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Adam Levin
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Adam K. Levin is a consumer advocate with more than 30 years experience in personal finance, privacy, real estate and government service. A former director of the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs, Levin is Chairman and founder of IDT911, Chairman and co-founder of Credit.com and serves as a spokesperson for both companies.

Entries by Adam Levin

5 Identity Theft Facts That Will Terrify You

(7) Comments | Posted May 21, 2015 | 8:14 AM

Identity theft was the number one consumer complaint at the Federal Trade Commission last year. So far in 2015, the data breach problem that drives so many identity-related crimes has gotten worse. The massive compromises at Anthem and Premera alone put a combined 91 million records in harm's way.

With...

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Wetware: The Major Data Security Threat You've Never Heard Of

(1) Comments | Posted May 14, 2015 | 7:01 AM

For the first time, according to a recent study, criminal and state-sponsored hacks have surpassed human error as the leading cause of health care data breaches, and it could be costing the industry as much as $6 billion. With an average organization cost of $2.1 million per breach, the results...

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This Mother's Day Should You Press Flowers or Fraud Charges?

(2) Comments | Posted May 7, 2015 | 9:37 AM

Mother's Day is a special time to celebrate all those kisses and hugs, the rides to the mall, the doctors' appointments, the countless soccer-basketball-baseball games, a special note tucked into a pocket or care package sent to camp. But remember sometimes it's what a person doesn't do that matters, and...

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Can Smart Cities Stop Hackers?

(2) Comments | Posted April 30, 2015 | 7:01 AM

A monster storm is on a collision course with New York City and an evacuation is under way. The streets are clogged, and then it happens. Every traffic light turns red. Within minutes, the world's largest polished diamond, the Cullinan I, on loan to the Metropolitan Museum of Art from...

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The Social Security Number Is Dead. Long Live the Social Security Number?

(3) Comments | Posted April 23, 2015 | 8:40 AM

I am a senior citizen. While this distinction entitles me to a variety of perks like discounted movies and bus fare -- as well as the occasional free doughnut (seriously) -- it's also a ticket to the identity theft lottery.

Turning 50 gets you an invitation to...

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Should We Kill the Social Security Number?

(52) Comments | Posted April 16, 2015 | 7:08 AM

While tax season is still producing eye twitches around the nation, it's time to face the music about tax-related identity theft. Experts project the 2014 tax year will be a bad one. The Anthem breach alone exposed 80 million Social Security...

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Last-Minute Tax Filers, Beware of This Obamacare Scam

(1) Comments | Posted April 9, 2015 | 8:58 AM

For all stripes of rip-off artist, tax season might as well be called open season. Scams are legion, and navigating a solution after the fact can be somewhere between maddening and negotiating an Iran deal that everyone likes. Last month the...

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It Took Just One Email to Compromise the Leaders of the Free World

(3) Comments | Posted April 2, 2015 | 7:07 AM

Whether an autofill mishap or a "What in the name of God were you thinking?" move, somebody's shrimp is on the barbie at Australia's immigration department after an officer there emailed President Obama's passport number and other personal information to an organizer at the Asian Cup football tournament. And before...

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How This Federal Data Breach Law Could Actually Hurt Consumers

(1) Comments | Posted March 27, 2015 | 7:52 AM

With each passing brand name mega-breach--Home Depot, Target, JPMorgan Chase, Anthem--it becomes ever more urgent for government and industry to get on the same page about how to protect consumers.

Sadly, not all laws are created equal, and there are few better examples of this homespun truth than a would-be...

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The New Grave Robbers: Identity Thieves

(0) Comments | Posted March 19, 2015 | 8:29 AM

Take your driver's license out of your wallet. Flip it over. Now look carefully at the back of it. There's no box to check for "Identity Donor." Yet when it comes to identity-related crimes, one of the greatest times of vulnerability is immediately after you die.

You can do everything...

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After Emailgate Should the Secret Service Protect Candidates Online?

(0) Comments | Posted March 11, 2015 | 8:18 AM

The Democratic and Republican gristmills got to work last week on Hillary Clinton's "homebrew" email, and the ensuing firestorm underscored an alarming lack of cyber-savvy among the leading players of the 2016 election. It also raised a serious question: Should the Secret Service protect presidential candidates from cyber attacks?

News...

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The Solution to Tax Identity Theft: Slower Refunds

(6) Comments | Posted March 5, 2015 | 5:38 AM

The Government Accountability Office estimates that $5.8 billion was lost to identity thieves filing fraudulent tax returns in 2013 and that there may have been as much as $24.2 billion in thwarted attempts....

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What We Could Have Done With the $5.8 Billion the Government Lost to Tax ID Theft

(11) Comments | Posted February 27, 2015 | 7:17 AM

Imagine you were President, or Speaker of the House, and one day you woke up and discovered that you had an extra $5.8 billion dollars to spend. What would you do with the cash? A new aircraft carrier (or half of one, anyway)? Perhaps a couple of bridges to somewhere...

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Was This Billion-Dollar Bank Heist Preventable?

(7) Comments | Posted February 19, 2015 | 7:15 AM

A funny thing happened on the way to the ATM (and depending on who you believe, may still be happening). Scratch that. For the lucky few at the right place at the right time, an awesome thing has been happening: ATMs randomly coughing up cash -- and a lot of...

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Are You Your Own Worst Enemy When It Comes to Identity Theft?

(3) Comments | Posted February 12, 2015 | 7:34 AM

The other day a reporter asked me who's to blame for the growing epidemic of identity-related tax fraud. I almost replied, "the government and the bad guys," but I caught myself before committing to that inaccuracy. "We're all to blame," I said.

I believe that breaches, and the identity theft...

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Your Anonymous Credit Card Data Isn't So Anonymous

(1) Comments | Posted February 5, 2015 | 5:48 AM

A recent report in Science Magazine revealed the soft underbelly of what was once considered a well-armored use of "anonymized" consumer information. The study's authors were able to successfully identify consumers based on several anonymized data sets -- specifically, their credit card purchases.

Using purchase metadata with...

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The Simple Email Trick that Identity Thieves Hate

(37) Comments | Posted January 29, 2015 | 6:54 AM

"Having two identities for yourself is an example of a lack of integrity," Mark Zuckerberg proclaimed in The Facebook Effect. Easy for him to say. Facebook has made a mint on data integrity--your personal information yoked to likes and dislikes sold to the highest bidder. But here's some bad news...

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Should Banks Be Allowed to Robocall Your Mobile Phone?

(6) Comments | Posted January 23, 2015 | 4:49 AM

According to the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, it's illegal to robocall a mobile phone number without permission. The American Bankers Association wants to change that, arguing that robocalls will help fight identity theft and other kinds of fraud. Opponents say that's an overreach, one that...

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Obama's Cybersecurity Plan: Do As I Say, Not As I Do

(4) Comments | Posted January 16, 2015 | 7:35 AM

"If we're going to be connected, then we need to be protected," President Obama proclaimed at the Federal Trade Commission on Monday. In wide-ranging remarks, the president expressed what should be a self-evident truth, but is not yet a reality...

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It's Tax Season. Do You Know Where Your Mail Is?

(1) Comments | Posted January 8, 2015 | 7:30 AM

During the holiday season a missed or stolen package can be aggravating, which is doubtless why you eagerly watched for deliveries all December, calling the nanosecond you suspected a problem. Unfortunately, many employers don't send tracking numbers when the packet of vital documents marked "Important Tax Information Enclosed" hits the...

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