About 10 million Americans are victims of identity theft each year with a yearly fraud amount of about $50 million. The mean fraud amount per victim is about $6000.
Following are some methods used by thieves to steal your identity:
- Dumpster diving through garbage to secure personal information
- Retrieving personal data via old IT equipment, storage media or hard drives that have been carelessly disposed of
- Stealing credit cards, passports, Social Security cards, etc., by burglary, mail theft or pickpocketing
- Skimming credit card information from hand-held readers or other compromised credit card scanning devices
- Accessing public records published in official registers
- Hacking into computer networks or databases
- Advertising bogus employment offers established to extract personal information from resumes
- Conning individuals at companies to provide personal information
- Stealing checks
There are four areas of personal information where you are most susceptible to identity theft:
- Social Security Number (SSN)
- Do not carry it in your wallet or purse.
- Do not write your SSN on other papers in your wallet or purse.
- Do not print it on your personal checks.
- Make sure your SSN is never on public display.
- Handling of Personal Information
- Use a locked, secure post office box to
receive your mail.
- Do not leave incoming or outgoing mail unattended.
- Maintain personal information in a protected area.
- Order a copy of your credit report yearly.
- Document Disposal
- Purchase and use a shredder.
- Place it near a trash can.
- Realize that thieves root around garbage to obtain personal information.
- Alertness to Scams
- Pay attention to how establishments handle your credit cards.
- Hang up on telephone solicitors.
- Query any requestor before supplying your SSN.
- Install security software on your computer.
Benchmark Credit Resources can help resolve all of your Identity Theft issues working with local law enforcement officials. Give us a call today at (888) 778-2345 for more information.