Everything You Need To Know About Identity Theft – Identity Theft

With our increasing dependence on the World Wide Web, identity theft is now more than ever a threat to all of us. There are no guarantees that we will not become the next victim of this crime. This is why the more we know about identity theft, the more equipped we will be to protect ourselves against in.The History of Identity TheftWhile identity theft is not a new crime, it has mutated over time to respond to the ever evolving technology and most importantly the World Wide Web, credit cards and ATMs.Before the popularization of credit cards in the 1950s, stealing someone’s identity meant getting their passport, driver’s license or Social Security number. However, what made identity theft far less common in those days was the fact that a person had to be physically present at a bank branch in order to open a credit card.Everything changed in the 1980s when the Fair Isaac Corporation invented the FICO system of credit scoring. This system rates a person’s credibility in a report which also contains other personal and financial information. When an identity thief gets a hold of that information, they are likely going to be able to access other banking and financial information. Unfortunately, with the automation of transactions and the ever more common online banking, stealing one’s identity has become easier than ever. Fortunately though, this ever increasing threat is recognized and today your maximum liability under federal law for unauthorized use of your credit card is $50.Identity Theft ScamsThe criminals specializing in identity theft are very skilled in the “craft” and constantly come up with new and improved ways to scam people just like you and I. No one is really protected because the schemes are getting more and more believable and sophisticated. The best way to find out about identity theft scams is to check out the resources on the website of the Federal Trade Commissions, the FBI, and the websites of your local Better Business Bureau or Chamber of Commerce.Types of Identity TheftAlthough there are many ways to steal an identity, below are the three more common types that everyone concerned about identity theft should know about.Application Fraud (or True Name Identity Theft) – In this case the thief will use your personal information to open new accounts or purchase large items on credit. Most common forms of application fraud are a thief opening a credit card in your name or cell phone service. The biggest issue with this type of fraud is that it may take a while for it to be noticed. Very often people do not even realize that they have become victims of identity theft until they order a credit report and see consumer credit account that they do not recognize.Account Takeover – in this case the thief uses your existing accounts to make purchases or withdrawals. This type of fraud is easier to notice and with the protection mechanisms many financial institutions currently have about identity theft, it is usually caught relatively efficiently. Many credit card issuers, for example, have protection mechanisms in place, such that in an event that a transaction meets their suspicion criteria, a call is generated to the credit card holder to verify the transaction was legitimate.Criminal Identity Theft – possibly the most devastating type of identity theft, this is where the thief uses your identity and presents a counterfeit ID assuming your identity to law enforcement when questioned concerning a crime. This may seem an unlikely scenario to you but it is a form of identity theft that you should guard against.What Identity Thieves are AfterSocial Security – a gateway to all your personal informationDate of Birth – to verify identity and confirm most transactionsAccount Numbers – to with draw money or make purchases onlineMother’s Maiden Name – the ultimate identity verifierPins and passwords – to access various accountsDriver’s license – to obtain fraudulent identificationHow Is Your Identity Stolen
Identity Theft Online

Spyware – is type malicious software that collects information about your online activity. Spyware can come in the form of backdoor entry – which gives thieves access to your computer or keystroke logging when thieves get a log of everything you type online including passwords and account numbers. The presence of spyware is typically difficult to detect.
Phishing – is when you receive emails which seem to be coming from a reputable institution, your bank from example, asking you to update personal information. This way thieves can obtain your account numbers and other personal information
Fraudulent Sites Online – are fraudulent e-commerce sites offering various goods and services through spam or online price comparison sites. Therefore, when your purchase something online, the thieves gain access to your personal information.
Wireless Snooping – occurs when the thieves access directly your unsecured wireless network and steal your private financial information directly from your computer.

Identity Theft At Home

Mail – stealing your mail can give thieves access to bank statements, credit carsd information, auto loans etc. Make sure your mailbox is locked or opt for paperless statements from your financial institution.
Trash – all personal information from above can be found in your trash. The solution is simple – get a shredder.
Phone Fraud – if you receive a call from your “financial institution” notifying you that there has been fraud suspected on your account and need you to verify your personal information, suspect that it may be a fraudulent call.
Identity Theft From Third parties – Sometimes thieves can access your information from a third party such as accessing your credit report illegally or hacking in the records of a business that has your information (stores, restaurants etc.)

