Identity Theft Protection

Stop Identity Theft

Safety from Identity Thieves

According to the Federal Trade Commission the most common type of identity theft is credit card fraud. In order to maintain security when using credit cards it is always advisable to never provide your social security number to retail associates and to be fervent in checking your credit report quarterly. If there is ever an account listed on a credit report that cannot be easily identified, be sure to cancel the account and begin an investigation into it immediately. While credit card fraud is a large identity theft issue reported in nearly 19% of all fraud investigations, it is not the only source that scam artists use to commit fraud. identity theft protection

Financial Institutions

Identity thieves love banking and what better way to open a bank account than to use someone else’s information? Scam artists will steal your information by sending text messages and emails claiming to be your personal bank and telling you they need to verify account information. Some even have phone numbers to call to make it appear as if it is truly the bank contacting you. Once information has been provided these thieves will be able to open various bank accounts using your name. Once accounts are opened the thieves can apply for loans, write bad checks and increase debt in your name. Many people have faced criminal charges due to accounts they knew nothing about.

Employment Theft

Today’s job market is often very stringent with hiring practices. Hiring only those with no criminal record or a good credit rating can cause those with less than reputable records to prey on others in order to gain employment. In general this type of thief is looking solely to be hired with a company and they don’t typically cause a criminal threat to their victims. This can however create tax problems in the future for the victim. Always keep information such as your social security number private.

Tax Theft

It has been mentioned that identity thieves will steal personal information to gain employment and while they don’t necessarily cause a criminal threat to the person victimized by the identity theft, they can cause issues with taxes at a later date. This is not the only way that identity thieves can create tax problems. There are many thieves who prey on people to gain personal information in order to file tax returns each year. This can result in falsified returns being filed in your name, or can also be a way for the thieves to gain access to your personal tax return to cash in for themselves. You would never know until you went to file taxes for the year and the IRS informs you that you have already filed. You will then need to file a fraudulent tax claim and that can take months and sometimes years to complete. In the meantime, you are out of the money you worked hard to make and a thief is somewhere reaping the benefits.

Utility Thieves

Utility companies including electric, water, gas, telephone and cable often base deposits for connection on a person’s credit score. If someone has access to your social security number and they need to have service connected, your name could possibly be used. Thieves that target people to secure utility services will often run excessive bills up for several months before the company shuts service off and when this happens, people often won’t know these services were in their name at all for months, and possibly years later. When you check your annual credit report and see services that you did not have you need to contact the original creditor immediately and file a fraud claim with the company. Also file a dispute with all three credit bureaus, Experian, TransUnion and Equifax, immediately. Identity theft such as this can ruin your credit rating.

Safeguarding your personal information by keeping your social security number private and checking your credit report quarterly will greatly reduce the chance that someone will be able to steal your identity. If you believe you have been the victim of identity theft, your best option is to contact an attorney who specializes in financial reports and fraud immediately.