Identity theft is not immune to your busy lifestyle and neither are you immune to identity theft. However there are some things you can do to prevent identity theft at its tracks, especially when dealing with your account’s customer service representative.
I have noticed that the ubiquitous cell phone is often a great tool for identity thieves. It isn’t because they stole it and they have your library of personal information, but rather it is the act of calling your credit card company while in public. In this post you will find out a way to prevent spilling the beans while the devious ears may be listening.
Real Life Identity Theft in Progress?
I was sitting at Starbucks today and noticed a seemingly quiet person turn into a singing diva. She was frantically looking in her purse to dig out her credit card to call the customer service department about an issue she had. Quite frankly, she seemed to be the “controlling type;” “I want it now and you have to oblige” kind of person. I didn’t mind the lady’s attitude that much. What I was concerned about was that she was speaking over the background noise to tell her credit card company that she needs her credit limit raised.
Account number along with the last four digits of the social security number were divulged in presence of about 20 or so people, many of whom where quite aware of what I was. The lady was signing her credit integrity away right over her cell phone. I was observing if anyone was writing this info down. No one did, except me. My keen ears can distinguish what questions are asked by what responses are given. I bet many of you have the same ability knowing the process in and out. Right?
Identity Theft Prevention Tips
After the lady was done with the conversation I gave her a napkin and my business card. On that napkin was all the crucial info, plus her name and address which she so frivolously gave away. I exchanged a few words with her and gave her this advice:
Whenever dealing with any account representatives regarding any issues try your best to do the following:
- Originate your sensitive phone calls from a private or a more secure setting (your home, car, closed office, etc.)
- Set up a password on your account instead using the last 4 digits of your social security number
- If you are in a public place try to keep your voice down so identity thieves, known as snoopers, don’t steal your personal information.
- If you have to make such phone calls in a public setting and a lot of identifying information is requested leave the immediate area or finish the phone call and call back later
Your other option is to talk your identity out and be susceptible to the pains associated with identity theft like cleaning up your credit and telling your banking institution that the $1,200 pair of pink stilettos was not actually purchased by you.