Electronic fraud and identity theft
Human beings are quite sensitive when presented with a
threat or imminent risk. That is, if you are looking at us
directly in the face. Many threats and risks arise in
subtle ways, and it is these subtleties that we tend to
It’s the little things that we tend to overlook
Thousands of years ago, it was the subtle things that caused
us to take action, to err on the side of caution and
protection. A good example, animal reports
seeking shelter early during the tsunami that claimed
lives of more than 300,000 people last January. Overtime,
most people have lost the ability to identify the signs,
determine the probability, validity and impact of certain
threats and risks.
Making assumptions vs. Stay alert
At home, my family has nicknamed me “Safety Dad.” I
tend to be hyper-vigilant when it comes to security and
protection of my family, probably because of my fault. I take a
similar position on the security of my computer systems and
my financial well-being. On the other hand, I tend to do
assumptions about things when you shouldn’t. For the majority
In part, I like to think of people as kind. I
I think most people would like to think this way.
The sad reality is that this is an assumption that can shock us.
a lot, and not in a positive way.
The purpose of this article is to share my thoughts with you.
and position yourself on some of the basic things you can do to
protect yourself from various types of threats. Particularly
those involving wire fraud and internet fraud.
Although some of these elements are not directly related to the
Internet, the moment someone has their private or financial account
information (identity theft), the Internet will be one of the
the first places they visit.
(Protect yourself against wire fraud)
Automatic teller machines (ATM) and skimmers
Have you ever heard of a “Skimmer”? If you haven’t, you need
be aware of the risk this presents you. Skimmer’s are
devices that appear to be a legitimate part of an automated system
ATM, but they are actually fake card readers. They
capture all the information stored on the magnetic stripe in
the back of the card. Skimmer’s has been around for quite a while
some time, but its use is increasing again. The next
The link will show you what a skimmer looks like and how
Did you know that the cost to a bank or ATM provider is minimal if
your machine is compromised, but can it be serious for you?
The company that owns the ATM only has to worry about the
replacement cost of the machine, plus the amount of money
inside. You, on the other hand, are not just standing up to lose your
bank account funds, but possibly your identity.
Website redirection and spoofing
This type of wire fraud comes in many forms and is
one of the most popular ways to collect private information
information and money from the masses. Why? Because it is
simple to do and very effective.
If you receive an email from your bank, credit card
company or other online merchant such as Ebay.com or
Amazon.com, requesting information such as passwords and
financial information, delete it and report it immediately. Many of
these emails link you to websites that look exactly like
that of the real company, but in fact they are fakes. Have a look
in the Ebay Online Safety and Security section to get a
idea of what to do to identify scams like
If you receive an email from someone promising you millions
dollars if it helps them with their finances, delete it
immediately !. Some of these scams have been running for
Years and new ones arise frequently. I recently saw one
supposedly from the wife of the late Yasser Arafat,
promising millions of dollars if someone would help her
establish a trust fund in the U.S. The reasons why this type of trust
Email scams are so widespread because they are so
effective and relatively easy to do. Thousands of people get
scammed by these scams every day. To see examples of
several recent scams, take a look at the following
Another good source of information on these types of scams
it can be found at the NY State Department of Banking.
Credit card fraud
Never put your credit card face up when paying
something. Many people will simply put their credit card
on the table, face up, when paying for a meal, for example.
In the time it takes for the server to collect your check,
someone passing by can visually scan your card to
everything you need to shop online.
There are thieves who specialize in these types of scams.
When paying for something, especially in a restaurant,
check if the total or partial number of the credit card is activated
the merchant’s receipt. In most cases, only the partial number
It is visible. However, when the full number is there, I cross
take out all but the last four digits with a pen. The trader
have already scanned the card at this point, they should not
you need a paper backup of the number.
If your credit card is stolen, lost, or used fraudulently,
you can call your card company and speak to fraud
Department. However, I recommend that you contact with your card
The company’s line of credit department first. This is the
department that can extend your credit almost
instantly. They can also decrease it in seconds.
too. If you have a limit of $ 5,000, they can lower it
to $ 100 immediately, then pass it on to the fraud department.
Call your card company and request the direct number from this
department and make a record of it.
If you notice someone swiping your card more than once when
paying for an item, ask them why. Regardless of how sensitive it is
The answer is, call your card company and ask for a list of
the latest transactions, you might be surprised what
If your card company sends you checks to use for cash
advance and do not plan to use them, do not follow
around, grind them immediately. We get these all
time in the mail. When it comes to shredders, everyone should
Take one. You can buy a small one for less than $ 30 and
Is it worth the investment.
Any statements or correspondence you have regarding your
credit cards must be in a safe place or shredded.
Credit monitoring and reporting
Thoroughly review your credit report at least every 90 days.
more often if possible. Better find out before
that later if someone else’s actions are negatively
impacting your credit report, believe me. There are three
major credit reporting agencies, Equifax, Experian and
TransUnion. They all have reporting and monitoring solutions.
available. Some of these services may be free.
If you find anything unusual on your credit report, contact
the credit reporting agency immediately. In addition to
call them (if possible), send them a registered letter
describing what you have found. It’s very important
document all correspondence on these matters.
I am sure this information may be old for some.
However, if only one person reads this article and learns
something new, then my goal has been met.
One of the best ways to protect yourself from electronic devices.
fraud and identity theft is asking questions. First of all, ask
yourself whether or not the particular situation you are in
faced makes sense? Why would your bank request
your information by email? Why would someone in
another country is willing to give you millions of dollars
to help them with their banking problems?
There is a certain percentage of our population that has
absolutely no morality when it comes to acquiring
can. These people know that the risk of getting caught is
minimum. In many cases, even if caught, they are
willing to deal with the consequences given the potential
monetary reward. Stay alert and educate yourself on these
matters. It really is the best way to protect yourself
against the myriad of threats and risks that come our way
with every day.