Criminals don't always need to have shotguns and masks to threat and rob money; it only takes a social security number, or a pre-approved credit card application from trash to make things according to their wicked way (ID Theft, 2004).
Some consumers have had credit card numbers and Social Security numbers stolen and used fraudulently or identity theft. By taking reasonable steps to protect your personal information, this can mitigate the chance that it may be stolen (What you should know about internet banking, 2007) by identity thieves.
Identity theft is a term used for serious crimes associated with someone uses your name, address, Social Security number, bank or credit card account number or other identifying information without your knowledge to commit fraud. This fraud may only take setting up accounts in your name and make online transactions without you knowing (Get the Upper Hand on Credit Crime, 2004).
Identity theft is one of the fastest growing crimes in America. This makes it very alarming since these thieves can use or get personal information about you. Most of the time identity thieves use your number and your good credit to apply for more credit in your name. Followed by using the credit cards and do not pay the bills. Yet you don't have any idea that someone is using your number until you are turned down for credit, or you begin to get calls from unknown creditors demanding payment for items you never bought (Identity Theft and your Social Security Number, 2006).
Credit card numbers, driver's license numbers, social security numbers, date of birth, and other personal identification can net criminals thousands of dollars in a very short period of time. Most often, identity thieves will obtain your personal identification numbers and obtain credit in your name by having credit cards, goods or services delivered to their address or mail drop. Since the bills for charges incurred are sent to the thief's address, not yours, you will be unaware that debt is mounting up in your name until the collections department tracks you down. By then your credit report will already be riddled with late payment histories and show many accounts in collections. As you can imagine the credit reporting bureaus will be reluctant to change negative credit without proof that you didn't create the bad credit. With this, it may take a lot of time and effort to clear your name and bring back your credits (McGoey, 2007).
Identity theft and credit card fraud is not uncommon; such is the nature of an online world (Credit Cards and Identity Theft - Online Fraud, 2007).
Credit Card Companies is encouraging consumers to take some simple, commonsense steps to avoid falling victim to online credit fraud or identity theft (Get the Upper Hand on Credit Crime, 2004):
When communicating with credit card issuers electronically, consumers should always use their issuer's secure online Web site (Get the Upper Hand on Credit Crime, 2004).
Be sure to have the latest anti-virus, spy ware and security updates as a safety measure (Get the Upper Hand on Credit Crime, 2004).
Create passwords that are easy to remember, but difficult for "outsiders" to guess. Mix letters and numbers, avoid using birthdays and Social Security numbers making it hard to predict or guess (Get the Upper Hand on Credit Crime, 2004). Use a different password for financial- services Websites and transactions than for other accounts. Change passwords regularly. Just as with any information used to access any other financial account, you should keep these codes secret. Your bank will tell you what to look for such as an icon of a locked padlock to ensure you're accessing your account over a secure line (What is Online Banking, 2003).
Deal only with companies that post their privacy policies on their Web site. Reputable companies should prominently display their policies before asking for credit card or other personal information (Get the Upper Hand on Credit Crime, 2004).
In addition, be sure to beware of a scam called phishing where crooks send out e-mails that might look exactly like e-mails from your bank (What is Online Banking, 2003). Phishing is a strategy used to fool people into revealing passwords and other sensitive information by posing as a legitimate source. A common example is email sent by a party claiming to be a bank stating that the addressee must take action immediately to prevent problems with their account. The email usually has a link an online form that is branded to like the organization web site. The form will usually ask for sensitive details such as passwords, tax numbers etc. (Credit Cards and Identity Theft - Online Fraud, 2007).
Phishing" is a growing Internet scam in which criminals use fraudulent e-mails and websites to retrieve personal financial information such as account numbers, passwords, or social security numbers. This confidential information is then used to steal money from your account or to run up charges on your credit cards (Einhorn, 2005).
E-mail is usually not secure. it's not a good idea to send personal information such as your Social Security number, personal identification number (PIN) or account numbers via e-mail, unless you know it is encrypted (What you should know about internet banking, 2007). Thus, it is important to be vigilant with these identity thieves to prevent these unlawful actions to take place.
Credit cards are one of those things that could make your life easier, or could make your life disastrous. The positive and negative effects or the advantages and disadvantages of having a credit card help understand various features and factors involved in credit cards. When all is said and done, choose wisely, and realize the credit cards are weapons that can be used for a bountiful existence or a tragic fate. It all depends on how you wield the same fruit and make it better (the Pros and Cons of Using a Credit Card, 2006).
Make sure your computer's security system is safe and sound to establish privacy while using online transactions. Some people may miss the face-to-face contact of their local branch, and most will choose a combination of online banking. As online banking becomes more established, its likely most of us will end up conducting at least a proportion of our transactions online (Kenny, 2007). Thus, the use of credit card online makes things easier for all of us. As long as we remain vigilant it would mitigate chances of fraud and identity thieves. It is important that credit card holder to have precautionary measures when using credit card online or making online transactions to make things favorable and eliminate identity thieves.
Online banking isn't out to change habits of handling money. It simply uses today's technology to give you the option of circumventing the time-consuming, paper-based aspects of traditional banking in order to manage finances more quickly and efficiently (What is Online Banking, 2003).
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McGoey, C. (2007).Identity Thefts Facts: Fastest Growing Crime World. Retrieved March 14, 2007. http://www.crimedoctor.com/identity.htm