As I have told you many times, identity theft can happen to anyone. In fact, statistics and trends would indicate that it is not a matter of if you will become a victim of identity theft, but when. No one is immune to identity theft, not Michelle Obama, not Donald Trump, not Tiger Woods and now, not Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts. The Associated Press recently disclosed that Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts was a victim of identity theft when someone got access to his credit card. At this time, it is not known whether the breach of the Chief Justice’s security was due to the use of a skimmer, malware in a card scanner, stealing of the card or a data breach either in Justice Roberts’ computer or the computers of any company that held his card information. What is known is that this type of identity theft can happen to anyone, regardless of who you are and how much you try to protect your security.
So what do you do?
Don’t make it easy for identity thieves. As tempting as it is, don’t leave your credit card information on file with online retailers such as Amazon. If they have a data breach, you are in trouble. Maintain your own computer’s Firewall and security software up to date and don’t download files or click on links from websites or in emails unless you are absolutely positive that the website or the email is legitimate. Check credit card readers and ATMS for signs of a skimmer or being tampered with before inserting your card. Finally, monitor your credit card statements carefully each month to check for evidence of a breach of security. The earlier you discover a breach, the better.
You can get some comfort over the limit of your liability being only $50 for a stolen credit card, but remember, potentially there is no limit for stolen debit cards, so limit your use of your debit cards to use solely as an ATM card.