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Devry Eng 135 Week 1

In: English and Literature

Submitted By rbantugan420
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http://www2.ivcc.edu/rambo/eng1001/introductions.htm

https://www.ftc.gov/news-events/press-releases/2015/02/identity-theft-tops-ftcs-consumer-complaint-categories-again-2014

http://blog.fraudfighter.com/bid/94512/Aug-14-2013-Identity-Theft-The-Fastest-Growing-Crime-in-America

How can I prevent identity theft?

Some of the things you can do and not a victim yet is to monitor your credit and keeping your information safe. We talked about not only making sure your information is safe when you’re out in the public, such as only carrying one credit card when you really need it, not carrying your social security card and birth certificate just to name a few, We don’t need to have these things with us everyday. Just keep the common things you need with you every day, like your drive’s license, one credit card, just to be safe. Don’t carry your checking account if you don’t need to write a check because again someone could take that information and really start writing checks that aren’t yours and can start causing a lot of damage down the road. Another things is when you’re checking credit, make sure that you’re checking it on a regular basis. You can get one free copy of your credit report from each of the three credit bureaus each year. So if you want to check that systematically, you could pull your first one from Equifax, and then three or four months later pull the next one from Experian, and then three or four months later pull the next one from Trans Union. So keeping up to date with what’s going on is key when preventing or avoiding identity theft. Another thing you can do if you’re not using your credit, let’s say you already have your house, car, and you’re not actively seeking credit, just put a freeze on your credit. That’s one thing you can do, so if someone’s trying to get credit in your name, you get that phone call that saying someone out there is using it, and you’re protected from that. A lot of people will put a freeze on their credit because they’re not in the market buying anything with credit. For people who have credit card accounts and that use them regularly, you must check those every single month, I call that my monthly maintenance. Something I do on a monthly basis to make sure everything is fine, so checking those statements to make sure it matches up with what you actually did and what you actually spent, and then that’s just a great habit to just do with all of your statements, even your bank statements, you want to check those every month, because someone could actually have access to your banking account, and there are little small withdrawals that are taking place, and you’re not sure what that’s for, that’s a great time to catch it during that month, so you can really work with your bank, and you can find out what those things are. Checking those things are key to keeping yourself safe, and making sure your money is protected.

What is identity theft?

