Keeping our loved ones, and let’s face it us as well, safe requires being forever vigilant. We’ve all seen the news stories about stolen identities and years of problems or even financial ruin this can cause for the innocent victims. This is something that I became aware of when staying with my mother after her hip replacement surgery. Call after call coming in requesting money for this and money for that. No joke, one day I recorded over 8 calls from different charities (or at least different voices & different phone numbers).
When I requested that they take my mother’s phone number off of their lists they became angry and in one case extremely belligerent. If I hadn’t been there that day, it’s easy to imagine her giving up her debit card faster than Trump can sling out an idiotic Tweet. How many days had she handed over that card was my next question. This was actually the beginning of becoming a full-time caregiver and realizing there were more ways to be in danger than just forgetting medicine or falling in the shower.
A year later, I was checking our own bank account and was horrified to find it empty! I immediately called the bank and that’s when they said there had been two $1 purchases and then the balance was taken. I was lucky because those two $1 charges we obviously bogus since once was in New York, the other in Texas and my husband had used the card hours earlier at the local McD’s. They refunded us all of the money that was taken, but she said they would never find the thieves because it happened too often to keep up!
Later that week a news story ran a story about a debit card cloning machines being found at the same gas my husband used on a regular basis. They were small pieces of electronics that they slid onto the pump card reader that was hardly detectable. We put two and two together and figured that may have been the problem.
Since both of these things happened we’ve become more aware of the world around us. I guess we took off our rose-colored glasses. I have some of the things that we do such as:
- Switch to new chip card readers if possible.
- Only use the machine inside the gas station or at least give it a good look for anything odd before you swipe. You know #wipeb4uswipe hahaha!
- Download your bank’s APP and check your accounts often.
- Give directly to your charity of choice. Never give money over the phone, unless you make the call.
So, when Brent from LifeLock sent me this terrific infographic I knew that I had to share with you! Take a look and share it with your friends and family!
Another tip is to use a service that protects from identity theft like LifeLock. This service scans all of your accounts and alerts you with a text message anytime an unusual purchase is made. To find out more about specific tactics scammers use, check out the infographic down below!