The Watchblog


  • Dozens Arrested in IRS Impersonator Scam

    Today, there’s some good news in the fight against identity scammers. A 3-year investigation into Internal Revenue Service (IRS) employee impersonators concluded this week. As a result, 56 individuals were indicted and dozens are already in custody for their roles in intimidating Americans into paying IRS bills they did not owe. “The largest single amount […] Read more

  • Were You Part of October’s Internet Attack?

    On Friday, October 21st, internet sites around the US were attacked—some knocked completely offline—by what tech specials label a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack. What’s even scarier is that one of your personal internet-connected devices could have been part of this attack without your knowledge. This assault utilized 100,000 compromised ‘smart’ devices that connect […] Read more

  • Voter Selfies Against Law in Many States

    What do Bill Phillips, of Nashua, NH., and Justin Timberlake (yes, that Timberlake) of Memphis, TN have in common? Both voted early and both indulged by taking a selfie with their ballot and sharing it on social media. One voter was breaking the law. Voting is handled by states and regulated by state law, not federal […] Read more

  • Online Hoax Survival Guide

    It’s not a Halloween scare and, no, Facebook is not planning to make all your past posts public. This bogus claim is the latest online hoax making the rounds this week. Some are funny, but many of these false statements are far from benign. “With this statement, I give notice to Facebook it is strictly […] Read more

  • Millennials Hard Hit by Tech Scams

    If you think of young adults as more tech savvy than older users, think again. A new survey from Microsoft indicates that younger adults are more likely than older ones to fall for computer tech scams. The study surveyed 12,000 users in 12 different countries. Thirteen percent (13%) of users in the lowest age bracket—18 […] Read more

  • Latest RoboCall Scam Claims Your License Has Expired

    Mom always said, “Be polite to strangers,” but this sort of stranger abuse has gone on long enough. When automated robocalls start bombarding your home phone dishing up scare tactics, it’s time to scream or slam down the phone. The message repeats twice—to communicate a false sense of urgency. “This is an emergency call that […] Read more

  • Is Your Vote Safe From Hackers?

    The upcoming elections are making lots of individuals nervous—including those responsible for sending out ballots or counting our votes. Recent hacks indicate that voter registration files have become a tempting target while new research found that a number of state registries possess really weak security. On August 31, the Illinois Board of Elections reported a […] Read more

  • Is Your Identity Ready For Disaster Season?

    It’s hurricane season. Flood season. Blizzard season. As Hurricane Matthew bears down on the U.S., it’s time to disaster-proof your identity. Identity theft disasters don’t offer a 72-hour warning and when they hit, it’s too late. There are essential elements in any disaster preparedness plan: water, flashlights, cash, batteries, plastic bags, reliable transportation and non-perishable […] Read more

  • Stop. Think. Connect—The Formula For Online Security

    It’s time to fall into stronger identity protection habits. October is National Cyber Awareness Month. It’s also the seventh year for the Stop. Think. Connect. campaign—a comprehensive online security awareness program championed by ID Watchdog plus hundreds of other data security organizations worldwide. The concept is simple. Before you connect online, stop and reflect on your […] Read more

  • WhatsApp Blurs Privacy Promises

    When Facebook paid billions for WhatsApp in 2014, privacy hawks vocalized concerns, but the messaging company promised there would be no change in its privacy policy. CEO and co-founder of WhatsApp, Jan Koum, even underscored that promise in a highly publicized blog post.  The policy changed despite all those promises. Now government privacy advocates in […] Read more