You thought you had it all going well! You got a good paying job, a pension fund for your retirement, some investments and a 6 digit bank account.

But wait! That was since the last time you checked your bank records online. Right now, you only got $10,000 left in your account. Statements reveal that you’ve transferred funds online to an unfamiliar savings account.

But the thing is, you never did. Somebody else learned about your password and logged into your account. You realized you’ve been duped and now there’s nothing you can do about it except file a formal complaint with the bank and the authorities. But what are the odds they will buy your story? Moreover, the proceedings for an investigation would take much time to resolve and you will probably never be able to recover your money.

The above case of financial theft is just one of the many instances of identity theft wherein the perpetrator discreetly gets hold of personal information such as online passwords to steal money from accounts, open dummy bank or credit card accounts and even apply for loans in the name of the victim. Based on the statistics reported by the Federal Trade Commission in 2007, identity theft accounts for 36% of the fraud complaints filed by consumers in 2006. While credit card fraud is commonly pulled off by fraudsters; the instances of bank or financial fraud and utilities fraud are frontrunners to identity theft.

As rampant as this may be, the least an online user can do to prevent identity theft is observe extra caution in the creation and use of passwords; whether it’s for an email account, an online credit or bank account or even a profile page that holds pertinent and confidential information that would cause imminent damage to your finances and reputation when unknowingly handed over to deceitful elements.

Therefore, before it’s too late, get a grip of your transactions online and secure your passwords. This can go as simple as creating a strong alphanumeric password that is not easily identifiable to you and likewise not divulging this piece of data to anyone. Remember that you can never be too trustful these days. Also, beware of shoulder surfing individuals who might just be too skilled to track down the password you have encoded. Moreover, it is a good anti-fraud measure to use anti phishing devices and services which would help recognize and thwart off online threats to your accounts.

Mitigate the risks of online fraud by securing your passwords today. It’s your reputation that’s on the line.


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