Well, not everyone is as lucky as Jason Bateman to have funny gal, Melissa McCarthy, steal his or her identity. The movie Identity Thief takes you on a hilarious trip with outrageous mishaps between the two actors. However, in real life, identity theft is no joking matter. Behind all the laughs, the movie brings you to the rash reality that identity theft is no longer a matter of an unauthorized charge or two on your credit card; it can mean someone taking over your life.
At Praxis Consulting, we want you to be prepared for even the worst of these situations. Here are some quick tips to help you avoid becoming a victim of identity theft:
$11. Secure your network: If you have WiFi in your home, make sure that the network is secure and locked. Criminals are able to hack networks and can know your every move on the Internet if it is not secure. Read over the documentation on how to ensure your network is safe or ask your Internet provider handle it for you.
$12. Set banking alerts: In the age of the smart phone, everyone has a banking app. Be sure to set up alerts (email or text notifications) so you know when there is activity happening on your account.
$13. Do not make purchases on untrusted sites: If you are unfamiliar with the website and the deal is too good to be true, RUN. More than likely this amazing deal is a way to lure you in. Try using payment processors, such as PayPal, to avoid giving out your financial information directly.
$14. Limit what you carry in your wallet: Many times people fall victim to a pick-pocket and don’t even know it; or, you may have dropped your wallet in the back of cab or out on the street. No matter the circumstances, the less you carry in your wallet, the less information people can gather.
Identify theft can have an impact on your financial life that reaches from your bank account to your credit report. Praxis Credit Consulting offers programs for credit repair if you have been the victim of identity theft. For existing clients, the Praxis Credit University offers guidance, tools and tips to help protect you from identity theft. If you have experienced identity theft, then our online coursework will help you to deal with the circumstances and get you back on the road to credit recovery. .
Why is identity theft so widespread? According to the 2005 Fraud Survey by the Better Business Bureau, half of victims recognize the perpetrator.
These are red flags to watch out for.
I was employed by a company that dealt with stolen and lost credit card reports. I don't know how often someone called to say their ex- or soon to be ex spouse had stolen all their financial information. Then they went on a spending spree of revenge. It's not just for ex-husbands or wives, but anger can be a powerful emotion. This is the most destructive form of identity theft, both financially and emotionally. It's because they have complete access to your private information and are familiar with you. No matter the relationship, it is important to keep an eye on your credit score and other financial information.
2. The Snoop:
People who ask too many personal questions. It's easy to ignore them. They may even be able to access your personal information. It could be completely innocent, but ID theft is the most serious crime in the country.
"I do not have any drug addicts in the family." It's a good deal, but substance abusers will also steal from you. Identity thieves include addicts to porn and alcoholics. The internet is a billion-dollar industry. Jim Vaules is an expert on identity theft for Lexis Nexis. He says that you see a lot online gambling and pornography sites being charged with stolen cards. [Identity Thieves] may use the card of a friend or family member. Any obsessive behavior can make a person lose their ability to think rationally. The only thing that matters is completing the habit right now! Addiction can also mean that identity thieves will likely justify their actions. Even if they are caught red-handed, it is possible that they will say it's not their fault, blame you, or shrug their shoulders and just say "so what?"
In such cases, what should you do? It may not be a bad idea to file a police report. MSN Money author Liz Pullman Weston says that "a little tough love may just be all it takes to stop a criminal from turning into a career criminal." Even if they apologize profusely and promise never to do it again (a common occurrence), the chances are good they'll do it again unless they receive counseling. It is possible to file a police report, no matter how reluctant or not. You may also notice other signs. Someone who lives beyond their means, or mail that appears to have been altered. You must be vigilant about credit monitoring, keeping private information safe, shredding documents, and monitoring your credit. The best thing about identity theft is your peace of mind when you realize it wasn't someone you know.
It’s almost hard to believe, but the elderly are by far the number one targets and victims in the United States for identity theft and credit card fraud.The elderly are typically selected because of their established credit histories, a lack of education about credit as well as an increased dependence upon family members. Elderly financial abuse is unfortunately on the rise. The 2011 MetLife Study of Elder Financial Abuse reported that victims lose an estimated $2.9 billion dollars annually which is up 12 % from 2008. Strangers are responsible for 51% of the elderly abuse crimes, but unbelievably friends or family members commit 34% of these crimes. The Most Common Victims
Believe it or not identity theft has moved to the dead. It is compounding more and more family's grief because con artists are digging up identities of the deceased. The identity of someone who has died is becoming an irresistible target to thieves and the death helps buy them time before they are likely to get caught. The scam artists search the obituaries where they find valuable information that gives them a jump start at identity theft. Lengthy obituary and death notices gives crooks more valuable information that they use to do more damage. Identity theft crimes involving the deceased are a dark, shady side of the booming identity theft crime.