The term Scam in the online world has been loosely translated. By definition, a Scam is a quick-profit scheme where a person cheats another individual or group out of money by presenting them with false information during a deal or offer.
Scammers are not just after your money. Scams can also be designed to steal your personal details. The types of personal information that scammers might ask for include credit card and bank account details, passport details and name and address details.
This is known as ‘identity theft’. Many scams, such as card skimming, phishing, lottery scams, money transfer scams and work from home scams could not only cost you money, but could also result in the misuse of your details to commit ‘identity fraud’.
Identity fraud generally refers to the use of a stolen or assumed identity to gain goods, services, money and other benefits, or to avoid obligations. By using your personal details, scammers can sometimes take out loans, claim welfare benefits or run up debts in your name. These activities can damage your credit rating, making it difficult for you to borrow money or get a credit card.
Of course, identity fraud can also cost you money directly (if scammers use a stolen password to take money from your bank account for example). At the very least, setting the record straight after a scammer has misused your identity can be an annoying and time-consuming task.
Apart from scams, identity theft can happen in many ways. Commonly, it may happen if your wallet or purse has been stolen and the thief has used the details on your cards. Or it could happen if someone ‘dumpster dives’ in your rubbish bin, taking your personal details from your discarded mail.
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