Some identity theft protection and information you cannot do without People of all ages and status can be a victim of identity theft. Since you are not an exception, you just have to educate yourself to be able to spot identity theft when you see it coming: How can you do this? 1. Identifying identity theft. The most common scenario is that victims are not aware that they are victimized unless they are given notices of unpaid bills and purchase charges. Whenever someone is put into this kind of situation, there is always a tendency to be mentally and emotionally affected. You have to double and even triple your precautions when you know that you are among those persons that have a good credit history. Identity thieves are always on the lookout for persons having your kind of credit status. This makes their actions quicker. Also, they know that they can do more damage to you if your credit is good. These thieves can take complete control over your existing credit. Not only that, they can only open new ones put under your name. That does not stop there. Your personal information can even be used to write counterfeit checks, take and transfer money and achieve employment. Using the conventional method of going over your thrash or by using someone in your workplace, these thieves can get hold of bank statement, credit card accounts and other vital information. You will know that you are a victim when you find yourself denied credit or even employment. You will also know this when you get calls or letters saying that you have been approved or denied credit for which you never applied or billings on purchases you never made or unusual credit card or utility bills. Start being suspicious also if you notice that you are not receiving credit or bank statements and other kinds of mailings that you usually get regularly. All these things can only mean that you are the newest addition the number of identity theft victims. 2. Taking countermeasures. If you do not want to be one of the victims, you need to know what actions you should take to prevent this from happening. You should: Not give out give personal data to just about anyone or anywhere. Do not give out your information over the phone or on the Internet. Check your statements. Identity thieves get away with their crime because most people do not check their credit or bank statements regularly. Be sure that you know your past statements too so you can compare them with the new ones. Not take everything with you. Carrying cards, passport or social security card in your wallet is very dangerous. It is also not advisable to throw receipts anywhere. Have a secure mailbox. Do not make it a habit to leave mails in your mailbox. It is best if you have your own postal service mailbox. That way, your mails will not fall into the wrong hands. Tear up or shred anything that has your personal data in it. This is especially important if you plan on throwing away these things. Make sure that the information is not anymore visible once you decide to dispose of them. 3. Ask for assistance. It can be noted that 60% of the identity theft victims surveyed did not inform the police. But some were able to contact the police and was able to find out what happened. If you are certain that you have become an identity theft victim, do not think twice. Report immediately to the proper authorities. Request a copy of your credit report agency and dispute anything you think is fraudulent. Make sure you inform your creditors if your credit cards were stolen, as well as your bank checks. Ask for new credit cards, and close any existing bank accounts and open new ones. If your debit card gets stolen, get a new one and use a different password. Be cautious when establishing new credit with a different Social Security number. Having two might lead to confusion when trying to repair your credit report. Preventing yourself from being an identity theft is within your capabilities. Follow the information on identity theft protection mentioned above and you will be able to fight the battle and come out successful. Information on Identity Theft: What You Must Know About It "Prevention is better than cure". By having enough information about identity theft, you can avoid being a victim of this crime. Based on that statement above, knowing about identity theft is the best way to protect yourself against this serious crime. Now what is identity theft all about? Generally speaking, identity theft is a crime where a criminal uses another person's identity and personal information for their own gain, usually financial gains. Identity theft is a very serious crime. People who steal personal information of other people and use it for financial gains can produce very serious consequences. Identity theft can be used to transfer funds from your bank account, or use your personal information for criminal activities. Credit card frauds are also a form of identity theft and so do check frauds. If you somehow feel you are a victim of this crime, you must report it immediately to the nearest justice department or law enforcement agency. The concerned authorities can make the appropriate action in order to prevent the situation from getting worse. Sometimes, preventing the situation from getting worse is the only solution. People who commit this serious crime are usually very hard to find and arrest. Professional con artists use multiple identities that make it very hard for authorities to trace. This is why you should know how to prevent this crime from happening to you. Based on the research the United States government did, almost 140 citizens are being victimized by this crime every day and still growing. Today, authorities are making new ways to stop this crime or at least minimize it. Total financial loss can be experienced by the victims of this crime. Their credit history can also be ruined. Therefore, this crime is a very serious offense. People who commit this criminal offense works by obtaining your personal information, they do this by stealing your mails, hacking in your email account, eavesdropping on your telephone calls and they also look over the corner of their eyes when you are filling out documents that require personal information. They also commit this crime by using your personal information to apply for new credit cards in your name. They will max out that credit card on purchases and you will be the one who gets charged for the purchased goods. Knowing about the methods used by the criminals to obtain your personal information is very important. Most people do not know how their personal information was obtained by criminals until it's too late. Here are some of the ways criminals obtain your personal information and how to avoid it. In public places, criminals may engage in shoulder watching. They will watch you fill out documents that require public information. To avoid this, you should fill out documents in private places, such as your home. You might have personal information stored in your wallet. Criminals who steal your wallet can use the information stored in it to commit identity theft. To avoid this, you should never store items or documents containing your personal information in your wallet. If it is possible, you should memorize your pin numbers, Social Security number and other personal information a criminal can use for their own financial gains. You own home has all sorts of documents containing public information. If someone enters your home unauthorized, they will steal things including documents that contain your personal information. To avoid this from happening, ask your neighbor to watch over your house if you and your family go out for work or dinner. And, never leave your documents containing personal and financial information lying around in your house. Look for a place to store it where criminals would never usually look. Your own telephone can also be the source of personal information. Criminals can tap in to your phone by using surveillance equipments and listen as you give out your personal information to a caller. Sometimes, criminals call you and will pretend to be someone from the bank and will ask you about your personal information. Do not give it away if you are not sure. Tell the caller that you will call the bank first to confirm if there is indeed someone from the bank requesting for your personal information. Your trash is one great source of personal and financial information. Criminals go dumpster diving to acquire documents containing your personal and financial information. To prevent this from happening, dispose of your documents properly by shredding them to pieces or burning them until it is impossible to put it back together again. Your computer is filled with files containing your public information. Criminals can install spywares without you knowing it. So, it is important that you take proper precautions while surfing the internet or downloading files. You can install anti spyware programs to prevent spywares from entering your computer. Always remember that being cautious in public places and even in your own home about your personal information is one of the best ways to prevent identity theft from happening. Not being one of those being listed in the history of identity theft crimes Forget guns and violence. Being a criminal nowadays is a matter of getting the right information without being found that and uses that to your advantage. That is how the identity theft process work. Identity theft is a crime wherein another person obtains and uses another person's personal data for purposes of fraud or deception. But the main purpose is for gaining money and finances to avail of goods or services. Personal information being stolen borders from names, birth dates, social security number and driver's license number. The more extreme and cruel cases is when your financial identity like credit card, bank account and phone-card numbers, are the ones being used. It can be noted that your personal allows thieves to profit at your expense. This is in contrast to your fingerprints that cannot be easily copied or stolen. In many cases, victims are not even aware that their identity has been stolen until maybe some months or years later. The consequences of being an identity theft victim are also quite devastating. You will be faced with the need to close bad credit accounts, trying to repair them or open new ones. In the process, you not only need time to get on with all these but also enough money to try and pay up debits accumulated and new ones opened. As long as you have not finished all the requirements and have not cleared you name, you can be denied jobs, loans, education, housing, and transportation. For worst case scenarios, you can even get arrested for the crime you did not commit much less know about. The trauma that can result from the experience is not easily forgotten too. The experience of thousands of victims is that it often takes months, even years, to recover. According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, identity theft is the fastest growing crime in the US alone. The fact that more and more people are reporting cases of identity theft and how they have become victims can attest to conclusion made by that department. In the year 2002, 10 million people became victims of this crime. And an estimated 27.3 million Americans have been reported to be victims of the different forms of identity theft during the past 5 years. Even financial and business institutions are not spared. Billions of dollars worth of losses have also been noted which can be attributed to identity theft. Identity theft is the number two most reported crime to the federal government. These numbers are enough to make you consider identity theft as a serious crime that is getting more and more rampant everyday. Ever since this kind of crime had been noted in the early 1970's, counteractions are being done. But however extreme are measure are, there is really no getting through the minds of these thieves. There are basically two forms of identity theft. The first and most common is when someone uses your credit card information. Your information have been gotten if it was lost or stolen. It can also be because of careless handling by an employee of a company where you used the credit card to make a purchase. The second and more dangerous form of identity theft is when someone steals your identity, and opens up credit card accounts, or cell phone accounts in your name. They can also use your social security number when getting a job or your driver's license to get a duplicate copy. The advancing technology of today does not help any. Communications tools over the Internet are allowing criminals to think up new schemes and strategies. Besides that, identity theft can be planned and executed more easily online. All these thieves have to do is pay a fee to an information broker to get an individual's Social Security number. Online databases also have in them address information, while an individual's mother's maiden name can be found in obituaries or other public documents. Obviously, bills are sent to a different address so they will not get to you and you will start panicking. Understanding and having enough knowledge about identity theft can be your prevention measure. Be alert and aware so you will not be among those who have suffered the