Posts Tagged ‘job scam’

The Top 4 Identity Theft Scams Used in 2010

According to the FTC,  over 9,000,000 people were victims of Identity Theft in 2010. I don’t know what percentage of those people had ID Theft Protection, but I am sure it’s not 100%. You really owe it to yourself and your family to spend the pennies per day to be protected.  Below are the top 4 scams used to steal people identity in 2010 (courtesy of AZFamily.com).

  • Social Networking Scam – This is where someone hacks into a Social Media account such as Facebook at which point they have access to lots of their personal information.  They also usually contact the friends of the person asking for money.  I have to say, I am amazed that people fall for this given how cheesy the messages seem.  I got one once allegedly from a friends wife. The dead giveaway was she had never sent me a personal message so I know if she were in trouble, I would not be the first person on her call list.  Also, if someone was in trouble, chances are they would make a collect call as opposed to finding a way to get on Facebook. Lastly, if they were just on Facebook, saying that they were “stuck on London” just didn’t add up.

    My advice; make sure you have a secure password that you change at least monthly.  Also, make sure you have an anti-virus software running at all times as sometimes passwords are stolen by virus like programs.

  • Renter Scam – This one kind of amazed me when I heard about it. These crooks pose as homeowners (usually of vacant homes) and then put out ads for tenants. Not only are they often scamming prospective renters out of security deposits and first months rent, but when they get a credit application, they now have all of their personal information.

    My advice; if something does not feel right, it’s probably not.  You might want to get help from a local real estate agent who can do a check on the tax records to make sure the owner is really the owner.  You can actually do this yourself online.  Also, NEVER give a cash deposit. If they insist on certified funds, offer to go to your bank and get the funds certified (but always drive yourself). Lastly, it would not be unrealistic to ask them for ID as well. In this day and age they should be understanding. If not, move on.

  • Job Scam -  In a time where people are often so desperate for work, they often do not take time to check out a company that is offering work.  This can lead to sending personal information to “hiring managers” such as your Social Security number which is often a standard part of the hiring process. It is sad to see people take advantage of people in this manner.

    Check out the companies website and make sure they have a valid street address, and not just a P.O. Box. If it seems too good to be true, it likely is. NEVER pay a fee to get a job. When it doubt, use a recruiter. Lastly, do a Google search on the company followed by the word “job scam” (i.e. “XYZ Corp, job scam”).

  • Charity Scam -To pose as a charity to scam someone is pretty low, but people are doing it and often getting credit card and other information in the process.

    You can check out charities at CharityWatch.com.  Let the charity know you would rather pay by check; if they are legit they will understand, if they pressure you to pay over the phone, just hang up.

The news story instructs people to contact the police and the credit bureaus if they become a victim of identity theft.   Unfortunately, it is too late at that point.  First, the police are overwhelmed and simply don’t have the resources to investigate every ID Theft Case.  Secondly, ID Theft is not just about credit. Someone can steal other forms of your identity such as medical records, driving records, job records, etc.  Who are you going to call then?

I recommend that you check out Identity Theft Shield which will cover your family for just one low price (less than $15 per month).