Archive for Life Improvement

An ID theft service you should take a look at

Posted in Economy, General, Identity Theft, Legal, Life Improvement, News with tags , , , , , , , , , on July 18, 2010 by truthwillrise

Ada,OK based Pre Paid Legal Services has been around since 1972. Their popular Life Events Legal Plan,which allows it members access to top rated law firms nationwide to deal with any legal matter , are now  used by over one million families and tens of thousands of companies also offer their services as an employee benefit. This is what they are most known for but they have an identity theft service that, from what I have seen, is second to none.

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An Oppurtunity That Offers Freedom

Posted in Economy, General, Life Improvement with tags , , , on July 12, 2010 by truthwillrise

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The Legal Implications of ID Theft

Posted in Economy, General, Identity Theft with tags , , , , , , , on June 30, 2010 by truthwillrise

Identity theft victimizes approximately ten million people annually. With financial identity theft, it has been drilled into most people’s heads to call the banks, credit repositories, and credit card companies to dispute charges and get their money back. However there is a legal implication of identity theft that you may not be aware of.

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What type of ID theft protection service should you get?

Posted in Economy, General, Identity Theft, Legal, News with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 28, 2010 by truthwillrise

As identity theft continues to escalate, many people are looking to protect themselves by investing in the myriad of identity theft protection services. In a previous article entitled, “Clearing up the id theft service picture”, I differentiated between the various types of identity theft services. However, with so many products out there it can be difficult to decide which one to purchase.

From personal experience, I know that dealing with identity theft can be an overwhelming ordeal. Many people do not know what to and even if you do, the amount of time spent in rectifying the situation can be tremendous. It is for these reasons that people obtain these services.

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INCREASE IN MISTAKEN IDENTITY LANDING MORE INNOCENT PEOPLE IN COLLIER, LEE JAILS

Posted in General, Identity Theft, Legal, Life Improvement, News with tags , , , , , on November 22, 2009 by truthwillrise

By AISLING SWIFT
Published Saturday, November 21, 2009

NAPLES — When Barron Collier High School assistant football coach Johnny Drummond Smith was arrested Monday on a domestic battery charge, it would take several days to clear his name.

He was thrown in jail and held without bond, until defense attorney Michelle Hill provided Collier County Judge Vince Murphy with strong evidence: He couldn’t have been in Jacksonville when the crime occurred.

Murphy reviewed the evidence and Smith’s testimony and decided he should be released on a $1,000 bond. He walked out of jail Wednesday, but still was on leave from his job and faced prosecution in Duval County.

Friday, an assistant state attorney in Jacksonville dropped the case after investigators were unable to find Smith’s accuser and a witness, her sister.

For 38-year-old Smith, it was a quick end to a case of mistaken identity.

“Let’s say this happened to a convenience store employee who didn’t have all these people on his side, do you think this would have happened this quickly?” Hill asked. “The outcome would not have been the same.”

“We also got lucky with Judge Murphy,” she said. “Some other judges would have said, ‘A judge in Jacksonville set no bond, it’s no bond.’’’

For many, untangling a mixup or stolen identity takes weeks, months — even longer.

On Friday, Anthony David Falangas, 25, of North Naples, stood before Collier Circuit Judge Fred Hardt, charged with two counts of attempting to obtain a prescription by fraud, a third-degree felony.

It was a hearing tailored to quickly prove his innocence and end Falangas’ troubles. He’d been thrown in jail July 8 and posted $5,000 bond a day later, but faces up to five years in state prison if convicted.

Defense attorney Donald Day wanted to prove Falangas, a salesman, was at work when someone used his stolen identification to fill two Roxicodone prescriptions at Wooley’s Pharmacy on June 26. The man fled while a pharmacist verified the prescriptions.

But the prosecutor didn’t have the exact time and the pharmacy video wasn’t working that day, so the judge ordered the State Attorney’s Office to provide the records and scheduled another hearing.

It was Falangas’ fourth time in court.

“We were hoping the video would have busted it wide open,” Day said of an arrest he suspects is linked to a recent bust of a large prescription drug ring that used stolen identities.

Like Falangas, Smith’s photograph was in the newspaper. Smith’s story also was on the TV news, where he professed his innocence.

Many charged in mistaken or stolen identity cases lose their jobs or are suspended from work. They suffer embarrassment, depression and anxiety and must pay an attorney and a bondsman.

“The unjustified loss of even a moment’s liberty is a tragedy,” Murphy said Friday. “. . . Sadly, Mr. Smith can never recover what was taken from him, but in the context of an admittedly imperfect system, we were able to allow his release fairly quickly.”

■ ■ ■

Like Falangas, Smith had an alibi: He was at work.

Shayla S. Evans, 25, of Jacksonville, told police Smith grabbed her hair and dragged her down a staircase at 4:25 p.m. Nov. 13, 2008, kicked her and beat her, then slashed her with a knife. She said they’d had a yearlong relationship, but had broken up four months earlier.

