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Episode 134: Some Money Monsters

The rise of fraud with Mak & G

SHOW NOTES

Today, Mak & G look at the world of fraud, how children are being targeted, and what we can do to keep our kids safe…

 

During the pandemic, fraud and identity theft has increased by over 30% and they’ve even started targeting our children.

 

Today, Mak & G look at the dangers of identity fraud, the information criminals need to commit identity theft, and what parents can do to keep their children safe…

 

“Identical twins can steal each other’s identity by acting like their siblings.” – G

 

“Hackers got 2.3 million kids data from schools in 2019.” – Mak

 
Time Stamps:

00:52 – Our weekly market updates.

02:05 – The dangers of identity theft.

03:15 – The information you need to commit identity theft.

03:38 – The hackers that stole data from Yahoo.

04:23 – The children that have been targeted by hackers.

05:06 – How parents can help protect their children from hackers.

05:27 – Fake tax returns and stealing money from the government.

05:56 – Why fraudsters buy gift cards with stolen money.

 

Connect with Ben Jones:

 

TRANSCRIPT

MAK: Welcome back to Money with Mak & G, this is for the week ending 10/15/21.  Don’t forget to LIKE, SUBSCRIBE and COMMENT on the podcast. Grant, are you ready to get started?

GRANT: Yep and I’m in a great mood. Fall break began and it’s time for rest and video games.

MAK: I KNOW, it’s pretty awesome.  But, this is the “spooky” month, and we have to do our best to help everybody with something that is really scary, especially when it comes to money.

GRANT: I agree.  We can’t shy away from and NOT talk about some of the Money Monsters lurking in the shadows. They’re everywhere and you have to protect yourself.

MAK: I’m right there with you big brother.  But, how about we hit the markets.  Things have been a bit dicey the last couple of weeks.

GRANT: Sounds good to me. Maybe I could say….This is Grant and here are the Grenades in the markets.

MAK: Wow, that’s a scary intro, how about we stick with “this is Mak, and these are the markets”

GRANT: Alright……, we’ll keep it for now, but I’m going to keep working on it and reserve my rights to make a change.

MAK: Fair enough… First, the Dow and S&P are within reach of their highs, but the Nasdaq is a bit further away.  In the economy, we saw a drop in the number of additional people who asked for help because they didn’t have a job. We haven’t seen a number under 300,000 since….

GRANT: March of 2020.  That is crazy good. For those people who wanted a job and couldn’t get one, it was almost 15%. Now it’s less than 5%.  So, more people have money and spend.

MAK: You can’t forget that many public companies, which are those who have traded stocks in the market, are showing really good earnings.  That means they have more money to grow or…

MAK/GRANT: Pay Dividends.

GRANT: That CASH goes back to the owners of the stock. So, more people can spend.

MAK: With unemployment and company earnings driving the market, things are better and raise expectations for the future and stock prices. Nice report.  You ready for the Money Monsters.

GRANT: Yep, I’ll kick it off. In 2020, this bone-chilling group of monsters cost Americans over $56 Billion, which was a new high. It’s not something any of us choose to spend our money on.

MAK: It is wild to think about. It has affected about 18 million people.  With COVID, it really spiked, as these monsters could get to you easier. Do you think our listeners know what this is?

GRANT: I’m not sure, so let’s just tell them.

MAK/GRANT: Identity Theft!!

MAK: It’s hard to imagine how big this is. So, how about we give some background.  Identical twins can steal each other’s identity by ACTING like their sibling. We’re NOT identical, because I’m a girl and Grant’s a boy.  I could never steal YOUR identity in person unless I dress poorly and wear glasses.

GRANT: Ha.  I agree you could never pull off because of….. how cool I am. Not a chance.

MAK: Wow, that was a stretch. Anyway…Identity theft is online and nobody ever has to see you.

GRANT: You got that right. If you know some sensitive details, you can “prove” you’re someone else. You just need some information that others shouldn’t know. How about we name a few?

MAK: Full Name. That’s right, your name!

GRANT: Social Security Number

MAK: Date of Birth

GRANT: Mother’s last name before getting married

MAK: Your address

GRANT: Don’t most of those sound super easy to know or get, and not secret? It’s SCARY!!

MAK: It’s very different than someone who wants to steal your money if you’re walking down the street and they THREATEN you. This info can be stolen from lots of places WITHOUT you knowing.

GRANT: I found someone that illegally stole data from Yahoo in August of 2013. They’re called hackers, and they took info from 3 BILLION people. Plus, they weren’t notified until 2016. Yes 2016!!

MAK: So, they got information that they use to act like you?  What good is that?

GRANT: Let’s say they call your bank, and act like you and give your social security number, date of birthday, address, and other stuff. The bank will give the thief information about….

MAK: MY BANK ACCOUNT!! If they have my information, they can act like me and write a check, make a payment, or just take my money. But, I never use my social security number.

GRANT: It’s out there. For example, dad uses OUR number for taxes and health insurance.

MAK: Kids are targets. In 2017, over 1 million kids had their info stolen. Most were 7 years old or YOUNGER. We can’t always stop it. Hackers got 2.3 million kids’ data from schools in 2019.

MAK/GRANT: MONSTERS!!!

GRANT: So, we have to be careful about the information we share, and what our parents share.  Don’t tell people Social Security numbers, and if asked on paperwork, as if it is required.

MAK: Plus, put sensitive documents like birth certificates, social security cards, passports, and other sensitive items in a safe at home or at your bank in a safety deposit box.

GRANT: It costs billions of dollars in losses. For parents here are a couple of things to consider:

MAK: Start discussing how to protect your kid’s identity early

GRANT: Never share financial data online

MAK: Check and freeze your child’s credit

GRANT: Monitor your child’s account actively

MAK: Take notifications of breaches seriously

GRANT: Secure physical documents

MAK: Wow, we could talk about various ways that these monsters steal your data and use it to steal from kids and adults.  For instance, these monsters also file fake tax returns for people.

GRANT: By using someone else’s info, they make a fake tax return and ask for a refund to be sent directly to their OWN account. Stealing money, from the government.  That’s bad!

MAK: One way to reduce your risk is to file your taxes early.  But, these thieves know how to use your identity to get money. They can get a new credit card, buy things and run up a big bill.

GRANT: They can act just like you. Do you know one of the most purchased items thieves by with a fraudulent credit card?

MAK/GRANT: It’s gift cards.  

MAK: After you buy them, police can’t track you down, since they’re considered anonymous.

Plus, these Money Monsters can re-sell them for cabbage, since they LOVE cabbage.

GRANT: You have to protect your data like gold. Because it’s SUPER valuable.

MAK: If someone steals your data, it can take 6 months and 100-200 hours of your time to fix.

GRANT: Better to be safe than sorry. It’s a huge topic. How about another episode in the future?

MAK: I think you’re on to something.  Let’s do a bit more research first.

GRANT: Sounds like a plan.  Don’t let these monsters get you! We’ll see you next time for more

GRANT/MAK: Money with Mak & G.  Bye!!

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