Where Does Identity Theft Happen?
Places of Business
Many fellow employees are responsible for inter-company identity thefts. Surprisingly, a large segment of the identities were stolen not by an employee – but by the owners and managers of many companies or small businesses.
If any employer requests your Social Security number, a Privacy Act notice must also be presented to you. Never provide your Social Security information until you have been officially offered a new job. If a Social Security card is requested, see if a copy will suffice. If the actual card must be presented, be sure to return the card to a drawer or safe place at home. Do not carry it around with you.
Online “phishing” has become very popular. ID thefts occur when you receive emails from people posing as legitimate companies asking for your contact or credit card information. Some will directly ask you to send them a check.
Schools and Universities
At many colleges, Social Security numbers are used for just about everything – from financial aid to Student ID numbers and more. Faculty and students all become prey when Social Security numbers are so readily available to be targeted by Identity thieves. Computer systems are also often left unattended, allowing for possible hacking and information theft.
ID thieves can easily steal your mail, including bank and credit card statements, credit card offers, checks, tax information and more. They will even steal the mail you leave for the postman if your mailbox isn’t secure. They may fill out a change of address form in your name and send it back – so they receive your mail.
ID thieves can capture your ATM Card information using a technique called “skimming” They get your information by attaching a data storage device to an ATM machine and get your information when you swipe your card.
In or Around Your Home
Many ID thefts occur in or near the home. In fact, more than a quarter of identity theft cases prove that the victims knew (or are related to) their perpetrator. This is why sharing personal information is so dangerous to your credit and overall finances.
An ID thief gains access to phone service in your name and then makes unauthorized phone calls. These calls may seem like they are coming from your cellular phone or your home phone. And the charges will show up on your bill, which you will have to dispute. Contact your provider immediately and set up a new account.
To ensure ID fraud protection in the future, hire a credit protection service that provides credit monitoring online and receive instant email alerts regarding any suspicious activity on your account. To instantly get your credit monitoring service activated and obtain a copy of your credit report, go to www.creditreport.com/creditmonitoring/ now.