Avoid Becoming A Victim Of Identity Theft

by Davis Jeff - Date: 2007-04-27 - Word Count: 497 Share This!

Identity theft is the least understood of all problems, though this assumption of our identities for fraudulent purposes is the most alarming of all problems. It is the most rapidly growing crime in the United States. It is quite complex, and this is how fraudsters work. A fraudster gets hold of your personal information, including your social security number and the numbers of your credit cards, among others. It is not so difficult if you are not careful. He/she assumes your identity, runs up astronomical bills, and leaves you holding the bag. This leaves you with a credit record that is totally ruined, and creditors at your door screaming for their money.

You may not realize it but your wallet, normally, is full of so much information about yourself. Any fraudster, who gets hold of your wallet, can use this information to assume your identity. However, there are ways of reducing, or minimizing, the risk of becoming a victim of identity theft.

What To Do To Avoid Identity Theft

Begin by protecting your personal data. Never give out your personal information to anonymous persons on the phone. Also never give out your personal information to those not required to know. Fraudsters are known to call, purporting to be from your bank, to find out your personal details, or asking information to update your personal details. That person should not need it, as your bank already has your personal information on its files.

Fraudsters resort to this very old scam of asking you to update your old credit card information - on phone. Never, ever, give out any such information to people you do not personally know. You may also receive calls from fraudsters offering you a prize, or some expensive item, and ask you for your personal information, including your Social Security number, the numbers of your credit cards, their dates of expiry, or even the maiden name of your mother! Beware, and never entertain such phone calls.

People also have this habit of printing their Social Security and their personal phone numbers on their bank checks. Why? Why pass out information, unnecessarily, to people who have no need to know. Your employer, your landlord, or similar people may have a legitimate reason to ask you for your personal data, but always find out why they need to have that particular information.

Never leave your mailbox unattended, especially if you are going away for some time. Either have it picked up regularly by someone you trust, or have it held up at the post office for pick up later. You need to be cautious when communicating details of your personal information over phone even to someone you know and trust. There is always a chance of someone overhearing you, or deliberately eavesdropping. This all sounds very James Bond-ish, but stranger things are known to happen.

If your banks and credit card companies regularly send monthly statements, which have suddenly stopped, check with them immediately. Your bills could be going to someone not authorized by you.

Related Tags: identity theft, identity fraud, identity protection, identity safety, identity security

Jeff Davis is an author at IdentitySafetyTips.com. Learn more about Identity Fraud on this website.

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