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Protect Yourself from High-Tech Thieves

Not all thieves are the "dumb criminals" we like to share funny e-mails about. Many are sophisticated and use modern technology to steal from us - or worse. Consider these examples.

1. Someone left their car in the long-term parking at an airport while away, and someone broke into the car. Using the information on the car's registration in the glove compartment, they drove the car to the people's home and robbed it. So if you are going to leave the car in long-term parking, you should not leave the registration/insurance cards in it. Also remove your remote garage door opener.

2. GPS systems which are often prominently mounted on the dashboard of cars are targets for thieves of course. Most people have their home address programmed into the GPS so they can simply ask for direction home. Thieves can also use the GPS to guide them to your house.

It's a good idea to program a nearby address (like a store or gas station) as your GPS 'home' so you can still find your way home if you need to, but no one else would know where you live if your GPS were stolen.

3) One lady had her handbag, which contained her cell phone, credit card, wallet, etc., stolen. 20 minutes later when she called her hubby, from a pay phone telling him what had happened, hubby says 'I received your text asking about our Pin number and I've replied a little while ago.'

When they rushed down to the bank, the bank staff told them all the money was already withdrawn. The thief had actually used the stolen cell phone to text 'hubby' in the contact list and got hold of the pin number.

Do not disclose the relationship between you and the people in your contact list. Avoid using names like Home, Honey, Hubby, Sweetheart, Dad, Mom, etc.

And very importantly, when sensitive info is being asked through texts, CONFIRM by calling back. Anyone can text "as you" if they have your phone or other device and since nobody hears a voice, they assume it is from you.

Also, when you're being texted by friends or family to meet them somewhere, be sure to call back to confirm that the message came from them. If you don't reach them, be very careful about going places to meet 'family and friends' who text you.

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