Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Identity theft- the old fashion way

By Greg Wright
Certified Fraud Examiner
National Speaker

We read about the sophisticated hacking and ransomware attacks that damage entire networks, and the new ways to steal or fabricate someone’s identity.   However, it's easy to forget that some of the things that used to a problem in the past are still a problem.
Your credit card number plus the security code on the card is already in the hands of a fraudster or simply is being offered for sale on the dark web.  At the end of this article, I’ll tell you what I do to help protect my credit card from being used without my permission.  
In this past August, a data breach was discovered that affected restaurants throughout the Midwest. Investigators believe that the breach happened early in 2017 and continued through the end of that year. More than 500,000 credit cards were compromised in the breach.

The company has sent out notification letters to the victims and offered free identity monitoring for the affected customers. Maybe you got one. They also revamped the payment card system in April of this year, and they advised all of their customers to monitor their account information.
This incident shows that “old-fashioned” methods of stealing identifying information are still out there, even if they’re sometimes overshadowed by larger events.
To help minimize the risks associated with this kind of incident, there are steps that consumers can take:
1.     Ask your credit card to alert you about suspicious transactions – 
2.      Monitor your account statements

Greg’s tip: ask your credit card company for a new card number every year or when you see something suspicious or find out about a card data breach with a vendor that you have used.  

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