9.24.19 How to stop SIM swapping; Digging up dirt on Amazon; Your TV is spying on you

Your phone may power up, but if your service is dead, that could be SIM hacking. Crooks have penetrated operations of the big 4 cell provider to hijack service. Because of the Equifax data breach, criminals know who has money,  target individuals and steal their phone service via phone to usurp 2-factor authentication text codes so they can penetrate financial accounts. The go in a setup wire instructions to send money overseas where it can’t be reclaimed. While financial companies investigate, you’re broke. Get the anti-fraud guarantees and / or written fraud policy info from your financial institutions. Verizon, T-Mobile, Sprint and AT&T have been scrambling to come up with new preventive procedures. Two carriers have gone to no porting meaning you put in place a standing order not to port your number from that carrier. This is another layer to protect your identity, and existing accounts, whereas credit freeze helps prevent fraudulent new accounts.

There’s is a fake grass-roots organization called Free and Fair Market Initiative. The WSJ reports this outfit is principally backed by the Simon Property Group – the big owner of malls around the country, suffering from Amazon taking 6% of retail market share. In addition to Simon, they’re funded by Walmart and  Oracle (a web service competitor). There are plenty of reasons to talk about a company legitimately without sullying their reputation falsely because you’re afraid of the competition. Shame on Simon Malls, Walmart and others, funding an effort to slam Amazon.

Two years ago there was a scandal involving Vizio TVs spying on viewers – collecting and selling data to aggregators for ad servers. Piercing people’s privacy, Vizio figured out how to monetize viewing. Update: That problem has gotten worse. The average Americans spends 3.5 hours a day in front of a TV. Since Vizio faced minimal consequences, now other TV makers are up to the same thing including Samsung, TCL and LG.  These makers account for most of the TVs sold in the US. Princeton came up with software to track how this is done. Data houses link up what you watch with your phone,  computer and even purchase activities. Laws designed to protect us are not being enforced. DC’s emersion in senseless partisan battles creates a vacuum that allows for enormous violations of our privacy. Europe’s Right to Be Forgotten gives citizens there the right to shut down data harvesting. When our Congress begins to actually serve the people, we need to have privacy laws in place and enforced that clearly provide protections to the American people.

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