Monday, August 9, 2010

100 Posts - And Moving to a New Blog

The New Blogged Word has been a wonderful experiment. It has taught me many things about blogging and exposed me to people all over the world.  Along with the first incarnation (The Blogged Word) it was my first blogging property, but after 99 posts, this 100th post seems appropriate to announce a new project.

One of central themes experts preach is to blog about your passion. The (New) Blogged Word was a starting point, but over time, I've continued to search for that one passion that I could get excited about.  I have another key project in the works, but OREGONative is a natural evolution as someone who is... well... an OREGONative.

You'll get perspectives on the Ducks (sorry, Beaver fans), Blazers, Winterhawks and more.  I'll pretend to know what I'm talking about regarding politics and weigh in on issues related to the environment, renewable energy and anything else that surfaces. There will likely be some occasional commentary on a certain blogger's countdown to retirement.

So change your bookmarks to the new site and please join me at the OREGONative.  Help me look at the Pacific Northwest and beyond through the eyes of an OREGONative!

Monday, August 2, 2010

$1 Off at Taco Del Mar

Taco Del Mar's Mondo Burrito is a favorite of mine.  $4.99 of burrito bliss!

Here's a coupon for $1.00 off any combo meal or a burrito - you know which one I'll choose...

Click on the image, print the page and enjoy burrito bliss!

Valid through 12.31.10.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Best Patriotic Song Ever

Ray Charles.  America the Beautiful.  Enough said.

Happy Birthday, America!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Credit Card Compromised

It is quite ironic that after a long absence from updating The New Blogged Word, the topic today falls immediately on the heels of an identity theft topic.

No, at least at this point, it does not look as if our identity has been stolen, but we did have our credit card number compromised. We have our cards, but when checking our balance through the automated phone system today, we found over $17,000 in charges!

A quick call to our credit card provider began the process of clearing things up. Flights, travel services in Istanbul and England, utilities, and dozens of other random charges.  The charges had been taking place for days and continuing today - during our call - when the agent deactivated our account.  New cards, with new numbers are on the way.

This caused me to look for some resources on Amazon, just in case I needed to dig deeper. Much to my chagrin, I found an enormous collection, at the time of this writing, 849 results, related to Identity Theft Resources!

Whether you buy a book from Amazon, or subscribe to an identity theft prevention service, be very careful about your credit card use. Something as innocent has handing it to a waiter, who takes it out of sight to process, may be just what you don't need!


Sunday, May 9, 2010

Identity Theft Precautions

Colleagues shared this at work recently and many of these suggestions make a lot of sense. The sad part is that not too many years ago, we didn't have to worry about, nor did we even think about, these kinds of things. I've been using some of these myself, but see some new ones I'll add to my defenses.

I hope you find them useful.  Feel free to add any of your own techniques!
  1. The next time you order checks have only your initials (instead of first name) and last name put on them. If someone takes your checkbook, they will not know if you sign your checks with just your initials or your first name, but your bank will know how you sign your checks.
  2. Do not sign the back of your credit cards. Instead, put "PHOTO ID REQUIRED" or "PLEASE CHECK I.D."
  3. When you are writing checks to pay on your credit card accounts, DO NOT put the complete account number on the "MEMO" line. Instead, just put the last four numbers. The credit card company knows the rest of the number, and anyone who might be handling your check as it passes through all the check processing channels won't have access to it.
  4. Put your work phone number on your checks instead of your home phone. If you have a P.O. Box, use that instead of your home address. If you do not have a PO Box, get one and have all mail sent there. Mailbox theft is growing!
  5. Never have your Social Security Number printed on your checks. You can selectively provide it based on the circumstance. But if you have it printed, anyone can get it.
  6. Place the contents of your wallet on a photocopy machine. Do both sides of each license, credit card, etc. You will know what you had in your wallet and all of the account numbers and phone numbers to call and cancel. Keep the photocopies safe. Always carry a photocopy of your passport when you travel either here or abroad. We've all heard horror stories about fraud that's committed on us in stealing a name, address, Social Security number, credit cards.
  7. If you have access to your email via the Internet, scan and email yourself the contact information copied above. If you're traveling and disaster strikes, you can access all of this information just by locating the nearest Internet cafe.
These are great precautions, but if your personal identity information has been compromised, here's some things to do to help limit the damage:
  1. Common wisdom is to cancel credit cards immediately. But the key is having the toll free numbers and your card numbers handy so you know whom to call. Keep those where you can find them.
  2. File a police report immediately in the jurisdiction where your credit cards, etc., were stolen. This proves to credit providers you were diligent, and this is a first step toward an investigation (if there ever is one.)
  3. Call the three national credit reporting organizations (Equifax, Experian, TransUnion) immediately to place a fraud alert on your name and Social Security number. A dangerous application for credit made over the Internet in your name can be stopped in its tracks with this alert on your accounts. This requires the agencies to contact you via phone to authorize new credit.
Here are the critical contact number you'll need:
  • Social Security Administration (fraud line) 800-269-0271
  • Equifax: P.O. Box 740241, Atlanta, GA 30374   800-685-1111
  • Experian (formerly TRW): P.O. Box 2002, Allen, TX 75013   888-397-3742
  • Trans Union: P.O. Box 1000, Chester, PA 19022   800-888-4213