Only YOU Can Prevent Identity Theft!

Only YOU Can Prevent Identity Theft!

Fool Me Once, Shame on Me, Fool Me Twice… How Identity Theft occurs and the consequences of this crime have been covered. At this point you should have a better understanding of what is done with your social security number, banking info, and other personal information once it has been stolen. Below we’ll cover basic, yet important steps to take to ensure your personal info stays……..personal.   Steps you can take to prevent Identity Theft: Destroy private records and statements. Secure your mail. Safeguard your social security number. Don’t leave a paper trail. Never let your credit cards and check cards out of your sight. Know who you are dealing with. Take your name off marketers’ hit lists and opt out of sharing info. Be defensive with personal info. Monitor your credit report. Review your bank statements carefully. Add passwords to all accounts. Don’t allow your kids to use the same computer on which you do online banking and store financial records (children are apt to download games and attachments that host damaging viruses or attract spyware). Beware of offers that appeal to greed or fear in exchange for personal data. Be aware. A lot of people associate identity thieves as “shady guys sitting in a hotel room who pick names at random.” Be aware that everyone from organized crime to your father-in-law could potentially be an identity thief. Don’t give out your social security number before carefully evaluating if it is absolutely necessary. Your bank may need it, but your grocery store savings club does not! Invest in a shredder. Get into the habit of shredding all documents before tossing them in the garbage. Practice safe shopping. Only shop from secure sites that will encrypt your order. To make sure you connection is secure, look for “https://” at the beginning of the URL and also check for a little picture of a padlock or an unbroken key in the bottom right-hand corner of your browser. Be suspicious of unexpected calls or letter. Even if the caller asking for your information seems real, it’s best to double check. Protecting yourself from identity theft is important and can be accomplished by being constantly aware and taking simple measures such as those listed above.   Don’t Hit “Send” Just Yet: Sensitive Information That Should Not Be Emailed: Social Security Number Drivers License Number Account Number(s) Credit or Debit Card Number PIN or...

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Identity Theft Statistics

Identity Theft Statistics

Identity theft is becoming one of the fastest growing crimes in the United States.  Arizona is the highest ranked state in identity theft at 142 victims per 100,000 people.  Arizona, California, Texas and Florida are always at the top due to having a large amount of people entering the country illegally needing new identities. With advent of advancing mobile technology and the internet, both fraud and identity theft have been on a steady rise for the last several decades.  In the year 2000 Fraud and ID theft crimes were 230,628 in the United States.  By 2009 this number had risen to 1,330,426.   Some Quick Identity Theft Stats: An identity theft victim will spend an average of 175 hours and $800 trying to clear up their record.  It can take months or even years to resolve it. The FTC claims that 9.91 million American’s are identity theft victims each year Losses total $52.6 billion Social Security numbers cost roughly $49 on the black market A driver’s license is roughly $90 Birth certificates are about $79 It is believed that in 2005, an identity was stolen every four seconds   Identity Theft Complaints by Age <19         =    7% 20-29    =    24% 30-39    =    22% 40-49    =    19% 50-59    =    15% 60-69    =    8% 70+         =    5%   Have you suffered from identity theft? Are there any criminal uses we missed? Please share your story or comments below.  Thanks – TDN  ...

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