Great Women In Fraud

Episode 24 Carrie Kerskie, Identity Theft and Fraud

March 16, 2021 Kelly Paxton, CFE Episode 24
Great Women In Fraud
Episode 24 Carrie Kerskie, Identity Theft and Fraud
Great Women In Fraud
Episode 24 Carrie Kerskie, Identity Theft and Fraud
Mar 16, 2021 Episode 24
Kelly Paxton, CFE
Show Notes Transcript

Welcome to another week of Great Women in Fraud.  This week is all about identity fraud.  I am sure you get asked about identity theft and fraud when people find out you are an investigator.  I know my mom’s friends always asked.  I never really had a great answer until now.  Carrie Kerskie has made quite a name for herself in identity theft and fraud.  Of course as protection not committing it.  Coming soon we will have another guest who committed it so stay tuned.  Let’s get started with Carrie because by the end of this episode you will be hopping to her contact info for lots of great resources.  

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Kelly Paxton: Okay, here we are, with Great Women in Fraud, and I am really excited about this episode, because I get asked this question so much, and today we are going to have Carrie Kerskie who I'm going to say is the master of the universe Great Women in Fraud, you can talk all about ID Rescue which I love that ID Rescue and identity fraud courses so Carrie why don't you introduce yourself give yourself a little bit of background and then people will understand why you are the master of the universe.

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Carrie Kerskie: Well, thanks so much for having me so I'm Carrie Kerskie, and my private investigation you just say is Kerskie group and in Naples Florida since 2001.

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Carrie Kerskie: And for the past 15 years I've focused solely on working with identity theft victims.

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Carrie Kerskie: You know it wasn't something that I chose to do it kind of found me the first victim started helping them then word of mouth spread from there, and now it's a niche that I never knew I wanted, but I love.

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Kelly Paxton: The riches are in the niches.

Kelly Paxton: And I will want to give a shout out to Matt Spaier, because that was the one who introduced us.

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Carrie Kerskie: Yes, absolutely Yes, he is a master like matchmakers that's the word I want to look for I don't know.

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Kelly Paxton: Like a fraud maker.

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Carrie Kerskie: or Africa there you go.

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Carrie Kerskie: Well, that can have a different meeting.

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Kelly Paxton:  investigator connector sorry to go.

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Kelly Paxton:   absolutely um what am I question questions is, if you were going to write a book What would it be about but you've written two, so why don't you talk about your two books.

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Carrie Kerskie: Sure, the first book I do a lot of speaking to the Community, because I wanted to warn people about trends, I was saying, of how my clients were becoming victims.

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Carrie Kerskie: So I would speak and they kept saying it's too much remember put it into a book like I don't know how to write a book, I was a C student and language arts back in high school and like I you know I'm no author.

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Carrie Kerskie: So I went to the library, and I saw what was out there.

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Carrie Kerskie: I couldn't figure out what they were trying to say I'm like if I can't figure this out on I'm in this space, how are other people supposed to do it, so I just sat down and wrote the book.

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Carrie Kerskie: So the first one is just all the basics about identity theft, the second book came out February last year for covert yay great time for a book launch.

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Carrie Kerskie: But it is the step by step, guide to protecting yourself from identity theft and I came up with this one, because I work with a lot of seniors.

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Carrie Kerskie: And they're not very comfortable doing a lot of things online.

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Carrie Kerskie: So it actually is a workbook where explains to them what they need to do and there's worksheets in there, where they can actually do it and it's funny because, on the front of it, I have a disclaimer reminding them don't donate it or throw it away if they're going to put their sensitive.

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Carrie Kerskie: Information in it, but that was just the reason for doing it because working with a lot of the seniors that we're not comfortable with online, so I wanted them to have a actual physical book that they could work with.

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Kelly Paxton: Okay, and we talked about this before, and you know me and gender and everything but I'm going to say.

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Kelly Paxton: I have never my mom and her friends have always asked me about this, I have never gotten the identity theft question from my dad or any of his friends, so do you want to talk about that a little bit.

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Carrie Kerskie:  you know it's kind of interesting when I'm out speaking I get a lot of women are they want to learn.

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Carrie Kerskie: they're very responsive and a lot of times when I'm talking to men, you know and not to be like male you know versus men versus women bashing anything like that.

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Carrie Kerskie: But with the men, you know when I first started talking they're kind of like I already know all this, and I say a couple of things that they've never heard another wait what what was that and then there's the interest and you know, then they're like oh okay.

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Carrie Kerskie: And, but when the women's faith they're like oh I you know, I have to tell my husband about all this stuff and then they'll reach out to me later go on, you have to talk to my husband, because he doesn't believe.

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Carrie Kerskie: So it's kind of funny, but when I'm working with the victim side, instead of the proactive.

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Carrie Kerskie: On the victim side the men are the ones that are more inclined to be like oh just I want to hire you here, take my money just fix it for me where the women are kind of like why I.

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Carrie Kerskie: want to learn, and I want to know how to do this myself, so it is kind of interesting to see that play out, and of course it's not 100% but majority of the time, so it is kind of funny to watch.

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Kelly Paxton:  no I just like you know I have had the question about various services, all the time and.

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Kelly Paxton: And we said before and I'm not going to name the service but like I have people who have used one big service a lot and they've asked me.

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Kelly Paxton: And I always said, do I don't think so, and then you verified it today so I'm glad to know that I was giving good advice as far as that but I don't think they stopped using it, because it's very profitable.

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Carrie Kerskie: What it is and now she has her company, the best thing they're they're good at is marketing and that's why I kind of left the whole they call it the identity protection industry.

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Carrie Kerskie: Those services offer no protection whatsoever, the only thing they offer is they tell you that there's a potential problem and some of the companies may or may not fix it.

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Carrie Kerskie: But it's funny most of the victims, that I work with they're paying for one of those services, yet they still hire me to fix it because those companies don't do it, so I just think it's kind of funny that the whole industry name is wrong.

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Kelly Paxton:  well  absolutely  So do you have a third book on the way.

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Carrie Kerskie: No, I have to that's enough.

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Carrie Kerskie: Now I have, I have a book.

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Carrie Kerskie: idea notebook that I keep in whenever I get another idea for when it kind of jot it down.

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Carrie Kerskie: But I'm doing actually more of an online training and heaven, the new podcasts that came out the YouTube channel because I found with the books, especially in this space with identity theft, fraud and cyber threats.

