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.A SPRING ISSUE - MARCH - tviNews Events -109 - TVInews Spring Madness Issue. U.S is the number ONE source for Credit Information fraud, and FICO, Inc. -- is just one part of the money making process, says, NBS100.com

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SPRING MADNESS - 03 / Hedge Funds

200704TopCDOsGary300w.jpg1. Feature Story / Protecting Your Privicy from ID theft and costly/time consuming FICO Credit Reporting SCAMS -- is big business for personal OnLine information disseminators
••• Not only that, the Associated Press reported that U.S is number ONE source of Credit infomation fraud, and a "FICO score is part of the money making problem in printing out reports on people," says, the government sezure study group, NBS100.com.
••• "Imagine 1-Million reports a day @ $10.00 each. Fair Isaac Corporation (NYSE: FIC), was founded in 1956 by engineer Bill Fair and mathematician Earl Isaac.
••• California was a pioneer in allowing a resident to freeze access to credit reports, thus dramatically curbing the unauthorized creation of new accounts.
••• The first-of-its-kind law, which went into effect in 2003, directs that for $30, an individual can bar the three major credit bureaus from giving out any credit history information. It's unlikely any bank, card issuer or lending institution will open an account without that data.
••• It can be awkward, however, when the person who put the chill on the reports has a legitimate reason for that information to be shared -- say for buying a car, applying for a mortgage or getting a new credit card. Then it costs as much as $30 to temporarily make the credit data available.
••• One type of theft offers more protection than other types of theft against unauthorized users, say the enforcers of the Federal Fair Credit Reporting Act, (FFCRA) of the U.S. MORE FFCRA STORY / For more information about your rights as a possible victim of identity theft, visit the FTC's Web site at www.ftc.gov/idtheft.
••• In the T.J. Maxx and Marshalls case, you didn't get just low prices on their merchandise at the T.J. Maxx outlets during the holidays, 2006 -- you also had a good chance of getting your credit card information and other personal data stolen.
••• You can hardly live in a "pay-as-you-go" society without a good "Fair Issacs" - FICO credit score and a few credit cards these days, but there are steps that can be taken to ward off the perils of identity theft. Most of these thefts are initiated by those companies, malls, associations and rental agencies, whom use private clearing houses and intermidiary "credit experts."
••• Once the credit card financial information is gathered together by the card swipe machine and the Pin number of the card holder is punched in TeleKey board, the a giant information leaks start to happen. The bank information goes directly to both the banks-clearing house, and some remote, windowless computer or job / rental refering center for the finanancial personal information grabbag.
••• The stakes are high. Nationally, fraud losses to existing credit and debit card accounts totaled $20 billion last year, according to Javelin Strategy & Research.
••• In the latest major breach, TJX Cos., the parent of T.J. Maxx and Marshalls, has said that at least 45.7 million credit and debit card numbers -- a record -- were stolen from its computers in 2005 and 2006.
2006/Images03/fairisaacstarlogo.gifPart 02 - / WHAT CAN A PERSON DO TO PREVENT ID THEFT?
• For Shoppers,
the first step in protecting personal data has to do with the answer to the perennial supermarket checkout question, "Credit or debit?" or the questions answered by a prospective buyer or a rentor of a condo, or job applicant.
••• "We tell people to stop using debit cards for shopping," said Beth Givens, director of the nonprofit Privacy Rights Clearinghouse in San Diego. "If you are a victim of someone who uses your debit card data, the money comes immediately out of your bank account."
• For Buyers and Rentors of Real Property, who are asked to fill out several pages of financial infomation to rent a condo or stand alone house," said a spokesman for the Westside Home Service in California, "make sure both landlord and tennant are aware of the Federal Credit Reporting Act and the fines passed on to those who violate the rules laid out by the FCRA.
••• "If you are a victim of someone who passes on your person infomatiion to a third party intermediary, who then uses your financial data to defame your name or discredit your finanancial or personal habit record, he/she can be prosicuted and heavily fined."
••• In some cases, a thief can gain access to more than credit card numbers . . .
••• Recently, The Federal Communications Commission proposed a $100,000 fine against Amp'd Mobile Inc., a Los Angeles-based wireless phone company aimed at the youth market, and two other companies for failing to protect consumers' personal call-in financial records from thieves.
••• In another case, (March 26, 2007) -- several laptop computers were stolen from Los Angeles County offices. The 244,000 people in the child support system were notified that personal data, including Social Security numbers, could have been exposed to third party intermediaries whose profit for dollars scheme could end up as a catastropy for parents named in child support system data base. "Image, 5 years from, the effects of the sales to the credit / health disseminator.".
••• Not only could that information can be used to create new accounts in a victim's name, but it could effect the child's insurance and jobs opportunities, when he/she becomes and adult.
••• This type of crime -- which was responsible for nearly $18 billion in losses last year, according to Javelin -- is particularly insidious because the victim might not even know that the fraudulent accounts have been created.
••• The first indication often doesn't come until collection agencies start calling to demand payment for items the victim has never heard of.
••• As for credit cards holders that are issued a line of credit, they are safer to use than the debit card holder. The debit card holder is responsible for losses of as much as $50 if the financial institution is notified of the theft within two days of it being discovered. After that, the user is responsible for losses of as much as $500.
••• And if the theft isn't reported within 60 days, the debit card holder is legally responsible for all losses after that period.
••• In contrast, the maximum loss that the victim of a credit card theft will suffer is $50, as long as the loss is reported within 60 days.
Warding off theft / Fighting ID fraud
••• •  Carry only the credit, debit and identification cards that you use regularly.
••• •  Don't carry your Social Security number.
••• •  Replace paper invoices, statements and checks with electronic versions.
••• •  Protect accounts with personal ID numbers and passwords that are difficult to guess.
••• •  Never give personal information unless you initiated the contact.
• Freezing your credit report
••• Send a letter and $10 to each of the three credit bureaus. If you are a victim of identity theft, the freeze is free; include a copy of the police report instead of payment.
••• •  Equifax: Send a letter by certified mail to Equifax Security Freeze, P.O. Box 105788, Atlanta, GA 30348. Include full name, current and former addresses, Social Security number and birth date. You may pay by check, money order or credit card.
••• •  Experian: Send a letter by certified mail to Experian Security Freeze, P.O. Box 9554, Allen, TX 75013. Include full name, addresses for the last five years, Social Security number and birth date. Also send two proofs of residence. Pay by check, money order or credit card.
••• •  Trans Union: Send a letter (need not be certified) to Trans Union Security Freeze, P.O. Box 6790, Fullerton, CA 92834-6790. Include full name, addresses for the last five years, Social Security number and birth date. Pay by credit card only.
••• Sources: Javelin Strategy & Research, California Department of Consumer Affairs

