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Gaming, Social Sites and Other On-Line ID Theft Threats

Jul 31, 2008
Law enforcement officials have entered on line chat groups and showed up at ball parks to show young kids how something as simple as a photo with a team uniform can lead child stalkers right to their ball field. The public has a heightened sense of protecting children on-line but adults are often just as easy prey when it comes to fraud and identity theft.

What are some other types of On-Line Identity Theft Threats

Pop Ups at Gaming Sites- You've Just Won!

It's easy to get comfortable on your favorite gaming site. It's hard to resist when a pop-up tells you that you've just won a free digital camera, an iPod or a gift card to a popular store if you just simply fill out this claim form. If it's too good to be true, it usually is. At best, you'll be asked to buy something else to qualify what's worse, it may be an identity thief. Identity thieves can use the same technology other marketers do and once you fill out the registration form, they can use your information to get credit cards, mortgages or utilities.

Spearphishing in E-mails- Important Notices

Spearphishing is a method of con in which consumers receive what looks like a very legitimate e-mail from their bank warning of a serious security issue and asking customers to type in their log in and password to rectify this breach. Regardless of how professional and insistent the e-mail appears, don't do it. If a bank becomes aware of a security issue you will be notified by mail, not e-mail. If this is an identity thief that is spearphishing, following through will give them access to wipe out your bank account.

On-line Communities -So Many Friends

On-line communities are very popular and can be a lot of fun. While you may "feel" that you're interacting with just a few people, remember that Facebook, for example, has over 80 million active members.

Tips to Avoid Identity Theft in On-Line Communities

1. Never give out your birthday. It seems simple and fun to get all those good wishes but your birth date combined with other information can open the door for identity thieves to come into your life.

2. Be very careful of the photos you post. Is your house number showing in the background? Remember the example above about team uniforms? This would also apply to work uniforms. Look at each photo and think, what can this tell someone about me?

3. Never let your phone number be exposed. Using a reverse search, your phone number also gives away your address. Most people wouldn't post their phone number on a profile page but it is easy to be lured to in a community chat.

The world-wide web opens a lot of doors for work and fun but remember there's no "eraser" on the internet pencil. Be very careful about e-mails or promotions you respond to and what you share on profile pages and on discussion boards because you can't take it back and identity thieves are all ears.
About the Author
Lisa Carey is a contributing author for Identity Theft Secrets: prevention and protection. You can get tips on Identity theft protection, software, and monitoring your credit as well as learn more about the secrets used by identity thieves at the Identity Theft Secrets blog.
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