Finance April 29, 2013 Last updated September 18th, 2018 629 Reads share

Privacy Protection: Pretexting Can Collapse Your Finances

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“Pretexting” is basically an elaborate lie concocted to make a person give up his/her valuable financial information.

Hewlett-Packard scandal

The biggest case of pretexting scandal happened when an independent investigation firm had interrogated Hewlett-Packard’s board of directors using the method of pretexting.

In this particular incident, the motive of HP’s head honchos was to weed out information about who had leaked HP’s strategic plans to the media. Although this does not mean that the Average Joe will be victimized in this particular use of pretexting he may not be spared from pretexting by the Average Joe Identity Thief either.

Late night phone calls

Pretexting, in the context of identity theft, may involve a phone call in the middle of the night, asking the Average Joe or Average Jane Victim about their credit card information, bank accounts, or even SSN. The victim gets a call in ungodly hours for one reason: they are more likely to be less alert, and therefore more prone to disclosing pertinent information. The moment the vulnerable average victim gives up their data thanks to a successfully carried out pretexting scandal, the process of identity theft would then be set in motion.

The Average Joe Identity Thief can perpetuate identity theft himself, robbing his victim of hundreds to thousands of dollars over time. Or, he may sell Average Joe or Jane Victim’s data on the black market, make good money, and the poor victim gets ”pretexted” many times over by the identity theft criminal who bought their details.

Either way, there is no doubt that either Average Joe and Average Jane needs privacy protection, and needs it badly.

Here are some measures to avoid being a victim of pretexting scandal in the middle of the night:

– Turn off all your phones, whether landline or mobile, while you sleep. Yes, somebody may die in the middle of the night, but their kin can always text and let you know in the morning. Unless you’re a doctor on call, a policeman, or a firefighter, honestly, you don’t need to keep your phones on all night long. By turning off your phones, you get to conserve batteries as well.

– You may use a call screening service. Call screening allows you to accept phone calls only from certain people in your calling list. Calls coming from other numbers will then be automatically rejected. This will ensure that potential pretexting scandalperpetrators will automatically be given the runaround with their calls.

Credit monitoring

More than keeping measures with how to protect yourself from pretexting attempts, there is another layer of privacy protection that you can make use of: credit monitoring.

Here is how credit monitoring helps: The moment you become a victim of identity theft, you will be notified as suspicious activity is detected on your accounts. You will then be able to take it from there, possibly ordering a credit freeze or an account lock or cancellation. You may then be able to dispute the transactions as they happen and appear on your report. This way, identity theft is nipped in the bud.

Identity theft is a devastating crime, especially when you become the victim. You have to protect yourself, whether through arming yourself with learning how credit monitoring helps and applying it to your accounts, through monitoring your accounts manually on a daily basis, or probably even putting a credit freeze on your accounts. If you prefer, you may even want to cut off the use of all of your credit cards and go completely debit. However, debit does carry the danger of not being insured properly, plus, when you lose money; you lose YOUR own money.

Other types of identity theft

Aside from being a victim of a pretexting scandal, here are other ways that your data can be stolen from you:

  • Via mail theft, when your mail gets stolen by a potential identity theft criminal.
  • Via trash theft, when documents in your trash get stolen and your details lifted off them.
  • Via document theft, when someone, especially someone you know, takes your documents and uses your details to commit identity theft.
  • Via skimming, when someone skims your card at a commercial establishment, or if you attempted to withdraw from an ATM machine rigged with a credit card skimmer.
  • Via online identity theft, as you become a victim of phishing.

Take note of these ways of becoming a victim of identity theft and remain vigilant with your accounts. Familiarize yourself with how credit monitoring helps, and promote your own privacy protection.

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Images:  ”Masked hacker wearing a balaclava sitting at a desk downloading private information off a computer  / Shutterstock.com

Joy Mali

Joy Mali

Joy Mali is an active blogger who is fond of sharing interesting finance related articles to encourage people to manage and protect their finances. Follow her and know how to manage your credit score for better credit standing.

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