What Is Identity Theft and Why One Has to Be Cautious About It

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What is identity theft? It is commonly defined as hiding the original identity of the person and then illegally using someone else’s identity. Identity theft is a case that has become the current buzzword in the society. The reason why someone else is pretending to be another person is because he or she wanted a financial or personal gain out from it. There are also some who uses fake identity just to be able to try out their ideas and see how far it will bring them. For example, there are those who use fake identity so that they can fool others in social networking websites. This simple act is potentially damaging to the innocent ones who will fall as the victim.

Abuse of Information From Someone Else’s Identity

So that we can further the answer to the question of “what is identity theft”, it is acknowledged as well as the abusive use of other person’s identity. You may think at first that this crime is not that damaging. However, it has been known as one of the most dangerous crimes because of the result that it can bring. Some victims have ended up losing millions of dollars because someone else uses their information to withdraw the money from their account. As such, we can say that one gains money through identity theft. The scammer will normally gain important information and use without the owner’s consent.

Gathering Confidential Information for Selfish Motives

What is identity theft and why it has become well known in today’s generation? You may have plenty of questions with regards to identity theft. One of the many reasons of its existence is also because of the communication network that we have nowadays. Some people uses the internet to be able to get in touch with our old peers and to meet a new ones. There are individuals who find it satisfying to meet someone through the internet and get to know them to gather information. It is possible that they wanted to know the person just for their selfish motives. They may want to get money or be involved in a relationship with the individual.

Corporate Houses Can Also Fall Victim of This Crime

This form crime still exists until now because of the emergence of technology and internet too. It provides scammers with a lot of opportunity to fool people with the use of their gadgets and facilities. Any corporate house can even become a victim of identity theft. In answer to the question of: what is identity theft, it is also known that this crime is obtaining vital information of the company such as the social security number of employees and their credit card numbers. The identity thefts may have the goal to use the information so that they can commit crime or simply use the fake identity for their own reasons.

We can say that identity theft is a disaster and even the government organizations are affected with it. Thefts may follow the design of the original website so that they can gather information by sending out fake emails to their potential victim. As you already read the answers to the question of what is identity theft, it would be better if you’ll be responsible to be protected for such social crime.

Tips for Identity Theft Prevention

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Is it really possible to prevent identity theft? The answer is both yes and no. Let us make a comparison between identity theft and somebody who attempts to break into your house. Can you stop somebody who will break into your house? Of course, you will do everything to make it difficult for him. You will be installing alarms, locks and cameras for security purpose. You hire the services of armed guards and some experts in security.

With the above mentioned preparations, is there any possibility that somebody will be able still to house break? Certainly, if that somebody is full of determination, armed with sophisticated weapons and outnumbering your guards. This has been shown many times in the movies.

It is really the same thing with identity theft prevention. You will do something to make it more complicated to somebody, yet there is no guarantee that you will not be the next victim but at least you will minimize the risk. Just be cautious in managing your personal information and with total awareness, you will be able to be on guard against identity theft. What is important is to be prepared always and be clever always and on your guard.

There is really a need to be aware of the increasing number of cases on identity theft. It is due maybe to the comparatively low risk, high reward stake given to criminals. All they will have to do is to get your Social Security Number and some pieces of data which are taken easily. Then, they will assume your identity and commit credit deception. It’s a pity for the victims because they will spend so much money time draining ordeal which will create financial and emotional distress.

Below are the tips for identity theft prevention.

1. Always give protection to your Social Security Number. Do not place your Social Security Number in your wallet or to be printed on your checks. It is the main object of criminals.

2. Be aware of shoulder-surfers. Make sure nobody is looking over your shoulder when you enter a pin number or a credit card number to an ATM machine, or in a phone book.

3. Everything must be shred. You should keep your identity from being thrown into the garbage can.

4. Instead of signing the backs of your credit cards, just write “See Photo ID”.

5. Be sure to destroy all digital data.

6. You should be diligent in checking statements. Bills and bank statements must be checked properly.

7. Go to the post office in paying your bills. Do not leave your paid bills in the mailbox to be sent out. They will be stolen and to be washed with chemicals.

8. It is better to limit information in your checks.

9. You should analyze your credit report every year. It has your Social Security Number, present and prior employers, the list of all your account numbers, including those you have closed and your general credit score.

10. Your computer must be free from viruses and spies.

11. If you are going to shop online, be sure to check first the website before entering your credit card number or any personal information.

12. Always monitor your credit history.

13. Do not hesitate to ask questions whenever you are asked about personal information which is not connected to the transaction.

