People of Miami

4 ways to recognize an identity theft scam when you see one

Identity theft isn't a harmless, one-off instance; it can be a lot more damaging than you realize

Credit card scams, identity theft, and other such exploitative practices are on the rise, especially in Florida. As the state ranks 11th highest for frauds in the country, it's doubly important that each of us practices safety and does our due diligence to avoid falling into these entrapment techniques. Look out for warning signs of a possible scam, and avoid sharing any personal information.

Different organizations or people are contacting you

Is your phone suddenly blowing up with calls, messages, and emails from various organizations or supposed representatives? For instance, your bank, Facebook, Google, and other organizations could be reaching out to you in different ways. However, it's crucial to watch out for phishing scams like this which tend to seem like legitimate ways of contacting you, but there will always be some giveaways. The language may not be professional or formal enough, there may be grammatical errors, and more importantly, the numbers and email addresses will have inconsistencies.

Any official communication by companies, organizations, and platforms, is always done through separate channels with distinguishable contact details. Here are some tips on identifying phishing scams more effectively.

If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is identity theft

Have you woken up to the news that you've won $10,000 in a random lucky draw? Has a distant relative you never heard of passed away and left you a million-dollar estate? Are you being offered a lifetime of free air travel for a small online fee on an airline's website? If the deal sounds too good to be true, it's probably because it is. Many of these scams lure you into sharing personal information, including ID, card details, and more, by giving you offers you can't refuse, and once you cave in, they commit identity theft and replicate your data to impersonate you.

Alternatively, they might even demand that you pay for a product or service right away or tell you you need to fulfill something like a credit card payment that you owe them.

A man with a worried facial expression holds his phone in one hand and credit card in the other.

You're being asked to share personal information  

Perhaps the biggest red flag that you're dealing with a identity theft scam is that you're being requested to share private and personal information directly. They might ask you for your credit card number, code or pin, a secret password, answers to your security questions, and so on and so forth. Your bank, financial organizations, or anyone really will never directly ask you for your private information unless in specific circumstances, so be wary of those.

You notice strange charges on your credit card

Lastly, one of the most inconspicuous issues regarding identity theft that people don't notice till it's too late is sudden charges on their credit cards. Once your credit card information and data are compromised, anyone can make purchases and make fraudulent charges that affect your credit score too. Scammers mostly start off with small charges, maybe worth just a few cents, which is why it's crucial to keep track of your statements and charges and contact your bank immediately.

Stay vigilant, stay safe. We're bringing you the best safety advice and recommendations for you to apply. Subscribe to Calle Ocho News today to receive information about the latest news, events, and much more.

Stay up to date with the latest news from Miami

Add Comment

Click here to post a comment