For Martha, a letter regarding her new credit card marked the beginning of three troublesome years dealing with the damage caused by identity theft. The letter surprised Martha – she had never applied for one.
8.3 million Americans fall victim to identity theft each year. We’re pushing for reforms that give you the tools you need when your sensitive financial information is compromised or stolen.
Subtopics of Privacy
- Consumers Union testimony on the Data Security and Breach Notification Act of 2010
Statement of IOANA RUSU Policy counsel Consumers Union Before the U.S. SENATE COMMITTEE ON COMMERCE, SCIENCE, AND TRANSPORTATION Regarding DATA SECURITY AND BREACH NOTIFICATION ACT OF 2010 September 22, 2010
- Consumers Union supports Data Security and Breach Notification Act of 2010
August 12, 2010 Honorable Jay Rockefeller, Chairman Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation U.S. Senate 531 Hart Senate Office Building Washington, DC 20510 Honorable Mark Pryor, Chairman Subcommittee on Consumer Protection, Product Safety, and Insurance U.S. Senate 255 Dirksen Senate Office Building Washington DC 20510 RE: “Data Security and Breach Notification Act of 2010” Continue Reading
- Support for the Personal Data Privacy and Security Act of 2009
According to a 2007 FTC study, 8.3 million U.S. adults become victims of ID theft each year.
- Opt out of many mailing lists
To get off many mailing lists, contact: Direct Marketing Association Mail Preference Service P.O. Box 9008 Farmingdale, NY 11735 Direct Marketing Association Telephone Preference Service P.O. Box 9014 Farmingdale, NY 11735 To register by email to get off mail and phone lists, or to reduce unsolicited commercial email: Mailing lists: http://www.the-dma.org/donotmail/ Phone lists: http://www.ftc.gov/donotcall Email Continue Reading
- GAO Testimony on Identity Theft before the Subcommittee on Information Policy, Census, and National Archives
GAO was asked to testify on how the loss of personally identifiable information contributes to identity theft. This testimony summarizes (1) the problem of identity theft; (2) steps taken at the federal, state, and local level to prevent potential identity theft; and (3) vulnerabilities that remain to protecting personally identifiable information, including in federal information systems.
- What should I do if I become a victim of identity theft?
What should I do if I learn from my consumer credit report that someone has stolen my identity and is impersonating me?Review Your Credit Reports Regularly If your identity has been stolen, regularly review your consumer credit reports to detect any suspicious activity. You are entitled to free credit reports, one from each of the Continue Reading
- Computer Security Tips from the Government
- Federal Trade Commission’s Identity Theft Page
- Identity Theft
Was your personal information stolen and used fraudulently?
- Michelle Jun, Staff Attorney
Michelle Jun is a Staff Attorney for Financial Privacy Now. She came to Consumers Union in 2003, initially to work on nonprofit hospital and healthcare conversions. Michelle works on payments issues, and has also worked on identity theft and financial privacy issues. A transplant from Southern California, Michelle now resides in San Francisco.
- CU testifies for stronger protections against data breaches
At a Senate hearing on preventing data breaches in the wake of incidents reported by Target and Neiman Marcus, CU is calling on lawmakers and businesses to provide consumers with stronger protections from criminals who steal their personal information and commit fraud.
- Consumers concerned about their online privacy
CR survey: 71% concerned about companies selling or sharing information without their permission
- Consumers Union calls for congressional hearings on “fourth bureau” firms that track, sell consumer data
The so-called “fourth bureau,” are a collection of firms that sell data to lenders, landlords & employers
- CR investigation reveals government among biggest sources of ID leaks
August 4, 2008 CONSUMER REPORTS INVESTIGATION REVEALS GOVERNMENT AMONG BIGGEST SOURCES OF ID LEAKS September issue shows penalties rarely imposed on those who are negligent YONKERS, NY — Americans trust government officials to safeguard sensitive personal and financial data but government is among the biggest sources of ID leaks, according to a Consumer Reports investigation. Continue Reading
- CR survey: One in 5 online consumers have been victims of cybercrime
In the last two years to the tune of an estimated $8 billion dollars
- Alaska governor signs strong new ID theft law
New law includes toughest restrictions on collection and sale of Social Security numbers in the U.S.
- CU says Social Security numbers need protection
Widespread use and availability of Social Security numbers puts Americans at risk of ID theft
- FTC: 8.3 million identity theft victims in U.S.
Report shows need for tougher identity theft protections
- TransUnion offering security freeze nationwide
Wednesday, September 19, 2007 TransUnion to Offer Powerful Identity Theft Tool to Consumers in All 50 States Consumer groups call on Experian and Equifax to meet or exceed TransUnion‘s plan. SAN FRANCISCO, CA – Starting on October 15, TransUnion will begin offering consumers in all 50 states the ability to freeze access to their credit Continue Reading
- CU praises Senate Identity theft legislation
Bill requires institutions to notify consumers when personal information is lost or stolen.
- Data Breaches Driving You Crazy? California DMV gives consumers new reason to worry.
