Identity theft has become one of the most common crimes in the United States. Itâ€™s estimated that in the last five years, more than twenty-seven million people have had their identity stolen. As you probably know, identity theft most commonly occurs when your social security number, credit card, or bank account number get in the wrong hands. But even though most people understand that identity theft is a very real problem, perpetrators continue to use more sophisticated tactics to get a hold of your important information.
Five easy ways to prevent identity theft and keep your information personal:
Keep your wallet in a safe place, even when you are around friends and coworkers. According to a recent study, 26% of identity theft victims knew the thief.
Tear up your bank and credit card statements. It takes little time, no money, and can save you a lot of hassle.
Donâ€™t take it if you donâ€™t need it. There is no reason to have five credit cards in your wallet if you donâ€™t need them all. You are more likely to lose one, and youâ€™ll never know if one is missing.
Donâ€™t write you social security number down. Just donâ€™t do it unless you absolutely have to. You can write the last four digits on checks and transactionsâ€”but there is no need to write the entire number.
If you bank or shop online, be extra careful. The latest internet scam known as â€œphishingâ€ is when scammers send emails imitating a legitimate Web site and ask for personal information and then use this information to commit identity fraud. Sometimes you can tell which spam is or isnâ€™t dangerous. But it is becoming increasingly difficult to differentiate between what is real and what is fake. If you are worried about online identity theft, you need shoeboxed.com. It will automatically protect you from these harmful messages, helping you keep your information private and secure.