According to a 2018 online survey by The Harris Poll, nearly 60 million Americans were impacted by identity theft. That same study shows that in 2017 almost 15 million customers encountered identity theft. Identity fraud or theft happens when theft uses your private data to commit a crime, either by stealing your credit card details or by using your Social Security number to set up a fraudulent bank account. The following measures are recommended by Omaha Farmers Insurance agent after and even prior to identity robbery:
Understanding the Dangers-One of the best ways to avoid identity theft is understanding the many methods it operates. It may require equipment that when you make a purchase steal your credit card numbers, or a advanced hacking system, but there are many low-tech techniques as well. Such as finding your bank or investment account statements or other private records, thieves will sometimes comb through dumpsters. You may consider purchasing a paper shredder or simply tearing up your statements before you throw them out to make it difficult for thieves to gather data from them if you believe this has occurred to you or is likely to occur. If you own a small business, remember that for companies employing as few as one employee, federal and state legislation have been enacted, requiring them to destroy confidential data before disposing of it. Over time, these regulations will only become more stringent and wider in scope.
Phishing: Don’t take the Bait-Phishing has been around for a while, but scam artists keep coming up with fresh perspectives, so being on guard is wise. Phishing usually includes a fake email or other communication that appears to have come from your bank or other financial institution or even from a government agency. The message urges you to click on a link where some private economic data will be revealed to you. If you receive this type of communication, call the organisation that allegedly sent it to verify it is valid. You’ll likely discover that it’s not in most instances.
Keep up with Your Credit Scores-Identity thieves not only steal your credit card number, they can also set up distinct accounts on your behalf and then neglect to pay the bills they pick up. One way to find out if this happens is by monitoring your credit ratings with the three main loan rating organizations (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion). If you find accounts you have never heard of, you may be able to avoid some of the effects of identity theft, including the harm to your credit rating that can be caused.
Don’t share too much on social media— many individuals on Facebook or other social media accounts disclose their complete birthdays and private information such as animals’ or school names. Unfortunately, this is just the kind of data that financial institutions and other organisations use to check your identity before you can access your account. While sharing these details with friends is fun, there is a great danger that theft will use it to clear your bank account, run charges on your behalf, or open an account you don’t know about. Consider how an identity thief could use those information before you pump up your internet profile.
Act Quickly-If you find out your identity was robbed, you should take a number of measures right away. File a police report to record the theft and any implications you’ve found. Challenge any associated transactions with the involved merchants or financial institutions and close any accounts that may have been accessed by thieves. Report the issue to credit rating agencies and request that your credit reports be corrected and that your documents contain a fraud warning. In case any changes in your credit rating influence your borrowing choices, let your creditors also know about the issue. Finally, consider filing a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission to provide you with a Complaint ID Theft Form.