Identity theft is one of the fastest-growing crimes in America. Identity theft is the crime of obtaining the personal or financial information of another person for the sole purpose of assuming that person’s name or identity to make transactions or purchases.
Here are some ways to protect your money:
• Secure your social security number – Identity theft usually starts with your social security number landing in the wrong hands. Believe it or not, those nine digits allow thieves to open credit cards in your name, among other mischievous deeds. Put your social security card in a safe place.
• Be on guard with your credit cards – Whenever you use an ATM, there’s a risk of encountering a skimmer. A skimmer is a gadget about the size of a deck of cards that thieves install over a machine’s card slot to grab data off the magnetic strip. Pay attention before sliding your credit card into any ATM machine.
• Don’t fall for phishing – Thieves send deceptive emails or texts to fool people into giving out valuable personal information like passwords and credit card details. Pay close attention and do not give out your personal information to strangers online or via the phone.
In this day in age of technology, you have to be careful of what information you are posting online or giving to strangers via the phone. If you think you are a victim of identity theft, please report it via IdentityTheft.gov. Be prepared to tell them what happened, get a recovery plan in place, and put your plan into action.