Nelnet and UPS Data breach – Stolen information could lead to Identity Theft

Those who took out a loan from Nelnet between November of 2002 and May of this year could be at risk for identity theft.
Nelnet said a tape containing personal information got lost in the hands of UPS. About 188,000 customers who used Nelnet services between November of 2002 and May of 2006 could be affected. “Nelnet and UPS are trying to figure out how the tape was lost. They said they know the package came out of Aurora, Colorado, but it never made it to its destination.”

The Identity Theft Guru says this is no big shocker.
Let’s see… you take an average UPS worker making $35,000/year, and give him 180,000 people’s information. If he knows what to do with that information, it can easily net him $2/name on any of the online boards where people buy and sell information. $360,000 for one missing package? Sounds like a pretty good trade-off to the average middle class UPS worker.
“Nelnet has already sent a letter out to the thousands of customers with information on the tape. They are currently changing its system to encrypted electronic transmission. UPS said it is possible that the package is still in the UPS network. The personal information includes Social Security numbers that were on the Nelnet computer data tape the was lost. “The company sends out 15 million packages a day. Unfortunately, we lost this one. That’s extremely rare for us,” said UPS spokeswoman Lynnette McIntire.”
“We don’t believe information on this tape has been acquired by any sort of unauthorized person or that the information has been accessed,” said Ben Kiser, Nelnet spokesman.”

Well Mr. Kiser, that doesn’t make anyone feel more secure. But it shouldn’t really. Their information has probably already been compromised in any of the other reported data breaches in the past 2 years that have resulted in over 80 million pieces of compromised information.
Carrie Roll, a college student at the University of Colorado at Boulder who could be affected by this latest data compromise, said “If anybody thinks their information hasn’t been stolen yet, then they’re pretty naive. Your information is gone, and it’s just a matter of time until someone decides to use it.”
Want to see the IdentityTheftSecrets solution to Identity Theft?

New PayPal Spoof email

Check out this new PayPal Spoof video.
One of the interesting things about this email “from PayPal” is that they are actually trying to show you an email that offers you things such as “Identity Protection Highlights” and “Ways to Spot phishing emails” even though this is a phishing email itself.
Check out the newest PayPal Phishing email here.

540,000 New Yorkers lose information

CS Stars, an independent insurance brokerage, has lost 540,000 people’s information.
The article says that the information was on a laptop that was stolen, and the file is password protected. The article suggests that the information would have been more secure had it been encrypted.
An independent insurance brokerage, huh?
Let’s talk about how an insurance brokerage works for a moment.
When you apply for health insurance, unless that insurance is purchased through a large company (which has many potential identity theft repercussions of its own), your information is taken and farmed out to several insurance companies, to see who can offer you the best prices. Let’s say that there are three companies who are fighting for your business as partners of this broker.
How many people have your information now? 4 you say? Only if each of those insurance companies only has one employee. But what if each company has ten employees, or 100 employees? Your information is now accessible by 40 or 400 people. All because you did something simple, like shop for inexpensive health insurance.
Try encrypting those connections.

Continue reading 540,000 New Yorkers lose information

Using Identity Theft to propose a flat tax

The Kansas City Star has an interesting article this morning about how the IRS has far too much access to our personal information.
From this article, the SuperSleuth learned that the IRS employs over 100,000 people. That many people having access (to all the information required by an organization like the IRS) is never a good thing.

Continue reading Using Identity Theft to propose a flat tax