Bloomberg says: Identity Theft Fraud Falls 34%, Victims Pay More (8-Feb-2011)


Identity theft fraud fell 34 percent last year to $37 billion, the lowest since Javelin Strategy & Research began tracking data in 2003.

About 8.1 million identities were stolen in 2010, the fewest since 2007, according to a Javelin study released today. Out-of-pocket costs to victims rose to $631 in 2010 from $387 in 2009, according to the Pleasanton, California-based market- research firm.

Image representing Bloomberg as depicted in Cr...

Image via CrunchBase

“There are fewer cases of identity fraud than there were in previous years. The bad news is there’s more consumer cost,” said James Van Dyke, Javelin’s president and founder. “That’s really due to a shift in the types of fraud.”

Debit-card fraud accounted for 36 percent of crimes committed with cards already in circulation in 2010, up from 26 percent in 2009. Debit-card fraud is generally more expensive for consumers than credit card because zero-liability policies, which protect consumers from losses if their cards are stolen, are less common for debit cards, according to the study.

“There’s been a shift from credit to debit in all kinds of transactions, and unfortunately as you have more debit transactions you have more debit fraud,” said Van Dyke.

New-account fraud, in which a criminal opens an account in the individual’s name rather than exploiting an existing account, also contributed to the rise in costs. Out-of-pocket losses for consumers on new-account fraud averaged $1,267 in 2010, up from $787 in 2009.

Consumer Education

Better consumer education and the success of systems that monitor customer accounts for unusual activity have helped to reduce fraud rates and losses, according to Erik Stein, a vice president of Brookfield, Wisconsin-based Fiserv, a financial services technology company and a sponsor of the survey.

High-income households, or ones earning $150,000 or more a year, had the highest fraud rate of 7.3 percent compared with an average of 3.5 percent across all income levels, the study said.

Consumers should regularly check their free credit reports and monitor their bank and credit-card statements for unfamiliar charges, said Linda Sherry, a spokeswoman for Consumer Action.

“I’m always amazed when I hear from people who don’t read their credit-card statement, they just pay the bill,” said Sherry, who is based in Washington. “If they don’t catch something right away it can be an endless torment.”

Opinion Access Corp., a Long Island City, New York, research firm, surveyed 5,004 people by phone between September 2010 and November 2010 on behalf of Javelin.

To contact the reporter on this story: Elizabeth Ody in New York eody@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Rick Levinson at rlevinson2@bloomberg.net.

Social purchases turned into Conversations @ www.swipely.com


We turn purchases into conversations

It was really interesting to read about www.swipely.com today in the magazine THE ECONOMIST.

Its amazing to know, as to what extent socialising networks can be influential these days. Swieply sounds like an amazing idea, which, I’m sure won’t take much time to grow beyond the imagination.

Our heartiest Congratulations for Swipely Team efforts in cultivating this amazing concept.

Well, while searching for the actual SWIPELY website, I noticed certain flaws which could hamper away a large number of visitors. I’m sure my suggestion will certainly add value to their business line. There could be potential process Risk which needs to be evaluated on a timely basis for optimal concept output.

Please feel free to comment with your inputs to improve this concept further :-

Screenshot- webpage http://www.swipely.com

e-promotion by ICICI Bank against Phishing mails !!


Kindly make a note of Phishing mails that can hack into your precious bank / Monetary accounts & fetch-out free money.

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I myself had received such mailers from IDBI Bank asking for personal banking details. On the follow-up with Bank’s Top  officials over mail, it was found that the respective hacking bug was blocked & de-activated.

Here are a few Forensic Triggers mention in the web-poster of ICICI Bank, which is pretty much enlightening.

  • The email ID domain might appear to be Bank name / familiar company / friend’s ID.
  • On moving  the cursor onto the sender’s address, it would reveal mis-matching characters in the URL.
  • The padlock (Security protection) icon would be missing.
  • Generally, mailer will mention the urgent step-by-step action required in order to avoid shut-down of account.
  • It will ask for secret information like user ID, passwords, PINs, CVV number, Credit/Debit Card number, vbyv passcode details, etc.

