#LetsBeatFraud: Unmasking the threat of Identity Theft
Have you thought about what would happen if someone stole your identity?
Identity Theft is not a new scam and you don’t need to be a celebrity to become a victim. Scammers steal your personal information and use it to impersonate you, often for financial gain. Unfortunately, it may take months before you realize the gravity of the damage.
According to Unisys Corp., 92% of Filipinos are most worried about Identity Theft. With this growing concern, it is essential to know how to prevent it, spot warning signs, and take immediate steps to protect your data if your identity is stolen.
Here are some warning signs to watch out for:
- Unfamiliar charges on your debit and credit cards
- Suspicious salary deductions
- New loans and credit cards in your name
- Calls from debt collectors and credit card companies or banks verifying purchases
- Sudden drop in credit score
Fortunately, there are ways to prevent Identity Theft:
- Activate digital security features, such as transaction alerts, login notification emails, one-time PINs, and biometrics, on your banking and investment apps.
- Set withdrawal and purchase limits on your cards.
- Avoid posting your identification cards and sensitive documents online.
- Destroy your mails, parcel stickers, financial statements that contain your data.
- Thoroughly review your payslips, statements of account, and even account balances on a scheduled basis.
- Monitor your accounts for any suspicious activity.
One type of identity theft that’s becoming more common is when scammers use your personal information to apply for salary loans in your name. Safeguarding your employment data can help prevent further fraudulent activity. If you suspect that your identity and employment data have been compromised, inform your HR immediately. Report any lost or damaged company ID, compromised security on company assets, or unusual activity (e.g. sudden requests to change password) involving your work credentials.
Moreover, make sure to follow the standard SAFE protocol:
- Strengthen security on your accounts by updating software, changing passwords, and turning on multi-factor authentication.
- Alert your bank and ask them to close or block your accounts.
- File a report with the appropriate authorities:
- Fraud, scam, abuses related to the products and services of Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas – BSP Online Buddy (BOB)
- Fraud, scam, abuses related to lending and investment with SEC-registered companies – Security and Exchange Commission
- Investment scams, cybercrime, and other criminal abuses – National Bureau of Investigation
- Text scam – National Telecommunications Commission
- Evaluate the situation by identifying the type of identity theft and the details that were compromised.
Identity Theft is a serious problem but there are steps you can take to protect yourself. Remember, staying alert and being hypervigilant can reduce the risk of becoming a victim of scam. If you do notice any warning signs, act quickly to minimize the damage. Together, #LetsBeatFraud!
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- #LetsBeatFraud: Are you an easy target for scammers?