Over 9 million adults are victims of identity theft every year, and the rate of this crime is increasing daily. The question “How does identity theft occur?” is a good one, as many people seem not to know the answer. The following will shed some light on how ID theft happens, how frequently, and how to prevent it.
Delta, PA -- (SBWIRE) -- 12/06/2012 -- “How often does identity theft occur?” is a question that has no exact answer. A total of 50 million folks have been victimized by this crime to date, with 1 in 5 people targeted by ID thieves now as opposed to 1 in 8 just a few years ago. With the number of individuals preyed upon by identity thieves growing by a little over 10 million each year, the instances of this felony are rapidly increasing. This is a lucrative occupation for ID thieves because each theft can bring them in as much as $10,000. Besides that fact, it is incredibly simple for one of these people to steal another person’s personal data, so the frequency of it happening is increasing at alarming rates.
“How does identity theft occur?” has many answers. Thieves use a number of tactics to get information, including “dumpster diving,” where a crook goes through dumpsters searching for bank account or credit card numbers. With this data, a thief can obtain more information and begin to take out loans, purchase homes, and open charge accounts in the other person’s name. Another method of gathering the information to commit a crime is “phishing,” in which a person receives an e-mail from someone, purporting to be from a financial institution, asking for one’s birth date or Social Security number (SSN) in order to receive a loan at a greatly reduced interest rate. The “shoulder surfer” uses the old-fashioned method: He looks over one’s shoulder when one is paying for a purchase with one’s credit card and steals the number.
By taking preventative measures, the answer to “How often does identity theft occur?” can be “Never.” Keep credit cards in a separate place in one’s purse or wallet. Carry a purse across the body rather than on the shoulder to make it harder to grab and run with. Never give a SSN to anyone, not even a trusted family member or friend. Lock up a checkbook when it is not in use and cover a credit card’s number to prevent “shoulder surfing.” A wallet should be placed in one’s front trouser pocket, not the rear pocket.
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