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Two schemes financial institutions and consumers should note

Jan 05, 2012 Philip Burgess

As consumers go from store to store, using their credit cards countless times in a weekend, the holiday season is being seen as a haven for identity thieves, Indian Country reports. Short term financing solution agencies should be aware of the common schemes certain criminals are conducting and warn clients what to watch out for. One of the lesser known identity stealing methods is a Universal Forensic Extraction Device. Most commonly used by Police organizations, some criminals have unfortunately gained access to this technology and are using it to gain personal records that individuals store on their smartphones. With the information on a smartphone, a hacker could have enough information to open a fraudulent credit card and make payments under a victim's name. Consumers are more secured if they don't save password or login information on their smartphones, but financial institutions should be aware of any suspicious activity and inform clients to check their statements if they accidentally lose their phone or fear their personal information was compromised. Hackers target the vulnerable and they're very good at it. A financial institution should inform their clients following questionable spending. Vincent Schilling, a contributor to Indian Country, was recently a victim of a phone-based financial scam which put a dent on his business credit card statement. According to Schilling, an individual called claiming that suspicious charges were made on his credit card and that he needed to confirm the details of the account before the agency could authorize a hold on his card. Schilling unknowingly revealed his credit card details to an identity thief who then purchased hundreds of dollars worth of retails items. "Luckily, the purchases were made on my business debit account so shoes, clothing and perfume stood out like a sore thumb. If they had been made on my personal account -especially during the holidays - who knows how long the perpetrators would have had a party with my credit card," Schilling wrote. In order to ensure that the financial institution doesn't have to rely on its insurance to cover the losses of fraudulent charges, immediate action should be taken against illegitimate credit card activity.