Identity theft is when an individual obtains another person’s personal data and uses this information to commit fraud for monetary gain. In almost every country in the world now, criminals have been known to withdraw funds from other people’s bank accounts and even incur debts in their victim’s names. social security card copy
Criminals can not only steal a person’s money, but they can ruin their reputation as well by purchasing illegal items and even filing for bankruptcy. Identity theft security in the United States had gotten out of hand because it is a relatively new crime, but now there are laws and penalties being placed on the books to harshly punish the wrong doers.
In America, identity theft leads to losses of about 5 billion dollars every year. For this reason, the U.S. Government has made it their job to help protect people’s social security numbers by making it highly illegal for someone else to use it unless they are authorized by the law. Having someone’s social security number is one of the main ways identity thieves are able to obtain valuable personal information.
There are various ways in which a person’s identity may be stolen. Identity thieves steal wallets, purses from which they obtain credit cards, driver’s license and social security cards. They may also steal your mail in order to obtain bank and credit card statements and important tax information. For identity theft security reasons you should always be watchful of personal information and if at anytime any of it comes up missing or stolen immediately contact the appropriate company as well as legal authorities.
Criminals have also been found to rummage through trash and public dumps looking for personal information. Better identity theft security may be achieved by being certain you shred any valuable and personal information before putting in the trash.
Identity theft security is best achieved by protecting your social security number. When one has access to someone’s social security number, they can also access their credit information therefore increasing the risk of identity theft. They could also use the number to take a job and not pay the taxes causing the victim major problems with the IRS.
There are several steps that one can take to protect their social security number. They include: Not carrying documents containing their number such as the social security card and insurance cards. Not revealing the social security number over the phone even when one initiates the call. Most departments of motor vehicles will agree not to use the social security number on the driving license. Instead a person may choose to use a different number. Not having checks with their number printed on it as was once the case. These may fall into the wrong hands. Ensuring that people who request your social security number have a legal right to do so.
Requesting a statement of one’s social security personal earnings and benefit estimates every three years to ensure correctness of this information. If one suspects that someone else is using their number, they should report it to the social security administration at once. They will then go through the person’s earnings to ensure correctness of the records. If there is a problem the legal authorities should also be contacted to put any needed identity theft security measures in place to catch the thief.