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28 Sep. 2012

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In October 1998, Congress passed the Identity Theft and Assumption Deterrence Act of 1998 to address the problem of identity theft.
Watch this informative 10 minute video from the Federal Trade Commission about identity theft. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) started collecting identity theft statistics in November, 1999.
The numbers probably represent a small part of the problem, but it is clear that identity theft is on the rise.
Some identity thieves are very skilled at calling you or businesses to collect information about you. The identity thief has already obtained your credit card number and address through another means. August 11, 2015 by Meka West Leave a Comment Even if you guard that critical 9-digit number carefully, you can still have a fraudulent tax return filed using it. Then the creepy feelings of having been invaded kick in, and you can’t decide what to do first. Figure 1: Tax identity theft occurs in numerous ways, and it may well have nothing to do with a previous tax filing of yours. Tax identity theft simply means that someone got your Social Security number and filed a fraudulent return with it, claiming a refund. If you must provide your number to anyone but the IRS, ask how they are going to keep it safe. Be discriminating about with whom you share information with online – especially your Social Security number. Never send your Social Security number, site passwords, account numbers, or similar information to anyone in an email message. Identity thieves come in many shapes and sizes, but what you are really fighting to protect is your information.

There are many traps set by identity thieves, and in the digital age, it is almost impossible not to encounter an identity thief. If you have ever attempted to buy any large asset, you are aware that your financial information can be unlocked with the right set of keys. This entry was posted in Data Retrieval and tagged identity theft, phone number lookup, reverse phone search.
You would probably find out about it when you got a letter from the IRS stating that your Social Security number was used to file more than one return. Just as you should never disclose anything sensitive to someone who calls you on the phone, even if they claim to be with a business you patronize, stay mum if someone approaches you online and asks personal questions. The one defense that is still effective is identifying the culprit for the proper authorities to take action upon.
If you are being contacted by an unknown person claiming to be from the government, a bank, or a vague sounding organization, they could very well be an identity thief phishing for information. Those keys are actually your private financial information, including your social security number, address, full birth name, bank account information, and other private information.
Find the number for the business itself and initiate a call if you believe it might be a legitimate request. Your best offense is to identify any unknown numbers immediately to determine the veracity of their claims. Or a return came in using your Social Security number, claiming wages from an employer who wasn’t yours. Oprah Winfrey, Tiger Woods, Robert De Niro and Martha Stewart have all had their identities stolen.
You never know when someone may have turned in a change-of-address form so they could make a few more weeks of purchases on your credit card without you noticing.
While you can't ever totally protect yourself from these thieves, you can at least make yourself less attractive as a victim by doing what you can to make it more difficult for them to access your information.

Here are some things you can do to protect yourself: DON'T give out your Social Security number unless it is absolutely necessary.
Make sure that it's something they have to have and make sure they'll protect your privacy.
From there, they can dip your checks in special chemicals to remove the ink and then rewrite them to themselves! This may be the first indication you get that someone has stolen your identity and is racking up charges in your name. You can also write to the Direct Marketing Association's mail preference service to have your name removed from some mailing lists. Someone can memorize your name, address and phone number during the short time it takes you to write a check. Not only do they have your name, address and account number printed on them, but they can also be used to withdraw money from your account. This may seem like an extreme measure, but dumpster diving happens all the time and turns up a lot more personal information than you may realize.
It has also been suggested that you photocopy everything you carry in your wallet to make canceling things easier in the event that your wallet is stolen.
There are also services you can subscribe to (such as CreditExpert) that will alert you to any changes in your credit file.
Often, scam artists phone unsuspecting victims pretending to be their financial services company and request information to be provided over the phone.
Get their name, phone number and address, and then call them back at the number you have on file or that is printed on the statements you receive.

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