Our ever-growing technology-centered world is making staying connected easier than ever before—and unfortunately making it easier for overseas hackers to get their hands on your identity. Annually, identity theft victims lose roughly $20 billion in valuables and cash and, even worse, priceless amounts of personal data. Don’t fall victim to these statistics. Protect yourself from overseas hackers with these three tips to guard you against the most common scams.
Be Wary of Overseas Job Offers
More often than not, overseas job offers are actually overseas job scams. Scammers commonly use official-sounding company names to trick you into believing they represent a reputable business. Before doing business with any company, read over any contract and have an attorney review these documents as well before you sign anything. If the company is unwilling to provide you with a written contract, consider this a red flag. Ask plenty of questions and take time to weight the benefits and cons of the prospective job offer. Never provide your bank account information or credit card numbers over the phone or via email and never mail cash or a money order. If you feel uneasy about any aspect during the job-hunting process, trust your gut. As the old saying goes, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
Watch Out for Wi-Fi
Overseas business travelers who rely on staying connected via the internet are among the most susceptible identity theft victims as they tend to unsecured Wi-Fi networks found in hotels, cafés and airports. If you must log in while overseas, consider changing your password before and after you travel and avoid logging into sites that require you to enter a password. Installing a top-quality anti-virus software can also guard against hacker pop-up windows and spam. Weak security is a hacker’s dream.
Never Transfer Money Overseas
An overseas money transfer scam is the perfect bait for scammers looking to hook anyone desperate for a little extra cash. After all, who wouldn’t want to receive a large lump of money simply for helping a foreign person claim money entitled to them via death or leadership change? If you receive an email from a company or individual claiming to be associated with a foreign government, delete it immediately. This is yet another example of something that sounds too good to be true. Agree to accept this money transfer and you’ll soon find yourself being asked for bank account and personal information required to set up the phony transfer.
Jessica Wasik lives in Pittsburgh where she works as a full-time figure skating coach sharing her passion with todays generation of young skaters. A graduate of Robert Morris University with a degree in English Studies, Jessica is also a contributing writer for AXS.com. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.
For more information, visit CBS Chicago’s Identity Theft section