Subscribe: I've Been Mugged
Preview: I've Been Mugged

I've Been Mugged Blog

Consumer views and news since 2007 about identity theft, privacy, and corporate responsibility -- by George Jenkins

Updated: 2018-03-14T09:00:00-04:00


Report: Little Progress Since 2016 To Replace Old, Vulnerable Voting Machines In United States


We've know for some time that a sizeable portion of voting machines in the United States are vulnerable to hacking and errors. Too many states, cities, and town use antiquated equipment or equipment without paper backups. The latter makes re-counts impossible. Has any progress been made to fix the vulnerabilities?...

Legislation Moving Through Congress To Loosen Regulations On Banks


Legislation is moving through Congress which will loosen regulations on banks. Is this an improvement? Is it risky? Is it a good deal for consumers? Before answering those questions, a summary of the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act (Senate Bill 2155): "This bill amends the Truth in...

Mystery Package Scam Operating on Amazon Site. What It Is, The Implications, And Advice For Victims


Last fall, a couple living in a Boston suburb started receiving packages they didn't order from Amazon, the popular online retailer. The Boston Globe reported that the couple living in Acton, Massachusetts: "... contacted Amazon, only to be told that the merchandise was paid for with a gift card. No...

Fresenius Medical Care To Pay $3.5 Million For 5 Small Data Breaches During 2012


Fresenius Medical Care Holdings, Inc. has agreed to a $3.5 million settlement agreement regarding five small data breaches the Massachusetts-based healthcare organization experienced during 2012. Fresenius Medical Care Holdings, Inc. does business under the name Fresenius Medical Care North America (FMCNA). This represents one of the largest HIPAA settlements ever...

U.S. Senate Moves Closer To Vote On Net Neutrality


Yesterday, The Hill reported: "A Senate bill that would reverse the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) decision to repeal net neutrality received its 30th co-sponsor on Monday, ensuring it will receive a vote on the Senate floor. Senator Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) announced her support for the bill on Twitter, putting it...

In The News: Net Neutrality And I've Been Mugged Blog


On Sunday, December 17, 2017, WERS Radio (88.9 FM), a college radio station in Boston, broadcast on Sunday an interview about net neutrality. The persons interviewed included myself and Nina Vyedin, of Indivisible Somerville. You can listen to the interview on SoundCloud. The interviewer, Jonathon House, and I met during...

Hate Crime Training for Police Is Often Inadequate, Sometimes Nonexistent


[Editor's note: today's guest blog post, by the reporters at ProPublica, is first in a series which explores the approaches by law enforcement to hate crimes in the United States. Today's post is reprinted with permission.] By A.C. Thompson, Rohan Naik and Ken Schwencke. ProPublica To become a police officer...

Net Neutrality: Massachusetts Joins Multi-State Lawsuit Against FCC. What Next?


The Attorney General (AG) for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts is suing the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) after the FCC voted on December 14th to repeal existing net neutrality rules protecting consumers. Maura Healey, the Massachusetts AG, announced that her office has joined a multi-state lawsuit with the New York...

More Year-End Considerations Given The Coming Likely Republican Tax Plan


A prior post discussed the questionable benefits and year-end considerations for middle-class taxpayers of the likely Republican tax reform plan making its way through Congress. The likely tax plan includes lower tax rates paired with many deductions eliminated. The professional who prepares my taxes provided another warning: "Dear clients: It...

Photos: December 7 Demonstration In Boston To Keep Net Neutrality


Demonstrations occurred nationwide on December 7 to save net neutrality. Citizens took to the streets to keep our internet services open. About 200 persons attended the demonstration in Boston on Boylston Street. It was encouraging to meet several students from local universities participating in the event. They understand the issue...

Lower Tax Rate And Fewer Deductions. Questionable Help For Middle Class Taxpayers


Yesterday, I received an alert from the professional that prepares my income taxes: "Dear Clients, I know that Congress has not yet finalized the new tax law, but it looks pretty certain that Certain Miscellaneous Deductions will no longer be allowed in 2018. If you want to know if that...

What We Know -- And Don't Know -- About Hate Crimes in America


[Editor's Note: today's guest blog post explores the problem of hate crimes. Recent surveys about harassment found that what happens online often doesn't stay online. Hopefully, future reports by ProPublica will explore the linkages. Today's blog post is reprinted with permission.] By Rachel Glickhouse, ProPublica "Go home. We need Americans...

Drug Store Concerned About Customers' Privacy


Recently, I saw the trashcan below in a CVS Drugstore on Harvard Street in Brookline, a suburb of Boston. Similar warnings should be any all stores where sensitive prescription and payment data is printed on receipts:

$5.5 Million Settlement Agreement Between Nationwide Insurance And 32 States


Last week, 32 states inked a settlement agreement with Nationwide Mutual Insurance for the insurance company's data breach in 2012. The Attorney General's Office for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts participated in the agreement, and explained in an announcement: that the data breach reach in 2012 was: "... allegedly caused by...

Homeowners Receive $6.3 Million In Refunds Due To Improper Charges By Insurance Company


Last week, the Attorney General's office for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts announced the results of a post-settlement agreement audit with American Security Insurance Company, a subsidiary of Assurant, Inc., where homeowners in the state will receive $6.3 million in refunds for improper "forced-place insurance" charges. The announcement explained: "Force-placed insurance...

Google And Massachusetts Transportation Department Provide GPS Signals In Tunnels


Smartphone users love their phones. That includes Global Positioning System (GPS) navigation services for driving directions. However, those driving directions don't work in tunnels where phones can't get GPS signals. That is changing. Google and the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) have entered a partnership to provide GPS navigation services...

Senator Warren Calls For the Firing Of All Wells Fargo Board Members


In a letter sent Monday to the Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen, U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Massachusetts) has called for the firing of all 12 board members at Wells Fargo bank for failing to adequately protect accountholders. CNBC reported first the Senator's letter, which read in part: "The fake accounts...

Dozens Of Uber Employees Fired Or Investigated For Harassment. Uber And Lyft Drivers Unaware of Safety Recalls


Ride-sharing companies are in the news again and probably not for the reasons their management executives would prefer. First, TechCrunch reported on Thursday: "... at a staff meeting in San Francisco, Uber executives revealed to the company’s 12,000 employees that 20 of their colleagues had been fired and that 57...

Verizon To Exit Its Copper Wire Telephone Business In Several States In 2018


If your home uses a copper wire telephone service, often called a "landline" or POTS (e.g., Plain Old Telephone Service), you may soon have to make a change. In Boston, Verizon will abandon its landline business in June 2018. On Saturday, my wife received a letter via postal mail from...

Attorneys General In Several States Announce Settlement Agreements With Target


The Office of the Attorney General (AG) for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts announced on Wednesday that the state will receive $625,000 as part of the settlement agreement with Target Corporation. The settlement agreement, which includes 47 states plus the District of Colombia, resolves claims by states about the retailer's massive...