Identity Theft is Epidemic: Are You Getting Ripped Off?

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We live in a world where some people are what you would call less than honest.
As a result, we have a widespread problem called identity theft.

Identity theft is an enormous problem.

Identity theft is an enormous problem.

Identity theft is defined as “a fraud committed or attempted using the identifying information of another person without authority.”

Identity theft is now the fastest growing business in the world. It has reached epidemic proportions and the problem is in the billions of dollars. And because human nature being what it is, there are many among us who would rather:

  • not have a legitimate means of income
  • not make a meaningful contribution to society
  • take what they are not entitled to

The temptation is too great for those with this mindset.

You may have heard of the latest caper to hit the news when U.S. Target stores suffered a data breach involving about forty million debit and credit cards between November 27 and December 15, 2013.

Detecting who is behind this may be next to impossible. Small comfort to those whose lives were thrown into chaos because of it.

You may remember the name Frank Abagnale. He was the subject of Catch Me If You Can. The former impostor, embezzler and forger went on to become a security expert who now works closely with the FBI and corporations around the world as an expert on counterfeiting and secure documents.

In his book, Stealing Your Life: The Ultimate Identity Theft Prevention Plan, he outlines that as an exercise, he asked an FBI agent to tell him his home address and nothing else, not even his name. The next morning, he returned to the classroom with 22 pieces of publicly accessible, supposedly secure “private information” including the agent’s:

  • birth date
  • current bank and account numbers
  • mother’s maiden name
  • salary
  • Social Security number
  • spouse’s name and same information

Who is at risk of identity theft? Glad you asked. Frank tells us the answer. Anyone who has any of the following:

  • bank account
  • car loan
  • credit card
  • drivers license
  • health insurance
  • mortgage
  • phone service
  • Social Security number

Anyone who is alive, or dead, for that matter. And, yes, anyone who goes online!

Frank Abagnale also makes some sobering observations:
1. Criminals look at identity theft and say only 1 in 700 criminals gets convicted of it. And they look at check forgery and they know that for every 1,400 forgers arrested, only about 123 get convicted and about 26 go to jail. So the rewards are great, but the risks are very slim. So that’s one of the reasons that make it very popular.

2. The police can’t protect consumers. People need to be more aware and educated about identity theft. You need to be a little bit wiser, a little bit smarter and there’s nothing wrong with being skeptical. We live in a time when if you make it easy for someone to steal from you, someone will.

Identity Theft In Public Places

Identity theft can occur just about anywhere… at your local

  • bicycle shop
  • gas station
  • library
  • pizza shop
  • restaurant

Stories of Identity Theft

I’ve had my card skimmed a few times. The first time, my wife and I returned home from Mexico and went to supper. Upon leaving, I went to pay for the meal, but my credit card was declined.

I paid by debit, which was accepted. I went home and called the security department at my bank. They asked me if I had just purchased $3700 worth of medical equipment or purchased $900 worth of fuel in Mexico. That’s pretty hard to do when you’re a few thousand miles away.

They stopped the card and issued a new one. The only time my credit card was used in Mexico was at the resort my wife and I stayed at. We gave the card to the salesman and he disappeared with it while we looked over the information on our purchase of private membership at the resort. Lesson learned.

You might understand why I was leery at having to allow the resort to photocopy our passports (according to their new policy since our previous visit.)

The second time, I had my debit card skimmed at a local bicycle shop where we purchased mountain bikes. I had to verify what purchases were mine over a given period and which ones were not. The bank issued new cards.

While I had a week off recently, I had another issue to deal with: identity theft.
In touch with the police, I took some measures you can also benefit from:

1. Contact your credit reporting agencies. Ask for a free credit report.

2. Have your credit report flagged with a potential warning. For a nominal fee, they will protect your social security number as well.

This way you can detect any abnormal activity to report to police, as well as be called personally if any accounts are opened in your name.

Keeping hands off your data prevents identity theft.

Keeping hands off your data prevents identity theft.

When it comes to making purchases at establishments such as this, BE OBSERVANT. You may just find out that a card skimmer has been installed. Those involved in organized crime rings either collude with an employee for a kickback or they get a part-time job in one of these shops to install a card skimmer. These devices are easily installed and removed.

Watch for your card being skimmed twice. Some will pretend your transaction didn’t go through then skim your card in the illegal device, and innocuously say, “Ok, I’ve got it now.” If an employee says, “I’ll be right back with your bill” and you allow them to disappear with your credit card, you have no way of knowing what’s happening to your card.

