Understanding Identity Theft
Identity thieves are always son the hunt for their next victim. Everyday transaction like mailing your taxes, making purchases with your credit card online, writing a check, and even throwing out garbage need to be done with caution. These are the exact types of transactions a thief will use to steal your identity.
What are the consequences of becoming a victim of identity theft?
First off, along the emotional head-ache involved, not to mention the extended time it will take, one can end up paying thousands of dollars in order get their name and credit in good standing again.
Also, victims of identity theft will likely have a more difficult time getting accepted for any type of credit or loan in the future because they are now considered more of a risk. In addition not only will opportunities for employment become jeopardized, it is possible that you will get arrested for a crime committed in your name that in reality, you did not commit!
How does one become a victim of identity theft?
No matter how careful you are at keeping tabs on your personal information, an identity thief will use an assortment of methods for obtaining access to your information.
Below are a few examples of how identity thieves operate:
– They steal information from businesses by:
— Swiping data from where they work.
— Bribing co-workers.
– The most common means of getting someone's personal info is by stealing mail. Think about all of the personal information that comes through the mail, ie credit card offers, tax information, bank statements, mortgages, etc ..
– Going through garbage.
– Making pretending that they are a landlord or boss, or someone else that has a legal right to pull your credit.
– Using a sophisticated device to steal your debit card numbers from an ATM.
– Stealing your wallet or purse
– Filling out a change of address form at the post office and having your mail forwarded to a new location.
– Posing as a genuine company and calling victims, informing them that there is something wrong with their accounts and that their personal information is needed in order to resolve the crisis.
How is personal information used by an identity thief?
– If they obtain your credit card, they will call the company and change your billing address.
Since you are no longer receiving your bills, the charges stacked up by the thief may go unnoticed.
– By stealing credit card pre-approvals from your mail, new accounts will be unknowingly opened in your name.
– New cell phones can be opened in your name.
– New bank accounts can be opened in your name. Bad checks will be written by the thief
– Transfers can be initiated from your bank account, depleting your funds.
– They can obtain drivers license with your name, but with their picture.