Identity Theft Facts.
Identity Theft Facts – Being Aware Keeps You Safe.
Is your identity likely to get stolen every time you make an online
transaction? Is every email that you receive a bobby trap set to empty
your bank account?
Is your credit card likely to be skimmed every time you withdraw cash from an ATM?
How about if you use your card to pay the bill at your favorite restaurant?
Or use it to pay for the groceries?
Or use your Credit Card to pay for Gas?
Every time the phone rings is there a scammer at the end of the line?
Things have not got quite that bad yet, but all of the above does happen, especially to the unwary.
Figures released by Javelin Strategy & Research (Javelin Strategy & Research) indicate that identity fraud incidence in the USA grew in 2012 impacting 5.26% of adults.
The figures also show that the total amount of fraud went up to Twenty One Billion Dollars, yes Billion.
And now the good news – Javelin report that both
businesses and the public are protecting data better and identity fraud
is being resolved quicker, with the cost to the victim being reduced.
This shows that whilst identity fraud is still very much a
danger, those of us that are aware of identity theft facts and take
active measures to prevent it, are at much less of a risk.
Identity Theft – Somebody Pays.
Identity theft is never a victimless crime. Even if you, the victim, are
limited in your liability for the loss, the bank or financial
institution will have to cover the stolen amount.
They then are the
victim. Of course, this loss gets passed on to customers one way or
another, we all become the victims. ID theft is a nasty crime, it is
Keep A Watch On Your Statements – Guard Against I D Theft.
Internet bank accounts where you can check your statement online anytime
that you want, may be just that bit safer than offline accounts.
Is your money safe in the bank? Knowledge of identity theft facts can help prevent becoming a victim.
With an offline account you generally get sent one statement per
month. Should there be a suspicious transaction shown on the statement
you may not know about it for some weeks.
With an Internet account you can, and should, check your statement frequently. The sooner you take action the better.
Should you spot a suspicious item, whether on an online or
offline statement, you need to report it immediately to your bank or the
If you think you have become a victim of identity theft.
As soon as possible make contact with your local police
department and report that you believe your personal information to be
stolen. Creditors may demand a police report as proof fraudulent
activity took place.
Call the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) hotline, 1-877-438-4338 (1-877-ID THEFT) and speak with an identity theft counselor.
You can make a request to any of the three main credit bureaus to lodge a fraud alert on your credit file.
This action will require institutions to get verification of your
identity before making any changes to any of your accounts and before
opening any new ones.
Only one of the credit bureaus need be notified, they are
obligated to notify the others. However, request a free copy of of
their credit report from each one (as the reports can differ.) Study the
reports carefully for any signs of other fraudulent transactions and
inform the credit bureau and appropriate institutions if you find any.
Shut down any of your accounts that have been compromised and set
them up again with new account numbers and new secure passwords.
Contact any other accounts that you have, loan accounts, banks,
credit and debit cards, utility, phone etc. and inform them that your
personal information has been compromised. Follow up phone conversations
The three main credit bureaus:
- Equifax: 1-800-525-6285
- TransUnion: 1-800-680-7289
- Experian: 1-888-397-3742
Identity Fraud The Old Fashion Way.
In this age of home technology it is easy to to think that the only way
identity thieves operate is by stealing information online, by email
phishing, from social networking sites, by skimming credit cards etc.
Be warned, identities are still being stolen the old fashion way from the paper trail with your personal information.
Criminals can and do rummage through your trash, at your home or
Be very careful of what you throw out, do not dispose of any
statement, letter or document that has any form of personal information,
however seemingly insignificant, without running it through your Home Paper Shredder.
The humble telephone is still frequently used by scammers.
Always being suspicious about unexpected, and unsolicited, phone calls
will greatly help to prevent you from becoming a victim of telephone
fraud and phone scams. More information – Phone Scams.
Of course personal information can be stolen, during burglaries, muggings, by Pickpockets and purse snatchers. Avoid carrying personal information around with you.
Identity Theft Facts – Secure Passwords.
Many of us do not use secure passwords. In fact, some people use the
same easily cracked password for most of their accounts, for their bank
account, for their loan account, utility accounts, for their social
networking and so on.
Identity thieves l-o-v-e simple passwords that they can crack quickly and easily. – Secure Passwords.
It Doesn’t Only Happen To Someone Else.
It is not always the other fellow that gets his identity stolen. It
does not only happen to the stupid or particularly careless. It does not
only happen to the very wealthy. Identity theft happens to Mr or Ms
Ordinary, that’s a fact.
The reality is that you can greatly reduce your chances of
identity fraud happening to you by being on your guard, by being
vigilant and by being aware of identity theft facts.
Identity Theft Prevention
Identity Theft Facts.
The Identity Thief.
Who of all the people you come into contact with would steal your personal information?