Crime: Identity Theft Using Credit Card It’s a typical weekend. You drove to your friend’s house, asked your friend to hang out at the mall and buy something. You and your friends then went to the bar to have a couple of drinks and talk about what happened during the past week and you paid with your credit card. After a great night you both went home and slept. The next morning, you checked for your mail and found your credit card billing statement. As you looked at it, you were shocked to see that you are being charged on your credit card things that you never even bought. You called the bank about this and wondered how these happened. If you have experienced this you have been a victim of a crime. This crime is called identity theft or identity fraud. Identity theft is a crime where someone obtained and used your personal data, such as your name, credit card number, address, social security number, without you knowing about it. Some people who obtained your personal information used it to commit crime, usually using it for financial fraud or deception. Criminals commit identity theft by buying something using your credit card information, obtaining money from your account, or getting a new credit card in your name. The criminal who commits identity theft usually make use of your personal information to buy goods or services in your name without you knowing it and end up you paying for the goods and services the criminal purchased. You might wonder why these criminals get away with it. This is because, in today’s society, many transactions usually occur without any actual contact with the buyer and the seller. Transactions like these are often used in telephones and the internet where no one can identify the criminal. They can easily buy goods and services by just using your credit card number online and giving a specified address where the goods should be delivered. Unfortunately, if you are a victim of this crime you would only find this out upon receiving your credit card billing statement. Identity thieves usually buy as much goods as possible in usually one to two days. They usually end up saturating your credit limit and even sometimes they would exceed. In some cases they can transfer money from your bank account to another, and sometimes, these thieves may actually pretend to be you. They will use your personal information to get money or apply for a large loan and worst of all, you will not know that someone is using your personal information until you get billing statements or visited by collectors. Identity theft can cause you a bad credit history, making it difficult for you to obtain new jobs or renting apartments. This is because employers and landlords often take a look at credit records of new applicants. If you think that you’re a victim of identity theft it is wise that you should follow these steps to stop it or in some cases catch the thief: • File a police report. Be sure to reproduce the police report. You can show these copies of the police report to the parties involved and any other creditors such as the bank and other entities which may require evidence of the crime. • File a complaint in your postal service. This can help you locate where the goods were delivered and prevent the crime from happening again. • File a complaint to credit bureaus. Filing a complaint to at least one of the major credit bureaus can result in getting free copies of your credit report. This will also require creditors to call or contact to confirm if you really are opening a new account or applying for a new credit card. • Send a report of the crime to check verification companies. If you know that someone has been using stolen checks from your account, inform check verification companies about this so that they will not honor the fake or stolen checks issued by the criminal and is also a good way to catch the thief. Identity theft is a very serious crime. If you ever suspect that you are a victim of identity theft, it is wise that you should act immediately by reporting the crime to all authorities concerned. Identity theft can be very time consuming, expensive, and difficult to repair the damage done to your credit history. It can also get you in trouble with the law. It is very important that you be able to change your identity numbers that have been stolen from you as soon as you have discovered the crime.
What are the effects of identity theft on an organization? If identity theft can cause so much trouble for an individual, it can also cause the same kind of trouble to companies or organizations. It seems that people have found a gold mine in stealing other peoples’ information to use for their own personal gain. And since there are a lot of benefits gained from this, there is no stopping anyone from doing it more and more. The popularity of the Internet and computer databases has only become an additional tool for thieves to steal information from. Just think of all the genius minds wandering unnoticed everyday. The economic and social effect of this crime is not something to be ignored. If they can do these things to nameless individuals then the more they can do it with big organizations that are known and may have some of its information up for grabs.
Even if there is still no perfect solution, every organization should take reasonable steps to reduce the risk and to know what to do if an identity theft incident occurs there. Identity theft in an organization can be attested to different factors: Identity theft because of negligence and lenient standards. Out of negligence, an organization can fail in checking the validity of persons or companies they are selling their information into. They may not be aware that some of this are identity thieves whose sole purpose is to get information about the organization. Another case of negligence would be putting information into portable, carry around gadgets. Example of these are lap tops and notebooks. The potable things are one of the most convenient ways of keeping important information. Many of its owners do not protect or encrypt any information stored. The result? Instant access to personal and organization-related information once these things have gotten into the hands of wrongdoers. There have been reports of data and information being lost in some bigger organizations. There are many reasons why this thing can happen. One is that the company may not have the potential to safely store big files. Another is that, they do not have a way of knowing what the employees are doing and what they can access to. Identity theft using state-of-the-art attacks. Some identity theft attacks occur through technical means, such as exploiting weaknesses in computer hardware or software. Hackers make the most of the problems in operating systems, firewalls, Internet browsers, or internal processing software to gain unauthorized access to confidential data. But these kinds of attack can be countered by: Keeping up to date with security software updates. An unpatched system is operating with known weaknesses. These weaknesses can act as invitations to hackers. But applying patches takes time and resources. And it is up to senior management to maintain that security updates be handled fast and effectively. Knowing where essential customer data are stored. Every company should have data flow mapping. This will provide an objective basis for company managers to track information and understand who will have access to those data. The strategy is to create a “path” so the data do not just thrive randomly in different electronic nooks and corners of the company. This will prevent employees, freelancer, contractors or hackers to gain access to the information stored. Collecting proof when an incident occurs. Failure to gather evidence in a forensically sound manner can make it impossible to track criminal charges or to look for civil compensation. Having qualified computer forensic resources should be a part of every organization’s plan. Recognizing the dangers of wireless data communication. You may seen instances where organizations do not properly secure wireless networks. The network may not be protected and unauthorized network could be accessed from outside the premises of the organization. Regular testing to make sure that no one is running a scoundrel network, and that authorized wireless networks are well protected, is very important. The effects of identity theft in an organization is a problem that should not be taken for granted. While there are no absolute solutions, there are many well-documented methods to decrease the risks and handle incidents effectively. The effects of identity theft vary from one organization to another. But with preparation, planning, and the recognition that a wide range of expertise sets are needed to stop this crime, any organization can keep up with the challenge.
