Identity theft is a form of fraud in which a person’s personal or financial information is stolen by someone and used illegally. Identities are usually stolen in order to obtain credit cards and bank accounts in someone else’s name. Often, being the victim of these types of frauds can set your financial stability back a few years and is very difficult to recover from. After researching Identity Theft, you can secure your credit.
There are a lot of easy precautions that could be taken to make sure that your accounts are protected. Crooks surprisingly only require a couple of details about you to rob your identity so it is very critical that you defend yourself properly. Never toss important papers or mail out until your personal and monetary info has been marked out. To make it simpler for yourself, think about getting a paper shredder.
Even other, more unassuming, documents can be used by thieves to steal identities. Things like offers from credit cards that are received through the mail should be blacked out or shredded before being tossed out. Often, thieves look through garbage in search of these documents and use them to get credit cards in other people’s names. If you are worried about being exploited this way, place a fraud alert on your credit. All credit card applications have to be personally confirmed by you, either in person or by phone.
Most thieves are also fairly adept at obtaining the info they want even if it has been compromised. Because of this, you should consider keeping your to-be-discarded documents in your home until trash day as opposed to throwing it out right away. Blacking them out or shredding them should still be a priority.
You should also be extra careful with your ATM pin numbers. Don’t pick an obvious number like your birthday or anniversary and consider changing them every six months or so. To prevent someone from learning your pins, refrain from writing them down or keeping them in your purse or wallet. Instead, memorize the numbers in your head.
Check your mailbox early every day and bring your mail in promptly. You should be very worried if you all at once stop getting bank documents and bills. Thieves can forge a person’s signature with the intention of having their mail forwarded to a different address. They will then use that data to get credit in someone else’s name.
Carefully, take the time each month to look over your bank statements. You should keep an eye out for charges or withdrawals that weren’t made by you. These and other inconsistencies should be reported by you immediately to your bank. Lost credit or debit cards will need to be reported right away to your bank as well, even if they have been missing for only a few hours.
Consumers are allowed one free credit check of their score every year. You should take full advantage of these privileges and go over yours thoroughly. Check for things like fraudulent credit cards or bank accounts and report the errors to the credit bureau right away. The first step to safeguarding yourself is knowledge about Identity Theft Protection, so be sure to keep up with it.