consequences of this crime. Identity Theft: What You Need to Know about it The use of your personal data such as your name, address, telephone number, credit card, and mother's maiden name by other people is called identity theft, which is also known to be an identity fraud. It is the illegal use of your personality to commit crime or any illegal acts. Usually, this crime is done to commit financial fraud or deception. Either it is using your name to buy something or obtaining it thought the use of your credit account and other personal security accounts. By the use of your name, the identity theft gets a good service and all they left for you is the bill that your name will be paying. Sometimes, the well-established citizens are the ones victimized by identity theft; it can also target some people who do not have that much account. These identity thieves also use college students, the data and information about these students are much better and much easier to obtain. They use their names for application for credit cards and use it for criminal and illegal purposes. Most college students do not care about their financial account and do not apply for these credit cards but will eventually receive credit card application on their mailbox. Large business groups are the main target of these identity thieves. They usually find out before they apply for credits, they have history of non-payment of bills, which is actually done by these identity thieves. Small businesses will be surprised once they apply for loan and denied of approval because of the pending loan that needs to be paid. This is every critical problem where in these small businesses have to pay the loan they did not purchase. Almost everybody is possible to be victimized by these identity thieves. It is because of the modern technology that exists in the world today. Transactions are made without face-to-face contact, transactions that require the name, address, contact number, security information and sometimes password. Using malicious software that are downloaded through websites, thieves are able to gets all these information. This is how easy these thieves get the information they need. Once they got all the information they need, they will have all the possibilities to commit different financial and other related crimes. These thieves use different identities to purchase something, gather different services, obtain bank account, apply for credit card, apply for loans and other government benefits and obtain money using the victims' identity. The major problem with this kind of crime is that the victim will be forced to clear all the transaction he or she has not made. In most cases, these thieves usually pretend to be the victims' identity, obtaining all the necessary information including the victim's security settings. The funny thing, these transactions are from the knowledge of the owner but will be surprised to receive many bills and loans to be paid. The more that these thieves involve in these crimes the longer it is to repair the damage. The damage done to the victim will bring difficulty in obtaining new jobs, applying as an employer, applying for credit cards and renting apartments. However, this major problem can be resolved. Many companies offer identity theft insurance. Many people will have the privilege to obtain this insurance as an option in their home insurance policy. It is now possible to detect the people that uses the personal data if have home insurance policy. By this means, the owner will have the knowledge on who are the thieves that tries to use their personal data. Reports about the present situation of the accounts are given to the owner in regular basis. However, the owner may need to pay the service rendered. The amount that is paid over to these identity theft insurance is huge. There are many debates about it but people prefer to pay it to have peace of mind. It is better to pay the huge prize than to be worried about the security of your identity. These insurance will surely protect the account from the identity thieves. You do not need to worry if the accounts are secured by it. Finding the best identity theft insurance is the first thing you need to do. Ways on Preventing Identity Theft Identity theft has been one of the worst crimes happening all over the world. People pose as other people to get something, usually the money of the people they pose as. If we think of the security measures being taken to hide our Social Security numbers, credit card numbers, and other vital information, it is quite alarming how people still obtain this information and uses them to steal a lot from us! Here are some ways to prevent identity theft: 1) Put a lock on your home mailbox If the mailbox you keep is readily accessible by anyone, better buy a lock for that. One root cause of identity theft is that strangers steal your mail, gather as much information as they can on you, then pose as you when doing transactions to get valuable things you own. 2) Rent a PO Box from the Post Office If you do not have a mailbox at home, and you are usually away on trips, rent a PO Box from the local post office. Always have your mails addressed to your PO Box address to prevent others from having access to your mail. Deposit your outgoing mail to your PO Box. Also, request a vacation hold from the Post Office for your mail if you will be away for more than 2 days. 3) Don't give financial details over the phone The usual strategy is when people pose as some charitable foundation or a telemarketer for some online store or TV shop, and then they ask for your credit card details. Give your details to them, and you can kiss your credit line and history goodbye. 4) Have a private phone number It pays to have your own private number. You will be getting only calls from the people you know, and from people who got your number directly from you. Make sure that you give your number only to trustworthy people. This will minimize telemarketers and other fraud artists from calling you and possibly stealing your identity. 5) Store your PINs in a safe place It we know it is difficult to memorize the PINs of your ATM cards, credit cards, and debit cards. It will save you a lot of trouble if you store your PINs in a safe place that is away from your plastic cards. If a thief steals your plastic card, he will not be able to use it after a few unsuccessful attempts at your PIN as the system will lock your card. It may be an inconvenience for you as well, but that will prevent your money from being stolen. 6) Photocopy both sides of your wallet's contents Make sure that you have a photocopy of all contents of your wallet. If your wallet is stolen, you can easily report it to the proper authorities. Make sure you report the theft to the proper companies, (e.g. Social Security, credit card company etc.) as soon as possible to prevent the thieves from using your personals. 7) Carefully choose your passwords Thieves can easily determine your passwords, especially for your online accounts. Make sure your password is very difficult to determine, usually a combination of letters and numbers only you will remember, or something that will not be associated with you. 8) Always obtain a credit card report It is always a good move to have a monthly report regarding your credit card. You will never know what purchases may pop up on your bill. Call the following major bureaus to have your monthly report: Equifax: P.O. Box 740241 Atlanta, GA 30374-0241 For Fraud Alerts, call: 800-525-6285 Experian: P.O. Box 2002 Allen TX 75013 For Fraud Alerts, call: 888-EXPERIAN (397-3742) Trans Union: P.O. Box 1000, Chester, PA 19022 For Fraud Alerts, call: 800-680-7289 9) Keep your records and personal papers in a safe place. Thieves can get into your home, and if they find your personal papers like loan applications, birth certificate etc., they will use these information to steal anything from you. Make sure these are in a safety deposit box where only you know its location. If not, place these in a safety deposit box in a bank. 10) Have a good paper shredder Make sure you have access to a powerful paper shredder, usually the crosscut type. Pre -- filled charge receipts, copies of credit applications, insurance forms, physician statements, checks and bank statements, expired charge cards that you're discarding, and mail credit offers should be immediately shredded, NOT TORN TO PIECES, when they will be discarded. 11) Proper Use of Credit Cards Do not sign at the back of your credit card. If possible, always have a photo laminated into your credit card so that a thief cannot use it. Also, do not use your credit card in establishments like restaurants, where your card will be out of your sight. Do not give out any details regarding your credit card. 12) Be Smart Online Use encrypted or secure servers whenever you go online. Do not transact business with unknown websites. Do not open files sent to you by strangers. Make sure your virus database is regularly updated. Use firewall programs to block spyware and malicious advertisements from pop -- ups in certain websites. Being an identity theft victim is not easy According to studies, there are around 10 million American victims of identity theft in the year 2003 alone. That was 3 years ago. You can expect the number to have risen over the years. Persons who find themselves victim to this kind of crime has a lot to suffer for. Not only have they been taken advantage of, they also have to endure long hours of trying to clear up their name once again. Since this crime does not show any signs of being stopped soon, early detection is the only other solution that should be best done. You would not want someone tampering with the credit rating you have worked so hard for, now would you? How these "thieves" got your personal information is easy enough. It can be as innocent as someone scanning through your thrash, someone watching you punch in your pin numbers over your shoulders at an ATM machine and sending emails that look as if it is a legitimate business. Once they get all your personal information, these thieves will change your billing address. You will not be aware of this unless you know that you always get your bills in the mail, is keeping track of your charges and constantly checking credit reports. Below are sure signs that you are an identity theft victim. 1. Upon checking your credit reports, you found that there are some new charge cards from companies you do not know anything about. You might not pay attention to this yet because you think that your bank just made some mistakes in your billing. 2. You are receiving bills for new credit card accounts that you did not open. 3. You notice some changes in your credit card statement that you did not even authorize. 4. You are receiving calls from business owners regarding items that they said you bought but actually do not have any idea about. 5. Debts are starting to show on your reports and you find yourself being denied your credits. If you are beginning to notice these things, you need not panic first. Just think that there might be some logical explanation for this. But do not forget to follow up and report these things immediately. You may not know it yet but you might be an identity theft victim already. In order to avoid being an unknowing victim of this crime, you have to make sure that: You are keeping a close watch on your credit card activities. Your physical card is not important to make purchases toward your account. Take note that by simply getting hold of the number on your card, any person can make charges against your credit by making online or telephone purchases. It is a fact that majority of the people are not scrutinizing their billing statement each month. This makes it possible for identity thieves to get away with hundreds or even thousands worth of merchandise. Try also to monitor your credit report. Once your credit report starts showing signs of having poor credit ratings when you always pay your bills on time, it is time to focus your attention to it. Identity thieves may be spending all you money to buy items and merchandise. And you are the ones being obliged to pay the bills. Not only are they getting the money you have worked so hard for, but they are also destroying the credit ratings you have tried so hard to maintain. Another step to take so you will not become an identity theft victim is to make payments in safe places. With thieves, you can never tell. They might appear like bystanders minding their own business but is actually looking out for you when you start writing out personal details. Be one step ahead of them by thinking what other strategies they can use in stealing your identity. Be wary of persons you are next to when shopping and when paying bills. You might be taken advantage right there and then. Avoiding being an identity theft victim is only a matter of being wary and smart of suspicious people around you. Although trusting other people is a must, you just have to choose the persons who will give your trust to. Avoid becoming another Hopeless Victim of Bank Identity Theft Ever wonder how identity theft occurs? It is actually quite fascinating, if it is not a very malicious and dangerous crime. Identity theft occurs once a thief assumes another person's identity by using confidential information supposed to be known