How Identity Thieves Can Use Your Information
Make purchases – usually large ticket items that can later be resold for cash
Make withdrawals – can be done from both credit and debit cards
Change your address – so it delays you discovering the fraudulent activity on your accounts
Open new accounts – using your Social security, a thief can open new credit cards and/or new auto loan or other loan accounts.
Get employment – it may sound strange but it happens often than you may think. Your identity may be used to secure employment.
Receive Social Security payments.
To prevent identity theft online you could take these measures:
Ensure your Operating System is up to date
Make sure your Browser is up to date
Get good antivirus software
Get anti spyware software
Do not click on pop ups
Be careful what you download
When using email you could take the following measures:
To protect yourself from phishing scams, do not respond to emails asking you to verity your personal information. Beware that thieves are very skilled and unfortunately they have succeeded at making those emails appear legitimate. Always use caution and suspect fraud. Keep in mind that it is highly unlikely that your financial institution will ask you for such verification via email
Make sure your antivirus software scans incoming emails.
Do not open attachments from people your do not know.
To open links that friends have sent always copy and paste the URL directly into your browser. Remember that sometimes fraudulent emails appear to come from people you know. This happens when their email accounts have been hacked.
Consider investing in encryption software to use each time you need to send personal information via email.
Follow these suggestions to protect your wireless network:
Enable 128-bit encryption
Change the routers default user ID and password
Change the default Service Set Identifier (SSID)
Disable SSID broadcasting

Identity Theft: What Is It? – Identity Theft

Identity Theft. What do you think about when you see those two words? Possibly it makes chills go down your spine if you have been a victim, or know someone else who has been. Possibly you have heard the phrase, but don’t really know what it is. Maybe both of the above apply, or maybe neither apply. This article is for anyone who wants to know what identity theft really is and what types of identity theft there are. There are many different types of identity theft to learn about and from which to protect yourself.First of all, what really IS identity theft? Simply put, it’s when someone gets your personal information and tries to pretend to be you for their personal gain. It is when someone tries to pretend to be you in some circumstance for some reason. It is a crime that is everywhere and continues to be on the rise. You can’t guarantee that your personal information is safe. There is always the potential of someone watching long enough and being savvy enough to get your personal information. Without getting too much into it, people steal others’ identities because there is something they want that they can’t get with their own identities.I don’t know if you realized that there are five main types of identity theft. The first identity theft that people often think about is financial. This can include: credit card, child support, government benefits and charity, just to name a few. This type of identity theft is all about getting money, in whatever form the thieves can get. A common way to get this information of late is either e-mails or phone calls phishing for your personal information. Chances are, the credit card companies and banks/credit unions with which you have accounts won’t need to send an e-mail or phone call to get your personal information again. These are definitely easy ways to protect yourself. If in doubt, don’t give out any information until you speak directly with the financial institutions with which you have accounts. However, this form of identity theft only makes up less than 18% of all of the identity thefts in the world today.What do you mean? There’s more? Yes, in fact, one of the identity theft crimes on the rise today is medical identity theft. Some thieves like to take others’ medical records to use as their own. They might do this because their own personal records are lacking and they need a medical identity with better health than their own. They also might want to hurt another by giving the wrong information so others will suffer. Whatever the reason, medical identity theft is rising as a form of identity theft in the nation.Another form of identity theft is Social Security identity theft. There are many people who are immigrating from other countries into this country that don’t have their own social security number of their own, so they like to steal ours. Many places in the nation, you can’t even get a job or an apartment without a social security number. Think about all that you use your social security number for. What could you do without it? What can you NOT do without it? It’s a pretty important set of numbers that identify you in a way you couldn’t otherwise be identified.However, maybe you don’t want to be identified if you’re a criminal. Criminals are looking for other peoples’ identities, since they’ve messed up their own. They’re looking for ways to pin the blame on someone else, and what a better person than a hard-working taxpayer, a good person like you. If you get a knock on the door in the middle of the night with a warrant for your arrest or a demand to take your children away, wouldn’t you like to have a defense- someone to go to? How could you prove that you aren’t the criminal the police may think you are? What a challenging situation in which you don’t want to be involved.Another challenging situation in which you might find yourself is having your driver’s license stolen. What another important piece of identity THAT is. If someone stole that, what kind of damage could they do? Again, you might use your driver’s license for a job or a place to live. You might use it to identify you in other circumstances. You might even have to go to court for some tickets you didn’t earn. How devastating and humiliating THAT would be. Court is not a popular place to hang out for most people. It’s probably some place you avoid at all costs, right? The courthouse is generally a stressful place for all involved.What a stressful thing all of these types of identity theft can be in your life. Many people who are victims of identity theft spend hundreds of hours and hundreds of dollars trying to fix their identity. Why try to simply FIX something when you can easily RESTORE your identity back to the way it was BEFORE your identity was stolen? It’s simple to do, once you know where to look. What a WONDERFUL way to protect yourself and your family against the most invasive crime in America!

