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Cars and Fax Machines on the At-Risk List

IDENTITY THEFT—U.S.

July 22, 2010

WBZ-TV reports that used cars and fax machines have become information resources for identity thieves. The technology built into newer-model cars has the ability to store personal information such as Bluetooth contacts, garage door codes and more, and consumers aren't necessarily removing that information prior to reselling their vehicles. Brian Cooley of CNET said, "Here's the car you traded in, sitting on the used car lot. The garage door is programmed into the garage door opener, and your home address can be programmed into the GPS system. That's a perfect, pre-made kit for a garage burglary." Meanwhile, thermal transfer fax machines, which contain an imprint of all their fax transmissions--possibly including sensitive information--are being tossed, at times without destroying the data they hold. The FTC is currently investigatingsimilar concerns with data storage on copy machines.
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