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ISS Blog

On Hoodwinkers and Winking

(A guest blog spot by ISS Managing Editor Drew Whitney.)

Ive been bamboozled!

Someone, somehow, on many days and miles away, has been draining my bank account, and I didnt even know it until it had been overdrafted by thousands! I know it happens all the time, but it never happened to me! Identity theft and fraud are always in the news. Theyve hit close to home and happen more and more, I just never thought theyd come to my door.

A few months ago, my mother was informed by the Boston Globe that there had been a data breach and credit cards used for subscriptions to the newspaper were in jeopardy. A friend tells me T.J. Maxx had a similar incident. Both my mom and my friend obtained new credit card accounts to protect against an invasion of funds, but one cant help but feel vulnerable after being blindly victimized.

Did you know that nearly 10 million people are harmed by identity theft each year, according to the Identity Theft Resource Center? In fact, according to the U.S. Department of Justice Bureau of Statistics, identity theft has passed drug trafficking as the No. 1 crime in the nation.

As an industry, this should be in the forefront of our minds whenever tenant information is taken and stored. Who is renting at your facility? Do you do background checks on renters? How about your employees? Does anyone in the front office have sticky fingers or a hackers mind?

My case is still under investigation. To the best of my knowledge (researching old statements), its possible a grocery-store checkout person is the culprit. My bank representative hadnt pinned the crime on any one person, yet, but he did explain this is happening at increasing rates at sites using handheld PIN devices.

The offender in my case went on a binge of sortshaving stockpiled mega-data from card users, taken the information to the complete opposite side of the country and gone on a spree.

Numerous articles have circulated through the pages of ISS before, but have you really paid close attention to the topics of identity theft and credit card fraud? Stay tuned for the June issue spotlighting security, and read through the magazines archives to get up to snuff on this threat. Its not going away.

You and your tenants deserve security and peace of mind. Stay safe from bamboozlers and sly dogs looking for a free meal. The only free meal they really deserve is waiting for them at the penitentiary. Until they get there, be sure not to leave any tempting scraps lying around. Keep personal financial information safeguarded andhopefullyyou wont be the next in line for a hoodwinking.

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