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Carrie Kerskie: As you know, it constantly changes the bad guys are always changing their MO.

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Carrie Kerskie: And you know I would start to write a book, like the second book, I was like Okay, I think I'm done well, then something else would come in I'm like okay there's a new chapter.

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Carrie Kerskie: So I finally said forget writing the book I'm just doing the podcast the YouTube you know and that way it's more of the up to date information because it changes all the time.

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Kelly Paxton: Well and I just finished my book, it got published and I'm just like Oh, I could add this or and so  I mean it does constantly change and technology is wonderful for us getting the word out for that.

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Kelly Paxton: So  it is constantly changing and I love that about technology is that we can keep people up to date.

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Carrie Kerskie: Absolutely  it makes it much easier and to reach a broader audience.

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Carrie Kerskie: You know, with the speaking, it was always just you know, wherever I was in that little geographic region and now.

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Carrie Kerskie: I mean that this morning I did an interview with someone in Toronto, you know so that's that's one of the good things you could say from this national or international pandemic.

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Carrie Kerskie: Is you know more people started embracing like zoom and all these other ways to communicate, so it really has opened the doors to getting the message out on a much broader scale.

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Kelly Paxton: So now, I know you're an international speaker, but is like just the US have higher rates of identity theft.

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Carrie Kerskie: You know it varies and in something identity theft, depending on the way the laws are in each country.

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Carrie Kerskie: It varies so you know we tend to have more of the credit card fraud here than maybe over in Europe.

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Carrie Kerskie: But it's also the way that the fraud in the crimes relating to identity theft and cybercrimes, the way that they're tabulated.

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Carrie Kerskie: And the way that they're classified so it's really hard to just look at a spreadsheet say this one's worse than the other one because they have different classifications different laws.

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Carrie Kerskie: You know, different things, for example, that the chip card, you know they had that are in your four years in a row it's like Oh, we don't have any more credit card fraud Well, no, they still had a credit card fraud, they just reclassified it.

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Carrie Kerskie: Because when the chip first came out there was actually a I think it was a Cambridge Grad student he did his thesis on how to counterfeit the pen and chip the system.

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Carrie Kerskie: And it's public information so they've been able to counterfeit these things for years.

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Carrie Kerskie: But what they did over in Europe is that they changed the law because they said oh now it's a pen and chip system, so if you have fraud, you must have given them your pin number, so it put the onus back on to the victims of now you're liable for this.

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Carrie Kerskie: So that was something again it just took away so of course they were reporting, no more fraud because they were putting it back on to the banking customers .

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Kelly Paxton: that's  statistics and I get questions about statistics all the time, but the reclassification that's like embezzlement is no longer a federal crime so.

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Kelly Paxton: They.

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Kelly Paxton: You know, embezzlement didn't go away, they just write differently.

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Kelly Paxton: So.

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Kelly Paxton:  that's very, very interesting now, this is a question that we talked before and I love this, what is the best compliment you have ever received.

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Carrie Kerskie: From the victims, I work with that they can finally sleep usually and it's not even after I start working for them, just after that initial consultation.

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Carrie Kerskie: Where I'll explain to them what their rights are you know what their liability is because they think that they're going to be financially wiped out alone never recover from it.

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Carrie Kerskie: So just by taking the time and just explain to them what their rights are and that you know that pretty much there's not much that a bad guy could do that can't be undone, as long as it's reported and take care of within a certain amount of time.

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Carrie Kerskie: The next day I get calls from so many of them going, I just have to let you know, last night, was the first night I slept in weeks so to me, that is the best compliment and that's why I do what I do.

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Kelly Paxton: We could call you like that identity theft Ambien pill.

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Carrie Kerskie:  there you go I like that.

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Kelly Paxton: identity theft is Carrie Kerskie.

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Kelly Paxton: Without side effects.

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Kelly Paxton: what's the biggest surprise you've seen since COVID started is there been anything I mean We hear a lot about unemployment fraud.

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Kelly Paxton: But anything specific.

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Carrie Kerskie:  so data breaches because there's an organization that every year they track reported data breaches identity theft resource Center and they've been tracking this since I think 2005.

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Carrie Kerskie: Last year was the first year that they declined, the number of reported data breaches but identity theft and fraud, increased.

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Carrie Kerskie: So what happened is the bad guys are sitting on this mountain load of data that they saw so over the years, I mean billions of records have been exposed nationwide you know, since 2005.

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Carrie Kerskie: So, because of code and a lot of other things going on the bad guys were like well heck we're sitting on all this data let's use it and so when they rolled out the.

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Carrie Kerskie: The unemployment, where you got the kicker the extra $700 and also the PPP programs for small businesses and the adl.

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Carrie Kerskie: They wanted to fast-track getting the money into the hands of the people who needed it.

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Carrie Kerskie: The minute you fast track you're eliminating checks and balances and valid verifications.

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Carrie Kerskie: And that opened the floodgates so the bad guys, they just said heck we've got all this data let's just use it and that's exactly what they did.

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Carrie Kerskie: For unemployment fraud nationwide it's estimated to be in the billions of losses to fraud, I know people who had someone took their name, address, date of birth, and social.

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Carrie Kerskie: And they applied for any idea, which is the one you have to pay back the PPP you might not have to, but the other one you do.

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Carrie Kerskie: And for some reason it was $48,900 was kind of like the common one, they kept it under that $49,000 range.

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Carrie Kerskie: But they would just put the word farm so it'd be your first name so it'd be for you know for like, for me it would just say Carrie Kerskie Farms or Carrie Kerskie LLC.

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Carrie Kerskie: And they were able to get the money, and now the victims are getting these letters in the mail from the SBA saying hey great you know here's when you're first payments due.

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Carrie Kerskie: So it just opened the floodgates to make it much easier for the bad guys to use the information they already had.

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Kelly Paxton:   that's incredibly unfortunate incredibly unfortunate.

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Carrie Kerskie:  I never went to real quick was about money laundering.

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Carrie Kerskie: So you look at with money laundering, what type of businesses to the big bad guys US businesses with a lot of cash those are the ones that were primarily shut down.

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Carrie Kerskie: To the bad guys had to change, so we started seeing more victims who their identity was used where they would just open checking accounts brokerage accounts and savings accounts, so the bad guys can launder money in and out of them, so one victim.

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Carrie Kerskie: She had $30,000 moving to an account at a bank she's never had an account with.

