Every year nearly 15 million Americans become victims of Id theft. Identity theft is now the number one consumer complaint made to the Federal Trade Commission. Studies indicate that over $900 and one hundred and sixty-five hours are spent in restoring accounts after id theft. In order to minimize the chances of being caught, identity thieves churn accounts very often, use as much or as little as quickly as possible and move on to next account. Accounts can be bought on-line for less than a dollar in forums and chat rooms across the web.Inspect all financial statements and monitor your credit report regularly.Look for any irregularities or address changes or unrecognized charges that indicate that your account may be subject to takeover.
Id thieves are lurking. Id thieves are becoming even more sophisticated, so even more stringent protection is required. With the proliferation of social networks that require a profile that is public without much restriction. We are advised to be extremely careful when issuing personal information.
Your identity which is the only thing that is really yours, can be stolen and used in a variety of ways, including drivers licenses,job and credit applications. Some of the basics in id theft protection include shredding financial documents and paperwork with personal information and removing Social Security cards when they are not needed. Because we now live in a digital age, where all information can be transformed and stored in digital format, we should be fully aware and utilize extreme caution when entering personal any where on-line.
Protect Your Credit Report
Monitor your credit card and bank statements for unrecognized transactions. One of the advantages of online access to your accounts is that it can be done any time. If you can, frequently check your accounts online, this should give a slight edge over identity thieves.
Credit and financial statements are mailed at regular scheduled intervals. Become aware of the intervals and if a particular statement does not arrive within the expected period, contact the financial institution as this could indicate some interruption or record interception.
Monitor your credit report. Your report includes your Social Security Number, employers and all debts, even those that are closed. Besides helping you detect account takeover, credit report monitoring can alert you to new and unauthorized accounts that have been opened in your name.
Other uses of Stolen Identity
Your Stolen Identity can also be used for other non-credit uses such as job applications,or the purchase of services such as cable and telephone. These incidents make id theft a bit harder to detect as they require access to public records.
ThwaRT the thieves Your Social Security Earnings and Benefits Statement should be ordered annually. Inspect the statement for unrecognized employers – This may indicate that your identity is being used by someone else for a job. Look for unrecognised benefits outlined in the statements from your health insurer..Although there may be no payments required, unrecognised benefits may indicate that your identity is use somewhere to the advantage of receiving benefits.
Seek assistance Crime is a full-time job and protection should also be implemented on a 24-hr basis. There are automated services that implement 24-hr protection, so that you can continue your activities worry free. Services available today include real-time monitoring of your records for irregularities and coverage for any expenses involved in recovering your identity.
Everyone is at risk of identity theft. Everyone with a credit card, a bank account, a driver’s license or a Social Security Number is at risk. Everyone who uses the Internet is at risk. Young children, students and adults of all ages are at risk. Take steps to protect yourself from id theft. Your identity is the only thing that you can really own.