Information on Identity Theft: What You Must Know About It “Prevention is better than cure”. By having enough information about identity theft, you can avoid being a victim of this crime. Based on that statement above, knowing about identity theft is the best way to protect yourself against this serious crime. Now what is identity theft all about? Generally speaking, identity theft is a crime where a criminal uses another person’s identity and personal information for their own gain, usually financial gains. Identity theft is a very serious crime. People who steal personal information of other people and use it for financial gains can produce very serious consequences. Identity theft can be used to transfer funds from your bank account, or use your personal information for criminal activities. Credit card frauds are also a form of identity theft and so do check frauds. If you somehow feel you are a victim of this crime, you must report it immediately to the nearest justice department or law enforcement agency. The concerned authorities can make the appropriate action in order to prevent the situation from getting worse. Sometimes, preventing the situation from getting worse is the only solution. People who commit this serious crime are usually very hard to find and arrest. Professional con artists use multiple identities that make it very hard for authorities to trace. This is why you should know how to prevent this crime from happening to you. Based on the research the United States government did, almost 140 citizens are being victimized by this crime every day and still growing. Today, authorities are making new ways to stop this crime or at least minimize it. Total financial loss can be experienced by the victims of this crime. Their credit history can also be ruined. Therefore, this crime is a very serious offense. People who commit this criminal offense works by obtaining your personal information, they do this by stealing your mails, hacking in your email account, eavesdropping on your telephone calls and they also look over the corner of their eyes when you are filling out documents that require personal information. They also commit this crime by using your personal information to apply for new credit cards in your name. They will max out that credit card on purchases and you will be the one who gets charged for the purchased goods. Knowing about the methods used by the criminals to obtain your personal information is very important. Most people do not know how their personal information was obtained by criminals until it’s too late. Here are some of the ways criminals obtain your personal information and how to avoid it. In public places, criminals may engage in shoulder watching. They will watch you fill out documents that require public information. To avoid this, you should fill out documents in private places, such as your home. You might have personal information stored in your wallet. Criminals who steal your wallet can use the information stored in it to commit identity theft. To avoid this, you should never store items or documents containing your personal information in your wallet. If it is possible, you should memorize your pin numbers, Social Security number and other personal information a criminal can use for their own financial gains. You own home has all sorts of documents containing public information. If someone enters your home unauthorized, they will steal things including documents that contain your personal information. To avoid this from happening, ask your neighbor to watch over your house if you and your family go out for work or dinner. And, never leave your documents containing personal and financial information lying around in your house. Look for a place to store it where criminals would never usually look. Your own telephone can also be the source of personal information. Criminals can tap in to your phone by using surveillance equipments and listen as you give out your personal information to a caller. Sometimes, criminals call you and will pretend to be someone from the bank and will ask you about your personal information. Do not give it away if you are not sure. Tell the caller that you will call the bank first to confirm if there is indeed someone from the bank requesting for your personal information. Your trash is one great source of personal and financial information. Criminals go dumpster diving to acquire documents containing your personal and financial information. To prevent this from happening, dispose of your documents properly by shredding them to pieces or burning them until it is impossible to put it back together again. Your computer is filled with files containing your public information. Criminals can install spywares without you knowing it. So, it is important that you take proper precautions while surfing the internet or downloading files. You can install anti spyware programs to prevent spywares from entering your computer. Always remember that being cautious in public places and even in your own home about your personal information is one of the best ways to prevent identity theft from happening.
If you cannot stop identity theft online, prevent them Online, identity theft is quite common already. It seems that everybody is getting their businesses and transactions done online. That is why, online identity thieves are always on the lookout for their next victims. How do online savvy protect themselves from the online identity thieves that are rampant nowadays? 1. Passwords. Know that those little pop ups that is asking you if you would like to remember your user name and password is not helping you any. Most of these passwords are stored in system file and every half brained hackers know about this. If you are not making use of firewalls, it is pretty easy for just about anyone to get hold of your password and use that anytime in your expense. Be wary of these things. A prevention measure is to have a lengthy password complete with different kinds of characters. As much as possible, do not input all your information in your computer or when something asks for it. The internet is definitely not a safe place to store your data and information. 2. Phishing. What is phishing? Phishing is one of the strategies being used to fool people into giving out their passwords and other personal information by pretending that they come from a genuine source. Examples are emails sent by someone staring that you have won on some online raffle. And that you need to give out some information for verification. Out of hope or ignorance, you probably will end up giving them what they want. This is what phishing is all about. Phishing scammers are very much skilled in imitating other styles and language of communications. They use lists of millions of email addresses to send their notes out to, in the hope of getting even a small number of victim. If you find it hard to distinguish which emails you are receiving are scams, try to verify the source of the message. Better yet, ask some sort of proof first to find out they are really legitimate or not. 3. Firewalls. In the past, firewalls were a luxury. But now, they have become a necessity. There are already an increasing number of Internet hackers that are making use of free programs that can compromise your system. Take note that there are around 60,000 points of entry to your computer. So you may want to at least filter out some of the entries that can cause trouble. 4. A secure connection. Before sending out any personal information, make sure that you make it a point to check out the browser address bar. Why is this? Because you may want to be assured that you are sending them on a secure connection. A secure connection is an address that begins with http. If you do not see this in the address browser, then you can guarantee that that link is not secured. They can be breached easily. There goes your details. 5. Always confirm. Before you click on that send button, think hard first. Are you willing to give out vital information away? Do you trust the receiver of this? Today, every bit of information can be built into a solid profile. You can actually get a lot of information about someone just by knowing his or her birthday. This is the online world. Apparently, identity thieves also know about this. Be prepared for the consequences that your actions will bring. You cannot blame anyone but yourself when you find yourself a victim of identity theft online. 6. Account checking. If you are one of those banking online, be sure to go back and check in after a few days to review the transactions you have made. Not all of these online financial institutions have the ability to filter out fake transactions. If ever you find something suspicious in your transaction, contact your bank immediately so they can take the necessary steps and stop further unknown negotiations to happen. In many of these cases, you will not be made liable for the expenses or charges that may incur. That is why, you have to report the soonest possible time. Online identity theft is not likely to go away for sometime. So you need to be aware of them in order to prevent them from getting the most out of you.
