Identity theft is a type of fraud committed or attempted using the identifying information of another person without their authority. Your Identifying information is any name or number used to identify you. Such as: any version of your name, social security number, date of birth, or government issued number like a passport or driver license.
Identity theft affects everyone
Identity Theft is a growing business. The crimes involving identity theft are in the millions of cases occurring each year. Individuals who experience identity theft can experience a loss of money, a destroyed credit record, and ruined reputation. This could take years to recover from. Further, banks and financial institutions suffer a loss to reputation and money. Then, because we all pay through higher prices and taxes affecting society.
Here are some tips and prevention techniques to help you protect yourself from Identity Theft
1) Guard your mail from theft by collecting it every day. Avoid leaving mail that contains checks or financial information in your mailbox overnight or for long periods during the day.
2) Carry the minimum amount of identifying information with you that you need for your day to day transactions.
3) Store your personal information in a safe place
4) Destroy, by means of shredding or tearing up, old credit card receipts, ATM receipts, account statements, and unused credit card offers.
5) Opt out of receiving prescreened offers for credit.
6) Verify your charges and withdrawals on your account statements are authorized. Remember to watch for your monthly statements.
7) Never give out personal information over the telephone, by mail, or over the internet unless you have initiated a transaction with the person requesting the information.
8) Enroll in a credit monitoring program and check your report at least once a year to verify the accuracy of your open accounts