Identity Theft Prevention

identity theft 3Identity theft is one of the fastest growing crimes in the US and has now reached in epidemic dimension. Identity theft simply refers to a fraudulent activity in which one person steals another person’s personal information including credit card, social security card number, and passport details in order to use it for unauthorized purposes. From ordinary people, students, and employees to celebrities and industrialists have been hit by identity theft. It takes considerable time, even years, for a victim of identity theft to recover from the damaging affects of identity theft, as it may destroy his credit, apart from wrecking his reputation. Some people may be accused of criminal charges, as a result of identity theft. There are also instances in which people loose their job due to identity theft. Hence, the only way to keep away from identity theft is via being careful all times. In other words, prevention is the best way to overcome identity theft. Mention below is some of the ways through which you could minimize the chances of identity theft.

Always secure your key business and personal records including social security card number, credit cards, and bank or financial document in a safe place by locking them in a safe or durable file cabinet.

 

Identity Theft Protection- A Need to Stay Secure Online

identity-theft-2Identity theft is a major concern and nothing seems worse than losing your identity and all your financial information. In the online world, identities can easily be stolen, abused and used to such extent that your career, financial capability, and personal relationships can be damaged. Identity theft can happen to anyone. The worst part is, it can happen discreetly, without you knowing that your identity has already been stolen. In the online world, it is possible that someone is living using your identity. There are numerous ways on how you could protect your identity online and monitor your credit report on a frequent basis. Thefts online are very discreet when stealing identities and credits thus the need to always keep an eye on your credit history and credit reports. Read on to find out ways on how you could protect your identity:

1. Obtain a copy of your credit report from each of the three main credit reporting bureaus in every 12 months for free. Acquiring your credit reports allow you to check for inaccuracies, if there are any, every year. If you see that something is inconsistent in your credit report, contact the bureau immediately.

2. Some websites offer credit reports for free and inform you of their privileges. Do not be fooled into paying for your right to see your credit report.

3. Credit monitoring services can very much help you protect yourself from identity theft online. Since identity theft is a major crisis, there have been growth of companies that offer identity theft protection. Services such as these can be reliable and helpful.

4. Only transact with a reputable company to ensure that you are getting what you paid for. Ask for referrals from family and friends or go with one of the three, big bureaus.

5. Another excellent way to protect you from falling victim to identity theft is to limit the amount of information you provide online since anything posted online can be stolen. Never, ever, provide sensitive information in E-mails or respond to requests for account numbers, passwords, social security numbers, or any other personal information.

6. Ensure that all personal documents are secured or properly discarded or shred when needed to be printed out or e-mailed due to some necessary reason. Not doing so may cause leakage of your personal information on the internet and allow it to fall into the hands of potential thieves.

Identity theft is way too dangerous and risky, so avoid putting yourself at risk. Take proper action and protect yourself from identity crisis.

Identity Theft Credit Card Fraud

identity-theft1Identity theft occurs when someone obtains your personal information, such as your credit card data or Social Security number, to commit fraud or other crimes. The Federal Trade Commission estimates that 9 million Americans suffer identity theft annually. It sounds like a big number, but it isn’t. For one, the hysteria has been stoked by much-publicized data breaches. In reality, identity theft only touches a sliver of the U.S. population each year (about 3%). One-quarter of those cases are credit-card fraud and not full-blown identity theft, according to FTC figures. The credit-card fraud occurs when a thief uses your credit card to make purchases. More serious is when someone uses your information to open accounts or take loans in your name. That as when you all have to fight to get your credit restored and your name cleared, an arduous process that can take months or years to complete. In response to concerns over identity theft, numerous companies and financial institutions have stepped in with products that monitor your credit, reimburse you for lost wages or funds and guard your identity. Some employers also now offer ID theft insurance to help you reduce the amount of time and money spent resolving the crime, so check with your company as benefits specialist about your eligibility.

Do You Need Identity Theft Protection? Before examining the services available, try these common-sense, no-cost measures to protect against identity theft and fraud: Guard your information online. These days, many of us do most of our shopping and banking on the web. With all those account numbers and passwords floating around, it is easy for someone to nab your information and go on a spree. Clear your logins and passwords. This is especially important if you have been working on a public computer. Change logins and passwords monthly. Account Pay for online purchases with your credit card, which has better guarantees under federal law than your online payment services or your debit card. Be alert for phishing, a trick in which spam or pop-ups mimic legitimate banks or businesses to obtain your personal information, which they use to access your accounts. Always verify that you are on a familiar Web site with security controls before entering personal data. Monitor your bank and credit card statements. Check your accounts regularly so you know when something as awry. Purchases you did not make should be obviously like a gas fill-up halfway across the country. Verify your mailing address with the post office and financial institutions. Identity bandits may fill out change of address forms so that delinquent credit notices remain off your paper billing radar.

Picking the Right Service Before you spring for identity theft protection, which, at a minimum, is likely to set you back at least $150 a year, consider the no-cost measures you can take to protect yourself. Remember, despite the hype, the odds of having your identity swiped are actually quite low. And no identity theft protection is bulletproof, so consider these factors before you buy. First, decide whether you like to purchase the services of a dedicated identity theft protection firm or one of the products offered by your bank or insurer. Many banks now offer customers daily credit checks that alert them to fishy activity in their accounts. Some will also provide insurance to repay lost wages or legal fees incurred as a result of identity theft or fraud. Other plans assign you a caseworker to help restore your credit. You can also try to bundle identity theft insurance with your home or auto coverage. Be wary of this kind of insurance, however these policies can be riddled with exclusions that may prevent you from ever collecting in the event of theft. Credit freezes. Freezes are far more effective than alerts. Icing your files prevents any company from accessing your credit unless you already do business with them, effectively sealing your records against any new creditor. Freezes can be a pain if you are seeking a mortgage or student loan or any form of credit.

You all have to contact the bureaus to unfreeze your records, which can take up to three days. Plus, the credit bureaus normally charge a small fee whenever you freeze and unfreeze your files. Credit freeze rules vary by state.Alerts and freezes are two measures you can take yourself, so consider whether you want to pay a company to do it for you.If you’ve detected fraudulent activity, notify the financial institution where the fraudulent activity occurred first so they can freeze your account. Depending on the situation, you all need to file a complaint with the FTC and your local police department, as well as investigate all of your other accounts. And keep a vigilant eye on that credit report.