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What Is Considered Identity Theft?

Plainly put, Identity Theft is when anyone uses your name, social security number, credit card information or any personally identifying information as their own to commit a crime; including fraud. Identity theft takes many forms in the day and age of technology. It can range anywhere from someone simply verbally pretending to be you all the way to a complete theft of an identity including your social security number and credit history.

Plainly put, Identity Theft is when anyone uses your name, social security number, credit card information or any personally identifying information as their own to commit a crime; including fraud. Identity theft takes many forms in the day and age of technology. It can range anywhere from someone simply verbally pretending to be you all the way to a complete theft of an identity including your social security number and credit history.

Your identity can be used in more ways than you may have even considered. Typically an identity is stolen for the use of someone’s credit card until it has been maxed out. Criminals can do this by actually stealing your physical card, or more frightening, by stealing your credit card number off of a statement or a hacked card reading machine. More advanced criminals will acquire your credit information and open new credit lines in your name and spend these to the max. This is why checking your credit on a regular basis is so important; you’d never know these credit lines were open otherwise.

The best way to avoid this type of credit card fraud is to be proactive. Read your credit card statements thoroughly. Try not to use your debit card whenever possible. Having your credit cards maxed is a by and large fixable headache, but having your hard earned cash drained out of your checking or savings account is a real and in most cases, irreplaceable loss. You may want to think twice before swiping your debit card at that shady gas station or purchasing anything off the internet from an unfamiliar source. Another tip to consider would be to purchase those prepaid cash cards you always see at the grocery store. You can find cards with no fees and these are great because if the numbers are hijacked, the extent of damage is much more minimal.

In all reality identity theft is extremely hard to prevent if criminals have their sights set on your information. Your best option is to take as many preventative measures as possible and to check your credit report frequently. A credit report is still the best indicator of identity theft. The quicker an identity theft is detected, the less damage can be done and the easier it will be for you to reclaim your identity once more.

Have you seen your credit report lately?

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Friday, 01 July 2022
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