George Greenwood Interview – How To Prevent Identity Theft

  • Post Written by Jai Kai on October 10, 2009
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How to prevent identity theft photo courtesy of Clint M Chilcott

Total read time of this article is about 20 minutes. Interview is approximately 40 minutes. Reading and listening to this information could save you hours of valuable time and thousands of dollars!

Did you know that every 2 seconds there is some form of identity theft happening around the world? In fact, 1 in 4 people across North America will be a victim of identity theft. The big question is “will it be you”? We often think that a thing like identity theft will never happen to us until it actually does. The effects can be detrimental as identity theft is extremely violating and can turn your world upside down, costing you thousands of dollars and lost time and energy.

To really get an idea of how identity theft can negatively impact your life and to learn some ways on how to prevent identity theft continue reading this article and listen to the interview below with George Greenwood. Mr. Greenwood has been conducting seminars and gathering facts, stories and people’s personal experiences concerning identity theft. He has studied this subject for the past seven years and has been certified by the Institute of Risk Fraud Management. He has also marketed a service that provides identity theft restoration for existing clients of the program.

George Greenwood Podcast

As an author, George Greenwood has written two books on the subject of identity theft. These are: “In Your Good Name: Identity Theft” and “Stolen Lives”, which is a combination of two distinctively different works that originally were to be two separate book releases that are now being released as one. This includes “Confessions of an Identity Thief” and “Memories of a Stolen Life”.

Are you taking the necessary precautions and preventative measures? Take the quiz.

The following is a short fun quiz to determine if you are taking measures to prevent identity theft. Be honest with yourself because if you are not, it is only yourself that is being fooled. This quiz has a purpose. It is to show that, like any crime, Identity Theft happens when temptation and greed meet opportunity that is provided with an action. Performing the quiz will create an awareness and help reduce the chances of you being a target for identity theft.

Keep this information to yourself… It is strictly for your own private use.

Grab a pen and paper – write down your answer. Below – all of these questions are repeated with the answers

1. When you receive an unsolicited “pre-approved” application for a credit card, you…

a. shred it

b. throw it into the trash

c. deal with it later

2. What do you do when an expected credit card statement doesn’t arrive?

a. contact the credit card company

b. figure you got off easy that month

c. send in a payment anyway

d. wait a couple of weeks for it to arrive

3. How often do you check your credit reports?

a. didn’t know I could

b. every time I apply for a loan

c. when I think of it

d. regularly, 4 times a year

4. How do you receive your mail?

a. an unlocked mailbox in front of the house

b. a locked mailbox

c. through a mail slot in the door of the house

d. a rented PO mailbox

5. At this moment, where is your Social Insurance Number Card?

a. in my purse or wallet

b. car glove compartment

c. secure location at home

d. safety deposit box

6. How many credit cards do you always carry with you?

a. all of them

b. the rest are loose in a drawer at home

c. just what I will need that day

d. the rest are locked in a secure place

7. How do you carry your credit cards?

a. in my wallet or purse

b. in my day planner

c. in my pocket

d. in my briefcase

e. in the car’s glove box

8. The rest of my credit cards are?

a. locked in a secure place

b. loose in a drawer

c. on the surface of my desk or table

9. How often do you check your credit card and other bill statements?

a. when it arrives

b. before I pay it

c. when I get around to it

d. I trust it

10. How often do you balance your cheque book?

a. once a month

b. when I get around to it

c. how do you do that?

11. When you receive unsolicited phone calls for you to buy something, you…

a. listen to the call, if I like what I hear, I give them the information they want

b. give the caller the names of friends as referrals

c. hang up or at least tell them I am not interested

d. investigate the offer and call them back using a published phone number

12. Where do you keep your financial records?

a. at home in a cardboard box

b. in a stack on my desk (at home) (in my office)

c. in a locked file cabinet

d. in a desk drawer

13. Your “on-line service provider or a business you deal with regularly” calls you by phone and asks you to provide your S.I.N. or password to verify your account, you…

a. give it to them

b. don’t give it because they have no reason to have it

c. make one up

d. look up the phone number from the statement and call them to verify

14. How often do you change your passwords?

a. daily

b. weekly

c. monthly

d. annually

e. never. It’s too much trouble

15. Where do you store your passwords and pin numbers?

a. in my wallet

b. post-it note on the computer

c. I memorize them

d. in my phone or blackberry

16. If you lost your wallet, and it is returned to you, fully in tact

a. call the bank to make sure nothing has been used

b. thank my lucky stars

c. call the sources to order replacements with new numbers

d. notify motor vehicles dept. about my driver’s licence number possibly being used by someone else

