Warn Your Kids -- Ringtones and Identity Theft

Protect your kids, yourself and your wallet. Follow these 5 tips to avoid identity theft with ringtone scams

Ringtones and identity theft -- what do these two have in common? Plenty. Identity theft thieves attack where you're most vulnerable and that's exactly what they are doing when it comes to ringtones. Along with the coolest cell phone, kids like to have the coolest ringtone.

Leave it to thieves to find a way take advantage of kids wanting cool and fun ringtones to come up with a way to steal identities with ringtone sites. Follow these tips to keep your kids from falling victim to identity theft.

5 Top Tips to Avoid Ringtone Identity Theft

The ringtone market is full of scams. Thieves are targeting this market for obvious reasons -- kids want cool ringtones and download 'free' items without hesitation. Before your kids download any 'free' ringtones, teach them about identity theft and how thieves bait people using these ringtone offers.

Tip #1 -- Use the ring tone that came with your phone. This isn't fun and it definitely isn't cool, but it's the only sure-fire way to avoid identity theft with ringtones.

Tip #2 -- Don't get ringtones from free ringtone websites. Many of these sites can attach viruses with the ringtone. Once the virus attaches, they can steal personal information and use it for identity theft.

Tip #3 -- Don't send text messages to receive free ringtones. By sending text messages to these sites, many times you are signing up for their subscription service to pay for ringtones to the tune of $8 to $10 per month.

Tip #4 -- Don't put personal information like banking, credit card numbers, or even date of birth on cell phones. The less personal information there is on your phone, the less thieves have to work with.

Tip #5 -- Only buy ringtones from reputable cell phone service providers and websites. Safe providers are AT&T.com, Verizon.com, Sprint.com and T-Mobile.com. Read the terms and conditions before you or your kids make any purchases.

Avoiding identity theft with ringtones is easy if you follow these tips, but if you find yourself being scammed by ringtone thieves, file a complaint with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) by clicking here. Be sure and talk to your kids about identity theft to make them aware of the danger.

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