Fake news with real consequences “If you don’t read the newspaper you’re uninformed, if you do read it you’re misinformed” -Denzel Washington On December 4, Edgar Maddison Welch, drove hours from North Carolina to Washington, D.C. heavily armed with 3 weapons to “self-investigate” an alleged sex ring supposedly operated by the Clinton campaign. He went as far as pointing a gun at an employee and then shooting the ground a couple times before police apprehended him.
DON’T GET CAUGHT UP IN SOMEONE ELSE’S MESS Someone else’s criminal conviction appearing under your name for simply sharing a first-name or a birthdate with that person can have dire consequences on you. It does happen, just ask Darlene. But don’t make the same mistake as Universal Background Screening and make sure you get the right Darlene. As it turns out, Darlene Martinez was confused with Darlene Ramirez– who had a criminal record including a drug possession charge –which ended up costing her a newly found job.
WITH FRIENDS LIKE THESE, WHO NEEDS ENEMIES? We live in the era of social media. We use it virtually for everything like personal and professional networking and keeping up with what’s going on around us. Heck, even our dinner has a spotlight with apps like Snapchat and Instagram. We share and share and share some more. But is it possible we might be sharing a little too much? Going on vacation is exciting!
IDENTITY THEFT CAN HAPPEN IN MANY DIFFERENT WAYS For most of us, Thanksgiving means turkey, stuffing, gravy, sweet potatoes, cornbread, mashed potatoes, and cranberry sauce. Oh and don’t forget the pumpkin pie! But for Axton Betz-Hamilton, a professor at Eastern Illinois University, this holiday brings back dreary memories. What was once a time for family and of gratitude is now a time of mystery and a remembrance of how her identity was stolen.
IDENTITY THEFT CAN HAPPEN IN MANY DIFFERENT WAYS “It’s always the boyfriend,” Rachel recalls being told. And she would respond, “You don’t know my boyfriend.” Apparently, neither did she… Rachel Rosenthal is a comedian, improviser, improv teacher and a victim of identity theft. When her money began to disappear, the first thing she did was switch bank accounts. But this didn’t resolve her problem. The money kept vanishing somehow.
PROSECUTORS ARE CALLING HIM A “SERIAL SEXUAL PREDATOR” Despite all the evidence and the testimonies that point towards a guilty defendant, Alec Cook’s lawyers played the consent card. Naturally, this raises the controversial question: what is consent? Consent Not So Consensual When does the line between when ‘yes’ is ‘yes’ and ‘no’ is ‘no’ become blurry? Consent… is it being forcefully kissed after being told you didn’t have to do “anything you don’t feel comfortable doing” or is it being raped and choked until your vision blurs?
“I uncovered this whole world that I did not know existed” When you hear the phrase “Pick-up Artist”(PUA), what comes to mind? Whatever it is you pictured is sure to be challenged or reinforced by Claire’s (pseudonym) story —a true one— that will have you rethinking the meaning of this “art”. For the sake of this story, a pick-up artist is a man who obsessively studies and practices methods of meeting and sleeping with as many women as possible.
It shatters everything. I can’t feel safe anymore.” Imagine yourself on a typical Wednesday afternoon. Maybe you’re off on your lunch break or at home cooking when suddenly the phone rings. Rrrring rrring, rrring rrring… ‘unknown caller’, reads the caller ID, but you answer it anyway. It’s only a phone call, what is there to be afraid of? What do you have to lose? Paranoia and over $9,000, THAT’S WHAT!
“The man I was in love with for six years simply doesn’t exist” So you meet a super sweet, friendly, gentleman at the bowling alley. You guys hit it off and have so much in common, it’s like looking at your own reflection. You’ve found the one, and you can’t wait to see him again! After a few dates and home cooked meals, you get to know him better. He’s great!
DO YOU KNOW WHAT’S ON YOUR BACKGROUND CHECK? We all have secrets, but what’s a secret when others know about it? If you’ve ever been asked to submit to a screening, say for a job interview you just had or an apartment you’d like to rent, you’ve probably asked yourself: what are they learning about me; what are they looking for? Whether your record is messy or clean, chances are you get nervous in anticipation of what that report may show about your past.
Nothing on the Internet is private It’s hard to fathom the idea that something on the internet can be there forever. Every post submitted to Facebook, email you’ve exchanged, or picture you’ve uploaded to Instagram could be up on the web without you even knowing, and sometimes even after you’ve deleted it. Not to mention, what you may have thought to be discreet may be available to the public.
Would you ever catch a ride with a complete stranger? Most of us like to think we wouldn’t get into a car with someone we didn’t know. Especially if the driver was riding with a criminal history trailing behind him or her? But some of us are already doing just that– we get into Ubers without a second thought. Uber horror stories are popping up all over the place. Although some of these sound like something out of a scary movie, they are some of the strangest and most disturbing experiences of real people.
Angela Staten, Sharon Staten, and Tawanda Staten are not your average sisters. They are part of a scheme that filed 2,000 fraudulent tax returns. All three of them have been charged with a total of 90 felony charges, Angela has just been sentenced to 14 years in jail. The charges are all for one thing, filing fraudulent tax returns. These three attempted to steal $960,175 through filing fraudulent tax returns. Luckily, the Department of Revenue was able to block $725,785 by following the pattern that the Staten sisters left behind.
Identity theft is pretty scary right? Someone’s going around pretending to be you, with all of your personal information, and getting money any way they can. They take out loans or make fake accounts or take credit cards out under your name but where the really scary stuff begins is with tax returns. In 2013 alone, the IRS paid out $5.8 Billion in fake refunds. $1.3 Million was paid out to one single person Carmel Linot.
