Regardless of your social status or fame, you are a victim of identity theft because you have shared some of your personal information with different institutions. If someone steals your credit card number, you might be safe when you report the incident. And, the relevant authorities can manage to stop the theft before the robber commits any fraud. However, in some instances, you might not be so lucky. Someone can steal your identity and commit a crime using your credit card number, and you will have a hard time defending yourself in court. And, if you don’t have sufficient evidence to clear your name, the court might hand you a lengthy jail sentence depending on the nature of the crime. Several credit monitoring firms can help you with theft protection services. However, they cannot help you with identity theft. All they can do is warn you of potential theft and advise you on the best way to avoid it.
What are the risks involved?
There are different kinds of identity thefts. Credit card identity theft is the most common because it takes the highest percentage of identity thefts. In credit card identity theft, a fraudster uses your credit card to open a new credit line using your social security number. Apart from that, there is child identity theft, where a fraudster can use your child’s information to commit an economic crime. The taxpayer identity theft, a thief uses your details to file returns and get money fraudulently from the government. In all the situations, the person committing the theft will take advantage of your innocence to steal your hard-earned cash.
How to avoid identity theft?
It is hard to prevent identity theft because you might have given out your information to different organizations. And anyone can use it to steal from you. However, you can make it hard by filing your tax returns as early as possible. You can also freeze your credit card to discourage any person that might attempt to apply for a loan using it. The process is free, and it only takes a few minutes of your time. Besides, unfreezing is also easy, and it takes almost the same time. Apart from that, you can monitor your credit card and bank transactions to determine whether there are suspicious transactions before it’s too late. Lastly, it would help if you were conservative with your security details. Only share your crucial information with the most relevant companies.
You are at risk of identity theft regardless of how cautious you are. So, you have to be alert at all times and take the few steps above that will make it difficult for anyone to steal from you. You should also reduce the number of people who have access to your security number. Only give it to institutions that require it. By doing that, you will not be safe from identity theft. But, you will make it hard for anyone trying to steal from you. And your money will be safe. At least for now.