Offer to make payment only with your card in sight at all times. Many restaurants will bring the terminal right to your table. Literally, it is in your hands to prevent identity theft.

There is a growing trend for Seniors to become victims because they were raised to be more trusting. Here’s another story of identity theft, and what you can do if this happens to you.

For more video information, click here.

Identity Theft Online

1. If you’re making any sort of purchase online, make sure that the URL has HTTPS as a prefix. This ports your transaction through a CGI (common gateway interface) to a workhorse computer often using 128 bit SSL (secure socket layer) encryption as protection.

The letter S means SECURE. This is especially important to notice if you do online banking.
Many sites mask as the real one and secretly re-direct you, often prompting you to answer personal security questions that the bank uses to protect you. They also ask you to re-enter your card numbers and password. This should be a red flag. If you are in doubt at all if any of your accounts are at risk, call the security department at your local bank.

NOTE: Banks NEVER ask you for information they already know about you.

2. Invest in reliable malware detection software that will scan every object in your entire system for infection. A full system scan can take you hours, but be patient.

There are many types of malicious software that you can accidentally acquire, many times without your knowledge. For example, keyloggers can detect and record your every keystroke, both online and offline. Some malware uses screen captures, some activate your camera and microphone without you knowing they are being used.

If you’re the least bit curious how this happens, you can get an idea here.

Some of it used for data mining to determine your preferences so you can be targeted for advertisements. Some of it is to steal enough personal information to take on your identity, obtaining a birth certificate, driver’s license, credit cards, social security card, etc. The prospects are terrifying to many people.

Here’s another example you may not have thought about. If you opt to restore your computer to an earlier set point, you run the risk of reintroducing malware back on to your computer that you thought you got rid of.

3. Shoulder Surfing. This also applies to being in public. With today’s technology, anyone could snap a photo of your card, even from a distance, then get close enough to watch you enter your PIN number and that’s all it takes. Keep your cards covered until you go to use them. Place your opposite hand over the numbers as you type them in.

If you are at a public library entering in your user name and password, and don’t notice, anyone can be over your shoulder recording your information. From there they can hijack your Email, find out private information about you, including your conversations with people. Add to this the same problem in line at a bank. The magnetic strip contains enough information about you for you to fall victim to identity theft.

4. Portable Skimming Devices
There are wireless devices, similar to a skimmer used in retail places, that electronically target cards in purses and wallets. These electronic pickpockets sell for as little as $8 on E-bay according to RFID Denied.

The RFID chips in cards now actually make it easier for a hacker to electronically scoop your data because the data is being decrypted in public, not in a secure data facility. The security industry has focused on what “feels secure” to the user. They have done little to actually secure the card.

The easiest way to protect yourself against these devices is to purchase protective card carriers that have tin foil in them. You can also create a tin foil wallet for all your credit cards. Click here to learn how.

Identity Theft At ATM machines

Personally I only use a bank ATM. Many criminals place ATMs in convenient places that are put in place only to commit identity theft on a grand scale.

Sometimes they install skimmers and the machine works and dispenses cash. Other times it steals only your information and spits the card out, leaving you wondering why you couldn’t get money.

If you are at a bank, BEFORE INSERTING YOUR CARD, do 2 things:

1. Where you notice a camera over the keypad, take the palm of your hand and push gently on the glass. If there is an extra overhead camera hidden there, it will come loose.

2. Scrape the keypad lightly with your fingernails before putting your card in the device. Criminals also hide a sensor pad made of an extremely thin layer of gel. If a skimming device is there, expect some of that gel to end up in your fingernails.

These actions do not hurt the ATM machine at all.

When removing your card to insert it into the machine, take a quick look around you to see if anyone is shoulder surfing. When you insert the card, cover the keys with your opposite hand slightly above the keypad so no camera is able to record your information.

It doesn't take a balaclava to commit identity theft.

It doesn’t take a balaclava to commit identity theft.

Identity Theft by Social Engineering

Phishing is fraudulent activity that gathers the financial information of an online account holder by pretending to be a legitimate company.

Pharming is the fraudulent practice of directing Internet users to a bogus website that appears legitimate, in order to obtain personal information such as account numbers, answers to security questions, or passwords.

There are many identity theft scams perpetrated via social engineering, including phoney Emails and fake bank ads. Undoubtedly, you seen suspicious Emails offering you vast sums of money attached to a sob story and lucky you… you’re the only person on the planet who is entitled to this.

