According to statistical reports, an average household in Nigeria has at least one credit card and the number of internet users is growing at an exponential rate. The reason for this development might be based on the fact that credit cards offer extreme cashless shopping convenience and technology is disrupting an barrier that exists in any sector..
Although these necessities cannot be emphasised, what people do not realize is that, the manner they use make use of their credit cards and the internet can greatly affect the way they live.
WHAT IS IDENTITY THEFT?
Identity Theft is the deliberate use of someone else’s identity in order to gain advantage in the person’s name, which usually leads to that person’s disadvantage or loss. We could also say that Identity Theft is when some unscrupulous persons try to get some information from you such as your card details and other pertinent personal data. to perform actions that could cause damage. These set of information are used deceitfully by these people for their own benefits.
For this reason, it is important to know how to avoid getting into the hands of these Identity Theft(s) tactics. Here are some simple tips of how to go about that:
- PROTECT YOUR PERSONAL DATA AND ANY FINANCIAL INFORMATION – Never entertain phone calls (especially from unknown numbers), that require you to give out any personal data or information, even if the caller says he is from the bank that issued your credit card and that the information gathering is just some sort of verifications. If this is the case, try to inform them that you wish to do the transactions in person. Hence, it is important to verify if the caller is truly a representative of the bank.
- AVOID FREEBIES AND OFFERS THAT INVOLVES CREDIT CARDS – If you are offered with some promotions requiring you to give some personal information, it would be better not to entertain the promo at all. Things like these will only entice you to want to “give it a try” and in the end, it may be too late to realize that you have just been a victim of an Identity Theft.
- HAVE A REGULAR CHECK UP ON YOUR CREDIT STANDING AND BILLS – Most credit card holders are so lazy to do regular check up on their bill status. If you do this, it will be easier for you to detect any probable Identity Theft case on your part. Credit reports can definitely tell you if there were purchases that you know you did not make.
- DO NOT CARRY THEM AROUND ALWAYS – Some people tend to carry their cards wherever they are going. Although we may argue that we need them in cases of necessity, but you will never know what will happen while you are in a public place, as Identity Theft could just be lurking around, waiting for its next victim.
As we continue to enlighten people about the dangers of being care free about our personal information, it is a responsibility for us to keep spreading the word and also stay away from avoidable instances that could lead to ‘Had i known’.