PadlockIdentity theft has become a very serious problem in the United States. Thieves are not only stealing your personal information for themselves, but many simply sell it on the black market to another thief. They are using this personal information not only to obtain cash and credit cards, but high-cost medical procedures as well. There are a myriad of ways that thieves can steal your private information. Be aware of the following threats:
  • Phishing: This is an e-mail in your Inbox that claims to be from either your bank, Paypal or Ebay, or other online service. They then ask you to click on a link and enter your personal information.
  • Spoofing and Pharming: Thieves can actually redirect legitimate website traffic to an imposter site, where they will ask you to enter your personal information.
  • Spyware: It is very common for people to mistakenly download illicit software and find themselves accidentally clicking on a pop-up. This opens the door for thieves to steal your credit card numbers and passwords by accessing information on your hard drive.
  • Vishing: This is “voice phishing”, which is when a thief sends you a phone message asking you to key in your personal information.
  • Bank card skimming: Thieves actually add a fake ATM slot and camera to a legitimate cash machine so they can copy your account information. Servers at restaurants can also be armed with a portable card reader.
  • Thieves try to steal your wallet and can also go through your garbage for personal information.
If you are concerned that you are an Identity theft victim go to the Federal Trade Comission website for more information.