Almost 16 million persons are affected by the actions of personal identity thieves every year. The damage an ID thief can do to someone’s credit is quite costly, averaging $10,000 per person. Once a thief has one small piece of an individual’s private data, he can build on it until he takes over that person’s identity. The following offers some effective tips to prevent identity theft so it never happens to an unsuspecting person again.
Pittsfield, MA -- (SBWIRE) -- 12/03/2012 -- The harm done by someone else using one’s name, Social Security number (SSN), or birth date to take out personal loans or purchase expensive vehicles is astronomical. One’s credit score goes down with every fraudulent transaction as the thief makes any number of financial contracts. The worst part of this crime is that, because of its sneaky nature – no visible harm shows, as in other types of crime – a victim of it usually doesn’t find out about it until almost a year after the theft occurs. There are several preventing identity theft tips out there, and here are just a few of them.
One of the first tips to prevent identity theft is to hire the services of an ID theft prevention company. Most of these businesses have a website and can be found easily. The way these companies work is this: A customer pays a monthly fee for the company to lock his credit reports and to receive a new report once a year. Some firms also offer identity theft insurance. While most of these businesses are legitimate, some are not and are just trying to scam an individual. Once in contact with a service representative from an ID theft protection company, if he demands “up-front” fees without providing any services, stop talking to him. The same goes if he asks for credit card or other personal data; he does not need it prior to signing a contract, so be careful not to give the information out. Also, it may be a scam if the company agent does not go over the rights and responsibilities of the customer and the company, as it is the law that he do so.
Some common sense preventing identity theft tips are not to carry important personal information on one’s person, or keep it in a separate compartment in one’s purse or in a different pocket from one’s wallet. Placing a freeze on one’s credit report makes it difficult for an Id thief to open new accounts in one’s name. Monitoring one’s credit allows one to know right away if his identity has been compromised.
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