Intellicheck’s Weekly Roundup Vol 29

Enjoy our roundup of stories that piqued our interest this week.

This week we tackle the following:

  • As year of free credit-report monitoring from Equifax ends, here’s what to do - TrustedID Premier, will expire at the end of January.
  • Coerced drinking, servitude, limited sleep: Hazing detailed at Lehigh Valley colleges - Tragic implications of underage drinking.
  • Why vaping is so dangerous for teens -  Experts say the technology and chemistry of vaping might pose an entirely different threat about nicotine addiction.
  • Massive mortgage and loan data leak gets worse as original documents also exposed - Servers without a password = fraud.


Retail ID

Consumers affected by Equifax’s huge data breach in 2017 may need to re-establish protections on their credit report if they “locked” their files as part of the company’s free credit-monitoring offer.

People who accepted Equifax’s offer after the breach have been notified that the free service, TrustedID Premier, will expire at the end of January.

If subscribers locked their Equifax credit files using the service to prevent the opening of fraudulent accounts, the locks will automatically lift when TrustedID expires, according to Equifax. The locks will also end if, before Jan. 31, the consumer enrolls in a similar service that breach victims are being offered as an alternative.

As year of free credit-report monitoring from Equifax ends, here’s what to do

Age ID 

The schools released their first hazing reports this week, as required under a Pennsylvania law passed last year following the death of Tim Piazza. The 19-year-old Penn State University freshman from Hunterdon County consumed a large amount of alcohol and fell several times in February 2017 as a fraternity was accepting new members.

"Based on the number of reports that were made during the past five years, hazing is far too often viewed by students as an accepted form of social bonding or as a typical and harmless rite of initiation," Lehigh University administrators, including President John D. Simon, wrote to the campus community in releasing Lehigh's hazing report Tuesday.

Coerced drinking, servitude, limited sleep: Hazing detailed at Lehigh Valley colleges

Age ID

Experts say that one Juul pod -- a cartridge of nicotine-rich liquid that users plug into the dominant e-cig brand -- contains the same amount of nicotine as a pack of cigarettes.
"That may be true, but that's not the only consideration here," said Levy, adding that it's yet unclear "how high those peaks go and how quickly it gets into the bloodstream and into the brain."
Levy said that it's not uncommon for kids to report symptoms that "sound a lot like nicotine toxicity," including headaches and stomach aches. She suspects these devices cause nicotine levels in the blood to peak higher than they do with traditional cigarettes -- but experts say more research is needed to better understand how vapes work on the body and brain.

Teen vaping was a 'predictable problem'


Retail ID

In case you missed it, millions of documents were found leaking after an exposed Elasticsearch server was found without a password. The documents contained highly sensitive financial data on tens of thousands of individuals who took out loans or mortgages over the past decade with U.S. financial institutions. The documents were converted using a technology called OCR from their original paper documents to a computer readable format and stored in the database, but they weren’t easy to read. That said, it was possible to discern names, addresses, birth dates, Social Security numbers and other private financial data by anyone who knew where to find the server.


Massive mortgage and loan data leak gets worse as original documents also exposed

Intellicheck’s Weekly Roundup Vol 28

Enjoy our roundup of stories that piqued our interest this week.

This week we tackle the following:

  • 18 People Talk About What It's Like Trying To Quit The Juul - Some people may find it hard to stop Juuling once they start.
  • OXO International discloses data breach, customer data over two years impacted - Customer information exposed over the course of two years.
  • Hoboken PD Sends Undercover, Underage Cops Into Liquor Stores -  Police got complaints about stores selling teens booze.
  • California man admits to $1.7m mortgage fraud scheme - Involves two waterfront residential properties in Broward County, Fla.


Age ID

The Juul is intended to be a safer alternative to combustible cigarettes, but the qualities that make it attractive for adult smokers — the easy-to-use design, yummy flavors, and efficient nicotine delivery — have also made it a hit among young people, including those who weren't smokers originally. Research has shown that some teens may not even realize they're vaping nicotine. In 2018, the FDA declared youth vaping an "epidemic" and started cracking down on retailers selling the Juul to minors.

