Sadly, we are all at risk of having our identity stolen or falling victim of a phishing scam because of the digital world we now live in. Within minutes, thousands of dollars, your dollars, can be spent without you even being aware of the situation. Not only does it take time, money, and patience to resolve, but it can also wreck your finances, reputation, and even credit history.
So what is identity theft and what is phishing and what can you do to protect yourself from falling victim to these malicious acts?
Identity theft happens when someone steals your personal information, credit card number, social security number, ATM pin number, without your permission. The Federal Trade Commission estimates that 9 million Americans suffer identity theft annually. For prevention,
- Check your bank accounts regularly.
- Do not give out personal information unless you are confident you are speaking with the legitimate company.
- Clear your passwords and logins regularly, especially if you use a public computer.
- If you notice there has been fraudulent activity, place a Fraud Alert or Credit Freeze. While neither are foolproof, it will spare you time to resolve the issue before more money is spent.
- You can also protect yourself by purchasing Identify Theft Protection.
- Don’t click on links from your bank or credit card company that warn you of something has gone wrong.
- Never verify your account information through a link either. If your bank, the IRS, or credit card company notices something wrong, they call you.
- If you worry there might be a problem, go to a new browser and go directly to the companies website. If this site doesn’t list any problems, you know you were almost the victim of a phish scam.
- Get security.
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