14. You should not be influenced by pre-approved credit offers.

15. Do not bring with you additional credit cards or other important personal identity documents unless necessary.

16. Ask for your Social Security Earnings and Benefits statement every year so as to check for deception.

17. You should examine first the charges on your credit card statements before you pay.

18. All unused credit card accounts must be cancelled immediately.

19. Don’t ever give your credit card number or any personal information when using the phone except when you trust that business or you started the phone conversation.

20. Make a subscription to a credit report monitoring service so that you will be notified in case somebody applies for credit using your name.

21. Do not be afraid to question the identity of the people and companies which will initiate contact with you, through the email, mail, telephone or even in person.

22. Don’t leave your wallet or purse unattended most especially in the church, place of work, restaurants, parties or on trolleys for shopping.

Notify immediately the bank, if you did not receive any statement.

Protection from Identity Fraud: Your Business, Your Life

Have you ever had a huge credit card bill without even purchasing the things listed in the credit card statement?

Have you ever been arrested for outstanding parking tickets even if you know that you didn’t even commit any traffic violations?

Then you might be a victim of identity theft crime.

This kind of crime can be very damaging and frustrating for its victims. Not only that it the person committing this crime can steal your money, but the criminal can also ruin your reputation. Financial fraud, such as credit card fraud, bank account fraud and computer fraud are examples of identity theft. Another type of identity theft involves criminal activities committed in your name. Imagine yourself being investigated for a crime that you didn’t commit. This can be frustrating or upsetting for anyone who becomes a victim of identity theft or identity fraud.

Crimes like these can be very devastating for the victims and also for the victim’s family. It can result on you being convicted for tax evasion or even fraud. There are many forms that identity theft can occur, it can simply be as simple as a lost or forgotten credit card or submitting your personal information in emails to people you don’t know.

This is why you should know how to protect yourself from identity theft. It is important that you should be cautious on whom you give your personal information to and also you should be aware with all your credit cards and other things that can provide personal and financial information about you.

Here are some ways to protect yourself from identity theft:

• If someone calls you and tells you that they are from the credit card company or other financial institutions, and would be asking you about your personal information, do not give it to them. Hang up the phone and call the credit card company or financial institution the caller said he or she is from.

• If you need to give out your personal information to a company, be sure that the company you’re dealing with will protect the information you give them. Ask on how secure their files are.

• It is wise that you should keep track of all the credit card purchases you made and withdrawals you made in your bank and check the billing statement and withdrawal statement carefully and thoroughly. Criminals who commit identity fraud are usually careful, purchasing only one item at a time in the duration of the credit card billing mails. If you find something irregular in your credit card billing statement, report it immediately to concerned authorities.

• Criminals who commit identity theft usually go dumpster diving. This means that they go look in garbage to obtain any discarded documents containing personal and financial information. You should be careful when you dispose of your documents containing personal and financial information. If it is possible, burn them or shred them to the point that it cannot be put back together.

• Do not carry any unnecessary documents or cards in your wallet or purse containing your personal information. A simple crime like stealing your wallet or purse can immediately turn to identity crime. This is one of the most common ways a thief uses to obtain personal information.

• It is wise to make photo copies of your credit cards, passports and other sensitive documents to easily cancel it if ever it was stolen.

• Your deposit slips is one of the easiest ways a thief can acquire your personal information. Be careful with it. Keep it in a safe place in your home and also try to be aware of it in public areas. Deposit slips can provide the thief to access your bank account.

• Your account in emails and other websites also provide personal and financial information. Be sure that you have a very secure password. Do not use easy to guess passwords such as, your birthday, or your mothers maiden name.

If you suspect that you are a victim of identity theft, you should contact the concerned authorities, such as the police and fraud offices the moment you suspect it. Close your bank accounts immediately and get your credit card reissued with a different account number. Tell your bank about your suspicion by calling and stating it in writing.

How To Report Identity Theft

Identity theft is the act of stealing ones identity including the name, address telephone number, credit cards and mother maiden name.

In most cases, it is not only the identity stolen. Identity thieves also steel properties secured over the accounts of the owner. This is serious case and is recognized as a fraud.

You can be a victim of this crime as there are no particular requirements for identity theft. Even small companies including college students are also victimized by this crime. However, you need to do the proper intervention once you are victimized.

It is important for you to know who stole your important personal information in your computer. You need to identify the thief who opened your new account without your permission.

It is very important for you to know the thief of your account as quickly as possible to avoid more problems to come.

The law has been changed allowing anyone to review all their account or credit report annually without requiring payment for such. The law was established in year 2005. You will have a free credit report when your previous credit is denied within 60 days.

With this monthly review, you will have the chance of identifying whether there is a huge unauthorized use of your accounts. You will identify them more quickly and you will find an early intervention as well. There many small services that offers monitoring your accounts and business periodically but are affordable.