Defining the Insidious Crime of Identity Theft It was already late at night and you were walking down the street alone. The wind is blowing briskly through the tall buildings you are passing by. Then, a person appears, out of nowhere. He/she proceeded to run by you and knocking you over, made a grab for your wallet and disappeared through a corner. It could be a scene from a movie, only it happened! However, this type of stealing, person-to-person, may well exists in movies exclusively for the next years to come. Why, you may ask. Nowadays, thieves no longer care to rob a person, bank or any other establishment because they just use an individual’s information to obtain employment, credit and bank accounts and other means of obtaining money or credit Such activity that has now alarmingly reached millions of victims in United States and Canada is known as Identity theft. It has shown up in news reports for the past several years. Campaigns and laws have been passed all to combat it and build up public awareness. Last September 2003, the FTC reported that identity theft victims suffer terribly from the said crime. They spend more than $1,400.00, and 200 hours to clear up their personal and financial reputation. Once identity theft crime becomes more flagrant, victims may have to spend more than this, and not only in terms of time and money. They may end up spending more in terms of frustration. If you do not have money to spend, or rather, waste just to pay for being a victim of identity theft, then you must know the exact definitions of identity theft, how it works and how you can become a victim. By knowing and defining identity theft to other people, too, they will come up with more ways to combat against it. Identity theft or ID theft this insidious crime of obtaining and using another individual’s personal data. By personal data it means, the name, address, telephone number, phone card or credit card and Social security number. This act is done without the knowledge of the victim and is usually followed by a criminal act. The criminal acts of an identity thief may range from committing financial fraud using the personal information. Indeed, identity theft is done by someone, pretending to be another and purchases products using that person’s credit account, obtaining money from bank accounts and ordering goods and services using another’s credit name. The victim of identity theft is usually left with the bill for the purchased/ordered goods and services. Sometimes, victims are surprised when they find out that they are application for loans were denied because without their knowledge, they have accumulated too many loans because of the handiwork of an identity thief. Stealing people’s identity is a serious crime. The frauds and deceptions being done using another individual’s identity is another unlawful act. Once identity thieves steal other people's identity they usually do the following: - make purchases or order goods without the intention to pay - apply for credit - open bank accounts - apply for loans - apply for government benefits - obtain cable or utility services using the another person’s (victim) name - forge checks or bank drafts - use victim’s accounts to obtain money through wire transfers using the victim's accounts - and other similar acts of fraud. Individuals are not the only targets of identity theft. They also target business establishments, especially those medium and small limited businesses. Businesses can also be the targets of identity theft. Corporate identity theft happens when an individual applies for credit or buys goods under the pretense of being a company director of a certain company. Beforehand, they con the government agencies concerned with registering business companies. They file for change of names and address. They use the said address to direct suppliers of goods they bought, when the bill arrives, they have long disappeared. The company, then suffer the brunt of such criminal acts. Aside from people with good and well-established credit reports, identity theft also victimizes those without much credit. Sometimes they stead college students’ identities to set up fake credit accounts. Presently, many efforts are being done in order that people be aware of identity theft. There are also federal laws passed that already define identity theft as a serious criminal act instead of just a fraudulent activity. This is a big step in the fight against rampant identity theft. Individuals must be proactive so as not to become a victim of identity theft. We must be doubly sure that all our personal documents and information are protected and are not passed on into wrong hands. Avoid being a victim of identity theft, beware and be cautious!
Put an End to Criminal Identity Theft Being mistaken for someone else can be very hazardous. It can actually get you punished for something you never did. A couple of situations have already cropped up when someone else in a course of a criminal act uses another persons identity. Many criminals have had the ability to get crucial and vital information, such as social security number, addresses, credit card numbers, bank accounts, birth certificates and etcetera to commit crimes. The imposter uses someone else’s identification. Not only that, most of the imposter uses fraudulent information or in this case, true personal information but not their own. The fake identification can lead the crime to someone else. As a result, the innocent person will suffer from all of the consequences of the crime commited. In a traffic scenario, criminal identity theft can also happen. Traffic imposter that violates the traffic rules can use a fraudulent driver’s license with another persons name. By doing this, they can escape the traffic fine or escape from appearing in court as the law requires. The fine goes to another persons record. The judge will surely issue a warrant of arrest for traffic violation. Unfortunately, the license card is in the name of the victim. Because of this, the imposter will never appear in any court hearing. The worst thing is that, the victim is normally arrested upon a routine traffic stop. Criminal identity theft is more complicated compared to financial identity theft. Fortunately, unlike other theft cases, criminal identity theft is very rare. In this case the imposter has a rigid form of identify complex. Especially if the suspect uses a different fraud identity, the police department will surely have a hard time looking for the perpetrator. At the present situation, police are very much more cautious when it comes to criminal identity theft. This offense is considered to be an extreme personal crime. Moreover, records are not easily cleared which could cause several problems with transactions a person may undertake. For example, a criminal record, albeit false, can mar a clean record causing a person some problems with say his credit or a job opportunity. Not only that, criminal identity imposter can also tamper with some bank account charges of the victim. It can also make some bank account withdrawals and social security tampering. Unrelated crimes can also be committed by the imposter for whom the victim may be held responsible. Criminal identity theft can also affect the victim in obtaining a job. The imposter can simply use the other personal documents in some events. An impostor can steal from a company and the assumed identity may get the bum wrap for the act done. The real trouble in identity theft is that the burden of proof relies on the victim’s evidences. The victim must have enough information and data in order to clear up the issues. Not only that, if the imposter had committed a serious offense, the trial can take years. It can even cost the victim thousands of dollars to clear his or her name. These are more conveniences on the part of the victim. In most cases, the victim is required to have a set of circumstances. The victim must render enough time and evidences to clear the issue on his or her criminal records. A good lawyer should also be retained, the sooner you clear your name and your records the better it will be for you. If you ever found out that someone is using your identity, don’t wait for the authorities to pick you up, do actions already to minimize the potential damage it may cause. What are things that an individual should do when criminal identity theft happened? • The very first thing that he must do is to report the incident. The local law enforcement agency must know the misidentification issue. • Proper impersonation report must be filled officially. The victim must not take all things for granted. He must act as soon as possible to prevent serious troubles. • Having enough information about the particular laws of the state is important. The victim must know the proper proceedings when it comes to identity theft. Here is where a good and knowledgeably lawyer will be very handy. This kind of criminal offense happens more often than what everybody thinks. It has already destroyed countless lives of innocent people. Do not let somebody damage your reputation. Take the essential precautions to protect yourself from criminal identification theft.
Protecting Your Identity over Thieves Recently, there had been plenty of news and stories circulated all over the country regarding Identity Theft. Many shared their real experiences on unauthorized usage of their credit accounts, bank accounts and other services which involve money. At least 5 out of 100 people experience this kind of unwanted fraudulent activity. Thieves will never be after your identity if they will not get any benefit from it. They need your name, birth date, address, etc. to open your financial accounts. One must bear in mind that these personal identification entries are important to validate an account. Thieves will do whatever way they can just to steal your identity and your money. Your protection depends on you. In this kind of crime, nobody can help you immediately except yourself. The prevention and protection on Identity thieves depends on how wise you are in handling all important information about yourself. Here are some things one must take heed in order to protect himself from Identity Theft: 1) One must keep a photocopy of all his credit cards, bank account numbers and other important information in a safe place. In short, one must make a back-up record of all his personal information and personal numbers. Making back-up copies will help you trace and cancel your stolen or lost cards or whatsoever. One must also not forget that even a simple identification card or a driver’s license is very important and can also be a source of information that can be stolen. 2) Dispose your credit card receipts properly. Do not throw your receipts anywhere or it could be taken by thieves. Receipts contain information about yourself and your account. This information may help thieves to possible steal your identity. Shredding your bills and receipts may not be practical at all. When a bill is shredded the paper are the only thing destroyed but the contents are not. It can be retrieved by pasting all shredded paper together. Instead of shredding the bills, on best way to totally destroy your bills is by putting it to fire. There is no way one can retrieve information in the ashes. 3) Keep in touch with your credit institution. When applying for a credit card and does not arrive immediately to you, contact your credit institution and relay the problem. By doing so, you can prevent any fraudulent activity that may happen. 4) Create a good combination of numbers for your PIN or passwords. Make sure that you choose difficult to guess PIN. Birth dates, mother’s maiden name, pet’s name, usual or famous number combinations, etc should not be used for your PIN or passwords. 5) Regard all personal information personal. Do not give your personal information to anyone who sends you an email and a snail mail. Never give personal information over the phone. Adds on your email offering good promos must be ignored. Do not be tempted by their flowery offerings which only intention is to steal personal information on you. 6) Secure the area surrounding the ATM before using it. Make sure that nobody is around you watching while making transaction on the ATM. Make sure that there are no unusual equipment illegally attached to the ATM. There had been reports about electronic devices illegally attached to the card slot in the ATM. It has cameras on it which can record your PIN as you type it in. 7) Bills must be checked every month. All entries in the bill must be made under your permission. If there are charges included in the bill which you do not know, immediately report it to your credit institution and ask for an investigation. 8) Active and cancelled checks must be stored properly. There are banks that offer service like this. 9) Keep all important documents in your car properly. Do not put any thing which may contain information about you in sight inside your car. You may use the glove box as safety keep for your important things. Never leave it unlocked. 10) Secure all your personal information in your mobile phone and laptop with a password. Remember that laptops and mobile phones are personal gadgets that are to be used solely by you. So keep it personal. What one takes is a sense of responsibility toward his belongings, personal properties and identity to totally prevent these illegal activities. The value of your identity is equivalent to the value of your life.
