Recently I had a couple of very shocking experiences that I must share with you. I was in a nail salon having my mani-pedi, trying to mind my own business when the woman sitting at the station next to me called her credit card company on her cell phone and loudly told them that she would be traveling in Europe for three weeks and they should not block any of her transactions. That she was giving this information in public was unsettling, but what happened next floored me. She recited to them and all of us within earshot, her name, address, credit card number and date of birth!
Okay, so the harried traveler I witnessed may have had a momentary lapse in location awareness but then it happened to me again. As I was in line at Starbucks waiting for my morning cup, a man in line with us was speaking on his cell phone, presumably to a banker about a loan. He provided to the banker and all of us in line his name, address, social security number and income information. Again I was shocked and concerned!
I live and work in a metropolitan area and we are all used to be around people most of the time, but this kind of location lapse in judgment could really get you into trouble. If I, or anyone else within earshot of these two people, was unscrupulous or just down on their luck financially and looking for a quick buck these two identities and this credit could have been stolen so easily and quickly.
So, next time you plan to have a sensitive or private conversation, take a moment to make that call in a private location. Remember also that neither emails nor text messages are secure forms of communication for your private information as well. By protecting your personal information you are protecting your good credit so please be mindful the next time you pick up your cell phone.