It is important to learn more about identity theft. It is a cyber crime that is rampant in the US and elsewhere in the world. Identity theft happens when an unknown person steals your personal information— your full name or social security number. The thief then commits fraud with your personal details. They may file taxes, apply for a loan or get medical services with your data. This could damage your credit status and make you incur a huge cost trying to restore your reputation. Most people do not realize they are victims until they receive mysterious bills or calls from a credit collector. Dealing with identity theft can be so debilitating.
Types of identity thefts you could encounter : – The most common type is the senior identity theft. This is a type of crime that targets retired folks who are enjoying their pension. This ID theft is widespread because the seniors face healthcare professionals and caregivers on a regular basis. This forces them to share their personal entail with different people. Among those people there could be some who are criminals and serial identity theft masterminds. Another type is the tax identity theft. This happens when your stolen social security number is used to file false tax returns with the IRS.
The taxman then comes after you. Medical identity theft happens when a wicked person steals your Medical ID or your health insurance member number. Then they go on to receive medical services or give fraudulent billing to your health insurer. Social identity theft is when a thief uses your photos, name and other confidential details to create a fake account on a social media site. There is even child identity theft that involves stealing of a child’s name and other personal information.
What to do if you become a victim : – Anyone can become a victim of identity theft. If you suspect that it has happened to you, the right thing to do is to report the crime. In fact, you should do it as soon as you find out. The first organization you should report the crime to is the Federal Trade Commission. The FTC provides an ID theft affidavit that will help you file the complaint with your local police office. The police will provide a report. The affidavit and the police report will help you when dealing with the institutions that the ID thief had contacted while impersonating you. If the crime committed includes tax ID theft, medical ID theft or any other, you should report it to the right authorities. It is so imperative to contact the fraud department of your bank, Credit Card Company and any other creditor you might have to face.
Report the case to the credit reporting agencies : – A case of identity theft could damage your creditworthiness. As it is unfair to suffer for crimes you didn’t do, you should contact the three credit reporting agencies about it. If you don’t, these agencies could lower your credit score. On the other hand, you can save the situation by having them freeze your accounts and apply fraud alerts before further damage is done. Just to know how deep the damage is, ask for your three credit reports. If lucky, you might find that no one has attempted to commit fraud with your personal information. So far you can see how risky it is to expose your personal information to criminals and why you should learn more about identity theft.
How to stay safe from identity thieves : – The very first measure you should take right now is securing your social security number. Don’t carry your SS card in your wallet if you don’t need it. As well, keep your number in your memory rather than on a piece of paper. If you receive a phone call or an email message from a person who needs your name, mail address, date of birth, SSN or any other data, do not share it. Also, avoid throwing away receipts or statements without shredding them first. If you use your cards online, secure your computer with anti-virus software, firewall and VPN. Never create simple passwords. Finally, continue to learn more about identity theft to avoid becoming a victim and to know what to do if it happens to you.…Continue to read