Don’t think Identity Theft can happen to you – “Think Again”

During the course of the day you may write a check at the grocery store, charge tickets to a concert, mail your tax returns, rent a car, and apply for a new credit card. Your probably don’t think twice when you are doing these type of activities. An identity thief is always watching.

Identity theft is a serious crime, and is currently the biggest crime waive ever. People who have their identity stolen can end up taking months, years and thousands of dollars trying to recover their identity. Identity theft can steal your good name and credit record. If identity theft happens to you, it could cause you to not get a new job because of your current credit report, it could get you denied credit for housing, cars and installment loans.

How identity thieves get your information
• Stealing information and records while on the job
• Conning fellow co-workers for information
• Hacking records
• Bribing employees whom have access to confidential information
• Steal your mail, by taking bills, credit card statements, tax return information, new credit card offers and new checks as well.
• Dig through your trash, business trash cans, and public trash facilities. This is also known as dumpster diving.
• Get a copy of your credit report by abusing their employers authorized access to it, or by posing as someone like a landlord or employer who may have access to your credit reports.
• They may capture your credit card numbers or pin numbers by storing this information in a data storage device when you swipe your card. This is also know as skimming.
• They may steal your purse or wallet.
• They may complete a change of address to divert your mail somewhere else.
• They may steal your information that find in your own home.
• They may steal your information posing as your bank or some institution you do business with.

How identity thieves use your personal information
• They can give your name during a arrest and if you don’t show up for the court date it goes on your record.
• They could file fraudulent tax returns in your name
• They could get a job in your name.
• They could get a auto loan in your name
• They could get a home loan in your name
• They may open new credit cards in your name and allow them to go delinquent which will affect your credit report.
• They may establish utility bills in your name
• They may file bankruptcy in your name on charges they have accrued in you name.

There are some great preventative measures for avoiding identity theft. Here are a few good ones.

• Get your credit report at least every 3 months. Its worth paying for to avoid this mess.
• Sign up for credit monitoring to get alerts when someone applies for credit in your name.
• Shred all mail.
• Get PO Box, and don’t put anything in an un-secure mailbox.
• Safeguard credit cards, social security cards, and any other personal items you don’t use in a safe.

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Disclaimer: This information has been compiled and provided by as an informational service to the public. While our goal is to provide information that will help consumers to manage their credit and debt, this information should not be considered legal advice. Such advice must be specific to the various circumstances of each person's situation, and the general information provided on these pages should not be used as a substitute for the advice of competent legal counsel.