Commentary

MILAM COUNTY T.R.I.A.D.

Scammers know what to do and when to do it
Ted Hubert

Con ar t ist s are on the prowl, worldwide, seeking personal data on as many citizens as they can, using familiar generic greetings and tricking victims into responding to questions which reveal personal data of their “mark” is the goal.

Never think for a minute that scammers are lazy and dumb. Con artists are energetic and smart. They know what to do and when to do it.

Using the power of suggestion, with deductive reasoning, results in considerable data about their targets which is shocking and almost unbelievable.

Our loose lips provide the scammers information they can use or sell. It seems that medical information about you will earn more on the black market.

You may feel that you are a very private person without a problem in the world, but the truth is all the transactions you make, are recorded and kept somewhere.

Credit cards, debit cards, accounts at banks, utility services and other areas which become public record are available and accessible.

Hackers successfully breach securities that companies have in place to protect our data. As soon as accounts are compromised, letters are sent out, most of the time, alerting members of this cyber crime.

In 2012, a total of 2,644 incidences set the new record and early in the year 2014 we will know if a new record is set or if less breaches are found.

The information is massive. The AARP Bulletin reports about 267 million records. Crooks steal identities that hit one out of 20 Americans. The hits are made in the United States every 3 seconds. A study found that the total cost amounted to $21 billion dollars and noted that about 0ne-half of the victims had previously scammed before.

You should only talk enough to accomplish whatever necessary but do not offer information that can and will be used against you.

Take charge when companies ask for your social security number, see if it is really required.

In this day and age, bill paying online is convenient and quick. The electronic transfer of funds allows businesses to receive payments immediately in some cases.

Transactions via credit card or debit card is most common. It is safer to use the credit card rather than the debit card because the debit card takes money from your account immediately while the credit card payment is usually once a month.

The difference is the ability to challenge a bill before money is taken from your bank account. The plus side for using the debit card is there is never a late fee nor can you pay a minimum amount billed to you which results in higher interest rates on the unpaid balance.

Individuals whose account has been breached are at a risk that is five times greater than those never breached.

If you are notified that you have been breached and you are offered a free service to monitor your account, you should take full advantage of it.

Added security is a good thing. 80% of these victims do not take advantage of this service. Let businesses help you rather than refusing to accept their generous offers. You will be glad you did.

Not all breaches are disclosed so seek out and find web sites that address your particular needs. You are advised to contact web sites that report companies that are breached like: www.privacyrights.org , or www.idpress.org.


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2013-11-21 digital edition



The burn ban for Milam County has been lifted. Burning is always prohibited in the county's municipalities.


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