With the never-ending improvement in technology, the strategy of thieves also evolved. Before robbery and theft are straightforward, some would pickpocket and grab your cash or cell phone then dash away. More desperate ones would use a deadly weapon to scare you. However, these past decades, the world has seen a digital form of theft.
A 2017 study conducted by Javelin Strategy and Research found out that roughly 15.4 million of US consumers are victims of identity theft in one way or another, with a total estimate of 16 billion money loss to identity theft. These figures are steadily increasing yearly. The most effective route in order not to find ourselves as a victim to the ever famous identity theft is in fact, learning about the different ways the fraudsters were able to retrieve personal information and ways to prevent such.
Generating misleading emails that manipulate people to type in their confidential information usually it is pretending to be from a legitimate bank, health institution, credit card company, etc.
The idea of the modus operandi is the same with phishing, but it is done through text messaging. This scam is becoming popular since more people are using their phones to access their bank accounts and credit cards. The text may resemble that of a financial institution asking for PIN number or email account password. Also, text messages might be sent as a personal message from someone to open their social media accounts. Upon clicking the URL, the software will retrieve your data.
Hacking into wireless networks and installing spyware. Wardriving would allow access to IP addresses, used devices and devices activity including usernames, password, and personal information.
It is a software installed by the hacker or a virus that records every keystroke done on a computer which can be utilized to gather data such as passwords, usernames, and social security information.
Installation of the devices in ATM and gas pump card slots that will store credit/debit card information.
Hackers target large corporations and businesses databases to pull out stored financial or personal information of their customers and clients.
- Cover your keypad when entering your pin number in the ATM
- Turn the card reader away from prying eyes
- If someone seems too nosy or moves to close to you, leave and try accessing your account elsewhere.
- Make sure that website where you enter your data information is a secure site. The address is in their URL https:// and http://. The “s” means that the site is safe and encrypted.
- A secure site will have a closed padlock next to the domain name
- Do not click on any attachments in emails with unknown senders
- Utilize trusted browsers with phishing protection. This includes Firefox, Google Chrome, Internet Explorer and Edge.
- Be cautious with sites that have a pop-up and annoying advertisement.
- Be suspicious if someone is calling out of the blue and asks for your personal information.
- Avoid any special promotions and offer that is for a limited time and requires you to give out pertinent information.
- Check the email address from reputable companies. The domain name should be that of the corporation’s name.
If ever you have been a victim in any of these fraudulent activities and you need psychological support, BetterHelp is a good site that provides counseling services.