smart spending

5 ways to expose yourself to identity theft

Be wary of 'Internet friends'
Be wary of 'Internet friends' © HconQ/Shutterstock.com

Be wary of 'Internet friends'

It's easy to make new friends on social networking websites, but not all of the people you may encounter are who they say they are. Some of them are scammers on the prowl for information they can exploit or sell.

Foley calls such activities the "sweetheart scam" because they occur when your new best friend or sweetheart on the Internet asks for information about you. Seemingly innocuous questions can lead to real trouble.

"You share where you were born and when you were born, now I know where to get your birth certificate," Foley says. "I can take that and get a duplicate Social Security card and with that I can get a driver's license and with that I can get a passport and with that I can travel anywhere and be you as much as I want."

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