How to Protect Yourself Against Identity Theft Threats

identity-theftDid you know that  there are 10 million victims of identity theft in the U.S. each year alone . That’s an astounding 27,400 cases every day or 1,140 people every hour who have their identity stolen What’s even more upsetting is that by all indicators, this issue will get worse before it begins to get better.

Identity theft occurs when your private info is stolen and used to commit fraud. It is an extremely serious offence that could cost you staggering amounts of money and time, and destroy your great name and credit.

Have you set something in place to safeguard yourself from this epidemic? Identity thieves can only do damage when they acquire a valuable piece of personal information such as a credit card number, bank account or social security number. Here are some tips on the best way to safeguard yourself from this offense, discover when it occurs, and report it.

1. Among the first things that you can certainly do in order to safeguard yourself from this threat is to keep your Social Security Card at home. Memorize your SSN and maintain your Social Security Card in a safe  or in a financial institution. Don’t divulge your SSN to anyone without first knowing just what they’re going to do with it and how they’re going to protect it.

2. Never give out personal information to the telephone or web if you’re not completely certain you understand who you’re dealing with, which the information being requested is crucial.

3. Get a copy of your credit report and scores yearly from the three nationwide consumer-reporting companies, and carefully review them. Review your financial accounts frequently, looking especially for charges you didn’t make.

4. Consider signing up for a credit monitoring service which will keep tabs on your credit reports, credit card accounts, social security number activity and more.  If any descprepencies are detected, you will be alerted so you can take immediate action before it grows into a larger problem.

View our Top 10 Credit Monitoring Services for 2013 Here

5. Be really careful with the disposal of the garbage. Invest in a small shredder, so you can shred any file you want to dispose of, notably the ones that might have sensitive info in it for example credit-card statements or medical insurance data.

You need to do the following and act quite fast, in the event you need to actually become a victim of identity theft:

  • Get in touch with your  credit card company and request that they cancel any cards that have been compromised.
  • Contact at least 1 of the three credit reporting bureaus (Experian, Equifax, Transunion), and ask them to place a fraud alert in your file.
  • Contact each lender wherever your credit stolen, and advise them concerning the fraud. Make certain you follow this up with a letter to the credit company.
  • Get in touch with your local police department and report the fraud, and receive a duplicate of the police report. This is an extremely useful record to demonstrate that you reported the issue to the authorities and that you’re a victim of identity theft. This would help shield you from debt collection.

Take care to manage your private information responsibly . Be alert and promptly report any suspicious credit activity.  Don’t become an identity theft statistic.