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Carrie Kerskie: So they moved it in and then slowly started moving and out we ended up finding a total of about 15 different organizations, where they had done this.

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Carrie Kerskie: And how she found out she got a letter from one of the bank, saying they suspended her account due to suspicious activity, so now she has a star report under her identity and all that.

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Carrie Kerskie: income or you know revenue supposedly coming into her bank account well that gets reported to the IRS so that's a new trend we started seeing the bad guys didn't stop laundering money they just changed how they did it.

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Kelly Paxton:  well, I mean I say after having been in law enforcement, we only catch the low hanging fruit.

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Carrie Kerskie: yep I agree.

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Carrie Kerskie: .

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Carrie Kerskie: that's our most identity thieves get caught in a traffic stop.

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Kelly Paxton:   it's just like we don't catch the smart ones.

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Kelly Paxton: And they're that far ahead of us so but you know I wouldn't say identity theft is low hanging fruit, but it is for the fraudsters.

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Carrie Kerskie: It is and actually today it's modern day organized crime, years ago, I think it might have been around 2008 2009 identity theft surpassed drug trafficking in the United States because.

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Carrie Kerskie: The drug cartels we're getting out of the drug business and getting into identity theft, because they could sit at home and their underwear drinking a beer and do it, you know they didn't have to worry about getting shot or getting involved in a drug bust.

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Carrie Kerskie: And if they got caught it's a slap on the wrist compared to drug charges.

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Kelly Paxton: Oh well that's funny because during COVID we watched all the episodes of the sopranos and they alluded to, they were starting to get into that you know field and that ended in what 2005 something like that, but.

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Kelly Paxton: You can see it coming.

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Kelly Paxton: So absolutely see it coming so.

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Carrie Kerskie: So I say the bad guys keep me in business so.

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Kelly Paxton: um what are some of the best resources that have helped you along the way.

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Carrie Kerskie: Really, the Internet, you know it's been the best because when I first started doing this, the first client that we got a phone call.

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Carrie Kerskie: There weren't any resources for victims of Federal Trade Commission was just starting to come out with stuff on their website about what to do if you're a victim.

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Carrie Kerskie: And you know when when the client call the I told her I'm like look we've never done this before she's like I don't care, I need help, and I said alright well we'll figure it out together.

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Carrie Kerskie: And it was just trial and error just going online research making phone calls and then you know eventually it's you learn by doing, and you just kind of go from there, and as far as keeping up to date with everything.

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Carrie Kerskie: I you know, a part of a lot of different groups, but just I have Google alerts set up on all the topics, so you can hear about you know or find out about all these different things that are happening out there and it's just.

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Carrie Kerskie: You know I hate to say the Internet because that's what's leading to a lot of this crime, but it's also a wealth of information and resources to help you know kind of identify what's happening, not only in the United States but worldwide.

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Kelly Paxton: Well, and we met via the Internet.

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Kelly Paxton: access on the Internet so no I wouldn't want to do my job if I didn't have you know.

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Kelly Paxton: My little MAC book.

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Carrie Kerskie: Well that's why people are like we never had identity theft before we've always had identity theft.

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Carrie Kerskie: it's just once everything went digital it was easier to track so we've always had it, I mean there was one gentleman years ago when I first started doing this he'd been a victim for 35 years.

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Carrie Kerskie: And he didn't know it until the person using his identity fell on hard times had a medical issue.

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Carrie Kerskie: So then, all the medical and collections and all that stuff started coming in, but for 35 years someone has used his identity in the next town over and he never knew.

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Carrie Kerskie: It wasn't until everything started to become digitized and put into these databases, with all the data aggregators that they were able to put the pieces together.

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Kelly Paxton: Okay, so we didn't talk about this before, but have you seen the new movie I care a lot about the guardianship.

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Carrie Kerskie: I have not I've seen the trailers for it and I've heard about it, but I am intrigued to see you know, but on the other hand, I'm always leery watching them, because if it's not how it really is just infuriates me.

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Kelly Paxton: Well, I think you should watch it I don't.

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Kelly Paxton: think you should watch it and then maybe you can come back and we could talk about it, it was kind of funny because I did.

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Kelly Paxton: episode, with a professional trustee and I'd heard about the movie but I didn't have time to watch it and it just it dropped the week that the movie kind of it's gotten popular but it's a little bit interesting with someone using someone else's ID from a long, long time ago.

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Carrie Kerskie: Oh wow okay I'm gonna have to check it out.

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Kelly Paxton: You are definitely going to have to check it out um So what is one common myth that you have to constantly debunk.

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Carrie Kerskie: people think identity theft is just credit cards and bank accounts it's not it is so much more than that.

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Carrie Kerskie: identity theft, that the Department of Justice years ago confirmed that victims of identity theft go through the same emotional response as a victim of a violent crime.

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Carrie Kerskie: The difference here is that it's a ghost they don't see or they don't know who physically attacked them and over the 15 years of working with victims, I have had two victims commit suicide over it, because.

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Carrie Kerskie:  it became so overwhelming and consuming they just couldn't deal with it and it's always that constant fear, because a lot of the victims, since it's an unknown attacker.

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Carrie Kerskie: They think that once they start repairing the damage and blocking what the bad guy can do they think they're going to show up at their house and do physical harm to them.

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Carrie Kerskie: Because you're constantly walking around looking over your shoulder it's like is that the one who did it is that the one who did it.

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Carrie Kerskie: So they the emotional and psychological impacts are huge then there's also all other types of identity theft and no one talks about.

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Carrie Kerskie: Credit monitoring services can't monitor for we've got medical identity theft criminal identity theft business identity theft, I mean I could go on.

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Carrie Kerskie: Business identity theft from businesses get hit by it, the statistic is the known statistic from known actual known cases is that 60% of the businesses after they get hit with business identity theft their doors are closed within 12 months.

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Carrie Kerskie: because their credits destroyed they spend so much time trying to recover and their reputation is completely damaged.

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Carrie Kerskie: So identity theft it's not a victimless crime it's not just credit cards it's not just bank accounts.

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Carrie Kerskie: Another case where a woman, she went to she and her fiance went to the local.

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Carrie Kerskie: courthouse to apply for a marriage license they were denied because he said she was already married someone had used her identity for a.

