria, has been boosting its efforts to scam people with gift cards since 2015. This group generally focuses on people in the UK and US and also is known for tax scams, romance scams, and rental cons.

Are you at risk of getting scammed by Scarlet Widow? The group generally focuses on medium to large US b

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There are scammers out there targeting conference exhibitors and attendee. What are they looking for? Credit card numbers, money wires and personal information that they can use to steal identities. One of the ways that scammers get this information is by using invitation or list scams. Basically, if you are registered for a conference, speaking at a conference, a conference vendor or just “in the business”, you might get an email…or several emails…that invite you to a conference or offer to sel

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What is a PAN card?

A PAN (Permanent Account Number) is a 10 Digit AlphaNumeric number. The pattern of a PAN number is first 5 are the alphabets than the next four number and 1 alphabet (AAAAA1111A). It is mandated by the RBI (Reserve Bank of India) and the Government of India for every individual, company, firm or trust to present the PAN card in front of the bank while opening the bank account. A PAN card is a necessary document for tracking the status of financial transactions related to ITR f

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If you have a contactless card, you might have worries about skimming. A contactless card or “frictionless” or “tap and go” is a card that has technology in it that allows payment over secure wireless like Apple Pay, Android Pay etc. Basically, this is where a criminal literally digitally pickpockets you by scanning things like your debit card or passport. What’s scary about this is that anyone can get an app for their phone that will allow them to skim. Is there protection for this? Maybe.

But b

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Protect Yourself From Gift Card Scams

So maybe Christmas now means the very predictable gift card swap, but hey, who can’t use a gift card? But beware, there are a ton of scams. This includes physical, not just digital, gift cards.

Regardless of who gave you the card, you should always practice security measures. Below are two common ways that fraudsters operate.

Transform Gift Card to Cash Twice.

If someone gives you a $200 gift card to an electronics store and then it’s stolen, you technically have lost money, as this is the same as

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How to Protect You Frequent Flier Miles NOW

Social Security numbers and credit card numbers are not the only types of data that hackers are after. Now, they are looking at frequent flyer accounts, and they are stealing reward miles, and then selling them online.

How do Hackers Steal Frequent Flyer Miles?

As with other types of ID theft, hackers use info that they have illegally obtained to access frequent flyer accounts. With more data breaches happening than ever before, hundreds of millions of records are exposed, and thus, hackers have g

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Cyber criminals are constantly trying to stay one step ahead of the good guys, and there is now another scam out there that you should know about: synthetic identity theft. Basically, the criminals take information from someone, and then make up the rest. They also often use fake Social Security numbers, called CPNs, or “credit profile numbers,” or names.

This type of identity theft shows us that our credit system is more vulnerable than we might think. Basically, it is easy to create a credit fi

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You might be shocked to know that when Social Security numbers were first given in the 1930s, the intention was never to use them as a form of identification. However, most of us use our Social Security numbers all of the time, from doing transactions at the bank to visiting our doctor’s office.

You need your SSN to apply for jobs, to open credit cards, and even to marry the love of your life. Since we use this number of often, what happens if you lose your card, it gets stolen or it’s leaked in

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A new study was just released by the National Association for Information Destruction. What did it find? Astonishingly, about 40% of all digital devices that are found on the second-hand market had personal information left on them. These include tablets, mobile phones, and hard drives.

The market for second hand items is large, and it’s a good way to find a decent mobile device or computer for a good price. However, many times, people don’t take the time to make sure all their personal informati

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The October anniversary of the liability shift has passed, and anniversaries are an excellent time to look back on progress…this is no exception. The U.S. EMV migration plan was set four years ago as a way to fight card fraud and to protect both consumers and merchants.

Back in the day, we had one choice when we wanted to purchase something, and that was cold, hard cash. However, a few decades ago, people began using credit cards for everyday purchases instead of for only big ticket items, such a

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An impostor posed as Lorrie Cranor at a mobile phone store (in Ohio, nowhere near Cranor’s home) and obtained her number. She is the Federal Trade Commission’s chief technologist. Her impostor’s con netted two new iPhones (the priciest models—and the charges went to Cranor) with her number.

