Equifax Breach: 7 Defensive Measures to Protect Yourself

The New York Times reported yesterday “hackers had gained access to company data that potentially compromised sensitive information for 143 million American consumers, including Social Security numbers and driver’s license numbers.” This breach affects about 1/3 of the US population.

Here’s how you can improve your identity-theft radar, make yourself a smaller target, and create a credit-repair plan now in case cyber thieves violate your credit later. Regrettably, there is no killer app or strategic plan (including this one) that can guarantee the complete safety of your identity.

Improve Your Radar

1. Set up alerts from your credit card companies. You can instruct them to text or email your cellphone every time your credit card is used. In this way, you speed the time to recognition of a problem with existing credit cards.

Make Yourself a Smaller Target

2. Place a “security freeze” on your credit at all three credit bureaus. Identity thieves use your information to open new accounts and obtain credit in your name. But financial institutions generally require credit reports before they extend new loans. By implementing a security freeze, you are instructing the credit bureaus not to release your information to new lenders. And when you need new credit, you can cancel the security freeze, satisfy the needs of your lender, and reinstate the freeze for continued protection.

Keep reading…

A Scam Story for Thanksgiving

Two days ago I was driving up Amsterdam Avenue in NYC, en route to pick up my daughter at Columbia University before returning to Rhode Island for Thanksgiving, talking hands free on my cell. That’s when my world unraveled. I’m working on a non-fiction book with tips...

read more

Wealth Management 101

You know something is wrong when a streaming music company – rather than Wall Street – is improving the process for private companies that go public. That’s right. In today’s Wall Street Journal, I explain Spotify’s “direct listing” and theorize what it means to wealth management at big brokerage institutions.

read more

Quick Tips for Organizing Money

True confessions: I find the process of getting organized about as enjoyable as listening to fingernails against a chalkboard. But financial chaos is an invitation for trouble, which is why I’m looking for painless ways to create order. This one traces back to my summer job between years at Harvard Business School…

read more

If anybody can turn international finance and hedge funds into a riveting thriller, it’s Norb Vonnegut. The Gods of Greenwich is a pure delight, racing relentlessly from the bedrooms of…

Jeffery Deaver

The Trust is a fast, fun, and totally engrossing thriller that hooked me on page one and never let go. Vonnegut knows the financial world inside and out…

Christopher Reich

Hunters and Skinners - A Wall Street Insider Shows You How to Protect Yourself from Financial Predators

What I hope for most is that readers will one day tell me how the five practices in this book saved them from getting ripped off by financial predators…

Norb Vonnegut

Norb Vonnegut is the seriously under-appreciated author of three glittery thrillers about fiscal malfeasance. This may not sound like a red-hot franchise, but he has made it one. With “Top Producer” (2009), “The Gods of Greenwich” (2011) and now “The Trust,” he is three for three in his own improbably sexy genre.

Janet Maslin, The New York Times

About Norb

The New York Times describes my novels as “money porn,” “a red-hot franchise,” and “glittery thrillers about fiscal malfeasance.” Through fiction I explore the dark side of money and focus on the motivations of those who have it, want more, and will steamroll anybody who gets in their way.

I wasn’t always an author. I spent most of my career in private wealth management with several brokerage firms, primarily Morgan Stanley, and with a registered investment adviser in New York City. Back then, I always thought the people of Wall Street and their clients—smart, goofy, the complete spectrum from good to evil—would make great characters in novels.

But now with the coming release of my first non-fiction book, Hunters and Skinners, I think you will find that fact is scarier than fiction. I use stories to illustrate techniques that could save you from financial predators…like the time I spent 30 seconds on a background check and helped prevent a friend from losing $200,000 in a scam.


6 + 7 =


Norb Vonnegut is available for a limited number of speaking events and readings. To inquire about an appearance, please contact Norb.

© 2016 Norb Vonnegut LLC

Share This