Most people mistakenly believe that they will never fall victim to financial or identity theft. The sad reality is that billions of dollars are lost each year to these crimes, and the losses are only getting bigger. Here are some steps you can take to reduce your chances of becoming a fraud victim:
Keep it thin. Don't carry extra credit cards, birth certificate, social insurance number card or passport with you unless absolutely necessary. This minimizes the information a crook can get about you when your wallet or purse is lost or stolen.
Isabel was paying for a store purchase with her debit card. She noticed the clerk was doing something with his cellular telephone, then placed it on the counter. Isabel realized that the clerk had set the phone, equipped with a digital video camera, to record her card number and PIN. Isabel immediately called her bank and canceled her debit card.
On June 29, 2009, Bernard Lawrence 'Bernie' Madoff was sentenced to 150 years in prison for perpetrating what has been called 'the largest investment fraud in Wall Street history.' Actual losses have been estimated at $64.8 billion by prosecutors. Apparently, Madoff admitted to his sons that his company, Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC, was nothing more than a giant Ponzi scheme.