Uh, oh. It’s happened again: another data breach. Consumers who used the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) online credit card payment system may find their credit card information is at risk. The California DMV’s Public Information Officer, Armando Botello, says that the DMV was “alerted by law enforcement authorities to a potential security issue Continue Reading
- THINK GLOBAL, SPEND LOCAL: CITIES OFFERING NEW FINANCIAL PRODUCTS
Thanks to J.B. Wogan over at Governing magazine, we’ve heard about a new product: a municipal gift card. According to Mr. Wogan’s story, New Haven, Connecticut, is launching the “New Haven Shop-Dine-Park” gift card. Gift cards are different from the city-backed prepaid cards we’ve written about here. With the exception of gift cards for time at Continue Reading
- Worried About the Target Breach? The CFPB Has Some Tips
As the fallout from the Target data breach continues (along with Neiman Marcus and Michael’s), many consumers are wondering what, if anything, they can do to protect themselves from fraud and identity theft. Yesterday, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) issued a “consumer advisory” with basic tips on how to keep your information safe. So Continue Reading
- Transaction Monitoring and Credit Monitoring in Light of the Target Breach
Target has begun to offer security breach victims free credit monitoring for a year now that approximately 110 million Americans may have had their data compromised due to a security breach. We’ve advised consumers to conduct regular transaction monitoring to prevent fraud, and now some consumers have been asking us, “What’s the difference between transaction Continue Reading
- Scam Bam, No Thank You Ma’am: How to Avoid Being Scammed after the Target Security Breach
by guest blogger Caitlin Watkins In the wake of the Target security breach, there are a number of scams that are popping up. These scams try to gather consumer’s personal and credit information. This is adding to insult to injury, as we also just found out that the initial 40 million Target customers affected by Continue Reading
- Off Target: What to Do If Your Information Is in Peril
by guest blogger Caitlin Watkins Are you one of the 40 million Americans who had their debit or credit information stolen in the recent Target security breach? If you shopped at any Target store from November 27 to December 15th and used a credit or debit card, you are mostly likely very concerned about your Continue Reading
- Don’t Lose Money to Email Fraudsters
More than one million people reported losing money to fraudsters in 2012, according to Federal Trade Commission (FTC) data. The extent of the victims’ losses: $1.4 billion. And this is just the scams that were reported –total estimates of the amount lost to fraud range from $40 to $50 billion a year. The most common Continue Reading
- ID Theft Alert! Alleged Fraudster Caught Selling Consumer Data Online
If you think that monitoring your credit report for fraud isn’t all that important…well…think again. According to a new federal lawsuit just made public last week, a fraudster-friendly website has been reselling consumer data to enable ID theft. The website, called Superget.info, marketed the ability to look up full Social Security numbers, birthdays, drivers license records Continue Reading
- Beware of a New Identity Theft Scam
We were alerted of a new identity theft scam by some leading consumer academics and wanted to share it with our readers. Apparently, it’s affecting the MidWest and rapidly spreading. Bottom line, Be informed and NEVER give anyone your personal information when they call you. From the 7/26/12 Credit Slips blog entry: “A heads up regarding Continue Reading
- Help the Office of Privacy Protection Celebrate Another Birthday
Do you care about your privacy? Your kids’ privacy? Then you should care about the fate of the COPP. The California Office of Privacy Protection (COPP) is about to be eliminated. This important state agency has helped out individuals and businesses with sticky privacy issues like identity theft, online child safety, cyber security, financial privacy and Continue Reading
- Phony IRS email identity theft scam Source: Kansas City Online (Monday November 12, 2007)
The e-mail asks recipients for personal financial information such as Social Security numbers and debit card information
- Montanans locking credit reports Source: Helena Independent Record (Tuesday November 6, 2007)
More and more consumers are taking advantage of security freeze protection
- Consumers score the right to freeze credit Source: USA Today (Friday September 21, 2007)
TransUnion announces it will offer the security freeze in all 50 states
- ID theft task force recommends tougher laws Source: Computerworld (Monday April 23, 2007)
White House panel backs national law enforcement effort, less use of Social Security numbers by government agencies.
- Wisconsin security freeze starts January 1 Source: Wisconsin State Journal (Saturday December 23, 2006)
Wisconsin consumers will have a new tool for fending off identity theft.
- Guest Opinion: Have you had your identity stolen yet? Source: Billings Gazette (Saturday September 16, 2006)
Montana consumers will have a way to stop thieves from opening fraudulent accounts using stolen information if state lawmakers pass a security freeze law.
- Anti-ID theft measure lets consumers freeze credit accounts Source: Arizona Daily Star (Saturday March 11, 2006)
Consumers Union says Arizonans would pay too much for the proposed “security freeze.”
- Security breach fallout reaches 200,000 debit card holders Source: San Francisco Chronicle (Friday February 10, 2006)
Companies are still hiding their data security breaches despite law’s intent to bring accountability
- Editorial: Credit protection Source: St. Petersburg Times (Tuesday January 17, 2006)
The Florida state legislature should create an optional security freeze so Floridians can protect themselves against identity theft and credit card fraud.
- ID theft – Bank finds a way to profit Source: San Francisco Chronicle (Friday July 22, 2005)
Data security breaches at Wells Fargo have put hundreds of thousands of customers at risk of identity theft. Now the bank has found a way to profit from the problem.