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Basics about Identity Theft

By Janet Lacey
Published: Friday, September 4th, 2009

The cases of identity theft are increasing day by day with the advancement in technology and with more people using credit cards and internet transactions. Just imagine your credit card bills running into thousands of dollars without any transaction made by you? Or imagine someone opening a bank account in your name and doing transactions? Among all, the worst part of identity theft can occur when someone do a crime in your name. There are several ways in which you can become a victim of identity theft.

The following are the types of identity fraud which can be done in your name.

  • Financial Fraud: in such type of identity theft there is fraud done in your bank accounts, credit cards, tax refund fraud, computer fraud, mail fraud, social program fraud and many others. Financial identity theft is the most common type of theft which is faced by millions of people worldwide.
  • Criminal fraud: in criminal identity fraud an identity is stolen in order to commit a crime, commit an act of terrorism, hide in own country or to get a special permit. The scope of criminal activities is wide and it includes organized crimes, money laundering, alien smuggling, computer and cyber crimes and drug trafficking.

The basis of any type of identity theft is the leakage of your personal information. This information can move towards the person who is planning to do the theft through several ways. One should be very careful while dealing with their personal information in order to avoid any identity theft. Your personal information should be kept very secretly with you. And in case if you need to give it to any company or organization then be rest assured about its privacy. Protecting yourself from identity theft is a proactive effort.
Even if in spite of all your efforts if you become the victim of identity theft then just follow few of the following steps.

First of all report your case to the police and register a complain. Get a copy of the complain and your case number from police. Most of the banks and credit card companies ask for this number and complain copy to ensure that a crime has occurred.
If the crime is done through your credit cards then immediately close your account by contacting the credit card issuers. Instead of your old card get a new card issued in your name with new card number.

In case if crime is done by opening a bank account in your name then immediately close such accounts. And in case if you open any new account for yourself then keep a password for all such accounts.

And finally call the fraud units and make a report regarding your identity theft. You can also ask the fraud units to mark your accounts with a fraud alert which will prevent anyone from opening a new account in your name and anyone giving credit in your name.
So if you also wish to prevent yourself from becoming the prospective victim of identity theft then just take few preventive measures.

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