Warning: Don’t Be A Victim Of Identity Theft A Crime On The Rise

There is a ‘bag of gold’ for unsavory lurkers ladies, and its called your purse which is probably lying dormant and alone right now at the bottom of your desk at work.

That little handbag of yours contains enough information about you and your family to a potential ID thief that, its just like you going on holidays for two weeks and you leaving the front door of your house wide open. When for instance, you are away from your desk, its left unguarded, waiting to it to be picked up and snooped on by thieves. You won’t even notice anything is missing as they will scan or photocopy your: drivers license, social insurance number, credit card number, bills containing your home address… all within 5 minutes your gone to the loo. Identity crime is common, easy and serious.

Identity theft is todays crime of choice for well informed thieves who no longer go after your spare change. They go out to destroy your life by stealing you and your families identity and will immediately use it to pile up huge bills on your credit cards and online accounts.

“Women carry important critical ID information on themselves daily, Stuff about their kids, maybe a few bills, credit cards, personal ID etc. all in one convenient spot, their purses. Internet fraud investigators say that is the number one crime target today.”

“For thieves, the bottom drawer where your purse is kept is the first place they would look.”

Now regarding men, as crime does not have a preference. Stop leaving valuables such as your wallets behind in gym lockers using those cheap $1.00 locks, stop hiding your wallet under your car seat… thats the first place where thieves look.

“Most people don’t understand that their ID is worth instant cash, it’s the most valuable information that you carry with you on a daily basis, so protect it.”

Identity theft is the fastest escalating crime in North America because it is easy. Here are some of the scams used… including:

– Phishing, probably the most common fraud where thieves e-mail victims claiming to be their bank and asks them to e-mail them their account and password to re-verify their identity.

– Skimming, thieves place a tracking device over the Automated Teller Interact machines (ATM) which reads the victims info encoded in the magnetic strip of credit and debit cards. ID login codes are obtained.

– Mail theft, this obviously has been around for a while, simply stealing ones mail or redirecting someones mail to get personal info from bills and bank statements.

Skimming and phishing are most often orchestrated by large criminal entities, and can be located thousands of miles away from their victims. Crime investigation forces say credit card and mail theft is the most common crime leading to identity theft, escalating at alarming rates. They know for a fact that meth addicts go online, go on chat rooms and buy and/or sell personal IDs, yes they are that sophisticated.

One of the most common ID theft sources is known as dumpster diving, where thieves scour through your garbage and find discarded bank or credit card receipts and bills. With this info, they can charge things online or over the phone immediately and begin racking up charges on the victims’ cards.

Increasingly, thieves use someone’s ID to apply for credit cards from another bank as well as retail stores, all with the victim not knowing. They usually find out when they attempt to apply for a loan or credit themselves, then the victim receives news they’ve been rejected due to poor credit.

Here Is An Example…
“This victim did not have any warning she’s been a victim of identity theft, until she went to buy a car, for a new job. To her shock, she couldn’t get a loan because her bank credit application was denied. It took her years to fix the problem and had to realign the priorities she had in her life. She was just in her 20s and her financial life was destroyed. They traced it to an ex boyfriend”

While credit bureaus can and will reinstate your credit history, it can take years because the person has to establish and convince the authorities that they were an actual victim of identity theft and that at times, can be difficult to prove.

Don’t Be A Victim
The first step is to regularly get copies of your credit history.

That will instantly reveal any unusual unauthorized activity and will also show if any companies or banks have recently requested credit checks on your account.

If a company that you don’t know or do business with is on your credit history report, thats a sign someone has attempted to use your personal ID to apply for credit such as for cable or a cellphone etc.

To How To Protect Against Identity Theft

Never leave your social insurance number or your birth certificate at home or on your person. Get rid of unused cards that contain vital information from your wallets or purses, always shred all data that contains personal info and never give out personal info to unverified sources such as phone surveys.

Identity theft is a crime where the fraudsters are always one step ahead of you, and everyone is susceptible to it.

Keep Your ID Close – 3 Steps To Protect Yourself
To protect yourself from becoming a victim of ID theft, take the following steps:
1. Guard All Your Personal Information
– Buy a paper shredder and shred everything with personal/financial info such as credit card statements, insurance forms, credit applications, canceled checks and any other financially related statements such as old income tax returns.
– Carry only the id and credit card that you will need just for that day.
– Pick complex passwords for: credit cards, banks and financial accounts, computer etc. Never use something obvious such as your birthday.
– Never leave personal info at home, in your car or at your work.
– Insure your employer keeps your personal information secure and private, find out how they store this info and how they dispose of it.
– Never give out personal information to email or phone calls, unless you know who they are. (ID thieves often pose as reps for banks or financial institutions, internet or cable services or government agencies to get information from you.

2. Keep Your Computer Safe
– Avoid using automatic log-in’s for your user name and password, a virtual gold mine for hackers.
– Use firewall software, especially for high-speed Internet users that connects to the Internet 24/7 whether your computers on or off. Firewalls will stop these intruders from getting info stored in your computer.
– Add virus and spyware protection and make sure it updates regularly.
– Do not send personal confidential info via email.
– Use a credit card to make purchases, never a debit card.

3. Be Aware and Be Vigilant
– Order a credit report every month from the three major credit reporting services.
– Know when your credit cards expire. If you haven;t received a replacement card, phone the credit card company ASAP.
– Keep account numbers such as expiration dates of your credit cards in a secure safe place.
– Don’t write down crucial personal Id numbers, memorize them.
– When you enter PIN numbers or passwords, make sure that no one is watching.

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