How You Can Play a Part in Preventing the Worker Identity Theft Crisis – Identity Theft

Is identity theft a real threat? What can we do in order to protect ourselves from it? Should we just watch our statements, install anti-virus software, keep our social security card locked up, and hope we don’t become a victim? When it comes to a corporation, is there a threat as well? The answer to this question is “yes”. What kind of actions can be taken in order to keep both the company and employees safe from identity theft?The Basics of Identity TheftIdentity theft is a crime that is done by stealing another person’s personal information in order to commit fraud. This crime is obvious in the example of credit cards that are stolen and used to purchase different items. But there are other forms of identity theft such as hacking into a corporation’s network in order to steal information, using someone’s social security number in order to obtain a job, using someone’s medical insurance in order to pay for the thief’s medical bills, taking out a loan in someone else’s name and much more.Identity theft is a serious crime that has exploded since the late 1990s. Although it remains a serious issue, the rate in which the crime has been increasing has leveled off some over the past couple of years with between nine and ten million people becoming victims per year. And corporate data theft statistics show that businesses just like personal need to have protection in place to protect the identities of their employees. Identity thieves continue to use more advanced methods of theft increasing the cost to any business that becomes a victim of this crime.The reason that identity theft has been a rising crime over the past couple of decades is due to the age of technology. Technology is consistently advancing and with these advancements come more threats of becoming a victim of identity theft. Think of all of the different places where your personal and sometimes financial information is stored, such as with your cable and cellphone companies, along with your financial institution, and any shopping that you do online. Then think about all of the accounts that you have online, such as Google, Yahoo, PayPal, and more.Your employer also has all of your personal information on file, including your social security number, and possibly bank information for your check to get direct deposited. All of the accounts and passwords that you have in order to get into the systems that you use at work. If your company does any outsourcing of work, the risk for information to be stolen from these networks increases.As you continue to think about all of the uses you have for the Internet, along with all of the uses your employer has, it can be a little scary. If any of this information is stolen online or if your employer’s network is hacked and your information is taken, there are huge risks that you will have someone using your information to commit fraud in numerous ways.Identity theft can be much more than having your credit card stolen. It can be something that turns your entire life upside down. You will months and even years of your life trying to get it under control. As soon as you fix one thing, another can pop up. If your identity is ever stolen, you will need to keep in mind that it can easily be sold over and over again making your problems a lifelong issue.Is Disaster Just Waiting to Happen?Recently there were three legal changes that were pretty major that caused an increase in the cost of corporate data theft.1. Provisions have been made to the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act or FACTA that imposed penalties on an employer that did not protect their employees information with the result being employee identity data being lost. The employer could pay civil fines of $1,000 for each employee with additional federal fines. Some states have higher fines as well.2. Several court cases have also found that employers need to take extra measures in order to keep employee information safe. Courts have awarded the cost of damages to employees whose information was stolen.3. Several states have had laws passed making it mandatory for companies to inform the consumers of data that has been lost.The task of keeping data containing employee information secure is becoming more and more difficult. With corporations and businesses outsourcing more of their work, such as recruiting, background checks, payroll, testing, benefit programs, and even all of HR, it makes it more difficult to manage the exposure of employee information. The same goes with outsourcing IT, how are companies going to manage the data when it is being outsourced. With virtual networks and remote offices being the new trend, it makes it difficult to control the way the data flows and to ensure that configurations are standard. How can you stop someone from burning employee information to a CD while at home? All of the regulations and legislation that has been put in place makes things even more complex.What company can say that they actually understand everything that has been put in place? The result of all of these things are more data lost, and more issues trying to keep everything secure, and more identity theft. All of this revolves around employees with HR and IT trying to keep your information safe.The good news is that this is a problem that people are aware of and are looking for. Everyone from the owner of a company on down the chain of command are aware of the issues that can come with the theft of employee information.The Journey Through Identity TheftIt is important for all companies and corporations to have a permanent initiative to prevent identity theft. A program needs to be set up for this purpose and there needs to be someone that manages it. The management of the program needs to be consistently completed. Examine the risks that the company faces, use leadership skills, and continue to manage the program.Primary Objectives For Identity Theft Program1. Do everything you can to prevent identity theft.
2. Minimize the company’s liability for identity theft.
3. Respond quickly and effectively to any incidents.Critical Areas and Key Factors for Success in Preventing Identity Theft* Follow the path that the processes flow along with its data. Make sure you are aware of where any personal information goes and the path it takes to get there. In order to test the efficiency of your program and safe-guards, you could hire someone to try and hack into the system to get to the personal information.* Put restrictions in place to only allow certain people access. This will help eliminate the exposure. Treat this data as if it were your own treasure. Be sure you have unique and strong passwords, training and security agreements for employees, and access audits.* Ensure your employees are trained on the importance of protecting this information. They should be informed that it is personal data and is not something that should be copied. Inform them of the severity of distributing or selling this data to anyone.* Create policies that need to be followed by anyone that handles this information. This goes for any external people as well.Minimize Your Company’s Liability* Do everything you can think of to safeguard this personal data.* Have controls in place to protect the data.* Document the steps within the program and the controls that have been put in place.* Measure the success you have had with your program.Respond Quickly and Effectively to Any Incidents* Clear communication that is proactive, not only to your employees but to the public after.* Explain in the communication what had happened, that a group has been put together to work through it, a procedure to “lock-down” the data has been put in place as the situation is investigated. Also explain that any employee that was affected will be compensated and given assistance in the recovery process. Services will be put in place to monitor the situation for any affected employee.* Everything that you state to the employees and public must be true and followed through with.* A task force must be put in place prior to any incident. They will be responsible for putting the lock-down in place.* Have a drafted letter of communication written in advance for quick communication.* Make sure investigative services are qualified.* Expert resources for assistance in recovery and monitoring services should be researched and selected prior to any incident.* Practice incidents should be done to ensure that the response can be done quickly and effectively.* A response to an incident should be completed within 48 hours of it happening.A quick and effective response to an incident can be beneficial to your company and the reputation of it along with having employees that are satisfied.Identity theft is not something that just started to happen. It began because of the way that the world is moving. Technology is growing and becoming a more important piece of everyone’s lives. With this comes the risks that thieves will use this expanding technology to steal the information they want. A company can help protect their employees by being prepared for anything, including a potential incident.

