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13 Things An Identity Thief Won't Tell You

submitted on August 18, 2010 by pablos17 in "Member's Lounge"
Former identity thieves confess the tactics they use to scam you.

1. Watch your back. In line at the grocery store, I’ll hold my phone like I’m looking at the screen and snap your card as you’re using it. Next thing you know, I’m ordering things online—on your dime.

2. That red flag tells the mail carrier—and me—that you have outgoing mail. And that can mean credit card numbers and checks I can reproduce.

3. Check your bank and credit card balances at least once a week. I can do a lot of damage in the 30 days between statements.

4. In Europe, credit cards have an embedded chip and require a PIN, which makes them a lot harder to hack. Here, I can duplicate the magnetic stripe technology with a $50 machine.

5. If a bill doesn’t show up when it’s supposed to, don’t breathe a sigh of relief. Start to wonder if your mail has been stolen.

6. That’s me driving through your neighborhood at 3 a.m. on trash day. I fill my trunk with bags of garbage from different houses, then sort later.

7. You throw away the darnedest things—preapproved credit card applications, old bills, expired credit cards, checking account deposit slips, and crumpled-up job or loan applications with all your personal information.

8. If you see something that looks like it doesn’t belong on the ATM or sticks out from the card slot, walk away. That’s the skimmer I attached to capture your card information and PIN.

9. Why don’t more of you call 888-5-OPTOUT to stop banks from sending you preapproved credit offers? You’re making it way too easy for me.

10. I use your credit cards all the time, and I never get asked for ID. A helpful hint: I’d never use a credit card with a picture on it.

11. I can call the electric company, pose as you, and say, “Hey, I thought I paid this bill. I can’t remember—did I use my Visa or MasterCard? Can you read me back that number?” I have to be in character, but it’s unbelievable what they’ll tell me.

12. Thanks for using your debit card instead of your credit card. Hackers are constantly breaking into retail databases, and debit cards give me direct access to your banking account.

13. Love that new credit card that showed up in your mailbox. If I can’t talk someone at your bank into activating it (and I usually can), I write down the number and put it back. After you’ve activated the card, I start using it.

  • 75106
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    10 8 2
    Posted by pablos17 on August 18, 2010
    [reply] 3 0
    13 more things an identity thief won't tell you (by Reader's Digest):
  • 75194
    5 1 1
    Posted by tammy987 on August 18, 2010
    [reply] 5 0
    Tips for avoiding these scams:
    Drop outgoing mail in nearest drop-off box or post office.
    Shred everything with personal info on it, including credit card offers.
    Use a post office box for incoming mail or someplace like Mailboxes, etc.
    Have your credit card notify you of any purchases over a certain amount. Make it a small amount because a thief will probably start small at first.
    Some of these might seem like a pain, but I'd rather do these than have someone steal my identity and deal with the consequences for years afterward.
    • HouTex
      Posted by HouTex on August 18, 2010
      [reply] 5 0
      Be sure to shred those blank checks that come with your credit card bills, too. We seem to get them almost every month now. The credit card companies keep trying to get us to use them, but it's a very bad idea - the interest rate on those is higher than your regular account and there's no grace period before the charges start!
  • 75206
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    Posted by vectra5 on August 18, 2010
    [reply] 3 0
    i guess i'll be more careful ...
  • 75243
    Posted by iggy27 on August 18, 2010
    [reply] 3 0
    You Can Never Be To Careful, Thanks For The Information.
  • 75252
    Posted by HouTex on August 19, 2010
    [reply] 2 0
    I forgot to mention one more tip. Write "Ask for ID" in the signature blank on the back of all your credit cards. That (hopefully) will force sales personnel to require some other identification because the credit card isn't properly signed.
    • tammy987
      5 1 1
      Posted by tammy987 on August 19, 2010
      [reply] 1 0
      Good tip!
  • 75435
    Posted by deby32953 on August 19, 2010 [reply] 0 0
    I never thought about some of those things nor did I used to shred mail till my husband insisted 13 yrs ago. Now I shred everything. Will have to start following some of the tips above too! Great info. & topic!
  • 75440
    Posted by deby32953 on August 19, 2010 [reply] 0 0
    Was told a long time ago by neighbors to never put outgoing mail in box at night. Wait until am or later if possible but NEVER at night!

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