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Identity theft and what can you do about it

Updated on August 29, 2012

Identity theft is a reality and it is happening

Identity theft and what can you do about it

What are you going to do if one morning you woke up and you are indebted to a bank without your knowledge and they are starting to collect money from you, or you received a notice of disconnection of utilities and demand of payment from other housing unit which you are not even aware of? Crazy world as it may seem, but then it is a reality indeed.

With the onset of technology comes faster and easier ways to do things, but fraud is also easier to commit. Personal data are stored in Internet databases and they can be access in many ways by unscrupulous people and use your data to get money so that you can be accountable for it.

This article will explain some facts about identity theft, how can you possibly deter it and how do you know it happened in the first place and what to do next.

What is Identity theft?

  • It usually occurs when your personal data is stolen and some people used it for unscrupulous ways, like stolen CREDIT CARDS, or basic personal information so that people can access your bank accounts, they also your name in loan securing or use your name for applying for apartment rents, utilities etc.

How does it happen?

  • they know your personal information, or they rummage through your garbage to check on your personal details.
  • Some people steal credit card numbers so that they can store your number;
  • some others pretend to be some big banking institutions so they can send spam to pop up in your computer and then you may fill up something to reveal your personal information;
  • or still others might change your address by filling up a form so that they can manipulate your bills and lastly they steal your wallets mails, including banks, credit card statements,
  • and or else they get your tax information too. They became more intelligent these days as they will use all their resources to get some information from you.

 

Why do you need to protect yourself from Identity theft?

  • It is costly in terms of time, money and you will be stressed out too
  • Simply because you may wake up one day and then you are indebted to a large amount and you have nothing to do with it
  • it is devastating when somebody used your name in trying to get some money and then you may end up paying big if you are not careful
  • It will also ruin your credit, and this simply will ruin a big part of your life -- financial
  • It will cause you stress
  • It takes time to clean your name again and it is tiring to talk and go back to companies and institutions and talking to them and sending reports -- it is time consuming.

 

Best way to know if your identity was stolen?

  • Monitor each every and month your bank statements
  • Always check your credit report.
  • If your dues statements haven’t arrived yet, check on the banks and utility companies, and follow it up too.
  • Always be on time when paying monthly dues so that you know if there is irregularity happening. Oftentimes it is too late already and you will find only if you cant get loan, received an overdue demand in your name in which you never used any card etc.
  • Your financial statements. Review financial accounts and billing statements regularly, looking for charges you did not make.

What to do to avoid it:

  • Shred your card if it is expired already and throw it away in a garbage securely, how? Just put it int a plastic and sealed it.
  • Always use a secured password and a combination of letters and numbers, and be very sure don’t write it in your address book or leave it in your wallet, as when your wallet is stolen, they might use it
  • Be sure not to fill in any information form in the Internet and revealing your personal details specially if it is a spam
  • When applying anything online, be very sure you are filling it up securely
  • You can also secure and apply for insurance about identity theft like "lifelock" etc.

What to do after finding out about it

  • Make phone calls to the companies which are affected and tell them what happened and used by the person who stole your identity, and the file a written report later, plus the Identity theft report -- from the police station
  • Go to the police station and make a report -- this is called Identity Theft Report and this will be used when you show it to the companies where the thief used your identity.

Identity Theft report is very important because it can:

  • Permanently block important information that results for the fraud
  • It will make sure debts don’t appear on your credit reports
  • The report can prevent the company from collecting any from you or selling them to others for collection
  • An Identity Theft Report is also needed to place an extended fraud alert on your credit report.

Comments

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    • Express10 profile image

      H C Palting 

      6 years ago from East Coast

      While some people think their credit is horrible, identity theft makes it worse and even more unlikely that you will be able to improve it if you have a hands off attitude about your credit. Even bad credit needs care. Your credit is used for home insurance, life insurance, and car insurance. If you think your rates are bad with bad credit wait till you see what happens when they find out it's gotten worse. Keep an eye on your credit no matter what. Great informative up. Voting up.

    • alexandriaruthk profile imageAUTHOR

      alexandriaruthk 

      8 years ago from US

      you're right TinaV, happy to see you here, take care,

    • TINA V profile image

      TINA V 

      8 years ago

      Identity theft is getting rampant nowadays. It is really important to be always cautious especially if you do online purchases and social networking. You've shared good information about this topic. Have a great week!

    • alexandriaruthk profile imageAUTHOR

      alexandriaruthk 

      8 years ago from US

      oh brimacandy, I hope everyhting goes well for you, scary these days isnt it, give a feedback here when you can,

    • brimancandy profile image

      Brian 

      8 years ago from Northern Michigan

      I tried to apply for a credit card, and the most I could get was 200.00. That account has since been closed. I think my other Credit account is closed as well.

      I am going to go to my bank today, and see if there are any extra things I can do to safeguard my current account. Or

      check for any unusual activity. Like there is anything they could get from it. I have very little left.

      Your hub is certainly interesting. Thanks.

    • alexandriaruthk profile imageAUTHOR

      alexandriaruthk 

      8 years ago from US

      if your credit is maxed out, they cant use it anymore or if they still were able to made purchase it will still be in your account,

      or if they apply for a new credit card for example in a new company, and they used that it will still be in your name

      the first thing you need to do when finding out that somebody used your name is to report it to the companies that they used that credit card,

      and file a report immediatley, (Police theft report) in that way they cant charge you for it,

      I hope this helps,

    • brimancandy profile image

      Brian 

      8 years ago from Northern Michigan

      My credit is already horrible. I think if someone were to try to steal my identity, they would be in for a rude surprise. I'm curious. If someone already has bad credit, wouldn't the person who is trying to steal that credit

      get slammed too?

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