Author: Nikki Junker


If Scams Were Real

Guest Blogger Nikki Junker, Social Media Coordinator and Victim Advisor for the Identity Theft Resource Center (ITRC), shares some of the scams that have been sent to her in just the last 24 hours.

Someone Stole My Identity: Now What?

You get denied for a card at your local department store because of delinquent accounts. You don’t have any accounts which are delinquent, so you check your credit report and it shows five credit card accounts that are past due. You now realize you have become a victim of identity theft. What do you do now?

video chat

Hey…Watch This: The Dangers of Video Chat and How to Protect Yourself

It is astounding when we sit back and think about just how far communication has come in recent history. While many can remember only having the option of a letter or a phone call, these days there is a plethora of ways to engage each other. Distance and cost are not as much of a concern with the integration of communication services through the internet. However, with the ease of sharing our private lives with friends and acquaintances, comes risk.


Security and Your Vacation Plans: TMI?

Social networking has made the phrase “TMI” almost obsolete. “TMI” or “too much information” used to be a phrase used when someone shared some information which would have been better kept to themselves. In the voyeuristic society in which we now exist, everyone seems to be hungry to share and receive as thorough a view into other’s lives as possible. While this can be a fun diversion and an effective way to organize with friends, it can also lead to some serious consequences. These days, TMI can be more than something that will gross out your friends. It can make you the target of crime.

airport wifi

Airports and Identity Theft: Staying Safer While On The Road

Airports can be dangerous because they provide a great venue for identity thieves to engage in their crimes. Luggage transfer, public WiFi and a chaotic environment all leave travelers open to becoming victims of identity theft. Read on to learn more about the identity theft risks inherent in airport travel today, and ways you can avoid becoming a victim.


Is Nothing Sacred? Death, Identity Theft, and Steps You Can Take Thereafter

Identity thieves obtain information about deceased individuals in various ways. They may monitor obituaries, steal death certificates, or even get the information from websites that offer the Social Security Death Index file. These web sites are supposed to be used for genealogy research but are sometimes used to steal identities. Unfortunately, the thief may also be a family member who may take advantage of the situation or who has already been using the deceased’s identity. This may be especially true if the deceased suffered from a lengthy illness, mental confusion, or if there is disagreement among family members prior to death.

hotel identity theft

Home Away from Home?: Identity Theft and Hotels

Whether travel is for business or pleasure, travelers must be on the alert for opportunities that identity thieves may try to take advantage of in any given situation. Unfortunately you cannot trust anyone you meet (housekeeping staff, bellmen, security guards, front desk clerks, etc) with your personal information. While your hotel should be a place to offer refuge from the hustle and bustle of travel, it can also be a breeding ground for identity theft.


Facebook and Hackers: I Dislike This Dislike Scam

Most Facebook users are familiar with the “like” button. It was first introduced to Facebook in February of 2009 and from the start was met with huge success. It is a great way for users to show that they support anything from a bagel shop to their friend buying a new car. Inevitably though, with the invention of the “like” came the burning desire of users to be able to dislike something. Thus the mythical “dislike” button was born. There were many questions and rumors surrounding whether or not Facebook would allow users to express their discontent for their friends’ relationship status change from “in a relationship” to “single,” to express discontent with a post, or disagree with a friend’s choice of sports team affiliation.


Elder Identity Theft: Not Everyone Respects Their Elders

The injuries suffered by an older person from physical abuse or neglect are tragic, but there is another, less publicized, form of abuse: financial exploitation. Financial abuse or exploitation can rob a senior of self-esteem and trust, as well as of his or her means of subsistence. It is a serious and shameful crime. When a relative, friend or caretaker exploits an older person and manages to drain away savings, assets and good credit that have taken years to accumulate and establish, the result can be devastating.

medical information

Criminal Medical Identity Theft: A Tornado of a Different Kind

Many victims of Identity theft are overwhelmed by the amount of damage their identity thief has done. Just when they think they have cleared up one problem another will surface and it will seem that every aspect of their life is affected in one way or another. Even within each type of identity theft (Financial, Criminal and Medical) there are further distinctions, each with its own havoc-wreaking consequences. Read on here to learn more about criminal medical identity theft.

medical records

Correcting Misinformation on Medical Records

Misinformation on medical records may be caused by human error or identity theft. It can lead to an inaccurate diagnosis of a condition and could be fatal if the information causes a drug interaction, allergic reaction or inappropriate diagnoses. You should be able to fully correct medical records created in your name. HIPAA, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, is a federal privacy act that protects patients from unauthorized access to personal medical information and addresses the problem of errors in medical records.