Identity theft is the fastest growing crime in the United Kingdom and America.
Identity theft is a crime in which an imposter obtains key pieces of personal information, such as Social Security or driver's license numbers, in order to impersonate someone else. The information can be used to obtain credit, merchandise, and services in the name of the victim, or to provide the thief with false credentials.
Types of Identity Theft:
Driver’s License Identity Theft
Social Security Identity Theft
Medical Identity Theft
Criminal/ Character Identity Theft
Credit Card Fraud Identity Theft- most widely known type of identity theft
Ways to Prevent Identity Theft:
The next time you order checks, omit your first name and have only your initials and last name put on them.
When you are writing checks to pay on your credit card accounts, DO NOT put the complete account number on the "For" line. Instead, just put the last four numbers.
Put your work phone number on your checks instead of your home phone.
Place the contents of your wallet on a photocopy machine, do both sides of each license, credit card, etc.
- Keep the photocopies in a safe place, where you can find them.
- Check your credit report regularly.
- Use only one credit card for personal expenses and one for business expenses.
- Never give out any personal information (SSN, Pin #, Drivers License #, or Date of Birth) via an email solicitation
Identity Theft Fraud Protection:
Identity theft strikes regardless of race, sex, age or economic background.
While an identity thief can assume your identity in just a couple of hours, it can take you many months to restore your credit and your identity back to the standing that it was, prior to it being stolen.
Experts estimate that a typical victim will lose, on average, $1,000 to $1,600 in out-of-pocket expenses, and take up to 600 hours contacting the appropriate institutions and agencies, reporting the fraud, getting credit repair, and attempting to reverse the damage caused by the crime.
Fraud alert notifications are sent to all three credit repositories, the Social Security Administration, the FTC, the U.S. Postal Service and affected credit card companies and financial institutions.