Identity Theft: What You Can Do About It

By: Johnbrennan
The battle against identity theft rages on. Everyday, someone carelessly discards a receipt or bill and someone else gives out his or her social security number on the Internet. Everyday, somewhere in the Unites States and across the world, someone becomes a victim of identity theft.

While it can make managing finances easier, getting bills and bank statements by mail does put you at risk of identity theft. Getting pre-approve offers in the mail is a sign that companies are taking notice of your impressive credit rating but they may not be the only ones taking notice. But just because you receive an offer on official looking letterhead doesn't mean that it is legitimate and may simply be an excuse to obtain your personal information.

You can reduce the chances of your falling for a scheme like this by keeping a close watch on the kinds of mail you receive and when. You can also switch to online statements where possible thereby reducing the amount of mail in your mailbox.

Phone, electricity and other bills for utilities usually display a customers address, account numbers and contact details. This is information that an identity theft can use to fraudulently act on your behalf.

Bank statements, pre-approved credit card offers and paycheck stubs are all gold-mines of information for criminals to turn you into a victim of identity theft.

Did you know that some employers would put your social security number on your pay stub just for filing purposes? To help prevent identity theft, keep these papers close to you so they do not fall into they wrong hands -- or shred them to guard against identity theft.

But how do these prospective thieves get the goods on you? What techniques do they use to gather the kind of personal information that will make you a victim of identity theft? According to the experts who fight against identity theft, all criminals need is a pair of gloves and a flashlight.

Thieves root through garbage to get the information they want -- and their habits have been nicknamed "Dumpster Diving" by those trying to prevent identity theft. Make sure that when you throw out your trash, all people can find in your garbage are scraps of food -- and not your personal information.
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