Check Your Mail for Fraudsters
Physical mailboxes can be “hacked”
Your mailbox may have been taken over by a fraudster. If you don’t often check the mail, then you’re susceptible to identity thieves hoodwinking the postal service and holding your mail at their convivence. This sounds impossible, but America is a big country and not all post offices follow procedure properly. You would think that the post office would require a legitimate photo ID for a mail-hold request, but convincing the desk clerk is sometimes all that is needed for this to happen.
Due to laws at the federal and state level, mail is still a very important part of life. It’s mostly a free service, so you get what you pay for unfortunately. A lot of information comes through our mailboxes, a lot of personal information that can be used to commit identity fraud or sold through illegal channels and posted online. No one thinks this will happen to them, until it happens and several months have passed. If the fraudster can trick the mail clerk into holding your mail, then it’s likely they can also trick credit card companies and other agencies by using the mail they’re stealing.
Double your e-mail security
Your email is probably your most important mailbox right now in your life. Taking precautions to lock it down is a good idea. Preventing hackers from accessing it will save a lot of headaches. Two-step authorization is a security feature that links your email to a cellphone number or mobile device, making sure that only you can access your inbox.
Email addresses provide a lot of access to third-party websites as well as services. Gmail is interlinked to everything else that Google provides. Once your email is hacked, the barn door is open. Contacts, addresses, passwords, and everything you’ve ever done under the umbrella of Google is linked to your Gmail/Google Account. Letting your email get hacked, especially if you’ve had one account for a long time, is a serious problem that will get out of hand and seriously affect your life.
What to do if you’re under attack?
If you’re a victim of identity fraud, subscribe to Wiperts.com today and start removing your personal information from the internet. It’s important that you act now, rather than later. As your personal information is hosted on third-party websites, Google will point anyone searching there. These websites are data brokers, selling your information to any buyer. Google puts its hands in the air and claims it is not directly hosting personal information, but these data brokers pay Google and other search engines top ad-revenue to direct bad actors to your personal information.
Freezing your credit, disputing fraudulent charges on your credit report, contacting relevant companies, filing a police report, and urging the prosecutor to file charges are all important steps to protecting yourself. Don’t pay a single dollar of debt that you don’t owe. If you pay a debt that is not yours, you may be legally responsible for it, so don’t pay a single dollar – you wouldn’t give a thief that stole from you more money, would you? Don’t be responsible for a thief’s crimes. After filing a police report, you have something in hand to present to the credit agencies and any companies seeking fraudulent debt. You can argue to these entities that a police report has been filed and you will be contesting every dollar until the issue is fully resolved.
If the police aren’t taking your fraud report seriously, go to the district attorney’s office with the police report in hand and tell them directly that you want to press charges. Be sure to email, call, and schedule an appointment to make sure you’re heard. Prosecutors will go through so much trouble to prosecute petty crimes, but identity fraud seems to be a low priority, even though it involves tons of easy to find evidence. Remind your local government that thousands of dollars fraudulently stolen is important. Identity fraudsters have all seen the non-response that government has given, and so, they continue to steal without any repercussions. If no one seriously complains about the crime, then the crime will go unnoticed.
If your mail was held by someone else at the post office, make sure you give the post office an earful. Letting someone hold and pickup your mail without any photo ID is downright lazy and irresponsible. Tell the post office that you’re a victim of identity fraud because of their laziness. If the postal employees act like they don’t care, politely tell your fellow neighbors in line that they can be victims of identity fraud too. People perk up when you tell them that the building they’re in is responsible for thousands of dollars lost. They’ll definitely listen.
Delete and shred
Old emails can be discarded and sensitive pieces of mail should be shredded. Most email services claim that you’ll never have to delete anything ever again with so much storage. First of all, that’s not true. When your inbox runs out of storage, you can’t receive any more emails and you’ll endlessly be prompted to buy more storage. Secondly, that storage is shared with other services that the email company provides. For example, your Gmail storage is tied to every other Google service. It’s a small bucket for a sea of data.
It’s relatively easy for someone to move your trashcan in a remote area and dig through it. They might even move it back so as not to arouse any suspicions. Most people use bags to throw away their trash, so nabbing a bag of trash and leaving is fast and easy for criminals – and no cop is going to investigate a trash thief.
Shredding mail is recommended because criminals are lazy. Why piece together a letter when a vulnerable target would just throw things away without taking the time to tear it apart? Careful people tear apart sensitive pieces of mail to protect themselves. Vulnerable targets leave pieces of mail completely intact. Smart or lazy criminals, whether by chance or logic, have figured this out. Removing your personal information online or offline requires due vigilance. Contact Wiperts today and see what can be done to protect yourself from criminals.