Posted by: thecreditmaven | October 27, 2008

That’s a FACT Jack!

Does you know what November 1st is?

  • It’s a Saturday
  • Three days before we elect our new president
  • The 306th day of the year
  •  54 shopping days till Christmas – Uugh!!
  • All of the above? 

November 1st is the deadline for all financial institutions to comply with the Red Flag Rules of the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions (FACT) Act.

The Red Flag Rules pertain to any businesses with “covered accounts”. Any business refers to “financial institutions and creditors” i.e. banks, finance companies, automobile dealers, mortgage brokers, utility companies and telecommunications companies. This is just a partial list and does include others.

The regulations apply to businesses that have what are called COVERED ACCOUNTS. What’s a “covered account?”

A covered account is any account that has even the slightest RISK (now or in the future) of identity theft. Credit cards, utility accounts (gas, water, electricity), cell phone bills, checking account, social security numbers, investment advisor, drivers license numbers, health club, Credit Union, car dealership, bank,  medical insurance accounts, and many others. This significantly expands the definition to include all companies, regardless of size that maintain, or otherwise possess, consumer information for a business purpose. Because of the broad definitions in these regulations, few businesses will be able to escape these requirements. Your employer will probably fall into this category.

Here are the THREE new regulations:

  • The first one calls for all businesses to create and put into service an Identity Theft Prevention Program in relation to both new and existing accounts. The Program must contain reasonable strategies and guidelines for detecting, preventing, and mitigating identity theft;
  • The second one requires users of consumer reports to respond to Notices of Address Discrepancies that they receive; and
  • The third one places special conditions on issuers of debit or credit cards. These issuers must validate a change of address when they receive notification of a change of address for a consumer’s debit or credit card account. They must do this within a short period of time should they receive a request for an additional or replacement card for the same account.  

The FBI has identified Identity Theft as the fastest growing crime in the United States. This is another way the government is trying to help consumers avoid becoming a victim of the criminal elements lurking in our society.

Don’t wait on businesses to implement the programs that Congress has required them to create. Take proactive measures to prevent identity theft from happening to you. Never count on anyone or any business to protect YOU.

Buy a paper shredder and shred all personal documents – never throw them in the trash. Don’t give your credit card to the waiter at the restaurant and let them walk away with it. Instead, watch them make the transaction with your own eyes so that they don’t copy your credit card and go on a spending spree. Never and I mean never carry your Social Security card with you in your wallet or purse.

If you are a person who writes a check for a bill and mails it along with the statement to the provider, don’t put that bill in your mailbox and raise the flag so that the mail carrier will pick it up. A criminal can steal that letter and what does he have? Well for starters, he has your signature, bank account number and bank routing number. I wonder what he could do with that information.

Do you ever receive those “pre-approved” credit card offers in the mail? How easy is it for someone to take that application, complete it, change the address and SHAZAM – they are now you! OUCH. You can stop those offers by going to:

www.OptOutPrescreen.com

And last, but not least when you have some time I want you to look at this website:

Datalossdb.org is a collection of data base breaches all over the world. If you don’t think systems are being hacked into every day, think again. Social security numbers, names, addresses, bank accounts of ordinary citizens, military personnel, government employees – no one is safe from the carnage going on.

One for the bad guys – On October 6, 2008 T-Mobile reported that a disk containing information on over 17 million customers had been lost.

http://www.nytimes.com/idg/IDG_852573C400693880002574DA0034AE43.html?ref=technology

One for the Good Guys – FBI smashes online credit card ring after two-year operation ends in 56 arrests worldwide.

http://www.vnunet.com/vnunet/news/2228489/fbi-wipes-online-credit-card

Be on GUARD at all times. Don’t trust anyone to protect you from identity theft. You are your best defense.

                                                                                                      

     

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Responses

  1. good thanks a lot


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