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Maine ranks third lowest in the United States when it comes to identity theft: only 38.8 out of every 100,000 residents will experience this crime in a typical year. However, for the more than 500 Mainers who reported identity theft to the Federal Trade Commission in a recent 12-month period, they were likely impacted in time-consuming, costly ways. Identity theft can hinder individuals' ability to get credit for a car loan or a mortgage, to obtain employment, or to pass a background check when looking to rent an apartment.
Fortunately, there are many things that residents of Maine can do to protect themselves against identity theft. One of the most important ways is by safeguarding their social security numbers. This information should only be disclosed when absolutely necessary, and only after determining how the requester will use and protect it. Also, social security cards should generally be left in a safe place at home, rather than in a purse or wallet; the same goes for any other documents (such as Medicare cards) that carry the number.
Another critical step is to keep electronic devices secure. Smartphones, laptops, and tablets should all be password-protected - with a password that is not easily guessed - so that thieves have a harder time accessing any personal information that might be found on those devices. Users should also log off every time they finish using password-protected devices. Similarly, fans of social networking sites should be careful to not share too much personal data, which could enable identity thieves to answer "challenge" questions on accounts and discover other information about users' lives.
Finally, there are a number of Identity Theft Protection services available to Mainers. These companies offer customers the security of knowing that their personal information is being monitored around-the-clock, and that any potentially fraudulent activity will be noticed and resolved quickly.
Identity Theft In The News
According to a 2018 survey, nearly 60 million Americans have dealt with identity theft at some point in their lives. While many people assume that strangers are the only threat, some people have their identities stolen by someone they know. Since friends ...
Published: Fri, 25 May 2018 03:12:00 GMT
Your medical information is a goldmine for fraudsters. By stealing your electronic health records and other forms, thieves can discover everything from your Social Security number to previous diagnoses and current prescriptions. "Your medical file is about ...
Published: Tue, 22 May 2018 09:46:00 GMT
I filed my tax return pretty early this year, and assumed I was safe from tax-related identity fraud. However, I recently received a threatening phone call from the alleged "IRS." What's going on Unfortunately, tax-related identity thieves work all ...
Published: Wed, 23 May 2018 15:27:00 GMT
A U.S. District judge sentenced former state Rep. W. Keith Hall, a Democrat from Pikeville, to two years in prison Thursday for one count of aggravated identity theft. The former lawmaker is already serving a 7-year sentence stemming from a separate ...
Published: Thu, 24 May 2018 14:05:00 GMT
The investigation above aired in 2017. Gov. Mark Dayton signed a bill over the weekend allowing parents or guardians the ability to place a credit security freeze on their child's name to protect them from possible financial identity theft. Rep.
Published: Mon, 21 May 2018 11:20:00 GMT
UTICA - For the second time this year, a former Utica College student accused of making a terroristic threat has been handed an Oneida County grand jury indictment. This time, for felony identity theft and petit larceny, a misdemeanor. In court papers ...
Published: Thu, 24 May 2018 11:10:00 GMT
Every year consumers fall victim to identity theft. Not only can identity theft empty a consumer's bank account, but it can also prolong any future financial plans. With the growth in anonymous transactions and easy accessibility to accounts online, it is ...
Published: Mon, 21 May 2018 03:43:00 GMT
A 21-year-old Minnesota woman was arrested Thursday in Louisville and is awaiting extradition to McCracken County for alleged identity theft. McCracken deputies said Kala Hameister, originally from Minneapolis, is a known associate of the "Felony Lane Gang ...
Published: Tue, 22 May 2018 23:22:00 GMT
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