First of all, welcome to Deborah Riendeau via here.
I caught bits and bobs of a programme on Channel 5 tv last night "Secrets of the scammers" see here and how they get more of your personal information than you realise! If you are able to watch them do so. Yes it can be quite frightening, but forewarned if forearmed.
One story featured a lady in a block of flats where all the new style letter-box types mail boxes were just inside the entrance door. It was shown just how easy it was to slip your hand inside and pull out mail within reach - quite easy as it happens!
Mail such as bank statements, can taken which give the scammers your bank details. They then found out more personal information by looking on line at electoral rolls (easily available), Facebook, Twitter etc. Not just the targets online links, but also those of your friends and family, gradually building up information as they go. Such a trawl was also repeated on others. Birthdays, pets names, parents names etc.
Before long (and it really was not long), they had filled in bank loan forms to request £8000 I think it was. Luckily, she had realised that something was wrong before that and informed her bank who stopped the application.
The next bank did not and this time, a larger loan was being requested. She was vigilent and lucky but despite being aware and checking her online credit information on a daily basis, she knows that eventually they or those they sell the information onto, will try again.
Others scams were shown such as getting an app for your mobile phone that takes photographs of you, listens to you, building up more information as they go. It can just as easily be your pad, tablet or computer.
DB and myself stuck a little sticker over our camera's many months ago, just in case. We never walk away from our computer leaving it on. At the very least, they get put to sleep.
How easy are your online passwords?. Do you mix and match upper and lower case, numbers and symbols? Do you use a similar password for all your online activity? How often do you change your passwords to be on the safe side?
People today do seem to readily give everything away on their Facebook and Twitter pages. Even members of my own family have their birthdays on there, where they live and work, what they are up to on a routine basis.
Even if they didn't, then chances are, their friends will and before long, their information is being bandied around.
Everyone likes to think it won't happen to them. However, if it does, how would you feel if you needed a loan, a mortgage, even a credit reference for a job to find out the only information the institutions can access, is all negative.
What if someone steals your identity, runs up huge financial debts in your name, declares themselves bankrupt before moving onto the next sucker. You would really be in a pickle, probably for the rest of your life.
WAKE UP and ACT, before it is TOO LATE!