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Identity Theft in Arizona

Arizona MapIf you live in Arizona, your likelihood of becoming a victim of identity theft is extremely high: there are 119.4 victims for every 100,000 people in the state, second only to Florida in terms of per capita identity theft.

For those 7,875 Arizona residents who experienced identity theft in a recent year, their lives were likely disrupted in a number of ways. Identity theft can lead to false medical records, high costs in time and money to correct credit reports and other accounts, and even false imprisonment. Identity thieves use stolen information such as social security numbers, addresses, and dates of birth to get medical treatment, give an alias during an arrest, find employment, open new credit lines, and even file false tax returns.

What can you do in Arizona to protect yourself? First, there are a number of Identity Theft Protection companies who can easily help you to safeguard your identity, and who will respond immediately if any identity theft is detected using your personal information. They can also help you in the event that your identity is stolen, working with you to correct the falsified accounts and reestablish your credit rating. Using such identity theft protection services is likely to save you a great deal of time and heartache in the long run.

Also, there are several steps you can take with respect to your personal habits, to make it less likely that you will be a victim of identity theft. Be sure to check your annual Social Security Administration earnings statement, to ensure that there is no income that you do not recognize. You should also obtain a free credit report from the three major credit bureaus (TransUnion, Experian, Equifax) each year, again to make sure that there are no open accounts that you did not authorize. Finally, make sure not to carry your social security card with you on a regular basis, and don't provide your SSN to a business unless it is absolutely necessary.

These simple steps can help you prevent identity theft in Arizona, giving you greater peace of mind in the knowledge that your personal information is as safe as possible.

 

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