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3 Tactics Online Fraudsters Use to Steal Your Money

Tech has become an inescapable part of modern life. American consumers use their tablets, mobile phones, and other connected devices to save time and money. The ability to order groceries with a click of the mouse, send money to family and friends using a mobile wallet, and locate online deals faster than you can say “coupon” are just a few reasons technology remains a natural extension of our financial lives. Unfortunately, crafty criminals are waiting to take advantage of consumers who fail to secure their personal data. But, you don’t have to be their next victim.

Here are three tactics online fraudsters use to steal your money and steps to take to stop them in their tracks.

Tactic #1 – Dumpster Diving

Thieves gain access to printed receipts of online purchases, bank and credit card statements, and tax records tossed in recycling bins and trash cans. Then, they use one or more pieces of personal data to create a false online persona or steal yours.

Tactic #2 – Malware

A computer virus, trojan, and spyware are just a few forms of malware that seek to steal your personal data. Online fraudsters use these and other tools to hunt for credit and bank accounts with weak passwords and identify other accounts without two-factor authentication. Clicking on malicious web links can download and activate a malware program on your electronic device.

Tactic #3 – Phishing

This term refers to the way online thieves use text messages, email, or phone calls to lure victims to a fake website to steal confidential information, e.g., passwords, credit card numbers, social security numbers, etc. The names of nationally recognized companies are often used to encourage consumers to click on a hyperlink that takes them to a phony website. From there, the fake website, which appears to be legitimate, encourages victims to enter their private information.

Stop Them:

  • Set up alerts with your financial institution and credit card company. Online/mobile banking balance and credit card transaction e-notifications can help monitor unauthorized transactions.
  • Watch your credit. Unexpected changes to your credit score can occur when someone has opened new accounts in your name or is using your current accounts for their benefit. Check your credit at least annually by visiting
  • Shred hardcopy documents that contain sensitive information and safely store copies electronically. Please join us for ID Protection Day, September 21st. (See details below.)
  • Change each of your passwords at least twice a year. Create hard to guess passwords that include a mix of upper and lower case letters along with numbers and symbols.

Please join us for ID Protection Day!

- Saturday, September 21st (9 am to noon or until truck reach capacity)
- Largo Plaza Shopping Center (on rt. 214 facing Lowe’s and Target)
10500 Campus Way South, Largo, MD 20774

It’s estimated that nearly 60 million Americans fell victim to identity theft in just the last year alone. And, the numbers are rising. Join us for ID Protection Day to begin taking steps to help safeguard you and your family. Bring up to 3 boxes of your personal information, account statements, legal documents to be shredded for free. Plus, bring the kids for face painting and a free Fingerprinting kit! 

With the high demand for this service, get there early. Hope to see you there! 

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