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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
A woman has been sentenced to six years in prison for felony identity theft in connection to serial squatting, in which she fraudulently leased residences and failed to pay rents prior to evictions. H...
Published: Tue, 18 Sep 2018 23:27:00 GMT
DENVER (AP) - A woman accused of being a serial squatter by fraudulently leasing properties and failing to pay rent has been sentenced to six years in prison. The Denver Post reports 43-year-old Heath...
Published: Tue, 18 Sep 2018 20:47:00 GMT
NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) - A new warning was issued to parents, saying it's time to start protecting children from identity fraud. A recent survey found one million kids were victims of identity ...
Published: Tue, 18 Sep 2018 16:08:00 GMT
Bad news: Identity theft has reached an all-time high. Good news: IdentityWorksSM Plus by Experian is an effective weapon against this rising threat. Criminals can nab far more than just your name on ...
Published: Tue, 18 Sep 2018 10:25:00 GMT
Gavin Karpinsky never worried about having his identity stolen, but that's because he's five-years-old and more concerned about playing super hero with his twin brother. "I was shocked," said Heather ...
Published: Tue, 18 Sep 2018 14:57:00 GMT
Privacy and security experts say that staying offline actually carries big risks. Carrie Kerskie, president of Griffon Force, a Florida-based firm that helps identity theft victims, explains that onli...
Published: Tue, 18 Sep 2018 12:32:00 GMT
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