Common consumer mistakes for identity theft


If it looks too good to be true, it probably is.

While browsing the web, you find a particularly good deal on a used book from a commune in the northeast. The online payment form does not have a secured lock in your browser's status bar or address bar, nor does it have an "s" following the "http" (i.e., https://) to show that it is a secure web page.

Food for the dumpster divers

Your credit card company sends you a few blank checks to use whenever you are at a place that doesn't take credit cards. You didn't order these, so you toss them in the trash.

PDI: Public display of information

You are waiting at the airport and decide to use their public terminal to check your online bank account to see if your paycheck has been deposited. Afterwards, you browse over to a news website and poke around until you hear your flight departure call. You leave the browser at CNN and head to your flight.

A scout can be too prepared.

Avoid carrying all your identification in your wallet or in a vehicle. Store Social Security cards, bank cards, and ATM cards in different locations.

It is a cruel Internet world.

Even when socializing on the Internet, do not give your personal information to those you meet on the Internet. Criminals monitor chat rooms and gaming clans in order to "befriend" someone, obtain their information, and use their identity. In many cases, you might elect to use an alias and not disclose any personal information.

NOTE: Thousands have been victims as a result of this environment—identity theft, emotional abuse, attempted physical harm, etc.