Top 10 Identity Theft Scams
There are no shortage of ways identity thieves have to scam you out of your credit, cash and identity. Here are 10 more ways criminals pounce on their victims:
- Mailbox raiding. Moments after the postal carrier drops off your mail, a crackhead comes by and steals it.
- Dumpster diving. You know that mortgage company that you did business with before it went out of business? Well, the head idiot tossed all your records and his other clients’ personal information into the dumpster.
- Trash collecting. While similar to dumpster diving, it is not—because you are in control. Ask yourself this: “If someone stole my trash, would I be upset because my identity could be stolen?” If you say yes, then you should shred all your discarded papers.
- Caller ID spoofing. Phone fraud is a big deal. When scammers call you and pretend to be someone else, they may spoof caller ID to make you believe the source is a legitimate entity like the police, government agency, bank or lottery.
- Email phishing. Getting an email from your bank to update your account or simply access your statement is dangerous. Just delete it. Access your account via your browser’s favorites or password manager.
- Nigerian 419 scam. When General Motumboo Bumbooby emails you because there’s a trunk of money waiting from a dead relative, delete.
- ATM skimming. Anytime you use an ATM, your bank card is at risk. Look for external skimming devices and cover up the keypad with your other hand as you type your PIN.
- Credit card skimming. Handing your card over to a store clerk or waiter puts your digits at risk. Don’t worry about it, but diligently check your statements, frequently.
- Spyware. Remember that stupid weather toolbar you downloaded that wreaked havoc on your PC with all those popups? There’s a good chance spyware was also installed, letting a bad guy watch your every move.
10. Hacking. Because you don’t update your antivirus, your PC is vulnerable to remote-access Trojans that allow a criminal backdoor access to your My Documents folder.