7 Common Identity Scams

7 Common Identity Scams And Some Of The Best Identity Theft Protection Plans Out There

This post was written by active duty law enforcement officers - Please join in on the conversation with your comments, questions and suggestions. 

The following are just a few examples of ways that you could potentially be the victim of a scam; there are so many out there.  We suggest taking  progressive and active actions to protect yourself.  Sign up for a service like Lifelock.  In my experience this service has been unbelievably helpful in identity theft cases that I have investigated. (www.lifelock.com)

Wallet And Purse Thefts – This is completely self-explanatory, here are a few things that you can do to help prevent it & protect yourself:

•          Keep your purse close and secured at all times.

•         Carry your purse close to you,

•         Rather than carrying a large purse, use a clutch with only the cards and identification                 you’ll need to complete your errands or plans for the day.

•         Never leave purse or clutch in shopping carriage.  You only need to look away for a few             seconds for someone to grab it and run!

In Your Garbage – Dumpster divers could easily pick through your trash and find enough personal information to put together and assume your identity.  Did you know that in most states, once your garbage can is pulled to the end of your driveway for pickup it is legal for anyone to go through it?  It’s true; police use that all the time to discover evidence that may be helpful in securing a search warrant.  We call it “trash pulls.”  Protect yourself!

•         Shred everything before putting it into your garbage.

•          Go paperless and pay your bills and receive your bills online.

•          Always keep track of your credit report; check our product review section to see what               we suggest to be the best  companies to work with.

In Your Mail -  Vital information is delivered directly into your mailbox on a daily basis.  If the bad guys get their hands on this, you will definitely have some issues.  Protect yourself!

•         Use a locking mailbox.

•         Do not leave your mail in the mailbox for too long.

•         Rent a PO Box at your local post office.

Shoulder Surfing – So you’re at the ATM and you’re not paying attention, but the bad guy behind you is.  He/she will simply stand close enough to you to steal your pin as you enter it.  In a more advanced scenario, hidden cameras are placed and aimed directly at the keypad and card scan slot.  Protect yourself!

•         Be aware of your surroundings and keep a presence of mind.

•         Use cash as often as possible rather than your debit/credit cards.

•         Do not write down your passwords and pins where someone can find them, like your                   wallet or purse.

Vishing - These could be automated voice calls informing you that you have won a prize or that there’s been an emergency and they need you to disclose your personal, identifiable information.  Protect yourself!

•         Always be suspicious of unsolicited phone calls.

•         Use your Caller I.D.

•         Once you have the number from your Caller I.D., use the internet to look up the number             and confirm the information. You can do this by following this link:                                               (whitepages.com/reverse phone)

Pharming – This is simple, taken for face value, but to pull it off takes a little work.  The bad guy is able to adjust or tamper with the website you may be searching for and ultimately, send you to the website that they’ve created.  Once on this site it automatically captures your personal information. Now, the victim feels that they are on a trusted site and feels way more comfortable to supply deeper personal information.  Protect yourself!

•         If it’s a merchant account, check the padlock symbol in the right-hand bottom of the                   websites scroll bar.

•         Contact the website administrator or the organization directly via telephone to verify                that such requested information is needed.

•         Review your credit report.

Social Engineering -  This is the practice of someone either in person, over the telephone, or on the computer, that uses means to deceive someone else into divulging sensitive information.  Protect yourself!

•         Do not give your personal information to anyone you do not trust or do not know.

•         Get a good contact number to call back before supplying any of your own information.

•         Verify the caller’s information & call the company directly before giving out any                           information.

These are just some of the scams that are happening; there are so many more out there.  We cover more scams than the above listed ones in this blog, and more in-depth under our Women's Safety tab.   Also, we are in the middle of reviewing and learning about several identity theft organizations, products, and offers that you will soon be able to find under our product reviews page.  As we've mentioned, although the business of Prepare To Act is not new, this free webpage is.  That said, we are adding content, information, and new advice on a daily basis.  Make sure you sign up your email to stay on top of all that is new!

As always, thank you for taking the time to read this post....Stay Present...Stay Safe...And Stay True!!!  Don't let anyone take anything from you!  Ever!

Chris Marciano