How do I protect myself from identity theft?
I'm getting increasingly paranoid each day I read in the paper about thousands of credit cards stolen from one place, merchants being ripped off by false transactions, and criminals dumpster diving then selling credit information for a few bucks to criminal networks. How can I make sure I'm not a victim?
One of the most disturbing ramifications of our increasingly digital world is that we are all becoming more susceptible to identity theft, even if we ourselves do absolutely everything we should to protect our own personal information and bank / personal financial data.
What kind of stuff do they look for? Thieves use dumpster digging, phishing, and pharming to obtain your information. Things they steal from your trash include:
- Pre-approved credit card offers: they complete them and have the card sent to them at a different address
People that are more at risk are senior citizens, people with disabilities and immigrants, but remember that everyone, including children are at risk. Senior citizens are home all day; they might get a phone call from a fake charity asking for money. Immigrants are desperate for credit, they may have just arrived in the US and know they need credit to do anything and are not aware of these scams. People with disabilities are home, and may become a victim of phone or online fraud. There have also been cases of home care providers taking advantage of their clients.
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