What is Phishing and Dumpster Diving?

Identity theft can be one of the most devastating things that can happen to anyone. You are even creating an identity protection industry with companies that specialize in protecting your identity and credit.

One of the most important steps in preventing identity theft and avoiding becoming a victim is awareness. You need to stay vigilant and aware of current identity theft scams and methods to know what to look for. One of the most common and publicized ways that thieves steal information is through phishing. No, phishing does not mean enjoying the musical group Phish, it refers to a text message from a cell phone via email or some other electronic means of communication that tries to trick you into providing personal information. One of the most infamous phishing email scams was one that claimed that the person writing the email is handling an inheritance left to him by his wealthy uncle, and he only needs to confirm certain information about him. The information they need to confirm is your social security number, address, phone number, and driver’s license number.

This seems compelling to people because they already have some of your information, but some are missing. This is a scam, and as soon as you correct them with the correct information, they can start robbing you almost immediately. Some have seen transactions that occur in as little as 20 minutes after the scam occurs.

Another way that identity theft occurs is not widely known, but it is even more common. Dumpster diving is one of the main ways identity theft takes place and is overlooked by many people. Sometimes the mail is stolen, which is difficult to avoid, but you can easily prevent your personal information from being stolen from the trash. It can be as simple as buying a paper shredder and making sure to destroy all the confidential information you are throwing away. Many people who do not have a shredder tear the paper with their hands and think they are safe, although many times thieves who deal with your trash can easily reconstruct your confidential documents into larger pieces. This problem can be easily prevented, just buy a shredder from your local office supply store.

Always be vigilant to protect your identity. Take steps to prevent identity theft and learn to recognize scams early. Visit my website for more information to protect your identity.