You pay all of your bills on time, when you use your credit card you pay the balance off when you are supposed to; even more than the minimum payments, and then when you try and go buy a car or a house you are declined due to bad credit. Ever wonder how that can be? Well you might have been a victim of identity theft. What is identity theft you ask? It is a form of fraud or cheating of another person's identity in which someone pretends to be someone else by assuming that person's identity, typically in order to access resources or obtain credit and other benefits in that person's name. According to the national association of the attorneys general,
“Identity theft is one of the fastest ...view middle of the document...
It does not take long to get the information needed. All the thief needs is a full name and an address. According to NIJ in 1999-2001 “over 50 percent of the victims had relationships with the thief, 35 percent was from lost or stolen wallets, 22 percent was from other resources, 16 percent was though mail, and about 10 percent was from compromises records”. By this survey you should be very careful with your personal belongings, even if you think you trust that person. You never know when they can turn their backs on you and mess up your life. There are so many computer hackers out there you would think that the percent of online theft would be at the highest percentage, but it is not. People in our current society are even more careful on the internet then they are with the physical things. People are ignorant when it comes to believing someone they know can hurt them rather than a random stranger on the internet.
Internet Protection website PCs N Dreams gives four guidelines to help protect oneself from identity theft. These guidelines are;
“ Always protect your personal information by only sharing important information (credit card, social security number, etc.) when making purchases from a company of financial institution that you know and trust, Never send personal information to email requests, Verifying any transaction- If a website address looks different from the name of the organization that you are dealing with or if you are unsure that the transaction is secure look for a phone number to call and verify its validity, and catch identity theft early. Check the 3 major credit bureaus at least once a year”.
Sometimes it is hard to avoid exploitation of information because of all the information you need to give to doctors and schools. It is part of life, but when it is not required to use your social security number or any other personal information do not. Be careful and always keep your eyes open to opportunities for theft. Never think that it will not happen to you. Keep all those things in mind and hopefully you will not fall victim to identity theft.
If this does happen to you there are ways you can fix it. It will take a lot of time and money, but in the...