I got a tip from Fiona King at InsideCRM magazine about an article they published that lists fifty tips to protect your privacy, personal and financial information. InsideCRM represents the customer relationship management industry.

The article intended to provide useful tips to protect the average person from fraud, phishing, and all the assorted financial misdeeds facing the average person in today’s world. The tips provide information on how these scams originate and emphasize how a person can take back control of their personal and financial information.

The article covers how to protect yourself both on and offline and how you can track your personal information on the Internet. Although I’ve seen many of these tips before, putting them all in a one-page format makes this article a useful tool. Along with the fifty tips are useful links, which direct the reader to the source material about the particular tip.

The CRM industry has a stake in fighting the battle against scams that are being made easier by technology. Consumer trust is a key factor in any type of business involving customers.

One growing concern that can give the industry a bad rap (even though the legitimate CRM center had nothing to do with it) is a phenomenon called vishing where personal information is stolen by calling people up on the telephone. This type of activity is a growing phenomenon. In most cases, the crooks impersonate a legitimate organization when doing this.

My personal tip on how not to get caught in a vishing expedition is to remember that no reputable organization will ever call (unsolicited by you) and ask for personal or financial information. If this occurs, a red flag should go up in your head and I recommend verifying the number via a known third party source and calling them back. Do not rely on caller ID; spoofing services (which fake caller ID) numbers are available to anyone with the capital to purchase them on the Internet.

The article lists some useful tips when dealing with VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) technology, which many believe is the cause in the recent surge of vishing activity. The reason for this is that it has made calling long distance cheap and vishing scams now come from all over the world, making them hard to investigate or trace.

Additionally, CRM centers often deal in personal and financial information. One of the biggest consumer trust issues that faces the industry is when information is breached from within a CRM center. Recent reports of information being stolen at CRM centers have made internal security at CRM centers a priority.

Please note that CRM centers are not the only places personal and financial information are compromised. This is becoming a sad reality and any business that deals in “information” needs to be aware of the potential risks of having this valuable commodity stolen from under their noses.

Most technology scams involve healthy does of social engineering (human trickery) to make them work. Education is the best defense against social engineering and InsideCRM has provided all of us with a valuable tool to do this with!

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