May 2013: Banking fraud
CORE ID Services

Identity Theft & Banking

Simple ways to protect your money

Identity theft hurts in lots of ways. The emotional toll can be hard to quantify, but when it comes to your bank account, the cost is clear. Several new trends and technologies are making the risk of identity theft even higher.

In this issue, we take a look at some of these risks, and what you can do to protect your hard-earned money. From mobile banking, to ATM skimming, to phishing emails, new risks are evolving every day.

Remember to monitor your current risk factors by checking your IDScore regularly at If you haven't logged in yet, do it today to maximize the identity theft protection available to you from ARX-ID.

Daniel J. Benish
CORE ID Services, LLC
Providers of ARX-ID Identity Theft Protection

Mobile Banking: Is it safe?

Do you use a smart phone to make everyday tasks more convenient? Before you start using a mobile device to do your banking, be aware of the risks.

Industry experts at warn that malware, or malicious apps, is the biggest threat to mobile banking, including making payments from your phone. At the end of last year, the number of these apps had jumped to 175,000 from 28,000 just a year before. Because the potential payoff is so high, targeting bank accounts with these bogus apps is a very attractive prospect for hackers.

But even though the method may be high-tech, the best protection is still in your hands. Don't download banking mobile apps from app stores -- only trust your financial institution's website. And do not respond to any requests for your password sent by email (see more in our tips on avoiding phishing scams). And absolutely do not store account numbers or login info on your phone. Password protection and remote "wiping" can give additional protection if your phone is stolen.

What if an identity thief does get into your account? Act fast - federal regulations offer you protection on losses over $50, but only if you report the fraud within two days. After that you could lose up to $500, and if you wait 60 days (two statement cycles), your liability is unlimited. Regularly check your statements as soon as they're available.

Tips for Avoiding "Skimming"

Be careful of phony card readers
"Skimming" means that a criminal has replaced the card reader on an ATM, gas pump or other POS (point of sale) device with a counterfeit model. This allows them to capture your card information and access your account. Some more sophisticated devices include a tiny camera that actually captures you typing in your PIN code, to allow them even easier access to your money.

Some simple measures can help you fight back: 
  • Don't use ATMs in outside or less visible areas (this is a good tip for personal safety, as well). Units installed in bank lobbies are your safest bet.
  • Cover the PIN pad as you type in your code.
  • Give the card reader at gas pumps or other outside areas a tug before using. Skimming units are often looser. If the keypad looks like it doesn't match the rest of the unit, you should also steer clear.
  • Don't use any machines that look suspicious, and report them to the bank or store owner.
  • Check bank and credit statements as soon as they arrive for any charges you don't recognize.

Members who upgrade to ARX-ID Complete receive real-time alerts of suspicious activity and changes to their IDScore. To maximize your protection and catch skimming and other fraud early, upgrade at

CORE ID Services encourage you to STOP.THINK.CONNECT.



New account fraud accounts for the most identity theft cases

New Account Fraud

New account fraud - when an identity thief uses your personal info to open up a new account for their own use - increased by 50% from 2011 to 2012, and cost $9.8 billion in total fraud losses.
Source: 2013 Identity Fraud Report, Javelin Strategy & Research.
Play the Phishing Game to learn more about avoiding this scam!

Phishing Scams: Don't take the bait

Did you get an email saying your bank account has been suspended until you verify your identity? Watch out! This is an example of a "phishing scam," where a criminal tries to net your personal info when you respond. Clicking on links in these emails can also install malware on your computer. Check out these tips from the FTC and forward any suspicious emails to

Above all, do not click on or respond to these emails. Delete them immediately, and only enter account information online if you have typed in the URL yourself.

Chat about it!

Join the FTC, Stop.Think.Connect., and others for a Twitter chat on phishing this Thursday, May 16 at 3:00 p.m. ET. Follow @FTC and use the hashtag #ChatSTC to join the conversation!

"Apple Pickers" will steal your iDevice right out of your hands

Scam Alert

Apple Picking: Law enforcement officials are warning owners of popular mobile devices (like Apple's iPhone) to be careful of thieves who will grab the device out of your hands. Not only will you lose your gadget, but any sensitive information you've stored on it is at risk. Be alert when using your device in public places, and use a password lock to protect your data if it is stolen.
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