Five of the Most Common Complaints Of Identity Theft And Tips On How To Avoid Becoming A Victim – Identity Theft

Identity Theft has become the fastest growing crime in in all of the world. In tops the list as the number one consumer complaint in the United States, with 19 people becoming victims of identity theft every minute. Unfortunately, with the greater use of the internet, the problem is predicted to grow.So what is identity theft and how could it effect you? Identity theft is a form of fraud that occurs when an individual or group of people steals your personal information for the purpose of financial or social gain. It happens in a number ways. Thieves steal credit card payments and other outgoing mail from private, curbside mailboxes. They file a change of address form in the victim’s name to divert mail and gather personal and financial data. They dig through garbage cans or dumpsters in search of cancelled checks, credit card and bank statements, and pre-approved credit card offers.They hack into computers that contain personal records and steal the data. They use malware software to steal your information over the internet. They also use phishing in email to get you to give them your personal information. Of course, these are just some of the common ways this crime happens. There are new tactics being introduced all of the time.While the majority of these crimes involve theft for financial gain, there are many different types of identity theft, ranging from driver’s license id theft to social security number theft. Statistics tell us that 19% of identity theft involves credit card or bank accounts. Here are the four most common types of identity theft complaints as reported to the Federal Trade Commission:1. Government Documents and Benefits Fraud – this accounts for 46%*. This crime includes things like theft of your social security number, or your driver’s license, your Veterans Administration benefits, or your tax refund check. Complaints in this category increased 27 percentage points since 2010. The FTC said tax or wage-related fraud accounted for the growth in this area. Tax returns, mainly those where a refund is expected, are new targets of criminals. Another scheme uses your social security number so that illegal immigrants can get employment.A CBS News report in June 2006, stated that a woman’s social security number was being used by 81 people. The woman, who lived in San Francisco, California, only learned of this when she received a tax statement from the IRS stating she owed $15,813 in back taxes, even though she hadn’t worked in years. Ironically, the taxes were for work performed in Texas.2. Credit Card Fraud – this accounts for 13% of identity theft*. It can happen in a number of ways. Every time you hand your card to an waiter, or swipe it at a gas station, or use it online to purchase something, it opens you up to this type of fraud.One reported problem happens at gas stations. Thieves install a type of skimmer at the pump that reads your credit or debit card information when you swipe your card for gas. They then sell this information.In January 2014, ABC News reported that two Mexicans were arrested at the Texas border, after using stolen information from a Target credit and debit card security breach, to purchase several thousands of dollars. The Target security breach is believed to have involved 40 million credit and debit card accounts and the personal information of 70 million customers.3. Phone and Utilities Fraud – this accounts for 10%*. Someone steals your personal information to use your name and credit to establish an account with the water company, or the phone company, or the electric or gas company. These people will steal your good name and credit to benefit themselves, even selling your information to a third party, where it could be used by hundreds of people.This crime also happens with cell phones – wireless phone accounts – and it is predicted to become the number one complaint in this category.4. Bank Account Fraud – this accounts for 6%*. This ranges from forgery to writing bad checks, and electronically transferring large sums of money.A January 2014 LA Times article shared a story about a woman who had five accounts compromised, at three different banks.A January 2014 report by the website Wet Paint states that an ex-con was charged with bank fraud after he opened a company account and funneled bad checks, stolen airline retirement checks, and auto loan profits to the account. It was reported that he used his new company to gain access to certain people’s information to to commit this fraud.5. Other – this accounts for 25%*. It includes all other categories, including Medical Fraud, and Attempted Fraud.A news article published in 2008 reported that a young marine had lost his wallet while in training camp in South Carolina. After boot camp, he was stationed in California. It was almost a year later, when his mother called and informed him that he was wanted for car