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FAQ

What would you do if a strange person claiming to be a store detective approached you in a shop accusing you of being a shoplifter?
If you are still shopping and have yet to make your purchases, you need to inform the loss prevention officer of this. I used to work at a large Kohl’s department store and worked very closely with the Loss Prevention officer there.All of the following information are based on personal experience from working at Kohl’s in the United States in Indiana. I am no longer affiliated with Kohl’s Corporation in any way any more.The laws of Indiana grant to any retailer the unusual authority to detain and hold a private citizen for suspected shoplifting, even though the retailer does not have "law enforcement powers." This modest grant of authority is made for the sole purpose of allowing the retailer to find out what was stolen and who stole it, and then having done so, to make the individual wait for the police to arrive. -Indiana General Assembly - Indiana RegisterWe would stop shoplifters after they have made any purchases and were heading for the exit doors. Loss Prevention officers are normally dressed in street clothes so that they can go out onto the sales floor without potential shoplifters becoming suspicious. If you are approached after making a purchase by a LP officer asking you to come to their office, please make sure that they bring a store associate or even manager with them so that you have a witness. If you are stopped at a Kohl’s department store, the police are already en route to the store. The LP officer has video evidence that you have stolen merchandise and were not intending to pay for it. Please note that switching tags (changing the tag on an item you intend to purchase with the tag of an different item) so that you can get an item for a lower price is also a prosecutable offense. If you have not stolen anything, then you have nothing to worry about or hide. An LP officer legally is not allowed to detain you for an unreasonable amount of time.If you have stolen something, don’t tell the LP officer anything and don’t give them your driver’s license until the police arrive, unless you are at Kohl’s because there is extensive video footage of you stealing something. Kohl’s does press charges for the FULL PRICE of the items. LP officers at Kohl’s are prepared to go to court and testify against you if you are guilty of shoplifting or retail fraud as are many sale’s associates. If you have stolen something from Kohl’s and have been caught, you will be banned from all Kohl’s stores. The camera system that Kohl’s uses in their stores is a very high quality and can detect faces. I have seen first hand the make-up covered acne bumps on the face of a woman shopping for shoes using these cameras. The LP officer is able to see this amount of detail at Kohl’s as well.If you are at a big box store, don’t go with the person unless a sale associate or manager is with them. If you are still suspicious, call the non-emergency phone line for that local county and ask if police have been dispatched to the store you are located at. If not, they are most likely suspicious of you stealing and don’t have hard evidence to convict. I would just go on my merry way then.EDIT: Included quote from Indiana General Assembly - Indiana Register in regards to a retailers ability to detain a citizen.
How can I check for identity theft online?
Information on identity theft can be found online at: Consumer Information
How is Facebook combating the practice of account cloning?
I came across  account cloning when a college senior spotlighted her clone profile via Facebook status update, someone was asking money from her friends on her behalf, and I was amazed by the criminal psyche of people...Well, here is the gist as per my understanding and expetise as a Social Media Marketeer.What is Facebook profile cloning It is an identity theft, someone creates an imitation of your profile, takes your picture and about us information, and then adds your friends to their list. This entire thing is done with great precision, like in my senior's case, the impostor even blocked her before adding her friends (my senior had to put a public message stating someone is faking her profile). The user was manipulating her friends, in other cases people may even ask for money, so beware. So basically, a clone can do anything as you, and create a hell mess... just imagine, what if people start blocking you considering that hour’s is a fake profile. Scary! Who does it and what is the intention: Cyber criminals does it to steal information, theft, spread malicious messages or for crime. What you can do, if you are the victim: Report fake account to Facebook,  if you are unable to see impostor account,  report the account via email address,  If you have a friend who's able to view the impostor account then they can block that account by following the steps given in the end of this answer.Facebook is amazingly responsive now a days to any sort of malpractices, here is what Facebook does: Facebook wants people to feel safe when using Facebook. Having said that, Facebook has developed a set of community standards, any user not following the community standards is questioned by Facebook in the form of one of the three security alerts:Normal Security Alert: Sends verification to Facebook registered mobile number and asks user to verify the number.Medium Security Alert:  Creates a security check gateway, asks to recognize your friends, friend's images are shown to the user for friends name verification, this is done to verify that you are a real person.High Security Alert: In worst case scenario Facebook asks for Government Id card, licence, bus card, or similar cards with Age, picture and name etc. mentioned in it.How to report a cloned facebook account: How do I report a fake account that's pretending to be someone I know?Fake profiles and Pages created to imitate real people (impostor accounts) are not allowed on Facebook.If someone created an account pretending to be one of your friends, please ask them to report it to us. You can also send your friend a message that will let them know about the impostor profile. To send a message:Go to the impostor profileClick and select the option to reportFollow the instructions for an account that's pretending to be someone you knowIf your friend doesn't have a Facebook account, they'll need to fill out this form. Please keep in mind that we can only act on reports from the person who's being impersonated.What you can do to safeguard yourself:  Set your friends list to "me only" view, your account will no longer be desirable to cyber criminals.Happy and  safe face-booking!
