The best-known abuse is theft of your credit card number. After massive breaches like Target and Home Depot, many customers experienced fraudulent charges on their accounts or received new cards from lenders.
Card numbers are obtained in many ways. Sometimes it’s as simple as a small device called a skimmer that captures the data on your magnetic strip. Restaurant staffers and retail employees can also use pocket skimmers to duplicate your card info when the card is out of your sight. Perhaps the biggest use of skimmers is at gas pumps where they grab your data as you pay at the pump.
While many consider credit card theft the worst kind of identity theft, it’s really a low-level type of data theft. Most card issuers cover the fraud at no charge to customers. At most, your risk is $50. The real loss to you is the time it takes to mop up the problem.
Far worse is the February 2015 hack of Anthem, a health insurer who reported losing data on roughly 80 million customers and employees. In its letter to customers, Anthem said, hackers had possibly accessed “names, dates of birth, Social Security numbers (SSN), health care ID numbers, home addresses, email addresses and employment information, including income data.”
In short, the Anthem hack exposed enough information to let hackers open new credit accounts, obtain government documents, and even commit medical identity theft, a growing threat that could use up health benefits or add false, potentially harmful data to victims’ medical records. Imagine an instance where someone uses your medical ID to get treatment and has the wrong blood type entered into your records. In an emergency, this sort of identity theft could be deadly.
Another common hack occurs when you visit a malware-riddled website that could download a key-logger without your knowledge. The next time you do some online banking, the malware captures your password and sends it to the hacker. Alternatively, you might open a loaded email that appears legit but is really seeking to capture data like passwords and other info. These are often referred to as phishing scams because people are fishing for more of your personal data.
It’s also far more time consuming to correct full-blown identity theft. This type of identity theft can take hundreds of hours to clean up. The solution: PrivacyMaxx provides pro-active Identity Protection and Restoration that is guaranteed. Start securing your future now.