A Dangerous and Growing Trend
Identity theft experts believe that possibly 100 million Americans or more each year have their identity information put at extreme risk to the threat of fraud because records used by the government are misused, lost or stolen. Although most may never become a victim, the threat is very real and means identity theft may be the fastest growing and most costly crime in the United States.
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Experts on identity theft point to the various steps individuals and companies can take to avoid this crime. Free identity theft protection is a process that perhaps everyone should be well aware of. The best ways to prevent personal id fraud are actually quite simple.
• Be mindful of mail. Sensitive information is constantly being transported to and from your home and place of work. Sometimes criminals intercept mail before it is opened. Other times thrown away mail is collected out of garbage to be used for criminal activities.
• Scams on the Internet are increasingly becoming more sophisticated and pervasive. Phishing is perhaps the most frustrating example
• Online passwords should be changed frequently. Any electronic transactions should be made on secure websites.
• Personal information should almost never be given over a telephone.
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From petty, small time criminals to the devastation of entire businesses, a crime starts when a criminal gets private information like a social security number. Dumpster diving is one way to procure this information as many people do not successfully shred their mail that comes to them in the form of bills, or tax receipts. All of this can be used effectively to assume fraudulent identities.
Modern Methods of ID Theft are Sophisticated and Threatening
The sophistication of modern crime syndicates that hack into company databases is rapidly advancing. Many can recognize a suspicious email, but it's not always obvious. Criminals can send emails posing as popular retail stores, real estate companies, or even private companies people have already associated with like land lords. By posing as a friendly associate many innocent Americans are duped into giving away private information criminals have no business accessing.
Because hacking is a constant struggle for identity theft protection agencies, everyone should be changing their online passwords regularly. This is perhaps the best example of identity theft protection for free. Personal information should be a tightly guarded secret, and with more people keeping a vigilant watch, more criminals attempting to commit fraud will be persuaded to find a new profession.
For the best information on identity theft visit legal-yogi.com. A free consultation is available by calling 1-800-397-1755.