Being someone who is interested in the 'science of money' I hate to see it squandered, lost, not growing exponentially or wasted. I had read a post saying how a thief had been using a posters credit card and buying bits and pieces with it and also using her email address! She was surprised that they didn't take a trip to Saks, Neiman or Bergdorfs and have a wild paaaaaaartay with her cards. Well, for the modern day fraudster it doesn't work that way. You are just one of thousands of people he (or she) has defrauded and the point is not to bring immediate attention to the missing money, they don't need to. So if you can imagine these guys having say, 2000 - 10000 personal details of unsuspecting card holders, they do quite well just taking a few hundred or a few grand off each card.

SO, HOW DO THEY GET YOUR DETAILS?

Well, nowadays it is becoming easier and easier for people to often know more about you than you know about yourself! It is this constant demand for intimate detail that you have to give up these days to do or buy anything. I have made one call to enquire about a financial offer and then received literally WITHIN THE HOUR non stop calls for months from companies I have never heard of. They have my most private details to hand and happily quote them back to me! THAT'S how fast your personal details are spread and are readily available.

Remember that once a secret is told, it is no longer a secret! Banks have been repeatedly caught out simply throwing their customers details in the trash cans and having people rifle through them looking for information they can use. Once someone has your name, age, address, social security number (or NH number in the UK), they are home free to set up accounts with your details and go on a shopping spree. Banks will always put the onus on you to keep your pin number and details secure, but often they themselves are the culprits. As I have mentioned before they have not only been found to be consistently careless with paperwork but also online fraudsters have a whale of a time repeatedly breaking through their vulnerable online systems. (Whatever they say, ALL systems are vulnerable!)

ONLINE PROTECTION

Perhaps the best information I can give you right now to protect yourself online is not to click on any email or website that is from an unknown or untrustworthy source. If you are like me you will have received many emails from various African princes who cannot get access to their money and therefore need somebody's (your) assistance to get hold of it. If you do this wonderful favour you will receive a healthy 50% of his massive income! Woooowee! Now, if you are also like me you will have replied with a funny message to get a rise out of them and humour yourself and your friends, or replied in anger at their cheek and audacity in trying to scam you. But with todays technology the message is DON'T reply! Simply by clicking open an email today you might as well hand this person the keys to your home! He will have access to your private letters, pictures (handy for forged passports), bank letters, files, basically anything you have put onto your computer. It will be as if they are sitting next to you in the same room watching everything you are typing. This marks only one route they could have used to obtain the aforementioned posters email address. There have been cases where people have travelled to another country and been arrested upon arrival because someone had been using their details for something illegal such as downloading child pornography. People have lost their names, their jobs, their families, their reputations and had their credit record entirely ruined. It is, dear folks, a very serious situation to have your personal details compromised.

Worst of all banks, lenders and credit reference agencies offer no real solutions to gain your reputation back, it's all left up to you to clear your name. This can lead to years of not being allowed any access to credit spending or mortgages whilst gaining you a life changing criminal record! So the easiest option is prevention.

MY 10 POINT PROTECTION TIPS:

1. When you get a new credit card or bank account, (include your existing bank) ask them what their policy is should you become a victim of fraud (or read their TOS carefully). This doesn't mean they will happily refund you your money back either. It's usually still a bit of a battle no matter what they have initially said, plus they sometimes only refund a percentage of what you have lost!

2. Be very careful with your credit cards in shops, bars and restaurants. Don't let it out of your sight. Don't allow them to keep it behind the bar for an evening of partying and drinking. You risk giving them plenty of opportunity to clone your card. It literally takes seconds to do and folks have had it done right in front of them without even knowing - check out my 'Scams' page to see how it's done.

3. Don't click on any unknown emails (even for a laugh as I did before!). Be very careful which online companies you give your details to.

4. (Reputable) banks DO NOT send you emails asking you to log on to your account EVER. These are fraudsters who will watch remotely as you log on and then steal your details. If in doubt don't click any emails from a bank or building society. Call them direct from a number you have always used - not a number on the email! ( I have too many actually very ingenious methods these people use, too many for this post. To get updated go to the 'Scams' page on www.lovelifegodsexmoney.com and stay updated and PROTECTED!)

5. NEVER go into a WiFi enabled bar, coffee shop, waiting room or airport lounge area and use your computer on a wireless system. The person sitting next to you has the ability to steal your details there and then. It's a long process so I won't go into it on this post (see my 'Scams' post) but I have seen it done and it is very easy to do and devastatingly effective.

6. Always use a cross cutting paper shredder to dispose of all old bills and statements. Never just throw them away in the bin.

7. Always check your statements for unknown purchases and raise hell right away. (There is a statute of limitations on this).

8. If you are victim to a stolen card call the card company IMMEDIATELY or they will hold you liable for not notifying them, i.e they won't refund you. You might also lower the daily maximum withdrawal figure to really protect yourself. Also, keep lists of all your cards lost-card contact numbers so that should the worse happen you aren't scrabbling around trying to find the number to call to put a stop on all your cards. Remember that you won't exactly have your mind straight if your wallet or purse goes missing, or (Lord help us), if you are mugged. So organize yourself now! Keep a list with you and some at home. However, don't keep confidential info on that list!

9. Don't use obvious numbers for your pin number - your birthday or daughters birthday for example - some banks hold you liable for this! And don't allow people to see what numbers you are using. Cover your hand when you use any ATM machine as fraudsters have been known to place hidden cameras above the number buttons.

10. Remember that none of this is unlikely sci fi or James Bond stuff. Fraud is a billion dollar industry and a full time job for professional thieves, therefore mini button-sized cameras, cloning machines and other serious technologies are par for the course. Your personal details are Big Business and are often sold from places like India (particularly as so many major companies outsource there) back to the highest bidder in Europe or the US.

For more of this list and more tips on how to grow, keep, protect and save your money visit regularly at: www.lovelifegodsexmoney.com

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Author's Bio: 

Rosie Jones is a human behaviourist, body language expert and certified NLP practitioner. As a sparky, unconventional, no excuses, motivational speaker and coach she challenges her clients to use the same re-conditioning techniques she used to speedily become her own holistic millionaire. Find out why she is rated by Simon Cowell at www.lovelifegodsexmoney.com