February 10, 2014

"Most identity theft in the United States is medical-related" ; New Credit Cards for Everyone

Medical Identity Theft and Obamacare

  1. Most identity theft in the United States is medical-related, according to a recent report from the Identity Theft Resource Center…..In 2012 alone, medical identity theft increased by nearly 25 percent, affecting 1.85 million Americans
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Michael Ollove, a reporter for Stateline, noted that 43 percent of identity-theft incidents in the United States are medical-related,a far greater chunk than identity thefts involving banking and finance, the government and the military, or education. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services says that since it started keeping records in 2009, the medical records of between 27.8 million and 6.7 million people have been breached.”

Regardless, as many as 31 states do not conduct background checks on Obamacare navigators, who have access to enrollees’ names, Social Security numbers, financial records, and health information. A recent NR report found that in California, at least 43 navigators approved by the state health exchange had prior convictions, including for forgery and welfare fraud.

All American Credit Cards Will Disappear In 2015 And Be Replaced With This New Tech

Every credit card in the U.S. will be replaced by October 2015 with new cards that contain the chip-and-PIN technology that the rest of the world has had for years, according to the Wall Street Journal.  Both Visa and MasterCard are committed to the switch, which will render extinct the plastic in your wallets and purses right now.

No more black magnetic stripes; no more signing on the dotted line.

Americans who have traveled to Europe in recent years will know that the U.S.'s credit card system is embarrassingly old-fashioned by comparison. It's often difficult to use American credit cards abroad because the Europeans abandoned magnetic stripes and signatures years ago — they were too easily hacked. Credit and debit cards in the U.S. are about 10 years behind the rest of the world.

The new cards contain a microchip and require the owner to enter a PIN into a payment machine at checkout. They are more secure for a couple of reasons.

First, requiring the PIN prevents checkout staff from handling your card — they will simply hand you the point-of-sale device and customers will insert their cards and verify payment themselves.

Second, the chip replaces the magnetic stripe, which is easily copied and therefore vulnerable to hackers, as the Target sting proved. In France, chip-and-PIN allegedly reduced credit-card fraud by 80% (although the sourcing for this number is vague).
Posted by Jill Fallon at February 10, 2014 12:45 PM | Permalink