Identity theft scams
Identity theft is targeted on stealing money or performing other actions, pretending that you are another person.
The results of identity scams can be various: from more harmless (when someone can purchase wares or services, using your credit card or bank account details) to more serious ones (when scammer registers loans or runs illegal business using your personal data).
Modern people have plenty of information, which anyone can access freely. Scammers can find out a lot of personal information from:
- credit cards in your wallet
- public records
- profiles in popular social networks (such as Facebook, LinkedIn, MySpace, etc.)
- personal information saved in our laptops.
- They can be similar to those which your bank or other official financial institutions send to you. Usually such emails contain links to forged websites.
- Phoney fraud alerts also make you share your data. In this case, you also receive an email from your “bank”, in which scammers warn you that your credit card or bank account has been blocked. The reason for it is that your credit card or your bank account was involved in suspicious, maybe even criminal activity. And after it they ask you to provide the required details to “confirm” your identity.
- Forged job offers. They usually appear on the job websites. People send to scammers their resumes with their personal information.
- suddenly you receive an email, letter or sms with urgent demand to “prove/confirm” your identity, because of different urgent and very serious reasons.
- The sender of such a request insists on your providing the required data. The scammer gives different very compliated arguments to confuse the victim. This confusion and panic influence on victims greatly and they can give a lot of information.
- You notice that different sums of money disappear from your account without your knowledge.
- Your bank doesn't give you credit, as you have suspiciously low credit score.
- never provide your personal data to unreliable parties.
- if you receive sms, email or call from suspicious individual, who claims to be bank employee and asks you to provide your details, ask him to provide his/her name and contact number. Afterwards, contact that financial institution where this “bank employee" works and check there his/her details.
- You can also receive emails from your friends or relatives. If you receive emails from your relatives or friends, who are on holiday and have run out of money, asking you to lend them money urgently, it is recommended to contact them directly through you cell phone. You need to check that people who asked you to send money are your real relatives or friends.
- Utilize all your documents that may contain your personal information or you credit card or bank account data in the shredder.
- Once per week it is recommended to check your bank account and credit card balances to check haven't your funds disappeared without your knowledge.
- Never use links provided in the emails, it is better to login to the website you are interested in directly.
- Always consult with independent experts if you have doubts about an offer or a request.
There are different ways how fraudsters can obtain your personal data. For instance, they can pay people, who will ransack your rubbish, searching for copies of your personal documents.
Another way to get your personal details is sending you phishing emails.
How to protect yourself:
Please remember that safety of your money and personal data depends thoroughly on you. Do not trust every email, sms or phone call with enticing offers. Sometimes people become victims because they have firm belief that all websites and services in the Internet are legal and official. This belief is too far from being true to life. Please be careful and remember basic tips not to be scammed.