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fraud - All posts tagged fraud

  • Aug 3, 2011
    3:50 PM ET

    10 Threats to Your Cellphone’s Security


    Apple and Google came under fire earlier this year for tracking cellphone users’ locations via their mobile operating systems. But as consumers use their phones for banking, shopping and more, there are even more malicious forces interested in that data and other information on your handset.

    Threats to your mobile phone’s security are becoming more prevalent, according to a report released Wednesday by mobile security company Lookout. In January, there were 80 Android apps infected with malicious software, according to their data. By June, there were more than 400. As many as 1 million Android owners were affected, they say.

    Here is a list of problems the group says you should look out for:

    Malware: Software that’s designed to be harmful. It can be configured to steal information from your phone, or give an attacker some control over the handset to, say, send spam text messages to everyone on your contact list. It’s often hidden in games and other apps, so download only from well-reviewed, trusted developers.

  • Jul 27, 2011
    2:48 PM ET

    Consumers’ 11 Biggest Problems


    If you’ve recently gotten stuck with an automobile lemon, encountered a shifty telemarketer or fought with your credit card issuer over a fee, you’re far from alone.

    Those three problems fall into the categories consumers complained the most about in 2010, according to a new study of state complaint data from the Consumer Federation of America, the National Association of Consumer Agency Administrators and the North American Consumer Protection Investigators. (See the full list below.)

    The tough economy has continued to color complaints. State consumer agencies continue to hear from more people already in desperate financial straits that have been drawn in by unscrupulous businesses, says Anna Huddleston-Aycock, president of the NACPI. “Fraud is an especially challenging problem because scammers often target U.S. consumers from foreign countries, making law enforcement difficult,” she says.

  • Jul 6, 2011
    11:13 AM ET

    Lessons From the Morgan Stanley Data Breach


    Brokerage Morgan Stanley Smith Barney has warned 34,000 accountholders of a data breach that exposed Social Security numbers, account information and addresses, among other data.

    The information, stored on two password-protected CDs, was lost en route to the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance in early June, says Jim Wiggins, a spokesman for Morgan Stanley. The package arrived but the CDs did not, and subsequent searches by the department, brokerage and U.S. Postal Service failed to locate them. “We’ve seen no evidence of criminal intent or actual misuse of this information,” Wiggins says. The breach affected less than 1% of the brokerage’s accounts. Account holders whose Social Security numbers were exposed in the breach will receive a year of credit monitoring from credit bureau Experian.

About Pay Dirt

  • Pay Dirt examines the millions of consumer decisions Americans make every day: What to buy, how much to pay, whether to rave or complain. Lead written by Quentin Fottrell, the blog examines these interactions, providing readers with news, insight and tips on shopping, spending, customer service, and companies that do right – and wrong – by their customers. Send items, questions and comments to or tweet @SMPayDirt.