In 2009 alone, there were over 10 million cases of identity theft. Here we are two years later and it is no surprise that identity theft is still on the rise. Tough financial times can lend themselves to people taking extremely desperate measures and stealing the identity of someone who has money readily available to them. While some use the information for shopping sprees, others are using the newly obtained name to commit crimes or even establish a new identity within another country.
Identities are being stolen by….
- Digging through trash looking for statements with personal information and account numbers on them.
- Taking personal papers from plain sight. (Almost half of all victims know the thief).
- Stealing a wallet or purse.
- Directly obtaining a credit card or debit card number.
- Hacking into a server or database where personal information is stored.
- Taking information from someone’s computer on an unsecured wireless network.
- A victim being careless or forgetful.
Prevent identity theft by….
- Dropping outgoing mail in a post office box.
- Securing your wireless internet connections. Create passwords not easily detected.
- Shredding any documents containing personal information.
- NEVER carrying around your social security card.
- Checking your credit every year if not more for discrepancies. It is also a good idea to check the social security numbers of your children and any recently deceased family members. This is the newest trend for thieves.
For more statistics, information and prevention tips go to identitytheftprotection.org.