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Fraud in the DMV -- Thousands of fraudulent California licenses are issued to identity thieves and illegal immigrants who use them to loot bank accounts, secure loans, or establish a legal status. The DMV also issues thousands of license plates and car titles to auto thieves who pose as the vehicle's true owner. DMV rarely checks for identification, even though it's required by law.

Beyond Fear, Bruce Schneier takes a critical look at threats to our security, and the ways we're encouraged to think about security by law enforcement agencies, businesses and our national governments and militaries. Schneier believes we all can be better security consumers, and that the trade-offs - in terms of cash outlays, taxes, inconvenience, and diminished freedoms - should be part of an ongoing negotiation in our lives. He explains why we need to design security systems that don't just work well, but fail well, and why secrecy on the part of government often undermines security. He also believes that national ID cards are a bad idea. He thinks online shopping is fundamentally safe, and the airline security measures are effective.

Scammed: County Clerk Cashes -- By all appearances, Mel Spillman was a man of exceptional means. On weekends he was a fixture on the vintage race-car circuit. He owned a gated home in an exclusive neighborhood of San Antonio and he raced vintage cars. He had five Ferraris. But Spillman, 55, wasnt a Texas tycoon. He was a courthouse clerk, who processed wills and estates for the county. He made $33,000 a year. It was just another county job, Spillman says. How could this mild-mannered courthouse employee afford such a lavish life style? By stealing from the dead.

Scammed: Credit Repair A Rip-off? -- Sean Hanes and his wife Patti were raising their four kids. Two years ago, things were different. Sean, a mailman, owned his own home. But the Haneses were struggling. Years back, they had declared bankruptcy. They were deep in debt. Their credit rating was in ruins. So they turned to a credit repair company called ICR Services.

Scammed: Psychic Shenanigans? -- Linda Marks calls herself a gypsy psychic. She says she can tell your fortune for $35. Im a pretty good judge of people. Been doing this for 30 years, says Marks, 54, who lives in Delray Beach, Fla. I give em all the right answers. She says she has made around $2 million over her career. But Delores Hoffert says Marks is a criminal. According to Hoffert, Marks stole almost $300,000 from her late husband. Leroy Hoffert had been given only six months to live when he first met Marks. Delores says Marks told her husband she could cure his cancer. He thought he was going to die if she didnt intervene, she says. But Linda Marks help would cost money lots of money. He recently died from the disease, at the age of 87.

Scammed: Sticky-fingered Valets -- In many cities a night on the town means handing your car keys to a complete stranger. In Los Angeles, the valet parking capital of America, you have a 1 in 4 chance of having that stranger clean out your car while he parks it. Los Angeles police detective, Mike Fesperman, says police know this is going on but such cases are hard to prosecute. We just dont have the evidence, we dont have the proof, he says.

How Pickpockets Work -- You'd be amazed at how easily someone could rob you without you even knowing it. People have been making a living this way for centuries. Find out how to protect yourself.

Identity theft has become a booming criminal enterprise, damaging personal reputations and threatening the nation's security. Law enforcement can't keep up, and everyone is vulnerable.

Dangerous House Calls -- How Much Do You Know About the People Working in Your Home? Most of us can't imagine inviting a convicted felon into our home.

Sense and Security - New York subway crime has dropped dramatically. Savvy riders still avoid making eye contact, steer clear of altercations and never ride in an empty car. National geographic

Workplace Violence -- 6 Steps to Avoid Being a Victim

Credit-Card Fraud -- As you review your credit-card statement, you notice purchases you never made, from companies you've never heard of. You're a victim of credit-card fraud.

Your Credit Could Be Ruined -- Any thief who gets your name, credit card account number and Social Security number, could take over your credit accounts and open new ones. They use your credit to get a job, car loan or rent an apartment.

A biochip for potential kidnap victims -- Foreign executives who are kidnapping targets in Latin America will be able to use implantable ID chips and personal GPS devices to thwart abductors.

Auto Theft -- A vehicle is stolen every 23 seconds, according to a 1998 report from the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB).

More Rights Made Us Less Free -- Due process has run amok, smothering the abilities of authorities to follow their instincts and get things done. The Atlantic Monthly



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