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In Hawaii, identity theft happens at a rate of 45.1 victims for every 100,000 in the state's population. While this may not sound high, for the more than 300 Hawaiians in a typical year who experience identity theft, the effects can be severe. Unresolved identity issues can result in false imprisonment, inability to obtain credit for home mortgages or automobile purchases, and many other costly and time-consuming problems.
How do criminals use stolen identity? They can take a few pieces of personal information - a name, social security number, an address, among others - and use them to obtain medical care, for anything from a hip replacement to cosmetic surgery; to open up a number of new credit card accounts, making thousands of dollars in purchases before the victim of identity theft even realizes it; to file a fraudulent tax return and walk away with a sizable refund, which goes unnoticed until the taxpayer tries to file a return and learns that one was already filed earlier in the year, using his or her information. It seems that new ways for criminals to steal identifying details and use it for their benefit are constantly emerging.
What can residents of Hawaii do to protect themselves from identity theft? Safeguarding their personal information is often the best strategy. Smart practices include not carrying their social security cards or other documents with the number listed; not giving out their social security number just because a business requests it; checking annual credit reports and Social Security Administration earnings statements; protecting computers using anti-spam and anti-virus software, firewalls, and using hard-to-guess passwords on Internet accounts; and refusing to give out personal information over the phone unless the call is initiated by the individual (e.g. a credit cardholder calls the customer service number given on the back of the card, as opposed to responding to a phone call that likely did not come from the credit card company but rather from a scammer).
In addition, many Identity Theft Protection services are available in Hawaii and can give customers an added layer of security and greater peace of mind.
Identity Theft In The News
EASTHAMPTON - Police are asking for help to identify two men who are accused of walking off with a $1,100 piece of equipment. The theft happened on Nov. 14 from a local hardware store. The two men too...
Published: Sun, 18 Nov 2018 09:01:00 GMT
H ow important is a definition If we can create new words and terms simply by speaking or writing them, as Shakespeare did - and as we see happening with tech terms every year nowadays - can the oppo...
Published: Sun, 18 Nov 2018 07:55:00 GMT
RIYADH - Five out of 10 consumers, globally, are anxious about identity theft, while 77 percent are totally against their data being sold on, according to a study released Sunday by KPMG International ...
Published: Sat, 17 Nov 2018 16:00:00 GMT
Police are asking for the public's help in identifying a man they say stole items from an area grocery store. The West Shore Regional Police Department released surveillance photos of a man suspected ...
Published: Sun, 18 Nov 2018 05:58:00 GMT
The Secret Service last week sent out an internal warning that many of its field offices have reported scammers are using Informed Delivery to help them carry out identity theft and credit card fraud, ...
Published: Sat, 17 Nov 2018 02:00:00 GMT
ATLANTA (AP) - A former employee for the Internal Revenue Service in Atlanta has been sentenced to two years in prison after she pleaded guilty to aggravated identity theft. The U.S. Justice Departmen...
Published: Fri, 16 Nov 2018 05:42:00 GMT
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