Keeping Up With Technology: Identity Theft Prevention

With all the buzz about identity theft protection on the computer, many of us forget that the risk doesn’t stop there. Everything from credit cards, university IDs, passports, drivers licences and corporate IDs contain Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tags. Why does this matter? Well, criminals have learned that they can purchase devices known as Radio Frequency Readers or Remote Frequency Readers for less than $100.00. These devices can skim your personal info from you without your knowledge.

In a local report on Miami’s WPLG, a rather disturbing report opened many an eye. The WPLG investigative reporter was able to quite easily purchase a Remote Frequency Reader online and then began to see just how easy it would be to steal her co-worker’s personal information. To better show the audience how easy it was, she activated her device and armed it with an audible alarm which would allow the viewers (and her targets) hear an audible signal each time the device was successful in skimming date. Her targets wouldn’t know until it was too late why the reporter’s purse was emitting an annoying beeping noise.

The reporter than proceeded to walk by several unsuspecting co-worker’s desks, each time a beeping noise was heard from her purse. Setting her purse down on another employees desk, the device beeped again. As she passed each co-worker, another beep was heard. Each been indicated that the device had successfully hacked into an unsuspecting target’s private information, all of which the targets believed to be safely stowed away.

Now criminals, won’t actually be activating their devices with audible alarms that warn us that our information has been stolen…it will all happen without us ever noticing a thing. Something else that the reporter informed her audience was that criminals often work in teams. One person will hack your personal information while the other is taking a picture of you on their cell phone. In only a few short seconds, your identity can be stolen from you.

The amount of information that can be stolen in places such as shopping malls, grocery stores, airports and sporting events without anyone being the wiser is just staggering. Imagine the damage that can be done with this kind of stolen data, not to mention the doors that can be opened. If personal information can be stolen from personnel badges and keycards, a thief can simply waltz into protected computers, facilities, campuses and access classified information. Scary, right?

Identity theft prevention is all about retaining our identity, and clearly, it can be a daily struggle in this day and age. Avoiding hackers, data breaches, fraud and scams….we just can’t ignore this latest development in technology. Identity theft prevention depends on our awareness of what is happening in the world around us. The simplicity of days past is gone- no longer do we need to worry only about our wallets and physical possessions.

Skimming has become the new chosen method for criminals to commit identity theft and other such crimes. This makes perfect sense, when you consider that RFID tags are being embedded in everything from new US passports to quick-pay credit cards. Clever crooks have hidden RF readers in carpets, on ATMS and on store shelves. Worse still, anyone- from a cashier to a busboy might be waiting and ready to keep your information once you’ve left the building. If it happens to you, likelihood is, you won’t know about it until the damage has already been done.

Denise Richardson is an author, freelance writer and advocate who educates the public on identity theft protection, identity theft prevention and id theft. She is a Board member of American Consumer Credit Education Support Services, a non-profit organization dedicated to educating the public on credit matters. She is founder of .

Foreclosures Tips and Warnings

First of all, you need to be aware that a mortgage lender can foreclose your home for two reasons. The first one is defaulting on your payments. Generally, lenders will issue a Notice of Default if you miss three mortgage payments consecutively. Another possible ground for foreclosure would be a violation on a major regulation or policy of the lender.

What You Can Do
However, in most cases, the reason for a home foreclosure is due to a default in payments. For some home owners, they waited too long before taking any appropriate action that would have prevented foreclosure of their property. If you currently have a mortgage loan, it is important to be constantly aware of your payments. If for some reason, you miss one of your payments, speak with your lender right away and inform them the cause of your delay. Don’t wait until the second or third delay on your payment or for a Notice of Default before taking the initiative to contact your lender.

Even if it’s just a single payment that you missed, it would be to your advantage if you talk with your lender right away. This is especially true if you know that there is risk that you might not keep up with your monthly mortgage for the coming months. You may have been sick and cannot go to work, or you might have needed the money for an emergency or you might have been laid off from work. In case, it will not help if you just stay quiet or attempt to hide from your creditors.