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) defines identity theft as the use of someone’s personal identifying information, such as name, Social Security number, or credit card number, without permission to commit fraud or other crimes. It can include check fraud, credit card fraud, and other crimes such as filing false medical claims or mortgage applications, or opening lines of credit for nonexistent businesses. According to the FTC, an estimated nine million Americans each year are victims of some kind of identity theft. In 2012, the FTC reported identity theft had been the agency’s number one customer complaint for twelve consecutive years.
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How Theft Occurs
Criminals can obtain identity data in several ways. They can steal wallets and purses that contain bank cards, credit cards, or checkbooks. They can watch people key in numbers at ATM machines or listen when people give credit card numbers or other information on the phone. Paper receipts are also a source of data for identity thieves, some of whom go through garbage bags or dumpsters to get bank statements, store receipts, and other records. Many people receive unsolicited mail offering preapproved credit cards, but throw this mail away. Criminals can use this information to activate and use the credit card.
The Internet has vastly expanded the opportunities for identity theft. A particularly prevalent form of cyber theft is known as phishing. This occurs when cybercriminals use spam, e-mail, or other messages to trick people into submitting personal information. As phishing has become more sophisticated, criminals have developed ways to gain access to such data merely by having the user click on the link. Phishers often pool stolen information and sell it on the black market via online forums. Max Ray Vision ran one such site, CardMarkets.com. When Vision was arrested in 2007, computers in his home contained some 1.8 million stolen credit card and bank account numbers. This information allowed Vision and his associates to make more than $86 million in fraudulent purchases.
Hackers can gain access to the computer records of banks, credit card companies, hospitals, merchants, universities, government agencies, and other organizations. Though such breaches occur much more rarely than phishing, even one instance can give the hacker access to millions of people’s personal data, including Social Security numbers, birth certificates, driver’s license numbers, health records, employment records, and financial information. The FBI reports that, since 2005, hackers have stolen more than 140 million records from US banks and other companies.
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Types of Identity Theft
In the most common kind of identity theft, criminals simply obtain credit card numbers or ATM numbers. This information allows them to make purchases or to withdraw money from the victim’s bank account. Account numbers alone are not enough to allow criminals to apply for new credit or conduct more invasive forms of fraud. If thieves gain access to more specific personal information, however, such as birth dates, addresses, or Social Security numbers, it may be possible for them to assume the identity of a victim. They can authorize the Postal Service to redirect the victim’s mail, open new credit accounts, apply for mortgages, buy guns, file for bankruptcy, and even commit crimes—all in the victim’s name.
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Effect on Victims
More than 50 percent of all identity theft involves only the fraudulent use of ATM, debit, or credit cards. In many such cases, victims incur minimal, if any, out-of-pocket expenses to resolve the matter. More serious levels of identity theft have much more damaging effects. Victims sometimes spend thousands of dollars to clear their credit ratings or to cover fraudulent activity. In extreme cases they may be threatened by collection agencies, be denied new credit or use of existing credit cards, have utilities cut off, have a job application rejected, or be subjected to criminal investigations, arrest, or civil lawsuits. In some serious cases, victims have spent hundreds of hours to resolve the problems related to the identity theft. A few victims have reported spending at least 1,200 hours to clear up these problems.
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How to Respond
It is important to respond to identity theft as soon as possible. Most credit card companies and financial institutions have twenty-four-hour phone numbers for reporting stolen cards. People should also check bank statements, credit reports, and other financial records on a regular basis. Any fraudulent activity should be reported immediately.
Debit card and ATM transactions are subject to the Electronic Fund Transfer Act, implemented in 1978. This act provides that, if a customer reports a missing card before any fraudulent transactions are made, the customer is not liable. If the loss is reported within two business days, liability is limited to $50 per card. However, liability can increase to as much as $500, if the loss is not reported within two days. If the loss is not reported within sixty days, the victim may be liable for all fraudulent transactions as well as any overdraft penalties. Provisions for credit card theft are similar. Under the Fair Credit Billing Act, a person’s liability when a credit card is stolen or used without authorization is limited to $50. If the owner of the card reports it as stolen before any fraudulent charges are made, the card issuer cannot hold the victim responsible for any fraudulent activity.
The FTC also recommends that victims of identity theft place an initial fraud alert with one of the three major credit reporting agencies: Trans Union, Equifax, and Experian. These prevent the thief from gaining access to new accounts or lines of credit. The initial fraud alert, which remains on the victim’s credit report for 90 days, requires companies to verify the identity of any person seeking to open a new account in the victim’s name. If the identity theft is extremely serious, the victim should place an extended fraud alert, which remains on record for seven years and requires creditors to contact the victim before issuing any new accounts in his or her name.
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Prevention
Consumers can do several things to protect themselves from identity theft. One is to keep careful records and check them frequently. People should go over bank statements regularly and confirm the validity of all transactions. It is also important not to discard any paperwork that contains personal data, such as bills, paycheck stubs, or even unsolicited mail offering credit cards, without ripping it up or otherwise destroying identification numbers.
Security specialists also recommend that individuals not carry their Social Security cards in their wallets. These cards should be kept in a secure location, such as a lock box. Similarly, people should keep ATM, debit, and credit cards secure by knowing where they are at all times. Any Personal Identification Number (PIN) should be kept secret and should never include the owner’s personal data, such as birth date or street address. Before throwing cards away, owners should cut through the account numbers.
People should not give account numbers over the phone unless they know they are dealing with a reputable company. Similarly, they should beware of phishing messages. Security specialists advise computer users never to open e-mail attachments from unknown senders. People should also use reputable anti-virus programs, download the most current patches and upgrades for their computers, choose passwords that are difficult to guess, and keep passwords secret.
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Legislation
Passage of the Identity Theft and Assumption Deterrence Act of 1998 made identity theft a federal crime. The Act named the FTC as the government agency charged with logging information about identity theft and assisting potential victims. In 2004, Congress passed the Identity Theft Penalty Enhancement Act, which established penalties for aggravated identity theft. This crime includes use of a stolen identity to commit more serious crimes, such as firearms offenses, immigration violations, or terrorist acts. Sentences for identity fraud vary according to the severity of the crime and the impact on the victim. Federal law states that sentencing guidelines should take into consideration the “harm to reputation, inconvenience, and other difficulties resulting from the offense.” In addition, individual states have enacted identity fraud legislation.
Penalties for identity theft can be severe. In 2010, an Illinois man, Leonardo Darnell Zanders, was sentenced to more than sixteen years in prison for his part in leading an identity-theft ring that caused an estimated $15 million in losses to at least ten financial institutions. He was also ordered to pay $1.4 million in restitution. One of the victims was Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben S. Bernanke and his wife, Anna, whose names were used on fraudulent checks. Bernanke said the fraud occurred after his wife’s purse was stolen.
These stiff penalties demonstrate that the government considers identity theft a serious crime. Nevertheless, it can be extremely difficult to find and prosecute perpetrators or to compensate victims. For this reason, analysts point out, it is crucial to focus on prevention. Businesses and institutions have created many safety protocols intended to prevent identity theft. Additionally, consumer education and vigilance can help cut risk levels.

