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Identity Theft in Oregon

Identity theft is a big business in the United States, with billions of dollars stolen from victims every year. Criminals use personal information like names, addresses, birthdates, and social security numbers to make purchases large and small, to open new lines of credit like payday loans or credit cards, to get medical care, and to use as aliases when caught by the police.

Also, the IRS recently stated that tax-related identity theft is on the rise, as thieves file false tax returns to get the refunds; these false returns are often undetected until taxpayers attempt to file their legitimate returns and learn that one was filed previously by someone else. It is recommended that anyone who suspects that they have been victims of this or any other form of identity theft file reports with both their local police departments as well as with the Federal Trade Commission.

Oregon residents report approximately 2,500 cases of identity theft in an average year. What can be done to prevent this crime from taking place?

First, Oregonians should protect their personal information offline. This can be done in many ways, such as shredding receipts, insurance forms, credit applications, and expired credit cards rather than throwing them in the trash or recycling bin; opting out of prescreened offers of insurance and credit by mail; keeping wallets and purses in a safe place at work; and keeping social security numbers (both on documents and the cards themselves) in a safe place at home instead of carrying them around.

Next, residents of Oregon should safeguard their information online, by avoiding "phishing" scams, keeping all passwords private, and not disclosing too much information on Facebook and other social media sites.

Finally, many Oregonians would benefit from the use of Identity Theft Protection services, which offer 24-hour monitoring of all personal information and a rapid response when any suspicious activity is detected.

 

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Identity Theft In The News

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Serial squatter gets 6 years in prison for identity theft

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