Theft Prevention TO DO List
Wednesday October 06, 2010
Identity Theft is a PRIMARY element of Internet scams and Spam
emails. You are at serious risk. Identity Theft is
devastating and your personal information is extremely valuable to scammers.
Criminals are determined to steal your personal information from you and your
computer so it can be sold on the black market to illegal aliens, drug runners
and other criminals.
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The object of scam letters and scam email is
not just to get you to send the scammers money for false reasons, but to
obtain your identity. This is accomplished both by asking you
personal identity questions and by downloading spyware and viruses (Trojan
Horses) onto your hard drive when you open their emails.
Very, very little personal information is
required for a personal information harvester to fill in the blanks.
Some scammers then take whatever information
they have harvested from you and your hard drive and enter the information
into "detective" software easily available on the Internet. Those
who know what they are doing can obtain your Social Security Number or
National ID information, plus property information - real estate, car,
boat, motorcycle, etc.
Everything you do on the Internet is automatically stored
on your hard drive for the hackers to steal with their malware, including
all your usernames and passwords, purchase information such as credit
cards and e-checks, access to your online banking, email address books,
Even if the emails you are opening do not
contain any malicious code, when you open the email a receipt is sent to
the scammer. He or she now has your IP address and the malware is
off and running at your computer.
Once they have your email address, it is sold
into scammer mailing lists. Your inbox will begin filling with scam
emails and Spam.
Once they have your physical address, it is
sold into scammer mailing lists. You may receive fake lottery
winning notifications, other solicitations, loan offers, and counterfeit
checks and/or money orders.
Here is the list of what you must do:
Your Computer and Online
Cease all correspondence with the scammers
to do if you are receiving threatening phone calls or emails.)
all your passwords. Keep a record of your passwords off line.
both your anti-spyware and anti-virus programs on deep clean, which
means all files and folders. Do this regularly, once a week at the very
Internet Explorer browsers: Go to Tools > Internet
Options > General (this is the first tab) > Cookies: Delete.
CAUTION: if your browser is set to remember your passwords, they will be
gone; however, your Home setting may remain, as well as cookies for
those pages you view most frequently. This is okay.
(continued) - click on each tab and review the contents. For instance,
you may want to reconsider the amount of information you have stored in
your Profile and in your AutoComplete options. Do not change any of the
settings in the Advanced section without advisement.
Netscape and other browsers - most browsers have Internet Options in one
of the pull down menus in your browser; if you cannot find the button,
please refer to your browser's Help file usually located to the far
right of the browser toolbar.
Windows users: You can also follow the same directions by clicking on
Start > Control Panel > Security Center (or similar term,
depending on your version) > Internet Options.
use PayPal, BidPay, or any online funds transfer system (other than your
online banking), see if you can close the accounts and open new ones
since they are attached to either your bank account or one of your
drive cache & Temp folders: if you are running XP, click on the computer
icon on your desktop. You will see C: Local Disk. Right
click on C: and in the drop down menu, Properties. This
opens a tabbed pop up window.
first tab is General and it will show a pie chart of the remaining
storage on your hard drive. Next to or under the pie chart you will see
the Disk Cleanup button. Click on that.
the computer is finished making a list of all files and folders that can
be deleted, you will be shown the list with check boxes. We
recommend that you delete everything; however, that means deleting all
cookies which is how your hard drive retains login information. We
HIGHLY recommend that you keep your list of usernames and passwords off
your computer or that you use a secure password manager.
use credit cards to make online purchases or to load an online pay
system, contact the credit card issuer (see the phone number on the back
of each card) and ask for new numbers. You should do this regularly
do online banking, monitor your account once a week at the very least
and immediately report any unauthorized activity. NOTE: Be sure to view
each transaction you consider to be unauthorized against any recent
purchases that may be appearing on your statement under a different
name. For example, you purchased a monthly service named XYZ News
Service which is being billed to you by something called InfoUnlimited.
banking (continued) - If your bank account is used by scammers for
illicit purposes, such as depositing money in your account without your
permission, or transferring funds from your account without your
permission, contact your bank IMMEDIATELY. If
your personal funds are transferred out of your account without your
knowledge or permission, those funds will be returned to your account.
You will not lose the money. If funds are transferred into your account
without your knowledge or permission, contact your bank
IMMEDIATELY. Your account is being used by scammers for money
laundering and you could be held liable.
sent a copy of any of the following to the scammers, contact the issuing
agency and ask for a new document if possible. If you cannot obtain a
new identity document, ask that the one you have been assigned be
Fraud-flagged. NOTE: This means that should you be stopped and asked to
produce your current identity document, you will need to produce
additional forms of identification to prove that you are the authorized
National Identity Card
Security Card (fraud-flag)
other form of identification issued by a government agency
sent a copy of your Birth Certificate to the scammers, you must inform
local law enforcement immediately and get it on record that you filed a
report. This won't be easy without actual evidence of stolen identity
activity, in other words, that a crime has been committed. Your Birth
Certificate may never be used, but don't count on it.
and get a copy of each of your credit reports. Monitor them on a
regular basis. NOTE: You do not need to monitor your credit reports
monthly unless you really want to. Consider your needs before signing
up for monthly service.
reports (continued) - should you discover unauthorized activity on one
of your reports, please keep in mind that you must contact all 3
agencies individually with the information. The credit reporting
agencies to not communicate and compare credit reports.
they send you any checks or money orders, DO NOT CASH THEM, DO NOT
DEPOSIT THEM. They will be stolen, forged, or
counterfeit and you could go to jail for taking them to the bank or a
check cashing facility. Write VOID in your language of residence across
the front and take them and the envelope to the police. Read this:
How to Really Verify a Check or Money Order.
go to ID Theft on our links page.