Printed on Apr 20, 2014 @ 9:14 AM
Identity theft occurs when someone uses your personal information, such as your name, date of birth, social security number, or other personal identification to obtain cash, property, services, or otherwise gain a benefit.
The most common method of obtaining your personal information is through mail theft. Criminals will often target different neighborhoods for a period of time slowly gathering up pieces of mail. Over a period of time criminals can obtain enough information on an individual to obtain the information they need to apply for credit cards, checks, etc. in your name.
Having a locked mail box and using the post office boxes to mail your bills will help you protect your information.
Another method of obtaining your personal information is through a process called Phishing. Phishing occurs when you are called or e-mailed unexpectedly under the guise that they are from your bank, credit card company, or another business. The Identity Theft thief will attempt to solicit personal information about you (i.e., name, date of birth, social security number, etc.).
A further method is businesses will sometimes hire thieves unknowingly. There have been cases where employee’s of companies have stolen customer information and used it for financial gain. You can protect yourself against this kind of Identity Theft by running a yearly credit report on your account and taking the time to look over all your monthly financial statements.
|Experian (formerly TRW):||1-888-397-3742|
|Social Security (fraud line):||1-800-269-0271|
Most Important – safeguard all your credit cards, ID cards of all kinds, and all other personal information. If it is not stolen or lost, you are less likely to become a victim of identity theft.
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