Claiming to be a government authority is a tried and true way that scammers trick people into sending money. Among the most common government imposters have been scammers pretending to be the IRS – until now.
Over the last decade, we have seen far too many data breaches put consumer information at risk. That most recent debacle was the Equifax data breach of 2017, which released the sensitive personal information of up to 143 million Americans to hackers and thieves.
How to help protect yourself from high-tech thieves who steal account information
You may have heard in the news that automated teller machines (ATMs) are being targeted by criminals who secretly attach high-tech devices to the machines in order to record consumers’ keystrokes and steal or, as it is sometimes called, “skim” personal identification numbers (PINs) along with credit or debit card account numbers. In addition, criminals are known to add similar devices to credit or debit card readers at checkout registers, especially at gas stations, convenience stores or other merchants where customers may be in a hurry and not notice or take the time to report something suspicious.
Whether you’re traveling for business or pleasure, consider the following tips.
Locked out of your car or home, you pull out your phone and type “locksmith” into Google. Up pops a list of names, the most promising of which appear beneath the paid ads, in space reserved for local service companies.
Using a bank or a money transfer company to “wire” funds electronically is an easy and convenient way to send cash to someone. And when consumers wire money to people they know, the transaction typically takes place without a problem. But wiring money to strangers – in the U.S. but especially in another country – is risky because often they could be scam artists.
Could identity thieves be using your personal and health insurance information to get medical treatment, prescription drugs or surgery? Could dishonest people working in a medical setting be using your information to submit false bills to insurance companies?
The Association of Credit Counseling Professionals – ACCPros – offers tips on maintaining your credit rating and protecting your identity from thieves during the summer travel season.