It happens to over 9 million people each year. Personal identity theft affects that many individuals, wreaking havoc on their credit scores. The following information will provide insight about available identity theft protections that can help folks avoid becoming victims of this insidious crime.
Pittsfield, MA -- (SBWIRE) -- 11/12/2012 -- There are techniques to provide oneself identity theft protection for free, and they will be discussed further on. First, look at the methods ID thieves use to get someone’s information. Identity thieves are crafty and very sneaky. They have a number of ways to access a person’s personal information, some of which are “dumpster diving” – a tactic in which an ID thief rifles through trash dumpsters looking for documents carrying a Social Security number (SSN), name, address, and date of birth; “shoulder surfing” –a thief looks over one’s shoulder to obtain a credit card number; “phishing” – thieves pretend to be financial institution representatives to get one’s information via pop-ups or e-mail; and “grab and run” tactics, where the thief simply steals a purse or wallet by either grabbing the strap of the purse or pick-pocketing the wallet and running away with it. Avoiding Personal identity Theft, Send Request for More Info
The best identity theft protections come from using some good old-fashioned common sense. Shred any document requesting personal information, such as credit card applications one receives through the mail. Keep a Social Security card at home unless it is absolutely necessary to carry it on one’s person. Ignore or delete all messages from supposed financial institutions that one has never dealt with directly. When out shopping and using credit cards, take extra measures to ascertain that the card number is not visible to the person behind one. If carrying a purse or wallet, wear the strap of the purse across the body and place a wallet in one’s front trouser pocket, rather than the commonly accepted rear pocket. Both of these strategies make it difficult for an ID thief to grab and run with one’s personal data.
If one does become a victim of an identity thief, there are steps to take to prevent major damage to one’s credit score. The first step is to place fraud alerts on one’s credit reports and check those reports frequently to see if any unauthorized purchases have been made with one’s stolen information. Next, close any accounts that may have set up fraudulently or tampered with. After that, file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission. The last step is to file a report with the local police in the city in which the ID theft occurred, giving them important information that an ID thief is nearby.
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