Identity Theft and Phone Solicitations

How to Avoid Identity Theft by Phone

Recent arrests in an identity theft case in New York really highlight the importance of never giving out any information over the phone to anyone who calls your home, no matter who they claim to be. Identity theft does sometimes occur as the result of information criminals can solicit by phone from unsuspecting individuals who are perhaps just a little too trusting.

Yet More Charges Being Filed

Eleven people in New York and Massachusetts faced charges for identity theft. Essentially, they stole personal information from their victims to commit identity theft. They stole more than $1 million both in cash and property. Even financial institutions were targeted as part of this identity theft ring.

Laughing at the Law?

The way this identity theft ring was caught is interesting. One of the criminals made a phone call for the purpose of getting information out of the person on the other end of the line. This technique to commit identity theft is referred to as fishing. Identity theft criminals will call a random phone number with a fabricated story that sounds rather urgent. In this case, the one criminal from the identity theft ring called the home of a current police chief. When the person they called said that she was a police chief, the criminal hung up. The NYPD’s identity theft squad was alerted immediately.

Fortunately, due to her background, Deputy Chief Joellen Kunkel knew that something was peculiar. The identity theft criminal claimed that two individuals at a nearby airport were trying to buy plane tickets using Kunkel’s father’s credit card.

Fishing can sometimes be pretty successful for identity theft individuals. Many consumers believe the urgency of the concocted stories and provide information to the person on the other end of the line. The bottom line for consumers is that they should never give their credit card information to anyone over the phone. Making this a common policy will help eliminate your risk of identity theft.

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