Identity theft is one of the fastest growing crimes in the US and has now reached in epidemic dimension. It 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.
- If not necessary, never carry such vital information as social security card and signed check leaf when you go outside.
- Further, never carry more than one credit card in your wallet. It is also not advisable to store the ATM card pin number in the wallet.
- Never allow your paid bills to remain in the mailbox, as a thief who searches your mail box can retrieve some of your most important information including name, address, number, bank details, credit card information, and above all your signature, which he may exploit for illicit activities.
- Be careful when you put any kind of business records in the trash, as sometimes these waste papers may prove as a bonanza for identity thieves.
- Likewise, be careful when you converse on the phone. If you receive a phone call requesting for your account details or other personal details, make sure that you are disclosing your important information to only the person concerned. However, it is not advisable to disclose your critical information over the phone.
- Do not forget to delete or cut off the details of previous or terminated employees' details from your company or business database.
- Check your credit reports and bank statements in regular intervals, as it helps to easily trace out suspicious transactions.
In case, if your wallet, suit case or bag containing valid information is lost, immediately inform it to your collection agencies, creditors, or credit card companies in order to block your details. It is also important to file a report with your local police, and maintain a copy of it to furnish it as a proof to creditors who may accuse of crime.