What happened if your identity has already been stolen? You may need to do a report about this matter. However, you will undergo different systematic steps before you can report this particular crime.

Police do not have an active role or cannot give the proper thing to do in an instance. You may need to do much paperwork to complete and send it to all the companies and agencies that are responsible.

Where are you going to report the crime? Do you have the knowledge that you need to fill out some forms for this kind of report? Where are you going to send them?

You may report it to the police. However, you will not receive that advance action to the crime. There are special agencies that entertain crime like this. It will be discussed on the later part of the article.

You have to undergo many stages in order for you to clear your name. It can be the most difficult part, as you will be clearing the mess you did not do. It will take time for you to clear name and battle up with bureaucratic red tape.

There are many numbers of federal and state agencies that have jurisdiction, depending upon the type of crime committed. Federal Trade Commission has different agencies that can treat cases like identity theft issues, but you will still need to contact these agencies.

It will take time to clear out all the errors made to your name, that is why you need to start with the process as soon as you figure out the crime that was done in your identity. Start reporting the crime to the different agencies, companies, credit bureaus and investigators to process the clearing out or correcting the errors.

You should keep all the relevant files of all the contact and record all the relevant conversations and written correspondence. For you to have an easy and understood noting of these relevant data, you may need to make a chart of all of these including the date, agency, contact person, company and summary of all the information discussed.

Original copies and the send out copies must be kept carefully. It will be relevant in the investigation of the crime. You can also send them thru certified mail, return receipt requested. By this way, you will have the record of the date when the letters were received.

It may take time to clear out your name but you will get over it. You will start a new life full of confidence that you will never encounter crimes like this anymore.

Remember that patience and determination is the key to the resolution of this crime.

How to prevent identity theft online

If you cannot stop identity theft online, prevent them with these six simple tips.

Online, identity theft is quite common already. It seems that everybody is getting their businesses and transactions done online. That is why, online identity thieves are always on the lookout for their next victims.

How do online savvy protect themselves from the online identity thieves that are rampant nowadays?

1. Passwords.

Know that those little pop ups that is asking you if you would like to remember your user name and password is not helping you any. Most of these passwords are stored in system file and every half brained hackers know about this.
If you are not making use of firewalls, it is pretty easy for just about anyone to get hold of your password and use that anytime in your expense.

Be wary of these things. A prevention measure is to have a lengthy password complete with different kinds of characters.

As much as possible, do not input all your information in your computer or when something asks for it. The internet is definitely not a safe place to store your data and information.

2. Phishing.

What is phishing?

Phishing is one of the strategies being used to fool people into giving out their passwords and other personal information by pretending that they come from a genuine source.

Examples are emails sent by someone staring that you have won on some online raffle. And that you need to give out some information for verification. Out of hope or ignorance, you probably will end up giving them what they want.
This is what phishing is all about. Phishing scammers are very much skilled in imitating other styles and language of communications. They use lists of millions of email addresses to send their notes out to, in the hope of getting even a small number of victim.

If you find it hard to distinguish which emails you are receiving are scams, try to verify the source of the message. Better yet, ask some sort of proof first to find out they are really legitimate or not.

3. Firewalls.

In the past, firewalls were a luxury. But now, they have become a necessity.

There are already an increasing number of Internet hackers that are making use of free programs that can compromise your system.

Take note that there are around 60,000 points of entry to your computer. So you may want to at least filter out some of the entries that can cause trouble.

4. A secure connection.

Before sending out any personal information, make sure that you make it a point to check out the browser address bar. Why is this?

Because you may want to be assured that you are sending them on a secure connection. A secure connection is an address that begins with http. If you do not see this in the address browser, then you can guarantee that that link is not secured. They can be breached easily. There goes your details.

5. Always confirm.

Before you click on that send button, think hard first. Are you willing to give out vital information away? Do you trust the receiver of this?

Today, every bit of information can be built into a solid profile. You can actually get a lot of information about someone just by knowing his or her birthday. This is the online world. Apparently, identity thieves also know about this.

Be prepared for the consequences that your actions will bring. You cannot blame anyone but yourself when you find yourself a victim of identity theft online.

6. Account checking.

If you are one of those banking online, be sure to go back and check in after a few days to review the transactions you have made. Not all of these online financial institutions have the ability to filter out fake transactions.

If ever you find something suspicious in your transaction, contact your bank immediately so they can take the necessary steps and stop further unknown negotiations to happen. In many of these cases, you will not be made liable for the expenses or charges that may incur. That is why, you have to report the soonest possible time.

Online identity theft is not likely to go away for sometime. So you need to be aware of them in order to prevent them from getting the most out of you.