Smith was arrested Monday night after a Collier County deputy conducted a routine check of license tags. He knew nothing about the battery and was allowed to make a few calls, then was booked into the jail to await a hearing at 2 p.m. Tuesday.

In court, Hill asked Smith several questions to prove his innocence. Although Murphy granted a low bond, his release wasn’t quick.

“Jacksonville had to enter the bond into their system on that warrant and they couldn’t reach anyone in Jacksonville,” Hill said. “Thank God, we had a sergeant in the jail here who was a really nice guy and kept calling and calling.”

Duval court records list 209 cases involving Johnny Smiths, including two for Johnny D. Smith, who is only a month younger. Many have middle names or initials, but many are just Johnny Smith.

Evans’ sister believes she just wanted to protect her real boyfriend, so she picked a name, Johnny Smith, and pointed to a photo.

■ ■ ■

Hill said mistakes can occur when someone enters a name wrong in the national police computer, or someone, usually a relative, steals a name to avoid paying a ticket.

Two years ago, defendants with numerous aliases became such a problem in Collier that County Judge Christine Greider created a prototype legal order for judges to remove stolen names from court and county records.

County Judge Mike Carr had so many cases, he pushed the Sheriff’s Office to verify fingerprints of all defendants to confirm identities. He got The Florida Bar to change its professional ethics rules to force lawyers whose clients have provided false information to disclose it in court.

Hill represents a man whose brother used his name when he got a traffic citation.

“Of course, the brother didn’t go to court,” Hill said of the innocent man. “Then months and months later, he gets arrested on a warrant and can’t get out.”

Nowadays, Hill said, mistaken identity cases are straightened out more quickly due to technology.

Information is put through the Florida Department of Law Enforcement’s driver and vehicle information database which pulls up a driver license photo, Hill said.

Officials also can check fingerprints at the jail, which pulls up a photo and prior arrests if there’s a “hit.” That fingerprint check often reveals suspects who provide fake names.

Although technology helps unravel a mixup, it also prompted an increase in identity theft.

“It’s so perfected now,” Day said. “You could print out a nice ID on your computer. This is happening in every city in the U.S. You’d be shocked at how often it happens. The problem is it’s very difficult to resolve.”

Falangas’ license was stolen and his credit card information also was obtained, Day said, although it’s uncertain how or when.

“It’s very common for someone to call our office and say, ‘I’ve been charged with something in Tallahassee and I’ve never been in Tallahassee,” Day said.

Although a law went into effect a few years ago that requires law enforcement officers to get a thumb print from drivers who don’t provide a license, Day said it’s not always done.

“That law was to protect us,” Day said. “I’ve had clients who have had nine-page driving records in places they’ve never been.”

■ ■ ■

In July 2006, Theodore William Wuschke sued then- Collier County Sheriff Don Hunter and Deputy Charles H. Smith after he was arrested and thrown in jail after a routine traffic stop on July 7, 2002, because his name was an alias used by Robert James Mickens.

It was the second time in less than a year the 38-year-old Golden Gate man had been arrested and jailed on the 1993 warrant for a probation violation, according to his lawsuit in U.S. District Court, which said Wuschke didn’t have the tattoo on his right ankle that Mickens had.

The lawsuit accused Hunter of false arrest, false imprisonment and willfully failing to update inaccurate information in his agency’s computers after Wuschke’s first arrest on Oct. 1, 2001.

It was settled about a year later for $50,000.

“They made sure that wasn’t going to happen again,” said Wuschke’s attorney, Michael R.N. McDonnell of Naples, who said Wuschke had no prior convictions. “The poor guy was so upset. He was pleasant about it the first time. He understood it was a mistake.”

■ ■ ■

Jill Lennon, courts director for the Collier court clerks office, said people often come to the courthouse to say they received a notice their license was being suspended for something they didn’t do.

“We help and go above and beyond because that person is a victim,” Lennon said. “We walk them over to be fingerprinted at the Sheriff’s Office and to go to the State Attorney’s Office to straighten it out.”

Usually it’s a relative, she said, or the victim suspects someone and can’t prove it. Deputies try to find the real suspect, she said, but sometimes they can’t, “so we change them to John Doe in our computer.”

Scroll through the Collier Court criminal records at http://www.collierclerk.com and you’ll find 38 John Does and two Jane Does.

“There are people who have been arrested over and over again in multiple counties they’ve never been in,” she said. “They carry paperwork in their vehicle to prove they’re not that person.”

* * * * *

For information on identity theft and how to correct credit card or driver license identity theft, go to: http://www.flhsmv.gov/idtheft.html

Unfortunately, cases such as these are becoming far too common. Identity theft is a serious problem.
You can also learn more about identity theft, please go to http://www.prepaidlegal.com/idt/bking62. -truthwillrise

State Law Aims To Crack Down On Identity Theft

Posted in Economy, Identity Theft, Legal, Life Improvement with tags , , on October 12, 2009 by truthwillrise

A new state law that went into effect this month broadens the definition of identity theft and strengthens the penalties against the crime.