17. Are you familiar with the terms?

a. Phishing

b. Pharming

c. Shoulder Surfing

d. Skimming

e. Vishing

f. Keystroking

g. dumpster diving

h. pre-texting

i. spyware

j. smishing

k.war driving

18. When was the last time you updated your computer’s virus protection?

a. daily

b. weekly

c. monthly

d. annually

e. never, it’s too much trouble

f. set for auto updates

19. Do you know where your credit card has been? At a restaurant you…

a. freely give a server your credit card

b. leave the signed copy of the bill on the table when you leave

c. take the bill to the counter to watch the transaction yourself

20. When you are publicly using an ATM/Debit card, you…

a. shield the action from anyone’s site

b. just casually punch in your pin number

c. be cautious and aware of who is near you

d. pre-prepare my deposit envelopes before going to the ATM

21. If you operate as your own business, are you familiar with “PIPA” and PIPEDA”?

a. I am compliant with both

b. I have never heard of either of them

note – my or our privacy officer is _______________

22. You received an e-mail from the bank showing that you have a problem with your account and that you can fix it by resubmitting your account number and password do you…?

a. supply the requested information on-line

b. The banks will never send me such an e-mail

c. I phone the bank’s security department to report it

d. I do nothing with it

e. I do noting but delete it.

23. Does your business card shows your…

a. home telephone number

b. cellular telephone number

c. home address

d. photograph

24. In respect to either on-line chat rooms or blogging sites, are you…

a. free with my information

b. very discrete with my information

c. share nothing

d. they don’t know who I am, what can it hurt to be totally honest and free?

25. Your auto registration…

a. the original is in the glove box of the car

b. a modified copy is kept in the truck of the car

c. I keep the original in my wallet

d. there is more than one driver, so both have a copy with them

26. Your passport is…

a. somewhere at home

b. in our safety deposit box

c. kept in the car

d. kept in my day planner

27. When you travel onboard an airplane or cruise ship (also applies to the luggage check-in straps)

a. discard my boarding pass after I board

b. throw it in the garbage can in the terminal as I disembark

c. leave it in the seatback pocket

d. take it home to discard

e. shred it either at the hotel or as soon as I get home

28. If your identity is compromised in anyway, you will…

a. wait to see if anything comes of it

b. immediately file a police report

c. call all those involved

d. ask my friend what I should do

e. involve and deal with professionals

29. You use your social insurance number as…

a. general identification

b. engraved on the back of possessions to prove ownership

c. I use it for nothing, except for what it is meant for (to track income for taxation and to qualify for gov’t programs)

30. Protecting your identity is the responsibility of…

a. the police

b. the Provincial Government

c. the Federal Government

d. it is solely my responsibility

Answers

To the most part – the answers supplied are of a general aspect are designed primarily to make you think and to provide overall awareness.

1. When you receive an unsolicited “pre-approved” application for a credit card, you…

“A” – Immediately shredding these applications is the only reasonable answer

2. What do you do when an expected credit card statement doesn’t arrive?

“A” – Immediately contact the credit card company. You need to shorten the time (as much as possible) that something can be done with your information. Waiting could be asking for disaster.

3. How often do you check your credit reports?

It is recommended that you check it by having it sent to you once per year. In fact, law states that you are entitled to a free credit report once per year. However, the free one per year does not supply your credit score, for that you must pay. There are programs available that will get you expedited reports (complete with scores) four times per year.

4. How do you receive your mail?

To some of these questions, there is no right or wrong – only suggestion. “C & D” are the best choices. You want to decrease access by a mail thief.

5. At this moment, where is your Social Insurance Number Card?

“D” – is the best choice – it should be locked in a very secure and responsible location

6. How many credit cards do you always carry with you?

“C” is my recommendation with a side of D. Remember, the more you carry, the more you risk loosing. If your wallet or purse are lost or stolen, first off, can you remember everything that is in there, second – to freeze or cancel ever account means your life is frozen. Lose one – cancel it and go home to retrieve another and carry on with your day – only hindered by a little inconvenience – not disaster.

7. How do you carry your credit cards?

The answer is carefully and responsibly. “A” is the best choice, as long as your wallet is with you and not in your briefcase or glove box.