    Money going e-line

    Phishing Mail

 
 
  Dear Customer, You must have heard of ‘Phishing’ ! It is a trap laid by fraudsters through e-mail. If you reply to the e-mail, you might be ‘phished’ of your confidential banking/credit-card details and end up losing your hard-earned money.

The way to protect yourself against phishing is to identify a phishing e-mail. If you suspect an e-mail to be a phishing attempt, forward it to antiphishing@icicibank.com, and delete from your mailbox. Do not respond to such mails.

 
     
 
 
 
For more details on Phishing, please click here.
 
  Sincerely,
ICICI Bank Ltd.
   
 
epromotion against PHISHING by icici Bank

p.s. – Original structure is modified as to suit the formatting.

 

 

Warning: The US Government Mail You Received Might Be a Scam


Warning

This article is a reprint of Wise Bread’s contribution to OPEN Forum from American Express — where small business owners can get advice from experts and share tips with each other.

Con artists are constantly bombarding us with bills that look like official government mail.  It is one of the most effective scams, and there’s a good chance you are already a victim.

“33% of all businesses that receive bills in the mail for products or services they never asked for actually pay the bills,” said Robert Siciliano, an identity theft expert and author of The Safety Minute.

Fake bills are especially convincing when disguised as government mail.  For example, here’s a picture of a fraudulent letter I received from the “Business Filing Division”

Fake Business Filling Bill Form

It looks just like a real California state form.  Using official language and citations to actual law, the letter warns that my business will be suspended if I didn’t pay $239 to update my company’s information with the state of California.  (California does require businesses to periodically update their information, but it only costs $20, not $239.)

After almost falling for this scam, I reached out to experts and other victims of government mailing scams to learn more about how it works.  Here’s a list of their best advice on:

I.  8 ways to spot this scam

Most of these fake government letters share the following tricky features:

1.  Everything looks official

These fake letters have official-looking seals, quote real regulations, and contain government forms that look like the real thing.

The words “Office Use Only” are prominently displayed on the top.  This is a sneaky attempt to mimic the words “Official Use Only.” – Harif87 (http://www.scam.com/member.php?u=136786), Scam.com.

“I’m a designer, and so I can usually spot the difference right away between a real government document and a spurious one.  But often times they’re very close!  I have a grudging respect for how well these sales letters are designed to look like government notices.”  – Matt Kirkland, Brand New Box.

2.  They have your correct information

Just because they have your correct information doesn’t mean the letter is legitimate.  A lot of your professional and personal information are part of the public record.  It is easy for scammers to pick info from online databases and go to work.  – Alexis A. Moore, Survivors in Action.

“Since your state filings are public records, they time the mailings to coincide with your corporation’s actual renewal dates.”  – Kate Lister, author of Undress For Success.

3.  Offering a semi-legitimate service

“Some of these companies offer a legitimate service that is actually required by State Law.  However, they do not offer this service in a forthright manner.”  – Lisa Nguyen esq, Proviso Law Group.

4.  Sneaky disclaimers

“The mailings generally contain disclaimers required by law, such as ‘This is not an invoice.’  However they can still be deceptive if prepared in a format similar to a state document such as an annual report.”  – John Meyer, Company Corporation.

Even when disclaimers are attached, they are sometimes printed in small gray letters, hidden among a sea of legal jargon, or printed on parts of the letter that is likely to be discarded.  –  Issamar Ginzberg, Entrepreneur of the Year.

5.  Prey on your fear of government and obedience to authority

“The letter language didn’t feel right.  It was vague and stressed a deadline.  It preyed on a fear that one is delinquent on a government related fee.” –  Blaine Ung, co-founder of WebinarHero.

“I got accustomed to writing checks to the government in order to get the LLC set up.  Just when I thought that the numerous fees were done with, I got a letter in the mail exactly as you described.  I was furious that I was going to have to pay $325 each year as another cost of doing business.” – Taylor Brown, lead software architect for YouNeedABudget.