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Carrie Kerskie: citizenship by marriage scam they actually took out an ad overseas saying pay me X amount of dollars, and I will marry you so you can become a US citizen so by the time it was all unraveled she'd been married and divorced like seven times not her they imposter.

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Kelly Paxton: Oh, my gosh.

00:18:38.700 --> 00:18:46.290

Carrie Kerskie: And then there's another one, where a woman, she went to another state where she found out that someone had been using our identity so she went to the actual.

00:18:46.650 --> 00:18:53.400

Carrie Kerskie: courthouse because she wanted to see this person it, you know face to face and throughout the court proceedings it was revealed that.

00:18:53.790 --> 00:18:59.610

Carrie Kerskie: The woman had come into the country illegally and bought an ID not knowing that it was an actual US citizens identity.

00:19:00.360 --> 00:19:12.930

Carrie Kerskie: So the woman who is in the country illegally, you know she got a job she got health care, she got married she had children well guess whose names on the marriage certificate and guess whose names on the birth certificates, the victims.

00:19:13.860 --> 00:19:18.810

Carrie Kerskie: Oh , so this is much, much bigger than just credit cards and bank accounts.

00:19:19.710 --> 00:19:27.450

Kelly Paxton:   oh my gosh I  that is that's crazy and two suicides again.

00:19:28.470 --> 00:19:36.060

Kelly Paxton: There is no victimless crime and the idea of looking over your shoulder and the lack of trust going forward is horrifying.

00:19:36.510 --> 00:19:43.890

Carrie Kerskie: Right now and again that's why we don't people after you know we first start working for them and helping them, though I think I can finally sleep at night.

00:19:44.970 --> 00:19:53.070

Carrie Kerskie: began again to me that's the greatest compliment, because there is so much fear and anxiety and when I talked to someone on the phone, I can tell exactly which stage that they're in.

00:19:53.760 --> 00:19:59.550

Carrie Kerskie: You know, you have the ones that are like I want you to go track them down and get this bad guy for me I'm like okay that's you know stop watching CSI.

00:20:01.230 --> 00:20:11.910

Carrie Kerskie: We need, we need to stop the bleeding you know cut the the bad guy also they can't do any more damage and let's look to protect you and you know if we discover enough evidence we turn it over to law enforcement and then they can do what they're going to do.

00:20:12.600 --> 00:20:17.940

Carrie Kerskie: But a lot of it is just trying to talk them so called off the ledge of I want revenge.

00:20:18.360 --> 00:20:30.450

Carrie Kerskie: And a lot of them are angry and they're fearful and  so I mean as PIs, we we are counselors anyways for our clients because they're dealing with a lot of emotional stuff and stuff that nobody else probably knows that they're dealing with.

00:20:31.170 --> 00:20:35.160

Carrie Kerskie: But there's definitely an extra layer when you're dealing with identity theft victims.

00:20:35.730 --> 00:20:43.470

Kelly Paxton: Oh, my gosh that's that's what a lot of people don't understand about private investigators, is that I mean I say I'm like a fraud therapist.

00:20:43.620 --> 00:21:03.750

Kelly Paxton: Right and it's it's true because you know money and even your ideas replaceable but it's that the mental part of it and going forward and that paranoia that is just you know if we should start like a degree in like fraud therapy.

00:21:04.260 --> 00:21:10.560

Carrie Kerskie: Exactly no I actually have a friend of mine, where she is a therapist and there have been some clients, where I gave them her name.

00:21:11.400 --> 00:21:21.390

Carrie Kerskie: Because like you said it's it's an unknown attacker and the worst thing is, is that you don't know how they got your information, you don't know how they were able to do what they did.

00:21:21.780 --> 00:21:25.500

Carrie Kerskie: You know it's not like you can say Oh, they broke into my front door okay I'm going to get a stronger lock.

00:21:25.980 --> 00:21:29.190

Carrie Kerskie: It doesn't work that way or I'm going to install an alarm system.

00:21:29.370 --> 00:21:38.070

Carrie Kerskie: With identity theft, you know it's because I also work with people once we fix the problem we don't just fix it and leave them because re victimization rates have been increasing year after year after year.

00:21:38.310 --> 00:21:43.110

Carrie Kerskie: And that's because those identity protection services they just focus on I'll fix the one problem.

00:21:43.590 --> 00:21:49.470

Carrie Kerskie: But they don't help you put things in place to me and I call it make yourself less attractive to the bad guys and your neighbors.

00:21:50.040 --> 00:21:54.540

Carrie Kerskie: So, if your identity is difficult to move, they are to us they're going to move on to somebody else.

00:21:55.440 --> 00:22:05.160

Carrie Kerskie: But those services don't do that so that's one of the biggest things that we do with the clients that we work with is not only do we fix it, but we help them put those parameters in place and put those tools in place.

00:22:06.030 --> 00:22:18.690

Carrie Kerskie: And the re victimization right with my clients is extremely low, and the only time we've had re victimization is if it's for a new type of identity theft or a new scam that we've never seen before, so we didn't know how to put something in place.

00:22:19.350 --> 00:22:23.340

Carrie Kerskie: So it's you know, there are a lot of different dynamics to it that people just don't realize.

00:22:24.390 --> 00:22:26.520

Kelly Paxton:   well and it's ever evolving.

00:22:27.030 --> 00:22:29.850

Kelly Paxton: Absolutely it's absolutely ever evolving.

00:22:30.090 --> 00:22:34.650

Carrie Kerskie: So  during COVID we saw things that I didn't even think was possible, like the money laundering I you know what.

00:22:34.800 --> 00:22:45.600

Carrie Kerskie: It took me a while to figure out we're like okay what's the mo, why is the bad guy they're opening your account they're not stealing and of your money they're not opening credit cards, and you know we're looking at everything, the only thing we see are these bank accounts and.

00:22:45.780 --> 00:22:51.540

Carrie Kerskie: All of a sudden it dawned on me I'm like their money laundering, it just you never would expect that from identity theft.

00:22:52.200 --> 00:23:06.660

Kelly Paxton: No, no, not at all oh God ah um I would say what are some of the challenges you faced when you first started out, except for the fact I don't I mean I know you did have challenges but.

00:23:07.890 --> 00:23:08.400

Kelly Paxton: You know.

00:23:10.890 --> 00:23:25.350

Kelly Paxton: along that line so maybe not what are some of the challenges you faced, because I think that, like your stuff is just a must so maybe the challenges of well here what challenges.

