The April 15, 2007 meeting of the Golden Triangle PC Club had a total of 24 members and 22 guests, in attendance.  Gene and Edna Davis joined the club membership with J. B. Oakes renewing his membership.
Don Schoening, Club President, called the meeting to order and welcomed everyone to the Golden Triangle PC Club. 

Today's presentation was given by Ira Wilsker,Radio Host of "My Computer Show", on Identity Theft. Including some slides from an original presentation by Sgt. Eric Gilbert and Sgt. Hiland Priddy, of the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS).  Ira began his presentation by giving a description of what identify theft is and what types of crimes are associated with it, including identity theft, credit card/access device fraud, check fraud, false identification fraud and passport/visa fraud.  He stated ID crimes often facilitate mail theft & fraud, illegal narcotics/drugs, organized crime, financial fraud (money laundering) mortgage fraud, weapons trafficking, homicide, terrorism, wire fraud, computer crimes, and internet intrusions.  Ways that an identity can be taken include wallet/purse theft, muggings, computer intrusions, mail theft, dumpster diving, theft of business documents or information, and theft from medical facilities, hotels, etc., and Post Office Change of Address.

He gave the different types of identifiers which are used when someone tries to steal someone's identify.  These include:  name, address, birthdates, phone numbers, driver's licenses numbers, passport numbers, mother's maiden name, pet names, credit card numbers (including security codes), bank account numbers, ATM card and PIN numbers and insurance policy numbers.  He discussed ways in which this information is obtained, including overhearing cell phone conversations, reading other's faxes or e-mail, hacking into computers, telephone and e-mail scams, careless online shopping and banking and through Phishing.

He then referred to a website which you can access in order to obtain information on identity theft and procedures to follow if you have been a victim of identity theft.  This website is:  http://www.ftc.gov/idtheft.  He presented statistics on the rate at which this type of crime occurs and also the cost to businesses and individuals in terms of money and frustration which a person endures before their identity can be cleared up. 

He gave tips on protecting yourself against on-line identify theft which is reported by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to be one of the most-reported types of fraud.  One of the causes of this type of fraud is when consumers fall prey to phishing attacks, a form of identity theft that employs a criminal strategy that security professionals call social engineering.  Essentially, the process works by tricking e-mail recipients into going to phony Web sites to divulge personal data thinking they are accessing a legitimate site, i.e., their bank.  He stated that unless you initiate the phone call or go to a specific website yourself, you should not give any type of personal information to anyone.  He stated ebay PayPal accounts are some of the accounts that are sometimes diverted to a fraudulent site.

He stated that you can Opt Out of credit card offers that come in the mail or over the phone by calling 1-888-567-8688; but you should never give any OPT-OUT service your Social Security Number, Date of Birth, Mother's Maiden name or other personal identification information.  Ira gave a sample of the type of information that is included in a credit report, and said you should be able to obtain a free credit report once a year by going to http://www.annualcreditreport.com.  He also warned that going to the Television Ad http;//www.freecreditreport.com is not free, and should be avoided as you will have to pay a fee, which could be from $25 to $50 for the service.

Ira told those in attendance that Tech Splosion will be presented by the Beaumont Independent School District on May 5, 2007 from 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at West Brook Senior High School in Beaumont.  The event is free and open to the public.  There will be free technology sessions, demonstrations by NASA, free health screenings, internet safety tips, presentations by Lamar University Institute of Technology, food, and door prizes every hour.  Vendors from all over Texas will be participating.  Ira is also one of the presenters.

A brief question and answer period followed the presentation.

After the presentation, there was a drawing for door prizes.  Ira donated seven of the prizes awarded and Claud Sibert donated one.  The following were the winners:

John Mikeska - Picture Show 4 (CD & DVD)

Jerry McDaniel - Video Studio 9

Billy Dunlop - Panda Anti-Virus Program

Pat Santo - Safe Chat Universal Messenger

Earline Ballou - SibertSoft Rollout 2

Kent Dezelle - Spy Sweeper

Camelia Harvey & Claud Sibert each won a copy of a book entitled, Dude, You Can Do It - Sweet PC (How to Build a PC)

Don Schoening then announced that the next meeting would be on Sunday, May 20 at 2:30 p.m.  Presentation will be "How Can The Better Business Bureau Benefit You"  by Mr. Micheal Clayton, President of the Southeast Texas Better Business Bureau.  All were encouraged all to attend this interesting presentation.

The meeting adjourned at 4:30 PM.


 Respectfully submitted by
Alice Sibert
GTPCC Secretary