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Identity theft is a big moneymaker in the criminal world in America, with nearly $50 billion in losses reported by the Federal Trade Commission each year. In Missouri, more than 3,800 residents became victims in a recent year, at a rate of 64.3 people out of every 100,000 people in the state.
What can Missouri residents do to better protect themselves against identity theft? First, they should secure their electronic devices. Security software - anti-virus, anti-spyware, firewalls - should be a priority. Smartphones, tablets, and computers need to be password-protect to prevent unauthorized access, and all passwords used on those devices or anywhere online should not be easy to guess (e.g. no names of pets or family members, not the word "password", no birth dates or home phone numbers).
Second, they should make sure not to give their social security numbers out unless absolutely necessary; even when deciding to provide that information, the requester should be able to explain why it's needed, and how they protect such data in their business. Another important safeguard is to keep financial documents and records in a safe or other secure location (e.g. safe deposit box), and to shred those documents before disposing of them.
Finally, Missouri residents should watch out for scammers impersonating banks, credit card companies, and even the IRS; there are many well-documented, fraudulent activities whereby criminals try to get customers to disclose account numbers and passwords. It is recommended that credit cardholders and bank account holders call those businesses directly, using trusted contact numbers, rather than respond to any contact not initiated by the customers themselves.
Additionally, there are a number of Identity Theft Protection services available to customers in Missouri, whereby they can have 24-hour monitoring of their credit accounts and other information. These companies also help those who have been victims of identity theft to quickly restore their credit ratings and reputations.
Identity Theft In The News
The recent film Ocean's 8 is the story of a group of thieves that steal a priceless necklace from a famous movie actress, in plain sight. A series of cons are pulled off that enable the heist to occur ...
Published: Fri, 13 Jul 2018 02:08:00 GMT
YORKTOWN - A Peekskill man is charged with identity theft and possession of a forged instrument, both as felonies, in connection with a case involving a Florida resident. Yorktown Police were alerted ...
Published: Sat, 14 Jul 2018 04:32:00 GMT
BULLHEAD CITY - Local law enforcement agencies are searching for suspects wanted for identity theft and stealing two vehicles from a local car dealership. The two vehicles were fraudulently purchased ...
Published: Fri, 13 Jul 2018 14:03:00 GMT
There's a great big world out there, and our latest "news you can use" may inspire a trip you never knew you needed. About to leave for your summer vacation We've got some urgent advice about how to ...
Published: Thu, 12 Jul 2018 10:13:00 GMT
DOTHAN, Ala. (WTVY) --There was a shred-a-thon at SunSouth bank on Friday. They partnered with the Wiregrass Rehab Center to offer a safe way to get rid of residents sensitive documents. They were als...
Published: Fri, 13 Jul 2018 15:57:00 GMT
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