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Identity Theft-How To Safeguard Yourself Against This Growing Menace

Mar 15, 2008
Identity Theft is becoming a menace to society worldwide. It is costing countries billions of dollars every year. This is impersonation fraud and occurs when someone fakes your identity to perform a criminal act or fraud.
There are several sources from which criminals and thieves can obtain your personal information such as theft of your wallet, handbag, credit card or even from your trash.

In other words all personal information in your business establishments and at your home should be stored safely and securely in filing cabinets and safes. Corrupt and disgruntled employees can cause problems. Access to these should be limited to family members and trusted employees.

Once the thieves have successfully assumed your identity there are numerous frauds they can indulge in such as, writing cheques, opening credit cards in your name and buying and using a mobile phone.

You have to be constantly on the alert because these criminal activities can ruin your reputation and credit rating too. Rectifying these can be a very time consuming and expensive exercise.

With the computer and the internet playing a major role in the lives of most people today, the opportunities for identity theft and identity fraud too have increased. You might not completely eliminate the theft of your identity but you can certainly minimize the risk of loss by following these methods.

1. Always ensure that you keep your personal identity documents safe and secure.

2. All documents such as bills, bank and credit card statements should be destroyed, preferably burning or shredding them.

3. Always keep you Passwords and PIN numbers safe. It is advisable to commit them to memory instead of writing them down. The last thing you should do is to store them in your wallet or handbag.

4. Avoid using easily indentifyable PINs such as birth dates, phone numbers and vehicle registration numbers.

5. Constantly check your bank and credit card statements to ensure that no fraudulent transitions have taken place.

6. Never put your credit card or bank account details on the internet unless you are convinced that you are dealing with a secure system.

7. When you are withdrawing money at an ATM never allow anyone to look over your shoulder when you are entering the PIN.

8. Never give out your personal or bank account details to unknown persons over the phone or to e-mails.
Always verify before giving out information.

9. Avoid using public computers for your own personal financial transitions.
There are softwares which criminals use to collect this information.

10. In the event of selling your PC ensure that all data are wiped out completely.

Identity thieves operate both off-line and online. Be on the alert.
You have toiled hard to earn and save money. Do not give the criminals the slightest opportunity to out-smart you. If you think that you have become a victim of identity theft or fraud, you should contact the police and file a report immediately. You should also contact your bank and your credit card provider and give them all details so that quick action can be taken.
About the Author
Copyright 2008 Kanaga Siva. Kanaga Siva is an experienced Author Internet Marketer and Social Worker. For more Useful Resources and Information on Identity Thefts and Scams you are welcome to his Website and Business from Home Ideas Blog.
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