Protecting Your Identity

Identity Theft and Credit Card Fraud are crimes that affect millions of individuals annually. Protecting your identity is one of the most important precautions you can take to prevent fraudsters from targeting you.

In this article, we will discuss various precautions you can take in order to protect your personal information and Identity.

Make sure that you connect to official Wi-Fi networks only. 

Fraudsters can disguise their own person Wi-Fi hotspot to mimic free Wi-Fi businesses such as coffee shops, malls, and restaurant. This is a tactic used to trick individuals into connecting to the fraudsters hotspot (which may contain malware), so that they can gain access to your information. To prevent this from happening, ensure that you ONLY connect to a business’s official Wi-Fi Network.

Stay safe online

Make sure that you use Secure Passwords with any site you use online. Never enable your browsers to ‘remember’ your passwords. Its also important to log out whenever you are finished using the site, especially on public computers. Changing your password regularly (every month) is also an effective tool. Also be alert for phishing (when fraudsters mimic banks and businesses with spam or pop-ups in order to gather your personal information) and always verify sites that you are on to ensure they are legitimate. NEVER click links through emails or sites that you are unsure about.

Social Media

There are many different ways that fraudsters can steal your personal information via online social media sites. When using various social media sites, make sure that you understand what each security setting on a given site does, and enable all protective measures available to you. Be cautious when ‘adding’ people who will have access to your personal information, places you’ve been, and things you ‘Like’. If a fraudster gains access to this kind of information, there are many ways that they can use it to scam you. For example, if a fraudster sees that you had previously ‘checked in’ to a restaurant, he could call you pretending to be the restaurant, tell you they have over charged you, and then ask for your credit card information in order to ‘refund’ you. This is just one of many ways that someone could use your personal information gathered from social media to scam you or steal your identity.

Never give out your Credit Card information unless you are sure of the legitimacy 

Fraudsters have many different ways to try and trick you. Have you ever gotten a phone call stating that you have won a free cruise and “all you have to do is enter your credit card information”? Chances are these types of offers are a scam. Whether you are speaking to someone in person, over the phone, or on the internet, do no give you credit card information out unless you have verified the business/person first.

Monitor your information and accounts 

Monitor your bank and credit card statements to ensure there are no purchases or withdraws that you did not make. This should be done as often as every week. Be sure to keep important documents that contain your personal information safe, and shred documents that you no longer need.

Remember, Identity/Credit Card fraud is a serious crime that can affect anyone. Protect your personal information before fraud affects you.