Protecting Yourself from Identity TheftPart 6 by Michelle Black

I want to begin today by thanking our readers for their great positive feedback on our current blog series: Protecting Yourself from Identity Theft.  I especially want to give an extra big “thank you” to those readers who have taken the time to share these great tips with their friends and family members via email, Facebook and Twitter.  The best way to arm yourself and others against identity theft is by increasing awareness.  We at HOPE appreciate you sharing these articles with others and helping us to expose these scam artists before they have a chance to strike!

Continuing on the theme of identity theft, today I’m going to talk about a new, all too common scam that thieves are using online to take advantage of unsuspecting victims:

#6: Don’t Fall for Phishing Scams. Wikipedia defines phishing as “a way of attempting to acquire sensitive information such as usernames, passwords and credit card details by masquerading as a trustworthy entity in an electronic communication.” In other words, identity thieves employ phishing techniques by trying to get you to reveal your personal information online – via email, chat, or social networking sites (Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, etc.).  The would be thieves will often pose as your bank, credit card company, PayPal, a charity or even a sweepstakes give-away and will try to get you to respond with personal information or click on a link.  Don’t do it! I repeat – do not reply or even click on a link included in the email or instant message.  In fact, you can even go one step further (I know I do) and refuse to open any emails unless they come from someone (or some business) that you know.  In other words, if the subject line of your email reads “Congratulations! You’ve Won a Free Vacation!” you want to go ahead and click the delete button – fast!

Be sure to check back with us soon for tip #7 on avoiding identity fraud.  Remember, if you enjoyed today’s tip, please feel free to share it (using our easy “share” buttons below) with your friends and family.  Thanks again for helping HOPE to spread awareness about the tactics of identity thieves!

If you or a loved one has been a victim of identity fraud the credit experts at HOPE would love to assist you in regaining your good name.  Please give us a call at 704-499-9696 and we will be happy to answer any questions you may have plus give you more information about the services offered by HOPE.

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