NEVER give out any personal information over the telephone, such as your date of birth, your social security or credit card information. Also never tell them when you will be home or away. Why?

1. BECAUSE you do not know for a fact that the person is who they say they are.
2. Your financial institution already has this information and will never ask it of you.
3. Letting them know your schedule means they can plan when to break in.

Remember: The safest way to handle calls like these is to ask for their name and number.
Ask to call them back when it is convenient to you. Keep in mind many phone numbers provided are only to other criminals who “verify” the call. Instead, find the associated legitimate number and make any inquiries you need to validate their claims.

Other scams involve attending in person and pretending to represent a company, tell you they need to investigate a problem in your home. If there are two or more, one may try to distract you while another snoops.

  • Refuse them entry.
  • Ask for their names, and an employee number, or to see an identification card. Any reputable person will provide you this.
  • Call the service involved if they’re open.
  • If you’re in doubt, call the police and ask them to investigate.

Criminals don’t like a lot of questions. They would rather get easy answers from you.

Remember: The only way to prevent identity theft is to remove the opportunity.

The more difficult the target, the more likely they are to look for less resistance.

Other Identity Theft Scams

Dumpster Diving. If you see persons loitering in and around dumpsters, especially at business locations, it could be criminals gathering reams of trash. What they are looking for is unshredded paper or paper so poorly shredded that they can piece it together to be able to determine names and credit card numbers, or other financial data that could bring your company to its knees. They also look for passwords that have been written down, personnel information, any information that can be used to pretend being another person.

Many businesses now use the services of shredding companies, but your information can still be copied before its shredded. If you have a home shredding device, ask yourself this:

Am I able to easily reconstruct the shredded paper?

Ways To Protect Yourself From Identity Theft

1. Protect your information when in public.
A) Be aware of your surroundings. Watch out for people who may be shoulder surfing. This is particularly important when entering passwords, and at ATM machines.
B) Look around to see if anyone may be listening to your conversation. They may overhear information you may not think is important but could use.
C) Keep your credit card close at hand when shopping or dining out.
D) Carry only what you need.
E) Avoid sketchy ATMs.
F) Guard your mail from theft.
2. Don’t give out your private information to anyone, especially your Social Security number.
A) Be suspicious of phone calls, mail or internet requests asking for your information.
B) Remember: Banks never ask for for something they already know.
C) Opt out of marketing lists.
3. Be careful with financial instruments.
A) Scrutinize your financial statements. Obtain your credit report
B) Know your billing cycles.
C) Cancel credit cards you rarely use.
D) Use safe checks. They should contain safety features such as a watermark or hologram. They contain a lot of information about you. Use them sparingly.
4. Protect your computer. If you think your router will stop a hacker, think again. Even corporations and government agencies(including police) with layers of security have been hacked.
A) Keep your antivirus and malware scanner up-to-date to detect security risks.
B) Be careful online. Ensure commercial and financial sites have the HTTPS prefix.
5. Protect yourself.
A) Place fraud alerts on your credit reports.
B) Invest in a quality shredder.
C) Keep important documents in a secure place.
D) Keep current with the latest phishing and pharming techniques. Forewarned is forearmed.

Over To YOU… Have Your Say…

Have you ever had your card skimmed?

Have you had your credit rating messed with by criminals?

Have you been the victim of identity theft?

Please share your experiences here.

Please share this information with everyone you know. You could save them from a massive digital headache and a real live nightmare.

Thank you kindly!

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About Bill Butler

William A. Butler is a John C.Maxwell certified coach. He loves to add value to others and aspiring to be a great humanitarian, lives by four words: BE LOVE TO OTHERS.
William often goes by “Bill” and is a poet, a songwriter and has an upcoming novel.

25 thoughts on “Identity Theft is Epidemic: Are You Getting Ripped Off?

  1. Hi Bill, yes, once about 7 years ago on my birthday (yesterday) …I was at Starbucks and my wallet got stolen. I lost my license and credit cards along with some money. I didn’t realize til that night when I went to dinner with my young sons at that time. Thankfully one of them had money to pay for the dinner 🙂 It is very hard to open a new card or do anything new for 7 years.

    I did not know about the skimming of cards – that’s a new one to me. Thanks for sharing these great tips Bill, it is amazing to see what some folks will try to do with the elderly, so sad!
    Lisa recently posted…Tumblr Tips To Help Grow Your Blog and Social MentionsMy Profile

    • Hi Lisa,
      Belated Happy Birthday! I hope you had a very enjoyable day!

      Thanks for sharing your experience. I had no idea how difficult it has been for you. Wallets are like key rings in that you can lose everything at once. The same is true with identity theft, which is why I think awareness of the crime is so important.

      You’re very welcome. I’m glad you learned about skimming. Yes, it is sad, and senior abuse is also on the rise. With the Baby Boomer’s becoming the next set of seniors, I can only imagine the number of incidents rising. It pays to know about these things.

      All the best!

  2. Hi Bill,

    Some great info you have here.

    I recently noticed a fraudulent charge on a debit card of mine, and as I looked for answers online I found an article discussing the exact amount (small amount) that was taken from my account. They were saying that if that happened to you to cancel the card right away, which I did.

    I think that none of us are safe from identity theft as you clearly mention, even dead we’re at risk.

    One thing I now do is pay cash in restaurants. Do not let the waiter leave with your card. Ever. A friend of mine was just ripped off in a restaurant that way.

    Thank you for bringing this sensitive topic to our attention.
    Sylviane Nuccio recently posted…What’s Preventing You To Have A Successful Career?My Profile

    • Hi Sylviane,
      Thank you for sharing. 🙂 A neighbor just received an Email about airline tickets she ordered. I advised her to call the airline directly and she found out that they just had received a bulletin advising of this scam.

      Being vigilant with all your private information, in the form of cards or statements, is so important.
      Complete strangers, who you will never know, continually prey upon innocent people. That’s why education on identity theft is so important. You’re smart to pay with cash. 🙂

      Have an excellent week!

  3. Hi Bill,

    I have known anybody in my circle who was a victim of identity theft although I know about the recent attack on you guys. However, I still don’t think that you are still the victim of this crime as it was just a hack into your router and there aren’t any confirmation on any such attempt on you 🙂

    So, I can say that I do not know anybody in my circle who was victimized in this category so far. Thank God!

    You’ve shared some great insights into this subjects and I know this is because of:
    1. Your background of working with police department.
    2. Your own experience of dealing with such people (like the last incident).

    Thank you for sharing about this important topic and helping us all out. Have a terrific day!

    Kumar Gauraw recently posted…Why Living With Integrity Is So Important For True LeadershipMy Profile

    • And I wanted to add something else to this post which might be of interest:

      I was born and raised in India and prior to coming to America, I didn’t know the concept of Identity Theft and probably that because there is no concept of social security there. There is no concept of identifying one person with one number and therefore identity theft isn’t such a huge risk there and at the same time protection is not such a big industry.

      Having said that, I want to mention that it is very inconvenient there. Every time you go to bank for opening a new account or even changing your address, you are supposed to provide whole bunch of documents (ID proof, address proof etc.). That means, what you submitted last year isn’t taken for granted if you go to the same back this year. You need to resubmit the whole set of documents once more. Isn’t that so incredibly inconvenient and time consuming for you and me?

      Yes it is. But then the side benefit of that is, we aren’t worried too much about identity theft as we are here. If somebody steals my driver’s license there, I will still not be too much concerned about my bank account being hacked and so on.

      I think that the concept of national identification number for each person and linking their entire history and geography with that one single number isn’t very common/popular in Asia at least although I’m not sure about European countries.

      Thank you for sharing!
      Kumar Gauraw recently posted…Why Living With Integrity Is So Important For True LeadershipMy Profile

      • Hi Kumar,
        Thanks for coming by again. I appreciate the extra value you’ve added here by sharing this fascinating information. I had no idea that India operates as it does. While one can certainly understand and appreciate the inconvenience of being scrutinized so closely, one can also appreciate the beauty of how a country the size of India protects its people from identity theft.

        I have also not looked into Asian or European culture to ascertain what measures they employ, but I think it would be interesting to learn as well.

        You’re very welcome! 🙂 Have a wonderful week!

    • Hi Kumar,
      Be glad you’ve never experienced anything close to this. I don’t see myself as a victim, at any rate.
      I’ve taken the necessary precautions, and I share some to help others who face the same circumstances, as I’m sure you understand. 🙂

      All the Best,

  4. Mary Stephenson says:

    Hi Bill

    This is a terrible crime that has hurt many. At least with all the fraudulent charges so far we have been able to fix. Recently there was a number of small charges on a card we had. Card was at home not being used. They were charges that were put online. We called the bank and they removed them and issued us a new card. When we received it we activated it. Soon there was new charges on the new card. It puzzled the bank as this should not have happened. They sent us a new card and this time we did not activate it. We wanted to do a transfer balance due to a zero percent interest deal and called them and explained why we had not activated the card. They said we did not need to activate it to take advantage of the balance transfer deal and that they would prefer we didn’t activate it. So any future cards we will not activate if we are not going to use them. This is something others might want to consider, if something arises that they need it for emergencies they could renew at that time. I only use one credit card for purchases and we go over it every month. Will pay cash at restaurants and most other places.

