Offline identity theft is not any uncommon one. If you have the habit of throwing financial statements, bills or other documents that carry your personal details, in the garbage bin, then you need to stop. This is the way when people out there, with prying eyes, want to steal these documents to steal your precious and unique identity. Your personal documents carry your social security numbers that can give the thieves some information through which they can connect to your bank accounts. When you face unauthentic charges and unusual emails, you shall be well prepared to observe that an offline identity theft has occurred to you.
12 million Americans have fall victim of identity theft in the year 2014 while this is just a small fraction of the population in America. Once your identification is stolen, it is equivalent to a loss of your existence as a particular person. Because everyone is unique in their own way, identity theft leaves no grounds where your existence is not copied and not misused. It is essential to be cautious about the things that you carry in and around the city. If you lose your wallet that may carry your SSN card, driver’s license, credit card etc., then be sure of taking care of these personal identities.
Signs that you may be a victim:
1. When you receive bills for the products you never purchased.
2. Bills and other mails missing from your mailbox.
3. You get unknown accounts on your credit report.
4. Debt collection calls about which you don’t even know anything.
5. When your payments or checks are refused on purchases in stores.
What can you do to avoid offline identity theft?
To protect yourself from identity theft the most important factor is to be self-vigilant, because not only offline identity theft is in fashion these days, but also online identity theft is prevalent. Among the online thefts one of the most committed crime are the online dating scams that leave people financially and emotionally at loss. Here are some tips that will help you avoid identity theft:
• Protect your Social Security Number- Most of the times SSN is misused to open fraudulent accounts or to have illegal access to any facility. If anyone requests you for your SSN, you need to question them why. While you get any unsolicited calls from anywhere, you shall never share your credit card details, social security number or any other personal details over the phone.
• Monitor your mails/emails- Many a times people are not aware of the fact that their sending and receiving mails can be caught in the eyes of an identity thief. If your mails are not received by the receiver on time, or any mails are delayed in reaching you then you should contact the concerned authorities regarding this issue.
• Keep a watch on your wallet/purse- Once you have lost your wallet, you never know that the thief is after the small amount of money in your wallet, but he might be after the big amount of money that is there in your bank account. You should never save your credit details, passwords or any other personal information on a piece of paper in your wallet.
• Never leave important papers lying around- While you are at home or not, never leave any kind of bills, bank statements, papers that carry personal information, credit card applications etc. lying openly. Keep them safely at one place that seems the safest place at your home.
There are medical bills and other health related documents also that carry your information like SSN, address, etc., and are an important source of your personal information. Such papers if found lying randomly at your home, then you should pay attention to keep them safely because you will not be able to get an idea which person can turn into an identity thief and can take advantage of your personal information to avail medical benefits. Thus, committing medical identity theft. Your identity is in your control, protect it before you lose it to a thief.