8. The rest of my credit cards are?

My hope is that everyone picks “A”. My guess, however, is that picking and doing are different in reality.

9. How often do you check your credit card and other bill statements?

“A” should be an automatic answer.

10. How often do you balance your cheque book?

Because of the debit card (interact) “C” has become a common answer, however, the correct one is “A”.

11. When you receive unsolicited phone calls for you to buy something, you…

Always be sure of who you are talking to. Are they who they say they are? “D” is the best of these four answers if you are at all interested in what they have to say, otherwise, the best pick is “C”.

12. Where do you keep your financial records?

“C” – In a locked cabinet – which could be a locked desk drawer.

13. Your “on-line service provider or a business you deal with regularly” calls you by phone and asks you to provide your S.I.N. or password to verify your account, you…

“B” – They have no reason to ask for it and legitimately wouldn’t ask in the first place

14. How often do you change your passwords?

This depends on your volume and what you use on-line features for. I believe for the average individual “D” is best.

To someone with greater frequency of use, the risks are greater, therefore more common change dates are better – such as “C” monthly.

15. Where do you store your passwords and pin numbers?

“C” is the only answer. “D” is not uncommon as long as their is no reference to what it is, but if a number like this found, does it take much to figure out what it is? If it has to be written in case you forget it – then lock it in a safe place.

16. If you lost your wallet, and it is returned to you, fully in tact

“C (which would include A) & D are the best answers. Always assume the worst when it comes to identity. Better safe than sorry. Remember, they don’t want your collection of cards, they only want the numbers – this especially true with driver’s licences and medical cards – I will not include your SIN card because I know it is not in there, right?

17. Are you familiar with the terms?

a. Phishing – emails made to look like they come from businesses such as banks, pay-pal etc.

b. Pharming – phoney look-a-like websites

c. Shoulder Surfing – watching over you or listening to get information – can be physical or electronic

d. Skimming – running your card through a reader to save your information electronically

e. Vishing – phishing on a telephone – the “V” stands for voice.

f. Keystroking – or keylogging – having your computer record and download every key you touch on your keypad

g. dumpster diving – going through garbage – usually looking for personal information on receipts, discarded files etc.

h. pre-texting – obtaining information on false pretences

i. spyware – software designed to spy on or in your computer files

j. smishing – phishing on a text message cellular phone (sm is for smart phone)

k.war driving – drive by discovery and use of your open wireless connections

18. When was the last time you updated your computer’s virus protection?

“F” is the best answer. Mine is set to update every night at a time I have set.

19. Do you know where your credit card has been? At a restaurant you…

“C” Never let your credit card out of your sight. The only exception is when they bring a portable reader to the table.

20. When you are publicly using an ATM/Debit card, you…

“A, C and D” are correct – in that order of importance. Remember it is not about someone seeing the actual numbers; it can often be a matter of them recognizing the finger action on the keys at the ATM – hence, giving them the numbers.

21. If you operate as your own business, are you familiar with “PIPA” and PIPEDA”?

“A” is the only acceptable answer. If you have a business (even a business from home) you must be aware, understand and be compliant with both of these. For Canada residents – PIPA is provincial and PIPEDA is federal. You must have an assigned Privacy Officer.

22. You received an e-mail from the bank showing that you have a problem with your account and that you can fix it by resubmitting your account number and password do you?

“B” is true, however these types of emails happen regularly.

“E” is the answer – Delete it every time. You can add “C”, which is also good.

23. Does your business card show your…

I believe home is home and work is work. Therefore “A & C” are a no. “B” is better. “D” can be part of your branding.

24. In respect to either on-line chat rooms or blogging sites, are you…

“B” – we tend to be too sharing after all it is fun and we would expect others to provide lots of accurate information.

The problem is that your information is “out there” for the world and you have no way of knowing who has access to it.

25. Your auto registration…

There are a number of possibilities here – “B & D” are good. Check with police in your area – it could vary.

Personally, I like “D” – but it is easy to forget it at home when you go out.

26. Your passport is…

“B” should be locked safely – which could be at home in a locked cabinet if you go across the border more frequently.

27. When you travel onboard an airplane or cruise ship (also applies to the luggage check-in straps

NO QUESTION – ONLY “E” – if no shredder is available, rip it into as small pieces as possible – burn it, flush it – what ever just do not discard or leave it somewhere – the same goes with the luggage tag they attach at luggage check-in.