exclusively by that person. The thief will commit fraud using the person's name and important confidential information without the victim ever knowing about such transactions. When the person or victim finally finds out about the crime committed, the thief is long gone in excruciating anonymity. They leave behind a ruined reputation, and a paper trail of ruined credit, debts and collectors. Sometime the implications of identity theft usually cause the wrongful arrest of the victim. Why so? Because, without the identity theft angle in the case, it can be assumed that the victim was the one who committed the crimes because it was done under his/her name. It is an alarming occurrence and usually, the victims would suffer the implications of the crime for years to come. The past several years brought about an alarming wave of identity theft crimes in different areas dealing with personal information and economic transactions. One of the hardest hit by identity theft crimes are the banks. Bank identity theft has been around long before there were credit card, social security, internet, job banks, airline and medical community identity thefts. Bank identity theft occurrences vary. Some cases involve a thief continuously withdrawing huge amounts of cash from a bank account of another person until there is none left. Another case may involve the identity thief assuming the name and other personal information of another person then files for a bank loan. Armed with personal information of another person, an identity thief can obtain a driver's license. He/she can open new lines of credit and bank accounts even buy a car and get a mortgage. Bills and statements from these transactions are diverted to the thief's temporary address. They then bilk the victim's credit line for all it is worth in cash advances, loans and credit card debt without intent to pay. All these occur with the thief hidden in a shroud of anonymity. Bank identity theft and other forms of identity theft is a nightmare for millions of people who have become victims of such crime. Indeed, the figures of those victimized have reached into millions already. Sadly, though state and federal laws and stricter bank transactions have been imposed, the number of victims continues to rise each year. When the walls come crashing in, you are left holding the bag and the thief is long gone. Financial recovery from identity theft can take years. In United States and Canada, many people have reported unauthorized persons taking out funds form their bank or financial accounts. There are even worst cases when the victims report of an identity thief who has totally taken over their identities. With it, the thief have run up huge debts and committed crimes all under the name of the victim. There was a notorious case of identity theft wherein the criminal, a convicted felon incurred more than $100,000 of credit card debt. Aside from this, the felon also obtained a federal home loan, bought homes, motorcycles, and handguns using the victim's name. With maniacal pride, he called his victim to taunt him. He declared that he could continue posing as the victim for as long as he wanted. During that time, identity theft was not yet a federal crime. Then, the thief filed for bankruptcy still using the victim's name. Very bitter was the fact that the criminal only served a brief sentence while the victim and his wife spent more than four years to restore their reputation and credit. They also spent more than $15,000 of their own money to win back their credit. The criminal did not even made restitution for all the danger he had caused. The only positive thing that came out of this case and the others similar to this is when the Congress created a new federal offense against identity theft in 1998. You can avoid being a victim of bank identity theft by identifying red flags that may indicate Here are several red flags that indicate you may be a victim of identity theft: 1. There are bills for a credit card account you did not open. 2. There are notice charges, which you did not authorize on your credit card statement 3. No bills and credit card statements arrive on the days you expect them. 4. Unauthorized transfers or withdrawals on your bank statements show. 5. Notifications from collection agency about accounts you never opened. 6. Calls or notices from businesses about merchandise you did not buy. 7. Debts showing up on your credit reports that you did not file. Is There a Way to Prevent Identity Theft? Pretty woman walking down the street, pretty woman: then, a man suddenly seize her handy bag. The woman shouted and begs for help, but the man runs as fast as a horse until the woman does not even have a view with the man's shadow: . Would you like this thing to happen? Of course, everybody wants to preserve their property and their money because these are taken from the fruits of their hard work. Stealing one's property is a violation according to the law, much more with stealing with your personal identity already. Sometimes, it is more acceptable although it is also a crime when somebody stolen your property. The worse thing happens when it is already your privacy or the personal information that you have being taken away from you by the thieves. Identity theft is a threat against your persona. It reveals everything about you to another person, who is a thief. Thus, knowing all the information about yourself will allow him to make transaction with other people using your identity. You will not only loose the money in your wallet and your bag but the entire property that you have in general. However, do not worry too much about identity theft because there are several ways for you to keep away yourself from being one of the victims of identity theft. If only you will strictly follow these ways, you will be guaranteed with the security of your identity. Check this out! 1. Always keep your things in proper places and securely. -- This is the basic thing that you should do. Never allow anybody to fix your wallet where your identification cards, bank accounts and other personal information are placed. Avoid trusting so mjuch even to the closest person to you. Study shows that almost 26 percent of the cases in identity theft, the victims knew who the perpetrators are. 2. Burn all the receipts, personal applications, bank statement and any other kind of forms before you discard them. This will help you to protect your financial data and status. 3. Never give personal information instantly over the phone. Make sure that the person calling reveals to you his real purpose for calling. But it is not still an assurance, it is better if you will see them personally before you give out information about yourself to know the real purpose. 4. Bring the ID that you needed most for a particular transaction. Leave it to your house, if you do not need it at all. This is also one way of protecting yourself from identity theft. 5. Usually, when you make a bank transaction such as depositing or withdrawing, you are to fill up a form. It is better if you only write the last four4 digit of your bank account number. The teller already know the proper thing that they are suppose to do. 6. Surf in the net and know the latest information about online identity theft. You also have a big concern about this since you are making transactions through computers sometimes. Web spoofing is also stealing tone's identity of the website identity. You don't know if somebody already knows your financial account number by imitating the website where your e-mail account is located. 7. Take some precautions when it comes to your credit and debit cards. Always keep your credit cards in a secured place. When using it in paying the amount of stuffs that you shop, make sure that you give it properly and get it immediately to the cashier because you can be distracted by the person next to you in line. 8. Secure your ATM cards as well. When you withdraw with your ATM account, secure the card properly. Prevent yourself from being a victim of skimming. This is the process where the machine can be able to get the details of your transaction. Sad to say but everyday there are about thousands of people who became the victim of identity theft. Sometimes, other people do not have any idea about this knid of crime. It is high time that you should get yourself aware about this before it will be too late. What are the effects of identity theft on an organization? If identity theft can cause so much trouble for an individual, it can also cause the same kind of trouble to companies or organizations. It seems that people have found a gold mine in stealing other peoples' information to use for their own personal gain. And since there are a lot of benefits gained from this, there is no stopping anyone from doing it more and more. The popularity of the Internet and computer databases has only become an additional tool for thieves to steal information from. Just think of all the genius minds wandering unnoticed everyday. The economic and social effect of this crime is not something to be ignored. If they can do these things to nameless individuals then the more they can do it with big organizations that are known and may have some of its information up for grabs. Even if there is still no perfect solution, every organization should take reasonable steps to reduce the risk and to know what to do if an identity theft incident occurs there. Identity theft in an organization can be attested to different factors: Identity theft because of negligence and lenient standards. Out of negligence, an organization can fail in checking the validity of persons or companies they are selling their information into. They may not be aware that some of this are identity thieves whose sole purpose is to get information about the organization. Another case of negligence would be putting information into portable, carry around gadgets. Example of these are lap tops and notebooks. The potable things are one of the most convenient ways of keeping important information. Many of its owners do not protect or encrypt any information stored. The result? Instant access to personal and organization-related information once these things have gotten into the hands of wrongdoers. There have been reports of data and information being lost in some bigger organizations. There are many reasons why this thing can happen. One is that the company may not have the potential to safely store big files. Another is that, they do not have a way of knowing what the employees are doing and what they can access to. Identity theft using state-of-the-art attacks. Some identity theft attacks occur through technical means, such as exploiting weaknesses in computer hardware or software. Hackers make the most of the problems in operating systems, firewalls, Internet browsers, or internal processing software to gain unauthorized access to confidential data. But these kinds of attack can be countered by: Keeping up to date with security software updates. An unpatched system is operating with known weaknesses. These weaknesses can act as invitations to hackers. But applying patches takes time and resources. And it is up to senior management to maintain that security updates be handled fast and effectively. Knowing where essential customer data are stored. Every company should have data flow mapping. This will provide an objective basis for company managers to track information and understand who will have access to those data. The strategy is to create a "path" so the data do not just thrive randomly in different electronic nooks and corners of the company. This will prevent employees, freelancer, contractors or hackers to gain access to the information stored. Collecting proof when an incident occurs. Failure to gather evidence in a forensically sound manner can make it impossible to track criminal charges or to look for civil compensation. Having qualified computer forensic resources should be a part of every organization's plan. Recognizing the dangers of wireless data communication. You may seen instances where organizations do not properly secure wireless networks. The network may not be protected and unauthorized network could be accessed from outside the premises of the organization. Regular testing to make sure that no one is running a scoundrel network, and that authorized wireless networks are well protected, is very important. The effects of identity theft in an organization is a problem that should not be taken for granted. While there are no absolute solutions, there are many well-documented methods to decrease the risks and handle incidents effectively. The effects of identity theft vary from one organization to another. But with preparation, planning, and the recognition that a wide range of expertise sets are needed to stop this crime, any organization can keep up with the challenge. Identity Theft: Ways to Prevent It Identity theft is a very serious crime; if you're a victim of this crime it may have serious consequences. It could mean difficulty in clearing your credit records, getting into debt, losing a lot of money and even getting in trouble with the law. You will also have difficulty obtaining new jobs or apartments. This is because employers and landlords usually check the credit records of their applicants. This crime occurs when a thief gets information about