How to Recognize Identity Theft Scams
You don’t want to be a victim of identity theft scams
if you can help it. One way to avoid them is to recognize a scam when
you see it. If you’re like most consumers, you’re faced with scams on a
regular basis. You get them in your email, or you may hear ads on radio
and television and not realize that they are scams. Here are some ways
to know how to recognize them so that you can protect yourself.
When you receive email messages asking you to assist someone
you do not know in transferring money to you, it’s a phishing scam. For
example, an email message that claims you’re a lottery winner but that
you need to send your bank account information so that the prize can be
transferred to your account is a phishing scam.
A less obvious phishing scam is one in which a company sends
an email that appears to be from an online business that you have an
account with. The email asks you to click on a link and provide your
password or other sensitive information. You should always go directly
to the company website to see whether you have any messages to take an
action, such as to change your password.
Call to Get Lists
Some companies obtain personal information by pretending to
offer a benefit. One of the more popular identity theft scams is to
entice listeners of radio or viewers of television to call to get a
list, such as list of foreclosed homes or a list of banks that will
offer pre-approved credit cards even if you have a bad credit history.
What happens is you have to give your information before receiving the
list, which is often useless or you could have researched the
information yourself on the Internet. The problem is that scam artists
will steal your information to open fraudulent accounts.
You can protect yourself from identity theft scams by being
very selective about whom you give your information to. It’s also
important to install protective software on your computer, such as
anti-spyware, so that you don’t accidentally allow others to gain
access to your computer as a result of your online activities.
Did you find this article helpful?