Identity Theft occurs when someone uses your personal information and uses it witout your permission. The results can be devestating to you personally and financially. Recovering from a case of Identity Theft takes a lot of time, money and patience.
Once identity thieves have your personal information, they can drain your bank account, run up charges on your credit dards, or get medical treatment on your insurance. An identity thief might even file a tax return in your name and get a refund. If you suspect someone has stolen your identity, acting quickly is the best way to limit the damage.
To help prevent Identity Theft:
- Protect your Social Security number. Don't carry your social security card in your wallet or write it on your checks. Give it out only if absolutely necessary or ask to use another identifier.
- Do not give out personal information over the phone, over the internet or through the mail unless you absolutely know who you are dealing with.
- Never click on links in unsolicited emails.
- Keep your personal informationin a secure place at home, especially if you have roommates.
- Encrypt personal information on you laptop.
- Don't use an obvious password like your date of birth, mother's maiden name or last four digits of your Social Security number.
- Vary passwords between accounts and avoid saving passwords or PIN numbers online, on computers or phones.
- Never over-share personal details on social media, such as full address, social security number or date of birth.