(Updated) Identity Theft Scams to Watch For

Scam artists have a lot of free time to perfect their techniques.

So identity theft scams never disappear. They just get updated to be more irresistible and less easy to recognize for victims.

Here are three of the latest identity scams out there trying to turn you into a victim.

The personality quiz

Scams artists are now using free personality quizzes as a data mining tool to enable identity theft. And the process is so innocuous and unrecognizable that you would never know it until it was too late.

Have you ever filled out a free personality quiz on some social media platform? Did the quiz ask you to name the street you grew up on, your birthday, the name of your first pet, your first job, your favorite song, or the model of your first car?

If those questions seem familiar, it’s because similar questions are asked of financial institution account holders during password confirmation, retrieval, and reset attempts.

Scam artists can then read your social media or use algorithms to scan your social media presence. They can learn where you bank and any other relevant information they need to steal your identity.

This is not to say that all online personality quizzes are scams. Just be wary of any quiz that is more interested in your personal life data instead of asking questions that interpret your personality.

Telecommuting scams

In this one, remote workers are sent fake emails designed to look like they originate from their employers.

You may get an email with a generic email address that asks you to send financial information, phone numbers, Social Security numbers, payroll data, and so on.

The unsuspecting victims may then unwittingly share personal information or click on links with data-mining malware viruses.

Always check the sender’s email address before responding. If in doubt, respond to an email by going to an official website instead.

Phony charities

In times of need, emergencies, or natural catastrophes, Americans can be a very generous and giving nation.

And no one knows that more than scam artists.

Scam artists will use social media, texts, and phone calls to entice Americans to send them money. And scam artists understand the value of presentation.

Many steal the logos of legitimate charities and register website names that look similar to legitimate charities to fool unsuspecting victims.

Always thoroughly research charities you want to donate to. And contact charity representatives to make certain of their legitimacy.