Nicotine is addictive no matter how you consume it — via a cigarette, snuff, vape, etc. However, some argue that Juul's patented nicotine salt formula — which provides a potent dose of nicotine but is supposedly less harsh on the throat — may make it particularly addictive. While the Juul may help adults switch from cigarettes, some experts worry that it could set up young people and nonsmokers for a lifelong nicotine addiction, BuzzFeed News previously reported.

18 People Talk About What It's Like Trying To Quit The Juul

Retail ID 

The incident involved "sophisticated criminal activity that may have exposed some of your personal information," according to the manufacturer, and customers who entered data on the oxo.com domain during these times may have had their information compromised.

Specifically, data entered between June 9, 2017 -- November 28, 2017, June 8, 2018 –- June 9, 2018, and July 20, 2018 -- October 16, 2018 has potentially been exposed.

OXO International discloses data breach, customer data over two years impacted

Age ID

Hoboken police got complaints about stores selling teens booze. Last week, they sent two undercover, underage Jersey City cops to investigate. And when the dust had cleared, 10 local establishments were cited for allegedly serving underage patrons.

On Thursday, the Hoboken Police Department Alcoholic Beverage Control Unit released details of their recent, citywide sting operation, which took place on Saturday, Jan. 5 after authorities received "multiple complaints" about local liquor stores allegedly breaking the law.

During their sting operation, police entered 12 local establishments, ultimately issuing 10 of them administrative charges for sale to someone under the legal age to purchase alcohol.

Hoboken PD Sends Undercover, Underage Cops Into Liquor Stores


Retail ID

A California man has pleaded guilty charges related to a $1.7 million mortgage fraud scheme involving two waterfront residential properties in Broward County, Fla.

As part of the scheme, Jones created fake identification documents and email addresses in order to impersonate officers of the corporate owners of the two properties. He then submitted bogus loan applications and other documents to a private lender in which he pretended to be the owners of the properties. As a result of this scheme, he defrauded the private lender out of approximately $1.7 million.


California man admits to $1.7m mortgage fraud scheme

Intellicheck’s Weekly Roundup Vol 27

Enjoy our roundup of stories that piqued our interest this week.

This week we tackle the following:

  • How to stop teen vaping? Make e-cigarettes harder to get - License Fees? or Age ID? Age ID will work better.
  • Attorney General joins Social Security Administration movement to prevent identity theft - How do you to address “synthetic identity fraud.”
  • JUUL’S Answer to its PR Crisis? The Millennial Marlboro Man -  Juul confirmed that it plans a national TV ad campaign featuring ex-smokers.
  • Bill proposes lowering blood alcohol limit - The proposal would lower the legal limit from .08 percent blood alcohol content to .05 percent.

Gabby Jones / Bloomberg via Getty Images


Age ID

Licensing fees are typically a suggestion for regulated products. We don't necessarily disagree but enforcement with Age ID trumps licensing fees.

The licensing fees are key, because they mean the regulation pays for itself, so it doesn’t cost the community anything extra to have good anti-tobacco regulations, he said.

“Raising the age for sale has been well-documented to work,” Farber added. “Raising the age for sale to 21, combined with enforcement, decreases youth smoking and is a very, very important initiative.”

How to stop teen vaping? Make e-cigarettes harder to get

Retail ID 

Tennessee Attorney General Herbert H. Slatery III today joined a bipartisan group of 43 states and the District of Columbia urging the Social Security Administration (SSA) to promptly comply with a new provision of federal law that aims to address “synthetic identity fraud.”

“We ask you to evaluate and make necessary modifications to the Social Security Administration database and systems to comply promptly with this new provision of federal law. As enforcers of the data breach laws in our jurisdictions, we see the impact that exposure of Social Security Numbers can have. Our residents lose thousands of dollars a year and suffer from ruined credit scores, as well as a general sense of anxiety regarding their identity,” the attorneys general wrote.

