How Someone Can Steal Your Identity Through Unsecured Payment Sites

by Barbara J. Feldman on February 10, 2009

Identity theft is a serious problem throughout the world with literally millions of dollars lost each year. Few of us realize just how much identity theft is out there and how it impacts the lives of everyday people at home and abroad. While identity theft has been a problem for centuries, it has become particularly problematic with the invention of electronic forms of communication. These inventions allow us to do so many wonderful things, but they also create some serious problems. Through phones and the Internet we are able to communicate with people thousands of miles away, but this also means that we can make important financial and personal transactions while not present. This has allowed Internet business, and business in general, to expand its clientele tenfold, which is a good thing as long as the identity of the people doing the transactions is certain. Without them present the probability and opportunity for a scam increases dramatically.

A hundred years ago people could not imagine making a serious business deal without the people involved sitting down together and talking face to face. This does not means that they avoided scams by doing so, but it would have been more difficult for a criminal to get away with it. Now we send our home address, phone number, credit card information, social security number, and even more personal information out into cyberspace, and it is simply faith that supports us in doing so. We never look the person in the eye on the other end of the Internet communication line. We have no idea if they are the worst crook in history or the most honest and humble business person imaginable. One way that crooks have taken advantage of this situation is to install unsecured payment options on phony websites. If you regularly use the Internet to purchase things you should read what follows and avoid having your identity stolen.

If you have bought something online from a major store recently you have probably found a secure payment option ensured by a company whose only purpose is to guard transactions online. These are services like Paypal, which have an established reputation and are used by thousands of businesses worldwide. Generally speaking these sorts of secure payment options are fine, but what happens when you are paying for something at a smaller business that does not have a secure payment option? In such cases you should never communicate any payment or personal information with such a site. Although the person on the other end might be an honest business person, by not using a secure payment option they are literally telling clients and customers that they are not safe. There is nothing that secures your transaction on such sites, which means that someone else could be watching, and it could also mean that the site is a fake or a fraud. If the site is not a real business site then you have just sent someone your credit card and personal information and you can be sure that they will use your identity to get what they want. If you suspect that you have sent information to an unsecured site call your credit card company immediately and have the card canceled. It is better to go through the process of getting a new card than to find that some stranger has just spent twenty thousand dollars of your money. Remember to simply follow this one rule—never give your information to an unsecured site—and you will help to ensure your safety.

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Cite This Page

Feldman, Barbara. "How Someone Can Steal Your Identity Through Unsecured Payment Sites." Surfnetkids. Feldman Publishing. 10 Feb. 2009. Web. 14 Oct. 2014. <http://www.surfnetkids.com/tech/518/how-someone-can-steal-your-identity-through-unsecured-payment-sites/ >.