Ouch! This subject really hurts. Even your very own Detective Frank Money was hoodwinked once when I was very young, of course, but I made certain never to get high-jacked again!
Your personal information is like a t-bone steak for crooks so that’s why you never go online in public places that offer free Wifi to look at your bank statement or investments. They are not protected sites. Hackers can be sitting right next to you at a lunch counter with their cell phone getting a free ride directly into your bank account.
Here’s a tip for you. On the back of your credit card, instead for scribbling your signature, print out: ‘CHECK MY ID’. Works for me. It’s a jungle out there so be prepared!
There’s one private investigator who’s middle name is ‘Identity Theft’! Talkin’ Money’s own Frank Money!
With everyone walking around with their heads buried in their smart phones and tablets, it’s easy to forget that these devices can also carry your entire financial history! So listen up, folks, I’m about to drop some pearls of wisdom to help you avoid identity theft.
One of our biggest crimes today is Consumer Fraud. Criminals don’t have to rob a bank anymore. I see this all the time – they just get a hold of your personal information and let the buying spree, courtesy of your account, begin!
But listen up, a couple of things in your favor. Credit cards today will protect you from fraud. But you must stay vigilant. If you see charges that don’t belong to you, contact your credit card company right away and they’ll work it out with you. Another thing is always be in control of your personal information and that includes your social security number, pins and passwords, and while we’re on the subject, don’t carry your social security card. Leave it at home.
Question anyone who wants that personal information from you and you are well on your way to tackling Identity Theft.
Identity theft is a serious problem. If someone gains control of your personal information they might be able to open accounts, file taxes and make purchases in your name – and THAT would be a major heist.
The number one thing you can do to help prevent identity theft is to not use your social security number for identification purposes. f anyone asks for your social security number for identification purposes, tell them you do not give out that number!
Here’s an interesting case: Mike Cosmo’s cable TV company asked for the last four digits of his social security number to use as a PIN number to access his account. “I told them I do not give out my social security number or any part of it,” said Ferris, “ so they said fine, and asked me to give them a 4-digit number I could remember. If I provide my social security number or any part of it, it just increases the risk I will be subject to fraud or identity theft!”
It sometimes takes detective work, and there are many warning signs that might ‘pop up’ allowing you to discover that someone is using your information. You might notice strange withdrawals from your bank account, get bills that aren’t yours, or get calls about debts that you don’t owe. You might get a notice from the IRS or find unfamiliar accounts on your credit report.
Should you find yourself a victim of identity theft, the first place you should start is the Federal Government’s Federal Trade Commission’s dedicated website https://www.identitytheft.gov