00:23:25.770 --> 00:23:28.950

Carrie Kerskie: Can you tell me when I first when I first started out in this niche.

00:23:29.910 --> 00:23:32.670

Carrie Kerskie: Because I've been doing PR stuff for a while and so you know.

00:23:33.090 --> 00:23:39.420

Carrie Kerskie: investigate and, of course, we always try to you know go after the bad guy or find out who you know who's the one who causing all this.

00:23:39.630 --> 00:23:44.340

Carrie Kerskie: So it was a little bit of shift in thinking of I'm not tracking on the bad guy I'm trying to help them fix the problem.

00:23:44.910 --> 00:23:54.330

Carrie Kerskie: But there weren't any resources it's not like I could go sign up for a course or I could you know download or buy a book that explained how to do this, there weren't a lot of them out there.

00:23:54.930 --> 00:24:04.770

Carrie Kerskie: So that was the biggest challenge is just trial and error and kind of going through and some things we would do it, and it would work and other times it wouldn't so that was really the biggest thing.

00:24:05.460 --> 00:24:13.110

Carrie Kerskie: You know, there were there are a lot of people even now it's still in in the PR industry there aren't a lot of PIs that specialize in this.

00:24:13.740 --> 00:24:28.800

Carrie Kerskie: You know, even though I have a course and people, you know can take it through peer education, you know I'm trying to make more people aware of it, because you know a lot of businesses were impacted negatively by Kobe last year was the best year my company has had in 10 years.

00:24:29.880 --> 00:24:33.240

Carrie Kerskie: And you know I'm it's good for me, bad for my victims my clients, you know.

00:24:33.990 --> 00:24:45.090

Carrie Kerskie: But it is one of those types of things identity theft does not discriminate it doesn't matter who you are how old you are where you live, how much money you have, if you have a social security number, you can be a victim.

00:24:46.320 --> 00:24:52.980

Carrie Kerskie: do so by knowing at least how to do some of this and and to get past the mindset of well if I can't track down the victim or the.

00:24:53.250 --> 00:25:02.340

Carrie Kerskie: The the identity thief then what's the point you know I know that's what I'm trying to investigate know there are victims out there that need help and another reason why this is a great field for P eyes.

00:25:03.030 --> 00:25:08.100

Carrie Kerskie: Is because the federal government, they would always provide voca funds, you know victim.

00:25:09.360 --> 00:25:15.330

Carrie Kerskie: I'm drawing a blank on what the acronym stands for, right now, basically, is funds that are available to like victim services nonprofits and whatever.

00:25:15.780 --> 00:25:29.940

Carrie Kerskie: Usually for violent crimes, but they also included money in there for victims of identity theft, well, year after year, the money allocated for identity theft victims is drastically cut I think for the 2021 year between.

00:25:31.320 --> 00:25:40.920

Carrie Kerskie: I think it was almost cut in half, so that means there are less resources out there, helping victim so victims need someone to go to who can help them navigate these fields.

00:25:41.220 --> 00:25:45.360

Carrie Kerskie: Because they're a victim, first by the thief and then, when they're trying to recover it themselves.

00:25:45.600 --> 00:25:54.690

Carrie Kerskie: They don't know what their rights are and they get victimized a second time by the credit bureaus the banks, the brokerage the people that they're going to try to help them.

00:25:55.200 --> 00:26:06.540

Carrie Kerskie: Because they don't know what to say they don't know the right terminology, they don't know what to ask for and they don't know what their rights are so these companies often play games with them, and so they get read victimized again, while they're trying to recover.

00:26:07.980 --> 00:26:15.600

Kelly Paxton:  that's just that's horrifying so for you, basically necessity is the mother of invention.

00:26:16.080 --> 00:26:21.900

Carrie Kerskie: Absolutely absolutely you know, and I, you know everybody's like go would what you do is is you know seems like complicated.

00:26:22.290 --> 00:26:27.990

Carrie Kerskie: I spend most of my time reminding these companies, what the federal law requires them to do that's basically, what I do.

00:26:28.890 --> 00:26:37.920

Carrie Kerskie: Is remind them a little nudge I've even had some I'm like what shall I send it to you know, a copy of the federal citation so you can get a refresher on what you're supposed to be doing.

00:26:39.180 --> 00:26:44.190

Carrie Kerskie: So that's that's a lot of it is just helping them navigate so that they can recover faster.

00:26:45.180 --> 00:26:47.010

Kelly Paxton: Well you're just you're a huge advocate.

00:26:47.730 --> 00:26:49.230

Kelly Paxton: Absolutely .

00:26:49.290 --> 00:27:01.230

Carrie Kerskie:  because the victims that in this case, they don't have a voice, because, again, if you talk to somebody on the street they're like oh it's just a credit card it's just one phone call it's no big deal it's not it's not lives have been destroyed because of identity theft.

00:27:01.950 --> 00:27:06.090

Kelly Paxton: Oh, oh my gosh I'm like so like  this is.

00:27:07.110 --> 00:27:08.550

Kelly Paxton: I'm ready to buy buy buy.

00:27:09.900 --> 00:27:10.770

Kelly Paxton: All your stuff.

00:27:12.000 --> 00:27:15.180

Kelly Paxton: Is everything um  so.


00:27:17.340 --> 00:27:26.610

Kelly Paxton: This is another question that I don't think you're gonna be able to answer, did you ever think of giving up and getting a real job I should hope not, because you're doing such a good service.

00:27:27.240 --> 00:27:33.600

Carrie Kerskie: No, I mean, of course, all of us in business, there are some days, where you just have those days you're like I forget this I'm just going to go to work at publix.

00:27:34.350 --> 00:27:43.050

Carrie Kerskie: have less stress, but no it's the fact that you know all the all the clients that I have they're absolutely wonderful a lot of them, I still keep in touch with.

00:27:43.890 --> 00:27:52.950

Carrie Kerskie: You know, it is, it does get to be very frustrating, it is very time consuming I spend a lot of time with my clients on hold just trying to get a human at one of these companies.

00:27:53.220 --> 00:28:00.300

Carrie Kerskie: You know, and there are days, where you just get frustrated because it's the same crap that you get from these companies, and you feel like you're just repeating yourself.

00:28:00.630 --> 00:28:08.730

Carrie Kerskie: So you do have days, where you get frustrated, but again for me that the end of the day, it's the fact that my client can now relax.

