Friday, September 15, 2017

How the massive Equifax Data Breach affects Notary Signing Agents

by Daniel C. Lewis

How the massive Equifax data breach affects NSAs?

By now you should have heard the news and/or seen all the coverage about the massive Equifax data breach in the US.   If not here is a short recap:


  • Equifax is one of the largest consumer credit reporting agency
  • Equifax discovered that on July 29 a massive data breach occurred
  • Data stolen include names, Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses, and in some cases, driver's license numbers
  • 3 Equifax managers sold stock before the hack was revealed to the public
  • This is the 3rd major Equifax cyber threat since 2015
  • Going to the Equifax website to see if you were affected could cost you your rights to a class action lawsit


People are being asked to go to the Equifax website to find remedies to their own data breaches.  According to technology lawyer, Mark Grossman, when you click on the Equifax site for help you could be giving away other remedies to help yourself with this issue, including being able to participate in a class action lawsuit. 

How does all this affect professional Notary Signing Agents and what can they do about it now?

First, assume that you, the Notary Signing Agent, are one of the 143 million consumers that was affected by the data breach.  Remember the exposed data includes names, Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses, and in some cases, driver's license numbers. 

Second, as a business professional you should take immediate action (if not sooner) to protect your business.  Being a Notary Signing Agent it is critical for you to take the proper steps to protect your identity.  I would recommend using a credit monitoring service such as IDShield


Third, review how you handle sensitive information.  Do you have procedures in place that ensures you are not exposing private information?  Does anyone else have access to your workstation at home?  Can someone who is visiting your home for the first time gain access to your computer?  Do you leave sensitive information in your car unsecured?  Are you able to explain your chain of custody procedures when it comes to sensitive information you come into contact with?

Breaches like the one Equifax has had will seriously affect all aspects of how you do your job as a Notary Signing Agent.  It will affect how title and signing companies handle their clients information and how the information is shared with you, the NSA.  It will also affect regulations in the future in the real estate industry. 


1.  Assume that you are one of the victims of the massive data breach

2.  Protect yourself with IDShield by clicking here and signing up (less than $10 per month and should be tax deductible - check with your CPA/Tax Professional)

3.  Review how you secure private information and update your procedures

4.  Update all your professional notary profiles on various site to let your clients know that you have updated your procedures and take privacy and security very seriously
 

Since as a Notary Signing Agent it is required to have a clean background screening each year it is critical to have a professional monitoring service monitor every aspect of your information.  This can ensure no delays in receiving assignments from your clients.  Remember, in terms of being a victim of Identity theft, you are guilty until you prove you are innocent.



Other Articles by this Author:




Daniel C. Lewis resides in Carmel, IN.  He was named in 2010 by the National Notary Association the Notary of the Year.  He was also named in the same year by the Indiana Secretary of State as an Honorary Secretary of State.  Daniel is currently serving as the President of the Indiana Notary Association.  Daniel is an entrepreneur, writer, video editor and Managing Partner of Lewis Notary Services Inc.  If you wish to have Daniel help you with a notary business plan and financial review click here    

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Hurricane Harvey: How You Can Help Victims

by Daniel C. Lewis


Hurricane Harvey:  How You Can Help Victims



We have all seen the devastation of Hurricane Harvey this week.

Here are some places to donate that will really help the residents of Texas:



A little help goes a long way.  Hopes this helps

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

New Notary CE Workshop in Anderson, IN on 7/20/2017

There will be a special Notary CE Workshop happening on Thursday, July 20, 2017 in

Anderson IN

Workshop will be starting at 9:45am.  If you are in need of CE hours to renew your Title Producers License by the end of July this would be the workshop to attend.  Location of the Approved CE workshop will be sent to attendees once registered.





There are a limited number of seats for this workshop.  

This is a LIVE workshop is Approved by the Indiana Department of Insurance.

Seating is limited and registration is required.

Workshop cost is Just $149.00.  To register click here.



Daniel C.  Lewis is the current President of the Indiana Notary Association.  He was named by the National Notary Association as the 2010 National Notary of the Year and also named an Honorary Secretary of State by the Indiana Secretary of State in Indiana that same year.  He is the Managing Partner of Lewis Notary & Lewis Training Services Inc. as well as an Independent Associate with LegalShield.  For more information about LegalShield click here

Monday, July 17, 2017

My Conversation with Jeremy Belmont

FOR INDIANA NOTARIES ONLY

As the current President of the Indiana Notary Association I receive many interesting comments about the notary world.  These comments, as well as criticisms, are often about the state of the notary industry and consist of items like remote notarization, being paid in a timely fashion, etc.  Recently, I have received several of these comments/criticisms about a particular gentlemen who is known in the notary world as very flamboyant and kind of eccentric person. This gentlemen's name is Jeremy Belmont and he is the owner of 123notary.com.



The website 123notary.com has been around for quite sometime.  It is a website designed to promote individual notary signing agents by allowing them to place a profile on the 123notary site about their services.  The site offers free & paid listings, top place listings, blog posts, e-courses, and much more.



The comments/criticism stated earlier have very little to do with the website at all.  It has to do with the site owner, Jeremy Belmont.  Over the years, many of our members have complained that Jeremy has made phone calls to them at unusual hours and tries to administer an oral notary quiz  over the phone.  Other complaints stem from Jeremy's reactions to his questions.  If, for instance, the notary doesn't answer Jeremy questions in a timely manner, he goes into a profane rant for several minutes.  Imagine my intrigue when Jeremy called me this past Sunday, July 16, 2017 at around 8 pm to give me an oral notary test.  I took notes during that phone call and wanted to give Indiana notaries the latest on what's new with Jeremy and 123notary.com.

During our conversation, I discovered that Jeremy will be giving notaries across the country oral notary tests by phone.  He stated that he will be giving this test himself.  Jeremy also said that the test will be about 2 minutes long with questions about oaths/affirmations, Acknowledgements/Jurats, identifying the borrower, etc.  He also stated that he is attempting to increase the quality standards of the notaries on his site.



  • Jeremy was not asked by any title/signing company to do these types of quality checks on his site.  
  • Jeremy is not a notary himself and admits that he is not familiar with Indiana Notary laws.
  • Jeremy says that he has the right to call any notary that advertises on his site anytime day or night.  Notaries have complained that he has even called them at 2:00-3:00 am to give them the quiz. 
  • Jeremy gets very upset if the notary does not answer his question and will let the profanity fly.  During my call, for example, Jeremy did not hesitate to tell me how the (insert profanity) notaries don't know anything, are lazy, and would cheat on a written test.

Jeremy called me from phone number (213) 705-3318.  He stated that he makes these types of calls from that number.  Jeremy advises that if you choose not to participate in his quiz then you should not answer a call from this number.  I wanted to be sure the Indiana notaries that advertise on his site have this number so that you can make a more informed decision.

If you received a call from this number and you were on a notary assignment, at church, at dinner with your family, or sleeping in the middle of the night, (thinking you were getting a call from a family member in an emergency), please take the time to realize who is calling so you can make an informed decision.  

Anxiety is caused by a lack of control, organization, preparation and action.
                                                                                                   by David Kekich  




Daniel C.  Lewis is the current President of the Indiana Notary Association.  He was named by the National Notary Association as the 2010 National Notary of the Year and also named an Honorary Secretary of State by the Indiana Secretary of State in Indiana that same year.  He is the Managing Partner of Lewis Notary & Lewis Training Services Inc. as well as an Independent Associate with LegalShield.  For more information about LegalShield click here