Protecting Yourself From Cyberthieves After a Payday Loan

In Javelin Strategy & Research’s 2015 Internet Fraud Study, more than 12 million consumers in the United States were victims of identity theft in 2014. One of the newer targets are short-term loan companies. With products like car title loans or payday loans where all that you give is your name, address, banking information, driver’s license, and SSN, hackers are honing in on quickly using this vital information to get credit cards and other cash loans.

Might Not Be Instant

For one Florida man, it had been a number of years since he had to take out a payday loan online. The sales manager needed cash in a hurry, signed up online, paid off his Florida payday loan, and had moved on. Years later, he found that two of the bank accounts he’d paid back the loan from had been hacked and the thief or thieves got away with $1,000.

The Problem

The president of the cybersecurity company Intercrawler found information on a forum from a seller who claimed to have access to the lending information of well over 105 million people. Further investigation found that many of the names in this database had all applied for payday loans in the past.

One Big Bust

In September 2014, the FTC stopped a scam where two thieves allegedly purchased databases full of payday loan information. They would deposit money into the bank accounts of victims and then withdraw even more claiming it was loan fees and finance charges.

Protect Yourself

If you’ve taken out a short-term loan, check your credit report often. Through the government site, you can access your three credit reports for free each year. If you note any suspicious activity, notify the three companies immediately.

You can also ask the credit bureaus to issue fraud alerts to prevent people from opening new credit card accounts or loans without first providing a photo ID.