Check Credit Report Regularly and Beware of Identity Theft All of us know the importance of credit report in our lives. Our credit report show our personal information such as your legal name, alias names, addresses, current and previous employers, and date of birth. We also have that credit report summary showing the following: - Current and past credit status - Total number of open and closed accounts - If the balances of our accounts are current or delinquent - Public record information such as federal bankruptcy records local government court records, liens, judgments, and child support records (information that can stay in your record for up to 10 years) - Credit inquires that we use when applying for a credit card or loan - Detailed account history - very up to date information about your loan payments - Credit card debt and payment history - Credit score. Your credit score is a number ranging from 330 to 830. The higher the number assigned to you, the better your credit is. It increases the chance of you obtaining a loan or credit account. The Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax are major credit bureaus collect, maintain, and distribute our credit information. Our credit report does not also end with our financial matters. We also use our credit report for a variety of purposes not related with mortgage and other loan applications. Auto insurance companies often request us for copies of our credit reports as part of the process in applying for auto insurance. Our employers may also request for our credit reports as basis in deciding whom to hire for a specific position. Our credit report may also be the important link for us to know if we have become victim of identity theft! Identity theft is a criminal act wherein our personal financial information, supposed to be confidential, are obtained through illegal means and used for unauthorized purchases and transactions. The most common forms of identity theft are the credit card fraud, bank fraud, communications services, and fraudulent loans. The audacity of an identity thief is shown in his/her use your personal information, which could be result to a financial disaster and a damage of reputation on your part. Falling victim to this harmful activity could impugn your financial reputation for many years to come. There are a lot of thing you can do to minimize the risk of becoming a victim of identity theft. This article focuses on obtaining and reviewing your credit report, quite similar to what we do when we perform network security assessments. The information from our credit report reflect our credit and consumer habits. Unless you make efforts to obtain necessary credit reports, you may never know how credit worthy you is or not. Obtaining credit reports is also a way to check if you have fallen into the insidious identity theft crime. Verifying and frequently checking your credit report is a good means to make sure no one has obtained your identity. You may think that it may not happen to you, but there is nothing wrong by being doubly sure. If ever there are evidences pointing to the fact you are being robbed of your identity, then you can quickly act upon it. Avoid major damage to your personal and financial reputation that took you so many years to establish. Here are ways to check your credit and see if there are evidences of your credit account being used by identity theft: 1. Carefully examine your credit report copy upon receipt. Look into the section dealing with inquiries against the report. If you do not know about this yet, well, every time you apply for a loan or credit card there is an inquiry initiated against your credit report. You will recognize the inquiries against the report if you are the one who have applied for a loan using your credit account. However, if you notice certain entries you do not recognize, immediately notify the credit-reporting agency. 2. If you notice errors, such as a bill paid off but still show as outstanding on the report, then notify the agency and request for it to be removed. You must follow up personally on these corrections and make sure that your specific request has been acted upon. Be alert always and take the issue of identity theft as a serious threat to our good name. Make sure that your personal and financial information never get into the wrong hands. It is for the good future of your family, too.
Avoid becoming another Hopeless Victim of Bank Identity Theft Ever wonder how identity theft occurs? It is actually quite fascinating, if it is not a very malicious and dangerous crime. Identity theft occurs once a thief assumes another person’s identity by using confidential information supposed to be known exclusively by that person. The thief will commit fraud using the person's name and important confidential information without the victim ever knowing about such transactions. When the person or victim finally finds out about the crime committed, the thief is long gone in excruciating anonymity. They leave behind a ruined reputation, and a paper trail of ruined credit, debts and collectors. Sometime the implications of identity theft usually cause the wrongful arrest of the victim. Why so? Because, without the identity theft angle in the case, it can be assumed that the victim was the one who committed the crimes because it was done under his/her name. It is an alarming occurrence and usually, the victims would suffer the implications of the crime for years to come. The past several years brought about an alarming wave of identity theft crimes in different areas dealing with personal information and economic transactions. One of the hardest hit by identity theft crimes are the banks. Bank identity theft has been around long before there were credit card, social security, internet, job banks, airline and medical community identity thefts. Bank identity theft occurrences vary. Some cases involve a thief continuously withdrawing huge amounts of cash from a bank account of another person until there is none left. Another case may involve the identity thief assuming the name and other personal information of another person then files for a bank loan. Armed with personal information of another person, an identity thief can obtain a driver's license. He/she can open new lines of credit and bank accounts even buy a car and get a mortgage. Bills and statements from these transactions are diverted to the thief's temporary address. They then bilk the victim’s credit line for all it is worth in cash advances, loans and credit card debt without intent to pay. All these occur with the thief hidden in a shroud of anonymity. Bank identity theft and other forms of identity theft is a nightmare for millions of people who have become victims of such crime. Indeed, the figures of those victimized have reached into millions already. Sadly, though state and federal laws and stricter bank transactions have been imposed, the number of victims continues to rise each year. When the walls come crashing in, you are left holding the bag and the thief is long gone. Financial recovery from identity theft can take years. In United States and Canada, many people have reported unauthorized persons taking out funds form their bank or financial accounts. There are even worst cases when the victims report of an identity thief who has totally taken over their identities. With it, the thief have run up huge debts and committed crimes all under the name of the victim. There was a notorious case of identity theft wherein the criminal, a convicted felon incurred more than $100,000 of credit card debt. Aside from this, the felon also obtained a federal home loan, bought homes, motorcycles, and handguns using the victim's name. With maniacal pride, he called his victim to taunt him. He declared that he could continue posing as the victim for as long as he wanted. During that time, identity theft was not yet a federal crime. Then, the thief filed for bankruptcy still using the victim’s name. Very bitter was the fact that the criminal only served a brief sentence while the victim and his wife spent more than four years to restore their reputation and credit. They also spent more than $15,000 of their own money to win back their credit. The criminal did not even made restitution for all the danger he had caused. The only positive thing that came out of this case and the others similar to this is when the Congress created a new federal offense against identity theft in 1998. You can avoid being a victim of bank identity theft by identifying red flags that may indicate Here are several red flags that indicate you may be a victim of identity theft: 1. There are bills for a credit card account you did not open. 2. There are notice charges, which you did not authorize on your credit card statement 3. No bills and credit card statements arrive on the days you expect them. 4. Unauthorized transfers or withdrawals on your bank statements show. 5. Notifications from collection agency about accounts you never opened. 6. Calls or notices from businesses about merchandise you did not buy. 7. Debts showing up on your credit reports that you did not file.
