Identity Theft Phishing

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Most people who have e-mail accounts at some point have received an e-mail requesting personal information. If you have gotten e-mails like these, then chances are they were identity theft phishing scams. Identity theft phishing involves receiving an e-mail from a criminal claiming they represent your bank, security department, or some other company. They will claim that you need to provide personal information to them otherwise they will close your account. Since some people have no idea that it’s a identity theft phishing scam, and of course don’t want an account to be closed, they reply back.

So when the victim replies back, their identity is being given to a criminal instead of their bank. In a matter of seconds, they have become a identity theft phishing scam victim.

These e-mails will appear to be very authentic, sometimes using graphics and wording very similar to a company. The links may even go to the official site of the company the thief claims they are representing. However, these are not real links, and when you click on them you will be taken to a form requesting personal information.

One aspect of how to protect yourself from identity theft is learning how to manage the e-mails you receive. Identity theft phishing scams basically try to trick you into providing some important information. These criminals are “fishing” or phishing for credit card numbers, date of birth, bank account numbers, social security numbers, and so on. Thieves then take this data and use it to take money from bank accounts, apply for credit cards with your name, and use credit cards to make purchases. Some identity theft phishing scams will try to steal logins to websites, passwords, and personal e-mails.

The key is to avoid falling into these identity theft phishing scams. As long as you don’t give them the information they are asking for, then you will be fine. Anytime you receive an e-mail asking for very private information, be very skeptical. Financial institutions such as banks or credit card companies will not contact you by e-mail asking you for that kind of information. This is a huge red flag. The same goes for phone calls. If anyone ever calls and asks you for private information, the same rule applies.

Another red flag is that sometimes identity theft phishing e-mails will have very poor spelling and grammar. The reason for this is because the thief is from another country, so they are not able to communicate very well in English. One form of identity theft phishing are the e-mails claiming that you have won a lottery in a foreign country. Using common sense will tell you that this is not possible, but nonetheless they do take advantage of people who are unaware. Don’t let this be you.

Whenever you receive such e-mails, simply delete them. An even greater rule of thumb to follow is to not open an e-mails from senders that you don’t know. Always remember that banks or other financial institutions would never request important information over e-mail. If nothing else, you can always call the place to get confirmation.

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