your credit card numbers, name, address, social security number, and other personal information that should be kept confidential. After they obtained your personal information, they will usually make purchases, open bank accounts, apply for loans, apply for new credit cards, get government benefits, and forge checks in your name. If you're a victim, there are ways to solve this problem; you can report the crime to concerned authorities and you can apply for identity theft insurance. Many companies are offering insurance for people to protect their personal information. You can apply for this insurance as an option for homeowner's insurance policy. However, having identity theft insurance does not prevent identity theft; it will only help you recover if in any case you have been a victim of this crime. People who become victims of identity theft or identity fraud usually do not figure out how their personal information was acquired by the thief. So, it is wise that you should be careful about your personal information. The best way to prevent this crime is to be careful with your personal information. You first have to know how criminals obtain your personal information. Thieves obtain personal information in many simple ways. Here are some examples: * By stealing your wallet containing credit cards, and other personal information. * By going through your garbage for items containing personal information. * By providing personal information online through email or registration based websites. * By pretending to be a new creditor to obtain your credit report. * By eavesdropping on your phone calls or looking over your shoulder as you use your personal information. * By promising prizes or awards by contacting you by email that would require you to provide personal and financial information. Here are some transactions that also create risk: * Online banking * Online purchases * Storing personal information in your computer * Using your social security information for identification purposes. However, this does not necessarily mean that you should avoid these transactions. It means that you should be careful when giving away your personal and financial information. Being conscious on how you use your personal and financial information can prevent completion of identity theft. Here are some tips for safeguarding your personal and financial information: * Memorize your social security number * Memorize your PIN numbers * Don't use easy to guess passwords, like your birthday or your mother's maiden name * Secure your computer by using firewall software and always update your computer security to safeguard your computer from spywares. * Confirm if the website URL that is requesting your personal information is authentic or legitimate. * Beware of emails, especially with attachments, belonging to someone you don't know. Emails like these contain viruses or spywares that can easily be installed in your computer and can send your personal information stored in your computer to thieves. * Websites that ask for personal information should be secure. A secured website usually has URL that starts with "https://" with the "s" meaning secured. * Beware of telephone inquiries asking you to give your personal information, unless you contacted them. * If you lost your credit card, report it immediately to concerned authorities. It could have been stolen by identity thieves. * Get your mails as soon as it is delivered. * Do not discard bank, credit card or any other transaction receipts in public areas. Someone might obtain these information by dumpster diving. These are some of the ways to safeguard your personal information. It is important that you should be aware of what you do to items containing your personal and financial information. Practicing these methods will surely minimize the risk of becoming a victim of identity theft. Perforate or shred important documents containing personal informations such as old credit cards, used checks and identity cards. You'll never know when they would fall into wrong hands. If you suspect that something is wrong, report it immediately to authorities. Be sure that you have a proof that you have reported such incident by keeping it in black and white. Secure Your Life with Identity Theft Reporting Given the chance to live a simple life where the advent of technology do not conquer humanity yet, some people will prefer to have that so. With the recent advancement, everything is beyond the control of people. Identity theft in the web world and in personal transactions is also increasing. In spite of remarkable efforts, the problem continues to exist. This is how situation is getting worse. United States initiated a collaborative endeavor with the proper authority to solve the threat brought by identity theft. Identity theft is indeed a menace in the United States society. The issue has been plaguing the state for several times. It already affects millions of US citizens. More and more victims' everyday are filing their complaints. According to the Bureau of Investigation in the United States, the status of identity theft is considered one of their most prevalent crimes. The statistic shows that the ratio of the crime is 1:5. In other words, for every five families residing in US, one of them is hooked by identity theft. Why identity theft seems very intriguing? The crime is taking the personal information of another person without due consent, from his name down to other legal documents that a person possesses. In addition, after taking the personal information, the thief tends to use it in deceitful transactions where they can earn money. United States present several preventive measures on how to stop further misuse of your identity once you discover that someone has stolen it from you. This is the identity theft reporting. It allows you to give prior notice to the agencies and bureaus concerned. Here is how identity theft reporting works for you. 1. Contact the fraud departments where you apply the fraud alert. Fraud alert is place on your personal data when you have transaction to a particular office. Once notice a stolen identity, it will be immediately reported to you. However, fraud alert is one way to protect you from identity theft. 2. When you encounter identity theft, report the crime to the nearest local police or sheriff department in your place. Identity reporting should also be done immediately after you discover the crime. Do not let it pass for over 24 hours because you will give the thief a chance to manipulate his actions. This is worse if it already involves your credit account. 3. After you have reported the crime, be sure that you request a police report. Sometimes, this is referred to your personal statement about the scenario that happened. Be factual and honest as possible in your narration. This will serve as a basis for the authority to make the necessary investigation. 4. Coordinate with your creditor banks and notify them about the crime. Let the banks and utility companies freeze all your accounts. The police report that you asked from the sheriff will also be asked from you by the bank. Make sure that you are able to present one for them. You can be accountable for a minimal amount for your account replacement. Some banks provide you with new passbook or credit cards. Sometimes, they will also issue you new account numbers. 5. Prior to your identity theft reporting, if you monitored that somebody already made unauthorized withdrawal from your account, notify the bank right away. By doing this, they will immediately make efforts to trace the person who made the withdrawal. 6. You should i8nstyantly stop your payment to any existing accounts using your previous identity. You can alert the check verification company, as well. This will make them reject whoever will attempt to withdraw from your stolen account. 7. Aside from your account and credit account numbers, you should also make a report to the SSS office for them to issue new SS card for you. It is very important that you protect yourself from being one of the victims of identity theft because if not you will suddenly notice that you almost loose everything that you own; it can be both your reputation and your property. Do not let these things to happen before you. Act now before it will be too late! The Benefits of Identity Theft Insurance One of the fastest rising crimes in the United States and United Kingdom is Identity Theft. Considerably, identity theft is one of the most often reported crimes. Identity theft is a horrible crime which occurs about thrice every minute in America. In U.K an estimated one hundred thousand cases are committed every year. Regrettably, identity theft is not anymore an unusual happening particularly in North America. Majority of people do not even give a thought of it. It does not matter to them whether the crime is committed or not. They will only be concerned about it if they will be victimized by the identity thief. What is the meaning of Identity Theft? Identity Theft or Identity Fraud is the deliberate assumption of the identity of another person, generally in order to have free access of their finances or to use it in committing a terrible crime. Identity theft is unlawful use of your personal name, date of birth, social security number together with your financial and banking information. The Identity Thief will utilize the information in applying for credit, opening bank accounts and to the extent of find a job. Identity theft is seldom used in terrorism, illegal immigration, espionage or alters the identity of the person permanently. Identity theft can also be a way of blackmailing a person by violating the privacy of the person. The illegal activities of the thief while using the name of the victim will have serious consequences such as the loss of job or the marriage. The victims of identity theft are not solely the stable credit companies, but also who does not have much credit life for example, the students from college. They will be framed up by giving them fake credit accounts using their names. The students are the common victims because their personal information especially for schools that will post their grades by using their Social Security Number. And sometimes students do not even bother to protect such information. They do not check seriously their financial accounts. Mostly, credit card applications are sent by mail. Identity theft crimes come from snatching of the wallet to big time fraud rings. Identity theft can happen when somebody gets your mail, your purse is stolen, or your records in an institution are swiped. This can be easily remedied if the thief is arrested early. The banks and creditors will only ask you to pay the first $50 of deceptive charges. However, those grave cases of deception will go on for so many years and more resources to be resolved. In view of this, there is no denying that there exists the danger of identity theft. Thus, everyone should do something so as to give the necessary protection. There are some preventive measures for the commission of the crime. It is really not easy to keep your identity safe especially in our world wherein we find strangers who are always smiling. You do not know whether they are sincere or not. Hence, you should be aware of fraud and be very careful in sharing your personal information. Every month, make it a habit to monitor carefully your statement of accounts. You should strictly observe any unlawful activity about your credit report. In order that your personal information and pre-approved credit offers will not be known by any unauthorized person, you should use the paper shredder. The above mentioned measures will serve as precautions for everyone who will be possible victims of identity theft. Now if you are really serious about your identity and financial stability, then the best way to protect us from identity theft is to get an identity theft insurance. Many companies are offering this identity theft insurance which normally costs from $25 to $60 every year. You should bear in mind that identity theft insurance is not a guarantee which will prevent you from being a victim. Identity theft insurance will help you to recover from your plenty of losses due to identity theft. However, your direct monetary losses resulting from identity theft are not covered by identity theft insurance. Identity theft insurance will provide the coverage for the reclaiming of your financial identity like the expenses when making a phone call, reproducing copies; documents are mailed, taking a leave from office without pay and hiring your attorney. There are to things to consider before you get an identity theft insurance. * Know what are the policy limits. * Inquire if there is something deductible. * Take note that identity theft insurance does not include direct monetary losses. * Make some verifications on what limits apply and what are the requirements to cause the coverage, when the insurance policy covers the lost wages. * If the insurance policy includes the legal fees, then verify what limits apply and if there is a need for the insurer to approve the legal work. The moral behind every identity theft stories You may have been shocked at the stories of identity theft told by those who have fallen victim into this kind of crime. With the way things are going today, you can expect more