Tips for Identity Theft Prevention Is it really possible to prevent identity theft? The answer is both yes and no. Let us make a comparison between identity theft and somebody who attempts to break into your house. Can you stop somebody who will break into your house? Of course, you will do everything to make it difficult for him. You will be installing alarms, locks and cameras for security purpose. You hire the services of armed guards and some experts in security. With the above mentioned preparations, is there any possibility that somebody will be able still to house break? Certainly, if that somebody is full of determination, armed with sophisticated weapons and outnumbering your guards. This has been shown many times in the movies. It is really the same thing with identity theft prevention. You will do something to make it more complicated to somebody, yet there is no guarantee that you will not be the next victim but at least you will minimize the risk. Just be cautious in managing your personal information and with total awareness, you will be able to be on guard against identity theft. What is important is to be prepared always and be clever always and on your guard. There is really a need to be aware of the increasing number of cases on identity theft. It is due maybe to the comparatively low risk, high reward stake given to criminals. All they will have to do is to get your Social Security Number and some pieces of data which are taken easily. Then, they will assume your identity and commit credit deception. It’s a pity for the victims because they will spend so much money time draining ordeal which will create financial and emotional distress. Below are the tips for identity theft prevention. 1. Always give protection to your Social Security Number. Do not place your Social Security Number in your wallet or to be printed on your checks. It is the main object of criminals. 2. Be aware of shoulder-surfers. Make sure nobody is looking over your shoulder when you enter a pin number or a credit card number to an ATM machine, or in a phone book. 3. Everything must be shred. You should keep your identity from being thrown into the garbage can. 4. Instead of signing the backs of your credit cards, just write “See Photo ID”. 5. Be sure to destroy all digital data. 6. You should be diligent in checking statements. Bills and bank statements must be checked properly. 7. Go to the post office in paying your bills. Do not leave your paid bills in the mailbox to be sent out. They will be stolen and to be washed with chemicals. 8. It is better to limit information in your checks. 9. You should analyze your credit report every year. It has your Social Security Number, present and prior employers, the list of all your account numbers, including those you have closed and your general credit score. 10. Your computer must be free from viruses and spies. 11. If you are going to shop online, be sure to check first the website before entering your credit card number or any personal information. 12. Always monitor your credit history. 13. Do not hesitate to ask questions whenever you are asked about personal information which is not connected to the transaction. 14. You should not be influenced by pre-approved credit offers. 15. Do not bring with you additional credit cards or other important personal identity documents unless necessary. 16. Ask for your Social Security Earnings and Benefits statement every year so as to check for deception. 17. You should examine first the charges on your credit card statements before you pay. 18. All unused credit card accounts must be cancelled immediately. 19. Don’t ever give your credit card number or any personal information when using the phone except when you trust that business or you started the phone conversation. 20. Make a subscription to a credit report monitoring service so that you will be notified in case somebody applies for credit using your name. 21. Do not be afraid to question the identity of the people and companies which will initiate contact with you, through the email, mail, telephone or even in person. 22. Don’t leave your wallet or purse unattended most especially in the church, place of work, restaurants, parties or on trolleys for shopping. Notify immediately the bank, if you did not receive any statement.
Postmortem Identity Theft Identity theft is very common in today's world. It is very easy for almost anyone to get all kinds of information about you either on the Internet, by calling and tricking you into disclosing information, or even from mail you might leave in your vehicle or home. A different kind of identity theft has been going on for many, many decades. This is postmortem identity theft. That's right, people can steal your identity even after you die. This can have disastrous consequences on your surviving family members when and if it is discovered. How could something like this happen at all? Well, all it takes is an identity thief to read the obituaries and find someone who matches either what they look like or what their clients are looking for. Once you have a name and birthday, all you have to do is go to city hall and get a death certificate. Social security numbers actually remain valid for a number of years after death due to paperwork pileup and overall population. This enables the use of that social security number for a long time with no worries. The problems with postmortem identity theft arise when creditors notice this person is massing a lot of debt. There will be a lot of confusion between family members and creditors as they try to sort this all out. If there are inheritances, the creditors may try to get paid from that lump of money before any family members receive their share. This is very unfair but that's exactly what the identity thief wants. By the time all this has happened, odds are the thief has moved on to another victim. To protect yourself, make sure to notify the Social Security Administration as well as all creditors and consumer reporting companies. If they know this person is deceased, they won't issue credit cards and notify you immediately if that social security number gets used.
Identity Theft Victims Everyone has heard about identity theft and what happens to the victims. Who are the victims though? How did they even get into that terrible situation? Most of us naturally assume this could never happen to us because, let's face it, we live pretty boring lives. Why would anyone want to be us right? It's this thinking that puts everyone at risk. The usual goal of the average identity thief is to get cool stuff. They might be unskilled in a trade and make just enough money to skim by in life and decide they will risk jail time in the pursuit of living good for even just a little while. Many identity thefts get solved because the thieves aren't terribly good at it or they learned how to do it by some other criminal. Most stores in the US have some type of surveillance so once the thief maxes out a credit card, they are tracked down within a couple of months. They might enjoy their new Playstation 3 for a while but in the end, they will spend a long time in jail. So how do you know if you are prime victim? Identity thieves look for easy targets. If they wanted to put effort into something, they'd have a real job. Thieves look for average people that wouldn't expect it to happen to them. The elderly are prime targets for identity theft. Many elderly people don't have many friends and love to talk to just about anyone. On the phone or even in person, someone can offer to help them with finances or pretend they won a contest or inheritance and if the person is trusting and believes the con artist, they might give out their personal information. Not just elderly people do this. You may know someone or even be someone who is naturally trusting of other people. Educate yourself and loved ones on how these thieves operate and you will be a lot safer.
