At some point, we have all received phony emails, phony text messages, phony mail, and more recently unruly robo-calls. The question is … how are these companies getting your information? How do they know so much about you? Where did they get this information? Why you?
Your Information Can Be Sold to Companies
It’s unfortunate, and it’s NOT legal, but it happens all the time. Marketing firms and criminals can learn a lot about you based solely on information you willingly provide.
Did you know that public records are openly available? Voting records, media articles, and property information, for example, are not private. They are available at all levels (federal, state, city and county).
Survey’s and Online Contests
Marketing companies collect information about you through survey’s and contests. They will ask you things like your name, address, age, how much money you make a year, whether or not you have children in your house, and even where you like to travel.
Real Time Social Media Posts
More often than not, criminals are now turning to social media to gain insight about you. If you post on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook to name a few, you could be the target of a scam. So, be prudent. Don’t give criminals a heads up about your upcoming travel plans or let them know your whereabouts. Instead, share pics when you get back so the information that you share isn’t in real time.
Hard Copy Mail
Mail is a peek into your life. So, don’t just throw it out when you are done with it —SHRED it.
Unfortunately, we can’t control all of the way’s criminals can get their hands on our personal information. But, many of them are under our control. Be diligent about removing your personal information online and be skeptical of unwanted calls. Especially someone claiming to be calling from your bank, credit card, social security administration, IRS, or even your doctor’s office or insurance. When in doubt, hang up and don’t engage. Criminals and scammers are counting on you to interact.