This continues our Pay It Forward Friday series.
Have you or someone you know fallen victim to identity theft? It’s one of the fastest growing crimes in the United States.
If you’ve been lucky enough to dodge the identity theft bullet so far, you’ll want to read this so you can prepare for (and hopefully head off) a potential future attack.
And you should also read up on what identity theft IS, because it’s not restricted to financial theft (it’s not funny like this).
The Identity Theft Resource Center is a nonprofit organization that specializes in helping victims of identity theft.
What are the most common types of identity theft? You may be surprised:
This crime varies widely, and can include financial identity theft (checking and/or credit card fraud), criminal identity theft, governmental identity theft, and medical identity theft.
Identity theft is a crime in which an impostor obtains key pieces of personal identifying information (PII) such as Social Security numbers and driver’s license numbers and uses them for their own personal gain. It can start with lost or stolen wallets, stolen mail, a data breach, computer virus, “phishing” scams, or paper documents thrown out by you or a business (dumpster diving).
And we all know by now that elderly are identity theft targets, but did you know that teens are often a prime target as well? It makes sense when you think about all the time teens spend online. Are your teens careful enough? Even sharing student IDs and passwords can open the door to a VERY complicated future.
Also, identity thieves aren’t necessarily strangers – employers, family members and former (and current) friends can do this too, and it happens more often that you think. Watch this video to learn more about how you’re at risk and what you can do to protect yourself and be a defensive consumer:
And check out the ITRC website for more great resources. You’re welcome!
(Image from ITRC website)