How to Avoid Identity Theft: Keeping your Financial Records Safe
Picture this, you are browsing through your mail, you get your bills and you didn’t count on seeing your credit card bill with a five-figure charge. Its bad enough that you get charged for purchases you didn’t do, you also get slapped with a bad credit rating that will certainly jack up all your credit rates.
Aside from that, the legitimate card holder can also suffer from different consequences. The credit account can be transferred to fraudulent individuals or corporations and the savings data will leak permanently. Important information like credit card password and numbers are also stolen. Client’s confidentiality can also be changed by the impersonator. Worse, the social security of a person may be used for different criminal acts.
In most part of the globe, the issue on identity theft is a rapid growing offense. In United States, a study was conducted last 2004 revealing how serious the situation of the crime is. The Federal Trade Commission recently concluded that almost 9.1 million individuals are victims of identity theft crimes.
Aside from that, in a United Kingdom based study done last 2003, 20 percent of the entire consumer groups have also fell victim to identity theft crisis. On the other hand, the Home Office in United Kingdom does not assemble the information for identity theft. Instead, they make some alternatives on how to avoid this kind of situations. This only goes to show that identity theft is prevalent in both sides of the globe.
How to prevent credit card identity theft from happening
In order to prevent this kind of scenario, here are some important insights and safety tips about identity theft.
• Leaving the receipt or pay slip on any ATM station or gas pumps is not a good habit. Be observant with details. Always make sure to lock and sort out files for bills, and bank account receipts. Before throwing those things away make sure to shred them first. Bits and pieces of information can be used by a seasoned identity thief.
• In a current investigation done by the FBI, 30 percent of the victims admitted that they had been a victim of identity theft by a co-worker or a friend. In this case, be very wary of the people around you. Don’t just trust any bank documents to anyone else. Most of the suspects know the pattern and lifestyles of their victims
• Do not forget to get a copy of credit reports and statements. Get it from a reliable source like credit banking and bureaus.
• Choose out of the mailing list. The bank mailing list must come from the contacts of credit bureaus. As much as possible, call the bank registry office. This office can give an idea which mailing list is safe from identity theft.
• Never write down the security card number on the check. Many individuals can read it and can use it against the account. Do not also put the security card number in the wallet. It must be kept on a secured area for privacy.
• Another thing is, never print the bank account number on any documents, like for example a driver’s license.
• Delete any spam email messages that requires an account number. It can be a fraud strategy top get vital information from you. And also, stop other credit card offers from the internet. There are some hackers that can corrupt the bank notifications. Installing firewall and anti spyware software can also help. These softwares can protect the password of the computer and other personal data sheets.
• When getting a new batch of checks, it is important to get first the initial printed name instead of the whole name. It is also important to get the check from designated bank purchaser office.
• The password account must be private. The pin number must not be carried inside the wallet. Any personal information should not be given over the phone.
As an advice, if an individual feels that he is a victim of an identity theft, it is appropriate to contact the nearest Justice Department. If not, a bank office can also help in that particular situation. Remember, in every action, taking extra care and getting help from the appropriate agencies is the safest thing to do.
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