Counterintelligence For The Holiday Shopper Three Situations Posing a Serious Threat for ID Theft –And How to Secure Your Vitals Like a Super Spy

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Is an ID Thief “shopping” for your information this holiday season? Discover some “counterintelligence measures” that will help you secure vital stats. John Sileo, author of “Stolen Lives: Identity Theft Prevention Made Simple,” reveals some risky situations and how thinking like a spy can save your identity.

While you wrap up holiday shopping, many identity thieves may be doing some “shopping” of another sort. And if you don’t develop some “counterintelligence measures” that go beyond the typical checklist of ho-ho-hum “prevention tactics,” you just might be the thief’s next target.

In 2004 alone an estimated 9.3 million people became victims of identity theft. Many of those individuals might have saved thousands of dollars in personal loss and legal fees if only they’d trained themselves to “think like a spy.”

“To prevent a theft you must learn to think about privacy like a spy. You must understand how the enemy operates and develop habits that protect your long-term privacy,” says John D. Sileo, author of Stolen Lives: Identity Theft Prevention Made Simple. “To-do prevention lists are not enough to stop the epidemic.”

Sileo knows from experience how devastating identity theft is. In 2003, his identity was stolen and used to commit a series of crimes. Sileo spent two years and $9,000 on a criminal lawyer to defend his innocence. During that time, he became an expert in identity theft prevention and mitigation strategies. Since the holiday shopping season presents a substantially higher number of instances where consumers may be at risk, Sileo shares three situations where you should be on guard against potential ID theft:

Someone wants to give you a “gift” in exchange for your information (e.g. You’re offered a 10% discount on your purchase if you sign up for the store’s credit card)

Someone threatens to take away your privileges or rights of access if you don’t comply with requests for information.

Someone says that what they are doing is for the “sake of security.”

Before revealing any information you should always observe and evaluate the situation.

Ask yourself exactly what kind of information you are allowing strangers to access, find out who will have access to the info and finally, decide whether or not it’s really necessary to expose your identity. In many cases, you will still be able to receive the benefit without giving the information and thus protect your most valuable asset – your identity.

Will your life get stolen? Take the “Identity Theft Risk Test” at


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John Sileo