How are you protecting yourself from identity theft?
Identity theft is a very serious offense that can ruin your finances and credit scores. The effects of identity theft are so devastating that it is difficult to compensate for the loss.Here are some steps that help you prevent identity theft:Create strong passwords – Create strong passwords using random combinations of letters, numbers, symbols or special characters. Make sure you create different passwords for different accounts. If needed, you can change them also from time to time.Shred your sensitive documents – Never toss your sensitive information like your bank details or receipts in the trash. Always dispose it properly using a cross-cut shredder or shredding service.Always check and monitor your credit reports – Ensure that your check your credit reports occasionally. You can request one free credit report every four months and review it to scan for any incorrect information.Protect your Social Security number – Do not share your personal login credentials with any one at any cost. Never keep your social security numbers in purse or wallets.Be cautious when using social media – Be smart when updating your personal information like your birthdays, addresses or contact details. Make sure you strengthen your privacy settings. Also, be careful when accepting friend requests or connectionsKeep your phones safe – Make sure you secure your phone by keeping screen locks or put passwords, disable Bluetooth when not using it and be careful while downloading any free software version.Learn how to detect phishing frauds – Do not open any unsolicited email attachments, embedded links, SMS or answer any phone call asking to reveal your personal information.Review and monitor your financial statements – If you find any suspicious activity in your bank or credit card accounts, report it to your respective bank immediately.Secure your mails – Swipe off unknown mails to prevent identity theft. Using a locked mailbox or P.O. Box is a good idea
How can a person rent a room/apartment without going through a background check (what if someone is an identity theft victim for example and is leery to shell out information)?
Turn this around for another way of looking at it.“How can a landlord rent a room/apartment without going through a background check to determine that the applicant can afford the rental, and has no history of cheating on rent or damage to another landlord’s rental property?”There tend to be more deadbeat tenants than skeezy landlords, IMO.A tenant can help this by obtaining their own credit report and removing account numbers and/or Social Security ID #s - . At that point, landlord is only looking for info on criminal records, landlord referrals - past addresses need to be provided, but that shouldn’t create an identity theft issue.
Why don't schools teach children about taxes and bills and things that they will definitely need to know as adults to get by in life?
Departments of education and school districts always have to make decisions about what to include in their curriculum.  There are a lot of life skills that people need that aren't taught in school.  The question is should those skills be taught in schools?I teach high school, so I'll talk about that.  The typical high school curriculum is supposed to give students a broad-based education that prepares them to be citizens in a democracy and to be able to think critically.  For a democracy to work, we need educated, discerning citizens with the ability to make good decisions based on evidence and objective thought.  In theory, people who are well informed about history, culture, science, mathematics, etc., and are capable of critical, unbiased thinking, will have the tools to participate in a democracy and make good decisions for themselves and for society at large.  In addition to that, they should be learning how to be learners, how to do effective, basic research, and collaborate with other people.  If that happens, figuring out how to do procedural tasks in real life should not provide much of a challenge.  We can't possibly teach every necessary life skill people need, but we can help students become better at knowing how to acquire the skills they need.  Should we teach them how to change a tire when they can easily consult a book or search the internet to find step by step instructions for that?  Should we teach them how to balance a check book or teach them how to think mathematically and make sense of problems so that the simple task of balancing a check book (which requires simple arithmetic and the ability to enter numbers and words in columns and rows in obvious ways) is easy for them to figure out.  If we teach them to be good at critical thinking and have some problem solving skills they will be able to apply those overarching skills to all sorts of every day tasks that shouldn't be difficult for someone with decent cognitive ability  to figure out.  It's analogous to asking why a culinary school didn't teach its students the steps and ingredients to a specific recipe.  The school taught them about more general food preparation and food science skills so that they can figure out how to make a lot of specific recipes without much trouble.  They're also able to create their own recipes.So, do we want citizens with very specific skill sets that they need to get through day to day life or do we want citizens with critical thinking, problem solving, and other overarching cognitive skills that will allow them to easily acquire ANY simple, procedural skill they may come to need at any point in their lives?
Why don't banks check for fingerprints in order to prevent identity theft?
Here is the thing. Banks are out there to protect their own money. Unfortunately the fingerprint system costs them more money, and they don’t see it as an investment.Identity thieves if they really want your information, don’t need your bank account only. They can use your credit/debit card, your character (name, date of birth), medical records, as well as your social security number.Also identity theft is very complex and nowadays cyber attacks on companies prove to be fatal as hackers can steal financial information with ease.If you are living in the US / Canada, and are concerned with your identity being stolen or if it is stolen, this is what I would do.
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