Asher Potts was a student at Pennsylvania High School with a standout GPA of 4.16 and was even nominated to be the homecoming king. For three years he attended the school, teachers and administrators thought of him as a mature and respectful young man. He was even part of the school’s ROTC program and was recognized by Patty Kim, an elected official in the House of Representatives for his stand out achievements.
Here’s a likely scenario: you live in a quiet and friendly neighborhood. Your home is only a 10 minute walk from little Tommy’s school. Once he is of age, you will likely allow Tommy to walk to and from school all on his own. You do what any good parent will do and begin prepping him for the 10 minute journey to school. You start by teaching him to look both ways before crossing the street, which turns to make, etc.
Identity theft doesn’t only occur on the Internet. The risk in the outside world is more real and more common than many people think. Like identity theft on the internet, an identity thief will most likely already have some kind of information about you. They will seek to get more information that will hopefully lead them to be able to take advantage of you monetarily. Skimming is a common form of identity theft that can happen easily without the person’s knowledge.
In our last post we discussed elements of identity theft on a broader scale. Today we will be examining in more detail the most prominent ways identity thieves are stealing your identity. Here are three of the top ways identity thieves are stealing your identity today: 1. Credit/debit card theft – Entering your credit card information onto a fake website. These websites are owned and operated by identity thieves. They store your credit card information and any other information that you give them.
You are unique. Your identity is one of a kind in this world. The way you think, your likes and dislikes, all the experiences you’ve had, and your beliefs are just a part of who you really are. That identity cannot be stolen or taken from you. In the digital age we are more than simply ourselves. We are given a name and number that indicates who we are. This other part of your identity, your social security or credit card number, is extremely valuable to thieves.
Fresh out of college and you need a new place, since moving back with your parents isn’t an option. Everyone does this at some point, right? Finding an affordable and decent apartment should be easy. First step: an online search for local apartments. Step two: finding a listing that fits your needs. And finally… contacting the landlord. Umm, how do I know if I can trust this guy? Oh well, it should be fine, everyone does it.
Imagine you’re drinking your morning cup of coffee and you turn on the news. All of a sudden you see a picture of yourself and the news anchor is saying you’re one of the most wanted criminals in Louisville, Kentucky for a theft felony charge. A crime that you never committed, yet there’s your face, right there on the morning news. THERE ARE ONLY TWO WAYS TO END UP ON ANY MOST WANTED LIST: EITHER COMMIT THE CRIME OR JUST BE PLAIN UNLUCKY.
If you were a judge and heard that a man with a history of domestic violence had punched a woman in the face and left a laceration on her eyebrow, what sentence would you give him? Apparently only an eight-month prison sentence, suspension for two years, and a ban from online dating. Tina Evans of South Wales left her relationship with Karl Crimmins injured with nine stitches, a vow to stay away from online dating forever, and a determination to raise awareness of the dangers of dating online.
If you own a “smartwatch” or are planning to buy one, you may want to rethink what sensitive data you store inside. A smartwatch is marketed as a device worn on the wrist that shares many of the same capabilities as any smartphone. However, recent studies from Trend Micro, an Internet security software company, have revealed that smartwatches do little to protect your personal information from being hijacked in the event of theft.
If you are a parent, you see your child grow up right before your eyes. They start off small, chubby, and cute as can be. That doesn’t last long, and soon they’re in school. Before long they graduate into high school and after a few awkward years they start driving on their own. Now it’s time for them to get their first job. After they apply to a few places, you expect them to be hired in no time…but they aren’t.
Wearable technology was the perfect gift this winter and odds are that either you or someone you know now owns one. They come in all shapes and sizes, most work like a watch and sit on your wrist. These Smartwatches do more than just tell time. They are complex, advanced technologies that pack an interface and data recording instrument into a small easily accessible package. Connecting to your phone gives these devices even more technological power.
Is there such a thing as privacy anymore? Let’s be honest with ourselves, tracking someone’s every move is a little weird. You never want to be “that” significant other looking obsessive or “crazy.” But what if the chances of you being caught were slim to none? Would you do it? In this day and age, people no longer have to snoop through their significant others’ phone when they leave the room, are sleeping, or accidentally leave their phone at your house.
When you hear the words “background check,” what is the first thought that comes to mind? Is it “criminal” or “sex offender?” How about hooded men following you on the street, or an unrequited love stalking your home? Often times, we reserve background checks to those specific stereotypes that we’ve seen portrayed on television, individuals that possess shady traits that make them seem like a criminal. SEARCH PROTECTING YOUR INFO Yet Lalit Kundani disagrees with this thought process.
Although most everyone that is part of the online dating world hopes to end up happy go-lucky and in love like the image above – If you’ve ever used Facebook, Instagram, Match.com, Tinder, or any online dating app, you’ve been faced with the real challenge that comes with meeting so many people on a daily basis – you just don’t know them. I mean, really know them. Do you remember Manti Teo and his devastating catfish experience?
We’ve all been there—whenever you’re relaxing or lounging about on a lazy Sunday, your wallet, keys, and other essentials seem glued to you. Wherever you go, they’re in plain sight and just begging to be noticed. But when it’s Monday morning and you’re already ten minutes behind schedule—poof! They’ve disappeared for a game of hide-and-seek. Most of the time they’re just lurking behind that vase or maybe even in the fridge, but what happens when they go missing for good?
NOT EVERYONE ON DATING SITES IS LOOKING FOR LOVE Ahhh… Valentine’s day. A day typically filled with colorful cards, candy, all types of flowers, last minute shopping for your special someone and blissful moments of romance. Whether you spent the holiday with loved ones, a first date, or practicing self-love, we hope you had a wonderful Valentine’s day. Now that the national day of love is behind us, let’s bring you back to the harsh and extraordinary realities of today’s dating world.