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The Indicators of Identity Theft to Watch out for

By Janet Lacey
Published: Tuesday, December 22nd, 2009

Identity theft has already caused losses beyond imagination in the past two decades of its proliferation. The victims of this crime find it hard not only to compensate for their losses but also for finding ways on making their credit record right again. It can be frustrating knowing that the thief took less time in stealing the information than with what the victims are about to spend to control the damages done. Preventive measures can be used by credit account holders to prevent this crime from happening over and over again. Credit account holders should adopt protection not just from companies that offer identity theft protection; they should also practice practical protective measures at home and even while travelling.

Knowing the indicators that a theft is going on is the key point needed to stop the crime. It is usual to receive calls from supposedly major credit cards, banks and even foundations that would like to offer their services and even give an award. Telephone conversation is one of the major ways on how identity thieves fish out information from unknowing victims. If someone at the end of the line asks for vital information such as the social security number the credit account holder at the other end of the line should request a written request for his or her personal information. If a written request is not available then there is a high probability that the caller is trying to get the information for personal gains.

Identity theft can happen anywhere, even while traveling thieves have already found a way of fishing for personal information needed for the crime. Thieves always practice good listening skills especially in commercial flights packed with businessmen and entrepreneurs.

Traveling makes a lot of things more hassling, even a single conversation can be the starting point of an identity thievery. For example, if a businessman because of the need to transfer funds uses telephone banking he must give his social security number and account number. There is nothing wrong with telephone banking while traveling, but there is a big problem when the businessman gives out this information in an open area where a lot of people can hear what he is saying. There are reported accounts where travelers who have done the same, later found themselves being charged for purchases they did not make.

The proliferation of identity theft as a crime was largely boosted by credit account holders who take their personal information for granted and those who do not mind to check their financial statements regularly. Bank statements and billing statements that should be received by those who are currently enrolled in a credit card or bank account should be regularly checked by their owners for discrepancies. 

Identity theft can be identified through abnormal movements in the financial statement of an individual. A sudden peak in a credit card account should be enough to tip- off the owner of the account to check whether someone else is using his or her name and account. If any discrepancy is found, credit card companies are more than willing to check for any case of fraud. Knowing that the crime is being committed can turn an almost victim to someone who helped stop the crime.

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