In a blog post, Cranor writes: “My phones immediately stopped receiving calls.” She was stiffed with “a large bill and the anxiety and fear of financial injury.”

Cranor was a victim of identity theft. She conta

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Carders cashing out on Magstrip Cards

Two thousand credit card payment terminals stand to become infected with malware called Trinity point of sales.

Ten million credit cards were stolen by hackers, called Fin6, who may end up scoring $400 million. The cards were stolen from retail and hospitality businesses. If each card sells for $21 on secret carder shops, you can see how the hackers will rake in hundreds of millions of dollars.

As you may know, the U.S. is gradually switching over to chip cards. But it will be a while—a very long

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Never put these Docs in your Wallet

Yes, believe it or not, you CAN get by in life with a wallet that just has a little cash, a store card or two, one to two credit cards and your ID. Unless you absolutely need your insurance card or Social Security card, leave those items at home.

For years now, wallets have been on the market that you can stuff everything into, save for the kitchen sink. This doesn’t mean you must carry a ridiculous bulging wallet everywhere you go.

Now you may not mind having to dig through your wallet for five m

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My EMV for a Week Challenge is DONE!

This week I worked with Gemalto, as part of Gemalto’s #ChipAwayAtFraud campaign. I was tasked with using my “chip” card when making a bunch of every day purchases like getting coffee and shopping. Gemalto, one of the world’s leaders in digital security, wanted a real-world take on the EMV card experience, which includes the security benefits EMV cards presents. You know EMV; it’s the “chip” credit card that, by now, you should have.

Here’s what I learned:

A significant portion of the retailers I f

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As part of Gemalto’s #ChipAwayAtFraud campaign, I’m being tasked with numerous tasks, some tacky, some essential to living. Gemalto, one of the world’s leaders in digital security, wants a real-world take on the EMV card experience. Which includes the security benefits EMV cards presents. You know EMV; it’s the “chip” credit card that by now, you should have. EMV by the way stands for Euro/MasterCard/Visa. The Euro part essentially means that’s where the card was first deployed.

If you don’t have

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How to Remove Fraudulent Lines of Credit

You just learned you have a new credit card account by checking your credit or because a bill collector called you. Problem is that you don’t remember ever applying for it. You must find out what’s behind this new account and how it got there.

  • Call the corresponding phone number listed with the account seen on your credit report.
  • Begin the process for disputing the entire account.
  • Get the name (and employee ID number) of every person you speak to and a transaction or reference number for every phon
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Thinking of bringing a credit card with you on your travels? You can end up in a jam: You just treated your extended family to fine dining in France. Time to pay; your credit card is declined.

If you try to make a purchase overseas, your credit card company might think it’s fraudulent, since it would appear anomalous, relative to your usual, U.S. purchases.

So before you leave for your trip:

  • Back up credit card data. It’s always important to have a backup of your card data, both online and in print
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Credit Card vs. Debit Card Fraud

One difference between a credit card and a debit card is that if there’s an unauthorized charge on your credit card, you just get a little sting. It’s a hassle to straighten out. But no money is taken from you.

But if someone gets ahold of your debit card information, the second they use it, depending on the nature of the transaction, your bank account will be drained. And in some cases, you can kiss that money goodbye; you got scorched. More than ever, crooks are using others’ debit card data an

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Talk about getting taken to the cleaners: Imagine you spot a great summer rental property advertised online. Looks wonderful. The deal sounds too good to be true, but the owner tells you (via e-mail or even phone) that the fee is correct. You apply for the rent and send in the required upfront payment.

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Then you head down there for the first time to see an empty lot. It then dawns on you that the owner was really a crook who used some photo he found online and advertised it for rent. And if losing

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Is It Fraud or are You just Crazy?

What would you rather have happen to you? A Russian ring of hackers has infiltrated your computer and smartphone and is hell-bent on taking control of your finances, social media life, even the smart gadgets in your house…OR…you’ve just been diagnosed with paranoid psychosis, and in fact, nobody’s out to harm you at all.

In a day and age where it’s become increasingly easy for hackers to hijack your credit card and bank accounts, spy on your baby by hacking into the baby-cam and spy on you via yo

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