to read and see more of these crimes being presented. According to recent studies on identity theft, more than 7 million people have become victims of this crime in the US alone. If you compute that on a daily basis, it would result to around 19,000 identity cases a day. Based on these numbers alone, you will realize that identity theft is really something that should be given serious attention and focus on. With the technology getting more and more advanced everyday, these identity theft stories are not likely to end up soon. What was presented above was just summaries. They are just if you compare them with the real life stories of what the victims have been though, they will seem insignificant. Many of the people who have experienced the crime have developed traumas that are not easy to get over. Hearing about identity theft stories is way different from being in the situation or having someone close to you relate what had happened. Although there is no stopping you from becoming a victim of identity theft, there are a lot of steps to take to prevent this from happening. All in all, it all boils down to maintaining a constant watch over your credit or payments. You just need your common sense to tell you if something suspicious has taken place. By taking these things into consideration, you are making it harder for these thieves to get past the walls that you have erected. Not only that, you will not be among those who have suffered, are suffering and will suffer. Take note that identity thieves are no different from any other thieves. They too do not like to work hard to get something. If you try and make it quite hard for them to consider you a potential victim, they would probably just let you off and go find another with a more lenient protection around themselves. Take the case of phishing for example. Phishing is simply an email you receive that seem to be coming from one of your banks. The message is telling you to get in your online account and confirm some of the details needed. Normally there would be a link included in the mail for convenient purposes. The instant you clicked on the link, identity thieves will record your ID and password. Once they have this information, it will be easy for them to get into your account. They would probably wipe your account clean in a matter of minutes. You have just lost all your hard earned money. How will you make use of common sense in this kind of situation? The very first thing you have to realize is that your banks already have all your personal data saved. If they did not have all these, they will not be able to process your account. So why are they asking for these things again? The best thing to do is to not give that message another thought. Better yet, thrash them because it is a scam. If that is legitimate, your bank will try to contact you again over other means of communication. But if you are having second thoughts on the legitimacy of the message, the best thing to do is confirm it. If you have the number of your bank, try and call them. Ask them if they did send the email and why are they doing so. If they are not the ones who sent you the email, they will probably have the same reaction as you when you received the message. Moral of this identity theft story? Do not ever try to get into your account via the link sent to you by email. If you have been doing your business online for quite some time, you should know that there is a specified page in where you do your business. The next option would be to go into the bank's homepage and log in there if you want to access your account. Put an End to Criminal Identity Theft Being mistaken for someone else can be very hazardous. It can actually get you punished for something you never did. A couple of situations have already cropped up when someone else in a course of a criminal act uses another persons identity. Many criminals have had the ability to get crucial and vital information, such as social security number, addresses, credit card numbers, bank accounts, birth certificates and etcetera to commit crimes. The imposter uses someone else's identification. Not only that, most of the imposter uses fraudulent information or in this case, true personal information but not their own. The fake identification can lead the crime to someone else. As a result, the innocent person will suffer from all of the consequences of the crime commited. In a traffic scenario, criminal identity theft can also happen. Traffic imposter that violates the traffic rules can use a fraudulent driver's license with another persons name. By doing this, they can escape the traffic fine or escape from appearing in court as the law requires. The fine goes to another persons record. The judge will surely issue a warrant of arrest for traffic violation. Unfortunately, the license card is in the name of the victim. Because of this, the imposter will never appear in any court hearing. The worst thing is that, the victim is normally arrested upon a routine traffic stop. Criminal identity theft is more complicated compared to financial identity theft. Fortunately, unlike other theft cases, criminal identity theft is very rare. In this case the imposter has a rigid form of identify complex. Especially if the suspect uses a different fraud identity, the police department will surely have a hard time looking for the perpetrator. At the present situation, police are very much more cautious when it comes to criminal identity theft. This offense is considered to be an extreme personal crime. Moreover, records are not easily cleared which could cause several problems with transactions a person may undertake. For example, a criminal record, albeit false, can mar a clean record causing a person some problems with say his credit or a job opportunity. Not only that, criminal identity imposter can also tamper with some bank account charges of the victim. It can also make some bank account withdrawals and social security tampering. Unrelated crimes can also be committed by the imposter for whom the victim may be held responsible. Criminal identity theft can also affect the victim in obtaining a job. The imposter can simply use the other personal documents in some events. An impostor can steal from a company and the assumed identity may get the bum wrap for the act done. The real trouble in identity theft is that the burden of proof relies on the victim's evidences. The victim must have enough information and data in order to clear up the issues. Not only that, if the imposter had committed a serious offense, the trial can take years. It can even cost the victim thousands of dollars to clear his or her name. These are more conveniences on the part of the victim. In most cases, the victim is required to have a set of circumstances. The victim must render enough time and evidences to clear the issue on his or her criminal records. A good lawyer should also be retained, the sooner you clear your name and your records the better it will be for you. If you ever found out that someone is using your identity, don't wait for the authorities to pick you up, do actions already to minimize the potential damage it may cause. What are things that an individual should do when criminal identity theft happened? * The very first thing that he must do is to report the incident. The local law enforcement agency must know the misidentification issue. * Proper impersonation report must be filled officially. The victim must not take all things for granted. He must act as soon as possible to prevent serious troubles. * Having enough information about the particular laws of the state is important. The victim must know the proper proceedings when it comes to identity theft. Here is where a good and knowledgeably lawyer will be very handy. This kind of criminal offense happens more often than what everybody thinks. It has already destroyed countless lives of innocent people. Do not let somebody damage your reputation. Take the essential precautions to protect yourself from criminal identification theft. How to Avoid Identity Theft: Keeping your Financial Records Safe Picture this, you are browsing through your mail, you get your bills and you didn't count on seeing your credit card bill with a five-figure charge. Its bad enough that you get charged for purchases you didn't do, you also get slapped with a bad credit rating that will certainly jack up all your credit rates. Aside from that, the legitimate card holder can also suffer from different consequences. The credit account can be transferred to fraudulent individuals or corporations and the savings data will leak permanently. Important information like credit card password and numbers are also stolen. Client's confidentiality can also be changed by the impersonator. Worse, the social security of a person may be used for different criminal acts. In most part of the globe, the issue on identity theft is a rapid growing offense. In United States, a study was conducted last 2004 revealing how serious the situation of the crime is. The Federal Trade Commission recently concluded that almost 9.1 million individuals are victims of identity theft crimes. Aside from that, in a United Kingdom based study done last 2003, 20 percent of the entire consumer groups have also fell victim to identity theft crisis. On the other hand, the Home Office in United Kingdom does not assemble the information for identity theft. Instead, they make some alternatives on how to avoid this kind of situations. This only goes to show that identity theft is prevalent in both sides of the globe. How to prevent credit card identity theft from happening In order to prevent this kind of scenario, here are some important insights and safety tips about identity theft. * Leaving the receipt or pay slip on any ATM station or gas pumps is not a good habit. Be observant with details. Always make sure to lock and sort out files for bills, and bank account receipts. Before throwing those things away make sure to shred them first. Bits and pieces of information can be used by a seasoned identity thief. * In a current investigation done by the FBI, 30 percent of the victims admitted that they had been a victim of identity theft by a co-worker or a friend. In this case, be very wary of the people around you. Don't just trust any bank documents to anyone else. Most of the suspects know the pattern and lifestyles of their victims * Do not forget to get a copy of credit reports and statements. Get it from a reliable source like credit banking and bureaus. * Choose out of the mailing list. The bank mailing list must come from the contacts of credit bureaus. As much as possible, call the bank registry office. This office can give an idea which mailing list is safe from identity theft. * Never write down the security card number on the check. Many individuals can read it and can use it against the account. Do not also put the security card number in the wallet. It must be kept on a secured area for privacy. * Another thing is, never print the bank account number on any documents, like for example a driver's license. * Delete any spam email messages that requires an account number. It can be a fraud strategy top get vital information from you. And also, stop other credit card offers from the internet. There are some hackers that can corrupt the bank notifications. Installing firewall and anti spyware software can also help. These softwares can protect the password of the computer and other personal data sheets. * When getting a new batch of checks, it is important to get first the initial printed name instead of the whole name. It is also important to get the check from designated bank purchaser office. * The password account must be private. The pin number must not be carried inside the wallet. Any personal information should not be given over the phone. As an advice, if an individual feels that he is a victim of an identity theft, it is appropriate to contact the nearest Justice Department. If not, a bank office can also help in that particular situation. Remember, in every action, taking extra care and getting help from the appropriate agencies is the safest thing to do. Protect your Credit with Identity Theft Shield We live in a world where information technology is highly oriented in the society. The advancement of technology have allowed us to make business transactions easily in just a short time. But even with the enhancement of technology, we could never believe that it gave rise to a crime which is known as the identity theft. As a matter of fact, the Federal Trade Commission have released a news which stated that in the year 2003, there had been at least 27 million Americans that have fallen to the identity thieves which started way back in 1999. Every year, the number of identity theft cases has outnumbered. In 2003, there had been almost 10 million people in the United States, who have claimed that they had been victims of identity theft. So what does this imply? Has some stranger stolen your credit card? Who will be the one to help you with that case? Your credit card company may be the one to help you with that problem. According to the FTC, there had been almost 60% of the identity theft issues, did not relate to the credit card accounts. To avoid this from happening, the only solution is to be aware of the identity theft shield. This case