Identity theft occurs when personal details of an individual (such as name, address, date of birth, bank details etc.) are fraudulently stolen.
About 12.9 million Americans became victims of identity thefts in 2012 and the fraudsters siphoned off almost $10 billion dollars from these victims’ accounts.
Identity thefts make the victims vulnerable to financial frauds and might infringe their credit reports affecting financial transactions like mortgages, loans and credit cards.
Criminals use sophisticated internet technology such as skimming, phishing, hacking; and also spyware and viruses designed for identity theft.
Fraudsters can use the stolen identity details to open bank accounts; obtain credit cards, loans and state benefits, order goods in the victims’ names; and can impersonate them using fake passports, driving licences etc. for criminal/terrorist activities.
In order to prevent your identity from falling into the fraudsters’ hands, keep all your financial documents safe and shred them before discarding.
Never respond to unsolicited email or telephone enquiries to give your personal and financial details.
Check your financial statements, online financial transactions and credit reports frequently and report any discrepancies/suspicious entries to the concerned financial service provider.
Report all lost or stolen documents (such as passport, driving licence, plastic cards, cheque books etc.) to concerned authorities.
If you fall victim to any kind of identity fraud, report immediately to the concerned organization and, depending on their advice, alert the local police force.
Article Written by Dolphi D'Silva [240 Words]
Posted on Oct 8, 2013 with Views.
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