New ID Theft–Millions of Persons who Apply for Credit Who Don’t Exist

The Wall Street Journal on March 6, 2018, has a report on the latest ID theft scam. A fraudster applies for credit for someone who does not exist. Fraudsters start the process of  creating a fake person in the records of the credit bureaus by asking a creditor for credit using a fake name and a social security number that has not been assigned or a number assigned to a child whose identity has not not made it into the credit files. Such fake numbers are known as "credit-profile" numbers or CPNs. Once a creditor grants the fake person credit,...

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Consumer Bureau Drops Investigation of Equifax Data Breach

Here's a disturbing report on the Trump Administration's Pull-Back on Equifax Massive Data Breach Ever since Trump appointed Mike Mulvaney to take over the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, he has been systematically moving from consumer protection to protecting payday lenders, credit agencies, and other industry groups. The latest outrage is an outrage--he is stepping back from investigating the massive Equifax data breach. Reuters reports the Consumer Bureau “has not ordered subpoenas against Equifax or sought sworn testimony from executives” and has also “shelved plans for on-the-ground tests of how Equifax protects data.” “This is frankly unbelievable,” stated National Consumer Law Center Attorney Chi Chi...

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Equifax Offers a Buggy Lock on its Credit Files

Equifax announced a new way to lock your Equifax credit files thereby denying access to your credit files using your mobile phone. However, when NY Times reporters Tara Bernard and Ron Lieber tried out the lock it was not working.  The idea behind the service is that you can easily lock and unlock it with your phone. Experian and Trans Union also offer a way to lock your credit, at a cost of $20/month. The usual way to deny access to your files is with a security freeze on your credit reports. Security freezes may be a better approach if...

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About the Massive Equifax Data Breach and What to Do About it

As almost every knows, in Equifax suffered a massive data breach that affected about half of the United States population and nearly three-quarters of consumers with credit reports.  To make matters worse, the stolen information included sensitive personal data useful for identity theft: Social Security numbers, dates of birth, and in some cases, driver’s license numbers. The thieves also got credit card information on 200,000 consumers. Consumer advocates are calling on Equifax to pay fees for security freezes for consumers.  A security freeze is the most effective measure against “new account” identity theft, because it stops thieves from using the consumer’s stolen...

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Fed Loan Accused of Mismanaging Student Loan Debt Forgiveness Programs

The NY Times Dealbook today reports that the Massachusetts attorney general has sued the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency, which operates under the name FedLoan, for making made errors in connection with the student loan forgiveness programs. The company, which is based in Harrisburg, Pa., holds an exclusive contract with the federal Department of Education to service loans enrolled in the public service loan forgiveness program and the Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education Grant program, or TEACH, which offers assistance to those who teach in high-need areas. Congress created the program in 2007, and the first wave...

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