Four Ways to Foil the Bad Guys

Posted: January 22, 2016 in Identity Care, identity theft, Scammers, Social media, Top Tips, Truth
Tags: , ,

How to Protect Yourself. Part 2

This follows on from last week’s post, Four Signs they’re Dirty, Rotten Scammers. This is the “after” post for those poor, sucked-in folks like me, who find they’ve been scammed.

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“It’s the Wild, Wild West out there,” said my eldest sister, a lawyer living in London. With her guidance, and a lot of time spent on Google, and the Consumer Affairs website, we figured out how to stop these criminals from taking your details and using them to damage your credit, ‘or in other ways potentially ruining your life’ as my sister put it.

These are the steps you need to take to protect your “personal identity details,” as well as your credit rating.

*Number One:

*Financial:

~ The Bank ~ First and foremost, tell your bank you’ve been scammed.

You need:

*suspension of all internet banking.

* to cancel your credit card.

*to have the spending limit on your card reduced.

* to revamp all your security: to change your passwords and pin numbers, to reset your “security questions and answers.”

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~ Credit Agencies ~

Tell the top Credit Agencies in your country or area that you will need:

*a “suppression on your credit file.” There will be a limit. In NZ, a file can be suppressed for only ten days, in Australia, it’s twenty one days.

This prevents any activity happening within that time, while you sort it all out.

* a “Credit Alert” put on your file. You will get a message every time credit is being accessed by using your details, anywhere in the world. There is usually an annual subscription fee for the service.

*a “Credit Report” each year from the agencies also. This way you can keep watch to make sure no one is out there running up debt in your name.

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*Number Two:

*Technical:

*Take your computer to your nearest local tech guy, for a full scan and virus test.

My bank suspended my online banking until such time as I had proved, by way of showing a receipt for work done, that my laptop had been put through ‘a full scan and virus-testing process, by a professional technician.’

The tech guy found “malware” and viruses had been installed on my computer by the scammers. He removed everything and ‘un-ticked the remote control box.’ Whew. Bad guys, none, me, one!

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*Number Three:

*Online Security:

If you were assisted to sign up for an account with “Western Union,” then get in contact with an actual office of Western Union.

*You need to find out whether you really did sign up for a new account, and if you did, then cancel your sign-up, or “flag it.”

In my case, I did not have an account with them. The “Western Union sign-up form” was bogus as well. It was a device used by the scammers to harvest my “security question” and answer, my bank customer number, credit card details, driver’s licence details as well as the “version date.”

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*Hot Tip: Change your passwords.

I received advice from an “identity protection agency” called IDCare who are based in Australia but have a hotline for New Zealand callers as well. They advised, that you need to go through your entire online presence and change the passwords to every single address.

*you should start by changing your password with Paypal. ‘You need to protect all the portals to your bank balance.’

*Hot Tip: Request a replacement driver’s licence, as you will get a new version number. Once again, stop the bad guys in their tracks, as they will be unable to sign up for new online accounts in your name.

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*Number Four:

*Telephone line Security:

*ask yourself, do you need your landline? Is it anything your mobile couldn’t do?

If you think the cost of only having a mobile for all your calls would be prohibitive, look around. There are really competitive rates these days. Look at “separate plans” not “bundles.” You can get deals on internet and free calls that are more reasonable than the cost of a landline.

These scammers had the cheek to ring me back half a dozen times! The lady at my local Vodafone office said, ‘Scams are never run through mobile phones because they have caller identification. So they’re only ever run via landline.’ I have subsequently had my landline disconnected. Bad guys, foiled!

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If you are keeping your landline, you need to ask your phone service providers:

*to prevent anyone having your number “ported.”

*to increase security around your phone number.

*request to change the “external IB address” with your current provider.

*Hot Tip: An extra benefit you gain by taking these steps is that you have created a “digital footprint,” an online record of who you’ve contacted. If need be, you can quote the report numbers, and show emails and mobile phone records to show you’ve taken every step possible to safeguard your details.

On a personal level, you can rest assured that you’ve socked it to the bad guys where it hurts.

