Identity Theft Detection
When someone wrongfully obtains and uses another person's personal data in some way that involves fraud or deception, typically for economic gain then this crime is termed as Identity theft and/or identity fraud. Identity theft is whereby an individual obtains some piece of an unsuspecting victim’s sensitive information and uses it without their knowledge to commit fraud or theft. Identity theft (or identity fraud) is the unauthorized and illegal assumption of another person's identity, usually to gain access to their finances or frame them for a crime. Further extending Identity theft; it is also used by fraudster to enable illegal immigration, terrorism, espionage, or changing identity permanently. It may also be a means of blackmail, especially if medical privacy or political privacy has been breached, and if revealing the activities undertaken by the thief under the name of the victim would have serious consequences like loss of job or marriage. According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), “people whose identities have been stolen can spend months or years and their hard earned money trying to clean up the mess the thieves have made of their good name and credit record. Some victims have lost job opportunities, been refused loans for education, housing, cars or even arrested for crimes they didn’t commit.”
When unauthorized person(s) have taken funds out of your bank or financial accounts without your knowledge, or, in the worst cases, taken over your identities altogether, running up vast debts and committing crimes while using your name and fame using your fingerprints, which are unique to you and cannot be given to someone else for their use, your personal data ¬ especially your Social Security number, your bank account or credit card number, your telephone calling card number, and other valuable identifying data, then your are already a victim to Identity theft and you have fallen into the wrong hands, to personally profit thieves at your expense. In some cases, your losses may also include not only out-of-pocket financial losses, but substantial additional financial costs associated with trying to restore your reputation in the community and correcting erroneous information for which the criminal is responsible.
Identity Theft Detection - The Sooner the Better
Identity thieves, after gaining the information they need, proceed with going on spending sprees at your expense. They open new accounts in their name and SSN, write bad checks against a checking account or run up the charges on a credit card, then leave them unpaid. Some take out auto loans or even file for bankruptcy. Due to having another person’s ID, the thieves have been arrested under the name of the identity theft victim, and sometimes, by not showing up for their required court appearances, this has resulted in an arrest warrant issued in the name of the victim. If such activities happen to you then it is all quite sure that Identity theft is the cause.
To know if you are safe or have fallen to Identity theft; fraud alerts is a good option. Fraud alerts are great tools to let you notify if any such Identity theft attempt has been made on any of your personal enchantments in proper time. A fraud alert is a statement that's placed on your credit report to alert creditors that your private financial information has been or may be compromised. A fraud alert also lists your telephone number. Creditors are asked to call and verify all credit applications made in your name before granting credit. Fraud alerts are supposed to curb identity theft by preventing impostors from receiving credit in victims' names.
There are several cases in which victims do not pay too much attention to what all is happening in their surroundings and are careless in attitude until it is already too late for anything to save them. Thus, to ensure your safety you must pay attention to the following key points; if you have bank or credit card accounts, you should be receiving monthly statements that list transactions for the most recent month or reporting period; if you're not receiving monthly statements for the accounts you know you have, call the financial institution or credit card company immediately and ask about it; if you're told that your statements are being mailed to another address that you haven't authorized, tell the financial institution or credit card representative immediately that you did not authorize the change of address and that someone may be improperly using your accounts. In that situation, you should also ask for copies of all statements and debit or charge transactions that have occurred since the last statement you received. Obtaining those copies will help you to work with the financial institution or credit card Company in determining whether some or all of those debit or charge transactions were fraudulent. If someone has gotten your financial data and made unauthorized debits or charges against your financial accounts, checking your monthly statements carefully may be the quickest way for you to find out. Too many of us give those statements, or the enclosed checks or credit transactions, only a quick glance, and don't review them closely to make sure there are no unauthorized withdrawals or charges.
If someone has managed to get access to your mail or other personal data, and opened any credit cards in your name or taken any funds from your bank account, contact your financial institution or credit card company immediately to report those transactions and to request further action because then you are/may be are already victim of Identity theft.
As it is well said – “Prevention is better than cure”. Thus you should always put up all the recommended firewalls to safeguard yourself against the panic and frustration of Identity theft.