Preventing ID theft.
ID theft is one of the fastest growing crimes in the US, according to the FBI. However, there are simple things you can do in your everyday life to revent this awful crime happening to you. It is a crime that has the ability to completely destroy your life, leaving you homeless, unable to get credit for things you may need, and in some cases can lead to blackmail and terrorism.
There is no complete prevention for identity theft, but there are things you can do in order to make your risks that much smaller. A lot of these things are down to common sense, and when you think about it, are things you should be doing anyway. Always ensuring that your wallet or purse is safe at all times. If you leave you purse on a table at a restaurant and then walk to the toilet, there is a massive chance that it will be stolen. The same applies to leaving your purse or wallet unguarded in your home. If you leave it by an open window, in full view of people walking past, there is a good chance it will disappear. Make sure that when you are out and about, your purse is in your pocket or bag and they are closed. Maybe adding a chain to your purse or wallet that is attached to your belt loop or the inside of your bag? By stealing your purse, the thief will have access to information such as where you live, credit cards with signature they can forge as well as a lot more.
On the same sort of lines, do not leave personal information in your purse, wallet or bag. If you wander around with a birth certificate or utility bill on your possession, it is a lot easier for a thief to steal your identity, should they steal your bag or purse.
When you use an ATM or cash machine, do you always shield your PIN number from those around you? Believe it or not, not that many people do. All it takes is one person to take a peek over your shoulder and see what numbers you are entering, and then follow you in order to steal your purse, and your identity will have been stolen. You wouldn’t leave your PIN number with your cards, so why leave yourself wide open for people to see what these important numbers are?
Buy yourself a shredder. How many bills or other things have you thrown in the trash? A thief can go through your trash, find these things and they will then have access to your name, address, account numbers in the way of bank statements and such like. By shredding these documents before chucking them away, you are at a lesser risk of becomign a victim of identity theft.
How many times has a salesman or other company called you on the phone or arrived at your home to ask you questions? How many times have you give personal details out? You may never really know whether these people are genuine or not, and the best wya to rpevent yourself being stung by identity theft is to never give out personal information to people that you do not know. Asking for proof of identification is always a very good idea when anyone comes to your home, and should be done whether you believe yourself to be at risk of identity theft or not. The same applies to those who call you on the phone. Write down details of the person that you are speaking to and keep it somewhere, just to be sure.
There are hundreds of ways in which you can change small things that you do everyday to keep the risk of identity theft at a minimum. Whether or not you choose to do these things, is up to you, but remember, identity theft is a fast growing crime, and one day, it could happen to you!