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February 14, 2013

Protect Your Finances from Data Brokers and Scams

By Ashley Caputo, TMCnet Web Editor

With the mobility trend becoming increasingly useful in almost every industry, used for both personal and work related reasons thanks to BYOD, the amounts of personal information being stolen has reached heightened levels. And with the lack of updated privacy laws and protection against data brokers in this growing era of technology, threats to consumer security have reached just as concerning heights.

Frontier Communications (FTR), a financial service company, has just released a warning message to its customers concerning the increase in scam attempts by data brokers trying to steal personal information.

Consumers may not realize the amounts of personal information they put online and offline that are at risk of being stolen, such as their credit cards, home addresses, school addresses, online purchases and Internet browsing activities. Over 200 data brokers are working diligently each day to collect sensitive consumer information and to create a database or profile of a person’s likes, dislikes and interests.

Since the goal of these types of data brokers is to get money and personal information that lead to bank accounts and credit card numbers, this issue poses a high threat to companies like FTR. In order to help its customers protect their information, the company has offered a few tips:

  • Do not give callers that claim to represent a bank or communications company any personal information. As a company policy, FTR does not ask for a customer to give their password over the phone.
  • Do not call numbers back left by solicitors or respond to calls with unfamiliar area codes.
  • Report these types of suspicious calls to the Attorney General of your state.
  • Register your number on the National Do-Not-Call Registry at 888-248-4622.

Currently, there is no legal protection against these date brokers in the US, although the UK has already implemented punishments for every phone call placed by unwanted telemarketers or solicitors. In a world that is moving faster than legislators could pass any laws, the only way for consumers to protect themselves from this type of threat is to take precautionary steps and select the best solutions for their businesses.

Edited by Allison Boccamazzo
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