This email with the subject "Scamdex, Internet Scambusters Newsletter #313, 12-10-08" was received in one of Scamdex's honeypot email accounts on Wed, 10 Dec 2008 01:02:28 -0800 and has been classified as a Generic Scam.
The sender was "Scambusters Editors" <email@example.com>, although it may have been spoofed.
<>~<>~<>~<>~<>~<>~<>~<>~<>~<>~<>~<>~<>~<>~<>~<>~<>~<> Internet Scambusters (tm) The #1 Publication on Internet Fraud http://www.scambusters.org By Scambusters Audri, Jim and Keith Issue #313 December 10, 2008 <>~<>~<>~<>~<>~<>~<>~<>~<>~<>~<>~<>~<>~<>~<>~<>~<>~<> Note 1: Easily change your subscription information by clicking the link at the very bottom of this newsletter. Note 2: Please share this newsletter with 3 or 4 of your friends or colleagues who you think will benefit from it. Hi Scamdex, Today we cover a topic most people have probably never heard of that is important for protecting your identity: the "red flag rules." Red flag rules are a set of regulations that firms who handle your money were originally supposed to have in place by November 1, 2008, as part of a crackdown on identity theft. But many didn't make the deadline, and the recent banking crisis has overshadowed the struggle to get these vital new measures in place. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) decided to suspend enforcement of the new "Red Flag Rules" until May 1, 2009, to give creditors and financial institutions additional time to develop and implement written identity theft prevention programs. In this article, we explain how the red flag rules work and what your bank or other lender should be doing to protect you. Although this issue is geared towards our US subscribers, we believe our international subscribers should ask similar questions of their financial institutions. As always, we recommend you begin by taking a look at this week's issue of Scamlines -- What's New in Scams? -- here. http://www.scambusters.org/scamlines/36.html We also recommend you check out the most popular articles from our other sites during the past week: Answers to 7 of the Biggest Questions About Japan's Winter Wildlife: An Interview With Roy Toft http://www.7photographyquestions.com/audio-podcast/ Dirt Cheap Airfare For Everyone http://www.consumertipsreports.org/dirt_cheap_airfare_for_everyone.html Money Saving Ideas to Stretch Your Budget Further http://www.consumersavvytips.org/some_common-sense_money_saving_tips.html Holiday articles: Creating Gourmet Chocolate Covered Spoons http://www.aboutchristmascrafts.com/creating_gourmet_chocolate_covered_spoons.html Christmas Trees: Artificial or Natural? http://www.christmasrants.com/christmas_trees_artificial_or_natural.html Find Perfect Romantic Gift Ideas to Spark Your Love Life! http://www.wowchristmasgifts.com/find-perfect-romantic-gift-ideas-to-spark-your-love-life.html Let's check out today's main topic... <>~<>~<><>~<>~<><>~<>~<><>~<>~<><>~<>~<><>~<>~<><>~<>~<><>~<> Identity Theft: Is Your Lender Complying With the New Red Flag Rules? <>~<>~<><>~<>~<><>~<>~<><>~<>~<><>~<>~<><>~<>~<><>~<>~<><>~<> While they've been dealing with all the woes of the current financial crisis, America's banks and other institutions that provide credit have been grappling with another tough but lesser-known issue that affects us all -- the "red flag rules." Never heard of them? Nor, it seems, have some of the organizations that are supposed to put them in place. The red flag rules are a set of regulations that were originally set to come into force at the beginning of November as part of a bold, new crusade against the nation's biggest fraud -- identity theft. And while its effects may not quite be on the scale of the banking disaster that has sent the economy into a tailspin, 9 million of us do fall victim to ID theft every year -- and that number is growing. Five years ago, the Federal Government introduced the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions (FACT) Act. As part of that, the red flag rules became law at the beginning of 2008, with a requirement that all "creditors" -- banks and other companies that give credit -- implement them by November 1. At the beginning of November, the FTC decided to suspend enforcement of the new "Red Flag Rules" until May 1, 2009, but we thought it's important you should know what's coming. So why is this important to you? Because you should make it part of your own personal security to check if your bank or other credit-giver is complying. If they are, maybe you can feel just that little bit safer from the clutches of ID thieves. If they don't, you should want to know why. Basically, the red flag rules say these creditors must have the following: - A written program of safeguards and checks they will use to flag up potential identity thefts. - Written procedures for how they will do these checks and deal with instances of the crime. - Support and approval of the program at the highest level -- the board of directors. - A system in place for continuously monitoring the development of the crime and updating their programs for dealing with it. - Appropriate training for all staff who may be in a position to spot the crime and deal with it. Now, you may think that many institutions already have measures in place to cut the risk of ID theft but that's not enough. The red flag rules demand the measures are actually written down -- and followed. They not only define and formalize the way lenders must behave but the rules also extend to other organizations besides banks. For example, utility companies, health care providers and even car dealerships are all involved with providing services or products that are effectively on credit -- in that we may pay for them in installments. Every single one of them -- and there may be as many as two million affected organizations -- must comply with the regulations. