It is quite unfortunate that we could actually do a few things that make it easier for identity theft to steal our details. Here are some mistakes that we may do:
- We take surveys via phone: Scammers may ask us to participate in specific surveys. However, this is a very ideal way for people to get plenty of personal information about us. Many things that they ask are actually irrelevant with the actual topic of the survey. In this case, we should politely say they we are not interested and then hand up.
- We don’t check SSA statement carefully: SSA or the Social Security Administration sends out statements each year and usually for month before our birthday. It is important to check the document carefully to find indications that identity theft may have occurred.
- We add unnecessary information to our checks: Some people unnecessarily add phone number and even social security number to checks. Stores may say that the information is needed; which may not be true.
- We don’t check credit card statements: Credit card statements must be checked properly to make sure that they are correct. We should dispute it immediately if we find things that we don’t recognize. In many states, disputes are allowed within 60 days after incorrect details are found. But after that period, even if it is caused by fraudulent transactions, our money is gone forever. Many crooks make EFT withdrawals from bank accounts using specific swiping machines.
- We are not careful when looking for jobs online: When looking for jobs online, we should choose only openings offered by trusted companies. If it is a less popular company, we should make sure that we can reach it and visit the office physically to confirm that they are looking for new employees. During subsequent data gathering process, they may ask for unnecessary personal information, such as financial details and social security numbers. If this happens, we shouldn’t do it and there’s a big possibility that it is a scam. No one will be accepted to get the job, because the company doesn’t even exist.
- We are willing to pay for the money we lose in scam: Scams don’t stop after scammers manage to steal our money. They may perform additional steps to further squeeze more money from our pocket. There are fake organizations that offer us assistance to recover the money we have lost. Sadly, they will ask for fee for their services and they don’t have the slightest intention to actually help us to recover our money.
Lastly, we should say thank you to store clerks who are diligent enough to ask for our ID when we use our credit card. Many clerks neglect the importance of checking signature validation and ID when accepting check and credit card. It is always assumed that if someone has a credit card, then he or she must be the valid owner. Thoughtful clerks are another safety net that can help us safeguard our finances. We should be very thankful if they are able to their works properly.