For many people, receiving a Notice of Foreclosure is the end of everything. But this is not true. You will still be given some time before the actual foreclosure takes place. What many people do not know, is that banks and lenders are not too happy about foreclosing properties. Putting up a property on sale involves lots of work, time and money to get things done. If you speak with your lender, they would be more willing to extend you the time you need to make your repayment.

Foreclosure Options
Mortgage lenders have made provisions for cases of pre-foreclosure properties. They can waive some of your penalty fees to help you repay your unpaid mortgage more easily or what is commonly called Forbearance. They can also give you an extended time period so you can find enough money to repay your dues or what is known as Reinstatement. A mortgage company can also enable you to refinance your existing mortgage loan without the need to go through the whole process of re-application. This is known as Loan Modification which means you can be granted a new loan without the need to wait for an approval or processing.

With these provisions in mind, it would buy you more time if you talk to your lender as early as possible. This way, your lender can also have sufficient time to make the needed adjustments on your mortgage terms. If you decide to wait until they have already filed foreclosure, it will only be more difficult for you to request for adjustments.

Liz Roberts is a loan consultant with NewHorizon Finance and has been providing consumers and business owners with home loans financing since 1989. For years she has helped people with home loan problems especially pertaining to home mortgage loans and bad credit home loans. Copyright 2007

Could Your Debt Cost You Your Home?

For homeowners struggling with debt problems, losing your home is the ultimate nightmare. Not only will you suffer the emotional upheaval and traumatic change of lifestyle involved, you may even find that it isn’t the end of your financial problems. Your property can be sold at much less than the market value, which might not even be enough to clear your debt, leaving you homeless but still indebted.

Fortunately, this nightmare scenario is not as common as you may think. Repossession is a last resort for your creditors, and is only an option for a select few of them. Any debts you have on credit cards, bank accounts and the like are classed as unsecured, which means that even though your possessions could be seized to pay off what you owe, your home is not directly at risk unless your debts are serious enough to warrant bankruptcy.

Although government related debts such as tax arrears can also be cleared through forcing the sale of your home, this is not a particularly common occurrence, and the main risks to your home are loans which are secured on it. This includes your mortgage and any equity loans you’ve taken out.

Mortgage lenders will not exercise their repossession right lightly, as it’s an expensive option for them, they’ll be missing out on your future interest payments, and it doesn’t do a great deal for their public image to be seen turfing families out on to the street. However, the prospect of repossession proceedings is still a serious business and you should urgently seek advice from either the lenders themselves or a qualified and licensed debt advisory service.

The repossession process is not a quick one, and you’ll generally have around six months between falling into arrears and being served an eviction notice, which is ample time to rearrange your finances with a consolidation loan or remortgage, or even to negotiate new terms or a repayment program with your mortgage lender.

Repossession must follow a legally specified course, starting with a simple letter from the lender to you notifying you that you are in arrears, and asking that you make arrangements to resolve the matter. If no resolution is reached, a second letter will be sent warning of legal action.

If you’re still in arrears at this stage, and haven’t made a genuine attempt to negotiate with the lender, a solicitors letter will be sent giving you 7 days to clear the arrears or make an acceptable proposal on how you plan to do it. There needs to be no further notice for court proceedings to start if you don’t respond to this final letter.

If it does get to court, then a judge can grant a possession order which gives your mortgage lender the legal right to evict you. In practice, judges will try to broker an agreement on an acceptable and fair way forward, especially if children are involved. Even if an order is granted, this doesn’t necessarily lead to eviction, as mortgage companies can keep the order in reserve as an inducement for you to clear your arrears.

So, if you’re worried that you might be facing eviction, remember that it is in fact a fairly rare thing for a mortgage lender to enforce, and that there is plenty of opportunities to stop the process once it’s started. The best advice is to keep calm, contact the lender, and seek advice on how you can come to arrangement that keeps your creditor happy, but more importantly keeps you in your home.

Choose right Mortgage Company

Entering into a mortgage market to choose a best deal for you is a nerve wrecking task. With so many mortgage options and so many alluring companies available, it is tricky to determine which work well for you. Speak to any mortgage bank, it will tell you the benefits of its plan. They won’t tell you if a better deal is available in the market. A single mistake in choosing a right plan and company for you will end up in overspending of your funds.

