Identity Theft

Governor Ducey announced the formation of Arizona’s cybersecurity team.  The team will consist of experts from diverse backgrounds and disciplines who will work together to identify cyber threats and prevent cyber attacks on Arizona citizens.  The team will include members from state, local and federal government as well as experts from private business and universities.  It is hoped the team combined with the new security breach law will better protect Arizona residents against cybercrime.

There are risks as well as benefits to using a mobile device such as a smartphone or a tablet to access bank or credit card account information or to make purchases or payments. This article describes some of these pros and cons and concludes with a series of tips intended to help Arizona consumers practice safe and secure mobile banking.

Privacy is becoming a scarce commodity in our technology-based world.  We’ve known for years that cell phone conversations are not necessarily private.  Cell phones can be easily hacked, and spy shops everywhere sell listening devices that can be used to overhear conversations.  Now, there is a growing concern among smart phone owners that our cell phones are eavesdropping on our private conversations.  Not just telephone conversations; the face-to-face conversations we have with friends and family in our homes, offices and restaurants have become the focus of concern.  There is a growing body of empirical evidence that our smart phone microphones are eavesdropping and using the information they collect to focus advertising on specific wants.

Identity Theft is a criminal act where another individual has used your name in order to:

  • Make Purchases
  • Use Credit Cards
  • Rent an Apartment
  • Obtain Medical Services
  • Re-route your Tax Refund
  • Impersonate you during contact with law enforcement
  • Obtain utilities without your consent.

Even if you resolve matters regarding fraudulent credit card purchases with your bank, you may still receive letters and phone calls from debt collectors for items you did not purchase.

In addition, you may also receive negative entries on your credit report- resulting in increased interest rates and difficulties receiving credit.

If you have been a victim of Identity Theft, the Federal Trade Commission has created a helpful handbook called Taking Charge, that explains what to do if your identity is stolen.

Home Assistants are Becoming Increasingly popular.

If you don’t already have a virtual home assistant, you have undoubtedly seen the ads on TV and the internet.  There is currently a big push to promote Amazon Echo, Google Home, Google Home Mini, and other similar technologies.  While it may be convenient to have a virtual assistant to turn on the dishwasher, order groceries, and answer trivia questions, privacy concerns have arisen that are both complex and troubling.  Those privacy issues pose serious legal questions and impact our civil rights.

A marketing company has acquired and is using two toll free numbers which are VERY SIMILAR to Veterans Benefits Administration toll free numbers.  The marketer is trying to get callers to sign up to receive a Wal-Mart gift card, and is asking for PII, to include credit card information.  When asked if they are the VA, they reply vaguely, and explain that the VA is very busy and the call was directed to them. 

This website has been prepared for general information purposes only. The information on this website is not legal advice. Legal advice is dependent upon the specific circumstances of each situation. Also, the law may vary from state-to-state or county-to-county, so that some information in this website may not be correct for your situation. Finally, the information contained on this website is not guaranteed to be up to date. Therefore, the information contained in this website cannot replace the advice of competent legal counsel licensed in your jurisdiction.

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