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Introductions
An introduction does not need to be long (and should not be), but it is an important part of an essay. A weak introduction can cause readers to lose interest in your essay from the start, whereas a strong introduction will engage your readers and make them want to continue reading. Of course, the introduction is the first part of your essay that your audience will read, and it's important to make a good first impression. This page provides suggestions to help you write strong introductions.
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Introductions: An Overview
In general, an introduction needs to do three things: 1. to spark the interest of readers, 2. to move readers gracefully toward the thesis statement, and 3. to present the thesis statement of the essay.
The order of items above is the best order to present each part of the introduction: get the reader's attention, move toward the thesis statement, and then present the thesis statement. The thesis statement usually is most effective as just one sentence at the end of the introduction, so you should avoid presenting the thesis statement as the first sentence of the introduction and should avoid presenting the thesis statement in more than one sentence. (Information about thesis statements is presented on The Thesis Statement Web page.)
Just about any kind of introduction could work well in the hands of a skillful writer, but below are examples of a few approaches to writing introductions that often are effective, followed by some additional suggestions for introductions.
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Approaches to Writing Introductions
Each of the introductions below presents the same thesis statement: "Identity theft is a serious problem that claims millions of innocent victims, and the government must implement better regulations to help put an end to this crime." While the thesis statement is the same for all of the introductions, notice how the various introductions set different tones for the essay and establish slightly different expectations for what will follow in the body of the essay.
1. Begin with Background or Historical Information
Example
Identity theft is not a new crime. Throughout history, unscrupulous individuals have pretended to be people they are not, often with the goal of political, social, or financial gain. With the right appearance and demeanor, people have falsely presented themselves as kings and bishops. Today, in our information age, identity theft is a far more prevalent problem. With access to names, Social Security numbers, and other personal information, thieves are able to steal identities, leaving the victims struggling to clear their good names. Identity theft is a serious problem that claims millions of innocent victims, and the government must implement better regulations to help put an end to this crime.
2. Begin with a Quotation
Example
In Shakespeare's Othello, Iago claims that he "who steals my purse steals trash / . . . But he that filches from me my good name / Robs me of that which not enriches him, / And makes me poor indeed" (3.3.157-161). Today, identity theft is a new way that thieves steal both the "purses" and the good names of innocent victims, and these thieves are enriching themselves at the expense of their victims. Identity theft is a serious problem that claims millions of innocent victims, and the government must implement better regulations to help put an end to this crime.
3. Begin with an Interesting or Surprising Fact
Example
Identity fraud is the fastest growing crime in the United States. In 2004, over nine million Americans, or approximately one person in 24, became victims of identity fraud or identity theft, at a cost to the economy of 52.6 billion dollars ("2005 Identity Fraud Survey Report"). Because many cases of identity fraud and identity theft may go unreported, the numbers could be even higher. Identity theft is a serious problem that claims millions of innocent victims, and the government must implement better regulations to help put an end to this crime.
4. Begin with a Definition of an Important Term
Example
Our identity is what makes us unique. It is "the distinguishing character or personality of an individual," and when one is a victim of identity theft, it is this "distinguishing character" that is stolen: one's name, address, Social Security number, employment history, credit history, and more. It therefore is no wonder that victims of identity theft often feel a deep sense of violation as they struggle to reclaims their good names. Identity theft is a serious problem that claims millions of innocent victims, and the government must implement better regulations to help put an end to this crime.
5. Begin with a Short Narrative
Example
Joe Stevens was finally ready to purchase a home. He spent years putting money into a savings account, paid off his credit cards, and diligently paid every bill on time. Confident of his good credit rating, Joe visited the bank to inquire about a mortgage, but he discovered startling information: Joe defaulted on a home loan, had $40,000 in credit card debt, and had a car repossessed for lack of payment. Joe Stevens, like many Americans, is a victim of identity theft. Instead of preparing to move into a new home, Joe began the long journey to restore his good name and to reclaim his identity. Identity theft is a serious problem that claims millions of innocent victims, and the government must implement better regulations to help put an end to this crime.
6. Begin with a Question
Example
How would you feel if you knew, at this moment, that some criminal is writing your name, address, and Social Security number on credit card applications and plans to charge thousands of dollars worth of merchandise on those credit cards? More importantly, how do you know that this is not happening? Millions of people have become victims of identity theft, and they often find out only after thousands of dollars have been stolen using their names. Identity theft is a serious problem that claims millions of innocent victims, and the government must implement better regulations to help put an end to this crime.
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Introductions to Avoid
Some approaches to introductions almost always fail to be interesting or engaging. Below are a few approaches to introduction that should be avoided. They are just about guaranteed to give an essay a weak beginning. 1. Avoid Beginning with Overly Vague and General Statements or Broad Generalizations
Example: Crimes are committed every day by different people, and there are many different kinds of crime. Some crimes are more serious than others. One serious crime today is identity theft. (Can you hear the readers already starting to snooze? The first two sentences to this introduction are far too vague and general to get anyone interested in what the writer is going to say in the paper.) 2. Avoid Beginning with Dictionary Definitions Obvious to Readers
Example: According to Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary, the word "steal" is defined as "to take the property of another wrongfully." Identity theft is one form of stealing. (The writer of these sentences seems to assume that the readers are idiots, which is not a good impression to give readers. Who would not already know this definition of "steal"?) 3. Avoiding Beginning with a Direct Statement of What You, as the Writer, are Doing
Example: In this essay, identity theft will be explained. I will discuss why it is such a big problem and what the government should do about it. (Such an introduction might be appropriate for a writer in junior high school, but mature writers use much more effective rhetorical strategies to begin their essays.)
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Introductions: A Few Tips * Write the introduction after you have written the body of your essay.
Writers often sit down to an empty computer screen and struggle to write an introduction, and understandably so: they do not yet know what exactly it is that they are introducing. You should have a thesis statement in mind as you write an essay, but there is no reason to have to write the introduction before you begin writing the body paragraphs. It is often much easier to write an introduction when you can actually see what you are introducing. * Avoid long introductions.
Introductions generally are not long, certainly not longer than body paragraphs. Avoid going into depth developing ideas in the introduction. That's for the body paragraphs of an essay, not for the introduction. The primary purpose of an introduction is just to introduce your essay. * Experiment with more than one type of introduction for the same essay.
As the examples above illustrate, different introductions can give an essay quite a different tone. You might try writing a few different introductions, using the approaches above, and you could then choose the introduction that you think best fits your paper. * Avoid the approach to introductions sometimes taught to young students.
Some young students are taught to begin an introduction with a thesis statement, followed by separate sentences that indicate the topics for the body paragraphs of the essay. Avoid this approach. It helps young writers organize an essay and stay focused, but it is rhetorically weak.

