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How to avoid identity theft

By admin
Published: Thursday, December 30th, 2010

Identity theft is a crime that has something to do with stealing another person’s personal information. The reason for such crime is using that person’s identity to commit a series of activities, usually illegal. This is a growing social concern among people in the USA nowadays. According to survey, one in every twenty Americans is victimized by these thefts each year. Due to this, we need to be extra cautious. It is a good thing there are ways on how we can prevent this from happening to us.

To be able to protect ourselves from these identity thieves, we should know the methods that they usually use. An old fashioned technique that they still use nowadays is going through you garbage. They look for receipts and bank statements and these sorts of things. It is therefore very important to note that we should not throw anything which contains our personal information in the garbage. Feed these documents to the shredding machine or burn them.

Anything that contains your address, full name, bank information and the likes should be disposed properly. Some thieves send out random emails and pretend to be a secure websites. This is called phishing. They will ask you to give personal details like passwords and birthdates. PayPal is a secure website but some scammers use this to get personal info. In case you receive an email from companies asking for your info, contact the company directly. We should also be careful in giving out information over the phone. Some scammers pretend to be bank officers or members of the charity. Once you give them the information they need, they will have access to your personal bank accounts.

Take note that there are two types of online thieves. The first one is the account take over. This is when another person applies for a credit card account using your name and then refuses to pay for the bills. They can even apply for jobs and loans using your identity. This happens all the time in countries like the USA. The other type is the application fraud wherein the criminal uses bits of information about you like your mother’s maiden name for example or you birth date to damage your credit reputation. This is why we should be careful whenever we lend our credit card to others. Identity theft is a rampant crime nowadays and since there are ways to avoid it, we might as well follow them.

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