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Monday, March 08, 2010

Identity Thieves Are Getting Sneakie - you have to keep one step ahead.

I get emails from consumers all over the United States and even in other countries, pointing out the latest scams to separate you from your precious identity. You never know how clever an identity thief can be until
 one slips under your radar. Don’t let it happen to you! Take a look at these sneaky tales of identity theft and protect yourself from anything like them happening to you.

Cell Phone Trickery

A woman had her handbag – containing her cell phone, wallet, credit cards, etc., stolen from her grocery cart. She called her husband a short twenty minutes later to tell him what had happened and he said, “I received your text asking about our Pin number and I replied a little while ago.” Need less to say, she hadn’t sent him any text. The thief had seen the “Hubby” number on her phone, texted a request for the PIN, and voila! Hundreds of dollars were gone from her ATM account.

Lessons to learn

Don’t identify people or numbers by personal nicknames like “Hubby,” “Sweetheart,” or even “Home.”
When you are asked for information, don’t assume you know who is asking. Call and speak to the person to confirm, and if you don’t know who it is, DON’T reveal the information.

Credit Card Switcheroo

A man went to his local gym and placed his belongings in a locker as usual. When he returned after his workout he noticed the locker was open so he checked his belongings—wallet, cash, keys, phone, everything in place. Nothing appeared to be missing. And yet, when he returned from vacation and finally found time to review his bank statements, he was stunned to see that charges totaling a whopping $14,000 where made on his debit card. Apparently, the thief had stolen his card and replaced it with another credit card—an expired one—issued by the same bank. The man hadn’t noticed because didn’t use it regularly.

Worst of all, the credit card company refused to pay the charges because the card had not been reported stolen. Ouch!
Lessons to learn

Check carefully when something suspicious happens. Your personal information is worth a few minutes of looking at everything in your wallet if you suspect that someone has been snooping.

Have a special set of gym-only stuff that travels with you to that locker room so you aren’t leaving everything about yourself in one easily compromised place.


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