Empower Your Personal Finances

Thu 08 December 2016

Cyber Identity Theft and How to Prevent It

Posted by seicalbanyny in Money   

Cyber Identity theft has become a major problem in today’s electronic cash and Internet shopping world. It seems that whenever banking and online security advances to keep out the baddies they go and improve the types and variety of their hustles. Sometimes however it is not the breaching of electronic security but the complacency and misplaced faith of the individual that allows these transgressors to get away with your money.

While the loss of the initial money removed from your bank accounts or credit cards is enough of a shock what is often worse is the proceeding problems that you may face long after the actual crime. Things such as your credit history will have a record of unpaid bills or bad credit associated with the theft that can be far harder to overcome and create ongoing problems and stress.

The best way to combat identity theft is prevention. By being alert regarding transactions made on your credit cards or bank accounts, and taking action quickly you can limit your losses if you notice any fraudulent transactions. If you do notice any questionable transactions on your accounts then there are a few steps to take to limit your losses.

Notify your bank or credit card company’s fraudulent claims department immediately that there are debatable transactions on your account. You may be liable for the cost of fraudulent transactions on your account until the time you notify your bank so vigilance is the key, however many credit cards have a $50 maximum liability.

If necessary close your accounts and open new ones with completely new passwords etc. Request that the accounts be closed via phone initially and then in person to ensure that your request has been acted upon.

Immediately sign up for identity & credit monitoring service protection to be alerted of any additional fraudulent accounts or credit report changes. 

Contact the main credit reference agencies (such as Equifax, Transunion and Experian) and place a fraud alert on your file. This will help to prevent further fraud by the criminals who have your information.

Report the fraud to the authorities who will issue you with a crime number. This number is required to make any claims against insurance etc.

Advise the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and report the details of the fraud. This helps the police to keep up with any new methods being used by criminals to commit ID theft and thus helps to stamp it out.

Apart from the steps to take if you are a victim of ID theft there are some simple measures to take to help prevent it in the first place. Simple things such as never carrying your PIN number in your wallet or purse with the card are too often forgotten giving criminals easy access to your cash should you lose your wallet. Never respond to emails that require you to log into your bank account from a link within the email that appears to be from your bank. This kind of account password harvesting is known as Phishing and catches more people that it should by gaining access to their account details and then clearing the account of all funds before the owner knows it.

Cyber Identity theft and other types of fraud are all too common and will always be a danger to the electronic banking system we have today. Unfortunately that danger is the price we pay for convenience and access to our credit. Despite these risks however if you remain vigilant and take some common sense measures to protect yourself from this type of fraud you can limit your losses and sometimes escape relatively unscathed.Incoming search terms for the article