Identity theft is defined as the stealing, purchasing or otherwise obtaining personal identifying information from someone without their consent. During the holidays, people are more vulnerable to identity theft because of how chaotic things can become. If you want to learn how to reduce the risk of becoming a victim of identity theft, continue reading our Virginia Beach criminal lawyer’s blog.
So just how do identity thieves get your information?
1. Congratulations! You’ve Won – Before ad blockers, in the early 2000’s, you likely remember heading to websites and hearing that phrase. These scams continue to this day, only identity thieves use many different tactics to get your information. You could be contacted via your telephone by representatives claiming you’ve won some grand prize, or you may see an email that looks as if it was coming from a legitimate company like Target, Macy’s or Amazon, claiming you’ve won. If these scammers ask for your banking information or social security information, hang up the phone or close the window.
2. Corporate Data Leaks: You may have heard about the corporate data leaks Target experienced a few years ago. When a corporation experiences a data leak, customers’ bank accounts, credit history, telephone numbers, and social security information is released into the world. Often these customers are never able to recover this information, and there are a higher risk of having their identities stolen. Consider signing up for a credit and identity theft monitoring service like LifeLock, which will alert you to any threats to your ID.
3. Pretexting: Pretexting occurs when someone tries to obtain an individual’s personal information often using social engineering and then sells this information. Pretexters often call unsuspecting people claiming they are from the bank, the gas company or the cable company and ask customers to take a short survey or update their records. These people always sound friendly and confident, which helps the scam seem legitimate. Don’t give out your information to someone on the phone, email or mail unless you contacted the agency first.
We at The Law Offices of Daniel J. Miller hope have a safe holiday season.