What are good ways to protect yourself from identity theft?
Hi! There are many ways to prevent identity theft prevention. Of course, the first and foremost way would be to safeguard your private information like social security numbers, credit/debit card information, bank account details, etc. Sharing them via social media or e-mails is highly dubious as well as prone to theft. Try to share these kinds of details on call or in person.Another thing that is taking over the identity theft prevention milieu is performing KYC on a person before you begin dealing with them. There are many e-KYC softwares available today. The hottest one on the market now-a-days is Shufti Pro (Quick & Secure Digital Verification in Real Time - Shufti Pro).Shufti Pro performs quick, real-time digital identity verification for you and checks the authenticity of your customer and their legal documents. If they are not a fraud, then you can continue to perform business with them. Shufti Pro is cost and time effective and 99% accurate. I’m sure that you won’t be disappointed if you choose Shufti Pro! Do check out their link for more information. :)(Disclaimer: I'm an employee at Shufti Pro and hence, closely familiar with its workings. I highly recommend the app, not because of my affiliation with it, but because of its accuracy, efficiency and prowess.)
How common is identity theft?
Not as prevalent as the media would have you believe.While fraud has been on the increase for last two decades since criminals figured out that drug dealing and armed robbery will usually net them less money and longer prison sentences, most are still stealing people’s identities to commit criminal acts. Most of what is called “identity theft” is actually just run-of-the-mill credit card fraud which has existed since credit cards were issued. True identity theft is actually very rare.The true horror stories about people becoming long-term impersonators of others, using their identities to drain pension funds and bank accounts, or even filing deeds and selling other people’s homes are very rare. Most people are aware enough of their finances and aren’t distracted by other things so that ID thieves can really harm them seriously. For now most of the damage that is down is to credit card companies and banks that have to write off losses due to fraud.Having said that, in the near future with improvements digital printing, with the increase of people using cloud storage for their personal information and as credit restrictions caused by the mortgage debacle lessen, identity fraud may truly become the dangerous crime that the media has been hyping it up to be.
My ID and computer were stolen out of my car. How can I prevent identity theft?
You can’t.If someone is planning on using your identity for theft, there is nothing that you can do to prevent it.You can, however, mitigate it by taking several steps:File a police report - In the report, detail all of the items which were taken, no matter how insignificant that you think that they are.Contact all of your credit issuers and your bank and have your cards cancelled - The sooner that you do this, the better. Credit card companies legally can only hold you responsible for the first $50 in charges (almost all of them waive the charges) and your bank has to replace any fraudulent withdrawals made from your account as long as you report the theft within 60 days.Place a fraud alert on your credit reports - This will be a huge pain in the ass for as long as you have it on them, but it will prevent people from easily receiving credit using your identity.Contact the local library if you have a card and tell them that you have lost your card - Many people forget this and it’s a bad idea to do so because A) A crook can check numerous new and expensive books and videos on your account and sell them. B) The crook can have the library give them a copy of the form that you completed to obtain your card. That document has personal information on it which may not have been in your wallet.Check your driving record with your state licensing agency - The crook may attempt to pass himself off as you during traffic stops and that could lead to your being fined or arrested for outstanding traffic violations. Also, you might wish to check to see if any titles were issued to you for any vehicles that you may own or not own as crooks can use your ID to get a new title for your vehicle and either get a loan against it or steal it later and then sell it.Contact your medical insurer - A crook can use your medical insurance card to charge healthcare and dental work and to obtain prescription medicines (especially painkillers) to sell.Check your cell provider and see if additional phones or mobile devices have been issued in your name - A crook could obtain numerous new phones on your account and then sell them at a profit. Or use them until they are caught.Check your state’s corporation bureau/Secretary of State - A crook (or whoever he sells your identity papers to) could start a business using your information. This could put you tens of thousands of dollars in debt (or more) and result in numerous agencies looking for you (actually, the crook pretending to be you) for a wide variety charges.Keep a copy of your police report with you at all times - While the police have grown used to ID fraud, some may still detain or arrest you if you are pulled over. Having a copy of the report will make things far less difficult if you are stopped or detained.Expect the unexpected - There many ways that your ID can be misused by a skilled ID thief. From buying aircraft and boats on your credit, to purchasing firearms, to obtaining Internet service in your name and then using it for fraud or for downloading child pornography, if your identity is indeed compromised, you should ready for whatever might happen.Good Luck.
Identity theft: How dangerous is it to toss out old catalogs and other junk mail without obliterating my name and address from them?
It's extremely dangerous for anyone to know your name and address as nothing would prevent such a person from knocking on your door and then saying your name, combined with some form of greeting, when you opened the door. Even if you wisely choose never to open your door, such a person could say your name while you were on the other side of that door, in a foyer perhaps, which you would be forced to hear. This person could just say your name outloud anywhere, in a bar or a Starbucks, and act like he or she knew you, and if anyone says otherwise, respond, "well then how do I know his home address?"
How easy is it to steal identity?
It depends on the identity, how long it was in use, when, what for, etc. In the easiest and perhaps the most useful way (in the united states), it only takes one friend to help you get a new social security number and go from there. Other than that, just a few hours in a library followed by a few minutes in city hall, then you're a huge part of the way done. A photo id is simple after that bit of stuff.