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How To Avoid Identity Theft When Shopping For A Car

How To Avoid Identity Theft When Shopping For A Car

We had a customer contact our Cambridge auto loan team the other day who had suffered identity theft. Their credit score had tanked for a while until everything was sorted out but even after they were found to be not at fault, their score still took a hit. We think the conversation of identity theft when shopping for a car is a very important one to elaborate on


With that in mind, prevention is very much better than cure so what can you do to avoid identity theft when shopping for a car?


Our Cambridge auto loan team will tell you what they told our client.


Shred your paperwork


Shredding your paperwork instead of recycling it or throwing it in the trash is an excellent way to protect your identity. Dumpster diving or trawling landfill are a couple of ways fraudsters steal someone’s identity.


You can prevent that by shredding or burning all your old paperwork instead of throwing it away.


Never reply to suspicious emails


Email spam is a common way for identity thieves to hook you in. Some of those emails can look identical to real emails so it’s best not to reply to any that aren’t family or friends.


Never click on a link within an email either. Manually type a link into your browser or use Google to search for your bank’s website or a particular page.


Hover your cursor over an email link to see if it’s real and see how often the address you see differs from the address hidden underneath!


Keep yourself to yourself


Never share your bank details with anyone outside of retail or where absolutely necessary. Nobody but you will ever need your bank password or PIN. If you’re asked for either of those, hang up right away.


Banks will typically ask for a couple of letters from a password, like ‘give me the first letter and the last letter’ or something similar. That’s fine as long as you called them.


If they call you and ask those questions, politely tell them you’re hanging up and will call them back. Legitimate banks and organizations will understand your caution and be fine with it.


Protect electronic devices


Keep your phone on you at all times and never leave it lying around. Use a VPN when surfing in public places and don’t install software from outside the legitimate app stores.


The same for computers. Only use legitimate software, use a firewall at all times, always have antivirus and antimalware running and be careful where you go online.


If you think your identity is compromised


If you think you have had your identity stolen, tell the relevant organizations at once. If you think your bank has been compromised, call the bank and tell them. The same for credit cards or other accounts you might have.


If you’re alerted to someone taking out credit in your name, alert TransUnion or Equifax so they can put an alert on your account.


Then phone the police. They won’t do much except give you a crime number but it’s part of the process.


Those preventative steps won’t guarantee to protect you from identity theft but they will minimize the risk. Anything you can do to lower the chances of being caught out has to be a good thing, right?


Contact Unique Chrysler for help, advice and competitive Cambridge car finance and leasing.


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