Identity Theft Phone Scams

Tips for Reducing Your Risk of Identity Theft

When you think about identity theft scams, you might be curious about who is most at risk for identity theft. Statistics don’t always tell the whole story because not all cases of identity theft are reported. Some individuals don’t initially realize that they’ve been victimized by identity theft, and others actually are too embarrassed to report the problem.

No One's Immune

The truth is that when it comes to identity theft everyone is susceptible to identity theft scams. Many identity theft scams involve phone scams. Identity theft criminals will devise a highly believable story to solicit information from their victims. Many times the elderly are susceptible. If they’re living alone and are eager for interaction, a phone call can be quite welcomed.

Teenagers are also susceptible. If you’re a parent, consider for a moment who answers the phone most in your house. It’s probably your teen, and they answer call waiting when they are on one of their marathon phone sessions. Your teen might remember parental or teacher warnings about being polite, and inadvertently provide personal or financial information about your family simply because they’re trying to be helpful to the caller at the other end of the line.

Everyone in the middle can also be susceptible to identity theft phone scams. A middle-aged individual who had a particularly rough day at work might let their guard down when they receive a phone call from someone who is apparently trying to convey “emergency” information.

Some Steps You Can Take

The good news is that there are steps you can do to reduce your risk and vulnerability to identity theft phone scams. Never give out your social security number over the phone. And never provide any personal and important financial information to an unsolicited caller even if that person claims to be a law enforcement official or someone from your financial institution. If you stay alert and follow these suggestions, you can certainly reduce your risk of falling victim to identity theft by phone scams.

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