To avoid such situation, it is always advised to do your research on the available mortgage vendors and their offerings before approaching any lender bank. Today, Irish market, there are so many options available in terms of vendors and plans as opposed to few years back. Get knowledge about if your bank has current account or cheque book mortgages, if there is a clause of payment break from your mortgage, if you have a flexibility to pay only interest rate in first year as you have other expenses on repairs and renovation to meet and things like so on. This first hand knowledge is essential to compare one plan to another, one company to another and decide which is more suitable for your financial situation.

The other way to get your hands down on the right plan is to take the services of Mortgage broker. Mortgage broker is a person who will assist you in getting the right deal. He is a knowledgeable person and knows about the various mortgage products of the market. There are lot of mortgage brokers available who will present you various mortgage plans at your disposable to choose from as per you requirement and your financial position. Your mortgage broker will do all the leg work for you and save your time and energy considerably.

Though mortgage broker( can prove a help in your search for the right mortgage, you need to take care while selecting the services of mortgage broker as all are not wine and roses. Use your contacts and references to find one for you and go through all the fine points of an agreement before signing it with him. Market is filled with scrupulous market brokers who will hit your finance bag hard with their hidden costs. A little prudence on your part can save you from such mishaps.

It is still advisable to do your homework well in advance even if you are opting for the services of mortgage broker. Devote some time to understand the ins and outs of mortgage market before zeroing on any plan. Gather information and learn from the experiences of your friends, colleagues and relatives who have bought their homes through mortgages. Check out the credentials and the background, the experiences of customers with services of the lending companies and banks you are considering for mortgage. Don’t trust on what seems too good to be true. Get into the minute details before signing anything. Trust the right mortgage calculator at secure mortgages. is tirelessly waging a battle against the problem of unclaimed money

If the State Treasury Departments had their way, the citizens of this country would continue to lose billions and billions of dollars on an annual basis. Today, the unclaimed money kitty is worth 35$ dollars. If the Government had its way, the citizens would never get their money back. However, Cash Unclaimed has soldiered on and has made a huge difference. A large number of Americans have got their money back only due to the support offered by Cash Unclaimed.

The judiciary finally stepped in when the State of California was ordered to stop seizing unclaimed property. California is well on its way to become the first state to be officially criticized for its lackadaisical approach towards the problem.

With no help being received from the State Unclaimed Property Divisions, C om decided that a massive information campaign was the order of the day. The Government does have its mechanism of advertising about the problem. However, the methods of the government are outdated and yield no useful results. At the end of the day, the States acquire billions and billions of dollars simply because they were not aggressive in promoting information about the problem. Since California has earned more than five billion dollars in the form of unclaimed money till date, it is not surprising that the State apparatus is not keen on solving the problem.

U.S. District Judge William Shubb was unsympathetic in Sacramento and he ordered the closure of the program. He also instructed the controller to create an improved notification system that meets the court’s approval. Needless to say, one can expect feverish action on that front soon. Where the States have failed, a single website has succeeded. A large number of Americans today know about the problem of unclaimed money and know how to solve the problem due to the efforts of the website.

Founder of C om, Bill McIntosh says that the mission of the website is to reunite the millions and millions of Americans with the unclaimed money owed to them. The website spends hundreds of thousands of dollars on an annual basis to ensure that its message reaches the largest audience possible. Bill McIntosh further states that the website offers an information service that provides easy access to huge databases. The visitors can make use of the same to search by name and find out whether they are owed unclaimed cash or not. Additional information on the procedure to claim the money has also been put up on the website.

Unlike the websites of the States, C om offers the ability ot search multiple databases in one go. Want to search 49 state database and/ or federal databases in one go? You know where to go!

The problem of unclaimed cash is a very serious one. CashUnclaimed is working non stop to bring the Americans in touch with their hard earned money which is now lying defunct. With 200 million records in the database, it is easily the best resource available on the net. Just visit to be reunited with your money.

C om is one of the world’s largest unclaimed money databases. Its database covers records of all the fifty states along with the federal databases as well. CashU om was set up to assist honest Americans to reclaim their money which was lying unclaimed. Want more information on unclaimed money? Want to perform a free unclaimed money search? Visit .