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Five Facts of Identity Theft

On Behalf of | Jan 9, 2014 | Blog

In the wake of the ongoing crisis facing Target
, now more than ever consumers need to be aware of the
basic facts of Identity Theft.  Despite the fact identity
is often discussed, misconceptions about this rapidly
growing crime are everywhere.  Protecting yourself can be as
simple as understand the basic

While identity
was initially a crime where your credit card was stolen
and used to make purchases until you discovered it was missing or
until the card reached its limit, today the damage is much more
extensive.  All an identity thief needs is a single piece of
your personal information, like a credit card number, social
security number or account number and he or she can begin opening
accounts and taking out loans in your name.  Below is a list
of facts that may help you avoid becoming the next

Fact 1:  You do not need to provide your credit
card number for your identity to be stolen
Identities can be stolen simply by gaining access to your personal
information.  Make sure important documents, such as birth
certificates, social security cards, passports, and other financial
documents are kept in a safe place.  The information contained
in these documents can be used to steal your identity and open
accounts in your name.

Fact 2:  Providing non-financial information can
often be enough to steal your identity
While it may seem harmless, providing your complete date of birth,
address or phone number can often open you up to becoming a
victim.  Make sure when sharing any personal information it is
incomplete, for example just the month and year of your birthday or
the last four digits of your social security number.

Fact 3:  Your mailbox can open you up to identity
Watch your mailbox.  Suburbanites are at risk of becoming
victims of identity theft by mail.  Thieves can easily lift
mail from your box, including credit card statements, bank
statements or bills that contain all of your personal information
making it easy to open up accounts in your name.  If you are
awaiting checks make sure you know when they are expected to arrive
so that the important documents don’t sit in your

Fact 4:  Review your finances
Make sure to review your accounts on a regular basis to ensure all
charges belong to you.  Thieves often begin stealing your
identity by first charging small amounts to see if they are

Fact 5:  If you are skeptical of an ATM machine do
not use it
Follow your instincts.  If you feel uneasy about using an ATM
machine, you should not use it.  If a machine looks or seems
strange chances are it may be the result of fraudulent
activity.  If you use a machine and feel that you may have
been the victim of fraud, notify the bank immediately so they can
watch your account and issue you a new card.

If you believe you have been the victim of identity
and need more information contact
SmithMarco P.C.
for a completely free case review.