Identity Theft Tips

Some well placed identity theft tips you may be able to keep your identity safe and prevent months of headaches for yourself.

Identity theft is the fastest growing problem today that requires insurance coverage. The sales of insurance for identity theft today are among the most often purchased types of insurance coverage. While identity theft is a rampant crime, it's not a crime that isn't able, in some cases, to be prevented.

Identity theft insurance can in fact be the most major thing that you buy which will safeguard your lifestyle. It is one of the identity theft tips that are offered by most companies--to purchase some type of identity theft insurance which will monitor your credit and alert you to an attempted identity theft.

Contrary to what most people believe to be true, identity theft does not happen most often on the internet. Only about 40 percent of the identity theft that is taking place happens online, with well over half taking place in the offline world.

Identity theft has become a global epidemic. With less than one or two kinds of information about you, your identity theft can be accomplished. It is possible for someone using just a couple other pieces of information for the thief to accomplish getting their utilities in your name, their credit cards and other things which will in the long range, cost you your own identity and may also cost you months of your life to straighten out the crime.

ID Theft Laws

People have with just very little information, used the bits that they had to take hold of another persons identity and even purchase a home using their credit. While it does take some technology for identity theft to take place in many cases, the reality is that it can be done using a wide assortment of methods, such as bank statements, your utility bills, your credit card offers, or many other things that you may consider worthless and simply throw them away.

In about half of all cases, people actually know the person who has stolen their identity and in about ten percent of cases it will be a child identity theft or parent identity theft. Someone in your circle of friends or of the family is the one who takes their identity and uses it.

Here are some identity theft tips that may help you to prevent your own identity theft will cost you a nominal amount of money and may assure that you are the one who doesn't have your own identity stolen.

  • One of the cheapest identity theft tips that you will ever hear, which is the most effective is to use a gel pen to sign your checks.

  • One of the most rapidly rising types of identity theft is to take a used check and to wash it after taping the signature, so that the check ink is removed, leaving only the signature and a blank check.

  • This is nearly impossible if you use a gel pen to sign your checks. The reason for this is that the ink in a gel pen permeates the paper and is nearly impossible to completely remove. A gel pen costs in many cases less than a dollar and will prevent the theft of your identity if you use it to sign your checks.

  • Do not give your Social Security number, mother's maiden name or account numbers to strangers who contact you, especially by phone, Internet or mail.

  • Put passwords on your credit card, bank and phone accounts.

  • Do not carry PIN numbers, birth certificates, Social Security cards or passports unless absolutely necessary.

  • Review your credit card and other credit statements each month and make sure you know exactly what you're being billed for.

  • Guard your mail from theft. Don't leave outgoing mail in an unsecured mailbox.

  • Tear up or shred documents containing personal information before throwing them away.

  • Eliminate credit cards you rarely or never use.

  • Contact your card issuer to find out if any of your cardholder information can be given to partners or affiliates (third parties) of the card issuer.

  • Contact the three major credit bureaus and ask to "Opt Out" of the pre-approved credit lists they sell to companies. Call 1-888-5-OPTOUT (567-8688) or make the request online at www.optoutprescreen.com.

  • Remove your name from marketer's unsolicited mailing and calling lists. Make a request online at https://www.dmaconsumers.org/cgi/offmailing

Another of our favorite identity theft tips will be to never leave your receipt behind when you are at an ATM machine. Many people leave the receipts behind and while most ATM machines these days only offer the last four digits of your card, they do offer a name.

Using those last four numbers of the card it is possible to call a utility company and use those for identifying your account and request information about your utility accounts, which offers enough additional information to set up other accounts in your name.

You may not be entirely able to prevent your own identity theft, but using some common sense about safe-guarding your personal information.

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