6.  Targeting the most vulnerable people

“What makes this insidious is that they are preying on new business owners who are probably excited to get their business off the ground, almost at any cost.”  – Russ Hearl, co-founder of Sherpa Travel Exchange.

7.  Deceptive addresses

They are set up in virtual office parks located in prestigious business buildings. The addresses are in the state capital to avoid raising red flags. – Christine Durst, co-author of The 2-Second Commute.

8.  Official sounding names

They use important names like “Corporate Compliance Filings,” “Board of Business Center,” “Annual Filing Division,” “Business Filing Division,” “Compliance Annual Minutes Board,” “Federal Clearing House,” “Department of Business Minutes,” “Department of Business Compliance,” etc.

II.  7 most effective ways to protect yourself

1.  Google the phone number and payment address

“I did a Google search of the phone number to see if it led to a government Website; instead I found numerous postings that the number I searched belongs to an organization that scams business owners out of money. Thank goodness for these public forums and for the folks that take the time to post in them.”  – Caroline Callaway, Bolt Public Relations.

2.  Look for official consumer alerts

Check your state’s official website for consumer alerts.  Most likely your scam has already been reported (see official state websites for all 50 states).  – Nicole Winger, spokesperson for CA Secretary of State.

3.  Your accountant or lawyer may help for free

“I never charge clients for asking questions.  I thank them and make them feel good for bringing it to my attention before taking action so that they feel good about contacting me whenever another similar question comes up.” – Michael T. Hanley, CPA at Merl & Hanley.

“Generally, I don’t charge my client for looking at a document like this if they hired me to set up the LLC or Corporation.”  – Lisa Nguyen esq, Proviso Law Group.

4.  Set reminders in accounting or calendaring software

Enter your schedule of required government payments into your accounting software.  By setting up reminders in advance, you can quickly verify whether you are late for a payment.  – Dawn Tulman, ToiBocks.

If you have made payments to the real government agency in the past, the agency’s mailing information should already be in your accounting software’s database.  The fact that you have to create a new payee profile for this new “bill” should raise red flags.  – Rick Smith, Chefs Resource.

5.  Create an official “accounts payable list”

“We have an official Accounts Payable list.  Anything not on that list is required to be forwarded to me (president of the company) for review.” – Ken Wisnefski, Webimax.

6.  Use a legitimate third-party service

I registered my LLC through the Company Corporation.  My service package gives me unlimited access to their toll-free customer service hotline.  When I asked about the dubious letter I received, they immediately identified it as a scam.  Their website also has a helpful scam alert section.

Several other companies provide legitimate incorporation and business registration services.  For example, Denise LaBuda, founder of Money Wizdom, also got excellent help from Mycorporation.com when she received the same fake government solicitation.

7.  Join a community

Don’t reinvent the wheel.  Other business owners have received the same scam letters and have already done the research.  Joining communities like the Rotary Club, your local Chamber of Commerce, blog communities, or online business forums give you access to a large reservoir of collective experiences.

Membership in these communities can also open many doors.  When I did research on this scam, I identified myself as a contributor to the American Express Open Forum and Wise Bread community.  I received a torrent of responses, including immediate follow-ups from the California Secretary of State and the IRS.

III.  Getting help after you’ve been scammed

Should you contact law enforcement?

“Depending on how savvy the scammers are, it may be difficult for law enforcement to tackle from a resource perspective.  While there are a number of state and federal rules and regulations that can be called into play, the reality is that most won’t have much of an effect since the potential for enforcement is so low.”  – Edi Goodman, chief privacy officer of Identity Theft 911.

On the other hand, California’s Attorney General has been actively prosecuting these rip-off artists. When in doubt, it is probably best to make a report.

Organizations that help

There are non-profit victim advocacy groups that can help you file complaints.  “Reporting crime and knowing what to look for in a scam is difficult.  We have volunteers eager to assist anyone who is in need at no charge.”  – Alexis A. Moore, Survivors in Action.

Contact your credit card company

If you paid by check or money transfer you can probably kiss that money goodbye.  However, if you paid by credit or charge card, you may be able to dispute the charges. – Shawn Mosch, Co-founder of ScamVictimsUnited.

