By Greg Wright
MBA, CFE, CFP®, CLU, ChFC
Certified Fraud Examiner & National Speaker
It appears that Bill O’Reilly has a new job selling internet security services. Is this service needed today? Maybe Bill needs the money.
"I saw this crime firsthand when a close friend had his home's title stolen by online thieves. I was shocked how easy this crime is. The scammers found the online title to his home, forged home sale documents, and refiled his home under an alias…I encourage all homeowners to get Home Title Lock.” -- Bill O’Reilly
The implied promise is that $14.99 per month paid to Home Title Lock, will protect your home. We don’t know about Bill’s cut. I’ve asked about his compensation; but, have not had a response.
This type of fraud has been around for a long time. There was an FBI warning about it as far back as 2008; but, experts in internet security I contacted haven't heard anything recently to indicate that it's a current problem.
Everybody should realize that their personal information has already been stolen. Monitor your data, freezing all of your credit accounts, and adding multi-factor authentication can reduce the risk considerably. These days, because almost every data is being stored digitally and the amount of data being collected and stored is growing exponentially, the risks of a data breach are greater than ever. Until we demand better security and actually send people to prison when they (or their company) allow our personal data to be stolen, internet frauds will only continue.
If you have a credit freezes in place and use a credit monitoring service, it makes it difficult for a fraudster to take out loans in a person’s name even with forged documents. It seems to me that the a better use of your financial resources would be to have the basic internet security toolbox and avoid risky behavior including banking online.
The value of the “home title lock” service seems dubious to me. Here is their website. Talk it over with your internet advisor. See www.hometitlelock.com