Information on Identity Theft: What You Must Know About It
“Prevention is better than cure”.
By having enough information about identity theft, you can avoid being a victim of this crime.
Based on that statement above, knowing about identity theft is the best way to protect yourself against this serious crime.
Now what is identity theft all about? Generally speaking, identity theft is a crime where a criminal uses another person’s identity and personal information for their own gain, usually financial gains.
Identity theft is a very serious crime. People who steal personal information of other people and use it for financial gains can produce very serious consequences. Identity theft can be used to transfer funds from your bank account, or use your personal information for criminal activities. Credit card frauds are also a form of identity theft and so do check frauds.
If you somehow feel you are a victim of this crime, you must report it immediately to the nearest justice department or law enforcement agency. The concerned authorities can make the appropriate action in order to prevent the situation from getting worse.
Sometimes, preventing the situation from getting worse is the only solution. People who commit this serious crime are usually very hard to find and arrest. Professional con artists use multiple identities that make it very hard for authorities to trace. This is why you should know how to prevent this crime from happening to you.
Based on the research the United States government did, almost 140 citizens are being victimized by this crime every day and still growing. Today, authorities are making new ways to stop this crime or at least minimize it.
Total financial loss can be experienced by the victims of this crime. Their credit history can also be ruined. Therefore, this crime is a very serious offense.
People who commit this criminal offense works by obtaining your personal information, they do this by stealing your mails, hacking in your email account, eavesdropping on your telephone calls and they also look over the corner of their eyes when you are filling out documents that require personal information.
They also commit this crime by using your personal information to apply for new credit cards in your name. They will max out that credit card on purchases and you will be the one who gets charged for the purchased goods.
Knowing about the methods used by the criminals to obtain your personal information is very important. Most people do not know how their personal information was obtained by criminals until it’s too late. Here are some of the ways criminals obtain your personal information and how to avoid it.
In public places, criminals may engage in shoulder watching. They will watch you fill out documents that require public information. To avoid this, you should fill out documents in private places, such as your home.
You might have personal information stored in your wallet. Criminals who steal your wallet can use the information stored in it to commit identity theft. To avoid this, you should never store items or documents containing your personal information in your wallet. If it is possible, you should memorize your pin numbers, Social Security number and other personal information a criminal can use for their own financial gains.
You own home has all sorts of documents containing public information. If someone enters your home unauthorized, they will steal things including documents that contain your personal information. To avoid this from happening, ask your neighbor to watch over your house if you and your family go out for work or dinner. And, never leave your documents containing personal and financial information lying around in your house. Look for a place to store it where criminals would never usually look.
Your own telephone can also be the source of personal information. Criminals can tap in to your phone by using surveillance equipments and listen as you give out your personal information to a caller. Sometimes, criminals call you and will pretend to be someone from the bank and will ask you about your personal information. Do not give it away if you are not sure. Tell the caller that you will call the bank first to confirm if there is indeed someone from the bank requesting for your personal information.
Your trash is one great source of personal and financial information. Criminals go dumpster diving to acquire documents containing your personal and financial information. To prevent this from happening, dispose of your documents properly by shredding them to pieces or burning them until it is impossible to put it back together again.
Your computer is filled with files containing your public information. Criminals can install spywares without you knowing it. So, it is important that you take proper precautions while surfing the internet or downloading files. You can install anti spyware programs to prevent spywares from entering your computer.
Always remember that being cautious in public places and even in your own home about your personal information is one of the best ways to prevent identity theft from happening.