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Thursday, March 13, 2008


But in this case the victim’s are asking not only how they got their name, but also how did they get their credit card number. The latest scam seems to be mysterious charges showing up on bank credit card accounts which range from $9.70 to $9.85. It happened to Dimiter Todorov from Nebraska, according to KETV Omaha, but the charge is also appearing on bank statements across the country. The TV station says the Internet is “littered with hundreds of reports of complaints,” and when I Googled “ICH Services’ complaints” there were 49,700 hits. First National Bank Second Vice President Clint Sporhase indicated the Todorovs’ was their first complaint received, and they are backtracking to learn the source of the charge. Sporhase also said that mysterious charges like this usually are a result of consumers giving up their private information to Web sites with which they are not familiar. Now, they are in my territory, and the primary purpose of this post. Even if you know the site, you still look for the “lock” or the “https” at a minimum. Take the time to thoroughly research whoever you are about to give your sensitive data to, and in many cases you will decide not to give it up just because it looks “iffy.” For the life of me I cannot understand with all the attention to identity theft in the media, along with perpetual warnings of potential ID fraud coming from privacy organizations and government agencies, how there is anyone left on the planet that doesn’t understand this urgency. But like in the Navy, there’s always the 2 percent who don’t get the word. The office manager of one of my favorite doctors, who is also a personal friend, asked me for my Social Security number this week, after the doc formed his own practice. I explained why I didn’t do this, and she understood completely. You just have to exert your rights as a consumer who wants to keep their identity and private information secure. has an interesting approach to the ICH scam, along with a stat that credit card fraud costs the public an average of $500 million a year. It seems their victim was issued a credit card they did not ask for and later received a bill with bogus charges of $350. When trying to call the credit card company whose representative appeared to be in India, and after refusing to give that person their Social Security number, the person hung up, and the number did not answer with a call back. In yet another version of this story from, an independent news organization, they indicate that there was a reported incident of ICH Services fraud in November of 2007. In the report they follow the victim through their attempt to find out what happened, and we find out that even then there were 100s of these mysterious charges by ICH Services. Of course the moral of this story is not to give out your personal data to anyone unless required to by law, or only for transactions like applying for a mortgage that require certain sensitive information. Even then, know exactly who you are dealing with. It’s your identity and your life, and when you lose this it’s a disaster that will stay with you for years.

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