00:28:09.120 --> 00:28:17.430

Carrie Kerskie: And they've made they've been made whole and they can move on with their life and without having this big dark cloud hanging over them so that's what keeps me going.

00:28:18.690 --> 00:28:26.310

Kelly Paxton: Well, going back to if you could talk to your 18-year-old self well, did you ever foresee this.

00:28:26.850 --> 00:28:33.120

Carrie Kerskie: Never nope well after I graduated high school, I went to college I studied finance I was going to be a stockbroker.

00:28:33.900 --> 00:28:40.410

Carrie Kerskie: I did I worked for prudential securities and I ended up leaving the industry in 2000 because our first child was born.

00:28:40.830 --> 00:28:46.500

Carrie Kerskie: And I just decided, you know I don't want to go back to that I always had an interest in investigations.

00:28:46.950 --> 00:28:59.100

Carrie Kerskie: And so, while my husband was working during the day I was teaching adult education at night because I needed to still have that interaction and feel like I was contributing and I loved being home with my son, but I just still needed to have that.

00:28:59.550 --> 00:29:05.010

Carrie Kerskie: And so, he would work during the day I would go at night and teach adult education and one of the classes, I was teaching was.

00:29:05.520 --> 00:29:07.770

Carrie Kerskie: QuickBooks and it was the my.

00:29:08.190 --> 00:29:17.910

Carrie Kerskie: My mentor my sponsor and you know we started talking and I said I'm just kind of curious about you know how you become private investigator he's like well I'm not looking to hire I'm like well I'm not looking for a job I'm just kind of curious.

00:29:18.240 --> 00:29:25.950

Carrie Kerskie: And then he had a case where he needed someone with my background involving you know, trust and investments and also computer because I've always kind of dabbled around in that.

00:29:26.340 --> 00:29:36.480

Carrie Kerskie: And so I helped him on that and then went from there, and as far as with identity theft never in a million years did, I think that is what I'd be focusing on it just a kind of found me.

00:29:36.840 --> 00:29:46.620

Carrie Kerskie: And anytime I tried to get away from it and focus on other types of investigation that never worked out and this always kept coming back so I'm like, finally I surrender I give up, I will do it.

00:29:47.550 --> 00:30:01.320

Carrie Kerskie: So I always say the niche found me but back to my 18-year-old self I would tell myself that you are strong enough, and you are smart enough to do what you want to do and don't doubt yourself.

00:30:02.010 --> 00:30:10.980

Carrie Kerskie: You know we all have the imposter syndrome and I always thought that well I'm not good enough I'm not smart enough my credentials are not strong enough, you know I need other people.

00:30:11.730 --> 00:30:19.680

Carrie Kerskie: Because nobody's going to hire just me and it's taken until you know the last year or two for me to finally see my worth and see my value.

00:30:20.040 --> 00:30:29.550

Carrie Kerskie: And what I do bring to the table, and I know that kind of sounds arrogant, but you know you just it's amazing when you finally see it and, and you know, looking back.

00:30:30.450 --> 00:30:45.600

Carrie Kerskie: People kept coming for the service from for me they weren't coming because I had a partner who was smart in xyz it was my credentials that brought him at and so again just you know you have a greater worse than you think especially at 18.

00:30:46.890 --> 00:31:03.270

Kelly Paxton:  absolutely oh my gosh I'm so we're going to have links to like all of your courses your books and everything like that, but do you have a specific product or service right now that you think everyone needs.

00:31:04.140 --> 00:31:09.060

Carrie Kerskie:  so I'm going to a little bit of rebranding so right now it's called the identity fraud Academy.

00:31:09.660 --> 00:31:18.120

Carrie Kerskie: But I'm changing it over to be the privacy mentor a couple of reasons because academy when people hear that they're like oh my gosh that's a lot of work but, basically, what I do is.

00:31:18.450 --> 00:31:28.770

Carrie Kerskie: I help people put in place so again after 15 years it's kind of a process I've developed of what people need to do to protect themselves and I've implemented it with all my clients over the year, so I know it's proven system and it works.

00:31:29.520 --> 00:31:38.580

Carrie Kerskie: So when you sign up for the privacy mentor become a member, you get it's a 30-day challenge, we will be adjusting that breaking down to the smaller like 10-day ones.

00:31:39.150 --> 00:31:48.540

Carrie Kerskie: But we walk you through all the steps of what to put in place to protect yourself from identity theft, fraud and cyber threats and it takes 10 minutes a day or less.

00:31:49.200 --> 00:31:51.930

Carrie Kerskie: So it makes it really easy for people to do.

00:31:52.620 --> 00:32:04.200

Carrie Kerskie: And you also get even though I kind of bash the identity protection industry, there is one that I really like it's the only one, I endorse so for my Members I do include a subscription to that in there.

00:32:04.680 --> 00:32:10.170

Carrie Kerskie: Because I do think the monitoring it does provide benefit, and this one has extra tools like you can download a.

00:32:10.500 --> 00:32:16.410

Carrie Kerskie: anyetei key logger and there's a lot of the VPN and there are other tools that you can use so that's why I've partnered with them.

00:32:16.770 --> 00:32:26.340

Carrie Kerskie: And with being on that platform, if you become a victim, they have a dedicated case manager that will work on your behalf until you're made whole and it's a their own in house.

00:32:27.750 --> 00:32:34.980

Carrie Kerskie: restoration Center they don't outsource most of the identity protection services they outsource to third parties, and a lot of those are overseas.

00:32:35.460 --> 00:32:40.620

Carrie Kerskie: So I really like this one, and you might be thinking well that's going to put you out of business, if you have this platform where they're doing it.

00:32:41.040 --> 00:32:50.040

Carrie Kerskie: But it's not because there were still some of those unique cases where you need to have that extra you know hands on or it's much more involved that most of those type of services don't cover.

00:32:50.460 --> 00:32:56.580

Carrie Kerskie: But my big thing is just trying to educate people because it's more cost effective to be proactive than reactive.

00:32:57.360 --> 00:33:03.870

Carrie Kerskie: So that's why I've come out with the privacy mentor is just to keep people up to date and get regular emails about here's the latest threat.

00:33:03.900 --> 00:33:10.260

Carrie Kerskie: here's what it can do to you and here's what you need to know to protect yourself so it's really just trying to keep people aware of what's happening out there.

00:33:11.370 --> 00:33:12.960

Kelly Paxton: Well, and this goes to.

