Just this week there was a major ring of ID thieves that were caught. Most were from Romania although some of them were from the United States. They were stealing names, Social Security numbers, credit card data and other personal information. This was all part of a "phishing" scam. The practice known as phishing typically involves sending fraudulent e-mails that include links directing recipients to fake Web sites where they are asked to input sensitive data. Phishers may also include attachments that, when clicked, secretly install "spyware" that can capture personal information and send it to third parties over the Internet.
Prosecutors say phishers based in Romania snagged information about thousands of credit and debit card accounts and other personal data from people who answered spam e-mail. The data were then sent to the U.S. and encoded on magnetic cards that could be used to withdraw money from bank accounts. So, why would you open spam email? Some ID thieves know how to conceal the truth in an email and make it seem authentic.
If you suspect it is anything but authentic, contact your bank or local authorities. But NEVER ever send any personal informational through an email that you opened up. Always be the one to initiate the contact when sending personal info and even then you have to be careful. Make sure clear your cache often if you are using it for e-commerce transactions.
There has never been a time in history that so many of our technologies can be used against us. But the criminals and international rings are not growing tired nor are they slowing down. We should not slow down either but press even harder to stay on top of the game. Make sure you have anti-spyware and anti-virus protection on your computer to battle this crime.
Never give out your password to anyone and make sure that you initiate the contact when you give out personal info on a website. Don't click on any links in emails that are asking you to input any of your account information. Your bank or credit card agency will not need to send you an email asking you for your account information. And if you find that they do, hurry and get another bank or credit card.
Don't hesitate to question any new accounts opened up in your name that you did not open. Don't hesitate to ask ANY questions when it comes to YOUR account and good name. This is your business and if you have to get aggressive so be it. The bank doesn't care about your name the way you do, so why not be proactive. Stay the steps to protect yourself and fight ID theft.