Nat & Phil

*One last Hot Tip: Switch to a wallet which blocks illegal credit card scanners

‘The wallets have aluminum lining which blocks the reading or scanning of the Radio Frequency Identification Chip that’s imbedded in credit cards and passports. It’s called RFID Blocking Identity Card Wallet or Credit Card Holder and they have them in stores or on Amazon. (If a scanner gets very close enough to you, it’s not as effective- so you really need to be wary of people around you.) Gift cards should be placed in them as they can be scanned, too and there is one that is made just for passports.’

Thanks for that tip, Claremary P. Sweeney

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It’s the summer holidays here and yet, I swear I need a vacation!

Have you ever had to battle after being stung by a scammer? Share your stories of what happened below.

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Keep Creating!

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Talk to you later,

Yvette K. Carol

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*For more information, check out the websites, NetSafeScambuster, The Orb

*There are three main agencies in New Zealand: CentrixVeda, and D & B, Ring all three as each agency deals with a different area, like credit cards, online banking, etc.

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An act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted. ~ Aesop
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Comments
  1. Reblogged this on Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog and commented:
    Follow-up of Yvette’s post on 15th January 2016…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This is really terrific advice, Yvette! I hate that you had to go through the horrible experience but I know there are a lot of people who will be grateful for your advice based on what you’ve learned!

    Liked by 2 people

    • yvettecarol says:

      Thanks, Tee!
      Yes, I’m hoping the accumulated data will shortcut the process for others.
      I knew at the time, this is so complex and detailed, I need to take notes and lots of them.
      I like to try and think how I can make the most of every experience by writing about it. Do you do the same? I was thinking it must be an automatic reaction for a writer. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. kcg1974 says:

    Sad that this is needed, but THANKING you for all the great information!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. lynnkelleyauthor says:

    Thanks for all this info, Yvette. So sorry you had to go through this. The pics of the kids are great! Perfect for this post! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • yvettecarol says:

      Thanks, Lynnie!
      It takes a lot of effort in many directions, as you can see, to wrest control back again. It’s made me aware how fragile we are with our online lives, these days.

      I’m glad you liked the choice of photos. 🙂 I thought they lightened the content! 🙂

      Like

  5. This looks a well researched and complete list of important steps. Thank you for sharing.
    I am now interested in those protective wallets for credit cards. The first time I’d heard how cards are scanned threw me for a loop and that was only a couple months ago. Stunning post! ⭐

    Liked by 1 person

    • yvettecarol says:

      Thanks.
      Even though being scammed was unpleasant at the time, turning it around into information for others has truly eased the pain.

      I know what you mean about the wallets. The tip came from another writer and blogger, Claremary Sweeney, and it was the first time I’d ever heard of them, too. Clare generously chimed in with the name and other information included in this post, and I was so grateful. It’s something concrete that people can do right now, fairly easily, to protect themselves.

      I’m glad to help! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  6. emaginette says:

    I had no idea how much a person can do in self defense 🙂

    Anna from elements of emaginette

    Liked by 2 people

    • yvettecarol says:

      Neither did I! Believe me, I’m not that smart. It was all thanks to my sister, who forced me to go the extra mile by finding all the right phone numbers for me. I rang the various places and pretty quickly assembled a list as long as my arm of jobs to do. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  7. BunKaryudo says:

    There was a lot of great information in this post too. I hadn’t realized that scammers avoid cell phones. I liked your solution of simply getting rid of your landline. I have an image of the scammers being left holding one end of a cut piece of wire.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. You are quite welcome, my friend. Such good advice. I have a caller block on my land line phone and also caller ID, but unwanted calls do get through sometimes. For those persistent little buggers that won’t give up, a police whistle or any loud whistle can make them think twice about recalling. Now I must go retrieve my inheritance from Freddy G (a total stranger) in South Africa. I’m going to be a millionaire by tonight!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. yvettecarol says:

    Wow, what a deal. Ha!
    Actually, a friend of the family did get duped by one of these scam artists. She sent $1000 for a Jeep she’d “won.” Of course, the jeep never arrived. And she was an old lady, too, so even the wiser members of society can get fooled.

    Like

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