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People have been getting calls supposedly representing AT&T Telephone Company. They are telling the person answering the phone they are conducting a test of the line. Then they ask the individual to press 90# to complete the test.

These calls are not from any telephone company. In fact, most are originating from prison lines.

By pressing 90# you are enabling the person calling you access to your telephone account. Now this person has free reign to make any call he wants anywhere in the world.

This scam has been confirmed by AT&T as well as verizon telephone company’s. If you get one of these calls do not press 90#. Hang up and contact your telephone supplier immediately.


Posted on February 6th, 2011 at 06:45 by Alex Smith in Cell Phone Information,Identity theft,telephone safety,Uncategorized - Comments (0)

Yes the weather is getting better. We all are looking for warmer weather and getting our yards resued from the winter throws.

As you know, the economy is still not the best. Many are still losing their jobs and not finding work.

I formed a lawn service business six years ago and I have noticed that because of the down economy many are supplementing because of their lost jobs by cutting grass. I have been seeing more and more trailers being hauled behind cars and pick-up trucks with lawn equipment on them. I’m not putting someone down for doing so, but I have heard some real war stories of people hiring these down and out people to be their lawn care person only to find several things missing from their property or being charged for work not done.

My recommendation before hiring a stranger to have access to your property is to have them supply referrals of others they have worked for. Also, ask if they have insurance. If they get injured on your property you could be facing a law suit.

If they insist on being paid only in cash, be aware. Be sure you have an understanding of what services they are to perform and for what price. It is best if you have this agreement in writing so that there will be no missunderstanding of additional charges after the job is completed.

Ask if you might contact some of their other customers if you feel uncomfortable.

Some communities require lawn services of any kind to be licensed by the town or community. This can be some assurance of the validity of the person you are about to hire.

I’m looking forward to this summer and I hope all of you will have the best ever.


In a study done by the Jackson Police Department of Jackson, Tennessee, they found that certain crimes are most likely to occur according to the season of the year. There are many factors to consider as to why a certain crime is most likely at any one time of the year.

It seems that shorter days and cooler weather we find fewer assaults and car thefts. The closer you get to the Christmas Holidays, the more likely stores find higher shoplifting and identity theft.

Here’s a breakdown of incidents they found in their community:

Fall seemed to have more vandalism than in February
Winter showed the lowest number of burglaries as compared to July.
Spring had a rise in simple assaults whereas May and December were much lower.
As you might expect, Summer had the highest of violent crimes, murders and rapes.

You will notice that the frequency of crimes has a lot to do with the weather. People are more active in hot weather and less social in colder temperatures. Some increases can be attributed to juveniles out of school with more time on their hands. The dark hours of winter makes it easier for burglaries because it affords more cover the burglar more confidence he will gwt away with it.

What this article showed me was that we need to always be aware of our surroundings no matter what time of year. Summer months we tend to not lock windows and doors which allows more crime of opportunity. Winter months we’re so wrapped up to keep warm that we tend to not see around us. Spring brings a euphoria that we tend to be more trusting of people and may let our guard down. Fall brings us Halloween and more vandalism.

Your best thing a person can do to avoid being a target is to always be alert. Remember, most crimes are crimes of opportunity. People are too often preoccupied and not paying attention to their surroundings.

Report suspicious activity even if it’s not your home. You will be protecting yourself in the long run.


Posted on October 23rd, 2008 at 07:12 by Alex Smith in Home Safety,Identity theft,PERSONAL SAFETY,protecting valuables,Vehicle Security - Comments (5)

This time of the year identity theft is at it’s height. More people are filing their tax returns online. If you stop to think about it, your return has all the information needed to steal your identity. Therefore, it’s important to take steps to be sure this information is secure.

If your computer does not update your spyware daily, I recommend you install this feature before sending out your tax return on-line. It’s usually very simple and takes just a minute or two. My computer up-dates at 3am in the morning every day. You can set the time for your computer to up-date at any time you like. If you don’t have any protective spyware , you can download several different programs at a nominal fee. There are many free spyware programs available as well. Do some research, and decide which one best meets your needs. Talk to your friends or a computer center to see which one they recommend. I use AVG Spyware and have very pleased with it, and it’s free.

Windows Internet Explorer 7 browser also has a feature to keep your identity safer.

