Christmas is a time when some people make wish lists online and these can be fun but they can inadvertently give away a lot of information to scammers.
Amazon maintains wish lists so in theory other people can buy gifts for you that you do want rather than having to figure out what you might want. Amazon has three levels of privacy – Public, Shared or Private. Choosing Public lets anyone see the list, Private means just you and shared is where you can choose who gets to see the list.
Allowing this information to be public should be harmless, but people who are trying to steal your identity can use this information to get critical details about you.
Michelle Black works with Hope 4 USA in Ft. Mill. She spends several hours a day helping people recover from ID theft, which is one of the fastest growing crimes.
Black says “A scammer can log into these public websites, public wish lists. From there they might have such information as your city and state, your date of birth, your children’s names and perhaps their dates of birth and they can use that to start putting together the pieces of the puzzle they need to fully steal your identity.”
The thieves then create a fake website by making it look like Amazon or the online wish list company.
They tell you someone has purchased an item on your list and all you have to do is login to confirm the mailing address.
And if you click on that link and login, the scammer has the information needed to access your account and maybe even for identity theft.
Make sure any online wish list or gift registry is set to Private.
If you’ve enjoyed this post or found it useful then do share – click on the post title then scroll down to the social media share buttons.