theft. He also owed over $20,000 in medical bills. It turned out that a man back in South Carolina had used his driver’s license to test drive and steal new cars. This same man also had medical treatment for kidney stones and an injured hand. Before the marine could clarify the whole mess, his state tax return check was garnished, and his credit was ruined. He also faced potential issues with his medical records. If he were to visit family back in South Carolina and need medical attention, his current medical records could influence what type of medical treatment he could receive.According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, Identity Theft cost Americans $24.7 billion dollars in 2012. For many victims the financial and psychological effects can be damaging, and can last a very long time. So what can you do to help protect against identity theft? Here are tips to help reduce the likelihood of you becoming a victim:- To guard against identity theft, never give out your Social Security number, credit or debit card numbers, unless you know the organization or person requesting this information. Treat it as confidential information.- Avoid carrying your Social Security card and passport unless they are needed.- Keep these and all important government and insurance documents in a secure place- Never print your Social Security number on your checks.- Carry as few debit and credit cards as possible and periodically check to make sure you still have them.- Commit all passwords to memory. Never write them down or carry them with you.- Make your PIN and passwords hard for someone else to guess. Don’t use your birth date, phone number or last four digits of your Social Security number.- When using an ATM machine, make sure no one is hovering over you and can see you enter your password.- Keep a list of your credit card and financial account numbers with phone numbers in a safe place.Do not give out financial information (account numbers, credit card numbers) unless you know the organization or person requesting this information. Notify your bank or credit card company of any suspicious phone inquiries, such as those asking for account information.- Always review your monthly financial and credit card statements. If you see an unknown transactions, notify your bank or your credit card company immediately.- Report lost credit and debit cards, and lost checks immediately. Your bank can immediately block account funds.- Instead of signing the back of your credit card, write “See Photo ID,” this way if a thief takes your car, it cannot be used to make a large in-person purchase without your identification.- Shred any bank statements and financial solicitations before disposing of them. To avoid disposal of paper statements, sign up for statements and bill payments through Online Banking.- Put outgoing mail into a secure, official Postal Service collection box.- Install anti-virus and anti-spam software on your computer. Don’t open email attachments from people you don’t know. Be wary of pop-ups on your computer. Sometimes you make think you are clicking to exit them, when you are passively accepting a form of malware.- Periodically review your credit file and make certain the information is correct. You are entitled to one free credit report annually from each of the three major credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion). The three nationwide consumer reporting companies have set up one central website, toll-free number and mailing address through which you can order your free annual report. For a free report, visit http://www.annualcreditreport.com or call 877-322-8228.When used, these tips provide proactive measures that can help to avoid the time and financial hardships that accompany an identity theft incident. However, there is no full proof system that guarantees you will never be a victim. And that’s why the best tip one could offer is to suggest you purchase an identity theft protection plan. There are many companies offering these plans, so it would be wise to do a comparison check before you sign a contract. Most plans include credit monitoring, public records monitoring, and incident alerts that assist with the preventative measures. Where most of the plans differ is when your identity is compromised. Some companies send you a do-it-yourself kit, while others will provide some type of telephone consultation. However, the best plans provide a for a comprehensive identity restoration package that includes licensed investigators or agents that step in to assist you and do the “heavy hitting” for you. In a time a crisis, it would be a great benefit to have a professional to drive your identity restoration efforts.Unfortunately, identity theft will be with us in the unforeseeable future. While the fear factor comes at a high level, the good part in all of this is that there are measures we can put in place to provide protection for ourselves and our families.*United States Federal Trade Commission, 2013