The United States generates more malicious computer activity than any other country, and sophisticated hackers worldwide are banding together in highly efficient crime rings, according to a new report.
• • Researchers at Cupertino, Calif.-based Symantec Corp. also found that fierce competition in the criminal underworld was driving down prices for stolen financial information.
• • Criminals can buy verified credit card numbers for as little as $1, and they can buy a complete identity -- a date of birth and U.S. bank account, credit card and government-issued identification numbers -- for $14, according to Symantec's twice-yearly Internet Security Threat Report, to be released today.
• • Researchers at the security software company found that about a third of all computer attacks worldwide in the second half of 2006 originated from machines in the U.S.
• • As a breeding ground for threats such as spam and malicious code, the U.S. easily surpasses runners-up China, which generates 10% of attacks, and Germany, which generates 7%.
• • The U.S. also leads in "bot network activity." Bots are compromised computers controlled remotely and operating in concert to pump out spam or perform other nefarious acts.
• • The legitimate owner of the computer typically doesn't know the machine has been taken over. The phenomenon is largely responsible for the increase in junk e-mail in the last six months.
• • Spam made up 59% of all e-mail traffic Symantec monitored. That's up 5 percentage points from the previous period. Much of the spam was related to stock picks and other financial scams. MORE STORY ON FICO - Money Side Stories Who, Where and What is a FICO score - and why was the power of financing given and by whom?

2006/Images03/fairisaacstarlogo.gif4. Related Stories / What is a FICO score?
••• •  FICO® is an abbreviation for Fair Isaac and Company, which pioneered the development of credit scoring models for credit grantors. There are many types of credit scores in use today, some of which incorporate rules and methods developed by Fair Isaac; others developed by third-party companies or by credit grantors themselves. The FICO score is one of the most recognized scores and it is often used by credit grantors in their decision process.
••• •  The FICO score attempts to summarize in a single number and at a particular point in time the level of credit risk associated with a particular consumer. FICO scores range from 300 to 900, with higher scores being associated with low credit risk. MORE STORY ON FICO - Money Side Stories Who, Where and What is a FICO score - and why was the power of financing given and by whom?

Collateralized debt obligations with a home mortgage, or CDOs, have been a hot product with many big investors for many years: says Troy Cory-Stubblefield, co-author of "BOA, The Tortfeasors". "In fact, in recent years Hedge Funds Collateralized by China U.S. Treasury Bonds have been used to help monitized the mortagage pools, and why not? It's their money. --SEE MORE ABOUT The Tortfeassors, AND MELVIN BELLI STORY.
••• The California Public Employees' Retirement System, for example, has steered clear of CDOs in recent years, said Curtis Ishi, a senior investment officer at the pension fund.
••• "We need to understand the management and how they produce returns," Ishi said. CDOs, he said, require "quite a bit of analysis."
••• CDOs - "Collateralized Debt Obligations", or MORTGAGE POOLS are home mortgages used as collateral, and in the 80s created a $600million dollar fiasco, which sent many mortage heads to prison. "Getting a handle on CDOs is a complex challenge," reports the LA Times. MORE CDO MORTGAGE POOL STORY.


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SPRING MADNESS - 02 / Tricks

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