28. If your identity is compromised in anyway, you will.

“B” File a police report – the record of this report is vital, especially if there are criminal implications.

“C” is also important, and depending on the case, it should also include “E”

29. You use your social insurance number as…

“C” – NEVER ever use your SIN as ID or for marking on anything.

30. Protecting your identity is the responsibility of.

“D” – We all most be more aware of our need to be responsible. It begins inside our own front doors at home or at our place of business.

HOW TO PROTECT YOURSELF AND REDUCE THE RISK OF HAVING YOUR IDENTITY STOLEN

Here are some of the suggestions and helpful tips that have been collected. These are not designed to tell you what to do, just merely you can do to help. How you choose to manage your personal affairs, and those of your family and business, are purely up to you.

Learn that avoiding identity theft is about changing habits, LOWER RISK to PROTECT YOURSELF

• Eliminate Temptation. Many identity thefts could have been prevented if the victims had simply changed some of their habits. It could be said that due to carelessness or just by not thinking about it, we literally give our identities away. Therefore, Change your identity habits.

• If you have a bad feeling about giving out your personal and private information. Trust your instinct – Don’t do it.

• Shred all documents. Don’t throw anything away that someone could use against you.

• Be aware and cautious of what info you leave in your home, auto or office, especially if you hire outside help.

• Don’t give out personal information on telephone, mail or Internet unless you initiated the contact or you are sure whom you are in contact with, ask how it will be used, why it is needed, who will be using it and how it will be safeguarded.

• Be suspicious of anyone contacting you unexpectedly that asks for personal information.

• Never leave your purse or wallet unattended at work, restaurants, automobiles, health clubs, in shopping carts or social gatherings.

• When shopping, be more careful with your purse, briefcase, daybooks, diaries or portable portfolios. It’s not unusual to see someone in a mall or grocery store with a purse on the grocery cart, while it’s owner wanders up and down the aisle for that perfect item.

• Ladies, ask yourself – do I really need my purse with me today?

• Keep your personal information in a safe place (Locking File Cabinet or bank safety deposit box).

• On pre-printed cheques and other items, use your first name initial only, not your full first name. Especially when it comes to a woman living alone. M. Jones could be Mary, but it could also be Mike. Older woman often have names not commonly used today. One of these names could show vulnerability to a thief and be inviting a problem by showing the age and the fact she lives alone. A cheque generally has too much information on it. Leave off the address as well. The name and telephone number is sufficient.

• When writing cheques, only use “Gel” pens, this has a much less chances of being “washed” or tampered with.

• Verify that your records are kept in a secure location where you do business.

• If you travel by air, never discard your boarding pass stubs or bar-coded luggage check-in tags. Take them home to be shredded. Also if you travel, never expose your home address on your luggage tags. With permission, use a business or church office address.

• Pull a Land Titles Report on your property at least once per year to make sure there is nothing on it that will surprise you.

• Review credit bureau files quarterly and immediately question any unknown credit inquires or unauthorized accounts – You may require legal assistance.

• Have 7 days per week / 365 days per year access to your Lawyer.

• Have pre-arranged access to restoration services in the event of being victimized.

• If your identification (used by someone else) was used to prove guilt, could you prove that you were not you?

I welcome any comments, feedback or any other tips and techniques you may have.

For more information about identity theft and how you can prevent it visit http://www.itcanthappentome.ca/22.html

George Greenwood Podcast

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6 Comments on “George Greenwood Interview – How To Prevent Identity Theft”

  • aman rai said:

    Very vauble information…I usually protect myself by not signing back of my credit card, so that whenever I go to use it the cashier always asks for identification.

  • John K. said:

    Great article and podcast – accessing your credit report is also important to see where you sit in terms of its accuracy.

  • Thomas Winters said:

    Folding paper has always been my passion. Paper airplanes in particular. I’ve been trying to fold all 50 paper airplanes at paperairplaneshq.com and I’m close to folding them all. I never thought there were that many kinds.

  • chat with god said:

    Nice info. Thankyou for posting this.

  • hijack virus hartford said:

    Awesome website I’m glad I wandered onto it through yahoo. i’m gonna definitely need to add this one to the list…

  • Luther Monholland said:

    Hi, I found this blog post while was searching for products related information on yahoo and found it very good article, thanks for sharing

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