Identify theft is a form of stealing someone’s identity. The really scary part is that the victim can be held liable for the consequences that the perpetrator commits by acquiring your identity. A thief can use your name, your social security number, credit card number or banking information, without permission to commit fraud or other crimes. They can also use information from people with really good credit scores to obtain utilities such as gas, electric, cable, and internet. If your name is used to open a utility bill, it could be months before you even realize that someone is using your information. Utility companies keep their records for months before they are turned in for collection.
Another form of identity theft is tax returns. This is why it is so important to protect your social security number. If the identity thief were to submit a tax return with your name and social security number before you file, then the IRS will send the return check to the wrong person. You can also have your benefits sent to the wrong person because of identity theft. Most government based programs only require a name and social security number. The only way that you or the government will catch this is if you were to attempt to collect the same benefits at the same time.
Another example is job thieves. People with prior convictions or that are in the country illegally can steal someone’s identity in order to secure a job. What about a bank account. Well, it’s also very possible for someone to open a bank account in your name. What if they were to severely over draw an account, leaving you with the information on your credit report that effect your credit score and possibly even leaving your responsible to pay back the debt.
Identity theft is the fastest growing crime in the nation. There are more than 12 million victims a year from identity theft. The best things to remember is to review your credit report quarterly in order to make sure that there are no discrepancies. If so, make sure that you report it immediately. Also, secure your social security number where no one has any access to this number online or in person. Shred all banking information and anything with a social security number or account numbers. If you have any questions you should definitely seek out professional identity theft experts.
If you ever think that you are victim of identity theft it can be a very long emotional battle to get everything straightened out. You may have difficulty obtaining new credit. You could always seek out identity theft experts in order to make sure that you know all the necessary steps to keep your information secure. There are also other identity theft experts that have paid services that will keep your information secure and if they fail to do so then you can usually recover any monetary loses.