The law was proposed by Gov. M Jodi Rell and builds on reforms the Republican has advocated for since taking office.

In 2005, for example, Rell formed an Identity Theft Advisory Board, which brought together state agencies and organizations to identify vulnerabilities, develop remedies and establish much stronger penalties for criminals who misappropriate the identifying information of others, including Social Security numbers, credit card numbers and other personal data.

“Identity theft is an incredibly destructive crime,” Rell said in a written statement. “It not only robs victims of assets, but it can have devastating, long-term effects on everything from personal credit to security clearances.”

In 2008, there were 10 million identity theft victims in the United States, a 22 percent increases compared to 2007, according to a study done by Javelin Strategy and Research. Additionally, 1.6 million households experienced fraud not related to credit cards. For example, their bank accounts or debit cards were compromised.

Households with incomes higher than $70,000 were twice as likely to experience identity theft as those with salaries under $50,000, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.

And while the threat of identity theft is frightening the consequences of actually experiencing it can cost major time and money.

According to the nonprofit Identity Theft Resource Center, it can take up to 5,840 hours, or the equivalent of working a full-time job for two years to correct the damage from ID theft, depending on the severity of the case.

The average victim spends 330 hours repairing the damage.

Meanwhile, businesses across the world lose $221 billion a year due to identity theft, and the average cost per victim is about $500, according to Javelin Strategy and Research.

The new state laws, which took effect Oct. 1, broaden the definition of identity theft by eliminating the requirement that personal identifying information be obtained without permission. Under the act, a person commits identity theft when he or she knowingly uses another’s personal identifying information to obtain or attempt to obtain money, credit, goods, services, property, or medical information.

The law also toughens penalties for those convicted of victimizing senior citizens age 60 or older, by lowering the threshold for what constitutes identity theft in the first and second degree.

By law, identity theft in the first degree is now committed when the value of the goods or services stolen is greater than $5,000. Prior to that, the threshold was $10,000. Identity theft in the second degree is committed against someone age 60 or older when the value of goods or services stolen is any amount.

Rell said elderly victims can find it especially difficult to recover from identity theft because of the complexity and red tape involved, which is why she lobbied for those specific guidelines in the legislation.

The new law also creates the crime of unlawful possession of personal access devices, such as credit card readers or scanners, account numbers, personal identification numbers or PIN numbers.

Additionally, the new also establishes a Privacy Protection Guaranty and Enforcement Account, which will be funded with fines imposed on violators and property forfeited under the act’s provisions.

The fund will be used to help individuals whose identity has been stolen.

Finally, the law also extends from two years to three years the period in which a victim can sue for damages against a person convicted of stealing their identity and requires, rather than allows, a court to issue orders correcting public records.

 Identity theft is an international crime and is only getting started and it is not if but when you will become a victim of this horrible crime. We will all need something to combat this problem in all phases and facets. To learn more about identity theft, and learn about the most comprehensive ID theft plan out there, log on to http://www.prepaidlegal.com/idt/bking62.

 

UNC data breach exposes 163,000 SSNs

Posted in Business, Economy, Identity Theft, Legal with tags , , , , on October 1, 2009 by truthwillrise
School of Medicine at Chapel Hill hacked
By Jaikumar Vijayan

September 25, 2009 07:34 PM ET

 

Computerworld – The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill on Friday began notifying about 163,000 women about the potential compromise of their Social Security numbers and other personal information after a hacker breached a system containing the data.

The breached server belonged to the UNC School of Medicine and contained information that was collected as part of a federally funded mammography research project. The system contained records on a total of 236,000 women, of which about 163,000 included Social Security numbers.

Matt Mauro, chairman of the university’s Department of Radiology said the breach was first discovered in July when a researcher reported problems accessing the system. A subsequent investigation by the school’s information systems staff revealed that the system had been hacked.

Though the breach was discovered in July, there are indications that the actual intrusion may have taken place as long as two years ago, Mauro said. “We think we found some viruses that date back to 2007,” he said.

The breached server received information from 31 different sites across the state, Mauro said. When the breach was discovered, the system was taken offline immediately and has remained that way since July, Mauro said.

The sites that were sending the information to UNC have stopped doing so for the moment, while stronger precautions are implemented to prevent a similar breach in future, he said.

The reason that notifications have only just started going out is because UNC technology officials and an external forensic team have required time to piece together the extent of the compromise and to figure out exactly who may have been affected by it, Mauro said.

So far, investigations have revealed nothing to suggest that the persons responsible for the break-in have downloaded or modified the data in any way. “But you just don’t know for sure. You have to be suspicious and you have to notify,” he said.

 

If  you are associated with the UNC School of Medicine, or know someone who is they need to know there is help out there for them. Identity Theft Shield has the total solution for these people; please have them call 1-866-510-7907 or log onto http://www.prepaidlegal.com/idt/bking62  to have professionals drive them down the road to recovery.