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Identity Theft

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What is Identity Theft?

Identity theft is when someone obtains, and illegally uses, your identification information, such as name, address, date of birth, social security number or mother’s maiden name.

How does this crime happen? There are many ways for an identity thief to get your personal information, some of then are;

  • You lose your wallet or purse, they have access to whatever information you carry with you, credit cards, social security number, drivers license, etc.

  • Someone where you use a credit card can copy you card information.

  • Someone going though your trash can obtain personal information from personal papers you may have discarded.

  • Hackers could get information on your from the Internet.

  • Almost everyday we hear reports of someone losing a computer or disk that has personal information on it.

  • You could be mugged, or your home or office can be broken into.

  • And there are countless other ways for thieves to obtain your personal information.

An imposter can open new credit card accounts, drain your bank accounts, purchase automobiles, apply for loans, open utility services and on and on.

What steps can you take;

  • Limit the amount of personal information you carry with you.

  • Be careful of what information you give out about yourself, and who you are giving it to.

  • Your social security number is quite possibly the most valuable information to an identity thief, you should take great care to safeguard it.

  • Be very careful filling out forms on the internet, be sure you are on a legitimate site and that whatever information they are asking for is really necessary.

  • Many retailers are making use of data terminals that allow you to slide your credit card without handing it to a clerk. use them when you can.

  • Buy and use a paper shredder for your trash, be sure you shred anything that contain any personal information, papers, cards, computer disks, cd’s etc.

No matter how cautious you are, you cannot guarantee that a criminal will not obtain your information. The links below will take you to sites with tips to avoid identity theft and the steps to take to stop the damage and to recover from this crime, if it does happen.

LifeLock Identity Theft Prevention - Save 10%

Federal Trade Commission – Your National Resource for ID Theft

Identity Theft and Identity Fraud

IdentityTheft.org – Identity Theft Prevention and Survival

Identity Theft

Identity Theft Resources

Identity Theft Resource Center | A Nonprofit Organization

Federal Trade Commission

Identity Theft – Get free tips, tools and information

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