What is Identity Theft? (And How to Avoid Becoming a Victim.)

By March 14, 2019 Identity Theft
What is Identity Theft? (And How to Avoid Becoming a Victim.)

Thieves are getting more sophisticated every day.   They are getting more adept at taking over another person’s identity in order to make financial transactions and stick them with the bill. While there will always be those that dig through trash bins looking for financial information someone has thrown away, other identity thieves rely on high-tech fraud methods.  For example, a thief may break into a bank’s computer system and steal sensitive customer information. Unfortunately, financial identity theft isn’t the only kind.  Here are three other types all consumers should be aware of – and take steps to prevent!

Child

The incidence of child identity theft is much higher since Congress passed a law in 1986 requiring the parents of newborns to apply for a social security number for them right away. Unfortunately, the perpetrator of child identity theft is usually someone known to the family who uses the child’s social security number to secure housing, employment, or obtain loans. It can be easy for them to do since the child would not have anything negative associated with the social security number yet.

Criminal

This type of identity theft occurs when police arrest someone and he or she provides the identification of someone else in an attempt to avoid the consequences of the crime. The criminal could also be attempting to prevent arrest, conviction, or having a warrant issued in his or her real name.

Medical

With this type of identity theft, a person identifies himself or herself as someone else to attempt to receive free medical care, or to have the bill sent to elsewhere.

How to Protect Yourself from Identity Theft

One of the simplest things you can do to protect yourself from identity theft is to review your financial statements regularly and alert the company that manages your account of any suspicious activity. The company will then act to protect you by closing the current account and issuing a new one with a different account number.

Like most Americans, you probably receive unsolicited credit card offers in your mailbox every day. To stay one step ahead of identity thieves, make sure that you shred these documents before you throw them away. Better yet, you can opt out of receiving this junk mail altogether by calling the Federal Trade Commission at 1-888-567-8688 or visiting the website OptOutPresceen.com to request to have your name removed from these lists.

To prevent online identity theft, make sure to use strong passwords for every financial account and change them at least every few months. A strong password is one that contains upper and lower case letters, symbols, and numbers, and does not use a recognizable word from the English language.

Aura Wealth Management is Here to Protect Your Financial Interests

The thought of falling victim to identity theft is a frightening one, especially when you have worked so hard to achieve financial independence. If we can assist you with preventing identify theft or managing your money in any other way, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Leave a Reply