Precautions to protect yourself from Identity Theft

This festive season keep your data safe with IDcentral

This festive season will be celebrated with even greater joy as we will be putting an end to the year 2020 (year of uncertainty and obscurity is finally over). But while we are prepping up to celebrate the new year, fraudsters are on a constant look out to leverage vulnerability.  During the holiday season, people tend to make a greater number of purchases than they do during the rest of the year. They also tend to be more distracted and face an increased risk of identity theft during the holidays. And this time as number of people who are new to internet have increased due to COVID, greater are the chances for common people to fall a victim of online frauds
You can also be a victim to this attack this time of the year. Whether you’re shopping with credit cards, shopping online using online banking/ wallet or withdrawing money from an ATM, all you need to do is follow a few simple steps to prevent identity theft.

Here are a few simple things you need to know:

1. Avoid clicking on links if you do not recognize the sender.
Appearance can be deceiving! We often get forwarded messages on WhatsApp and other social media platforms to register on some link to redeem benefits. Even if the message seems legitimate, it is generally safest to visit the original website directly. Doing so will ensure that you do not click on links that direct you to a fraudulent website. Some of these fake websites are designed to look exactly like the website, and we often end up sharing our critical details so do not rely on the appearance alone.

2. Criminals can access information sent through public Wi-Fi. Avoid using it.
If you you’re out shopping for the holidays, you may be tempted to check your bank account or credit card statement to see how much you’ve spent. While monitoring your financial data is an important method of detecting potential identity theft, submitting your critical data such as account passwords over an unencrypted network may put your information at stake. Criminals can access the information that is passed through these open networks.

3. Regularly Check Your Credit Reports
Credit card fraud is one of the most observed identity theft fraud type. Credit reports will include any suspicious activity on your financial accounts. As a result, check your credit report regularly for any discrepancies. Limit the number of credit cards you carry in your wallet, so if it is stolen you can minimize the impact. Never carry your Social Security card— the theft of a Social Security number is an ID theft’s gateway to your financial accounts, and thus must be protected at all costs.

4. Sign up for mobile banking alerts.
Besides regularly reviewing your credit card and banking monthly statements, sign up for alerts. Most financial institutions will contact you by email or text when an large withdrawal or purchase occurs. Download your bank’s official mobile app so you can monitor your accounts from your phone. And if you spot any unauthorized purchases, contact your financial institutions immediately.

Be Vigilant! Be Safe!

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