February 11, 2013

Protect yourself from becoming a victim of cell phone identity theft

Cell phones are no more just a gadget used for communication. Most of the cell phones come with the option wherein you can store your personal information. However, the identity thieves target your cell phones and use your personal information for their own financial gain. The imposters can open a credit account in your name and you come to know about it much later. So, you should always try to protect yourself from being a victim of cell phone identity theft. If you don’t do so, then you may incur debt without your knowledge for which you’d have to search for debt solutions in order to get rid of your debt problems. Read on to know how you can prevent yourself from being a victim of cell phone identity theft.

Password protect your cell phone – Many people overlook the option of password protecting their cell phones. However, doing so, you can prevent yourself from being a victim of cell phone identity theft. Make sure you create a password not less than eight characters and which is relatively difficult to guess. Remember to not write your password on the encryption keys.

Do not open attachments from unknown senders – It is advisable to not open any attachments you receive from unknown senders and avoid filling out forms that ask for your personal information. Doing so, you can prevent the crime from being committed. It is always better to take every necessary precaution than having to get help of debt solutions to get rid of debt for which you’re not at all responsible. Though you can take necessary actions after you come to know about the crime but it is always better to avoid being a victim of cell phone identity theft.

Add your email address to security updates – You should check your cell phone manufacturer’s website for any important security updates. You can also add your email address to the manufacturer’s newsletter list so that you come to know if there’s any security update.

Do not respond to automated messages without verifying – It is a common practice of the imposters to send automated voice messages in order to know your personal details. So, never ever respond to text or automated voice messages from blocked or unknown numbers. Similarly, you should also not entertain spam emails. It is advisable that you always verify the requests from financial or business institutions by using their main contact information before you give out any personal information.

Download security applications – There are several anti-virus software which you can install in your cell phone. However, before updating new software, if possible, check with your cell phone manufacturers’ stores to see what they recommend.

Do not store private information in your mobile – Often people store confidential information in their cell phone. If you do so, you may make yourself prone to being a being a victim of identity theft. So, don’t store PINs (Personal Identification Numbers) in your cell phone as if a fraudulent person cracks your password, he/she will get all necessary information.

In addition to above, notify your cell phone manufacturer if your phone gets stolen. Some companies may offer you with the facility to wipe out or lock all information in your cell phone. However, even after following these tips, you become a victim of identity theft, you should at first file an online theft complaint at the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) website. You should also report the crime to your local police department. Most importantly, notify the 3 major credit bureaus (Experian, Equifax and TransUnion) about the theft and close your accounts that you think have been used for the imposter’s own financial gain. The credit experts also advice to close other accounts which you think may be affected. Make sure you save copies of every communication so that you can produce them if required.

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