Identity Theft Tactics – be aware and protect yourself

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Identity Theft is a horrible experience to go through. Just ask anyone who has been victimized. It can takes many years to arrive at a full recovery. So it makes sense to be vigilant about being a victor instead of a victim, as author Dianne Ojar-Ali alerts us in her book Mrs. Fraud and You.
I often hear responses from folks I personally warn about the potential dangers of identity theft that they avoid giving out their information online. While it is a good practice to give out information only to those you trust, that’s not the only place of information leaks which facilitate identity theft. The following is a sampling of tactics in her book that are very real and relevant:

  • Electronic pick-pocketing (tap-and-go, scan-and-steal of RFID-enabled cards/IDs)
  • Cyber-crime (using any/all digital information leaked in past database compromises as well as current social media information on you that is publicly available)
  • Phishing (‘bait’ and ‘lure’ types of emails, inviting clicks to websites designed to defraud you)
  • Smishing (SMS or text-based baits and lure)
  • Pharming (digging for personal information to steal and use against you)
  • Mail Theft (directly out of your mailbox even, such as pre-approved credit cards)
  • Shoulder Surfing (visually collecting personal information, perhaps even one of your common passwords)
  • Skimming (duplicating magnetic strips of bank cards as they get used in an ATM)
  • Dumpster Diving (looking for key information like SSN, SIN, Driver License info)
  • Conducting Surveys (via telephone, email or even door-to-door, collecting personal information)

On a Friday morning it may be the last thing you want to add to your to-do list this weekend, but I couldn’t recommend strongly-enough for us all to have an education (or re-education) on this front. Dianne’s ebook is $9.95 and the printed book is $19.95.

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