A Compliance With The Red Flags Rule
Under the Red Flags Rule, the University is required to establish an Identity Theft Prevention Program tailored to its size, complexity, and the nature of its operation. Each program must contain reasonable policies and procedures to:
Prevent And Mitigate Identity Theft
When you spot a red flag, be prepared to respond appropriately. Your response will depend on the degree of risk posed. It may need to accommodate other legal obligations, like laws about providing and terminating service.
The Guidelines in the Red Flags Rule offer examples of some appropriate responses, including:
- monitoring a covered account for evidence of identity theft
- contacting the customer
- changing passwords, security codes, or other ways to access a covered account
- closing an existing account
- reopening an account with a new account number
- not opening a new account
- not trying to collect on an account or not selling an account to a debt collector
- notifying law enforcement
- determining that no response is warranted under the particular circumstances
The facts of a particular case may warrant using one of these options, several of them, or another response altogether. Consider whether any aggravating factors raise the risk of identity theft. For example, a recent breach that resulted in unauthorized access to a customers account records would call for a stepped-up response because the risk of identity theft rises, too.
Protect Yourself From Identity Theft
Read OIG’s Protecting Personal Information for their 10 Tips to Protect Personal Information and several actions to take if you suspect identity theft.
If someone uses your SSN to obtain credit, loans, telephone accounts, or other goods and services, contact the Federal Trade Commission . The FTC collects complaints about identity theft from those whose identities have been stolen. You may reach the FTCs identity theft hotline toll free at 1-877-IDTHEFT or visit their website at www.ftc.gov/idtheft.
Sign Up For Credit Monitoring
If you are already the victim of identity theft that included your Social Security number, your personal information may be used at some time in the future in attempts to open fraudulent accounts in your name. Signing up for credit monitoring provides alerts when credit card accounts are opened, new entries are listed and loans are established with your SSN. The key advantage with credit monitoring is that alerts are sent out immediately after new information is entered on your credit history, either by text or email.
According to the FTC, an identity theft victim is responsible for all losses related to the illicit use of a lost ATM or debit card if the missing card is not reported within 60 days of receiving a statement showing fraudulent transactions.
Who Must Comply With The Red Flags Rule: A Two
The Red Flags Rule requires financial institutions and some creditors to conduct a periodic risk assessment to determine if they have covered accounts. The determination isnt based on the industry or sector, but rather on whether a business activities fall within the relevant definitions. A business must implement a written program only if it has covered accounts.
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Look For Unfamiliar Accounts On Your Credit Report
To find out how your Social Security number has been used, order credit reports from the three largest credit-reporting bureaus: Equifax, TransUnion and Experian. Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, you are entitled to one free report per year from each service. Take a close look at the entries on the reports for accounts that you don’t recognize, but don’t assume that every unknown name is fraudulent. For example, a department store credit card may be listed under the name of the financial institution that services the account. Generally speaking, when an SSN is stolen, accounts are opened quickly, so several unfamiliar accounts established over a short period could indicate identity theft.
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Tips To Help Prevent Identity Theft
Theft of databases has increased peoples fear of computer hackers. Remember however, you are just as likely to have your identity stolen via purse snatchings, mail theft, and dumpster diving. To significantly reduce your risk of being a victim of identity theft:
- Wear a close-fitting pouch, instead of carrying a purse or wear your wallet in your front pocket and use a pen with forgery-proof ink when writing checks. Call the District Attorneys office at the number below and we will provide you with a forgery-proof pen .
- Dont carry your checkbook, extra credit cards, or Social Security card in public dont use your Social Security number on your drivers license.
- Dont give any part of your Social Security, credit card or bank account numbers over the phone or Internet unless you have made the contact to a company or financial institution with which you are familiar.
- Request a free copy of your credit report once a year from each of the three major credit reporting agencies at Annual Credit Report or 1-877-322-8228
- Call 1-888-567-8688 to opt out of credit agency marketing lists and reduce credit card solicitations or opt out online at Opt Out.
- Shred pre-approved credit card offers and all financial documents with a cross-cut or confetti shredder.
- Mail bills to be paid at the Post Office, not in your mail box with the red flag raised or in street corner postal receptacles.
- Have new boxes of checks sent to the bank/credit union, not your home.
Information You Must Provide At The Time Of Check In:
- Drivers license or other photo ID and any one of the following:
- Social Security Card
- Birth Certificate
- Other verification of identity, such as voters registration card, credit card, school identification, company ID, etc
Thank you for your patience as we adopt this requirement. It is greatly appreciated.
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Sweepstakes Scams Contain Typos
Scan your win notification. Do you notice bad grammar, missing words, or spelling mistakes? These are red flags for a scam.
Any company can make a minor mistake when typing out a win notification. However, multiple or glaring errors are a bad sign.
Many sweepstakes scams originate outside of the United States and Canada, and the people who write the scam letters are often not proficient in English.
Be very cautious of any win notices that have a lot of errors, use strange or stilted language, and otherwise sound “off.”
Reporting Social Security Number Fraud
The Office of the Inspector General Fraud Hotline manages situations where there has been fraud, waste or abuse within the Social Security Administrations programs. In most cases, however, you will need to follow the steps for reporting identity theft.
You can call the Office at 1-800-269-0271 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. EST or submit a Fraud Reporting Form online here.
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What Is Identity Theft
Identity theft happens when a criminal gets your personal information and tries to steal money from your accounts, open new credit cards, apply for loans, rent apartments and commit other crimesall using your identity. Identity theft can damage your credit, leave you with unwanted bills and require a lot of time and frustration to clean up.
