bushpilot
Posts: 1674
Joined: Tue Jul 17, 2007 4:37 am

A Question For The Hackers...

Sat Oct 28, 2006 3:18 am

So I am a small town elected official, a city councilman to be honest. On the city website is my home phone number, mailing address, and email as contact points. I certainly have no problem with my email being available on the web, as I would encourage my fellow citizens to contact me. I live in a fairly small town, I am in the phone book here locally. It is only about 30 pages and not hard to look up. I am concerned over the possibilities of some sort of identity theft. Not from the locals, but from well hackers. So what can one realistically find out about someone from having thier name, home phone and mailing address, is it realistic for someone to get my SSN and apply for credit cards in my name? Your thoughts and info are greatly appreciated.
 
AirCop
Posts: 5553
Joined: Mon Nov 28, 2005 2:39 am

RE: A Question For The Hackers...

Sat Oct 28, 2006 4:01 am

I'm not a hacker..but having your phone number, address etc displayed on a web site won't effect a identify theft.. All they need is your name, date of birth, and within minutes they should be able to find out all kind of information about you including your social security number from a various number of public websites. For instance, when one purchases a new vehicle, the dealer has all sorts of information on you within minutes. In short I wouldn't worry about the information on the town web site you should be okay, its the other areas like obtaining credit where one needs to be very careful.
 
rpaillard
Posts: 417
Joined: Mon Apr 25, 2005 12:57 am

RE: A Question For The Hackers...

Sat Oct 28, 2006 4:12 am

Hi,

Virtually, everything is possible!
I just hope that the agent will double check information's before issuing a Credit Card!

You are totally right to be vigilant. One often underestimate to power of social engineering. Now that the think we should be worry about!

Raphael
FLY SKYTEAM JETS
 
Roger136913
Posts: 461
Joined: Fri Aug 12, 2005 1:19 am

RE: A Question For The Hackers...

Sat Oct 28, 2006 4:16 am

In Massachusetts about 18 years ago My Wife and I got a phone call from an Insurance company about an accident we were in? I took their name and number and the company name and called our Insurance co. Since we were never in any accident it seems just getting our plate on our car was enough for them to get our phone # and address from the DMV.

Turns out the company was not a company and someone tryin to get info....

Not sure how the DMV works in other states but in Ma at the time and might still be allowed to get your personal info. Maybe not your SS# but your DOB and address and phone number, all by your car plates!
 
itsjustme
Posts: 2727
Joined: Sun Apr 25, 2004 6:58 pm

RE: A Question For The Hackers...

Sat Oct 28, 2006 4:19 am

If your phone number is already listed, chances are anyone can enter it in Google and they'll be able to get your name and address. That being said, as Aircop pointed out, if the only info a potential ID thief has is what you stated, you're OK.
Just a couple tips on guarding against ID theft: Don't leave any outgoing mail in your mailbox that contains any sensitive information. You'd be surprised how many people will write a check to pay a credit card bill and then leave it in their mailbox for the letter carrier to pick up. You're providing a thief with not only your credit card number, but your bank acct. number as well. Speaking of checks, to guard against check fraud, when having your checks printed, don't have your full name printed on them. If your name is Jonathan Paul Blowmanose, have J.P. Blowmanose printed on the check but sign your name as you normally would. Also, spend $20 or so for a shredder, and shred any papers that contain personal data. ID thieves aren't above doing a trash pull to snatch papers that might contain soc sec #'s, drivers lic. #'s, etc... Also, make a photo copy (front and back) of everything in your wallet and store it in a safe place. This way, should your wallet be lost or stolen, you'll know exactly what cards and account numbers need to be canceled and replaced.
 
AirCop
Posts: 5553
Joined: Mon Nov 28, 2005 2:39 am

RE: A Question For The Hackers...

Sat Oct 28, 2006 4:22 am

Quoting Itsjustme (Reply 4):
Just a couple tips on guarding against ID theft: Don't leave any outgoing mail in your mailbox that contains any sensitive information. You'd be surprised how many people will write a check to pay a credit card bill and then leave it in their mailbox for the letter carrier to pick up. You're providing a thief with not only your credit card number, but your bank acct. number as well. Speaking of checks, to guard against check fraud, when having your checks printed, don't have your full name printed on them. If your name is Jonathan Paul Blowmanose, have J.P. Blowmanose printed on the check but sign your name as you normally would. Also, spend $20 or so for a shredder, and shred any papers that contain personal data. ID thieves aren't above doing a trash pull to snatch papers that might contain soc sec #'s, drivers lic. #'s, etc... Also, make a photo copy (front and back) of everything in your wallet and store it in a safe place. This way, should your wallet be lost or stolen, you'll know exactly what cards and account numbers need to be canceled and replaced.

 bigthumbsup  Excellent advice for everyone.
 
bushpilot
Posts: 1674
Joined: Tue Jul 17, 2007 4:37 am

RE: A Question For The Hackers...

Sat Oct 28, 2006 4:36 am

Thanks for everyone's posts so far. I am a bit less concerned about it now. I like to think of myself as an up and coming politician, I would someday like to make it into state government. But regardless, I can only tell you it has been a struggle for me personally, knowing that information is on the website. Because one of my true foundations is accessability to and transparency in our elected public officials, myself fully included.
I rasied the issue last night with the other council members and the mayor in my community. When I suggested the possibility of identity theft, there were immediate concerns on all 6 others faces. We are a small town of 2500 people in the middle of nowhere AK for all intentive purposes. I often get calls at home and work from local residents and I dont mind that at all, actually I love to discuss the local issues with them, it is more a matter that info being easily available all in one place. I know anyone can type in my name on white pages . com and get my number. But I just thought we might be opening ourselves up for not only identity theft issues in terms of my own credit rating, but also people claiming they were me and corresponding on behalf of me. But any additional info or advice is welcome.

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