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What is identity theft?

By Janet Lacey
Published: Tuesday, November 24th, 2009

Every person has a unique way of being identified, for instance, his name age, address, family details, date of birth and many more. This is a quite a lot of information though we may not realize it’s importance. When culprits manage to lay their hands on such information, we will be surprised at the extent of damage they can make. They may pose as you in many situations and swindle money for others, make illegal purchases etc leading to a situation where you are not just embarrassed but have also incurred a great loss on yourself. He will make merry with all goods purchased and you will be the one paying their bills. It is not easy to trace them either.

There are certain precautions you can take from your end the minute you think you have lost some document that would give away your identity information. The must important and frequently talked about document is the social security card. When you realize that you have lost the social security card, it is important that you bring it to the notice of the Social Security Office. This body will ensure that the card is dishonored when produced for some reason. If not for this, the culprit may produce this to banks, open new accounts and make any illegal transaction on your behalf.

Passport is another document that you must be careful about. Many people think it is a symbol of status to carry the passport with you always. This may or may not be a status symbol, but it sure is a symbol of your foolishness. Such documents are much better protected when they are kept safely back home in one of those places that is not easy to be accessed by many. The person who lays hands on this document of yours may make money by selling it at whopping prices, specially if you belong to one of the developed countries.

Not always do you lose something and realize that your identity information is compromised. In a technologically sound world where new gadgets are invading the market each day and is affordable even to the common man, the culprits are sure making the most of it. They use technology to their advantage and attack the victims who have the least idea about their devious intentions. Criminals are trained in an expert manner to extract information from the computers with much ease.

There are innumerable ways that the criminals can access our information. But the majority of their tries will be futile if only you try to be more cautious about saving yourselves from them. We should be proactive, anticipate any malpractice or threats and be the first to bring it to the notice of the concerned authorities so we may not be harassed by the criminals at a later point. Our safety is our responsibility. This awareness should be brought about in one and all. Reading about incidences and keeping ourselves updated with latest technology, their pros and cons or their pitfalls may help us better in saving ourselves from the clutches of criminals.

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