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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

Identity Theft Is Dead. Long Live Identity Theft!

(1) Comments | Posted February 4, 2016 | 6:14 AM

Incidents of identity theft held fairly steady last year, according to a new report by Javelin Strategy and Research. It would seem with time-honored methods of ripping people off going the way of Bonnie and Clyde, fraudsters -- ever sophisticated, creative and persistent -- scrambled to find new ways to...

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Why the IRS Should Push Tax Day to June 15

(7) Comments | Posted January 28, 2016 | 8:06 AM

The only way to stop tax refund fraud is to change the way the tax filing and refund system works, and while this may be a painful process for employers and taxpayers alike, it's necessary.

The Problem With Data

Unless you've been hiding out in the Unabomber Suite at...

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How Mega-Breaches Could Literally Kill You

(1) Comments | Posted January 21, 2016 | 6:16 AM

It was not very long ago that information shared with your doctor was sacrosanct, at the same remove from exposure as utterances made under the protection of an attorney-client relationship or pillow talk in a spousal bed. That may no longer be the case -- and the fallout could be...

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Will Someone Else Be Cashing Your Tax Refund This Year?

(0) Comments | Posted January 14, 2016 | 7:13 AM

Here is the IRS's phone number: 800-829-1040. With an anticipated $21 billion in tax refund fraud this year, you might need it. And that figure doesn't include losses from dodges like the IRS phone scam, which has been enjoying a renaissance of late.

IRS phone frauds aren't terribly difficult...

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Why You Aren't the Only One Who Knows the Answers to Your Security Questions

(0) Comments | Posted January 7, 2016 | 8:41 AM

If you're protecting important personal accounts with nothing more than a few security questions, it may be time for an upgrade.

A study from Google recently compared the use of security questions to other account recovery methods like SMS (short text messages) and an alternative email address. It...

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12 Resolutions That Could Save Your Identity in 2016

(1) Comments | Posted December 31, 2015 | 6:34 AM

Another New Year is upon us. Bring on another raft of resolutions I say! I mean, what would a New Year be in the absence of resolutions? As Aldous Huxley wrote in Time Must Have a Stop, "Hell isn't merely paved with good intentions; it's walled and roofed with them....

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Beware This Year's Scams of Christmas

(2) Comments | Posted December 24, 2015 | 8:16 AM

While the concept "forewarned is forearmed" is true for every day of the year, it's particularly true during the holidays. December is the time when most of us focus less on our day jobs and more on family, friends, gift giving and celebration. The holidays are a cause for celebration...

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The IRS Request That Could Help Identity Thieves

(4) Comments | Posted December 18, 2015 | 6:31 AM

More than a year ago, Federal Trade Commission Chair Edith Ramirez asked Congress to strengthen her agency's data security powers. "Never has the need for such legislation been greater," she said during a hearing in early 2014.

Nearly two years later, never has a statement like "never has the need...

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Your Holiday Identity Theft Checklist

(1) Comments | Posted December 10, 2015 | 6:53 AM

The holiday season is a busy time of the year for identity thieves and other kinds of identity-related fraudsters. Scams abound, but if you follow a few simple rules, you can sidestep some avoidable holiday blues.

There is so much personally identifiable information floating around -- readily available on the...

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The Simple Way to Keep Your Tax Refund Safe

(4) Comments | Posted December 3, 2015 | 6:26 AM

The holiday season is just getting underway, a time dedicated to finding the perfect gift for loved ones and a steady procession of festive events that ends when we ring in the New Year. Unfortunately, it's also a busy time for people dedicated to the commission of identity-related tax fraud.

...
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Facebook "Most Used Words" App as Privacy Lesson

(1) Comments | Posted November 25, 2015 | 7:34 PM

If you have an account on Facebook, you may have noticed posts featuring a nicely designed cloud comprised of the words your Facebook friends use most often. It's powered by an app from a company called Vonvon, and it's been getting a lot of attention this week from consumer privacy...

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How to Keep Your Smart Devices From Exposing Your Data

(5) Comments | Posted November 19, 2015 | 7:00 AM

In 2015, somewhere in the neighborhood of 1 billion Internet of Things (IoT) devices will be purchased, an increase of 60% over the previous year. There will be 10 billion IoT devices connected to the Internet this year.

A couple of years ago, a survey found that three out of...

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The Invisible Victims of Identity Theft: Our Kids

(3) Comments | Posted November 12, 2015 | 6:02 AM

Somewhere between 10 million and 16 million Americans get "got" by fraudsters working the seams of identity-related crime every year. The methods are many and various. There are, of course, the familiar scams and frauds, but one harder to detect area of exploitation is child identity theft.

So why...

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The New Internet Rule of Thumb: Don't Visit Sites Your Mom Wouldn't Want You to See

(0) Comments | Posted November 5, 2015 | 6:49 AM

An old Chinese proverb says: "There is only one beautiful child in the world, and every mother has it." But there are times when people test that mother-child connection, turning their "matron" saints into judge, jury and even warden. Increasingly, various stripes of online scoundrel can act as a catalyst...

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Identity Theft: A Real-World Version of 'The Walking Dead'

(4) Comments | Posted October 29, 2015 | 10:18 AM

In the post-apocalyptic world of The Walking Dead, it's a foregone conclusion that zombies happen, and they aren't picky. One real-world parallel of finding yourself surrounded by hungry zombies is the plague of identity theft. With more than 1 billion records "out there," it's just a matter of time before...

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The CIA Director Got Hacked Because of Data Breach Fatigue

(2) Comments | Posted October 22, 2015 | 6:47 PM

"He's supposed to be so high in the government. Head of CIA. He should be more clever." Those are the words of an alleged hacker from a self-styled "operation" called CWA--Crackas With Attitudes--in conversation with CNNMoney's Laurie Segall. The alleged hackers accessed sensitive information stashed in the private email...

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Physician Heal Thyself: Are Your Medical Records Safe?

(3) Comments | Posted October 19, 2015 | 10:39 AM

According to an article in Tech Times, healthcare providers in the U.S. may lose $305 billion in the next five years due to cyberattacks. One way those attacks keep happening: BYOD, or bring your device to work.

One definition of insanity, according to Einstein (and my chief content officer Michael...

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The Defense Question We Should Continue Debating: Cybersecurity

(1) Comments | Posted October 15, 2015 | 7:31 AM

It doesn't matter if they are state-sponsored or live in their parents' basement. Hackers thrive in the shadows of our culture. Leaders hesitate to declare supremacy over them lest they get taught a very public lesson in humility. But, if a superpower uses those hackers to access a foreign...

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Does Your Airline Really Understand Data Security?

(3) Comments | Posted October 9, 2015 | 9:28 AM

A friendly reminder to organizations in regular communication with the public: You never know who John Q. Public is; for example, it could be me--Adam K. Levin. (Not to be confused with the singer of the almost same name--Adam Levine.) But there are a bunch of Adam Levins, which is...

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How to Master Your Credit Scores Without a Trial By Fire

(0) Comments | Posted October 1, 2015 | 7:33 AM

I was visiting a house of worship last Sunday -- no, I didn't have to wear a name tag -- and while listening to Pastor Ryan (who coincidentally is also a lawyer) talk about the ways in which one can gain wisdom, the life lesson he discussed has applications far...

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