IV. The many variations of this scam

These government solicitation scams often target the following groups:

  • Business owners: Notice offers to update your company information, file your corporate minutes, renew your business registration, or help with other record-keeping requirements.
  • Taxpayers:  Scammer tempts you with a fake tax refund or scares you with a delinquency notice.
  • Property owners:  Letter tells you that you’re eligible for lower property taxes if you submitted to an official reassessment of your property’s value.
  • Licensed professionals such as realtors, cosmetologists, brokers:  You get a bill for renewing your license, along with a stern warning that failure to pay will result in revocation of your license.
  • Employers:  Letter tries to sell you employment posters required for the workplace.  Usually these posters can be downloaded for free from official government websites.

V.  Why this scam is so dangerous

Beyond monetary loss, there are many other reasons why you should worry about these scams.

Marked as a mark

If you respond to one letter, you might be marked as an “easy target” and receive additional – and perhaps more dangerous – solicitations in the future.

They might be after your identity

“The scammers are often looking for personal data as well as bogus fees.  They’ll use the info for ‘true ID’ thefts, which means setting up credit accounts in your name and making other mischief.” – James Walsh, editor of Scams & Swindles: How to Recognize and Avoid Internet Era Rip-offs.

You miss a real government deadline

Some of these scams “help” you fulfill a real government requirement at an extremely inflated price.  But just because they are charging you a high fee is no guarantee that they will do a good job.

In one recent California case, a company charged victims $175 to help them file corporate records.  However, the company didn’t bother asking the victims for the right information, and instead filed fictitious corporate records on the victims’ behalf.

VI.  Official state websites for registering or incorporating your business

Before you pay another “bill” from the government, check your state’s official website for the real requirements and deadlines:

Alabama
Alaska
Arizona
Arkansas
California
Colorado
Connecticut
Delaware
District of Columbia
Florida
Georgia
Guam
Hawaii
Idaho
Illinois
Indiana
Iowa
Kansas
Kentucky
Louisiana
Maine
Maryland
Massachusetts
Michigan
Minnesota
Mississippi
Missouri
Montana
Nebraska
Nevada
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York
North Carolina
North Dakota
Ohio
Oklahoma
Oregon
Pennsylvania
Puerto Rico
Rhode Island
South Carolina
South Dakota
Tennessee
Texas
U.S. Virgin Islands
Utah
Vermont
Virginia
Washington
West Virginia
Wisconsin
Wyoming

If you have received these fraudulent letters in the past, please share your experiences in the comments.  Search engines will pick up your story and make it easier for other people to identify these scams.

Posted in ...Fraud & Risk, Uncategorized. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . 17 Comments »

Chinese national held in credit card fraud


CHENNAI: The police on Wednesday arrested a Singapore-based Chinese national for using a fake credit card to buy gold jewels from a shop in Purasawalkam.

According to the police, T Tan Koh Yu (28) was nabbed from a mansion in Vepery and four fake credit cards and two mobile phones recovered. Inquiries revealed that he had bought the fake cards from a person in Singapore.

Chinese national held in credit card fraud

Chinese national held in credit card fraud

On Wednesday, the police said, Tan went to a shop in Purasawalkam, ordered a jewel and paid with a Bangladeshi credit card. When the card was rejected for insufficient funds, officials at the private bank that issued the card contacted the person whose name was on it. The latter said he indeed possessed the card and that he had never been to Chennai. The officials then realised the card had been cloned and informed the police. The latter registered a case, conducted investigations and nabbed the Chinese national. He was later remanded in judicial custody.

The police, meanwhile, have suggested to shop-keepers in the city ways to avoid falling prey to such fraudsters. “Whenever, purchases exceed a certain limit, customers can be asked to produce another document as proof of identity. The cashiers in the counters should check the identity of the person as well as their signature,” city police commissioner T Rajendran said.

“We have come to know that most of the fake credit cards seized in recent days have been bought in Malaysia and brought here through ‘kuruvis’ (couriers). The kingpin could be operating from Malaysia where the fake credit cards are being cloned,” a senior police officer.