4 Tips to Prevent Elderly Identity Theft – Identity Theft

More than 12 million people had their identities stolen last year-a shocking statistic that continues to rise. While anyone can become a victim of identity theft, this crime especially impacts seniors who often have more wealth and have spent a lifetime developing good credit.Elderly identity theft is common among senior citizens for many reasons. They are generally more trusting than younger adults, not as aware of the risks and scams, and are also more likely to know the identity thief. They are prime identity theft targets online, over the phone, and even in their own homes since they’re less likely to suspect loved ones of the crime.Whether you’re a senior citizen or a family member looking for ways to prevent elderly identity theft, there are many things you can do to stay protected. Let’s take a closer look at four tips to prevent identity thieves from claiming another senior victim.1. Be Safe Online
Senior citizens who are typically less familiar with Internet security should avoid risky behavior online. This includes online banking and providing personal information in response to email spam. Encourage them to conduct all of their banking in person and ignore emails from people they don’t know. It is also a good idea to install security software on their computer to help prevent hackers from accessing their private information.2. Freeze Credit
You should also implement a credit freeze. Freezing credit is easy to do and it’s an effective way to avoid elderly identity theft. To freeze a loved one’s credit you will need to contact the three credit agencies (TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian) and request a freeze. You will be required to provide the full name, address, Social Security number, a copy of a government-issued ID, and a copy of a bank statement, insurance statement, or utility bill. The freeze won’t allow any new credit accounts–including loans, bank accounts, rental agreements, and high interest credit cards–to open unless you give the credit bureau the permission and the password to unfreeze the account.3. Stop Junk Mail
It’s easy to ignore junk mail, but many of us forget how much personal information it can contain. You can help your elderly loved one opt-out of receiving junk mail by following the instructions on http://www.OptOutPreScreen.com or by calling 1-888-567-8688. This eliminates or at least significantly reduces junk mail such as pre-approved credit card offers that provide opportunities for identity thieves. To prevent elderly identity theft you also want to make sure you shred all promotional mail that includes personally identifying information. Remember that simply tossing this type of mail in the trash makes it easier for dumpster divers to steal your loved one’s identity.4. Keep Private Information Private
Credit cards, Medicare cards, and Social Security numbers are among the most sought after sources of information identity thieves use to commit elderly identity theft. Senior citizens should keep information such as Medicare statements in a safe or safe deposit box, and shred them after confirmed treatments. They should never carry their Social Security card with them and carry their Medicare card only to doctor visits.Identity thieves regularly take advantage of the fear many senior citizens have about their Social Security benefits and Medicare coverage. A trusting senior citizen may assume that the person at the door, on the other end of the phone line, or in an email are simply doing their job when they ask for their Medicare information. However, a common elderly identity theft scam is for a thief to call a senior citizen and claim to be from the Medicare office. The thief asks for verification of the senior citizen’s Medicare account number so that benefits can be paid, and then disappears with all of the information he needs to create a new identity. Make sure your elderly loved one is aware that the Medicare office will never ask for this type of verification via phone, email, or in person.Start Preventing Elderly Identity Theft
In addition to following these tips, you should also stay in regular contact with your elderly loved one to keep track of any suspicious behavior. There are also several ways to proactively stop elderly identity theft. Sign-up with a prevention and recovery service such as ID Theft Solutions so the solutions for protecting your identity are all in one convenient place. When your identity is compromised, you will have a personalized, one-to-one partner to take on the time-consuming recovery process on your behalf.

Identity Theft Explained – Identity Theft

What is identity theft?Identity theft is when someone without your permission fraudulently receives and uses your sensitive information.Is identity theft a criminal offence?Identity theft is a serious criminal offence. When someone commits an identity theft by using your name and credit record it may take you months, even years clearing up the confusion. Clearing up an identity theft may prove to be very expensive. The chances are while repairing the mess due to the identity theft, you may lose your job, or lose out on job options, your home and car loans may be turned down and even education loans may be rejected. You may also be arrested for crimes committed by someone else using your identity.What exactly is stolen in an identity theft?In an identity theft the thieves fraudulently obtain your name, address, phone numbers, bank and credit card account numbers, driver’s license and social security number (SSN).How is identity theft committed?Persons committing identity theft are very resourceful and get information from different sources. One very simple way is by stealing wallets and purses carrying identification and credit cards or by stealing personal information from your home directly. Identity theft may be carried out by persons pretending to be an employer, landlord or any other person who have legal right to your personal information. Identity theft perpetrators may steal records from employers, or bribe an employee having access to the records or even hacking into organization’s computers.Another identity theft method is by going through your personal or business trash. This is known as “dumpster diving”. Identity theft may be carried out by someone abusing the employer’s trust and accessing credit report information.Personal information can be obtained by stealing credit and debit card numbers by skimming through the special information storage device that processes these cards. Identity theft is committed by stealing your mail that contain your bank and credit card statements, pre-approved credit offers, tax information or new checks. Diverting your mail to another address by filling out a “change of address form” is another way of committing identity theft. Your personal information can be obtained by someone falsely posing as a business person or government official, carrying false identities or papers.How do they use the information after an identity theft?After an identity theft the perpetrators can use your credit and debit numbers to make large purchases like computers, televisions, etc. that can be sold later. Persons committing identity theft can make counterfeit checks and debit cards and use up your bank account or open a bank account in your name and write bad checks. The identity thieves can file for bankruptcy under your name to skip paying the debts they have incurred and also use the information to avoid eviction.Identity theft can be utilized to open a new credit account using all your personal information like name, date of bills, SSN and any non-payment of bills is then reflected on your credit report. Identity theft can be used to get an auto loan in your name, establish phone on wireless service in your name. Identity theft perpetrators can change the mailing address on your credit card account and keep charging your account. You will not be aware of this for sometime as these bills will go to the new address. Another serious consequence of identity theft is when your name is given to the police by the identity thieves, and on release when they do not show up at the court, an arrest warrant will be issued in your name. This leads you into serious trouble.How do you identify yourself a prey to an identity theft?You should always be up to date with all your financial records and dealings and be careful with your personal information. Identity theft can be found out by checking on unexplained charges and withdrawals from your account. You can tell an identity theft if you receive calls from debt collectors or companies asking for payments on goods or services not purchased by you. You can tell you are a victim of identity theft when you receive credit cards you did not apply for and also when your credit application is rejected without any cause. Any mail indicating your change of address or not receiving any mail on your correct address will show a cause for identity theft.

