Taking Back the ID

Veterans’ frauds, caution in answering online questions and ways to avoid all scams

Scammers don’t care who they trick — veterans and anybody who answers online quizzes are equally fair game. The common denominator in these two disparate scams is stealing valuable personally identifiable information.

Prior to the U.S. Veterans Day holiday, Winston Mittens, a retired Army staff sergeant, answered a call from someone who said he worked at Mittens’ bank. The caller said the bank was beefing up its security, so it needed Winston to verify his account information and Social Security number, which he did. But in the next week, Winston visited his bank to deposit a check and found he had a zero balance in his account. A bank official told Winston that someone had used his identity to steal his banking credentials and drain his money. Lucky for him, the bank covered the fraud and restored his balance. The bank also changed his account credentials so he hopefully wouldn’t be a victim again. 

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