Ways to Protect Yourself from Computer Identity Theft Identity theft is considered as a huge problem in our society. Since everyday, there is an increase in the number of user of internet and most people consider computer as a big part of their lives, there is also an increase of cases of identity theft. Individuals who are new in using the internet sometimes become to victim to computer identity theft systems. In most cases, the person involved in the identity theft systems uses your credit cards to buy supplies and merchandise for themselves. While others will get an application for credit card, make bank account and destroy your good credit score. In addition, making some correction about such subjects includes more time, effort and is stressful, so here are ten useful ways that you can use to avoid yourself from being an identity theft prey. • Make a disposable email address Make sure that you have an email address that you can only use for businesses and other personal communication. If for instance, you want to buy something online, or you want to join a newsgroup, it is better than you use a disposable email address. Yahoo and hotmail are some of the free accounts where you can make you own disposable email. Both of these are able to interface with other famous email clientele such as the outlook and the outlook express. You can use one of the two for your purchasing transactions. • Cover up your internet identity If your name is Chris Brown try to not to use it in making your email accounts especially when having business with people you are not familiar with and deceitful-looking. Perhaps if your birth date is April 3, 1980, do not make an account that contains both your name and birth date. • Use a unique password You can use one password for your private data, and then use a different one for your dealing account and another one for your disposable email addresses you made. If possible, do not use passwords that appear in order like password3 for your private account, password4 for you business transactions and password4 for disposable email addresses. • Use “tough” passwords Avoid using birthdates, anniversaries, or your children’s birthdates when making passwords. Do not use passwords that are purely letters or numbers. In addition, to not to use passwords consist true words. Make passwords made of phases like “I drink 1 glass of milk everyday”. Get the first letter of every word in the phrase and it will result to “id1gome”. • Change your passwords You must change you passwords at least every 6 months or if you want, you can have it changed every year. If you think your passwords have been exposed, change them for your protection. • It is important that you only use one credit card for every online transaction that you make If you have more than three credit cards, stick to the one that you know will best work for online transactions. This is to monitor the transactions made with each of your credit cards. Therefore, if your other credit cards have an online transactions you are certain that those are fake. • Make use of a credit card rather than a debit card Though many debit cards have online purchase safety steps, it is easier to fight fake charges than to refund debit card finances already used. • When you make online transactions ensure that it is safe If you are making your first transaction on the internet, make sure that the company you are dealing with is someone familiar or referred to you by a trusted one. • Check for the company’s privacy guidelines When doing the first purchasing online, ensure to check the privacy guidelines, search for logos from purchasers groups and try to find out if they are a member of the better business bureau. If possible, click the logos to confirm that they are genuine. • Do not open or sign up email inviting you to update your email account or credit card information through email. These are only fraudulent. Some people do them attempt and secure your personal data. Most of them increasingly improve their modus operandi and go to great lengths to appear genuine like the company websites using their own logos. Following the above guidelines, you are surely keeping yourself away from this computer identity theft.
Learn How to Prevent Identity Theft No one wants to be a victim of identity theft, as it is so difficult to clear all the transaction made by these thieves. If you do not have enough knowledge about it, you will not be prevented from being a victim of it. All you need to do is to prevent yourself from being the victim. However, how are you going to do that? Read this article and find out how you can prevent being victimized by these thieves. The best way to protect you from being a victim of identity theft is to protect your information. You should know all the possibilities that your information can be obtained. You must be of good control over your information to avoid it from being stolen. You should be aware of the means to obtain your information. There are in fact many ways to get it. These are the following means: • Purchasing goods and services over the net • Online banking • Throwing away your previous credit cards without destroying it • Storing personal data and information in your computer • Cellular phone use • Wireless phone use • Using your passwords and numbers for identification You need to safeguard your personal information using the following techniques. You should be conscious about it, as it will give you proper education on what to do and what to learn in terms of handling your account. Follow these simple guidelines to protect yourself from the harm of identity theft: • It is safer to memorize your security codes and numbers other than writing it down. Never print these numbers on your checks. • Give your files protection from making passwords. These can only be opened if your personal security code or password is entered. Never use your birth date or your name as a password; it can be an easy guess to the people. • Require your credit bureaus to give you regular reports on the review of your credit accounts. • Install software in your computer to avoid malicious software to enter your computer. Software such as firewall will minimize the chances of downloading bad software such as spyware, adware, and keyloggers. This software will unnoticeably enter your computer to spy on all the operation made in your computer. With the use of firewalls, you are sure to get rid of this malicious software in real time. • Do not include your personal information on the email inquiry. You should also avoid sending information over email. If you are sure that the reputable website sent you a business transaction, go to the particular official website of the sender to reply. Never use the link indicated on the email sent. • Never open mail attachments if you are not sure about who sent it to you. These attachments may contain software that can enter your computer system unnoticeably. This problem can be solved by using software that gets rid of them. Choose software that updated continuously. • Do not provide personal information when you are filling up forms online. Do not provide your personal data and most special your financial information online. • During a telephone call, never give your personal data and information on the one you are talking to. You can give your financial information and other data if you are the one to initiate the conversation. • Never mind the mails that tell you to complete your application on credit cards especially online. • Never discard any previously used credit card before destroying it. Shred it tears it and torn it into pieces to secure that these credit cards will not be used again. • If you lose your credit cards of other important cards report about it immediately to authorized personnel. You should temporarily close your account until the card has been captured. • Destroy all the documents that contain your personal data and information. Burning them can be more preferable. • Never discard bank receipts, credit card receipts and transaction receipt in public areas. Some people may obtain this information and use it against you. These are the guidelines to protect you from experiencing the wrath of identity theft. Make sure to follow these guidelines well for the protection of you accounts.
On Identity Theft Court Cases: Become More Aware of Identity Theft There was a time in the world history when people were contented with typewriters. Sure, there were reports of robberies and hold-ups, but there were few reports of identity theft frauds, which is totally a different kind of mettle. It is more malicious and notorious type of crime. Identity theft is more like an operation of a cruel maniac, bent on destruction under a cloud of anonymity. Now, there are thousands – actually, millions of reports each year about identity theft cases. As modern technology further enhances, what with the Internet and all the other electronic devices for commercial and financial processing, identity thieves found it easier to get hold of confidential information. There are also other sources introduced by modern technology that encourage the criminals more to the lure of identity theft. This is sad, but true. The more pensive we will be when we find out that the true victims of identity theft crime are the ones who pay for the criminal activities of others. We are likely pay repeatedly, too. Once we have encouraged the identity thief to add blackmail into their list of crimes, the more we are likely to suffer in terms of time, money and frustration. Once the identity thief strikes, we are all victims. It is like the implications of gas price hikes. When gas prices increases, all other products, services and goods also increase. Are you asking about motive? Well none other than greed, self-centered illusions, ill-minded world. Usually, compared to sane people, people with mental illnesses are much better. Patients with mental illness s are not that dangerous as compared to those with the ability to plot, manipulate and carry out a criminal activity. In several identity theft court cases, the felons are also accused of having antisocial behaviors. Psychological studies used as evidences in court deliberation found out that many studies indicate that the thieves have behavioral patterns leading to Antisocial Personality Types. As the days go by, identity theft continues to become a growing problem, instead of a reducing problem in the Unite States. Not only does it occur in small towns, said criminal activity also happen in large cities. In 1998, due to the many unsuccessful identity theft court cases, the federal law passed the bill establishing identity theft as a simply fraudulent activity, but a blatant criminal offense with heavy charges to the convicted. If you are asking how often the crime of identity theft occurs, there are reports released by the Identity Theft Resource Center regarding this. It shows that from 2003, there were 7 million people who became victims of identity theft within a twelve-month period. If you will compute them and convert them into time, well, approximately 13.3 people per minute who become victims of identity theft. This means that identity theft occurrences happen every minute of everyday. There are ways in order for identity theft to be investigated and eventually, prosecuted. However, it is quite labor intensive. Investigating identity theft court cases individually are requiring many men. Usually, federal prosecution seems to think that it is too small for that agency to handle. Due to the continued allegations and cases filed, the federal prosecution took the hint and gave it more attention. Consequently, the Departments of Justice and Treasury and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) have taken active interest in the matter and pursued effective means of prevention, and prosecution of identity thieves. Today, the federal prosecution acknowledges that identity theft has become the fastest-growing financial crime in America. Aside from this, it may well be the fastest-growing crime in our society. What makes it more infuriating is that offenders of identity theft are seldom held accountable. Identity theft court cases that involve a group or a large numbers of victims are quite a unique challenge. Since it is quite important to communicate with victims, then the means of communications used by identity thieves become necessary tool as fundamental investigative information. Even loss and restitution information are also needed. Meanwhile there are also complex identity theft court cases. In these types of cases, an interpreter may be needed to devise a system of communication to the incarcerated victims. Even as you can file for identity theft court cases when you become a victim, it is still best to prevent being a victim first. However, if you do become a victim of identity theft, there are two choices for you to do, first you can try to handle it on your own, or you can let a professional help you. Experts also continuously encourage people to be proactive and instruct them about what things you need to do to prevent being a victim of identity theft. Remember, prevention is better than cure and an identity theft court case may take months to become resolved.
