Holiday shopping is here, which means more chances to give identity thieves their perfect gift: your personal information.
There are a lot of different ways identity theft can happen. We put together these memes so you’ll know what to keep an eye out for. Watch your back.
Stop, thief! Stolen purses and wallets are ways for thieves to steal all sorts of information, like credit cards and account numbers. Keep your wallets close to you, and don’t leave bags unattended. It might seem like a no-brainer, but it’s a way to protect yourself.
Raccoons aren’t the only ones rummaging through your trash. Dumpster divers go through your garbage to find account numbers, names, etc. It’s important to shred personal information before tossing it in the bin.
A skimmer is a device that scans the credit card or account number onto a magnetic strip. It looks exactly like something you would slide your credit card into. Skimmers can be planted in ATM machines, so be aware of ATMs with slots that might look a little funny.
Pretexters act under false pretenses to obtain personal information, like contacting a financial institution, impersonating a legitimate customer, and requesting that customer’s account information. Be sure to check your credit report at least annually to make sure no one’s opened any accounts in your name.
Cats like fish (well, maybe not this one), but not phishing. Like pretexting, phishing is a form of social engineering (using social skills or behavior to get information). Phishers do things like emailing you saying you won a trip to Bermuda. A common scam is the “help-I –was-mugged-in-a-foreign–country-and-need-money” email, which appears to be sent by a friend or acquaintance. Never trust these emails; don’t even open them!
Pharming is a scam on the Internet. Hackers redirect you to a fraudulent website that asks for your credit card information. It’s also a way for Internet criminals to install malicious code in your computer that redirects you to another site. Use sites that you trust, and don’t download things if you don’t know exactly what they are and what they will do to your computer.
Have a different meme illustrating identity theft? Share it with us!