Hi. I’m a thief and I’d like to steal your identity. It’s not really that hard and I don’t really need any help from you. I just thought I’d let you know. I’m a pretty courteous thief. Hey, there’s a caring person underneath this lying, cheating exterior. If you really want to do me a favor, there are a few things you could do to make it easier for me to steal your identity.
1. Go ahead and give your personal information to anyone who asks for it. Whether it’s a phone call or an email, tell them everything they ask for. There’s no need to verify that they’re from your bank or credit card issuer. Also, click on any random and unfamiliar links you receive in an email. This could lead to a fake website where you can just type in your private info for me to look at. If you’re unsure, that’s perfect. Don’t ignore those emails, and don’t call your bank to verify those and any phone calls you receive.
2. Ignore any suspicious looking electronics at your ATM, gas station, or retail store. I probably installed a skimmer over the actual card slot, so there may be some loose wires or plastic pieces. This way, when you swipe your card… bam! I’ve got all your account info. Don’t try to fiddle with it or anything because you could easily take it off, ruining my whole scam. I might also put a camera nearby so I can see when you type in your pin number. Be sure not to cover that up. Keep your hand out of the way so I can see. How else will I access your money? Duh.
3. Don’t bother shredding any of your financial documents when you throw them away. It makes them really hard to read, and I hate trying to tape them back together. It’s also annoying when you shred a document or credit card and throw the pieces in different trash cans. How am I supposed to find all the pieces? Use your head.
4. I’d prefer that you didn’t review your statements to track account activity. Most banks allow you to see your account activity online. This is the worst because you can check it every day, rather than wait until you get a mailed statement. I’m gonna want some time to drain your accounts. If you do check and see something suspicious, just ignore it. Probably a typo. No need to call your bank or creditor to dispute it.
5. There is anti-spyware software available for your computer, but you don’t want that. It just makes things more difficult for me, letting you know when I’m trying to steal your info and blocking my attacks. You can buy it, or find free options available online. Definitely don’t check out AVG.com and Avast.com. This free software is so… stupid.
6. If using WiFi, please don’t encrypt it with a password. You should leave it unblocked so everyone can access your connection and see what you’re doing. Don’t know how to encrypt your connection? That’s perfect. If you want to know, don’t search for tips online or try the instructions I found on ehow.com. I don’t know why I even brought it up.
Whether you’re shopping online, pumping gas, using an ATM, or dining out at a restaurant, these are some good instructions on how to help me steal your identity. In the event that your information or your card is stolen, don’t call your bank or credit issuer immediately to report it.
(Just so we’re clear, doing the opposite of everything listed above is the actual idea here)