Is Your Identity, Really Yours?

identity theft
identity theft

Do you know who you are? How sure are you about your own identity?
We would all like to believe that we are in control of our identity. Consequently, most folks who are well aware of the threats that come with identity theft often check their credit history to look for any inconsistencies.

The myth that’s widely held to be true is that, a good credit-score means your identity is safe. Sadly, this couldn’t be further than the truth. While it’s true that a good credit-score indicates your identity is safe for the time being; nonetheless, identity thieves can strike without warning, and by the time you discover any inconsistencies in your credit-report, the damage has already been done.

So, why is identity theft such a big deal? Well, identity fraud, is a fairly easy crime to commit, those who actually commit the crime may be located anywhere in the world. According to e-crime statistics, less than 5 percent of criminals get caught and convicted in the United States. Law enforcement agencies neither have the capability nor the technology to capture these clever-crooks.

You may think that by simply shredding your documents, your identity is safe. However, you my friend – are mistaken and naïve. The truth of the matter is, if you pay with your credit cards at the restaurant, pay for purchases with your credit card over the internet, then you are likely providing someone your personal details – details that are needed to steal your identity.

Identity fraud can impact you in five different ways: financial fraud, crime or character fraud, medical fraud, and social security fraud. Financial fraud is self-explanatory, criminals steal your identity to steal money from your credit card, or perhaps even take up personal loans. Criminal and character fraud is perhaps the most sinister of all forms of identity theft, in this form of identity theft; criminals steal your identity to conduct crimes in your name, such as transferring money made through conducting criminal activities and then transferring those funds to offshore accounts, consequently, in the end, it’s the victim who ends up going to jail. In medical identity theft, the fraudsters often steal medical related information on the victim; he or she then uses the victims’ information for receiving free health care, such as prescription drugs and medical treatment.

Identity theft through cybercrime is now a leading cause of concerns for ordinary folks. People who lack knowledge about the various threats on the internet – especially the elderly, are now hot targets for e-crooks. Scams such as Phishing are fast becoming a popular means to fool the elderly into revealing their online banking credentials. Moreover, e-crooks often target unsuspecting elderly folks by lurking around their homes, connecting to their Wifi modems, and then attempting to steal their electronic tax returns, or credit card statements. There is software that can prevent these crooks from stealing personal information; this software can lock folder(s). Moreover, a simple act of investing a few dollars on an antivirus could make a significant difference in how well you are protected from such scams.