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC), which is responsible for overseeing implementation provides 26 examples of red flags -- situations that should trigger an alert and prompt the vetting measures in the written programs. Some of them are rather obvious, but these are the events that are supposed to put lenders on guard: 1. A fraud alert is included with a consumer report they've requested on an individual. 2. Notice of a credit freeze is received in response to a request for a consumer report. 3. A consumer reporting agency indicates an address discrepancy. 4. Unusual credit activity, such as an increased number of accounts, is noticed. 5. Documents provided for identification appear altered or forged. 6. Photograph on an ID is inconsistent with the appearance of the customer. 7. Information on an ID is inconsistent with information provided by a person opening an account. 8. Information on ID, such as signature, is inconsistent with information on file at the financial institution. 9. The application appears forged, altered, or destroyed and reassembled. 10. Information on an ID does not match any address in the consumer report, Social Security number has not been issued or appears on the Social Security Administration's Death Master File, a file of information associated with Social Security numbers of those who are deceased. 11. There's a lack of correlation between the individual's Social Security number range and their date of birth. 12. Personal identifying information is associated with known fraud activity. 13. Suspicious addresses are supplied, such as a mail drop or prison, or phone numbers associated with pagers or an answering service. 14. The Social Security number that was provided matches that submitted by another person opening an account or other customers. 15. An address or phone number matches that supplied by a large number of applicants. 16. The person opening the account is unable to supply identifying information in response to notification that the application is incomplete. 17. Personal information is inconsistent with information already on file at financial institution or creditor. 18. A person opening an account or a customer is unable to correctly answer challenge questions. 19. Shortly after a change of address, the creditor receives a request for additional users of an account. 20. Most of available credit is used for cash advances, jewelry or electronics, plus the customer fails to make the first payment. 21. A drastic change in payment patterns, use of available credit or spending patterns occur. 22. An account that has been inactive for a lengthy time suddenly exhibits unusual activity. 23. Mail sent to a customer is repeatedly returned as undeliverable, despite ongoing transactions on an active account. 24. The financial institution or creditor is notified that the customer is not receiving paper account statements. 25. The financial institution or creditor is notified of unauthorized charges or transactions on a customer's account. 26. The financial institution or creditor is notified that it has opened a fraudulent account for a person engaged in identity theft. But, says the FTC, "these red flags are not a checklist, but rather, are examples that financial institutions and creditors may want to use as a starting point." Creditors must define their own red flags, and the appropriate responses, in their written program. It was estimated that somewhere between a quarter and a third of organizations did not have their red flag rules in place by the original November 1 compliance deadline, and the FTC decided to give more time -- until May 1, 2009. Unfortunately, many institutions and organizations don't even know they're supposed to comply or they think that having an ID theft policy already in place is enough. Though they're unlikely to jump on any non-compliant organization straightaway, the FTC does have power to levy huge fines against creditors who don't get their act together. How will they find out? Well the FTC could, and probably will, do spot checks. But after the laws go into effect, you can also ask your creditors if they're compliant. If they're not, or if the person you ask doesn't know, that's a serious cause for concern because they're handling your money and your account. After all, if you discover your financial institution isn't complying, so might the scammers, making your creditor a favored target for ID theft. And you don't want that. It's your money. And your identity. So if they're not ready, that's your own personal red flag. And, we recommend you stay up-to-date on this to make sure your lenders and financial institutions comply with the red flag rules as the deadline approaches. That's all for today -- we'll see you next week. - Please Check Out These Offers - They Keep Scambusters Free - - - - - - We Highly Recommend All of These Products - - - - - ----------==========**********O**********==========---------- Looking for a REAL Way to Protect Against Identity Theft? An identity is stolen every 2 seconds -- which is very scary. We've been searching for years for something (free or fee based) we could wholeheartedly recommend to our subscribers. And we've finally found it: LifeLock. LifeLock takes the worry out of identity theft: "We looked at a number of companies and found LifeLock had the best product for protecting people from ID theft plus much more. I wish we had found them before my wife and I recently became victims." - Bobby Joe Harris, Retired Chandler (AZ) Police Chief "I took all the precautions to fight ID Theft but never once thought about my son becoming a victim until he became one. Criminals don't care if you're 2 or 102, as long as they get what they want. "I have now turned to LifeLock to protect my children and only wish I would've known about LifeLock before this happened to my son." - Lisa Terwillegar, Hickory, North Carolina "I have dealt with the results of ID theft for more than three years and read about all the so-called solutions. Until LifeLock came along, I never thought I would see an answer to the problem. LifeLock can stop this crime!" - Paul Fairchild, Edmond, Oklahoma Find out how you can proactively protect your identity and make even your Social Security number useless to thieves. LifeLock is recommended by Scambusters.org. Get a 10% discount and 30 Day Free Trial when you use SCAMBUSTERS code. And be sure to find out about LifeLock's $1,000,000 guarantee. Visit: http://www.Lifelock.com/index.php?promocode=SCAMBUSTERS ----------==========**********O**********==========---------- ----------==========**********O**********==========---------- NEW: "Who Else Wants To Create Unique, Memorable Photo Christmas Cards -- Quickly And Easily?" It's not to late to save money -- if you act now: If you'd like your friends and family to say "WOW" when they receive your Christmas card this holiday season, read on... You CAN create amazing photo Christmas cards this year that your friends and family will cherish, even if: - You think it's way too complicated to create personalized photo cards; - You believe it will cost too much to create your own photo holiday cards; - You're concerned you won't have enough time to create them; or - Your family hates posing for holiday photos. We've just finished "How To Create Amazing Photo Christmas Cards" -- which includes everything you need to quickly and easily create unique and memorable photo Christmas cards this year. Check out the feedback from one of the first owners of our guide (a mother of three): "My first concern was getting some good photos to use on our Christmas photo cards. Your unique out-of-the-box tips for getting the fam to 'pose' for the shots worked like a charm (3 kids, 13, 12, and 5). "Turning these great photos into lovely photo cards was a very simple process of simply following the step-by-step instructions in your report. My kids can't believe I made these cards -- they are so impressed." - LeAnn Chastian, Fayetteville, NC Here's our promise: You'll create Christmas cards you love from our advice AND save at least the cost of our guide, or it won't cost you a dime. Visit now to find out about our Special Introductory Offer: http://www.christmasphotocardsecrets.com/sb ----------==========**********O**********==========---------- ----------==========**********O**********==========---------- Are You Sabotaging Your Own Success? Most people do. No matter how close they come, something always seems to hold them back. Truly successful people know what it is, and how to defeat it without struggle. Do you? The good news is there is a simple approach almost anyone can use to make their life a smashing success. "Absolute magic! 'How to Control Your Destiny Through Your Attitude' provides the tools to help you create the life you want for yourself. It's almost hard to believe that it's so simple -- yet it works like a charm!" -- Michele Paccione, DanceGlam .com, Harrington Park, NJ "If you could read only one book to help you transform your life into a smashing success -- this should be it!" -- Bill Heinrich, Founder and CEO, Symmetry Springs If you'd like a real way to improve any area of your life in the next 30 days and achieve what has seemed impossible to you until now -- visit: http://scambusters.org/a/attitude.html ----------==========**********O**********==========---------- ===== About Internet Scambusters - Administrivia Copyright (c) Audri and Jim Lanford. All rights reserved. To subscribe, visit: http://www.scambusters.org/ To remove yourself or change address options visit: http://www.aweber.com/z/r/?TAwMjEyctMzsDKyMjAystEa0LAxs7OwsbA== (you might have to copy and paste it into your browser) This will take you off the Scambusters list. To send us feedback, do NOT click 'Reply.' Instead, please use our Feedback Form located at: http://www.scambusters.org/feedback.html The information we have on file is: Your name: Scamdex Your email: firstname.lastname@example.org Please do not send vacation notices or other autoresponders to us. This may take you off the Scambusters list. Scambusters is a public service from Jim and Audri Lanford. Since Scambusters is a public service and we receive thousands of emails, we cannot answer individual emails. For more about our privacy and legal policy, see http://www.scambusters.org/privacy.html Lanford Inc. 197 New Market Center, #115 Boone, NC 28607 To unsubscribe or change subscriber options visit: http://www.aweber.com/z/r/?TAwMjEyctMzsDKyMjAystEa0LAxs7OwsbA==