Cell Phone Identity Theft

Every day, identity thieves come up with new schemes to steal your identity. They twist old themes to make stealing your identity easy.

A recent identity theft scheme has the identity thieves posing as court officials. They call you on your cell phone or home phone and accuse you of failing to comply with jury duty. The identity thieves threaten you with prosecution if you fail to provide your social security number.

Another identity theft scheme that has been around for awhile is the “Auto Warranty” scam. Similar identity theft scams are the debt consolidation or refinancing loans scams.

Most of us have heard the story about the woman who had her handbag (containing her cellphone and her wallet) stolen. She called her husband later to tell him what had happened and he said, “I got your text asking about our Pin number and I replied a little while ago.”

The thief had seen the “Hubby” number on her phone, texted a request for the PIN, and gained access to their ATM account.

What complicates more is the fact that some banks are now using text messages to send alerts or other information. In these alerts, they'll often ask you to phone in to confirm a transaction or to alert you of a problem with your account.

If you're concerned at all about the origin of an alert, always call your bank directly using the phone number from a bank statement. Never call using the number provided in a text message.

Protect Yourself From Identity Theft

  • Don’t identify people or numbers by personal nicknames like “Hubby,” or “Home.”

  • Do not respond if you get a text message or phone call allegedly sent by your bank.

  • Do not rely on your caller ID. Scammers can use “spoofing” software or voice over Internet protocol (VoIP) telephone numbers to falsely publish the name and phone number of your bank on your caller ID, making these calls appear to be authentic. Instead, telephone your bank or credit card issuer directly—look up the number yourself—if you are worried about your accounts.

  • If you don’t want your life tipped upside down due to a thief stealing your wallet (or identity) –then you need LifeLock . WalletLock, a service included in a LifeLock membership, takes the time and hassle out of a lost or stolen wallet.

Click here to get a 10% discount on LifeLock.

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