The most commonly understood type of identity theft is physical, like stealing a wallet or mail. Other forms include breaking into a house, intrusion by a “stair dancer” into the office and rummaging through trash for identity details. However, there are other, less obvious means of getting hold of your personal information.
Be cautious when exchanging identity data. These are chances for the conscienceless and deceitful to make their move. A thief can be someone whom you consider to be a friend. Conmen are skilled in the art of interaction, a craft they hone to perfection. They may operate through an unsuspecting relative or friend in whom you have complete trust. A policy that permits disclosure of important identity details only when there is certainty about the need for it should lessen your exposure to risk.
Continuing improvements in safeguards have made using a credit card safer than ever, but you can’t afford to be complacent. That plastic card should never be out of your sight when going shopping or dining at restaurants.
Transaction sites operated by reputable firms are often safe, but telephone, mail and email provide thieves occasions for stealing information. You can’t assume communication by these means is private and secure. Mobile phone conversations are especially prone to interception.
Identity thieves devise clever schemes to fool you during unguarded moments into divulging important information via telephones and email. Phishing is a new word that stands for identity theft scams operated through emails.
In this type of modus operandi, fraudsters may fish for bank account details and passwords so they can transfer funds electronically from your account, often through a string of other accounts, to some little known place from which they can be withdrawn. Banks now take the trouble to issue alert messages that they never request for account access data by telephone or email. Still, a number of people fall prey to the scam.
Computer Keystroke Logging
Keystroke logging software is a tool cybercriminals use to collect identity data that have been entered into a personal computer. Unknown to you, your bank account user name and password are sent to them via the Internet. Funds from your account are transferred electronically and eventually and up in their hands.
Computer viruses and spyware are among the more commonly used means of stealing identity information through the Web. Your computer security measures should include regular scanning to detect and neutralize such programs.
It is generally unsafe to access your bank account using other people’s PCs, since you can’t be sure if they are free of spyware. The networked computers of cyber cafes are especially exposed to identity criminals, especially if they are not well-protected. Identity thieves can surreptitiously install key stroke logging software into them.