Sunday, April 19, 2015

Is Identity Theft Online a Common Crime?

Nearly everyone that you meet has a computer or a handheld device of some sort that is connected to the Internet. Unfortunately, this increased usage by millions of people across the world has also increased the prominence of thieves that are looking to steal your identity, using what you have worked hard to achieve for their own personal gain. In order to understand why this type of crime has become more prevalent and damaging, you must first understand where and how it is happening to people.

Credit Fraud
This type of identity theft is particularly damaging, and affects a large chunk of the population. It can happen after something as simple as someone getting ahold of a receipt or seeing your PIN number; so it's very important that you hold on to things and ensure that your numbers are kept private. Credit fraud is typically only detected after a thief has made a large purchase, withdrawal or opened up a new card and run up a balance on it.. unfortunately, this means that the recovery process will be much longer than desired. Luckily for consumers, there are programs like credit monitoring services that can be put into place in order to look through account statuses and happenings in order to better alert you that something may be amiss. Company websites like will provide you with a great deal of information about the services they offer, as well as information about identity theft itself.

Identity Compromise
Unlike credit card theft, this type of identity theft happens when people use your personal information in order to gain something like a job, home, clean record or even address. When your identity has been compromised, it can be difficult to straighten things out, especially if a Social Security number has been stolen... these numbers are unique to everyone, so if someone has been using yours for a period of time with your knowledge, they could have done a lot of damage. Like credit monitoring services, there are plenty of options that can help you to monitor your identity, making it less likely that this type of theft will be allowed to continue unnoticed and unchecked.

But how do thieves get my information?
Those looking to steal the identities and information of others have developed methods by which to commit their crimes in secret - with a decreased chance of being caught. These people are constantly changing their styles and coming up with new ways to get "in" - for this reason, changing passwords, limiting the sites and services that you use and even making sure to keep information private from others is imperative to the safety and security of your information on a daily basis. Be mindful of what you throw away, be mindful of who you speak to on the phone or via the internet... it's a good idea to simply exercise caution when using the Internet in any manner - this may help you avoid becoming a victim of identity theft online.

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