ORLANDO, FL (Ivanhoe Newswire) — Millions of people are affected each year by identity theft. It’s big business for identity thieves and it’s getting worse. The federal trade commission received nearly three million identity theft reports in 2021. The cost was nearly six billion dollars to consumers. The most common types of identity theft were credit card fraud, government documents or benefits fraud, and loan or lease fraud. It can happen to anyone, anywhere.
“As we evolve in technology it has become more and more of an issue,” said Regine Bonneau, a CEO of RB Advisory and Cyber Security Consultant
Reader’s Digest asked convicted identity thieves and they said one of the easiest ways to steal people’s money was to take a photo of their credit cards while they were being used at the grocery store. Another easy target is paying bills the old-fashioned way. Thieves can steal your bills from your mailbox and gain access to your credit card numbers, name, and address all at once.
You can opt out of getting preapproved credit card offers by calling 888-5-optout.
Make sure all your credit cards have an embedded chip. This makes them a lot harder to hack and you can now get safety cards to put in your wallet that won’t allow thieves to scan your number while it’s safely in your wallet. Always use your credit card instead of your debit card. If hackers break into retail databases, debit cards give direct access to your banking account. A thieves’ least favorite credit card is an American Express because it asks for a zip code to finalize a transaction.
One last tip is to never access your bank account over a public wi-fi network, the safest wi-fi is at your home. Just make sure your home wi-fi network is secure by requiring a password.
When making online purchases, double check the site is secure. If you don’t see HTTPS on the URL, then it shouldn’t be trusted. Also, thieves say they dig for your info the old-fashioned way. This is by digging through your trash. Never throw away anything that gives out your personal info.
Make sure your credit report is accurate and includes only accounts and activities that you’ve authorized. You can visit annualcreditreport.com to learn how to get free copies of your credit reports from the three major credit bureaus.
Contributors to this news report include: Marsha Lewis, Producer; Roque Correa, Videographer and Editor.
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