4 Things Identity Thieves Don't Want You To Know

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identity theivesBy MANDI WOODRUFF

More than 11.6 million consumers reported identity theft in 2011, a 13 percent jump over the year prior and a figure that's likely to rise as we continue our love affair with digital banking.

MoneyGram (MGI), the second largest money transfer business in the U.S., has learned a thing or two about the lengths fraudsters will go to dupe consumers.

Sometimes the key to sniffing out the bad guys is to throw on your skull cap and think like one. Here are four things MoneyGram global security and investigation SVP Kim Garner says identity thieves don't want their victims to know:

Your trash is treasure: Go ahead and toss those credit card offers in the trash -- if you want some savvy crook to sign up under your name. "A good rule of thumb is to shred all personal documents before disposing, from unsolicited credit card applications received in the mail to receipts received at retailer check-out locations," says Garner.

Your Facebook profile is a cheat sheet: Use LinkedIn (LNKD) or Facebook (FB)? You top the list of potential fraud victims and here's why: "Information you post on the Internet is never completely private, and fraudsters are adept at accessing information online, even within privacy settings," Garner says. Don't post your full birth date, home address, pets' names or anything else that could be used to impersonate you.

Family and friends are key: If you ever wondered what fraudsters wanted with all your old emails, it's unlimited access to your friends and family. "Fraudsters can hack email addresses and pose as a friend or family member, and then ask you to wire funds for some type of emergency, such as bail money or medical care," Garner says. It's one of the oldest tricks in the books and is still working, especially on the elderly.

They're looking to "hire": If you haven't seen headlines about job seekers getting duped into forking over their tax refund -- and even their lives in some cases -- then here's the skinny: They prowl job boards and hone in on consumers looking for quick cash. "Notifications of a job offer that asks you to send money via a wire transfer before you can start to make money may not be the best job for you," Garner warns. "Remember, you shouldn't have to pay anything upfront to start a job."

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The biz

Just want to alert the public to another scam. The DEA has it posted on their website. Too bad they didn't let the media, the public know. I got a call from a poser DEA agent stating I violated a law by buying from an online pharmacy in '07 & a warrant for my arrest was issued & they were coming to arrest me by field agents 10 min away. I was then told I could release the warrant if i paid the fine & came down to the court house. I feel like a real moron because there was so many red flags, but hey it's the DEA the Fed's & I thought they can do anything they want. I had my 5 yr old grand daughter with me & didn't want the agents storming in scaring the day lights out of her. He instructed me to go to a money gram & western union & send money. Too embarrassed to mention the amount. The Feds cannot cold call you & offer to release a warrant if you pay the fine. Don't be scammed.

January 27 2014 at 6:25 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Ramya Divya

Protecting our personal information on social networking sites is important to prevent the risks of Identity theft. Just came across an informative whitepaper on the same topic " Wire fraud and Identity theft : Risks and prevention for Banks and consumers, readers will find it very useful @ bit.ly/S639ew

February 27 2013 at 4:18 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply