Is Identity Theft An Internet Problem? Hardly!

Identity Theft Everyone talks about it, but not many people can tell you what to do about it. Most of the people I have spoken to say that the Internet is to blame. But my investigators deal with numerous cases of identity theft each month, and in reviewing them, I discovered that few originated on the internet. That made me think that to coin a phrase from my 10 year old grandson that I had to “marinate”, he always says that when he is reflecting on something, he is marinating. I have learned not to ask! Also, like all good managers, I have learned to delegate most of my tasks and that can free me up for more important things like doing research and taking a nap, of course.

My point is that you have to know how the enemy thinks before attacking him.

So I started my search and found some interesting facts. It appears that the majority of identity theft, 30%, comes from lost or stolen credit cards, checkbooks and wallets. The next largest percentage, 15%, is stolen from their home by friends, family, and their children’s guests – that was a surprise. Another 15% by corrupt store personnel or our own employees. Approximately 8% is stolen from our mailboxes and fake address change forwarding forms. (They always asked me about the forms) 6% is stolen from Financial Institutions. Only 5% are stolen from spyware or hackers. “Phishing” in which someone sends you an email posing as your bank is only 3%, 1% is from our junk and less than ½% is from online computer transactions.

Well now I know who I’m fighting and now I can tell my clients how to defend themselves. Using my “Johnny Six” techniques

01. Open a checking account and get a new debit card, just keep the minimum balance on it. Before going out to dinner or buying an item on the Internet, simply transfer the amount you are going to spend. Even the bad guys can’t spend money that isn’t there if they are using your card, it will be rejected.

02. My wife and I went to the store and bought a shredder and I found one for $ 25.99 but since I’m making a bit more money in my old age now, I bought the bigger one for $ 49.99 even chews on credit cards. Use it folks, it can save you from being a victim, shred anything with an account number, credit card number, license number, or social security number.

03. Stop using your mailbox, go buy a small PO Box, they are much safer.

04. Take your bills to work and mail them from the office or even from a mailbox, just stop sending letters from home. Look, now we’re making the bad guys work harder and they’re going to go for an easier target.

05. Never do business on your computer using an analog line (phone), go out and get cable or satellite, they are safer.

06. Finally, use the common sense screen of your employees and home contractors. Keep a mail drawer and keep all mail away from prying eyes. Please verify your ID instead of your signature on the back of all your credit cards. When you receive a check from someone, write immediately to deposit it on the back.

As my grandson says; “Time to stop marinating and start cooking Poppa” I don’t know where he gets these things from. By the way, don’t worry, me and the Sprouts will continue to marinate with this to find even more ways to protect ourselves.

Good luck and remember “DON’T BE AFRAID OF EVIL”

John L. Snider Sr can be contacted on his website www / or [email protected]

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