Tips for Avoiding Identity Theft on Gig Economy Platforms

October 24, 2023

Many people use gig economy platforms for services like ride-share and food delivery. As a result, more people are using these platforms as workers. These platforms have proven convenient due to their flexibility for workers and consumers. 

However, consumers and workers should know about the potential downsides of these apps. For example, identity theft or fraud can occur on both sides. A major consumer reporting agency studied identity theft in correlation to these apps. They found that one in four Americans became victims of identity fraud when using gig economy platforms. This statistic is twice the rate of those suffering fraud outside the platforms.

The study also addressed the type of security steps that workers and consumers preferred. The most common preference included biometric identity verifications and one-time passcodes. As such, platforms that have these security features can help protect your personal information. Furthermore, there are other steps you can take to safeguard your identity as well. 

Here are a few options:

Beware of Phishing Scams

Be careful when responding to requests for information from emails, especially those allegedly from gig economy platforms. This deception is phishing, a common tactic scammers use through email, phone calls, or text messages.

Scammers will tempt you to share your account information through email. They do this by offering rewards, such as coupons for free or discounted items. Other attempts may include claims of problems concerning your account, like payment information.

Remember to avoid sharing sensitive information, like your Social Security Number or password. Other data you must protect include your account number or security codes. Avoid sharing anything if someone requests this information via email or phone. When unsure whether the cause is legitimate, consider doing your research. You can check a business’s official phone numbers and call for clarification. 

When receiving unexpected emails, resist clicking on any links in the message. You should search the email for clues on whether the email is fake. Such indications include misspellings anywhere in the email, weird email addresses, and links that do not say where they go when you hover over them; mistakes could mean the email is an attempt to steal your data.

Do Not Share Passwords or Codes

Never share any security code when using one of these services. Safeguarding your passwords and codes is especially important when someone claims to represent the service you use. An employee would not need your password to help address any concerns with your account.

Only Use Reputable Platforms

You can use many gig economy platforms to obtain services or gig work. However, it is crucial to do your research to ensure you use reputable ones only. Consider reviewing their security measures and reading reviews from other users’ experiences. Platforms that use two-step authentication are more trustworthy because this process makes it challenging for thieves to steal your account.

Be Careful About Public Wi-Fi

Using public Wi-Fi could save data for gig workers on the go. However, doing so has proven risky because identity thieves can use this temptation. For example, they may create a hotspot in an area popular for gig workers.

Anyone connecting to this network would expose themselves to the thieves. The danger lies in their ability to sneak malware into your device. One example involves slipping infected ads into seemingly safe websites. When you click on that ad, you expose everything on your phone to the scammer.

Final Thoughts

There are many benefits to using gig economy platforms for customers and workers. With those benefits come risks, so users should take precautions to protect their information and accounts. As such, you should act quickly if you believe someone has stolen your identity. You can report the theft to the police, the Federal Trade Commission, and financial institutions.

You should also consider running a self-background check. A self-check can reveal whether an identity thief has used your information. You could find unfamiliar accounts, hard inquiries, and signs of whether they used your name when committing crimes. 

Protect and guard your personal information and your identity with a seamless self background check. Try it today.