Identity Theft

"Identity Theft " submitted by SchoolGrantsfor Editorial Team and last updated on Friday 22nd July 2011

We are all targets for identity theft. If you become a victim, you should immediately place a fraud alert on your credit file by contacting one of the three major credit reporting agencies. Once the alert is on your file, request a free copy of your credit report from each credit reporting agency. Report fraudulent activity in writing to both a credit reporting agency and your credit issuer, following the instructions on your credit report. Also, file a crime report with your local police or sheriff’s department right away. Many victims feel the true impact of identity theft as they apply for credit when buying a car or a house. Take proactive steps; don’t let this happen to you.

The numbers associated with identity theft are beginning to add up fast. A recent General Accounting Office report estimates that as many as 750,000 Americans are victims of identity theft every year. And that number may be low, as many people choose not to report the crime or, for that matter, even know they've been victimized.

Officials say much of identity theft still comes down to hands-on mischief -- things like Dumpster diving, in which criminals sift through trash to find a credit-card statement or solicitation that someone didnt tear up, and 'shoulder surfing', where criminals try to spot calling card and personal identification numbers, and more commonly, mail theft.

In recent years, the Internet has become an appealing place for criminals to obtain identifying data, such as passwords or even banking information. In their haste to explore the exciting features of the Internet, many people respond to "spam" ­ unsolicited E-mail ­ that promises them some benefit but requests identifying data, without realizing that in many cases, the requester has no intention of keeping his promise. In some cases, criminals reportedly have used computer technology to obtain large amounts of personal data.

How to protect yourself against identity theft:

Also Check: How To Reduce Unwanted Offers, Credit Card Traps as your Money Management plan to ensure a solid financial future

To learn more, go to www.idtheftcenter.org www.ftc.gov/idtheft