Attorney General joins Social Security Administration movement to pre-vent identity theft

TONY CENICOLA/THE NEW YORK TIMES/REDUX


Age ID

On Tuesday Juul confirmed that it plans a national TV ad campaign featuring ex-smokers who used Juul to help them quit traditional cigarettes. CNBC, which first reported the plan, said Juul plans an initial $10 million campaign, airing on national cable channels after 10pm local time and aimed at adults 35 and older.

TV ads for tobacco products have been banned under federal and state regulations since the 1970s, and print ads are restricted. Advertising standards have not been formalized for e-cigarettes, which are regulated differently by the Food and Drug Administration. E-cigarette companies have advertised on TV before, notably Blu and NJOY, which ran a Super Bowl ad in 2012. But in the intervening years, Juul has far eclipsed both brands, with 70 percent of the retail market, according to data from Nielsen.

Juul’s Answer to Its PR Crisis? The Millennial Marlboro Man

Age ID

A bill afoot in the Oregon Legislature could spell trouble for those who drink a couple of beers before getting behind the wheel.

The proposal would lower the legal limit from .08 percent blood alcohol content to .05 percent.

Rep. Pam Marsh, D-Ashland, said she hasn’t yet weighed the merits of the bill, but she isn’t sure lowering the legal limit would make a significant difference, since police officers already can arrest a person who’s driving impaired even if his blood alcohol level is below the limit.

According to the American Beverage Institute, a 180-pound man would need to consume about four drinks to reach the current limit, while the same man would reach 0.05 after just over two drinks during the same period. Women generally have a higher blood alcohol level with fewer drinks. A drink is defined as 1.25 ounces of 80-proof liquor, a 12-ounce beer or a 5-ounce glass of wine.


Bill proposes lowering blood alcohol limit

Intellicheck’s Weekly Roundup Vol 26

Enjoy our roundup of stories that piqued our interest this week.

This week we tackle the following:

  • Depression, anxiety, nicotine withdrawal: Trying to quit vaping 'was hell' - It was only a matter of time before this one surfaced.
  • FDA Plans to Meet With E-Cigarette Makers Over Teen Vaping Concerns - It’s now consistently called an “epidemic".
  • New Legislation Allows Parents To Freeze Kids’ Credit Before It Exists-  Protection before they even have credit.
  • Illegal alien may have siphoned $15K from Western Pennsylvania bank accounts, feds say - This was a high-tech bank fraud scheme.

Age ID

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has scheduled a hearing Jan. 19 on therapies for young people who are addicted to nicotine. There currently aren’t any drugs approved for minors.

"The fact that the FDA even has to hold this hearing is telling," says Becky Wexler, a spokeswoman for the Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids. "It shows us that the rise in popularity of JUUL and other e-cigarettes has created a new generation of kids who are addicted to nicotine and need help quitting.”

About 3.6 million middle and high school students use electronic cigarettes, according to the most recent federal data. Federal regulators now describe youth vaping as an "epidemic."

Depression, anxiety, nicotine withdrawal: Trying to quit vaping 'was hell'

Photo: Steven Senne (AP)

Age ID 

“There’s no reason manufacturers must wait for [FDA] to more forcefully address the epidemic. Yet some already appear to back away from commitments made to FDA and the public,” Gottlieb tweeted. “The vaping community that supports harm reduction for adults should also focus more of their efforts on select manufacturers that are primarily responsible for the youth epidemic if, like [FDA], they seek to preserve these opportunities as a way to transition adult smokers.”

As Reuters noted, U.S. Surgeon General Jerome M. Adams last week slammed the use of e-cigarettes among teens and the manufacturers responsible, specifically pointing the finger at Juul. 

