Helpful Hints Regarding Identity Theft
However, there are many misconceptions as to how best to protect against identity theft.
While some identity thieves focus on obtaining your credit card and using it before you know it’s missing, others will focus on other pieces of information about you to access email accounts or email login credentials and steal your entire identity.
Over 13 million cases of identity theft were reported in 2013, resulting in over $18 billion in losses. A common method of identity theft is the account takeover, this method of ID theft accounted for almost 28 percent of the fraud cases in 2013. Instead of just using a credit card for unauthorized purchases, identity thieves’ go even farther and hack into active accounts, change settings and make purchases in your name online.
Almost everyone is vulnerable to identity theft.
With a little knowledge about how identity thieves operate and some common sense, there are ways you can stay one step ahead of them.
- Identity thieves don’t need your credit card number in order to steal it.In fact, they don’t need your credit card to steal your identity. Identity thieves are clever; in some cases, they only need one piece of your personal information too easily gains access to the rest of your personal information. In today’s world, it is crucial to secure important documents at home. Birth Certificates, Social Security Cards, Passports, credit cards that are not in use are some examples of the types of documents which should be secured at all times.
- Non-financial Information revealed online could be enough for an identity thief. Be careful of seemingly unimportant personal data that an identity thief may be able to use to steal your identity. For example, you should never disclose your full date of birth on Facebook or any other social media networking sites. Also, do not disclose your home address or telephone number on any website used for personal or business reasons, including job-search sites.
- Check all bank and credit card statements monthly.Check for charges one or two dollars or less, or from unfamiliar companies or individuals. Thieves often first test to check that the accounts haven’t been canceled by aware customers by sending a small charge through, sometimes for only a few pennies. If the first charge succeeds, they’ll buy the stolen data and make a much larger charge or purchase. Reviewing your credit report on a regular basis is a good idea, unfortunately, in most cases, by the time a fraudulent transaction reaches your credit report, it’s too late.
- If an ATM or retail store terminal appears strange, do not use it.Be sure there are no devices attached to the ATM card slot. Generally, the mouth of a card receptacle on an ATM machine should be flush with the machine or have only a very slight lip. If it appears to be different when you swipe your card or has an extra piece of plastic sticking out from the card slot, it may be a skimmer. A skimmer is an electronic device placed there by thieves that can capture your credit card information when you swipe the card. If you notice this or similar devices after you’ve already inserted your card, alert your bank immediately so they can be on alert for any fraudulent charges to your account.
- Stay alert at the checkout line. A cashier or salesperson can scan your card into a handheld skimming device to capture your information. Watch for suspicious behavior by a clerk or cashier such as turning away from you or taking too long to conduct what is usually a normal transaction.
Thieves can also take a picture of the front and back of your card with a cell phone or merely swap out cards. So, make sure to look at your card when they hand it back and make sure it’s yours
If you have been accused of identity theft or a victim of it call the Brehm Law Office. Get respected and trusted legal representation at an affordable price. Call today for a free consultation.