Avoid Scams and Rip Offs to Help Prevent Identity Theft

When trying to secure your financial future, it’s imperative to avoid scams and rip offs meant to steal your personal identity.  Scams can come at you online, through email, over the phone, or even when you fill out questionnaires or contest applications.  No matter how you’re attacked, you can stay protected by signing up for an account with ScoreSense.  Scam and rip off schemes may continue, but they won’t affect your credit worthiness because ScoreSense is constantly watching for fraudulent usage of your personal information.

Email is a great source of scams and rip offs.  Modern software makes it very easy to duplicate the logo or letterhead of a bank or credit card company to make it look real.  When an email arrives from someone you legitimately do business with, be cautious.  Your bank and creditors don’t need your social security number, bank account number, or mother’s maiden name, because they already have it.  If you get an email from someone telling you you’ve won a major prize or money, be suspicious.  When someone is asking for personal information, it may not be legit, and by reporting fraud scams to the real company, you can help squelch future attempts on you or other customers.

Probably the easiest way to be exposed to scams and rip offs these days is on the internet, according to information available from ScoreSense.  Scams are abundant.  Legitimate-looking yet unsecured sites can divert your credit card information easily when you purchase something.  Some websites and emails can install information-gathering information on your computer when you open them.  Even too much information placed publically on a social networking site can give a criminal the information needed to steal your identity.  There are several defenses to online scams and rip offs, and includes using strong passwords and installing antivirus software.  Also, if you suspect a website is fake, reporting fraud scams and fraudulent websites to appropriate authorities is definitely warranted.

Because of all of the business we conduct electronically today, it’s easy to forget about the tried-and-true methods of scams and rip offs that still exist – dumpster diving and fake phone calls.  It is still common for a criminal to call and pressure you to give up personal information or a credit card number to buy something or “claim your prize.”  Criminals still scour your garbage can and mailbox for bank statements, credit card bills, and receipts.  Never give out personal information over the phone, and always shred everything that may contain any hint of personal information.  If you send checks through traditional mail, mail them from the post office; never put them in your mailbox to be picked up.

Some of the ways you can avoid scams and rip offs include reading the fine print on documents you sign, reviewing your bank and credit card statements thoroughly for illegitimate charges, and reviewing your credit report regularly.  But even those are not foolproof.  To be alerted to misuse of your identity, subscribe to ScoreSense.  Scams and rip offs may continue, but you’ll be alerted instantly as soon as a thief tries to use your information for ill-gotten gains.

If any of this information about scams and rip offs was of value to you, visit our website at www.scoresense.com or follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube.

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