According to the FBI, identity theft is the fastest growing crime in the United States. A study released by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) states that more than 8 million people fall victim to financial identity theft every year.
Financial ID theft occurs when someone steals your personal information and uses it to acquire credit and loans in your name, rent an apartment, access your bank accounts or commits many other crimes using your identity. When it strikes, the effects can be devastating.
Because identity theft doesn’t involve physical objects that disappear (such as a burglary or having your car stolen), it usually goes un-noticed until significant damage has been done – potentially several months and thousands of dollars later.
There are a number of ways for people to gain access to your personal and financial information. Identity thieves may steal information from friends, family members or business partners. They may rummage through your garbage, steal your mail or use the Internet for phishing scams.
Early detection is always key when it comes to fighting identity theft. The sooner you find out your identity was stolen, the sooner you can take steps to prevent further damage and take corrective measures. It is therefore important that you get yourself familiarized with the signs of identity theft and the ways to prevent it.
Here are some more invaluable identity theft topics:
Types of Identity Theft – A brief discussion of the 6 different types of identity theft.
Identity Theft Facts – 2012 identity theft statistics just released.
How is Identity Theft Committed – How do ID thieves steal your identity, and how they use your information.
Signs of Identity Theft – Learn the signs of identity theft, so that you can respond quickly and minimize your damages.
Ways to Prevent Identity Theft – A list of the most common, easy-to-do ways to prevent identity theft. These items should be considered MUST-Dos if you’re serious about preventing identity theft and minimizing its effect.
Identity Theft Protection Services – The benefits of Active Identity Theft Prevention such as LifeLock.
Credit Fraud Alert – What is fraud alert, how to use it to protect yourself and what are its benefits and limitations.
Credit Freeze / Credit Lock – What is credit freeze, how to use it to protect yourself, how does it differ from fraud alert and what are its benefits and limitations.
Laws on Identity Theft – A brief summary of laws on identity theft under the FCRA, that will help you deal with the effects of identity theft.
How to Report Identity Theft – If you suspect that you’ve become a victim of identity theft or fraud, act immediately and follow this checklist to minimize the damage to your personal funds and financial accounts, as well as your reputation.
|The Identity Theft Center:||http://www.idtheftcenter.org|
|The FTC’s Identity Theft Site:||http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/microsites/idtheft/|