Most Commented Posts
Identity theft can be a terrifying proposition: your hard-earned money is disappearing right before your eyes, and you know you haven’t spent it. As more information is being digitized, an individual’s identity has become easier to steal.
Identity theft is the crime of pretending to be someone else to steal their money or take valuable assets. This crime is growing ever more sophisticated. Here are three common types of identity theft and some actions you can take to protect yourself.
1. Financial Identity Theft
Financial identity theft compromises your bank accounts, credit and debit cards, loans, insurance, medical billing accounts, etc. It can affect you in various ways, including an unwanted third party making purchases with your money, acting in your name and can cause issues with bankruptcy and debt collection.
Financial identity theft happens in many ways and usually involves unauthorized access to your account information or financial cards through physical theft or hacking your online banking credentials. It can also happen because of a data breach involving your banking information.
How Can You Protect Yourself?
Regularly check your accounts, statements and bills to see small charges. Some criminals start by making microtransactions, hoping you don’t detect them. If you notice a transaction you don’t recognize, contact your bank. If criminals open a new account in your name, you might not receive a statement. In this case, you can protect yourself by purchasing identity theft protection from LifeLock that will alert you about fraud and suspicious activity. This investment can save you tons of money and provide you with peace of mind. Now, with the coupon from LifeLock, you can save up to 25 percent.
2. Synthetic Identity Theft
A synthetic identity can be created when criminals open fraudulent accounts and make fraudulent purchases using stolen personal information. Fraudsters steal Social Security numbers (SSN) and combine authentic information with false ones like addresses, names, dates of birth and use them to open bank accounts. The victim of such fraud cannot be clearly identified. As a result, synthetic identity theft can go unnoticed for a very long time.
For a certain period, fraudsters use these bank accounts responsibly to build up their credit history and score. Once they build up a high credit score, they can have a bigger windfall and commit theft from financial institutions.
3. Tax Identity Theft
Tax identity theft is a combination of tax fraud and identity theft. The IRS says that it occurs when someone files a Tax return using your stolen personal information, including your Social Security number. The IRS indicates that this is the top fraud issue they must combat now.
Tax identity theft is a crime that has been on the rise, and in many cases, taxpayers don’t discover the fraud until trying to file their taxes and find out that someone else has already filed for them and cashed their refund check. A Tax ID fraudster can even file for bankruptcy using your Tax information.
If you find out that someone has filed a Tax return using your SSN, you have to notify the IRS immediately. They will ask you to go through a process to prove your identity, then issue your Tax return within 90 days.
It Doesn’t End There
If your data has been stolen, the thief can use your information and SSN to take out a mortgage, open credit accounts and take over your financial life. You must take steps to protect your information and prevent this theft to avoid such consequences.