What You Carry With You and What You Throw Away Can Leave You Vulnerable

In today’s modern world, we use our personal information in so many ways when we shop, do our banking, when we travel, etc., yet we can be even more at risk to scam artists than ever before. The truth is, you can’t be too careful. Know what to do to protect yourself.

Senior Scam Calls: A man will call, identifying himself as the grandson. The grandparent will say his first name (Harry). Then the man will reply: “Yes, it’s Harry. I am in jail and I need money.” He tells the grandparent where to wire it, and of course, concerned, they send the money. Later, they find out they were not speaking with their grandson.

What You Carry: Don’t carry your social insurance number or your birth certificate in your wallet or purse. It is believed that more than 90% of women carry both of these cards. Should you lose these, you will lose your identity, and it will take some considerable time, headaches and frustrations to reclaim it.

Personal Paperwork: Throwing out the garbage and recycling are something we all do every week without much thought about our personal identity. After all, the professionals come and get the stuff, right? How can any harm come of that? But did you know that scam artists can easily get your personal information from your throw-away bills, especially your credit card number which appears on your credit card statement? All they have to do is go through your garbage bin and recycle box before the trucks come to pick them up. The solution? Invest in a micro shredder.

Phone and Internet: Never ever give out any personal information to a stranger over the phone. Our banks will never ask you for your personal information as they already have it.
And, by the way, banks never email their clients asking for information. If you ever receive an email of this nature, it is a scam.

If you have a computer and receive any emails asking you for personal information to “upgrade their records”, please be warned that this is a scam. Never send any personal information to an unknown email address, and never through an unsecured form.

It really does pay to be careful. By diligently following these steps, you will greatly reduce the likelihood of your personal information getting into the wrong hands and compromising both your identity and your life.

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