There are many criminals who attempt to steal your money through identity theft. Here are some ways they attempt to steal your personal information.
Many times thieves will send emails that appear to be an official bank or credit card email, with proper logos, etc. They will request updated information for your account or inform you of suspected fraudulent activity and need you to log-in and verify your information. These emails include a link or button to take you to the log-in page, which was created by the identity thief to look like the real site. When you log-in, they record your username and password and “log you in” to the fake site with whatever information you just provided. You will then be asked to update some personal information, such as your social security number, name, address, etc. Now the thieves not only have your credentials to access your bank account, they also have the necessary information to create new accounts under your name and social security number.
The criminals can also steal personal information for identity theft purposes by getting malware on your computer that has a keylogger. It records what you type at whatever websites it wants to record information from, such as your bank, then sends it to the creator of the keylogger. This is how they get usernames and passwords for many sites, including financial institutions.
By Phone and Mail
Over the phone or by mail is another way they can gather information on you, although this isn’t as common. Generally, you’re contacted because you won a contest and need to provide some personal information in order to collect your prize. Or you may receive a phone call from someone pretending to be a representative from your bank who has identified some fraudulent activity in your account and needs to verify your personal information. They use the information you provide to steal your identity.
Common Red Flags
Identity theft is a big problem and these criminals are getting sneakier and sneakier. However, there are some red flags to be on the lookout for, such as typos in the email or in the website. No identifier, like the person’s name on the account or the last 4 digits of account number in the email. It just says “Dear Bank Customer versus your name.
What To Do if You Receive Suspicious Emails
When you get a suspicious email, do not click on the link provided in the email. Instead go to the official website of your bank or credit card company, then log-in to see if there are any messages or warnings that pop up. You can also call your bank or credit card company first to verify whether the email is legitimate.