Protect Yourself from Identity Theft Today
Identity theft is growing faster than any other crime in the US. Around ten million Americans are victims of identity theft each year, yet most of us don’t know what or who these thieves target, or how to protect ourselves, so learning how to prevent identity theft is a huge concern. Identity thieves steal names and addresses, bank account info, Identification information like Social Security and driver’s license numbers, credit card information, and other personal information. It’s no wonder more people are looking for information on not only how to stop identity theft, but how to recover from identity theft once you have been victimized. Legal-Yogi.com can provide you with all the information you could possibly need to learn how to avoid identity theft and protect your financial stability.
Here are some things you need to understand about preventing identity theft:
- What Identity Thieves Do With Your Information
- Ten Easy Things You Can Do to Prevent Identity Theft From Happening to You
- How to Recover From Identity Theft
What Identity Thieves Do With Your Information
Identity thieves can literally assume your identity. As far as finances are concerned, they become you. Some identity thieves are sort of like financial joy riders who steal a car and then just enjoy the benefits. They often go on spending sprees, obtain new credit, get cell phone accounts, or even open bank accounts and start writing checks. Other identity thieves are more sophisticated. They are in this for the long term. They get driver’s licenses, open bank accounts, get loans, or even declare bankruptcy. Stopping identity theft is of concern to all of us. It can literally affect every facet of your life in the hands of the wrong person, and identity theft prevention is essential to making sure it does not happen to you.
Easy Things You Can Do to Prevent Identity Theft
- Take things like debit cards, passports, credit cards, social security cards, or your checkbook, with you ONLY when you need them.
- Be smart about PIN numbers and passwords. Thieves, sadly, are often someone you know, so you make it easy for them to steal from you if you use your dog’s name, your child’s birthday, or something similar as your PIN or password.
- Shred any paper that has account numbers on it.
- Request to be taken off the public directories like whitepages.com or Information America.
- Protect information by installing a firewall on your computer
- Don’t email confidential information by email.
- Watch your credit score, and immediately report unauthorized activity.
- Prevent identity theft online by looking for security seals and be sure the URL begins with http before you enter any personal information.
How to Recover From Identity Theft
If you believe you have been victimized by an identity thief, take these steps immediately:
- Check your credit report
- Report the fraud to all 3 major credit reporting agencies and ask that a fraud alert (which will prevent any new credit being issued without your approval) be issued for your account.
- Research. Contact every company at which you believe you might have been victimized and explain their fraud department what has happened.
- Report the theft. Contact your local police or the police in the area the crime took place and speak with someone in the fraud department. Be sure to get a copy of any police reports, because you are likely to need them later.
- Document everything. Take notes including the names and positions of anyone you speak with. Be meticulous. Your financial future is at stake. Keep track of how much time you spend and any time missed from work as a result of this crime. If the perpetrators are caught, you can be reimbursed for all of this.
- Contact the Federal Trade Commission: 1-877-382-4357 (The FTC is the federal clearinghouse for victims of identity theft).
With Legal Yogi, finally, you can stop identity theft before it begins by becoming a member of an identity protection group. Your financial future is at stake, so it makes sense to act now.