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Protect Yourself: Avoid Identity Theft

Jan 25, 2008
Id theft is an offense that has grown to be very common nowadays. It is when someone uses your personal information sans permission to facilitate crime or fraud. ID thieves steal this personal information to allow them to proceed with their illegal activities whilst protecting their real identity. They put at stake the reputation and identity of the real owner of the stolen identity. Espionage, terrorism, illegal immigration and blackmailing are some of the illegal activities related to ID theft. This crime is indeed very common and what makes it scarier is the fact that it has given birth to more than one classification including financial, criminal and commercial or business identity theft, and also identity cloning.

ID Theft Precautions

1. Before you throw away any unused confidential documents tear them up or shred them so that no one can retrieve any of your personal information from the documents. This includes credit card and bank statements, solicitation letters, credit applications, old receipts and other letters containing confidential information. Destroy these documents before finally throwing them into the rubbish.

2. It is essential that you should be defensive when someone asks for your personal information like details about your Social Security Number. Ensure that you are reminded of the privacy policy of any company asking for this information and that they are honest enough not to share your information with anybody else.

3. While outside or even at home, keep all your Identification cards and important documents in a locked and safe place. Doing this will prevent you from losing them or exposing them to the prying eyes of Identity fraudsters.

4. Monitor when your bank statements are delivered and check they are on time, at the same time every month. Once your bank statements arrive, check them thoroughly. Failed delivery of your bank statements even for just a single month should be an alert that someone might have changed your mailing address, to prevent you from discovering a fraud activity related to your identity.

Once you suspect that someone might be using your personal information, no time should be wasted. You need to act immediately by requesting the fraud department of the credit bureau handling your accounts to set off a credit alert on your accounts. File a police report regarding this matter and remember to keep a copy of the report as a proof of the crime.

There is indeed no guarantee of iron clad protection when it comes to privacy of your personal information. However, precaution is the name of the game when it comes to avoiding ID Theft.
About the Author
Don't fall prey to id theft fraudsters. Find out more regarding protecting yourself against id fraud. If you're a victim ensure you're reporting identity theft in the right manner.
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