Identity Theft Security Tips
Identity Theft is one of the fastest growing crimes in the United States today. Almost 10 million people a year have been affected. Even the Federal Trade Commission has said that it expects that Identity Theft will exceed all other types of fraud.
Identity Theft Problem:
Identity Theft is a crime and will likely be with us for some time and that is why Identity Theft Security is so important. It is equal opportunity and will impact children, teens and adults. Part of the issue is that the courts have not adequately dealt with the serious nature of the crime. It is improving in terms of prosecution and penalties, but frankly we need more legislation that demonstrates the seriousness of the crime and the penalties needed to deter criminals.
Identity Theft Solution:
The reality is, the solution today has to begin each of us. We need to be on-guard and not be ignorant and naïve. The solution to Identity Theft Security is that this is a process not an event. So let’s look at some tips and suggestions that you can use today.
Identity Theft Security Tips
1. Identity Theft Responsibility
3. How to Defend
4. Mail and the Post office
6. When something does not look right
7. Keeping Alert
8. Need to Know
9. Credit Reporting
10. Process if you’re a victim
Identity Theft Responsibility
You and I need to own the responsibility for our own Identity Theft Security. We need to have our own plan of action and be ready to do it, or suffer the consequences of ignoring and becoming a victim. Remember 10 million people become victims each year, are you lucky?
Your personal information such as name, address, phone, date of birth, social security card, driver’s license, etc needs to be protected. You need to be careful where this information is posted. You would be shocked to see how much information is now available on Facebook on users today.
How to Defend
Simple ways to defend yourself include, not putting your social security card in your wallet or purse. Shredding documents that have personal information such as bank statements or free credit card offers. Never put social security numbers, phone numbers or date of birth on checks.
Mail and the Post Office
You need to be vigilant about your mail. Unattended mail invites criminals to help themselves to your mail. If you have stopped receiving your mail statements you need to take action at once. Move to online banking on a secure website. Shred any trash mail that has personal information before throwing away.
Put yourself, on the Do Not Call list, this will eliminate solicitors. Beware of a caller that tells you, you’re a winner of a prize or sweepstakes. Phone fraud is a common method to prey on people where they have found out personal information. Their objective is for you to give them your credit card on an offer that must be done that day. Check out anyone who calls you to determine if they are legitimate.
When something does not look right
If you suspect something is wrong with your credit card statement or bank statement – “take action” don’t wait. Victims of fraud sometimes have been victimized for months before they have discovered the impact to their accounts. Doesn’t be a victim; check your accounts each month. Consider alerts on your account. Both banks and credit card companies offer these at no cost.
Check your credit card bills and bank statements each month. Review all of your charges and make sure they are all authorized. This is a must do items.Need to KnowWhat we mean by this, beware of whom you give personal information. Don’t assume they need it. Be ready to challenge whether your social security number or drivers license is needed.. Additionally, if you do give it, is the information for the merchant “secure”.
You are entitled to a free annual credit report and its always a good idea to check out your report for any errors. Additionally if you are suspect fraud on your account you can request a credit report without affecting your rating. Too many inquiries to your credit can impact your credit and lowers your credit score.
Process if you’re a victim
There are a number of steps that you need to do if you become a victim of identity theft. Contact both the credit reporting agencies and local police should be among the first items on your list. There is another article that provides you more detailed steps in the website.
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