Are you Safe from Identity Theft? How will you feel if you will be arrested for a crime that you have now committed? How will you feel if you will be receiving a call from one of your creditors and telling you to pay your credit amounting to a particular amount, whereas you do not even use your credit card yet for that particular month? Maybe you will answer those questions when you become a victim of identity theft. Identity theft is said to be a “perfect crime”.
Everybody can be a victim. Learning about the crime is the best thing that you can do right now. Remember, there are millions of victims every year. If you have not become a victim of identity theft, then do not take any risk. Keep in mind the fact that it is nearly impossible to reinstate your life once a thief takes over your identity. Identity theft refers to a type of crime, which someone portrays himself as another person by using the latter’s identifying information for various reasons. It may be for the purpose of a criminal activity or a financial gain.
The data that may be used includes the victim’s complete name, date of birth, and an array of closely related information like social security number, passport, license number, and credit card number. The thief can use any of the stolen information to take over the financial accounts of his victim (bank and credit accounts), apply for loans, and purchase important items and services. He can also avail medical benefits, education assistance, and personal pensions by creating or forging birth certificates or immigration documents, which can be presented to the agency who gives such assistance. Perpetrators engage in this crime wants to either mislead law enforcers as to whom the real perpetrator is, or hide from the pursuit of the authorities. Others want to have control over publicly financed benefits to which they would not be entitled if they signed up under their original name. Some uses identity theft to facilitate large crimes like human trafficking and terrorism acts. Victims almost extend across all ages. According to Federal Trade Commission (FTC), 29 percent of identity theft complaints are from individuals of age 18-29, 25 percent from individuals of age 30-39, 21 percent from individuals of age 40-49, 13 percent from individuals of age 50-59, and the remaining 10 percent from individuals of age 60 and above. Usual targets of thieves are average-incoming individuals and those having a good credit rating.
Corporations, small enterprises, and financial institutions can also be potential victims of identity. Thieves can disguised themselves as top executives of their target company then making some huge withdrawal of funds, which can result to financial loss, damage to reputation and credibility, and possible closure of operation. Modern identity theft is committed by means of gaining access to electronic data systems, forging identification documents of the victim (birth certificate or citizenship documents), getting new credit accounts, and charging existing accounts improperly. The advancement of technology also enables perpetrators with computer hacking skills to infiltrate low-restricted public database and possibly cracking vital government database system.
Protecting yourself from identity theft is the best way to avoid the possible aftermaths you may experience. Remember that perpetrators do not select victims. Celebrities, business executives, politicians, and ordinary citizens in varying ages can be a potential victim. You cannot totally protect yourself from these thieves, but you can take measures by making yourself less attractive as a potential victim and hiding all the possible sources of your personal information.
Here are some things that you can keep in mind: • When making transactions, always indicate your identification numbers such as social security number, make sure that it is required. Do not give it unless it is necessary. • Destroy unwanted previous credit card or bank statements. You can either burn it or have yourself a mail shredder. Shred any sensitive documents first before throwing it to the garbage can. • Do not place any other information beside your name and address in your checks. • Carry personal cards that are only necessary and will be used for transactions for a particular day. Once lost, it can be possibly found by others and use it to steal your identity. • Review your credit reports regularly. Make sure that you know all the transactions that you have made and look for any possible unauthorized transactions made to your creditors. • Never divulge personal information on the phone. One typical modus operandi of thieves is through disguising themselves as a representative of a financial institution. He will then offer that you can update your records with them. It is possible that they are recording your conversation and eventually get all the personal information from you. • Always clear your mailbox. If you are on a trip, ask your neighbor to clear your mailbox for you. The threat is there. All you have to do is to have knowledge about this crime and protect yourself against it. It is better to be safe than sorry.
General Identity Theft Statistics Revealed The number of identity theft cases has been increasing to this day. In fact, according to the identity theft statistics, the Federal Trade Commission reported that for 4 continuous years, identity theft has been on the top of the list of the consumer complains. It has been assumed that identity theft mounted to over 42 percent of the complaints that has lodged in the FTC Consumer Database in the year 2004 and has increased for about 40 percent in the year 2002. According to the FTC Identity theft statistics, there are approximately 10 million consumers, mostly American have discovered that their personal information have been intentionally used to open up a fraudulent bank account, utility accounts and credit card. The worst is that their personal information have been wrongfully used to commit serious crimes with their names. In the FTC identity theft statistics, there had been more than 50 percent of the theft victims of accounts such as credit cards and other fraud accounts. Mostly, new credit cards have been used for fraud activities. This happens when a thief opens up new accounts using other people’s names. Identity theft statistics have estimated that this have victimized over 3.23 million people in the world. this big number is continuously increasing in number. Identity theft statistics have shown that it has cost nearly $53 billion for both existing and new accounts. This large number of identity theft includes individual and business victims in a year. No wonder why this big number increases every year and is very hard to cease. To be specific, identity theft statistics have shown that 47.5 billion people have been victims of identity theft. The individual victims are counted to have $500 per victim in a year. According to identity theft statistics, most Americans have spent about 300 million hours in resolving the arising issue which is related to identity theft cases. It has been estimated that in every 30 – 60 hours a victim handles various matters, which are related to cases of identity theft which includes creating an account or using existing accounts. Identity theft statistics have proven that the people who have been victimized by identity theft know the thieves who have stolen their precious and unique names and identity. To avoid this from happening, you should not share important information so that other people cannot access your accounts in any way. Make sure that the people you share important information with can be trusted. People whom you think cannot do the identity theft to you are the ones who have the strong will to do it. Make sure that they will not have any idea on how to restore such important information. Someone very close to you can be a suspect. Anyone around you can be suspect and they choose no one so you need to be very careful. Identity theft statistics have shown that it starts in the workplace. You might not know it but they could be your officemates, co-worker, employee that you are patronizing. Most identities of employees have been stolen because of their connections to companies that are not handled carefully. Sometimes, your boss can even be the suspect. He can have access to the personal information, which he can retrieve upon application. Identity theft statistics have shown that in the year 2004, the complaints have been up for about 15 percent which was from the year 2003. In the last five years, it has been reported by the Identity Theft Statistics that more than 25 million people have been victims of the case. It is no wonder that until now, the number of cases is still extremely high and rising. Most Americans have experienced identity theft. Identity theft was on the top of the complaints in the year 2004 and is still getting higher. The identity theft victims naturally spend 175 hours to use for their personal time and about $800 just to clear their names and restore their credit history. The Federal Trade Commission have estimated that a victim will spend 14-16 months of clearing their names in cases of identity theft. So it is important that you keep your accounts safe because if you are a victim, you cannot fix your credit easily and it will take too long.