Height of everything – Come on there is a limit yar !


1. What is height of Fashion?
** : Dhoti with a zip .

2. What is height of Secrecy?
** : Offering blank visiting cards.

3. What is height of Active laziness?
** : Asking for a lift to house while on a morning walk.

4. What is height of Craziness?
** : Getting a blank paper Xeroxed.

5. What is height of Forgetfulness?
** : Seeing the mirror and trying to recollect when you saw him / her
last.

6. What is height of Stupidity?
** : A person looking through a keyhole of a glass door.

7. What is height of Honesty?
** : A pregnant woman taking one and a half ticket.

8. What is height of Suicide?
** : A dwarf jumping from the footpath on the road.

9. What is height of De-hydration?
** : A cow giving milk powder.

10. What is Height of Kanjoosi ?
** : Banta’s house has caught fire and he is giving missed calls to the
Fire brigade!!!

Debit Cards vs Credit Cards in India – Discussion started by Ajay kelkar @ Linkedin


This is an interesting thread of a discussion started by Mr Ajay Kelkar @ http://www.linkedin.com (Group – Asia Pacific Analysts, Consultants & Researchers Association)

Do post your comments herewith.

Discussion Posted By him continues as:

How do consumers use Debit cards vs Credit cards and do

banks make a lot of money on DEbit cards? Should they treat it

as a separate vertical with a P&L of it’s own?

http://blog.cequitysolutions.com/Customer-Management-blog/bid/10197/Debit-cards-How-profitable-are-they-for-banks

The Indian situation is still in its early days with regard to Debit card penetration and usage! Though smart banks would be making a neat packet of other income with fees, interchange & off us charges kicking in.
In India we have over 1464 lakh (as of June 2009) debit cards issued by banks (excluding those withdrawn/blocked). By March 2008 end, the number of ATMs deployed in India was 34,789 with the then annual rate of increase in the number of ATMs being 28.4%. Thus considering a reasonable figure of 44000 ATMs deployed currently by the banks, on an average each ATM caters to about 3300 debit cards.

COMMENT 1 by Hannah Nguyen, Analyst at Global Intelligence Alliance – Asia Pacific:
Debit card may be used by consumers who for one reason or another do not qualify for credit card or do not want to use one (students, income brackets, the budget control-conscious, etc.). Since debit card does not have the interest earnings potential of credit card, what the bank earns is mainly in the form of annual fee and the early relationship with the customer. As a debit card must be tied to an account from the same bank, the card-issuing bank gains from the deposits as well as the stickiness that might follow. The very same consumer may very well later apply for other products from the same bank, assuming its product offering is as good as any one else’s.

COMMENT 2 by Sohan Dhande, Experienced Banking-Finance Professional (MBA Finance) – Expert in Fraud Risk Management:

In Indian scenario, bank customers prefer Debit Cards as it anyways comes for free once you hold an account with a bank. Plus they are a little reluctant to Credit Cards because of their negative popularity being unnecessary charges, risk of theft, etc…. despite forgetting the advantage that it provides large floor limit & repayment period in excess.
Indian Culture is inclined towards savings, & with the easy distribution & increase of Debit cards, Indian Banks have come up with hell lot of discount offers & cash back options for their Debit users. e.g. 5% Cash back on transaction at certain places or certain amount & above.

Apart from physical transactions, online usage is on upsurge in India. Recently, http://www.visabillpay.in have introduced a delicious & mouth watering offfer to pay your utility bills through Debit Cards (NOT applicable to Credit Cards), whrerein an Visa Debit user is entitled for 5% immediate cash back on Transactions for bill payments. BSNL also has certain discount plans in pipeline for online payment. well, there are n number of examples where service providers had to provide Debit Card payments so as to increase transaction traffic. take IRCTC or Travel portals for that matter.

In near future, Debit Cards will certainly gain a distinct place for Profit & Loss Statement.

regards,
Sohan Dhande
+91 9370150290
https://sohandhande.wordpress.com

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