Summer will be here before you know it, and with it comes new and old scams. As you consider possible escapes—travel to exotic places; trips to the beach, the mountains or the golf course; a staycation to get much needed work done around your house—bear in mind that these diversions provide the perfect opportunity for con artists and identity thieves just waiting to insinuate themselves into your life, becoming the sand in your picnic basket (or bathing suit)—a vacation-killing burn that no ointment can soothe.
The following is an excerpt from the new book Swiped by Adam Levin (Public Affairs, 2015):
If the past year has taught consumers anything, it's that identity thieves, fraudsters and scammers are on the prowl, going after any information they can use to make a buck. But the intrusions don't stop there.
Your personally identifiable information (PII) is all around you, and much of it is impossible to protect. While your driver's license and Social Security numbers are a significant part of the equation, you can take certain protective measures to keep those from prying eyes. Unfortunately, that's not the case when it comes to more visible forms of PII -- like your birthday, email address, home address and even your name. There are criminals out there who see you as their day job, and they know how to use the most gettable pieces of your PII, like your name, to commit crimes.
Many Americans this week may be asking themselves: Why should I care about the debt ceiling, or the -- barring Congressional action -- coming default? You've heard about it in the news but, much like the sequester or the shutdown, you're not quite sure how it'll affect your daily life.