occurs when the new lines of credit is being opened which is in your name through the credit cards or through bank loans. This also include the utility/phone fraud or even some of the employment related fraud. Because we most of us have access to these technology related innovations, we can all be victims. To avoid this from happening, the application of identity theft shield can be applicable. It is important to feel safe about our personal belongings properties. You may ask what can we possibly do if we have been into the situation. You may think that clearing your name will be the ultimate solution but it wont matter. You don't have to do that because the Pre-Paid Legal Services have helped so much in the improvement of the legal services industry. For over thirty years, Kroll company has helped a lot of companies especially the government agencies and common people to have their credit cards and other personal information safe. They helped reduce the risk of identity theft through Identity Theft Shield. What really is an Identity theft Shield and how can it help you? Identity theft shield has been developed b y Kroll to help the companies to come up with a solution to resolve identity theft. In fact, this service is available to the Pre-Paid Legal members of the society with the use of the Identity Theft Shield. How does the Identity Theft Shield benefit the users? With the Identity Theft Shield, the members can have easy access to their possessions. It gives them credit ratings to fight back and make reactions if an identity thief plans to threaten the financial standing. This benefit is perfectly designed to give you a warning if things go wrong and if you are suspicious that someone is interested in your account. If an activity is not doing good, you can restore the damage done to your credit history with the use of the Identity Theft Shield. So in order to avoid this, the experts have recommended that people who possess credit cards should report regularly. With the help of the identity theft shield, you can make reports easily. The members are given up-to-date credit report with no additional charge. So if you have an identity theft shield membership, your credit lines and information will be monitored regularly and daily to prevent fraud and other transactions. Your credit will be given attention and no one can steal anything from you. You do not even have to make announcements because the identity theft shield can figure out if your credit is in danger. This will free you from all the worries from the people who are interested in your credit. Now if you feel like your credit is in danger, it is the right time to have an identity theft shield to make sure that your credit is safe and protected or else, you can never do anything about it. Fifteen Easy Solutions to Avoid Being a Victim of Identity Theft Identity theft usually happens when a certain person unlawfully gets you personal data like your Social Security Number, Credit card Accounts, Driver's License Number and other information about you. The person who obtains your personal information utilizes it to his or her loan or credit card application, which is under your name. The thief also uses it to do unlawful purchases or to use any of your active financial accounts. Identity is very rampant today, but there are significant guidelines you can consider which will help you lessen the potential of becoming one of the identity thieves. 1. Do not give any of your personal details such as your birth date, social security number and accounts numbers on the telephone especially when someone asks you for it. In addition, do not give it through email except if you are the one who started the contact and if you know the person who will receive your information. 2. Tear into pieces the papers that have your personal data before disposing them. This papers includes credit card bills, checking accounts and bank accounts 3. Have correct and present records of all your cards and put the person to contact with when they are missing or stolen. If possible, make copies of your credit cards and put your service number on the copies. If you are not using your credits card now, make sure to store them in a safe place and have it locked. It is also nice to store your unused checks, social security card and bank statement in a safe place. 4. You should also ensure to make credit card receipt copies when buying something. Moreover, confirm if your credit card was returned to you. 5. It is necessary to monitor your credit report every year. There are three main credit card reporting offices, which can help you do it, possible. These three reporting office allows you to have a free credit report annually. If you want, you can visit their websites and ask for a free report. 6. You should also ensure that when you are withdrawing from any ATM machines or stores, there is no one at your back who could freely see your PIN number. Also, be sure that no one hears you when you are giving your credit card number or other personal data about you to someone on the telephone. 7. When buying something online, ensure that the website is safe. 8. When using your personal computer, be able to use firewalls or any virus protections. You can also make use of your password that consist of not purely letters, purely numbers and purely symbols. It should be a combination of at least letters and numbers, letters and symbol, symbols and number or else a combination of the three. Remember not to use passwords that are obviously come from your birth date, anniversaries or phone numbers. If necessary, memorize your passwords. Never write it down somewhere. 9. Do not reply to any emails that requests for your information update. Contact the credit card office or the bank directly to update your personal information. Keep in mind that bank and other financial or non-financial institutions do not ask for information update through email. So, beware of those frauds that ask it from you. 10. If you notice many pre-approved credit offers in your emails, call the credit card company and request to have your name out of the promotional lists they advertise. 11. Place all your mails at the post office than put and leave it in your mailbox. You are giving the identity thief a chance of stealing personal information from you, through this way. 12. Make sure that you picked you new issued check personally from the back. Do not permit it to be sent to you by mail. 13. Put passwords in all your accounts for your safety. Again, use the combination of letters, numbers or symbols when making password. 14. You can always apply for an identification theft insurance policy. 15. You can also register to any credit watch offices. This type of office makes checking of all your credit report simpler by automatically informing when something has changed in your report. In this way, it will be possible for you to know if someone attempt to make credit under your name. By simply following the solutions below, you are surely avoiding yourself from any identity theft. Identity Theft Video: Great Way To Catch An Identity Theft Identity theft is one of the worst problems occurring today. It can happen almost anywhere, in small towns and even cities. Identity theft is defined by the law as the use of another person's identity or identification to steal or commit crime. An identity thief often uses another person's identity to rob your money. They usually use your credit card or credit card information to purchase whatever they want and you will be billed for it. One of the best ways to know about identity theft is by buying a video demonstrating how the crime works and also how to prevent it. This video will tell you how to keep yourself secured from thieves and show you how identity thieves work. It will show you useful information on how identity theft occurs. If you obtained a copy of an identity theft video, it is recommended that you share it with your family and friends to warn them about the hazards of identity theft. It will demonstrate on how a thief gets hold of your personal information and use it to get money from you. Here are some examples: * Dumpster diving -- Thieves can often obtain your personal information by rummaging through garbage. This is why it is important for you to dispose of your documents or items containing your personal and financial information carefully. You should first burn it or shred it to pieces to the point that it cannot be restored. * Stealing wallets and purses -- This is one of the most common ways thieves commit identity thefts. What seems like a simple case of snatching will immediately turn to identity theft. It is wise that you should be aware of your belongings in public places. Remember, your wallet or purse contains personal and financial information and if ever it gets lost, you should report it immediately to the police, credit card companies and your bank. * Online scam -- From time to time, you will receive emails offering prizes and other attractive offers. These emails will ask you to provide your personal information, such as your name, address, credit card number and other personal information in order to obtain the offer they are presenting. Do not give them your personal and financial information. Most of these emails are scams. * Mails -- Thieves can obtain your personal information and your family's by stealing your mails. It is wise that you should immediately get your mails after the postman puts it in your mailbox. * Your home -- Thieves can break in to your house and steal items including your documents and financial information. You should have a secure lock in your house and also get your neighbors to look after your house when you and your family are going out. * Filling out documents -- When you are filling out documents, thieves usually looks over their shoulder and take note of what you are writing. It is wise that you should not fill out sensitive documents in public places. Look for a more private spot to write down your personal and financial information. The identity theft video will also include on how thieves use the obtained personal information. Here are some of the things identity thieves do to your personal information: * They will open a new credit card account in your name . * Thieves will also purchase vehicles by applying automobile loan in your name. * If they get arrested on any violation, they will give your name to the police instead of theirs. If they get released but didn't show up in court for their trial, the police will make an arrest warrant in your name. * They will open new bank accounts in your name and write bad checks to purchase items in your name. * They will call your credit card company or issuer and will use your name to change the mailing address of your credit card statement. These are some of the things thieves do to your personal and financial information. The video will also show you ways to prevent identity theft crime to happen to you. Many people are becoming a victim of this crime. Do not let this happen to you.Be updated on the modus operandi being employed by identity thefts . The identity theft video will surely make you aware of them. Minimizing Your Risk from Identity Theft Identity thief is a very serious crime since it involves the stealing of someone else's identity and using the said robbed identity in committing fraud crimes or other related crimes. The problem with identity theft is that you can never really be sure when it will hit you. You might wake up one day with police running after you for some crimes that you have not committed. Or worst you might lose everything that you have worked hard for because somebody else posing as you has sold or withdrawn all of your money in the bank. Being a victim of identity theft is one of the worst things that could ever happen to someone. However there are certain steps that you can take in order to minimize your risk of becoming a victim of identity theft and here are some of them: 1. If you suspect that someone is using your identity to commit fraud crimes you must contact as soon as possible the fraud departments of the consumer reporting companies in order for them to place a fraud alert on your credit report. The fraud alert will warn creditors to contact you whenever an account is opened using your name or if ever there are some changes that are to be made on your accounts. There are actually two types of fraud alerts---these are your initial alert and your extended alert. The difference between these two fraud alerts is in terms of their duration. The initial alert usually last for ninety days on your credit report while the extended fraud alert stays much longer and last for as long as seven years. You can choose between these two frauds alerts the best one that you think will provide you with a better protection. Plus you only have to contact only one of the consumers reporting companies since it will simply relay to the other two the fraud alert. 2. It will also help if you close the accounts that have been tampered with or fraudulently opened in your name. You can use the ID Theft Affidavit when you want to question new unauthorized accounts that are opened in your name. 3. Don't forget to file a report or complain with the local police in your community where the identity theft occurs. And always try to obtain a copy of the report which you are to provide your creditors and others that might be in need of any proof of the crime. 