Types Of Identity Theft
The main way to reduce your risk of identity theft is by knowing the popular ways identity thieves try to steal your identity and personal information. There are a number of things you can do to protect yourself against identity theft and fraud. But you need to understand how important it is to protect your personal information including your Social Security number and your personal credit accounts. Keeping your information safe is one of the first steps in trying to protect your credit and personal information from getting into the hands of thieves.
The most common methods of identity theft are:
The most common type of identity theft is someone using your stolen credit card numbers, debit cards, personal checks by obtaining your account information to make purchases or withdraw money from your accounts.
You are most likely to detect this type of theft when your credit card statement arrives and you see charges you haven't authorized show up on your credit card bill. You should have alerts setup with your credit card issuers to notify you of any credit card charges. It is very important to review your statements thoroughly each month.
Identity thieves will also obtain your checking account information and prepare checks so they can draft an unauthorized check to steal money from your bank accounts or securities accounts. In some cases you will not know until your funds are depleted from your accounts. A way of trying to combat this crime is by setting up automatic alerts when a certain dollar amount is deducted from your accounts.
Another way of identity theft is the identity thieves open new accounts in your name without your knowledge or authorization. This is done less frequently but can easily happen if an identity thief has your personal information. They might try to open new accounts in your name using your address, social security number and other personal identification. The thieves then obtain credit in your name and make purchases with the newly opened accounts. Sometimes they will use a different mailing address and you might not even learn the fraudulent accounts exist until you check your credit report.
Some keys to preventing identity theft and fraud are by using a credit monitoring service to monitor your credit report. This is a very important tool in preventing identity theft and fraud. Also setting up alerts with all your creditors, bank accounts and financial institutions is a great way of being notified of any authorized or unauthorized activity.
If you have a problem with identity theft or fraud there are steps you can take get your funds back and to repair the damage but it can take a lot of time and effort.