What is Identity Theft and How to Prevent it

Becoming a victim of identity theft is never something you would want to happen to you, especially as it can end up depriving you of your life's earnings and even put you into deep debt without it in any way being a result of your own actions.

The frustrating thing about identity theft is that you may have done your best to prevent it, but because of a careless oversight or a foolish act, you may have helped an identity thief to march off with your particulars and also your money.

Different Types And Different Consequences

Of course, not all identity theft is the same and it can also occur in different ways and affect you in different ways. However, it basically involves having some unauthorized person or persons making off with your method of identity or your ID which is then used to impersonate you. The graveness of this problem can best be seen when one considers that there are at least, it is believed, over ten million Americans that have had their identities stolen.

The different types of identity theft include acts of a criminal nature and also, frauds committed to rob you off your money. In the case of a criminal act, the identity thief will use your identity to commit an act of illegal nature including a terrorist strike, or obtain a permission in your name, or even use your identity to leave the country.

Criminal acts also involve laundering of money, taking part in organized crime as well as indulging in cyber crimes, and in addition, identity theft can also allow the identity thief to take part in smuggling of narcotics and even indulge in human trafficking.

The other consequence of identity theft is committing acts of fraud including bank fraud, credit card fraud as well as other kinds of frauds that result in significant financial losses to the victim.

Having understood the dire consequences that you will have to face if you allow identity theft to affect you, it is in your best interests to do all that is required to prevent such from happening. To begin with, you should not keep documents such as bank statements, and other pieces of paper that contain your personal information lying about where a thief can get hold of them. Instead, you should ensure that these documents are shredded after they have ceased to be of any use to you.

Another no-no is divulging your personal information to anyone who tries to elicit such information in different and very clever ways. Mostly, it is never necessary to provide your personal information to anyone and if you receive solicitation from a bank purporting to need your personal information, you should never fall for this simple ruse.

Also, you should ask for a Credit Report and go over it with a fine Comb to see if there are any suspicious transactions on it. In case you notice something wrong you should report the same and initiate action at the earliest to rectify the situation. Most companies nowadays include the added bonus of some form of identity theft protection with their credit reports.

Source by Nazima Golamaully

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