Being a Victim of Identity Theft – Identity Theft

Being a victim of any crime is indeed alarming. The effects of each crime are usually one sided because only bad things can happen to you. The crime identity theft also follows the same thing. Being a victim of this crime can take some time just to fix the damage done in your identity. Restoring your good reputation and name is not that easy because usually the identity theft who stole your identity can no longer be found. Due to that, the possibility of catching them are less likely to happen which will be harder on your part to prove that you have been a victim of identity theft.But all of these explanations and restoration stuffs of your stained identity will no longer happen if you already do some actions that can minimize the possibility of being a victim of identity theft.Usually your financial institutions provide you with the copy of your debts, credit or check transactions which are worth keeping. You may use it for references for future use. It can also help you in monitoring ever transaction. An unauthorized transaction should immediately be reported and checked to your financial institution because it can be a move from identity theft. If your credit, debit, or check reports are not given to you, you should ask for those. One reason in not receiving those is when the theft changed the address where the report should be delivered so that his or her victim will not know that he or she is already a victim of identity theft.Allotting a little time verifying and checking the phone calls that you received will be very helpful in minimizing the possibility to be a victim of identity theft. Prank callers are everywhere and unfortunately your phone number might be the next number that they will dial. And once they did it they will get necessary information that can be used to steal your identity. Most of the time, this answer and question seemed to appear as a usual conversation. Basic personal information will be asked such as your complete name, address, social security number and even your credit number. Such information is already enough for you to become a victim of identity theft.What can be stolen from you in order to become a victim of identity theft is not always to be found on your own self or body. Securing the things with you is not enough; hence, you should extend the security of any important things up to the place where you still have important files.Your house may be the place where almost all identifying information is to be found so you better tighten the security in your house. If you think your house is the safest place, I’m sorry to inform you that it is no longer true today. Beside from breaking on your house to get what identity thieves want, they can just go straight to your mail box or garbage bins to get any documents that can help them.There are several things that you can do to avoid being alarmed with identity theft. Sometimes, all you have to do is to really those things.

How To Protect Yourself Against Holiday Identity Theft Traps – Identity Theft

Holidays are a dangerous time in terms of identity theft – whether because of people using their credit cards more often, or because they are less careful during these times. It is therefore important that you take particular care to protect yourself from holiday identity theft traps. In this article we are going to give you some pointers on how you can protect yourself during the holiday season and all year round from identity theft.The first thing you can do to protect yourself against holiday identity theft traps is to be aware of high risk areas and to be extra cautious in these areas. High risk areas include states and cities where there is a high incidence of identity theft (e.g. Arizona), as well as in high risk areas within a specific city (e.g. busy malls).The second step in protecting yourself from holiday identity theft traps is to be extra careful with your receipts and other paperwork which may be used in identity theft cases. Shred all unneeded receipts, bills and other paperwork before putting it into the trash. Unfortunately trash is one of the methods that identity thieves can get hold of your information and so you should ensure that all paperwork is thoroughly shredded before placing in the trash.The holiday season is also a perfect time for identity theft using the phone. In order to protect yourself from these types of holiday identity theft traps, you should try to never give out personal information over the telephone, especially not to people who contact you first. If you have contacted someone first and feel confident in the company and that it is not a fraud then possibly give out your details if necessary but try to find an alternative.One area where even many cautious credit card users may get caught is through what is called skimming. Someone you trust (like a waiter, store clerk, etc) takes your credit card for a minute, scans your credit card details [http://www.preventidentitythefthelp.com/Victims_Identity_Theft/] with a special skimmer and brings you back your card. You don’t realize that your details have been stolen but they put them on a fraudulent card and you start seeing illegal purchases on your credit report. One way to protect yourself against holiday identity theft traps of this nature is to consider, as far as possible, always paying by cash if you are in an area you are not familiar with or where there is a chance that your card may be taken out of your sight. If you do use your credit card ensure that you can always see the card and the clerk who is using it.Phishing is becoming a very popular method of online fraud. Emails are sent out requesting personal information from you and supposedly from someone that you trust, such as your bank. Never give personal information away from a request in an email. Banks know about phishing and would never ask you to do so. Also be very careful when opening files and try not to open files if you don’t know who sent them or what the file contains.Holiday identity theft traps are numerous and unfortunately many people get caught by these traps each year. Take extra special care during the holiday season but be on alert all year round. Shred all trash, never give out personal details over the phone, keep your credit card within sight and be very careful with emails.

