Identity Theft, Identity Theft Protection, ID Theft
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Identity Theft, How do they do it?

By Amanda Randell
Published: Thursday, February 21st, 2013

You have now learnt what credit scores and credit reports are. You have been working hard to improve your score and reap the benefits that go with a clean credit report. Even though you have worked hard, you might not be out of the woods yet. In the recent past identity theft has been on the rise. This is a form of ‘white collar’ crime whereby a person obtains your personal information and uses it to get a loan, credit card or even open a bank account in your name. You are left with a tarnished credit report and a hard time trying to convince the affected banks that it wasn’t you who took the credit cards. Cases have been reported and people have been arrested for crimes they were not even aware of.

How do they obtain your details and for what purposes? What should I do if I suspect that someone has stolen my identity? How can I protect myself? These are some of the questions that you might be asking yourself. Sometimes you might have used your credit card in a place such as a gas station and left your receipt there. The receipt has your credit card number and signature which anyone can copy and use to their advantage. This amounts to the simplest form of identity theft. Your identity can also be stolen when unscrupulous individuals get your pre-approved credit cards offers probably in a waste bin. All they do is change the emailing address and you will never realize until your credit company knocks at your door demanding payments.

A study conducted in the US found out that over 10 million people were victims of this fraud in one year. Your identity can be stolen in order for someone to commit crimes such as financial fraud such as tax refund fraud, mail fraud, credit card fraud and bank fraud. Another reason why a person might steal your identity is to commit a crime. This might include terrorism, get into another country or commit cyber-crimes.

Identity theft can happen to anyone. It has even happened to well-known celebrities. You cannot fully protect your identity but you can take several measures to make it hard for anyone to obtain your details. You should not give your social security number to anyone unless it is very necessary. You should destroy any pre-offer credit cards that you no longer need. Do not carry any unnecessary personal documents with you such as credit cards, social security card or a birth certificate.

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