Fight against Identity Theft with Fraud Alert One thing you can be proud of always is your self-identity -- your individual difference among other persons. It reflects your whole being and your personality in general. It also shows your uniqueness with other people. It is something that cannot be stolen from you. However, don’t you know that nowadays other people can steal your personal identity already? Yes. You should be alarm with this fact. Maybe due to the continuous search of men for wealth, they happen to commit this kind of calcification to the point that they are already intervening in one’s privacy, the personal identity of others. This is how worse the situation is in the world today. Imagine having your identity stolen by others and used for criminal acts. Isn’t it a grave offense and a deep insult in your person? Identity theft evolved when there is numerous numbers of people already practicing this form of violation. Identity theft is indeed a crime of a different kind of dye. In simple term, it is the stealing of your personal identity. It can be comprise of your identification information. It will include your SSS number, licenses data, bank accounts, your full name and other details that reveal your identity. Are these people gaining benefit from you? Precisely yes. Those people who are stealing one’s identity can profit a lot. Just take it as an example, if another person knows your bank account number and your full name, he can make transaction with the bank. In other words, he will be given the privilege to withdraw from your money. There are many ways on how you can prevent yourself from being one of the victims’ of identity theft. Aside from the personal means that you can do it by yourself, you can also engage in the so-called fraud alert. Try to know more about it. However, you are not yet aware about identity theft, it is necessary that you apply your credit file with fraud alert. This is one way to protect your account from being stolen by other people especially if they are attempting to do so. Fraud alert refers to something attached to your credit report. This is usually done by most of the major credit bureaus where you are connected. This fraud alert works simple. If there is someone, who is going to make transaction concerning your account the credit bureau will make an immediate call after you. This will be a prior notification for you. If in case the call cannot reach you, it only means one thing that, your account should not be opened. This will somehow inform the credit company that the person is not really given the authority to make transaction on his account. It is easy to set up your fraud alert. All you need to do is to coordinate with the fraud alert department op the credit bureau that you are engaging. Afterwards, you can simply notify them to top flag your credit file for fraud. To secure this, you will be asked to record your voice in an automated voice response system because this will be utilized when they are calling you. If it there comes a time when you already want to remove the fraud alert not flagged in your credit file, you can immediately inform them requesting for a removal through writing. It is necessary that you should place your full name, SSS number, your current and previous addresses, the date of your birth, and your contact number. You have to send it on the fraud alert department of the credit bureaus where you apply your fraud alert. Fraud alert is a big help for the security of your account. However, you should also beware that sometimes fraud alter is disregarded by some creditors. If you are a previous victim of identity theft or you know that somebody is planning against your account, fraud alert can help. Nevertheless, you also need to check on your credit report if it is still updated. Securing your identity is the most important thing that you should always put into consideration. Do not let these thefts conquer your privacy. They do not deserve a wealthy living with their kind of act!
Being an identity theft victim is not easy According to studies, there are around 10 million American victims of identity theft in the year 2003 alone. That was 3 years ago. You can expect the number to have risen over the years. Persons who find themselves victim to this kind of crime has a lot to suffer for. Not only have they been taken advantage of, they also have to endure long hours of trying to clear up their name once again. Since this crime does not show any signs of being stopped soon, early detection is the only other solution that should be best done. You would not want someone tampering with the credit rating you have worked so hard for, now would you? How these “thieves” got your personal information is easy enough. It can be as innocent as someone scanning through your thrash, someone watching you punch in your pin numbers over your shoulders at an ATM machine and sending emails that look as if it is a legitimate business. Once they get all your personal information, these thieves will change your billing address. You will not be aware of this unless you know that you always get your bills in the mail, is keeping track of your charges and constantly checking credit reports. Below are sure signs that you are an identity theft victim. 1. Upon checking your credit reports, you found that there are some new charge cards from companies you do not know anything about. You might not pay attention to this yet because you think that your bank just made some mistakes in your billing. 2. You are receiving bills for new credit card accounts that you did not open. 3. You notice some changes in your credit card statement that you did not even authorize. 4. You are receiving calls from business owners regarding items that they said you bought but actually do not have any idea about. 5. Debts are starting to show on your reports and you find yourself being denied your credits. If you are beginning to notice these things, you need not panic first. Just think that there might be some logical explanation for this. But do not forget to follow up and report these things immediately. You may not know it yet but you might be an identity theft victim already. In order to avoid being an unknowing victim of this crime, you have to make sure that: You are keeping a close watch on your credit card activities. Your physical card is not important to make purchases toward your account. Take note that by simply getting hold of the number on your card, any person can make charges against your credit by making online or telephone purchases. It is a fact that majority of the people are not scrutinizing their billing statement each month. This makes it possible for identity thieves to get away with hundreds or even thousands worth of merchandise. Try also to monitor your credit report. Once your credit report starts showing signs of having poor credit ratings when you always pay your bills on time, it is time to focus your attention to it. Identity thieves may be spending all you money to buy items and merchandise. And you are the ones being obliged to pay the bills. Not only are they getting the money you have worked so hard for, but they are also destroying the credit ratings you have tried so hard to maintain. Another step to take so you will not become an identity theft victim is to make payments in safe places. With thieves, you can never tell. They might appear like bystanders minding their own business but is actually looking out for you when you start writing out personal details. Be one step ahead of them by thinking what other strategies they can use in stealing your identity. Be wary of persons you are next to when shopping and when paying bills. You might be taken advantage right there and then. Avoiding being an identity theft victim is only a matter of being wary and smart of suspicious people around you. Although trusting other people is a must, you just have to choose the persons who will give your trust to.