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Identity Theft Is A Real Threat To Your Credit

Jun 11, 2008
Identity theft is a real threat. It occurs when someone obtains credit card numbers, Social Security numbers, bank account information or other pieces of private information and uses them to commit some sort of fraud or deception, usually for financial gain. Identity theft can happen anywhere to anyone. In line at the store, online at home or when you're buying your morning coffee.

Identity theft, also known as ID theft is a crime in which a criminal obtains key pieces of personal information, such as Social Security or driver's license numbers, in order to pose as someone else. The information can be used to obtain credit, merchandise, and services using the victims name.

Victims might spend months or even years regaining their credit worthiness. In the meantime, the victims find it difficult to obtain loans, get a job, an apartment, or even write checks. Victims of economic crimes are encouraged to contact the following companies when their identity has been compromised by criminal activity.

Consumers were asked to name institutions where fraudulent accounts were created or where their accounts were affected by fraudulent activity. While the size of banks could be estimated by the amount of money they held in deposits, no such measure is available for telecommunications firms.

Consumers can protect themselves from identity theft in a variety of ways. Perhaps the most effective shield is a "credit freeze.".Under a law proposed by my office and passed by the General Assembly, consumers can have one of the major credit rating agencies "freeze" their credit.

Luckily, I have a good agent that told me about it over a year ago. Look for any unauthorized accounts as well as numerous requests for your information from prospective creditors, which may indicate that someone is attempting to open accounts using your information. If you discover any unauthorized use of your personal information, you should contact your local law enforcement.

Last year, the government lost two computer discs containing government records on 25 million people. And in January the Ministry of Defense admitted it had lost control of a laptop containing unencrypted records on 600,000 prospective military recruits.

Identity theft is a felony crime; however, police cannot help with your credit record or undo the damage that has been done. Delayed discovery of identity theft and the various ways criminals can now gain access to your personal information, can complicate a criminal investigation. Identity theft often goes undectected.

Within a month of being committed, half of the crimes still remain unnoticed. Identity theft has grown at an astounding rate since the widespread adoption of the Internet. Every day new news appears about incidents of identity theft, new methods of theft, and cutting edge technologies designed to protect your identity.

Contact your local police department and ask to file a criminal complaint. Some police departments aren't too thrilled to do this, since it is a very difficult case to pursue. Contact your banks and have them help you obtain new account numbers for all your accounts. Pick a new PIN number for ATM and debit cards.
About the Author
Gregory Wadel
Resources For Credit Repair and Debt Help
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