Sunday, 20 April 2008

Identity Theft and Money Scams - Keep Your Identity Safe

Identify theft and money scams are on the increase.

This weekend I received a letter from the "International Lotto Commission" telling me that I had won 850,831 Euros.

The "Payment Release Form" asked for the following details:

~ Name
~ Sex
~ Date of Birth
~ Address
~ Nationality
~ Email address
~ Phone numbers
~ Bank details

Although, if I wanted a "certified bank cheque", then I didn't have to give my bank account details. How considerate. Even if I only provided the above information, in the wrong hands, my identity would be in serious jeopardy. They even asked for my next of kin.

I immediately knew it was a scam. The letter was covered with a mishmash of photocopied logos and other images that were supposed to add authenticity to the letter. There were typos and the very detailed letter just didn't make sense.

I was just about to put it throw the shredder when I thought to myself that I ought to write an article about it to help expose such fraudsters. If this article helps to prevent at least one person from being ripped-off then the effort would have been worth it.

Receiving such letters doesn't upset me. What does upset me though is that people fall for these scams and send fraudsters money or their credit card or bank details. Armed with this information fraudsters can have a field day.

They can either make a single hefty withdrawal or they can withdraw small amounts of money over a longer period of time which may go unnoticed by someone who does not regularly and rigorously check their statements. And small amounts of money from multiple sources can result in rich pickings indeed for these criminals.

The trouble is that those who do fall prey to these rip-offs are often those who can least afford it.

The other thing that upsets me is it must take a fair amount of effort to put these scams together and execute them. If only these individuals would direct their attention to legitimate direct response marketing activities instead. I'm sure they would do very well out of it.

I'm confident that if you are reading this that you are one of those individuals who are vigilant. Yet, you can't be too careful when it comes to these matters.

Research has shown that:

~ 20 million of UK householders are increasing their risk of being exposed to fraudsters by failing to take precautions against identity theft
~ 10 million Americans are victims of identity fraud each year
~ 18 million UK households regularly throw away (without shredding) sensitive financial documents
~ The average UK adult is exposed to online identity theft to the tune of £10,000
~ 90% of all users never check their credit card or bank account statements
~ Identity theft is costing the British economy in excess of £1.7 billion annually
~ In 2007 there were 77,500 recorded cases of identity theft

So if you are concerned about identity theft and want to take measures to protect yourself online and offline and prevent becoming yet another identity theft statistic then click the link below for a low-cost yet effective solution:

Stop Identity Theft

Alarming Facts

~ Identity theft is the fastest growing crime in the US and the UK
~ Internet users are 50 times more likely to experience identity theft than non-Internet users.

Don't let them get away with it!

Take preventative action NOW.

Stop Identity Theft


  1. Oh my God! I was thinking of writing about it when you came up with it. Anyway, you write or I write does not make any difference as long as people understand it. From the last year, I had received about 500 odd emails like this. Imagine, if this would have been true, I would have been a multi multi multi billionaire. You know, what I do.... the moment I see these emails, I don't open them to read. I simply delete them. I hope I do the right thing??!!

  2. Hi Sangeeta,

    Thanks for stopping by. No one has the time to address all the phishing email that one receives - the sooner they are deleted the better.

    This was a physical letter that I received in the post which I consider another level up in the invasion of my privacy.

    I was going to simply shred the letter but though the better of it. If this article has helps prevent at least one person from getting ripped-off then it was worth writing.

  3. wow, that was probably the most blatant scam I have read about in a while. I say to be sure and pick up a shredder to really keep thieves at bay.

  4. I agree. I use a cross-shredder for any paper that I want to dispose of that has my name or any other personal information.