Minimize Identity Theft

Idenity Theft

No longer do thieves have to break into you Escondido home to steal from you.  They can just steal your identity or steal through your computer if you are careless.  Below are some things you can do to help minimize the chance of electronic theft or identity theft.

—If you bank online, frequently check your accounts to spot errors or fraudulent transactions. The sooner you detect a problem, the easier it can be to fix.  Also, look over each of your credit card bills each month for unauthorized charges.

—Don’t respond to “urgent” requests. Never give out your Social Security, credit or debit card numbers or PIN in response to an unsolicited e-mail, text message or phone call. That “urgent” message purportedly from a bank, merchant or government agency (such as the IRS) could be a scam attempting to trick you into divulging personal and account information.  If you are concerned about the urgent request, log into your account and see if you have any messages. In the case of credit cards, call the number on the back of the card and ask them if they have tried to contact you about anything.

—Watch out for bogus text messages. Cell phone texts claiming that your bank account has been “blocked” and that you must call to fix the problem can be a scam. If you make the call, you’ll likely be asked for your account and PIN, which can be used to create counterfeit debit cards.

—Don’t open attachments or click on links in unsolicited e-mails. Your computer could become infected with “spyware” that changes your security settings and records your keystrokes. It lets online thieves silently steal your passwords, bank or credit-card numbers and obtain answers to security questions, like your mother’s maiden name.

-Shred items that have your personal information and account numbers before throwing them in the trash.

-PayPal is where I personally see most of the fraud attempts against me.  I get a bogus message wanting me to click to log in to PayPal.  If you use that login link, anything you give them is lost.  Tip: If you use PayPal, anything officially from PayPal will address you by name.  Also, like above, log into your PayPal account directly yourself if you need to check something.  Never click a link in an email to login.

By using a little common sense, you can help minimize the risk of identity fraud. To minimize risk when buying or selling Escondido real estate fraud, always use a top Escondido Realtor, like Gary Harmon.