I talked about phishing in an earlier post. It’s when you are scammed into providing your personal data to an individual or company that are supposedly helping you. These emails usually tell you your account has been breached and they need this information to protect you. What they are actually doing is collecting your information to steal your identity. Before disclosing personal information, check out the company or website . Be sure they are legitimate as well as “a secure” website. If you feel you’ve sent your information to a fake, phishing, website report it immediately to the appropriate institutions. Such as: IRS , FTC , Federal Trade Commission and an organization called the Anti-Phishing Group. If you have used a credit card, call and cancel it. This will minimize any damage that might have been done.

You should also change your passwords on all your online accounts if you feel you’ve been compromised. Especially accounts related to any of your financial information.

A good program to download is Windows Defender. This program was originally called Windows Spyware and is a free Microsoft program. It reviews and protects against possible unwanted software.

The best defense against identity theft on the computer is educating yourself on ways people steal your identity and the programs available to protect yourself. It is important you up-date your security programs routinely.


Posted on March 20th, 2008 at 05:13 by Alex Smith in computer security,Email Security,Identity theft,security services - Comments (0)

Most people give the information a person needs to steal their identity without knowing it. Leaving documents around or throwing them in the trash is an example. Here are a few tips to safegaurd your idenity information.

* Buy a shredder. You can purchase one very inexpensively at any discount store. They simply fit over a trash can and will shred paper documents as well as the “old” credit card. First rule of thumb, shred all personal documents. Even those unsolicited credit applications your receive .

* Protect your social security and driver’s license numbers. Don’t give them out to someone you don’t know. Your driver’s license numer can be just as dangerous to give out as your social security number. This number tags you to your identity. That’s why all wotk and credit applications ask for it. If fact, it’s best not to carry your social security card with you. Remit it to memory. Don’t have these printed on your checks.

* Never give out personal information over the phone, internet or mail before you know who you are dealing with.

* Protect any of your passwords. Don’t use an obvious password like your birthday, street address, some numbers of your social security card or mother’s maiden name. If you have forgotten your password, be suspicious of any website you click on to have them email it back to you.

* Remember, even your residence may not be a safe place to keep personal documents. This especially true if you have a roomate, employ outside domestic help, do a lot of entertaining, or work done in your home.

* A lot of links on the internet are “trogan Horses.” Never click on any unsolicited email link. Use only a website address you know. Have a “firewall”, spyware or antivirus software added to your computer. I have all three on my computer. Some antivrus programs, such as AVG, are free and very good. Use a program that always up-dates your software. They can automatically do this daily even at a time you don’t use your computer.
*The government has a great site for additional information. If you need to file a complaint for some type of identity or would like more information, check this site.


As we are becoming a more “cash free” society, the crime of Identity Theft is increasing at an alarming rate. The criminals are also getting more sophisticated in their means to accquire your personal information. Identity Theft is a serious crime and can damage your credit without you knowing it. Getting your credit restored can be costly and it take s a long time to correct the damage done by Identity Theft.

The first line of defense is to know some of the many ways people steal your identity:
* If you see anyone going through a dumpster or someone’s trash, report it immediately. They may be looking for discarded bills, credit applications, or anything that might have any personal information on it.
*Do not give any information to someone calling you or emailing you trying to “up-date” your account informatiom. Banks and credit card companies do not do this. They already have your information.
*Be careful where you use your credit card. Some shady merchants may have a systen that duplicates your credit card infomation as you use your card. This is called “skimming.” This can occur on items you purchase over the internet as well. “Caveat empore”, let the buyer beware.
* Report immediately any bill that you were suppose to receive but it hasn’t arrive when you expected it. Criminals will take them out of your mail box to obtain your information. Don’t leave personal information in your desk or file cabinet at work.
* Another ploy is to put in a change of address form to another location to re-route your mail.
*They can steal your wallet or purse. Call your credit card companies and cancel your card. Also, report to the three major credit bureaus immediately. They can block anyone from changing or adding to your accounts. There is a toll free number for each bureau and when you report to them they are required by law to send you a “free” credit report.

The three main credit bureaus are:
Equifax 1-800-525-6285
Experian 1-888 397-3742
TransUnion 1-800-680-7289

You can obtain more information from the government by calling a toll free number 1-877-438-4338 or logonto their website.


Posted on February 27th, 2008 at 07:11 by Alex Smith in computer security,Email Security,Identity theft,security services - Comments (0)

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