Identity theft and fraud has become a growing concern for most American citizens and thus, you can’t afford to ignore it. Identity fraud affects a new person every 2 seconds. According to CNN Money, identity theft hit 13 million people in 2013. While you can’t prevent identity theft or hackers, you can better protect your information from criminals.
Tinsley Investigative Services, Inc. and other private investigators list some of the common myths revolving around identity fraud:
Myth #1: Identity thieves normally don’t know their victims.
Unknown to many, identity thieves has some connection with their victims. It could be a neighbor, co-worker, relative, or a friend. Having shared account information with any person you know can put you at risk of identity theft.
Myth #2: Identity theft only happens online.
Many people have come to believe that identity theft only occurs online. In some cases, data breaches lead to an increase in theft crimes. Identity theft cases, however, also happens offline. An identity thief can claim your credit card, lost wallet, or steal your mail. To prevent this, shred any sensitive documents and only carry your social security card when necessary.
Myth #3: I don’t shop on small business websites, so I am safe from hackers.
Unfortunately, small businesses have become the main target for hackers due to tax security. Hackers are using malware to infect shoppers and visitors, as they know that small businesses don’t have big funds to invest in high-quality security.
Myth #4: I would know immediately if my identity was stolen.
Many people are busy at work and have no time to know that their identity has been stolen. To protect yourself better, ask for a credit report from major reporting agencies annually.
Myth #5: I can get my case fixed right away.
While some credit companies may offer you restitution, you could end up with a blank account or find out that the thief has opened new accounts in your name. Don’t share private and sensitive information anywhere.
If you suspect that you may have fallen victim to identity theft, it’s best to contact private investigators who can help by tracking down the criminal and take steps to move forward.