Identity Theft, Identity Theft Protection, ID Theft
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Identity Theft – A Growing Menace

By Amanda Randell
Published: Monday, October 7th, 2013

Stealing of personal identification information is known as identity theft. This is happening all the time! People hack into your secure information and use it for nefarious purposes without your knowledge. It may include use of your name and date of birth or theft of numbers associated with your Social Security, driver’s license, and credit cards. The thief may commit all kinds of fraud and even set you back financially to a high degree. With our technology dependency increasing continuously and spurt in online transactions, identity thieves are having a field day. No wonder, it is becoming a growing menace increasingly hard to curb.

To a certain extent, the key to checking and identifying identity thefts resides with you. Remaining aware of the situation and checking for signs of tampering can help to minimize such instances. For example, never take your credit report on the face value. It is important to check it thoroughly to see if there are certain errors in reporting or unexplainable expenditures are present. If it is present then immediate complaint to your credit-reporting agency is crucial.

Also, it is important to know how identity theft occurs and the channels thieves use to gain hold of your personal information. If you have the habit of crumple and dump your personal documents and bills into the dumpster, it is important to change it for good. People scour through paper bins and other such places to get hold of personal information and use it to their advantage. So, it is important to shred offers for credit cards, your billing statements, or other papers that contain personal information instead of putting them in the garbage can.

It is possible to divide identity theft into 5 different categories. This includes:

  • Commercial/Business
  • Criminal
  • Identity Cloning
  • Services/Goods
  • Medical

One can get an idea regarding the growing menace of identity theft from the statistics that over 15 million US residents go through such attempts on an annual basis. So much so, that the total losses have skyrocketed to over $50 billion. 7% of American adults experience misuse of identities in one way or another. Identities of 100 million more people remain continuously at the risk of theft even while being maintained by corporate or government databases.

As time goes and we become more and more technology dependent, the menace will also increase. The only way to prevent ourselves from being a sitting duck is to remain aware.

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