4. Similarly don't forget to file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission. The commission keeps a database of all identity theft cases used and filed by law enforcement agencies for investigations. By filing a complaint to the proper authority will help you to understand better all issues regarding identity theft. Likewise, you will also know the problems that most victims faced and you will also be guided on the proper steps on how to avoid becoming a victim of identity theft. So always be extra careful especially when divulging personal information especially when using online services since this is where most identity thieves get their information. No one is safe from identity theft. Anyone can be a victim so be sure to be extra careful especially in divulging information about yourself. The internet is one of the means by which identity thieves get hold of other people's personal information so be very careful in transacting business online. Make sure that you are dealing with a legitimate company and in filling up some online forms be sure to divulge only information that is required of you. Refrain from giving extra information about yourself. Likewise, refrain from answering unsolicited emails that ask for your information since most identity thieves also disguises themselves as representatives of some legitimate business online in order to lure you into giving them your personal information. Don't be deceived by those lottery emails saying that you have won something and would require you to fill up some forms asking for personal information. Don't be carried away by the promised price, it would be better for you to confirm with the company whether they have sent you an email or not. And if ever they deny it then make sure that report the fraudulent email that you receive to the Federal Trade Commission so that they can give out warnings to other consumers of the circulating fraudulent email. Protection from Identity Fraud: Your Business, Your Life Have you ever had a huge credit card bill without even purchasing the things listed in the credit card statement? Have you ever been arrested for outstanding parking tickets even if you know that you didn't even commit any traffic violations? Then you might be a victim of identity theft crime. This kind of crime can be very damaging and frustrating for its victims. Not only that it the person committing this crime can steal your money, but the criminal can also ruin your reputation. Financial fraud, such as credit card fraud, bank account fraud and computer fraud are examples of identity theft. Another type of identity theft involves criminal activities committed in your name. Imagine yourself being investigated for a crime that you didn't commit. This can be frustrating or upsetting for anyone who becomes a victim of identity theft or identity fraud. Crimes like these can be very devastating for the victims and also for the victim's family. It can result on you being convicted for tax evasion or even fraud. There are many forms that identity theft can occur, it can simply be as simple as a lost or forgotten credit card or submitting your personal information in emails to people you don't know. This is why you should know how to protect yourself from identity theft. It is important that you should be cautious on whom you give your personal information to and also you should be aware with all your credit cards and other things that can provide personal and financial information about you. Here are some ways to protect yourself from identity theft: * If someone calls you and tells you that they are from the credit card company or other financial institutions, and would be asking you about your personal information, do not give it to them. Hang up the phone and call the credit card company or financial institution the caller said he or she is from. * If you need to give out your personal information to a company, be sure that the company you're dealing with will protect the information you give them. Ask on how secure their files are. * It is wise that you should keep track of all the credit card purchases you made and withdrawals you made in your bank and check the billing statement and withdrawal statement carefully and thoroughly. Criminals who commit identity fraud are usually careful, purchasing only one item at a time in the duration of the credit card billing mails. If you find something irregular in your credit card billing statement, report it immediately to concerned authorities. * Criminals who commit identity theft usually go dumpster diving. This means that they go look in garbage to obtain any discarded documents containing personal and financial information. You should be careful when you dispose of your documents containing personal and financial information. If it is possible, burn them or shred them to the point that it cannot be put back together. * Do not carry any unnecessary documents or cards in your wallet or purse containing your personal information. A simple crime like stealing your wallet or purse can immediately turn to identity crime. This is one of the most common ways a thief uses to obtain personal information. * It is wise to make photo copies of your credit cards, passports and other sensitive documents to easily cancel it if ever it was stolen. * Your deposit slips is one of the easiest ways a thief can acquire your personal information. Be careful with it. Keep it in a safe place in your home and also try to be aware of it in public areas. Deposit slips can provide the thief to access your bank account. * Your account in emails and other websites also provide personal and financial information. Be sure that you have a very secure password. Do not use easy to guess passwords such as, your birthday, or your mothers maiden name. If you suspect that you are a victim of identity theft, you should contact the concerned authorities, such as the police and fraud offices the moment you suspect it. Close your bank accounts immediately and get your credit card reissued with a different account number. Tell your bank about your suspicion by calling and stating it in writing. Always be on the lookout for identity theft fraud Nothing will prevent you from being an identity theft fraud victim. These criminals can easily commit identity because of the careless information-handling processes in the workplace, lenient credit industry practices, and the effortlessness of getting SSNs. However, you can lessen your risk of fraud by following some simple steps. Consider them so you will not find yourself in the middle of an identity theft fraud. On credit and debit reports. 1. Do not make it a habit of carrying all your credit and debit cards in your wallet at all times. It is also not advisable to use debit cards because they are more prone to losses to your checking account. But you can have at least one or two credit cards and your ATM with you. If you are used to using debit cards, make the most of online access to your bank account to check your account activity regularly. It is best to report early signs of fraud to your financial bank or institution the earliest possible time. 2. When using your cards in public establishments, be wary of how they are being handled. Pay attention on how these cards are swiped by the clerk or waiter. There are some employees who are using non-detectable skimmers to swipe the card and get the account number data from a personal computer later on. They can use the information achieved to purchase online or to make counterfeit cards. 3. It is not a good idea to use debit cards when you are shopping over the Internet. Instead of these cards, use a credit card instead. Yu are better protected if you use these kind of cards whenever you do some purchase online. 4. Maintain a list of copy of all your cards. You should also have a separate list for the account numbers, dates of expiration and phone numbers of customer service and fraud establishments. It is best to keep them with you at all times. Put them in a safe pocket of what you are wearing so you will have immediate access to them whenever the need arises. 5. Do not give out any of your personal information over the phone, Internet or by mail. You can do this if you have enough trust on the person who will be receiving them. One of the strategy that identity thieves use is calling out to their potential victims and telling them that they have won some contest. They will then tell you that you need to give out some personal data so you can get your prize. 6. Do not dispose your receipts anywhere. Always try and bring them along with you. If ever you want to throw them away, tear them first and find a safe place to thrash it in. It is not wise to put receipts on shopping bags when you go shopping. Put them in your wallet or purse to avoid having someone getting hold of them. 7. Do not have your credit card number written your checks. Besides being exposed to dishonest persons, this is also in violation to some of the law in many states. Take note that by doing this, you are more prone to being a victim of fraud. 8.Check the mail always especially if you are waiting for one of your cards to arrive. You never know who might be watching out for them and try to steal them when you are not looking. If the card does not arrive at the anticipated date and time, contact the card company or the issuer to make sure that it have not fallen into the wrong hands already. 9. Request for a credit report at least once a year. The law gives you the right to one free credit report each year from the three credit bureaus. Your credit report will show drastic signs and changes if ever you are a victim of identity theft. You might find in them inquiries not made by you, along with new accounts that you did not request or open. The sooner you notice that an identity fraud is taking place, the easier and quicker it will be to clean up your credit files and get back your financial capabilities. Learn How to Prevent Identity Theft No one wants to be a victim of identity theft, as it is so difficult to clear all the transaction made by these thieves. If you do not have enough knowledge about it, you will not be prevented from being a victim of it. All you need to do is to prevent yourself from being the victim. However, how are you going to do that? Read this article and find out how you can prevent being victimized by these thieves. The best way to protect you from being a victim of identity theft is to protect your information. You should know all the possibilities that your information can be obtained. You must be of good control over your information to avoid it from being stolen. You should be aware of the means to obtain your information. There are in fact many ways to get it. These are the following means: * Purchasing goods and services over the net * Online banking * Throwing away your previous credit cards without destroying it * Storing personal data and information in your computer * Cellular phone use * Wireless phone use * Using your passwords and numbers for identification You need to safeguard your personal information using the following techniques. You should be conscious about it, as it will give you proper education on what to do and what to learn in terms of handling your account. Follow these simple guidelines to protect yourself from the harm of identity theft: * It is safer to memorize your security codes and numbers other than writing it down. Never print these numbers on your checks. * Give your files protection from making passwords. These can only be opened if your personal security code or password is entered. Never use your birth date or your name as a password; it can be an easy guess to the people. * Require your credit bureaus to give you regular reports on the review of your credit accounts. * Install software in your computer to avoid malicious software to enter your computer. Software such as firewall will minimize the chances of downloading bad software such as spyware, adware, and keyloggers. This software will unnoticeably enter your computer to spy on all the operation made in your computer. With the use of firewalls, you are sure to get rid of this malicious software in real time. * Do not include your personal information on the email inquiry. You should also avoid sending information over email. If you are sure that the reputable website sent you a business transaction, go to the particular official website of the sender to reply. Never use the link indicated on the email sent. * Never open mail attachments if you are not sure about who sent it to you. These attachments may contain software that can enter your computer system unnoticeably. This problem can be solved by using software that gets rid of them. Choose software that updated continuously. * Do not provide personal information when you are filling up forms online. Do not provide your personal data and most special your financial information online. * During a telephone call, never give your personal data and information on the one you are talking to. You can give your financial information and other data if you are the one to initiate the conversation. * Never mind the mails that tell you to complete your application on credit cards especially online. * Never