Identity Theft: What You Need to Know but No One Will Tell You
Posted on October 25, 2017 at 12:00 AM by Blog Committee
Identity Theft: What You Need to Know but No One Will Tell You.
Another financial institution gets hacked. A few card skimmers are found on some gas pumps and ATMs, A store you may shop at gets hacked and your customer information is compromised. Sounds scary, doesn’t it? What they aren’t telling you is what actually happens to that information! Those skimmed cards, Social Security Numbers, and other personal information often times end up in places like OpenBazaar, a decentralized, open marketplace. Cloned credit cards with that hacked data show up for sale among legitimate Pokémon and other game cards, as shown below.
Equifax recently revealed the personal information of over 143 million people in the US had been stolen by hackers. That is over 50% of the adult population of the U.S., which means that you are one of them. So, what can be done to protect yourself from identity theft? Nothing. But what you can do is make sure you regularly review your bank and credit card statements. You can also place fraud alerts on your credit cards and NEVER verify personal information over the phone if someone calls and asks you to do so.
Many sites that get hacked usually offer a “free” service to see if your information was compromised. I strongly advise against doing this for the following reasons: 1) By agreeing to the terms and conditions when using their service, you could be agreeing to give up your rights to hold them responsible for failing to protect your personal information. 2) Many scammers will offer sites with similar names that look exactly the same but just steal your information.
Written by Mike Johnson - Director of IT