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New Mexican (Newspaper) - October 2, 2005, Santa Fe, New Mexico have asked Chase to stop sending me those convenience checks An account representative named Julie she wouldnt tell me her last name promised to remove me from the list though she said it may take three months for the mailings to stop In the Philippines Josh took all the information down and explained dearly reading from a prepared that my account would be closed and that I shouldnt have to worry about being ripped off anymore with that card But I wanted to know what was being done With each charge is a reference number That would tell Chase where the forged checks were cashed and by whom The answer to that wasnt on his script apparently He said he could not tell me that Why Its my account He said he couldnt tell me Argggh I called the Oakland County Sheriffs Department which took the original report when the theft was first detected A sympathetic deputy told me to drop offa copy of the phony charges but he was not very optimistic Technically since you are not being held liable for the charges they are the victim here not said the deputy who took down niy information And while is a lot of money to you and me its not to them and its very doubtful theyll do anything about this except write Wearing my reporters hat I called Chase and asked whether this was true I know we do take this very seri said Chase spokeswoman Jessica Iben But as far as thresholds involving what amounts we actively investigate or not I just dont She said Chase routinely asks mer chants cashing the checks to obtain proper identification and hi some cases even calls cardholders for verification when convenience checks Obviously that didnt happen in my two cases The whole deal with those credit card convenience checks has me riled They make it so easy for thieves Most creditcard companies send them put in batches of three or four every month totally unsolicited Theyre a wideopen invitation to fraudulent access of your said Howard Strong attorney and author of What Every Credit Card User Needs To Know on a Web site called bankrate com Im not the only one outraged by these convenience checks In March a coalition of consumer groups petitioned the Federal Reserve Board to prohibit banks and credit card companies from sending the checks unsolicited via the mail Given me epidemic of identity theft and the interception of mail as a primary method to commit this fraud sending unsolicited credit products that require no advance notice and no acti vation is among the most irresponsible business practices the peti tion reads Irresponsible indeed I have asked Chase to stop send ing me those convenience checks An account representative named Julie she wouldnt tell me her last name either promised to remove me from the list though she said it may take three months for the mailings to stop Terrific Meanwhile I keep dreading what the mail will bring Since I have no idea what else the thief made off with Im worried about other problems See why Im steamed Thwarting thieves Heres how to avoid getting ripped off by identity thieves who steal your mail Call your creditcard company and ask to be removed from convenience check mailings Most will do so f they wont cancel your credit card and do business with another company If you get them shred or cut them into tiny pieces before tossing them out in the trash In fact shred as much of your mail as possible to prevent thieves from obtaining personal information Stealing trash at the curb is another favorite means of identity theft Dont leave your mail sitting in the box for long periods of time Consider getting a lock box for your mail that lets the letter carrier put mail in but requires a key to be removed Theyre available at hardware stores 4 Open and review your creditcard statements as soon as they arrive To avoid liability federal law requires that you notify your credit card issuer in writ ing of any unauthorized charges within 60 days 4 Contact your local post office immediately if mail is missing or if you receive no mail for more than a day or two 4 Dont put your paid bills in the mail box for the carrier to pick up Thieves look for the little red flag signifying outgoing mail Its better to drop off your outgoing mail at the post office For more informatiohon protecting yourself against visit the Federal Trade Commission ID Theft page at If you think you are a victim call the FTCs ID Theft Hotline 877 4384338 infotech surpasses conventional ads Technology is making it easier to ignore mainstream media advertis ing Instead consumers are using Web logs mobile messaging com parisonshopping Web sites and word of mouth to make buying decisions according to Forrester Research Inc Date released Tuesday by the firm reported 10 percent of consumers read blogs at least once a week compared with 5 percent a year ago Really Sim ple Syndication feeds RSS are used by 6 percent compared to 2 percent in2004 Technology has given consumers an option to tune businesses out and tune each other said Chris ron a Forrester vice president in a statement On the flip side technol ogy has given businesses an opportu nity to gain greater customer insights at a lower cost by monitoring blogs and Web sites and message boards to uncover consumer insight and accelerate the innovation of products services and he said Web site lists top blogs A list of the most Fashionable Blogs is the start of an effort by Pub to chart influence and popu larity of Web logs catering to special interests and businesses The first list targets fashion and has been compiled by a newspaper reporter who ranked what she thought were the top fashion blogs said Bob Wyman chief techni cal officer of PubSub Concepts Inc If you were an advertiser and saw which blog was most popular in your product category you might be inter ested in using it for your own market ing he explained We hope to do this in the future with PR blogs law blogs marketing blogs as soon as we can find the domain experts who can maintain those Wyman told ClickZ News Fashionable Blogs listing Were a nation of multitaskers A study of consumers daily use of media concluded the average person watches television four hours a day and spends two hours a day on the PC The Middletown Media Studies n conducted by researchers at Ball State University Center for Media Design found 96 percent of people spent a third of their day using two or media at the same time most often the Inter net and television Bob Papper a coauthor of the study said As a society we are consumers of media The average person spends about nine hours a day using some type of media which is arguably in excess of anything we would have envisioned 10 years Television is still the 800pound gorilla because of how much the aver age person is exposed to it Papper said However that is quickly evolv ing When we combine time spent on the Web using email instant messaging and software such as word processing the computer eclipses all other media with the single exception of For more information about the research China looks out for healthy civilized news The Chinese government said recently that it will permit only healthy and civilized news on the Internet The Xinhua News Agency the official press agency of the Peoples Republic of China car ried the story on its Web site saying online news sites that publish stories containing fabricated information pornography gambling or violence are facing severe punishments or even A representative of the Ministry of Information said We need to better regulate the onlinenews services with the emergence of so many unhealthy news stories that will easily mislead the Readers were encouraged to report unhealthy online stories to authori ties High times for Opera Opera Software says its Web browser has been downloaded by 1 million people in the two days since the company announced it was drop ping the ad banner and making the software free The success proves the world is ready for a fresh said Jon S von Tetzchner a cofounder of the Oslo Norwaybased company In an interview with Daniel Gold man publisher of Opera Watch von Tetzchner credited the success of paid search for making it possible for Opera to give up million in annual revenue it was earning by licensing ad free versions of Opera What finally made this possible is the increase in revenues from search and service he said Visit Opera Watch Several Internet Web sites are included in Opera as default options for search auctions and online shop ping and pay fees for that visibility Von Tetzchner said his goal now is to have Opera become the second most used browser New Mexican wire services The New Mexican magazine Oct 28 20O5 SUNDAY 23
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