Identity theft is the most quickly growing crime in America. Well over 9 million individuals are targeted by identity thieves each year, and some of them are minor children. The following will shed some light on how identity theft and credit cards are connected, and will offer some ideas to prevent it.
Delta, PA -- (SBWIRE) -- 12/06/2012 -- Of the 9 million-plus cases of identity theft every year, one quarter of them are credit card fraud, not total identity theft. Credit card fraud is perpetrated when a thief uses someone else’s charge card to make purchases. Worse is when the robber uses another’s information to take out loans and make high-cost acquisitions. The interesting thing about identity theft and credit card usage is that all a thief needs to steal a person’s personal identity is one credit card number that belongs to that individual. From that one credit card number, a person’s entire life can be irrevocably harmed.
Know More Ways to Prevent Credit Card Identity Theft
Ways to prevent identity theft through credit cards include carefully guarding one’s online information. To do this, clear all of one’s passwords and login numbers before shutting down the computer and be sure to change them each month. Use a credit card, not a debit card or online payment service, to purchase items online. The credit card has more federal law guarantees than the other two do. Look out for phishing, which occurs when pop-ups or spam mimic legitimate financial institutions or businesses to obtain someone’s personal information. Be sure to be on a familiar website with verifiable controls before entering any personal data.
Another way that identity theft is connected to credit card number theft is that once the thief has the card number and begins a shopping spree, the damage to a person’s credit score starts. To prevent this damage, look over financial statements very closely, searching for unauthorized purchases or inconstancies. Make sure to verify one’s home address with both financial institutions and the post office, as identity thieves often file a change of address form so no bills ever get to the victim’s house. Obtain a free copy of one’s credit report from each of the Big Three credit reporting bureaus; Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax. Dispute all erroneous or fraudulent charges on them and hope to hear that they’ve been removed after doing so. Be extra careful with documents that might have a credit card or Social Security number on them; do not toss them in the trash can, shred them. If it gives one a sense of security to hire an identity theft prevention company, do it, but be aware of scammers.
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