PNS National Newscast

Audio Activation
"Siri, play the Public News Service (podcast)"
"Hey Google, play the Public News Service podcast"
"Alexa, play Public News Service podcast"
or "Alexa, what's my news flash?" once you set it up in the Alexa app

2020Talks

Audio Activation
"Siri, play the 2020Talks podcast"
"Hey Google, play the 2020Talks podcast"
"Alexa, play Two-Thousand-Twenty Talks podcast"
or "Alexa, what's my news flash?" once you set it up in the Alexa app

Newscasts

PNS Daily Newscast - September 23, 2020 


U.S. COVID-19 deaths double in last 4 months as total tops 200,000; poll workers in short supply as Texas registers a record number of voters.


2020Talks - September 23, 2020 


Mitt Romney supports putting a Supreme Court nominee to a vote. Groups are pushing to turn out young voters. Plus, 20 million raised so far to pay court fees and fines for returning citizens to vote.

Survey: WA Consumers Don't Do Enough to Protect from ID Theft

PHOTO: AARP Washington State Director Doug Shadel prowls a parking lot with a convicted ID thief as part of his research about consumer fraud. The group's new survey says few Washingtonians take all the little but important steps to prevent identity theft. Photo courtesy AARP Washington.
PHOTO: AARP Washington State Director Doug Shadel prowls a parking lot with a convicted ID thief as part of his research about consumer fraud. The group's new survey says few Washingtonians take all the little but important steps to prevent identity theft. Photo courtesy AARP Washington.
November 19, 2014

SEATTLE - Many Washingtonians are playing right into the hands of crooks and identity thieves, according to a new statewide survey by AARP Washington. And it's the simple fraud prevention tips everyone has heard that, surprisingly, they're not putting into place.

Fifty-seven percent of those surveyed said they've left a phone or laptop in a vehicle in the last six months. Only about half have changed their online passwords lately or said they don't have online access to all their credit accounts. Doug Shadel, AARP Washington state director, says criminals follow the path of least resistance; so even small steps can be just enough resistance.

"It might be inevitable that, at some point, your data is accessed by an ID thief or one of these big, multimillion-dollar breach things," says Shadel. "But it is not inevitable that you become an ID theft victim - and the quicker you catch it, the better."

Other troubling survey findings: One in four people doesn't password-protect their mobile phone, one in five says they don't bother shredding documents, and four out of five say they haven't ordered the free annual copies of their credit reports in the past year to check for accuracy and fraudulent activity.

For an article in the latest issue of AARP The Magazine, Shadel interviewed a 34-year-old former drug addict and masterful ID thief in Seattle, as well as one of the women whose financial life she commandeered.

He says the thief was matter-of-fact in describing how easy it is to gain access to personal information.

"What she had was sort of a network of drug dealers and drug addicts who would go out, break into cars, Dumpster-dive into the garbage of people's homes - and she said, 'It's actually gotten easier because people recycle now. So, it's much cleaner and nicer, 'cause there's no spaghetti sauce in it.'"

He says a locking mailbox is another simple anti-theft precaution, but one-third of Washingtonians in the survey said they don't have one.

If you suspect identity theft, Shadel says file a police report and contact the Washington State Attorney General's office or the AARP Foundation's Fraud Fighter Call Center (800-646-2283).

Chris Thomas, Public News Service - WA