Identity Theft Recovery Steps: Federal Trade Commission

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According to the US Postal Service, identity theft is America’s fastest growing crime, a person must be very proactive and take significant steps to reduce exposure to identity theft by physical means or cyber attack. Unless an individual diligently checks credit history, financial accounts, and Social Security records, it is almost impossible to respond to such theft until after the harm has toke place. It is essential to become educated and actively involved in this process of learning about and securing against identity theft. In 2005, over 8.3 million Americans were victims of identity theft, and more than 25 million Americans have been victims of identity theft in the past three years. The average estimated losses from identity fraud since 2003 have surpassed $40 billion each year and are estimated to have totaled more than $56 billion in 2006. individuals can tremendously reduce the chances of identity theft. By implementing and looking over just a few of these things.the first thing you should stop doing is carrying documents.

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A individual should never carry identification that lists his or her Social Security number. That means, a individual should not carry a Social Security card, a passport, or other identification, that may use the Social security number, such as a driver’s license, school identification card, or insurance card. And you should never have your social security number on a check. Remember carrying personally identifiable information does not just mean in a purse or wallet. A person should sanitize bags, briefcases, and the car’s glove box for this information as well.

A person should detach credit cards that are identical or other cards you don’t use a lot and memberships that might pro- vide an identity thief with access to more information. Individuals should also never distribute there documents. An individual should not distribute his or her Social security number to businesses or others who do not need it. Remember that, even if corporations such as financial institutions, medical professionals, or tax accountants must have this information, they will never contact a person via email for it. Before vacating a Social security number, a person should be sure to ask how the institution intends to safeguard it.

Shredding unnecessary documents can also protect an individual from identity theft, and fraud. Ripping up papers and files doesn’t help. Criminals still can tap your documents back together and reuse them. They even changed certain things on credit forms and used a cell phone number different from that listed in the contact information for verification. Dumpster diving for documents at offices and homes is becoming a more desired trend, but is easily ruined by shredding. Use a bank with increased security. Financial institutions with increased security measures, help a great deal with identity theft and fraud. Financial secure institutions have the individual’s picture placed on the front of the card, which can greatly reduce impersonation attempts. The time and money to respond after an identity theft has occurred is extensive. By taking some of these key steps outlined, reviewing information provided, and becoming more aware of the nature of this threat, an individual can greatly reduce the risk of such theft.

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