FDA Plans to Meet With E-Cigarette Makers Over Teen Vaping Concerns

Retail ID

A Romanian citizen who is accused of illegally entering the U.S. from the Canadian border near Seattle is being held in the Allegheny County Jail as federal authorities attempt to determine the extent of an alleged high-tech bank fraud scheme that removed at least $15,000 from bank customers’ accounts in Western Pennsylvania.

Jonas Muller, 34, waived his arraignment in U.S. District Court in Pittsburgh last week on multiple federal charges of aggravated identity theft, access device fraud and bank fraud filed by a special agent with the Homeland Security’s U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement division. Muller’s prosecution was referred to federal authorities after he was arrested following an investigation by Mt. Lebanon Police.

New Legislation Allows Parents To Freeze Kids’ Credit Before It Exists

Photo: Tomislav Forgo


Retail ID

An individual has apparently been identified and all stolen credentials are now useless, but the damage has arguably already been done.

Breached data includes: first and last name; date of birth; mailing and home address; phone number; student enrollment info; Social Security and/or State Student ID numbers; contact information on parents, guardians and emergency contacts; and staff benefits and payroll info including routing and account number, tax info, and salary info.


Illegal alien may have siphoned $15K from Western PA bank accounts, feds say

Intellicheck’s Weekly Roundup Vol 25

Enjoy our roundup of stories that piqued our interest this week.

This week we tackle the following:

  • How Juul made vaping viral to become worth a dirty $38 billion - The tricks to addictive product design.
  • 3 North Warren students fall ill from vape pens - E-cigarettes are not always a safe alternative.
  • Criminals are using a new form of identity theft: Stealing business data -  An increasing number of criminals are stealing business data.
  • Over 500K School Staff and Students Hit by Breach - Identity theft has been going on for decades.

Photographer: Gabby Jones/Bloomberg via Getty Images


Age ID

Juul is not a cigarette. It’s much easier than that. Through devilishly slick product design I’ll discuss here, the startup has massively lowered the barrier to getting hooked on nicotine. Juul has dismantled every deterrent to taking a puff.

Juul argues it can help people switch from obviously dangerous smoking to supposedly healthier vaping. But in reality, the tiny aluminum device helps people switch from nothing to vaping… which can lead some to start smoking the real thing. A study found it causes more people to pick up cigarettes than put them down. It estimated that in 2015, 2,070 cigarette-smoking adults quit with help from vaping, but 168,000 teens and young adults who used e-cigarettes eventually started smoking real cigarettes daily.

How Juul made vaping viral to become worth a dirty $38 billion

Age ID 

Three students at North Warren Regional School were taken to Newton Medical Center after they fell ill after inhaling substances from several vape pens, according to police.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a single JUULpod contains the same amount of nicotine as one pack of cigarettes. JUULpods are offered in both 3 percent and 5 percent strengths, with 40 and 23 milligrams of nicotine, respectively, in each pod.

The body absorbs nicotine quickly, and nicotine overdose is based on the body weight of a person and the source of the nicotine, the CDC states. Blood nicotine levels decrease by half after two hours, the CDC says.

3 North Warren students fall ill from vape pens

Retail ID

Business identity theft was up 46 percent year-over-year in 2017, the latest numbers available, according to data and analytics company Dun & Bradstreet.

Cyber-criminals "actually take on their client lists or the special sauce that makes that company operate and compete with them directly. In other instances, they're pretending to be that business," Steven Shapiro, a unit chief at the FBI, told CNBC in a recent interview.

At stake are businesses' brand, reputation and trade secrets. One recent case cost the company $1 billion in market share and hundreds of jobs, according to the FBI.

Criminals are using a new form of identity theft: Stealing business data

Retail ID

An individual has apparently been identified and all stolen credentials are now useless, but the damage has arguably already been done.

Breached data includes: first and last name; date of birth; mailing and home address; phone number; student enrollment info; Social Security and/or State Student ID numbers; contact information on parents, guardians and emergency contacts; and staff benefits and payroll info including routing and account number, tax info, and salary info.


Over 500K School Staff and Students Hit by Breach