More ATM Hacks

ATM hacks keep on coming. The latest is to drill a hole in the front panel near the key pad. It then becomes easy to access the computer USB cable and to access the machine’s software. The hacker could also obtain credit card information if the machine collects it.

These hacks have occurred in numerous locations across Europe as well as across Asia.

The best suggested solution for card holders is to only access machines in secure or well supervised locations.

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How Secure is Your Password?

I’ve written previously about credit card skimmers and more recently about weak passwords.

Now even “secure” passwords can be quickly cracked by a skilled hacker. This article explains how three hackers got 90% success rate on 16,000 passwords.

It’s still a very good idea to use the strongest passwords you can.  And, refrain from using the same password more than once.  It’s a good idea to use a password manager.  Two popular managers are LastPass and Roboform.

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Reno Community e-Waste Collection Event

Have any electronic stuff you no longer want?  It’s that time of year again:

Reno’s annual Community e-Waste Collection Event for spring 2013 will be on Saturday, April 20. Round up your old electronics gizmos and bring them to the site of the old Park Lane Mall (corner Plumb Lane and S. Virginia Street), between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m., for proper disposal and recycling. The traffic flow is to enter from Plumb Lane, exit to Virginia Street.

A donation of $20.00/ vehicle is requested.  But, didn’t we already pay a disposal fee when we bought the item?

For event details:

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Foreclosure Specialist Indicted over Kickbacks

This AP story was less than clear to me.

As I read it, Granillo was a Fannie Mae employee who sought to augment his income through illegal kickbacks.

So, the bottom line is that corruption is alive and well throughout our society.  The main rule is don’t get caught or it will hurt.

Anyhow,  Granillo apparently took kickbacks to get the process moving.

Judge for yourself.


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Skimmer Scammers Just Won’t Go Away

I am even, myself, amazed at how long I have neglected this blog. And you are still here. And no, I’m not trying to rub it in.

Anyhow, the skimmer scammer stories just keep coming. And, I wanted to keep you abreast.

This one is from South Lake Tahoe PD. The “alleged” incident occurred at a Safeway fuel location at SLT.
As I read the police report, I cannot be sure that the actual identity theft really took place at that location.

The police report says that no skimmer was found.

Could the actual theft have taken place at some entirely different location and time? And could the thief just captured the correct information for future use?

Now, none of these questions are meant to be suspicious of the SLT PD. I have no first hand knowledge in any way. They are only to make you aware of the risks you may face when using automated financial transactions.

Stay Safe.

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Is Your Bank PIN # Secure?

In earlier posts I discussed security and scams. Numerous times I reported on credit card skimmers and how to avoid them. I also covered phishing scams.

Now here is an article discussing the PIN numbers and how we choose them. It would some of us are really lazy, or perhaps not very creative.

The article examined four digit PIN numbers that had been compromised or part of some security breach. Out of the 10,000 possible number combinations the number “1234” occurred nearly 11% of the time and was followed by “1111” and “0000”. The top 20 numbers are shown below.

PIN Freq
#1 1234 10.713%
#2 1111 6.016%
#3 0000 1.881%
#4 1212 1.197%
#5 7777 0.745%
#6 1004 0.616%
#7 2000 0.613%
#8 4444 0.526%
#9 2222 0.516%
#10 6969 0.512%
#11 9999 0.451%
#12 3333 0.419%
#13 5555 0.395%
#14 6666 0.391%
#15 1122 0.366%
#16 1313 0.304%
#17 8888 0.303%
#18 4321 0.293%
#19 2001 0.290%
#20 1010 0.285%

Another very frequent set of numbers began with “19” suggesting a birth date. This choice reduces the possible numbers to 100. Then if you were to see the real card owner, the remaining digits would be fairly simple to guess.

The whole purpose of this is to suggest that you choose a PIN number that would be more difficult to guess.

Read the article here.

Posted in Banks, Fraud, Money, Scams | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

Landlords, Provide Lead Paint Pamphlets to Tenants of Face Fine

You say you hate politics. Especially during this silly season where it’s all so on your face and it’s hard to avoid. Well, surprise! I do too. But, beware! Avoidance has its cost.

By avoiding politics you chose to allow your inferiors to become your rulers and masters.

This is the effect of avoiding politics.

The EPA has been on a rampage in recent years and now it has come back to bite landlords. Yes, landlords. Quite possibly you and me. And you ask, “what’s the crime?” The answer, my friend is pamphlets. You see, we are all required by both HUD and the EPA to give a lead Paint pamphlet to all tenants prior to them occupying your property.

Ideally this applied primarily to homes built before 1978,because that was when lead paint was eliminated. But it doesn’t really matter. The laws applies to ALL rentals, even if it was built this year on the odd chance that we might have used 34 year old paint.

The EPA has decided that this issue was very serious and has imposed fines of as much as $40,000 for not providing the pamphlet. Remember, the burden of proof is on the landlord.

Even if you supplied the pamphlet, if you don’t have it documented, beware.

Read more here.

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Harry Reid Wants Higher Electric Rates for Nevada. Surprise, It’s for Rory

Harry Reid,our esteemed Senator thinks we Nevadans have a lot more money to be able to pay for “Green” energy. What this means is that he wants us to pay for his adventures in renewable energy, yes, the same renewable energy that has yet to work without massive government (read, massive Taxpayer) subsidies.

And did I mention that his son, Rory, who, thankfully was defeated in his quest to become Governor of our great State happens to represent the Chinese company that stands to make a fortune from our taxes if Harry gets his way.

And, BTW, he tries to blame it on NV Energy.

You can read the rest of the story here.

Posted in Environment, Fraud, Government, Nevada, Politics | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Reno Loses 300,000 Taxpayer Dollars on Parking Meters

Did you notice the story in the Sunday RGJ? I’ll link to it even though I do not have access, but you might. Apparently the city of Reno is out more than $300,000 through their investment in, get ready, parking meters.

This is the same folks that invested a million bucks in a windmill scheme and actually made a whopping profit of about $2,000, or about .2%. Aren’t you glad you trusted them with your taxes?

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What is Harry Reid Hiding?

A lot of questions have surfaced lately about Harry Reid and he, apparently is lying low and avoiding the media.

The allegations are that he is a pederast, and so far he hasn’t denied it. The allegations have not yet been substantiated.

But remember, their ads all said that Sharron Angel was too extreme. Perhaps I can see what they mean.

In addition, a lot of questions still are unanswered about his crooked land deals and the High speed train to nowhere.

Come clean, Sen. Reid, if you can.

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