There is no avoiding consumer and business fraud these days.
A friend of mine who works in fraud prevention for a credit reporting agency shared with me that it is best to start with the assumption that all your information is already out there. With AI now front and center, and taking over the world apparently, the incidence of fraud will likely increase exponentially. Now is the time to take control of your personal information.
The Identity Theft Center, a nonprofit in San Diego, has a website full of preventative measures that one can take. They also offer podcasts, webinars, and research papers. Their mission is to provide free assistance to individual victims of identity crimes and compromises.
Who is at Risk?
We know our seniors and the elderly are most at risk, as well as our teens and young adults. Have you ever thought about the frequency of fraudulent attempts that you experience in any given week or month? Recently, over the course of one week: our household received a solicitation letter masquerading as our public water service (selling “insurance” for sewage lines), my husband learned through a confirmation letter from Home Depot that someone applied for credit in his name (as well as at Menards), and my Chase Sapphire Reserve card was hacked and used at 3 retail vendors within a 24 hour period. This was all over the span of one week!
Fortunately for us the safeguards put in place by the credit card companies worked, and we were notified within hours of the attempts. Not so easy to discern was the masquerading water company. Their logo looked like the one the water utility company uses, and the letter was written in a way that led one to believe this insurance was necessary.
Most Common Sources of Scams
The potential for fraud is everywhere. However, there are risks that are more common.
This is by no means an exhaustive list of tasks to secure your identity. However, implementing these changes will go a long way in protecting you and your loved ones.
How can we navigate this fraudulent landscape?