Scammers Are Everywhere
Does identity theft fraud only occur, or mostly occur, online? Will you be protected as long as you don’t shop online? Nope, sorry, not even close.
But that’s ok, even though would be scammers are pretty much everywhere, online and off, you can still protect yourself from identity theft fraud. And, it won’t even be that hard!
You see, in order for you to get taken thieves will need some information from you. They have many ways that they can get this information but you have many ways to ensure that they never get the information they need.
In this article I’m going to provide you with some cold hard truths about how you can avoid becoming a victim. Just to warn you, I’m not big on sugarcoating. The information I will provide you can be helpful but it also may cause you to face some hard truths.
OK, let’s get started:
1. First of all, to restrict the amount of access a scammer would have to your information there are several simple things you can do. One of the easiest is to invest in, and use regularly, a simple and inexpensive shredder.
These don’t cost more than about $20 -$30 and you can get one at your local department store, discount store or office supply store. The new models will not just cut your documents up into long pieces that may be able to be reassembled, they will cut them up into such tiny pieces that it will be virtually impossible for someone to put them back together.
One of the most common ways for someone to get your information is to pick through your trash. So, if you are shredding everything you throw out you are cutting them off.
Next, never carry everything right in your wallet. That is a big risk. If your wallet is lost or stolen and you have a bunch of credit cards or a social security card a thief can not only easily steal your identity and rack up a ton of debt in your name, they can also use your cards and rake up thousands of dollars of charges before you even know what hit you.
Now, you may be thinking that that wouldn’t be such a big deal since you wouldn’t legally be on the hook for those charges, but have you ever stopped to wonder who will be paying for them? They aren’t just going to go away. Instead the companies will pass those costs on to all of us in the form of fess.
2. Don’t ever click a link in an email or hand out personal information just because someone calls or sends you an email and they claim to be from your bank or credit card company.
These are scams. No credit card company or bank is going to send you an email or call you to ask for your account information or social security number… that is just dumb. They would already have access to all of that. These are scams and they are dead simple to avoid.
If you’re just not sure, get off the phone, or the computer, look up the number yourself (don’t ever call a number that someone has given you on the phone it will likely be bogus) and call to ask if there are any issues you need to know about.
See, I told you it would be painless to avoid becoming a victim. These two simple steps can go so far in protecting your identity and your financial future that I don’t even understand how people do get ripped off.
Identity theft fraud can easily be avoided. Criminals are smart, but they aren’t that smart. They usually just rely on the apathy and greed of their victims. So don’t be a willing participant in your own scam. Just say no!