Internet Mail Identity Theft Internet mail is one of the main sources that perpetrators of identity theft utilize to gain access to personal information. The perpetrator may send threatening mails, or mails that seem appealing. Spam or Phishing emails are linked to identity thieves and arrive in millions of mailboxes worldwide. Not one of us is singled out to become the next victim. Rather, identity thieves focus on getting identities to gain, instead of worrying about whom they are stealing the identity from. Few thieves will target a specific company or person, especially if they are aware of the worth of the accounts. Thus, these thieves are acting on greed and intend to get rich by stealing someone else’s identity. The dispatcher of such mails are challenging the receiver by deception hoping the receiver will give out personal information, such as banking routing numbers, bank numbers, PIN and passwords, Social Security Numbers and other precious information that the thief can utilize to gain control over your identity. Added emails that you may want to bear in mind are Spam mails that often assert that you have won x amount of cash, please act now to receive your prize. Logic should tell you that if you have not joined a contest or gave your information over the phone lines or internet, then chances are you have not won a prize. Recently, I received various mails claiming that I have won $32,000 and is requested to pay the tax on the winning, and to please respond now to receive your prize. DELETE. Other mails followed claiming that I could receive scholars or grants to attend such and such college, to earn my degree act now by providing my personal information. NOT! After my identity has been stolen, unless your name is GOD you are not getting any personal information from me. My bank already has my personal information, thus there is no reason for them to email me asking for my personal information. Banks clearly state in the Terms & Conditions that they will “Never” send electronic mail requesting information from the recipient at any time, thus giving your information to an electronic email with your bank name listed in the header is only asking for trouble. Identity thieves think of everything when it comes to stealing identities, including sending emails in respected names. FDIC was targeted by thieves, thus the sender sent mails to recipients of the bank requesting that they provide personal information now to avoid closure of their accounts. Microsoft was also targeted by thieves when mails were sent to various boxes requesting the receiver to download patches to protect their computers. Once the receiver downloaded, the attachment a dangerous Virus quickly took control of their computer, leaving the computer bleeding and leaking with empty spaces that would direct anyone to the information stored on the computer. EBay is a target for thieves. Few thieves purchase items on EBay claiming to send the owner a check that amounts to more than the purchase price and that the owner should send the remaining amount back to the purchaser by electronic form, or else through “Western Union.” The checks were found to be copycats and were attempts to steal. Thus, the Internet is not a safe environment; therefore, I will provide helpful tips to help you prevent identity theft. Steps to protecting your identity: Never open emails that you do not trust. Never give out personal information abroad the internet, unless you know the company is trusted and has encryptions to secure the site. Still, you may want to reconsider and order directly via postal mail from the company. Do a background check on any site you are thinking of giving your information to. If possible, send Money Orders to pay bills or else pay for products online and offline. Never give our personal information over the phone lines. Do not post personal information on forums, bulletin boards or discussion boards online. Conceal your personal information at all times, including at home. When using ATM or other machines to make deposits, withdrawals or purchases make sure no one sees, you type in your PIN number. Change your Pin numbers and passwords randomly.