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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
FAYETTEVILLE - A woman who claimed she was a doctor to scam patients, including some in Northwest Arkansas, was sentenced in Alabama to more than six years in federal prison after she pleaded guilty to charges that included wire fraud and identity theft.
Published: Mon, 21 May 2018 02:12:00 GMT
We tested Alexa, Siri and Google Home to see which digital assistant knows most about the Royal Wedding. USA TODAY SAN FRANCISCO - A funny as Lord Carpenter Rover of Sunnyside might sound, please don't reply to a Facebook prompt asking you to create ...
Published: Thu, 17 May 2018 16:24:00 GMT
LOOK AT YOUR SCREEN. ABOUT 1 TO 3 MILLION CHILDREN ARE AFFECTED BY CHILDHOOD IDENTITY THEFT. 50% ARE YOUNGER THAN SIX YEARS OLD ACCORDING TO TO ROBERT CHAPELL LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICER AND AUTHOR OF CHILD IDENTITY THEFT WHAT EVERY PARENT NEEDS TO KNOW.
Published: Fri, 18 May 2018 04:22:00 GMT
MARICOPA - Maricopa Police officer Ricardo Alvarado has a case that's stumped him for 12 years. An identity theft case. It's his identity theft case. When he tries to apply for credit or a loan, it turns into a full blown interrogation by lenders who make ...
Published: Fri, 18 May 2018 03:29:00 GMT
CORTLANDT - State Police from the Cortlandt barracks arrested Noralisa Diaz, 30, of Brooklyn, for Identity Theft and Grand Larceny, both as felonies. In January, victims had a fraudulent withdrawal of $8,000 from personal bank accounts. Investigation ...
Published: Sun, 20 May 2018 02:38:00 GMT
Enid Police Department is asking the public for help in identifying a pair of shoplifters. On May 15, a theft occurred at Jumbo Food, 2311 W. Willow. The reporting party said on May 15 a man and woman entered the store and took two 5-pound packages of meat ...
Published: Mon, 21 May 2018 02:12:00 GMT
If you use Facebook, you're probably no stranger to personality quizzes and text-based prompts littering your News Feed. For some, they're fun. For others, they're annoying. But, at least in one recent case, they can also increase your risk of ...
Published: Fri, 18 May 2018 14:24:00 GMT
FOX10 News is committed to our community. On Saturday, you'll have another chance to shred important documents to help protect your identity. Our second "Shred Event" of the year kicks off at 8 a.m. at Hank Aaron Stadium and lasts until noon. We had such ...
Published: Fri, 18 May 2018 13:49:00 GMT
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