Identity theft is a growing crime and the number of people that fall victim to identity theft scams has increased every year. Identity theft is a crime where criminals can steal your identity and use it to apply for credit in your name.

How Identity Theft Works

To make it possible for these criminals to steal your identity they must first get their hands on your personal information. We all know that this personal information is private. The con artists are very clever and are always coming up with new ways to get hold of this information. They are experienced at making us believe that we really have to give them this information.

As soon as they have managed to get your private information they can then use it to open bank accounts, withdraw money, and apply for credit cards. There are a number of places where criminals can get this information and the biggest risk is your computer. Security software should be used to minimize the risks of computer viruses affecting the security of your computer. The trouble is that new viruses are being created every day, not all of which are detected by virus scanners.

Don’t Fall For Scams

It’s very important that you look after your personal information. This includes your bank and credit card statements. Whenever you are asked for any personal information you must be very cautious. If you are entering your details online then make sure that you can trust the site that you are sharing your details with.

If you are buying anything on the internet then make sure you can trust the site before entering your payment information. You must also make sure that the transaction is being placed using a secure server. If not then your details could be exposed for all to see.

Even if the website is trusted your details are still at risk because of spyware. Spyware can hide on your computer silently collecting your personal information and stealing your identity. It will then be able to report all of this information back to the person in charge. You should never have a need to enter your social security number on the internet; if you’re ever asked for it then consider leaving the site straight away.

When shopping on the internet you should make sure that you have a copy of the receipts. Ensure that the figures on the receipts ties up with the actual amounts you have been charged on your card. If not then this could be a sign that you have been targeted for identity theft.

Phone Scams

Identity theft scams aren’t just focused on the computer because they can also happen over the phone. This is actually quite dangerous because you are talking to a real person and so many people automatically trust them. On the internet everyone is much more careful because they don’t understand what is happening.

When someone phones you it’s important that you never discuss your credit cards, bank accounts or other personal information. Anyone who phones you for these details will be trying to scam you. Try and find out the number of the person that phoned you so that you can report them to the BBB.

The real number of cases of identity theft is unknown because many people are so embarrassed they don’t come forward. You have to put your embarrassment aside and make sure that you report the crime so that we can start putting an end to such crimes.

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