The New Dangers of Identity Theft – Identity Theft

Ever since we discovered that the world was not flat, it seems that our world began to get small. Now, in our present time, it seems that our world is now even smaller. The dawn of the World Wide Web gave us the ability to connect with people thousands of miles away with just the click of the button. The internet has also given us access to an infinite amount of information, more than any one library around the world. With all of this information accessible, what is personal and what is public?If you are a regular user of the internet and many of its online programs or subscriptions, try typing your name in a search engine. Chances are you would get at least one hit. Now if a search engine can find information about you, what else could someone find about you if he knew more than just your name?Identity theft is a new trend of internet crime going about mainly because it is easy to do and difficult to track. It can be defined as a criminal act of using another person’s name and personal information without his consent. Don’t be fooled, identity theft can be a very simple act to do. An interesting fact is that many people who perform it are teenagers!Now how do you go about life making sure that you’ve got your accounts intact? You will have to perform a personal identity theft check from time to time. Never leave accounts up for more than six months without any checks or updates. If you feel that you no longer need personal accounts, close them immediately because these are perfect targets.During the early days of identity theft, many people thought that the worse thing that could happen was to max out your credit or clear your bank account. Presently, these thieves are getting wiser and more creative and now, they can do much more than just clear one account.Credit Identity theft is a relatively new form of identity theft where the thieves get your credit card account number or SSN to create a number of new accounts under your name with different auto loans, credit debts and even mortgages. This can be very damaging to any one who experiences it because it would take you sometime to find how many accounts have been made in your name. And by the time you do, it would already be too late.Different statistics say that it takes an average person about 175 hours to repair accounts and security numbers after identity theft. If you want to protect yourself from Identity theft, you must take some precaution and make a personal identity theft check regularly. Remember that sometimes more is not always better.It’s always good to stay one step ahead of potential thieves in order to be on the safe side. Prevention is always better than cure.

What You Should Do To Prevent Identity Theft – Identity Theft

Identity theft is becoming an increasingly frequent problem among people of all shapes, sizes, ages, and nationalities, who are living in locations spread across the world. The theft of one’s identity is non-discriminating, as clever criminals find new and improved ways of profiting off of another’s loss and misfortune.In the end, a complete invasion of privacy often takes place, where identity thieves are able to drain entire bank accounts, steal credit card numbers, use driver’s licenses to commit crimes; and steal important information from computers. To prevent identity theft, it is highly recommended to follow a few simple procedures to boost your protection level against such a widespread crime.Identity theft criminals use a wide-range of techniques to steal private information for their own personal use and gain. One of the most talked about forms of identity theft is executed across the Internet, as individuals trick others into downloading a wide range of spyware, which is then used to transmit information stored on a computer. This may include the usernames and passwords associated with online banking accounts. With this information, a thief is then able to intercept bank transactions and steal money from unsuspecting victims.In order to efficiently prevent identity theft, it is important for people to recognize all of the techniques a criminal may use. Some individuals steal postal correspondences and fill out credit cards under another’s name. A stolen wallet also serves as the perfect gateway for thieves, as driver’s licenses, credit cards, birth certificates, Social Security cards, job identification, and other photo ID are common tools of identity theft. There are even criminals who dig in dumpsters and garbage cans for discarded bank statements, credit card bills, and other identifying pieces of information.To prevent identity theft, it is highly recommended to follow some of the suggestions listed below:
Prevent identity theft by installing an effective anti-spyware program that creates barriers between your personal information kept on your computer and third party intrusions.

Changing your passwords is often a good way to prevent identity theft because it is less easy for thieves to lock onto or guess frequent changes. It is also suggested not to use the same passwords. Also, it is not advised to select passwords that can be directly connected to you, such as your last name. Use passwords that contain both upper and lower case letters, as well as 1 or 2 numbers.

It is important to quickly remove mail from the mailbox, as criminals are known to forge signatures on credit applications. If you find you have stopped receiving mail, call the post office because someone may have signed a release for the forwarding of your mail to another location.

Over the telephone, you never know who is calling you; therefore never give your credit card number, Social Security number, or other personal information to an unsolicited caller.

Once you are done with credit card receipts, unused loan applications, and other paperwork containing personal information, tear them up or use a shredder so thieves rummaging through the garbage are unable to retrieve personal details.

Make it a habit to review your credit report and check for false accounts and other information. When you spot an error, you should immediately report it to the credit bureau.

Do not delay in reporting stolen credit cards.

You may prevent identity theft by carefully analyzing your credit card and bank statements to make sure there are no mistakes on your bills.

When a relative passes away, it is important to properly shred unused checks and other personal documents because identity thieves also take advantage of the misfortune of the deceased. Entire accounts have been wiped out, loans taken out in their names, and new credit cards issued.

It is important to exercise extreme caution when dealing with PIN numbers, especially those attached to ATM machines. When these numbers fall into the wrong hands, individuals are able to withdraw money without being detected. It is suggested to memorize your PIN number and when you must write it down – never choose your card or leave the reminder in your wallet or purse. And never use your birthdate as your PIN, as that will be the first one that the thief will try.