The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas’ (BSP) “Compilation of Consumer Protection Advisories” says felons are not above rummaging through your trash to collect sensitive information to be able to assume your identity for fraudulent activities.
BSP defines identity theft as the use of somebody’s personal information without permission, to commit fraud or other crimes.
The compilation says, “Personal information may be stolen from you through various means, such as from the Internet, pickpockets, mail or by way of dumpster diving.” BSP says dumpster diving is when people rummage through trash looking for documents with personal information in them.
While many of us may already be taking precautions when going online, we probably do not think thieves would be desperate enough to go through our garbage. The “foul” activity must be financially rewarding that felons put up with the grime and smell to search for information they can use.
BSP suggests shredding or destroying papers, receipts and other documents bearing your personal information before throwing them away.
It offers these additional tips to protect yourself from identity thieves:
- Do not give personal financial information, such as account number or password over the phone or through the Internet, especially in response to unsolicited requests.
- Contact the particular financial institution mentioned in the letter or e-mail message requesting for your personal information if you are unsure whether such communication is legitimate.
- Transact only with secured websites. Look for “https” in the address bar.
- Keep all private records and statements in a safe place and do not share these with anyone.
If you fall victim to identity theft, call and write your financial institution immediately. Close your accounts which you think have been compromised or are known to unauthorized persons.
In subsequent columns I will write about other tips contained in the BSP compilation, part of the financial education initiative of the government’s financial policymaking body.
While people may already know some information offered by the compilation, there are several things that they may not be aware of yet, or do not know very well.
Robinsons Place Manila is hosting Kiddo-preneur 2014 on May 31 at the Midtown Activity Area. The Kiddo-preneur bazaar features original homegrown food products and nonfood items by enterprising children as young as 6 years old.
The annual activity, which started in 2011, aims to develop the entrepreneurial spirit among Pinoy kids by exposing them to the environment at an early age. Children are given the chance to produce, market and sell their own products.
Parents can help their kids decorate the booths and sell the merchandise. Entrance fee to the bazaar is P50. Rent for each booth is P3,000.
At the end of the bazaar, Kiddo-preneur organizers will give special recognition to outstanding participants. Award categories are Best Service, Best Decorated Booth, Best Concept and Highest Sales.
Robinsons Malls also has an ongoing corporate social responsibility program called Entrep Corner. Colleges and universities that offer Entrepreneurship programs and courses can partner with the mall chain to sell their students’ unique and original products and services.
To join the Kiddo-preneur bazaar, e-mail email@example.com or like Kiddo-preneur on Facebook.
Send letters to The Consumer, Lifestyle Section, Philippine Daily Inquirer, 1098 Chino Roces Ave. cor. Mascardo and Yague Sts., 1204 Makati City; fax 8974793/94; or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.