When someone steals your personal information and uses it to commit identity or credit fraud as you, he is committing identity theft. Those who commit identity theft know no boundaries when it comes to stealing personal information. They steal information such as bank account numbers, credit card numbers, identity card details, health insurance details, social security numbers and an array of other personal data. All your information can then be utilized in taking out loans, applying for credit cards, making fraudulent purchases and establishing service accounts. All these crimes have become popular these days, now that identity theft can easily be done online.
How Can Your Identity Be Stolen Online?
Identity thieves have various ways of stealing personal information online. These are just a few ways they steal personal information –
- Sending fraudulent emails as authorized correspondence from your bank wanting to verify personal information, known as phishing attacks.
- When employees of businesses have access to your personal information and steals data they need.
- By hacking into databases from the government and private businesses where you may have personal information stored in it.
- When employees or online sellers copy your credit card and account details whenever you purchase a product or service online using a credit card or other forms of online banking options.
How Is Your Personal Information Used?
Your personal data may be used for these purposes –
- Apply for online personal loans
- Make fraudulent charges on your credit card
- Access your bank accounts online to transfer money
- Impersonate your identity when committing crimes or fraudulent activities and to hide criminal records
Added Theft Protection And Monitoring
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Identity theft is becoming more and more common, making it crucial to apply the necessary steps in preventing identity theft and fraud. Identity theft and identity fraud are just two of the many white collar crimes which can affect your future immensely because you can be charged and convicted for crimes you are actually a victim of. You will have to face huge fines, prison time and other consequences based on the severity of the crime committed, especially when “A number of white collar crimes are federal crimes” says The Law Offices of Tad Nelson & Associates located in Texas.
How You Can Avoid Becoming An Identity Theft Victim
These are just a few ways you can take to avoid becoming an identity theft victim online –
- Avoid providing your social security number and driver’s license number to anyone or typing it out on an online form unless really necessary for online banking records or online employment applications and interviews. Nevertheless, try to avoid it if it is not a requirement.
- Use your credit card wisely when you shop online
- Create complicated passwords or PIN’s that will be easy for you to remember
- Opt to have all your statements or bills sent to your email instead of your mailbox to reduce the risk of mail fraud
- Make sure to monitor credit reports every year
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Valerie Terger is a freelance writer specializing in various criminal cases, relationship and family legal affairs, and the latest apps and devices used in legal matters.