discard any previously used credit card before destroying it. Shred it tears it and torn it into pieces to secure that these credit cards will not be used again. * If you lose your credit cards of other important cards report about it immediately to authorized personnel. You should temporarily close your account until the card has been captured. * Destroy all the documents that contain your personal data and information. Burning them can be more preferable. * Never discard bank receipts, credit card receipts and transaction receipt in public areas. Some people may obtain this information and use it against you. These are the guidelines to protect you from experiencing the wrath of identity theft. Make sure to follow these guidelines well for the protection of you accounts. Making a Report of the Identity Theft Crime Identity theft is the act of stealing ones identity including the name, address telephone number, credit cards and mother maiden name. In most cases, it is not only the identity stolen. Identity thieves also steel properties secured over the accounts of the owner. This is serious case and is recognized as a fraud. You can be a victim of this crime as there are no particular requirements for identity theft. Even small companies including college students are also victimized by this crime. However, you need to do the proper intervention once you are victimized. It is important for you to know who stole your important personal information in your computer. You need to identify the thief who opened your new account without your permission. It is very important for you to know the thief of your account as quickly as possible to avoid more problems to come. The law has been changed allowing anyone to review all their account or credit report annually without requiring payment for such. The law was established in year 2005. You will have a free credit report when your previous credit is denied within 60 days. With this monthly review, you will have the chance of identifying whether there is a huge unauthorized use of your accounts. You will identify them more quickly and you will find an early intervention as well. There many small services that offers monitoring your accounts and business periodically but are affordable. What happened if your identity has already been stolen? You may need to do a report about this matter. However, you will undergo different systematic steps before you can report this particular crime. Police do not have an active role or cannot give the proper thing to do in an instance. You may need to do much paperwork to complete and send it to all the companies and agencies that are responsible. Where are you going to report the crime? Do you have the knowledge that you need to fill out some forms for this kind of report? Where are you going to send them? You may report it to the police. However, you will not receive that advance action to the crime. There are special agencies that entertain crime like this. It will be discussed on the later part of the article. You have to undergo many stages in order for you to clear your name. It can be the most difficult part, as you will be clearing the mess you did not do. It will take time for you to clear name and battle up with bureaucratic red tape. There are many numbers of federal and state agencies that have jurisdiction, depending upon the type of crime committed. Federal Trade Commission has different agencies that can treat cases like identity theft issues, but you will still need to contact these agencies. It will take time to clear out all the errors made to your name, that is why you need to start with the process as soon as you figure out the crime that was done in your identity. Start reporting the crime to the different agencies, companies, credit bureaus and investigators to process the clearing out or correcting the errors. You should keep all the relevant files of all the contact and record all the relevant conversations and written correspondence. For you to have an easy and understood noting of these relevant data, you may need to make a chart of all of these including the date, agency, contact person, company and summary of all the information discussed. Original copies and the send out copies must be kept carefully. It will be relevant in the investigation of the crime. You can also send them thru certified mail, return receipt requested. By this way, you will have the record of the date when the letters were received. It may take time to clear out your name but you will get over it. You will start a new life full of confidence that you will never encounter crimes like this anymore. Remember that patience and determination is the key to the resolution of this crime. Crime: Identity Theft Using Credit Card It's a typical weekend. You drove to your friend's house, asked your friend to hang out at the mall and buy something. You and your friends then went to the bar to have a couple of drinks and talk about what happened during the past week and you paid with your credit card. After a great night you both went home and slept. The next morning, you checked for your mail and found your credit card billing statement.As you looked at it, you were shocked to see that you are being charged on your credit card things that you never even bought. You called the bank about this and wondered how these happened. If you have experienced this you have been a victim of a crime. This crime is called identity theft or identity fraud. Identity theft is a crime where someone obtained and used your personal data, such as your name, credit card number, address, social security number, without you knowing about it. Some people who obtained your personal information used it to commit crime, usually using it for financial fraud or deception. Criminals commit identity theft by buying something using your credit card information, obtaining money from your account, or getting a new credit card in your name. The criminal who commits identity theft usually make use of your personal information to buy goods or services in your name without you knowing it and end up you paying for the goods and services the criminal purchased. You might wonder why these criminals get away with it. This is because, in today's society, many transactions usually occur without any actual contact with the buyer and the seller. Transactions like these are often used in telephones and the internet where no one can identify the criminal. They can easily buy goods and services by just using your credit card number online and giving a specified address where the goods should be delivered. Unfortunately ,if you are a victim of this crime you would only find this out upon receiving your credit card billing statement. Identity thieves usually buy as much goods as possible in usually one to two days. They usually end up saturating your credit limit and even sometimes they would exceed. In some cases they can transfer money from your bank account to another, and sometimes, these thieves may actually pretend to be you. They will use your personal information to get money or apply for a large loan and worst of all, you will not know that someone is using your personal information until you get billing statements or visited by collectors. Identity theft can cause you a bad credit history, making it difficult for you to obtain new jobs or renting apartments. This is because employers and landlords often take a look at credit records of new applicants. If you think that you're a victim of identity theft it is wise that you should follow these steps to stop it or in some cases catch the thief: * File a police report. Be sure to reproduce the police report. You can show these copies of the police report to the parties involved and any other creditors such as the bank and other entities which may require evidence of the crime. * File a complaint in your postal service. This can help you locate where the goods were delivered and prevent the crime from happening again. * File a complaint to credit bureaus. Filing a complaint to at least one of the major credit bureaus can result in getting free copies of your credit report. This will also require creditors to call or contact to confirm if you really are opening a new account or applying for a new credit card. * Send a report of the crime to check verification companies. If you know that someone has been using stolen checks from your account, inform check verification companies about this so that they will not honor the fake or stolen checks issued by the criminal and is also a good way to catch the thief. Identity theft is a very serious crime. If you ever suspect that you are a victim of identity theft, it is wise that you should act immediately by reporting the crime to all authorities concerned. Identity theft can be very time consuming, expensive, and difficult to repair the damage done to your credit history. It can also get you in trouble with the law. It is very important that you be able to change your identity numbers that have been stolen from you as soon as you have discovered the crime. What identity theft resource centers can teach you Identity theft is one of the crimes that people are always talking about. Media is one of the most effective identity theft resource centers. You can find all related stories, new techniques and solutions for this crime through media. It is also because of them that people have gotten all the needed information to fight the spread of identity theft. Even though there are a lot of identity theft resource centers that are focusing on the problem at hand, it seems that this crime is continuously growing in numbers. Can all this be attributed to the fact that these thieves are getting wiser everyday? Not really. There are other factors that may be contributing to the spread of identity theft. Personal data storage. One of the reasons for its growth is the improper up keeping and discarding of individual's critical data and financial information. This may be because of the misconception that identity theft is only limited to trading and consumer based areas. But then, all kinds of business are at risk. Although the most vulnerable would be and banking and lending institutions, real estate and facilities management and other related fields. That is why, these businesses must maintain a close watch on what how their systems are working. They should check and update regularly all their files to see if anything is out of order. Federal laws and legislations. It can be noted that the government are also not taking these crimes sitting down. There have been laws and legislations set up to punish those whoa re caught stealing information and taking advantage of them. More and more laws have been made against identity theft to hopefully reduce the growing number. Other means of prevention. New and different measures can be seen in the way credit and other financial transactions are done. One example is the so-called security freeze. This allows individuals to thwart off access to their credit report for the purpose of granting credit except if the individual approves. When someone is applying for credit, the freeze can be lifted off for a certain time so that application can be processed. The advance technology of today is also helping people and businesses protect and store information. With the portability of computers and the speed of Internet connections, people are shifting to using electronic images more and more. The higher cost of having electronic storage data made is only reasonable when you compare it with the cheaper ones that are not really working effectively for your business. Besides, the benefits you will be getting out of this electronic deals are enough to make up for the cost you paid initially. You probably will get more customers because they are assured of the security measures that you can give them. Electronic documents and files are easily and securely stored on floppy disks, CD ROMS or put directly on a removable computer hard drive that is disconnected from the Internet and from hackers. Each format is made safe and access can be encrypted or can be protected by a password. Electronically storing critical information gives another barrier between important information and dishonest individuals who are constantly looking for ways of taking advantage of anything that is available. Documents and files stored this way also allows for trouble-free search and recovery of data or information. A lot of pages can be saved on a single CD ROM. Thus abolishing file cabinets and the potential risk of identity thieves finding vital information in back room storage areas. Disaster recovery is also made easy when information is archived electronically and stored in a secure off site location by a service provider. You do not have to think twice about what identity resource centers are telling you. There should be no doubt in your mind that this crime is rising and it can get to you when you least expect it. By adding important features to business establishments, its owners and customers will have a peace of mind that they will not become victims of fraud. You can check some more identity theft resource center to find out what is being developed to help prevent this crime from getting to you and going out of hand.
InfoBank Intro | Main Page | Usenet Forums | Search The RockSite/The Web