Identity Theft Affects Over 15 Million US Citizens Annually

Identity theft is a major problem in the United States. According to the Federal Trade Commission, identity theft is among the list of consumer complaints. In fact, in 2004, identity theft is the basis for more than 42% of all complaints filed with the FTC Consumer Sentinel database. In addition, identity theft costs about $ 53 billion per year. This includes all types of loss, a total loss, companies and individual victims.

Many people think that identity theft and automatically think of using your credit card over the Internet or using Internet banking. Today, studies show that up to 70% of all cases of identity theft result from an "inside job". This means that an employee or colleague of a company where you buy could be an identity thief. In addition, often resulting in these cases is that the author is not even an employee – is the owner of a business that is the identity thief.

Yet another startling revelation is that in over 25% of cases where identity theft is reported, the victims knew the identity thief or even relate to them. The number one rule in protecting against identity theft is to be very careful with whom you share your information. These different types of identity theft and tips to prevent it from happening can help protect you.

Social security card

Do not carry your Social Security card in your wallet. If the license, insurance card, driver or any other card uses your Social Security number as a membership number or identification number, request a different number.

Emails phishing

We all received e-mails "phishing" fraudulent and some seem very realistic. Do not fall into the trap. If you receive an email that appears to come from your bank, shops sponsors, government agencies or even personal people who want to "help" or have a "job", forward the email with full headers to reportphishing @ antiphishing. org. EmailAbuse.org also offers a variety of tips on how to protect themselves.

Your Trash

Identity thieves happily in bins for credit card offers, convenience checks "" and other pieces of mail that could reveal your personal information. All documents containing personal information about them should be shredded before taking their trash.

Phone calls

A fairly recent identity theft scam involves the scammer called credit card holders, posing as corporate credit cards. They get all your personal information and, bam! They stole his identity. If you receive a call like this, take the full name of the person and phone number, then hang up and call back the credit card company using the phone number of the customer service that is printed on the back your card to verify that the call was legitimate.

Your computer

Online shopping is quite safe – as long as you know how to protect themselves. Before entering your credit card number, social security number or other personal information, review the privacy policy, looking for ways that you can choose not to provide personal information. If no privacy policy on the website, you should shop elsewhere. If you enter personal information, just do it in secure Web pages. You can easily identify a secure website because they have "https" in the address bar and a padlock icon will be at the bottom of the browser window. Secure pages encrypt or scramble your data to protect against piracy.

Your invoices and bank statements

Once you receive your bill and credit card bank each month, open and monitor very carefully. If there are any charges or unauthorized withdrawals, report immediately. Also, if your bills do not arrive on time, call to verify because it could mean that someone has changed your information to hide fraudulent charges are.

The commercial identity theft on television can be fun, but if you are a victim of identity theft, I can guarantee you that it will be laughing. Take the time to ensure you're protected now and implement these guarantees. Visit Smore.com for identity theft information.