Identity theft is the act of obtaining, purchasing or stealing someone's personal identifying information for his or her own financial gain. Identity theft could include making fraudulent purchases, opening up lines of credit or other bank loans in your name using your I.D. and social security card. Victims of identity theft often face financial hardships from the crime. Sometimes even catching the crime quickly can still mean thousands of dollars lost for your family.
In an effort to help you stay safe this holiday season, we at The Law Offices of Jarrod M. Wilfert have created this guide detailing the most common methods identity thieves use to obtain your information.
1.Mail theft – Identity thieves will search through mailboxes looking for medical bills, bank accounts, and credit card bills to find their target. One way to combat this problem is to go paperless. Many financial institutions, hospitals, and credit companies have offered this as a solution to help save money on paper and prevent fraud.
2.Dumpster diving – Thieves might dive into your dumpster to look for the same items you would normally get in the mail. Discarded tax information and bank statements are used most often to steal someone's identity. Investing in a shredder will help your family's personal identifying information stay safe.
3.Phishing – This type of identity theft targets your inbox. This happens when the scammer sends a fake email claiming to be from your bank, the government or other agency requesting the personal information. Be vigilant when you see these emails in your inbox. Check the actual email address these emails are coming from to make sure they are actually from the agency they claim.
We hope you have a happy and safe holiday season, from The Law Offices of Jarrod M. Wilfert.