    We get these calls telling us we are having problems with our “Windows Program” huh? Anyways I blast back at them “Do you think I am stupid, no way am I going to give you my password to access my computer!” Then I slam the phone down. I am have tempted to tell them to please call me back at this other number as I am busy right now. (The other number being the police department.) As you say they can find out a lot of information about us online and I am sure are using it to target us due to our age. They think all older people are stupid and trusting I suppose, but not these two!

    Great write up on all the ways the dishonest get take advantage of us.


    • Hi Mary,
      Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this topic. Thank you especially for sharing about not activating cards. Information like this may help many people. 🙂 It does take a mindset of being vigilant with one’s own privacy to stay in the know and be protected.

      Yes, the amount of information on anyone out there is incredible.

      A neighbor asked me to look at a pop-up she had. It turned out to be a pharming scam. The red X would not change color, meaning that the whole region of the graphic connects to a link. If the pop-up is legitimate, the X will turn silver and let you close out of it.

      I suggested to her to think of the pop-up like this: Does your doctor call you to ask you how you feel or how you are doing?
      No. You call the doctor if you have a problem. Using the same logic, you didn’t ask for this information that popped up. It’s another red flag to pay attention to.

      Have a great week ahead. 🙂

  5. Hey Bill,

    I’m so sorry you’ve had issues with this more than once. Wow, I can’t even imagine but I’ve heard of this happening to others.

    A long time ago my bosses boss wrote down his social security number on an application where it wasn’t required and we tried to tell him that he was opening himself up to a world of trouble. He thought we were nuts. A month later his identity was stolen and someone tried buying a house with his credit information. Hard lesson to learn.

    I’ve been very fortunate and haven’t had any incidences. I’m pretty cautious and never purchase anything from an unsecure site and I only go to the ATM at my bank. I also will only purchase things at stores that have the side things on the credit card machine so that others can’t see what your pin number is. I’m aware of the skimming devices and I try to be as careful as possible. I mean we do what we can do.

    I do have a malware program on my computer and I run that usually every weekend. Yeah, I’m doing my best since there is so much out there now to be aware of.

    Thanks for bringing this to our attention.

    Adrienne recently posted…Why Branding Matters: Powerful Tips from Brand.comMy Profile

    • Hi Adrienne,
      Glad to hear you’re on top of things when it comes to protecting yourself. I read of a former police chief whose identity was stolen, which simply reinforces the fact that anyone can be a target of this crime. Speaking of ATMs, I never trust anything but my bank ATM. I certainly would never trust another kind, especially if it has small wheels where it can be rolled away fast.

      I appreciate you taking the time to add value with your comments.
      All the best in the week ahead!

  6. Hey Bill,

    Great post, it’s definitely a hot button issue right now after the big identity scare that happened with Target over the holidays. I didn’t personally have my information stolen, but I had a couple family members that did!

    It’s crazy how easy your identity can be stolen but you have some great tips in here, ESPECIALLY the https tip! ALWAYS shop secure when online, that’s my big thing!

    Great post,


    • Hey Zach,
      I’m wondering how deeply your family members were affected by the Target scam and what degree of inconvenience they were caused.
      Just having my router hacked caused me to spend plenty of time during the week I had off, which would have been put to better use.

      I’m glad you find the post useful. Thanks for weighing in on this.

      Enjoy your week!

  7. Hi Bill,

    Sorry to hear that you had some issues with this. Identity Theft is so common out there that it gives me the creeps. When I go out, I have my credit cards in a metal wallet because I’ve heard that there are some devices that can actually go through anything but metal.

    I always watch a person taking my card. It is pretty scary at a restaurant when the server goes to some hidden place to use it.

    I never give out too much information, especially on line. I don’t know why people list their real birthdays on social sites. That is one piece of information that a thief can take a long way. I don’t even list where I live.

    I like that tip you have given about the atm machines. Going to be alert to that one!

