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A $50 billion industry is big business. Unfortunately, that's how much fraudulent activity occurs each year as a result of identity theft. In an average year, more than 3,500 Alabama residents report being victims of identity theft.
There are a variety of ways in which data thieves can steal your personal information. They can sift through trash to find bills and credit statements; they can steal credit and debit card numbers when your card is used; they can "phish" your email and retrieve your data while posing as legitimate businesses. It seems that new ways to abuse your personal information emerge every day.
Once they have your data, it doesn't take long for them to wreak havoc. For example, they can drain your bank and checking accounts. Or, they can open new loans for cars and other big ticket items. They can even charge your accounts for vacations, home furnishings, and surgical procedures such as liposuction and plastic surgery. And after you realize you're a victim, it can take months or even years to straighten out the mess. While no one can guarantee that your personal information will never be stolen, Identity Theft Protection services work to make sure that this information cannot be used to hurt you, particularly with respect to your credit score.
Identity theft prevention experts recommend a number of steps that Alabama residents can take to better protect themselves from having their identity stolen. First, don't make a habit of carrying your social security card or any other document bearing your SSN. Second, only disclose your SSN when absolutely required, not just because a business asks for it. Third, check your credit report every year to make sure there are no open lines of credit that you don't recognize. Finally, don't give out personal information over the phone unless it is a call you initiated or you are absolutely sure of the identity of the person calling; a recent scam involves callers pretending to be from the IRS in order to gain personal information from the person who answers the phone.
Identity Theft In The News
Amy Wang and her husband spent the first six months of 2016 trying to repair their credit after someone redirected their mail and stole tax forms with sensitive information. A Macy's, Bloomingdale's a...
Published: Fri, 21 Sep 2018 03:01:00 GMT
Delaware's Division of Motor Vehicles has installed "Safe Selfie Zones" at its four locations, to allow newly licensed drivers to share the news - and not their personal details. WBOC-TV reports that ...
Published: Fri, 21 Sep 2018 05:46:00 GMT
CLEARFIELD - A Philipsburg woman accused of stealing another woman's identity pleaded guilty Tuesday in Clearfield County Court. Police said that, in November, the victim, who had never had a cred...
Published: Sun, 23 Sep 2018 00:07:00 GMT
Although they don't appear to be related, three Wyandotte residents reported incidents of identity theft and fraud, all on the same day - Sept. 18. The first police report was taken at 11:50 a.m. and ...
Published: Fri, 21 Sep 2018 11:12:00 GMT
PITTSBURGH (KDKA) - Starting Sept. 21, 2018, a new federal law will offer you and your children more protection from identity theft. You will be able to place a security freeze on your credit ...
Published: Thu, 20 Sep 2018 14:54:00 GMT
LifeLock, a leading Identity Theft protection service, receives the highest ranking available from TopConsumerReviews.com. We're pleased to give LifeLock a first-place ranking as our top pick for Iden...
Published: Wed, 19 Sep 2018 10:41:00 GMT
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