When we think of identity theft, we usually picture out crime movies where criminals uses high technology to assume another person’s identity, going as far as having facial surgeries to look like the person that they are assuming. While it is totally impossible to completely protect yourself from identity theft, there are a couple of things that you can do to safeguard yourself against it.
What’s the deal with identity theft?
Identity theft is a serious issue and it’s more than just having another person or entity making charges on your credit card without your authorization. This modern crime can actually result to very severe financial problems and ruin your credit score (which is, by the way, a very important aspect of your financial identity). While credit cards are often the target for identity thieves, when a criminal gets their hands on your social security number, he or she can open new bank accounts; apply for loans and credit cards, all under your name. He or she can even file for medical claims when they gain access to your medical and insurance data. We can easily deduce that the identity theft criminal does not have a good credit history himself because if he has, then he would not be using your identity, and when he is able to, there are more chances that he will not pay the loan or run up your credit to the ceiling and take another person’s identity.
When the creditors or lenders demand their money, they will not come after the identity thief but they will come looking for you and it is logical that they do so. The criminal applied for the loans and debts under your name. Fixing your credit score and clearing your name can take months or even years. This can be really damaging to you especially if you are applying for a loan or mortgage, or even a job. Most of these organizations base their decision on your credit score and they would definitely do a background check on you. Having a bad credit score can have you turned down on your applications or you may be charged with higher interest rate.
Identity thieves can gain access to your information in a lot of ways. They can find your credit card and bank account information from your trash or scamming pieces of information about yourself by pretending to be sales representatives. They can also do so through the ol’ trusted way-snatching your credit cards, your wallet or your purse.
You should then take the necessary defensive steps to arm yourself against cyber identity theft crimes. It is something that you should take lightly because it can have significant effects on your life and your future. Again, it is not enough that you install programs and software that will keep computer hackers from attacking your computer, but you should also proactively protect yourself from identity theft by not providing your personal information to anyone that you meet online or to any entity that demands it from you.