Fake IDEarlier this month, there was an article in the NY Times about a recent Supreme Court decision that significantly limits a prosecutors ability to use Identity Theft related charges in illegal immigration cases. The decision basically says that because it is common practice for illegal immigrants to obtain fake social security number in order to obtain work, driver licenses etc., it cannot inherently be considered malicious. In other words, “oops, I didn’t mean to ruin your credit, driving record, and tax and employment history. I just needed a job.”

Taking someone’s Identity to obtain work initially doesn’t seem like a big deal until you go to pay your taxes at the end of the year. Your employer reports your wages to the government and a certain amount of taxes is to be taken out. But what happens when someone using your identity claims 5 or 6 people on a W-4 form using your social security number? You file and the IRS says you owe for over-claiming on exemptions.

Though illegal immigration is a problem, Identity Theft is a bigger problem and most illegal immigrants must use some form of identity theft in order live and work in our country, and the government is choosing to make Identity Theft an easier choice by removing the deterrent of stiffer penalties on something that is now viewed as ‘common practice’ and therefore acceptable. Identity Theft

Are you protected from Identity Theft?

prepaid_legal_servicesFor the last year or so I have been doing a lot of relationship building to grow my book of business in Prepaid Legal. One of the main hurdles I’ve encountered is the major misconception that Prepaid Legal is strictly a network marketing company.

Network-Marketing

Network-Marketing

 

Though I love and have a tremendous amount of respect for successful network marketers who have built strong ethical organizations, the fact is that the reputation of network marketing has been significantly tarnished by network marketers who focus on team building without understanding the relationship building aspect of networking. These people focus on exposing as many people to the business opportunity caring little about the service or building relationships. Though blast and mass marketing techniques can generate interest in one out of ten exposures, it also annoys 9 out of 10 exposures giving the company and its product a negative image in the market place.

Prepaid Legal is not a network marketing company. It is a legal insurance company that relies on word of mouth advertising to expand itself. It also allows just about any motivated person to partake in the success of the company through becoming a part of the sales force.

legal insuranceI am a legal insurance salesman. I believe strongly in the service my company provides and I share how that product can empower and protect businesses, their employees, and individuals who desire access to the legal system and Identity Theft Protection at an affordable price.

I’m a huge fan of Hondas. From ricey body-kitted monstrosities with obnoxiously loud exhausts to tastefully modified JDM sleepers with perfect paint jobs, the ‘car scene’ is filled with interesting cars and even more interesting people.

Every year Honda-Tech.com sponsors a meeting of car enthusiasts from up and down the east coast. The 2009 East Coast Honda Meet takes place in Richmond Virginia at G-Force Karts and it’s going to be a spectacle of mammoth proportions to say the least. Groups of car enthusiasts like GearHead and sumospeed from cities like Norfolk and Virginia Beach will be caravaning from Hampton Roads to the event.Gearhead

Not only will it be an opportunity to see some amazing cars, but it will also be a tremendous networking opportunity. 300+ cars turned out for last years event and this year is projected to be even better! I can’t wait!

If ever there was a phrase that would inspire controversy, this is it. We are all raised with the idea that police are put in our lives to serve and protect us. For as long as our great nation has had laws, millions of brave men and women have been out on our local streets and highways in order to keep the peace, and stop crime.

Check out what James Duane law professor at Regent University and former defense attorney has to say about the subject:

The fact is that we are a nation of laws and before anything, police are here primarily to enforce laws that are already broken, not to prevent laws from being broken. Police at all levels are investigative agents, put in place to ensure that when the law is broken, the right people are brought to justice!

We are all human and are subject to bias, some form of stereotype and even prejudice at some point and in certain situations. Police gather intelligence, and the reality is that intelligence is often open to interpretation and that interpretation is often unintentionally molded to the biases of the interpretor.

In the event that this bias should arise, people need to ensure they are protected by having legal counsel that is unbiased and dedicated to their best interest with regard to the law.

Are you protected?

Facebook: We own your content forever, and ever

As many of you may have heard, Facebook recently announce its new terms of use agreement and it basically states that anything you post on their site, will now and forever belong to them. With the explosion of social media these days, meeting places like Myspace and Facebook are flooded with thousands of new members every day looking to connect with old friends, build new relationships and explode their businesses among many other things.

The reality is that not everyone is on Facebook to make friends, and I’m certain that identity thieves are working the limitless room of social networks. Its easier than ever to make a friend who has their name, and all their personal info short of their social security number listed on their social media website profile. To top it off, most of them even have professional pictures that would look great on a fabricated ID card. Do you think Facebook wants to be responsible if someone steals your identity with info they got on your profile?

All that being said, any attorney, business coach, or finance professional can tell you that for Facebook, this decision is a no-brainer. Though it seems unfair to the consumer, all businesses need to protect themselves from any potential legal situation, and Identity Theft is definitely not something any business wants to be liable for if they can avoid it.

So while Facebook is protecting itself from us, what can we do to protect ourselves from ID theft on social networking sites? First and foremost, censor the personal information and photo content specifically that you submit to social networking sites. A name and a number usually suffice if your networking specifically for business. Never use your home address when submitting information that is available to the public, and finally, be proactive in filtering who your friends are on these sites. You never know who could be lurking.

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