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The Thesis Statement
The thesis statement is the most important sentence in an essay. In a sense, the thesis statement is a one-sentence summary of the entire essay. The thesis should not just give readers a general idea of the topic of an essay but should present specific statements of each of the main ideas developed in the essay.
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The thesis statement is a one-sentence statement in the introduction of an essay that 1. Identifies the subject of the essay
For example, the thesis statement for an essay on a short story should include the title of the story and the name of the author. 2. States the main ideas developed in the body paragraphs
Be specific as you list each of the main ideas in the thesis statement, using key words from the topic sentence of each body paragraph. 3. Clarifies how all of the main ideas are logically related
Avoid just listing the main ideas in the thesis statement. Instead, show how the main ideas are logically related. In the thesis statement, present the main ideas in the same order that they appear in the body of the essay, and try using words such as "although," "as a result," and "but" to suggest the logical connections among the main ideas.
Generally, the thesis statement appears at the end of an introduction. The earlier part of the introduction should get the reader's attention and lead the reader to the thesis statement.
Do not present the thesis statement as a general statement concerning the subject of the essay followed by a series of sentences identifying the main ideas in the body paragraph. This formula is sometimes taught in high school to help writers organize their essays, but it is weak stylistically and often results in essays that are not well unified.
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Sample Thesis Statement for an Essay on Maya Angelou's "Graduation"
Sample thesis statement:
In Maya Angelou's "Graduation," Marguerite Johnson's sense of pride in her academic achievements and upcoming graduation is challenged by the commencement speaker's stereotypical views of African-Americans, but a familiar song renews Marguerite's sense of accomplishment while giving her a greater awareness of the struggles and achievements of her ancestors.
Notice all of the important elements of the thesis statement: * In Maya Angelou's "Graduation" = the subject of the essay: the title and author of the essay being analyzed.

* Marguerite Johnson's sense of pride in her academic achievements and upcoming graduation = identifies the main idea to be developed in the first body paragraph.

* is challenged by the commencement speaker's stereotypical views of African-Americans = identifies the main idea to be developed in the second body paragraph.

* but a familiar song renews Marguerite's sense of accomplishment while giving her a greater awareness of the struggles and achievements of her ancestors = identifies the main idea to be developed in the third body paragraph.

The thesis statement is expressed as just one sentence, gives readers a specific sense of the main ideas, and indicates the logical connections among those ideas.
Does it take a lot of writing and rewriting to formulate an effective thesis statement? Yes. But it should help if you come up with the main ideas for body paragraphs before you try to write your thesis statement.
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Thesis Statement Checklist 1. Is the thesis statement expressed as just one sentence? 2. Does the thesis statement appear at the end of the introduction? 3. Does the thesis statement identify the subject of the essay? 4. Does the thesis statement present the major ideas developed in the body paragraphs? 5. Does the thesis statement clarify how all of the main ideas are logically related?…...

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