Identity Thieves: Protect Your Self!

by : Jay Delgado

Identity theft or identity fraud has become a rampant growing crime throughout the world. It is perpetrated to acquire the most vital information of about a victims personal financial matters for financial gain and/or to hide the real identity of the perpetrator.

Identity thieves make use of your name, address, account info, Social Security Number and date of birth so they can portray to be you. By doing so, they are able to do a number of frauds all in your name!

However, there are certain ways by which you can make it difficult for identity thieves to get your personal information thus saving you from identity theft or identity fraud.

* Never give your personal information over the phone or via mail unless you are the initiator or are sure about the business or person you are dealing with. Generally, identity thieves pose as banks or internet service providers to obtain your Social Security Number, your name (or mothers maiden name), bank account information and similar identifiable information. So, make sure that you are assured about the legitimacy of the person or organization before you deal.

* Never carry your Social Security Number along with you anywhere; instead, keep it in a safe place.

* It is important that you keep your personal information safe if you live with roommates, have employed domestic help or a service is being done in your home.

* Make use of post office boxes or a local post office to deposit outgoing mail instead of putting them into your unsecured mailbox. Also do not forget to remove mail from your mailbox regularly. In case, you are away from your home for some time, it is suggested that you contact the Postal Service and request a vacation hold.

* Tear or destroy all your charge receipts, credit card applications, insurance forms, bank and credit card statements.

* Never carry any more debit or credit cards than you actually need.

* Apply passwords on your credit card and bank accounts. Do not to use easily available information such as the maiden name of your mother, date of birth or other contact numbers.

* Inquire about the security process set up at your workplace or at other businesses, your physicians offices or other institutions that ask for identifying information about you. Ensure that it is handled safely and also ask about the disposal methods used by them for those records.

* Keep watch over your bill cycles. Contact the creditors in case you do not receive these bills on time, as a missing bill can also be a means for a thief to steal your identity.

* Do not respond to promotional offers, as Identity thieves can make some phony offers to get your personal information.

* Close all the credit accounts that are not in use.

To summarize, these are some of the methods which can make it hard for perpetrators to steal your personal information and can protect you from identity theft or identity fraud.