Hilton Head Island, SC (PRWEB) October 7, 2006
Gill Fisher, President of 1 Contemporary Furniture, today announced his tips for consumers to protect themselves from identity theft and Internet fraud.
"The following is the best advice we can give anyone on how to protect your credit and identity from Internet theft, even if you don't use the Internet. Everyone should read this regardless if you are shopping on line or not. It's great advice from an on line furniture dealer fighting hackers on a weekly basis for many years (since 1999). For example, several years ago a hacker broke into our on line bank account using one of the tricks listed below, and stole $ 10,000 from our account using the Internet. Today the thief is in jail where he belongs. Due to the fact that we have on line banking we where able to catch the thief in time. So technology is not to blame for theft. Theft is as old as dirt. You have to get smart just like cave man had to do. We are going to show you how modern crooks use technology to steel your identity and destroy your credit, without you even knowing it! Hopefully we can help prevent you from becoming the next victim of Internet fraud," says Fisher.
Nine Tips To Protect Internet Shoppers From Fraud
1. Make sure the company name, physical address, and telephone number is posted on the web site. If not, do not purchase from that web site. The company could be located in Cuba for all you know. Adopt this rule: "If you can't find them, then don't do business with them."
2. Never give your social security number or date of birth over the Internet. If your date of birth is required to purchase or participate like in the case of a dating service, lie about it or don't buy. For the dating service provide a false month and day you where born, but use the correct year so that your prospects will not feel deceived about your age. Never lie to a law enforcement official even on the Internet. Police have a right to ask you to identify yourself. But don't give out your personal information to anyone that you don't know, other than a law enforcement official. Always make certain that you are talking to a real law enforcement official before you give out your DOB. Ask him to identify himself. Check on him by calling the number he or she provides.
3. Sign up for one of the credit notification and protection services offered by the three largest credit reporting agencies. It does not cost much (under $ 100 per year) considering that it really works to help protect your credit and your identity. "Equifax is the one we use," says Gill. They all share data with each other. If anyone applies for credit in your name you will be notified so you can stop it in time, assuming you have signed up for the service of course.
4. Contact any ONE of the three major credit reporting agencies and have a security watch placed on your account. Make things difficult for anyone attempting to obtain your identity (social security number or date of birth) through a credit report without your knowledge or consent. People are getting private information on you right now through credit reports without you even knowing about it. The faster you stop them the safer you will be.
5. Be careful of all e-mail offers. If you "Click Here" make certain that doing so has directed you to the real web site of the company. For example, you may receive an e-mail requesting that you update your account information at E-Bay. Hackers use this trick to steal your user names and passwords. They direct you to a site that looks just like E-Bay at https://www.ebay.com. But that is not the real URL for the real E-Bay. The real address for E-Bay is http://www.ebay.com. Notice the thieves added an "s" to the HTTP.
6. Remember that people who do NOT use the Internet are victims of identity theft too. For example, recently a computer was stolen with all the private information of American veterans. Most of the veterans never made an Internet purchase. Their private information was stored on a computer so it is venerable to theft from the Internet or from within the an office like Veterans Affairs. Because people who do not use the Internet much so not know the tricks that thieves employ, they are more likely to become victims of identity theft.
7. Keep in mind that your credit card is not all that the Internet thief wants today. He knows that if he uses your credit card he most likely will get caught because you will know about it soon. Today it's your identity (social security number and date of birth) that the contemporary thief really wants. He wants to use your identify to apply for credit in your name, without your knowledge or consent. You need technology to catch him.
8. Look for the Better Business Bureau seal. The seal must be a hot link direct to the BBB. If there is no hot link to the BBB, or you are directed to another web site other than the official BBB site, there is a good chance the seal has been stolen and the merchant is not a member of the BBB.
9. Do not store your identity on your home computer if it is connected to the Internet. Store private information on a floppy and remove the disk when not in use. Use a personal firewall at all times.