Report Identity Theft To Other Organizations
You can also report the theft to other organizations, such as:
Credit Reporting Agencies – Contact one of the three major credit reporting agencies to place a fraud alert or freeze on your credit report. Also get copies of your credit reports, to be sure that no one has already tried to get unauthorized credit accounts with your personal information. Confirm that the credit reporting agency will alert the other two credit reporting agencies.
National Long-Term Care Ombudsman Resource Center – Report cases of identity theft due to a stay in a nursing home or long-term care facility.
Financial Institutions – Contact the fraud department at your bank, credit card issuers and any other places where you have accounts.
Retailers and Other Companies – Report the crime to companies where the identity thief opened credit accounts or even applied for jobs.
State Attorney General Offices – Your state’s attorney general might offer tips, checklists, or an advocate to help you recover from identity theft. These resources don’t replace filing an ID theft report with the FTC.
You may need to get new personal records or identification cards if you’re the victim of ID theft. Learn how to replace your vital identification documents after identity theft.
How To Pass A Continuing Disability Review
To make sure that only those qualified are receiving benefits, the SSA regularly conducts continuing disability reviews for SSI and SSDI beneficiaries.
For adult beneficiaries, it can be every three to seven years depending on how likely your condition will improve. If your disability is permanent, expect your reviews to be less frequent. But the SSA will also conduct a CDR anytime if they have any reason to believe that your condition has improved.
Children who are receiving benefits will be reviewed once they reach 18 years old. For infants who receive disability benefits due to low birth weight, their condition will be reviewed after a year.
But how difficult is it to pass a continuing disability review?
In general, its a lot easier to ace a CDR than getting approved for benefits. So you dont have to worry about it too much. The SSA is not there to find a reason to take your benefits away. Once they determined that your condition still prevents you from working, no action will be taken.
Of course, you still need to prepare for your CDR. Many have made the mistake of being complacent and ended up losing their benefits. If you want to keep yours, here are some tips on how to pass a continuing disability review:
All Commercial Customers Must Comply With Three Broad Areas Of Check Cashing Risk Control:
Your Social Insurance Number Is Confidential
If your SIN falls into the wrong hands, it could be used to obtain personal information and invade your privacy. When the SIN is not linked to you as its rightful owner, another person could receive your government benefits, tax refunds or bank credits. Your personal information could also be revealed to unauthorized people, which could lead to identity theft and other types of fraud.
If someone uses your SIN to work illegally or to obtain credit, you may suffer hardship. You could be requested to pay additional taxes for income you did not receive or you could have difficulty obtaining credit because someone may have ruined your credit rating.
There are a number of things you can do to protect your SIN:
- provide your SIN only when you know that it is legally required
- store any document containing your SIN and personal information in a safe placedo not keep it with you
- contact Service Canada if you change your name, if your temporary citizenship status changes to a permanent resident status or if information on your SIN record is incorrect or incomplete
- take immediate measures to protect your SIN when you suspect someone else is using your SIN fraudulently
Policy: Identity Theft Prevention Policy
This policy applies to all individuals who access, use or control personally identifiable information at Columbia University for an account, known as a Covered Account. Those individuals may include, but are not limited to, faculty, staff, students, contractors, consultants, those working on behalf of the University and/or individuals authorized by affiliated institutions and organizations.
What is a Covered Account?
A Covered Account is an account the University offers or maintains that involves or is designed to permit multiple payments or transactions, and any other account potentially posing a reasonably foreseeable risk of Identity Theft to students, patients, employees and other relevant third parties .
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Our Data Is Always Fresh And Up To Date
This Red Flag solution enables you to obtain identifying information validation services. You have the advantage of checking your records for SSN validity, identifying numbers that have never been issued and those assigned to persons reported deceased before searching commercial data bases for other information. The Red Flag ID validation processing is inexpensive, secure and fast.
Your information is secure with us. Social Security Numbers or other identifying information is entered after inputting your own password which is cross-checked to identify you as an authorized user. You, or your authorized users receive the information direct from the source thanks to our customized software that makes the process simple and fast. All Internet transfers are by secure connection ensuring that your information is kept private. When connecting via web browser to our secure server you or your users log in with a unique id and password. After submitting a Social Security Number for processing the requested information is returned to you within seconds.
Some restrictions apply regarding access to this information and we do require that you complete an application that we must verify and keep on file. Click here for a printable file of our application which you may complete and e-mail to us.
Please contact us for details and pricing for your particular need..
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Sweepstakes Scams Don’t Know Your Name
Does your win notification address you by a generic title like “Dear Winner” or “Dear Sir”? If so, this is a strong warning sign.
Many sweepstakes scams send thousands upon thousands of fake mails or emails to every address they can get their hands on, often without knowing any personal information about the people they’re contacting.
On the other hand, legitimate sweepstakes already have your entry information from the entry form. Most of the time, this includes your name, and they’d use that name when they contact you.
Sweepstakes Scams Instruct You To Wire Money
Does your win notification include instructions to wire cash to the sponsor? If so, run. Even in the few legitimate cases where you have to pay money to a sponsor, you wouldn’t need to use a wire service.
Criminals use services like Western Union to receive illicit funds because it is nearly impossible to trace who received the money. Western Union transfers are handled like cash, meaning that the con artists can simply pick it up and disappear. You can say goodbye to any money you sent.
A new twist on this sweepstakes scam signal: con artists are now asking their victims to buy Green Dot Money Pack cards from retailers like Walmart. These cards let you transfer money by simply giving the recipient the numbers printed on the card. Once you’ve done that, there’s little to no chance of getting your money back.
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