Protect Yourself From Identity Theft

Everyone should be worried about their identity being stolen. You may think that an online thief wouldn’t bother with you. How could he when you are armed with information like your social security number, bank account number, personal security code or your mothers maiden name. However, in just a short amount of time a whole new “you” can be created out of thin air, complete with credit cards, mortgages and expensive purchase. Only this “you” fails to pay “your” bills and is on the road to financial ruin.  And all of this can happen without your knowledge. Even the most simplest of identity thief’s will change the addresses on your bills, so they’ll never be sent to you. And the only warning you’ll get is when the creditors come knocking on your door. By then the thief could have used your stolen identity to charge thousands of dollars of purchases and ruined your good credit scores

Could you become the next victim of a stolen identity?

Whether you know it or not, your PC is storing all kinds of valuable information about you. And if a hacker were to attack, he might get a hold of your sensitive personal information like your social security number, your bank account, your passwords and more. Armed with these details you could easily become the next case of a stolen identity. Simply shredding your mail and your financial statements is NOT enough. Most think of the physical ways a thief could steal one’s identity, as when one’s wallet or sensitive documents are stolen or misplaced. But this is not the only way to become a victim of stolen identity.

How to prevent a case of an online stolen identity?

Protecting your personal information while you’re on the Internet is one of the most crucial steps you can take in preventing identity theft.  Beware of emails that come from a financial institution you trust (like your bank) that ask you to click on a link to update your account information. DO NOT enter any personal information like your social security number, back account number or passwords. DO NOT enter your personal information on a website that is not secure.

What if your identity has been stolen?

If you believe that you are a victim of identity theft or fear that you may become one — for example, you lost your wallet, gave personal information to a stranger, or had your house burglarized — take these steps immediately:

1 . Contact the Credit Bureau

2.  Call the police

3.  Fill out an Identity Theft Victim’s Complaint and Affidavit. (www.ftc.gov/idtheft.)

4.  Change your PINs.

5.  Deal with debt collectors.

6.  Contact the local postal inspector

7.  Contact the Social Security Administration (SSA)

8.  Contact your state’s department of motor vehicles.

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