How to avoid been a victim of identity theft and scams, the essential tips and guidelines.
Identity theft is a real menace today and we all know the risk of been a victim is very real, it is more prevalent in today’s economy because like all forms of crime, the proverbial chips are down and a lot more people are looking for easy ways out of their own problems and are using the cover of the victimless crime as a reason to commit fraudulent activities,
It is not a victimless crime and it affects people very negatively and severe cases last a life time in the memory of the victim.
How do you avoid been a victim? The key is caution, the simple things we can do to safe guard our identity, that we take for granted are the loopholes the fraudsters exploit.
Let me start with one thing that even I have been guilty of doing in the past, always sign your credit and debit cards, a lot of people do not sign their cards and thus make it easier for the fraudsters to use them if they fall into the wrong hands,
Never keep your pin/secret number in the same place as your cards ,for example in your purse or wallet , always try to remember it and never carry a record of it about with you .it is lazy and dangerous to do this. never change your pin number to an obvious number like the year of your birth or a combination of date of birth, or your social security number, it is very popular for people to use the last four digits of their social security number but the problem here is that the whole world knows that and so do the fraudsters, remember social security number records can be assessed by a wide variety of people and so I class them as public records.
A lot of people would not question the person on the end of a telephone who called at random purporting to be from your bank or credit card company and asking you to verify some information so they can amend your account, some even go as far as saying they are from security and are calling to notify you of an attempted fraud on your account,, and of course they need you to clear security before they can proceed, my advise, be wary, the number of times I have questioned their authority and informed them I will call the bank back and guess what it was a scam.
Never give out personal information to anybody ,and invest in a shredder to destroy your personal financial data instead of just discarding it in the bin , it is worth while remembering that you might not be rich but your credit is what you have built up carefully and is worth a lot of money to the scammers, think of it, if you were not going to repay credit you could probably get a million dollars on your credit, but what deters you ,well it is the simple fact that you will have to repay the see loans , which a fraudster has no intention of doing,
Periodically obtain a record of your credit file from the credit reference agencies, and contact them and all the relevant agencies if you discover any discrepancy or even san attempt to obtain credit fraudulently could seriously damage your chances of getting the credit you deserve.
Published in: Personal Finance