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If you are a Pennsylvanian, you may be discouraged to learn that your state ranks 14th highest in America with respect to identity theft. In one recent 12-month period, nearly 10,000 residents of Pennsylvania reported being victims of this crime, which can destroy credit scores, prevent people from getting a mortgage or renting an apartment, and can even result in false imprisonment for illegal activities conducted by criminals using someone else's identity as an alias.
You may wonder what you can do to make it less likely that you will be personally affected by identity theft. Fortunately, there are a number of Identity Theft Protection services available in Pennsylvania that offer round-the-clock monitoring of your personal information - name, address, birth date, phone number, social security number, and so forth - and rapid detection of any possible unauthorized transactions using your identity. Given that many identity thieves are able to operate unnoticed for long periods of time, you can have greater peace of mind knowing that you will not find out about any such breaches after it is already too late.
Of course, nothing can replace good decision-making to protect your identity. If you are asked to provide your social security number, ask the requester to explain why it is needed, how it will be used, and most importantly, how it will be stored and protected at that location. Shred receipts, bank statements, expired credit cards, medical records, and other such documents rather than placing them in the trash or recycling bin in one piece. Be aware of the many scammers who will impersonate your bank, a trusted business, or even the IRS both on the phone and online, hoping to get you to disclose your account numbers, passwords, or social security number. When in doubt, call that business or agency directly using a trusted phone number or website URL (e.g. one that you find on the back of your credit card or on a monthly statement).
Identity Theft In The News
Think of all the ways you could be a victim of a crime. Do you classify any of these methods as inevitable In almost every scenario, it is not even close to inevitability, with one major exception: I...
Published: Fri, 22 Feb 2019 23:11:00 GMT
If you know better, you'll do better, right Well, not always. For instance, in a CreditCards.com survey of more than 1,200 people, a majority said they believed that having their identity stolen woul...
Published: Sat, 23 Feb 2019 07:15:00 GMT
Advertiser Disclosure: The credit card offers that appear on the website are from companies from which this site receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on th...
Published: Thu, 21 Feb 2019 07:06:00 GMT
In a recent column, we talked about a number of helpful resources for more information about scams, how to avoid them and what to do if you become a victim. One resource was contact information if you ...
Published: Fri, 22 Feb 2019 07:16:00 GMT
Not a day passes without news of data thefts that put all of us in danger. A recent report says that over 5 billion data records were breached in 2018. You can be pretty certain that mine and ...
Published: Fri, 22 Feb 2019 07:49:00 GMT
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