■ ID thieves
■ Health warning
By David Horowitz
WHERE DO WE STAND on “fighting back!” against
Originally, the Telephone Consumer Protection
Act of 1991 banned transmission of unsolicited advertisements to fax machines. A few faxing “big guys” got
caught and were forced out of business. But most other
junk faxers simply picked up their equipment and
crossed the border beyond the reach of federal laws.
Congress disappointed consumers and sided
with the ad industry in implementing the nonsensical
“Junk Fax Prevention Act of 2005.” It actually watered
down the Federal Communications Commission’s
(FCC) 1991 regulation by permitting ads to be faxed
by any company with which a consumer has an “
established business relationship.”
That relationship can mean almost anything, including a phone call to inquire about business hours.
Frustrated consumers have tried lodging complaints
with the FCC, but according to those who have tried
this remedy, it isn’t effective. In fact, despite more
than 100,000 junk-fax violation complaints filed in a
recent 12-month period, the FCC issued fewer than a
few hundred citations.
Some experts suggest simply unplugging your
fax machine. That will solve the problem, unless, of
course, you need to keep your fax machine on in
order to conduct your business.
Get real! Our representatives in Congress need to
protect consumers with a law that works.
suspicious activity. Free reports are available at www.
annualcreditreport.com. If anything suspicious turns
up, notify your local police department.
OUR STATE’S Bureau
of Unclaimed Property
lists my husband and
me as holders of a bank
draft for $2,162.35. The
institution had been
sold to two other banks
between 1985 and 1992,
then traded again back
to the current depository.
I notified the bureau,
and asked to retrieve
the money. But something is holding it up,
and a bank officer won’t
tell me what it is since
I don’t have any related
documents. Any ideas?
Even the dead have ID stolen
Police departments regularly receive reports of a
deceased person becoming the victim of identity
theft. It can happen in many ways, and bereaved survivors might not consider the need to protect their
relative’s name or details of his or her private life.
Law enforcers say the best way to prevent this
kind of ID theft is to avoid including details, such as
the day and month of the person’s birth, in published
obituaries, listing only the year. Also, eliminate details
about a home address to prevent looting or theft
from the residence during the funeral or afterwards.
Contact your state’s department of motor vehicles
to cancel the deceased driver’s license and the Social
Security Administration to cancel his or her number.
Copies of the death certificate should be sent to all
three credit-reporting bureaus, Equifax, Experian
and TransUnion, and to all credit issuers to cancel accounts, as soon as possible after the person dies.
A few weeks later, order a credit report for the
deceased from each credit bureau to ensure there’s no
Health and soft drinks
Important health concerns are being raised about
popular beverages consumed by children, mostly soft
drinks and fruit drinks with added sugars.
Recently, with the su pport of the
Unilever Health Institute, the parent company of Lipton Tea, a panel
of nutrition and health experts
published a “Beverage Guidance
System” to inform consumers about
the negatives of processed
beverages. The survey
found that 21 percent
of calories consumed by
Americans over the age
of 2 come from beverages, mostly soft drinks
and fruit drinks with
The popularity of
sweetened drinks has
pushed milk, a nutritional food, to the back
of the list. Beverage producers are manufacturing healthier drinks to
meet market demands.
Meanwhile, taking a look
at your consumption of
processed beverages is a
smart step when it comes
your health and that of
your children. C
David Horowitz is a leading consumer advocate.
His “Fight Back!” commentaries are heard daily on
the Jones Radio Network. For stations and times,
check the radio page at www.fightback.com.
PERHAPS the account
might bear the
same name as you,
but not actually be
yours. Or, maybe
a document was
written in a trans-
action in one of
the other banks,
but not returned
to the proper
two banks for a pay-
ment or a service.
I suggest you contact
secretary of state’s
office. Send a certified
letter, including copies
of ID for you and your
husband, asking about
this account. They may
be able to find out why
you can’t close the case
or who might actually
be the proper owner.
© 2007 FIGH T BACK! INC. ALL RIGH TS RESERVED.
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