00:33:13.980 --> 00:33:17.250

Kelly Paxton: You tweeted this earlier COVID and the vaccine.

00:33:17.760 --> 00:33:20.160

Kelly Paxton: And I someone sent me a link.

00:33:20.400 --> 00:33:26.310

Kelly Paxton: About you know sign up for extra doses and I'm paranoid, so I was like I'm not clicking.

00:33:26.910 --> 00:33:29.040

Carrie Kerskie: Right, which is good don't do that.

00:33:32.550 --> 00:33:38.070

Kelly Paxton: um but, like the coated in the vaccine scams are you seeing a lot of those.

00:33:38.370 --> 00:33:39.720

Carrie Kerskie: Oh absolutely.

00:33:40.380 --> 00:33:43.020

Carrie Kerskie: One of the mobile phone companies they asked me to.

00:33:43.050 --> 00:33:51.570

Carrie Kerskie: They did an interview with me before the vaccine rolled out and they're like okay So what do you think's going to happen, and the first one, I said is that you're going to get phone calls from people saying they're going to fast track you.

00:33:51.810 --> 00:33:59.310

Carrie Kerskie: mean you can get to the front of the line by paying a fee or they're going to say that, for if you pay X amount of dollars they'll do the registration for you.

00:33:59.940 --> 00:34:06.360

Carrie Kerskie: or they're going to call you and say you know if they if because we're hearing about this code passports this vaccination passport.

00:34:06.720 --> 00:34:12.240

Carrie Kerskie: So the next one is going to be, if in fact there is some kind of a passport in order to travel.

00:34:12.720 --> 00:34:20.460

Carrie Kerskie: Now it's going to be on the flip side of it is hey pay X amount of dollars, will create a fake one for you So these are things that we're going to be seeing down the pipeline.

00:34:20.880 --> 00:34:27.900

Carrie Kerskie: But definitely the calls about trying to move people up in the front of the line for the vaccination, those are already going out people are getting hammered by those.

00:34:28.680 --> 00:34:30.540

Carrie Kerskie: You know the bad guys that they take it.

00:34:31.320 --> 00:34:38.370

Carrie Kerskie: fear and intimidation and confusion when there's confusion, they swoop right in and when they make these phone calls they use fear and intimidation.

00:34:38.580 --> 00:34:43.110

Carrie Kerskie: And if you say, well, I can't talk right now I'm gonna have to call you back they become verbally abusive.

00:34:43.380 --> 00:34:53.370

Carrie Kerskie: become extremely aggressive, you have to do this now you're never going to get vaccinated there's a shortage, you know you're going to end up getting code and you're going to die, I mean it's just it's ridiculous the things that these bad guys are saying.

00:34:54.120 --> 00:35:04.800

Carrie Kerskie: So, and again identity theft is not just identity theft, a lot of it is crossing over into cyber crimes because it all goes hand in hand, you know we see account takeovers, where they're getting into your bank accounts brokerage accounts.

00:35:05.010 --> 00:35:12.930

Carrie Kerskie: they're doing Sim swapping taking over your mobile phone account, I mean there's so much of it so it's not just again credit cards and bank accounts.

00:35:13.530 --> 00:35:20.160

Carrie Kerskie: So that's why, when you when you're looking at this stuff you have to approach it from not just my bank account my credit card, you have to look at it from.

00:35:20.700 --> 00:35:31.620

Carrie Kerskie: Am I going to click on something, am I going to fall for a scam am I going to give that information to a color that they can then turn use that information against me so it's this whole big package of things that you need to know.

00:35:32.520 --> 00:35:34.260

Kelly Paxton: Well, I got a call this morning from.

00:35:35.340 --> 00:35:44.010

Kelly Paxton: You know I didn't know if it was a spam call or not, so I picked it up and it's like did you order a $799 iPhone 11 from Amazon.

00:35:44.040 --> 00:35:55.530

Kelly Paxton:  Amazon is never going to call me never and I click no and all of a sudden, the voice pops up and I was just like you're not Amazon like you know.


00:35:56.250 --> 00:36:01.530

Carrie Kerskie:  I know I know a lot of people who have lost a lot of money, I just worked with a client last month.

00:36:02.100 --> 00:36:10.590

Carrie Kerskie: She and her husband they fell for the new modified version of the IT support scam we're normally they'd call pretend to be you'd have the pop up then they'd call or you'd call them.

00:36:11.010 --> 00:36:17.220

Carrie Kerskie: And then they would install the remote access software tell you have viruses and you pay like couple hundred dollars, whatever.

00:36:18.060 --> 00:36:26.430

Carrie Kerskie: Now what they're doing is when you install the remote access software and they're doing the dog and pony show upfront, making it look like oh you've got all these viruses here's all this bad stuff.

00:36:26.760 --> 00:36:33.090

Carrie Kerskie: they're going into your computer they're accessing and downloading all of your information, but they're also looking at your browsing history.

00:36:33.390 --> 00:36:40.440

Carrie Kerskie: And on the browsing history, it shows, if you logged into your bank account your brokerage account you know, because people usually bookmark those.

00:36:40.650 --> 00:36:50.640

Carrie Kerskie: So in this case, what they did is they told the people that their computer was highly infected and they were gonna you know they were Microsoft and they were helping them a couple days later, they got a call from supposedly their bank.

00:36:51.720 --> 00:36:55.350

Carrie Kerskie: we've noticed that unusual activity in your bank and then you know a lot of money is going to be gone.

00:36:55.920 --> 00:37:04.920

Carrie Kerskie: We think that you've been hacked as matter of fact, we were just contacted by Microsoft because you're hacking was so bad that it's now we're finding it's impacting your bank account.

00:37:05.280 --> 00:37:16.620

Carrie Kerskie: And they did this whole big song and dance at the end of the day this couple lost half a million dollars That was their retirement they're in their 80s, so now they have $150,000 to live off the rest of their lives.

00:37:17.520 --> 00:37:20.280

Carrie Kerskie: And because of the technique, the bad guys kept saying.

00:37:20.460 --> 00:37:31.830

Carrie Kerskie: Now you can't call the main 800 number for the bank because we're this specialized fraud unit, so if you call the general number or go to your local branch they're not aware of this, because this is, you know kind of our exclusive department.

00:37:32.130 --> 00:37:35.460

Carrie Kerskie: So that kept the victims from telling anyone for over a month.

