6 ways veterans can troll identity thieves when targeted

Ruddy Cano
Nov 5, 2022 6:03 AM PDT
4 minute read
identity thieves

Photo by Chloé Mg on Unsplash.


Identity thieves are broadening their targets and using stealthier methods to commit identity theft and fraud. If you own a…

Identity thieves are broadening their targets and using stealthier methods to commit identity theft and fraud. If you own a phone or computer, you are a target and may be a victim of identity theft. With cybercrimes getting more sophisticated each day, this presents a unique opportunity for the bored troop: justified trolling.

Trolling – (verb), as it relates to the internet, is the deliberate act, (by a Troll – noun or adjective), of making random unsolicited and/or controversial comments on various internet forums with the intent to provoke an emotional knee jerk reaction from unsuspecting readers to engage in a fight or argument

Due to the rise of online tools, criminals get easy access to sensitive details about you from online platforms. The following are the most common methods used by identity thieves: Use of phishing emails to trick victims, using text messages that may appear to be from a trusted company, vishing (voice phishing) or spoofing to send falsified information to a caller ID, fake websites, data breaches, skimming, public WIFI and USB charging stations.

Identity theft can affect anyone which is why you should take preventive measures as guided below - and have fun while you're at it.

Keep your personal records safe

Trusting other people with your sensitive records is the first mistake individuals commit. Unfortunately for active-duty troops, you get asked your full social even when ordering food when you forget your meal card at the mess hall. People have hidden motives and you would not realize their intentions until it happens to you. Civilians aren't the only ones who have access to your info, so, it's hard to track down where the leak happened. Keep all your personal records away in a safe box or a hideout that no one else knows about.

When disposing of such data, ensure you shred or tear it completely to reduce identity theft risk. Additionally, if you have people working in your home keep your financial papers, credit cards, and other personal data locked. Do not throw them in the dumpster after field day.

Do not post your personal information online

Technology is beneficial to us, but it also comes with a price which is cyber fraud. Keeping personal information such as date of birth on social media platforms or any other online facility is dangerous. Refrain from providing your financial information to any website unless you are certain that it is secure.

Some identity thieves will use fake websites to lure you into giving your personal information. Check for security symbols such as unbroken padlock and URL that reads HTTPS and not HTTP.

Carry what you need only

Identity thieves might also target you physically and steal what you have. This is why in the safety brief you're told to keep your head on a swivel and not get too drunk. Undoubtedly, they will forcefully take your personal identification, credit cards, debit cards, and other valuable possessions if you're too wasted to fight them off. If you must carry your identification and cards, ensure you keep them in a secure place where they cannot be snatched.

Always protect your social security number

Secure your social security card and only give the number out when necessary. Memorize the social security number to avoid carrying it around. A social security card is as vital as a credit or debit card. Also, do not laminate it. It says so right on the card yet people do it anyway. If you are on official business and you get a stickler government employee, they can legally refuse it if they wanted to.

What I do when I'm asked by an obvious scammer for my PII (Personally Identifiable Information) is give them fake info in a different language.

Protect your computer and accounts

Keep your passwords secret and change them often so you can be one step ahead of identity thieves. For your online accounts and social media, use strong passwords that no one can guess or find out about. No matter how dependable you are to someone, never disclose your password to them. Do not use patent passwords like your mother’s, your child’s or pet’s names.

Install firewalls in your computer, do not download files from strangers, maintain virus protection and have a password on your computer. Avoid automatic log-in processes that store your account name and password. When you dispose of your computer, erase all the personal information and overwrite the hard drive. Also, your S1 at your headquarters building can give you specific methods of destruction or they can dispose of it for you.

Another idea that a bored troop can use while dealing with a scammer is to go with the flow. James Veitch did a TedTalk on how he trolled scammers by being as enthusiastically unhelpful.

Determine whether your records were altered after a breach

If you suspect that a company in possession of your data was breached, research how much personal data was touched and whether it affected your records. After such an occurrence, carefully monitor your credit card activities for fraudulent charges. You can also restrict access on your credit card to prevent identity thieves from opening accounts in your name or using funds from the credit card.

Some thieves skip the tech

Some thieves will do away with using cybercrime and resort to ol' fashion petty crimes. Over the last several years, package thieves have been prowling the streets for delivered, unattended packages. Equally, on the rise, booby traps such as glitter bombs. You can also counter their low-tech attack with an equally low-tech answer: the second amendment.


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