7 Trade Secrets of an Identity Thief
Posted on 2016-03-16 09:00:44
When you’ve got a good thing going, you want to keep it under wraps. That’s the mindset of identity thieves. The longer their tactics are kept as trade secrets, the longer they can get away with the crime of identity theft. Statistics show they are doing a good job at it! Here are 7 tactics identity thieves don’t want you to know or think about, and tips for protecting your identity.
1. Shoulder Surfing. Identity thieves often pose as distracted customers. Without you ever hearing a click, a thief can snap a picture of your credit, debit or personal identification card, gaining valuable information for creating a new identity. Be aware of your surroundings, especially when you are using a credit or debit card.
2. Beat the Clock. Identity thieves are always racing the clock, doing as much as they can before someone is on their trail. Don’t wait 30 days to check a bank or credit card statement. Keep tabs on your accounts and your credit report.
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3. Dumpster Diving.
Identity thieves still go through trash looking for personal information that can make it easier to steal an identity. What are they looking for? Credit card statements, expired credit cards, pre-approved credit card applications—anything, really, with personal information. Shredding everything with personal information protects your identity.
4. Mail Theft.
That red flag that gets put up to alert the mail carrier of outgoing mail also alerts identity thieves that there is mail sitting in a mailbox. Identity thieves also target mailboxes for new mail such as credit card and bank statements. Going paperless can keep statements out of reach.
Identity thieves use phone calls, emails, social media networks and regular mail to trick unsuspecting individuals into giving up personal information. It is child’s play to duplicate a website, then send an official-looking email with a link to that website. Spend a few minutes doing your homework before giving your personal information to someone.
Identity thieves learned long ago how to read information from the magnetic strip on a credit or debit card. Most cards with the new chip technology still have a magnetic strip for now. Keep tabs on your accounts and your credit report to put time on your side should you become a victim of skimming.
7. WiFi Interception.
Most public WiFi connections are not secure. Savvy identity thieves know how to intercept information sent through an insecure connection. Don’t sacrifice security for convenience.
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