OnGuard Online Blog

An Unfortunate Fact About Shopping

Another day, another announcement about a data breach.

As news trickles out about retailers that have been hacked, you may be wondering what you can do to protect yourself from fraud. Even if you’re not sure that your accounts have been affected, you can do a few things to protect your accounts, your money, and your credit reputation.

a shopper hands over a credit card

What Are You Doing on Data Privacy Day?

Data Privacy Day is just around the corner — January 28. What a good time to do something about protecting your personal information, online and off.

Data Privacy Day Logo

Network of ID Theft Victim Assistance Coalitions – Here to Help

Being a victim of identity theft can be complicated and frustrating. While it may take time to figure out what happened and begin to fix the damage from this crime, there are programs and trained victim service providers available to help you through the process.

tax identity theft awareness week logo

Blog Topic: Be Smart Online

An In-App Surprise: How to Lose Hundreds in 15 Minutes

Quick: name a way your kids could rack up hundreds of dollars in charges in under 15 minutes without you being the wiser.

One answer: through an app on your iPhone or other Apple device.

Today, the FTC announced that it has reached a settlement with Apple, resolving allegations that the company didn’t get parental consent for many of the charges racked up by their children in kids’ games.

Who’s Watching Tax Preparers?

Have you ever wondered how ID thieves get their victims’ personal and financial information? One way you may not have thought of is dishonest tax preparers. Each year, Treasury agents investigate allegations of criminal misconduct by tax preparers — a group that plays an important part in our nation’s tax system.

Blog Topic: Be Smart Online

National Taxpayer Advocate: Help Is Available for Victims of Identity Theft

When identity thieves target taxpayers to obtain improper tax refunds, it causes serious consequences for the victim and for the IRS. The IRS is taking steps to make it more difficult for perpetrators to successfully file falsified returns using others’ personal information (prevention) and to make it more costly if caught doing so (deterrence). But as the voice of the taxpayer, my focus is on IRS’s victim assistance to those who find themselves impacted by identity theft.

tax identity theft awareness week logo

 

It’s Tax Identity Theft Awareness Week

Tax ID thieves are ready — are you?

Tax identity theft happens when someone uses your Social Security number to get a tax refund or a job, and it’s one of the fastest growing forms of identity theft in the U.S. You might find out it’s happened when you get a letter from the IRS saying more than one tax return was filed in your name, or IRS records show you have wages from an employer you don’t know.

tax identity theft awareness week logo

Tech Support Scams: Part 2

They’re baaaack!

No, not poltergeists. Scammers. And they want your last penny.

We’ve written before about tech support scams — where a caller claims that your computer has a terrible virus and needs immediate attention. The scammer asks for remote access and then charges you for “fixing” a problem that wasn’t there.

Now, they’re working the phones again, and they claim that if you paid for tech support services, they can get you a refund.

Computer Screen Warning

Blog Topic: Avoid Scams

Scammers Targeting Target Shoppers

If you’ve been following the news this holiday season, you’ve probably heard that Target shoppers may have been affected by the recent data breach. Target notified their customers of the breach via email.

Unfortunately, scammers follow the news, too. Scam artists may send out phony “Target” emails pretending to help, but they actually want to trick you into giving them your personal information. And they are skilled at making the emails look real. If you get an email that says it’s from Target, here’s what to look out for to make sure you don’t get scammed.
 

Blog Topic: Avoid Scams

Shopping for Just the Right Gift

The clock is ticking, and you’re on the hook to find just the right gift this holiday season. Perhaps you’re shopping at the last minute; maybe the giftee is really picky; or, if you’re like I am, maybe you just don’t feel like dealing with wrapping paper! Regardless, a gift card or certificate may seem like a great solution: it’s a quick buy for you and it presents plenty of options for that person on your list.

As you go shopping for gift cards, remember to read the fine print before you buy. Yeah, time is precious and you may not have enough of it to read the details, but there are a few important things to look for.

Gift-wrapped money
 

Blog Topic: Be Smart Online

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