00:37:36.060 --> 00:37:38.760

Carrie Kerskie: So, by then, the money was gone there's nothing we can do to get it back.

00:37:39.870 --> 00:37:40.980

Kelly Paxton: And that's just for fun.

00:37:41.280 --> 00:37:46.290

Carrie Kerskie:  so that's the scams and again it started with the phone started with the phone scam.

00:37:46.980 --> 00:37:54.570

Kelly Paxton:  oh my gosh ah, so I have a new question for great women and fraud and I don't know if you're going to be able to answer it because you've been so busy.

00:37:55.080 --> 00:38:09.090

Kelly Paxton: But one thing is, is what have you been bingeing and is it related to any fraud because I have a new course called fraud and pop culture So is there any fraud bingeing you've done since on Netflix or Amazon or anything like that.

00:38:09.960 --> 00:38:20.670

Carrie Kerskie: um I haven't done a lot of bingeing I just binge what's it called a firefly line or something a friend of mine told me about it says chick flick I mean it's kind of a chick flick type of thing, but it is pretty cute.

00:38:21.300 --> 00:38:32.340

Carrie Kerskie: But my favorite that's coming out this month is the next season of Ozarks which I am looking forward to I know it's the last year and I know that there are a couple seasons, where they kind of had some slow.

00:38:32.760 --> 00:38:43.800

Carrie Kerskie: it's like come on move it along but that one I thought was phenomenal so i'm looking forward bending that one when it comes out I've already cleared my calendar that day, nothing else is going on, except for my bed on the SOFA watching that.

00:38:44.670 --> 00:38:54.750

Kelly Paxton: Oh, my gosh it was interesting because I kind of love I loved it at first and then actually I have to say when his wife got really active in the whole scheme, then I kind of started to like.

00:38:55.770 --> 00:39:02.130

Kelly Paxton: lose interest but I gotten back to it, and now, knowing that the last step seasons coming in, I will be.

00:39:02.820 --> 00:39:10.680

Carrie Kerskie:  I agree with you when she started getting more involved I'm like oh This is ridiculous and everybody I talked to you kind of said the same thing, but then it kind of it picked up a little bit.

00:39:11.430 --> 00:39:16.770

Carrie Kerskie: But just the whole I just the I think that I think that's just great I love that show.

00:39:17.190 --> 00:39:19.560

Kelly Paxton: And I'll see certain businesses and pink.

00:39:19.920 --> 00:39:20.490

socks like.

00:39:22.260 --> 00:39:33.570

Kelly Paxton: making money and I picture you know bateman there and it's like oh  he's he's just using it as a front and exactly no I actually my husband and I, we recently bought a travel trailer toy holler.

00:39:34.500 --> 00:39:45.540

Carrie Kerskie: And so, our big thing is once a month we like going escape and disconnect and it's absolutely wonderful, but we say it's our entry into retirement, because the retirement like you know a lot of other people's to.

00:39:45.720 --> 00:40:02.340

Carrie Kerskie: just get an rv travel around the country, so this is kind of our little getting our feet wet or dipping our toes in it, but so that's my thing my distress de stressor is will just go away somewhere for a weekend and just turn everything off and get back to being normal.

00:40:03.480 --> 00:40:09.780

Kelly Paxton:  well is there anything that I haven't asked you that you want the audience to know for sure.

00:40:10.770 --> 00:40:21.180

Carrie Kerskie: You know, as far as PIs, if you haven't considered getting into working with identity theft victims I highly recommend it because identity theft is in every single corner of this country.

00:40:21.780 --> 00:40:26.700

Carrie Kerskie: You know, there are a lot of different things that you can do, whether, if you and you, and when I first started doing the public speaking.

00:40:27.000 --> 00:40:33.390

Carrie Kerskie: I did it because I wanted people to realize that PIs do more than just sitting in a Bush looking for a cheating spouse.

00:40:33.630 --> 00:40:42.330

Carrie Kerskie: Or you know hiding in the car kitchen somebody's doing insurance fraud because that's what people think that we do are like this, you know the Tom Selleck so the world so again we break into businesses know.

00:40:43.260 --> 00:40:44.880

Carrie Kerskie: This is making me crazy but anyways.

00:40:45.480 --> 00:40:53.580

Carrie Kerskie: I wanted them to get a different perspective of what private investigators can do for them and so again that kind of started down that whole identity theft path.

00:40:53.760 --> 00:41:00.990

Carrie Kerskie: So if you don't want to work with the victims, you can actually go out and talk awareness and I got in front of a got me in front of law firms.

00:41:01.320 --> 00:41:10.620

Carrie Kerskie: That before would never let me in the door, I was able to get me in front of you know Chamber of Commerce because first of all API what you know what are you going to do for us for businesses so.

00:41:11.280 --> 00:41:24.360

Carrie Kerskie: Even if you just use it as a way to get in the door and break the ice with your target audience it's a great tool to use because everybody and anybody is concerned about identity theft, because there's so much of it, so if you haven't considered it.

00:41:24.600 --> 00:41:32.670

Carrie Kerskie: highly recommend doing it, you know I'm here to help you know if people wanted, you know kind of set up a call just to kind of talk about see for something that works for them, let me know.

00:41:33.300 --> 00:41:46.650

Carrie Kerskie: I have my course that's on PI education that's another great way to kind of get started on it, but definitely consider it, because this is it an industry that obviously was not affected by the pandemic and it's not going away anytime soon.

00:41:47.340 --> 00:42:07.980

Kelly Paxton:  and I get a lot of questions about you know the so definitely the awareness and I didn't know about you until matt, and so this is but I've always wanted to know about something like this, so I will have all sorts of links, I hope to have you back, of course, and.

00:42:09.090 --> 00:42:11.280

Kelly Paxton: I just want to thank you so much, carry.

00:42:11.880 --> 00:42:17.430

Carrie Kerskie: Well, thank you, this has been fun, I appreciate you having me on here  definitely would love to do it again.

00:42:18.030 --> 00:42:20.430

Kelly Paxton: awesome Thank you.

Wasn’t that filled with a ton of information?  I really liked the whole part about being proactive and not just doing Lifelock.  I know that I will be doing her course.  With so much out not only on the dark web but just everywhere I think protecting our identities is step one.  Thank you again for listening and coming up on episode 26 is Alexander Hall,  a reformed fraudster who was on the dark side of committing fraud.