What is Identity Theft? Everyone has heard of it, but few people understand exactly how their identity can actually be stolen.
And with up to 10 million people becoming victims of identity theft each year, you can’t afford to not know about it. Once you know about how identity theft transpires, you are well on your way to protecting yourself against it.
Identity theft occurs when a thief steals a piece of someone else’s personal information and uses it to create an alternate identity for himself. How could he do that? Unfortunately, it is not terribly difficult.
A thief may find your credit card number on the internet when you purchase something at an insecure site.
Or, the thief could find your social security number on a poorly shredded document that you threw away in your garbage bin.
Thieves may even buy your personal information from a dishonest grocery clerk who wrote down your debit card number. There are numerous ways that thieves can get their hands on your information.
Once your personal information has fallen into the hands of a dishonest person, identity theft is just a step away. A thief can easily use a stolen drivers’ license to create a fake one of his own with your information on it.
They can take your credit card number and make purchases all over the internet.
With your social security number a thief can acquire just about any other information that he wants about you. Obviously, learning about what is identity theft is no game.
While operating under your identity, a thief may commit any number of crimes, with no consequences to himself. When the police go looking for the criminal, they will find you, instead.
This creates a huge headache as you try to sort out the false charges and as the police try to track down the person who has stolen your identity. While the thief may be found, the process is no picnic.
Once you know what is identity theft you should begin to protect yourself against it. Keep your personal documents in a secure place in your home. Credit cards and driver’s licenses should be kept in your line of sight at all times when you leave your home.
When the waiter takes your card to ring up your bill, watch him. You just never know who could be trying to steal your identity. Paranoia is not necessary, but these days, precaution certainly is.