Sunday, May 02, 2010

How to Avoid Fraud

While Intelius, created by Naveen Jain, is still known as the world’s largest “dot con”, conning people out of millions of dollars, there are still other companies online who are just as bad. Everyday people fall as victims of credit card fraud; not by individuals who steal their wallets or purses, but by companies who find your personal information from another site and unknowingly sign people up for their services. Here are a few ways to protect yourself from this happening to you.

Get a PO Box address as oppose to having your mail sent directly to the house. In some cases, a thief doesn’t have to wait to grab your wallet from you, or go through your purse, or even wait for you to submit your information online. Sometimes its as simple as going to your mailbox, sifting through the mail and taking out anything with your personal information on it.

Be careful with your social security number, especially when filling out applications online. Your social security number is the key to all your personal information. With it, a thief can have utilities turned on in your name, have credit cards issues, and even open bank accounts all without your knowledge and consent. Be cautious when it comes to using your social security number.

When shopping online, consider using prepaid credit cards or gift cards. These cards are not directly linked to your social security number or home address, making them ideal for paying your utilities online, shopping on eBay and handling other transactions.

If you do sign up for a “free trial” of any service, make sure you read through the fine print for any hidden costs or fees associated with the trial. Many times people overlook the fine print, making it easy for them to be charged for a service they didn’t want.

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