Each of us goes through our daily lives not realizing that our personal information is constantly threatened. Willie Sutton was a bank robber. When caught for his crimes, the judge asked him why he robbed banks. He replied, “judge, banks are where the money is.” A simple answer but the truth revealed. Where in the world is the most money present? The United States is the answer. There are thousands of domestic and foreign cyber criminals searching for your assets.
Millions of people in the US have had their identities stolen. They have been put in severe risk of financial danger and hardship. If you are one of those unfortunate people, you already know that no one is there to help. The authorities do not care. As far as the creditors are concerned, you owe the money. Getting back your identity and resolving the matter takes years and lots of money. These events severely damage your credit rating. Is anything being done to stop the crimes? NOT MUCH. When will you be affected by internet crime or identity theft? What can you do to avoid it?
Never give out your personal information on the telephone or on the internet. Once your birth date, address, and social security number are known, your exposure for identity theft has increased. Protect these at all times. Your place of birth is also a very important fact. This information will allow criminals to obtain your birth certificate which puts you at a higher risk for others to gain access to your personal data. With this information, criminals may apply for loans and credit cards in your name. If they use your information for their personal health care, you will be responsible for the payments. Medical fraud has become rampant. There is no protection for the consumer and this growing theft is expanding at unbelievable rates.
Nearly everywhere you go, your personal information is there for the taking. One of the most common places for credit card theft is in restaurants. Similarly, when you give your information to a hospital, doctor’s office, bank, on-line establishment, or brick and mortar store, you are at risk. The problem continually gets worse because no one is physically injured and the punishment is not adequate. Your mailbox is another source of information for criminals. Your mail includes all sorts of personal and sensitive information.
What To Do?
You should always vigilantly protect all of your personal information. Another aid is to freeze your credit. Contact Equifax, Experian, and Transunion. When you freeze your credit, no one will be able to open a credit or debit card account or to take out a loan in your name. When you need to apply for credit, simply unlock your account and then refreeze it immediately. The third solution is to avoid online transactions. If you must be online, use complex passwords of at least 14 characters, including number, letters, and symbols. Change your passwords often.
These solutions are some of the easiest things you can do to avoid identity and credit theft. You have been warned. Be aware of credit and identity theft at all times.