The Federal Trade Commission consistently puts identity theft near or at the top of the list of the different kinds of fraud complaints. Even cutting down on your use of your PC may not help that much. The majority of identity thefts took place offline, according to a study let out by Javelin Strategy and Research. It’s not what most people might think. One other trouble statistic was that 44% of identity thefts were committed by a person that the victim knew.
You always see it in the dailies during the day and on the nightly news. People fear that someone do a bunch charges on a credit card or clean out a bank account when they’re not looking. There is a lot of reason to be scared. All an identity thief needs to commit identity theft is your Social Security number. The crime is pretty simple to commit, but prosecuting it, and investigating it beforehand, is time-consuming and complex. However, once you get the facts under wraps, and you utilize preventive measures, you can declare victory in the war against fraud and identity theft.
Identity thieves carry out their crimes in different ways:
That’s right! They even go so far as to do a change of address form in the name of the victim. They collect all their mail and try to cherry-pick through it to find the pieces of mail that can help them in their identity theft. These people are completely shameless.
There are some good, solid tips to prevent or safeguard yourself from identity theft.
1. Never release your Social Security number to anyone. Keep this confidential information close to your breast
2. Make sure all your passwords are in memory and not written down anywhere or carried around with you, ever! Someone could find your wallet or purse. They could use that information, along with your credit cards and other identifying information in your wallet or purse to commit identity fraud.
3. When you’re at an ATM machine, be certain no one is looking over your shoulder trying to get your PIN number. They might know you or know where you work, and they could try to nab your wallet or purse at some time. Some identity thieves even go so far as to mark down the license plate of the person whose ATM password they have learned. Then, they go and rob their house when they’re not at home. They do it in the hope of finding a wallet or purse that was left at home. Never underestimate the underhandedness of an identity thief.