    So far so good, thank God. The only thing that ever happened to me was about 10 years ago when someone somehow got into my business account. The days when I was using paper checks. I noticed that there were returned checks that weren’t mine. I went to the bank and told them there was some kind of mix up. Come to find out, some woman got my router number and had written checks for $800 in small increments. The bank had me covered.

    Then I got a call from a car dealership and wanted me to confirm a check for 10K…they knew something was going on. So I told them to keep her there and I called the bank, they called the FBI and voila…she was caught on the spot. Some Nerve!

    Well I won’t bore you with the rest of my rant!


    • Hi Donna,
      I’ve seen a new product with a pull tab that allows you to insert/remove credit cards, but never seen a metal wallet. It probably has the same effect as the tin foil one. With respect to the bank ATMs, even checking their video of you taking those precautions will never result in the bank questioning you on it. They’re aware of the skimming devices placed in their machines too.

      Glad you had your issue resolved to your benefit. I didn’t find it boring at all. I appreciate you sharing it. It can happen to anyone, except, as I’ve just learned from Kumar, unless you live in India.

      Have a great week!

  8. Hi Bill,

    I’m not sure if everyone has experienced identify theft, but I have and that was such a pain in the neck. And since then I can pick out the scammers real quick. Once you are burned, you look for it in every corner. It’s good to help others identify the issues because it is hard to fix.

    Thanks for writing and helping people become aware.
    Great job.

    • Hi Barbara,
      I’m sure many people have never experienced identity theft, but as you have, you certainly know the pain and frustration of having to deal with it. I think the more people that are aware of the problem and have some idea how to protect themselves, then this post serves its purpose. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. Much appreciated. 🙂

      Kind Regards,

  9. I am not sure whether I am taking enough preventative measures, but I am careful in public…like leaning over when typing in the pin for an ATM machine…it’s really easy to notice these things (and I still wonder why so many ATM machines are unguarded like that? Sure, there are cameras, but how can we trust people who monitor the cameras?)

    Anyways, identity theft is a growing problem (Governments of the world should be doing something about it….the first step is of course to create more awareness among the public). Most of the public (including me) has this false sense of security that it wouldn’t happen to us.

    We, bloggers, have to be extra careful because we talk a lot about our personal life in our blogs – don’t reveal too much information!

    Anyways, thank you for sharing this, Bill 🙂 Hope you are having a good week!
    Jeevan Jacob John recently posted…No free time? Just change when you think!My Profile

    • Hello Triple J 🙂
      Identity theft, as with most other things in life, can be prevented through awareness and education.

      I agree with you that sharing too much information about yourself on a blog could be detrimental. But there is already so much information on the net that you may have thought was “private” about yourself. There are so many black hat tools out there that now make it child’s play to obtain. Nowadays, you need to be your own CSI… Customize Safe Internet 🙂

      Yours in Success,

  10. Hey Bill,

    This is a scary thought that people can find ways to get your personal information. I’ve known a couple of people who have been victims.

    My grandmother was a victim about 5 or 6 years ago. Someone called her on the phone and asked for her personal information. They took about 600 dollars from her account. I hate the fact that these people prey on senior citizens.

    I really like the tips that you share. I’m one that go to restaurants a lot and now I’m going to make sure if I use my credit card, that they can ring it up at my table or I’ll just go up to the cash register for them to ring me up.. You never know these days.

    Thanks for sharing this info.!
    Sherman Smith recently posted…How You Can Develop Trust And Great Author Rank Online Through GoogleMy Profile

    • Hey Sherman,
      Yes, unfortunately, that’s the world we live in, and since it is the fastest growing crime, it won’t be slowing down any time soon.
      Therefore, we need to do what we can to prevent identity theft, including being aware of such issues as elder abuse.

      I’m glad you like the tips. May they go a long way in keeping people protected.
      You’re very welcome! Thank you for contributing your thoughts.

  11. First of all, it’s invasion of privacy sand confidentiality of entering personal identity info @ anyone! Noones buisness especially over the phone or to enter over any website! I also had my own family use my identities to steal money’s from me, and personal relatives inquire into my taxes, bank accounts… we should have some type of secret code with only government! No-one should be able to SPY ON YOU THROUGH COMPUTER, FIND OUT WHERE YOU LIVE OR WORK! Dangerous to rob your $, credit, identity, etc. Too many fatal attractions, thieves, envious, untrustworthy backstabbing Malicious, deceptors! Not your business! We all have our reasons to choose to keep our information to ourselves I don’t need to confess why, your not a priest, and only Government of higher authority should know, not just any type of state, government business either! Soo wrong, discriminating, unsafe!

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