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Identity Theft Scams: Learn How To Avoid Fraudulent Schemes

By: Benjamin E. Hertz|LRL Editor

Identity Theft FraudThe Department of Justice Statistics, identity theft has passed up drug trafficking as the number one crime in America. Identity thief have several ways of obtaining your personal details information. Thieves use different reasons ranging from regular check-ups to new defensive measures use by the financial company. Credit card theft, bank fraud, as well as misuse of social security numbers is usually a result of identity theft fraud. Identity theft scams are growing rapidly and in spite of the notions, it is not just the older people who fall victim to them.

Thieves involve in identity theft don't just open credit card accounts under someone else's name. The thieves will do things such as passing counterfeit checks, withdrawing money from ATM's, even stealing utility services information and getting a driver’s license under your name with their picture!

Other types of scams, the thieves will post phony jobs ads who are looking for someone to hire in a work-at-home or telecommuting basis to handle their accounts receivables. They may tell you that they need you to cash their company checks to pay for an online item and send you a realistic looking check or money order, usually for more than the amount of the purchase.  Typically, you will then take the check or money order to be cashed by banks or stores, only for you to later find out that they were fraudulent or counterfeit checks.

There are major concerns worldwide about fraudulent schemes. It is a fact that identity theft scams are a dime a dozen. It is a very lucrative "business" for criminals looking to find their financial freedom. There are so many types of scams out there; it's hard to keep track of them.

In order to avoid them, you have to keep your eyes and ears open. You have to stay on top of matters like this and pay attention to recommendations from people who know what they're talking about. Identity theft occurs for the obvious reason: for the criminal to use your information and obtain money, either through loans or credit cards or directly through your bank account.

One word of caution is when it comes to receiving e-mails or any types of notifications from banking institutions and others such as PayPal, among others. Often times, people are asked to click on a link within an e-mail or a notification. It is imperative that you NEVER do that. If you are being asked for certain information, do so directly with the institution. That means that you should enter the URL address of the particular institution and contact them directly. In most cases, the above situation would result in some type of identity fraud.

Your personal and private information is exactly that. Be extremely careful as to where you put it and where you give it. If you can avoid using your Social Security number anywhere, do so. It is completely in your best interest. Of course, identity theft doesn't just take place at individual level. It happens with businesses as well. Therefore, it is imperative that you check your credit card bills thoroughly as well as your bank account statements.

Whether you are a business or an individual, being cautious is the best thing you can do. One of the most important things that you can own is a paper shredder. If you don't, you should be tearing up your papers in little pieces. It's very important that papers that have your Social Security number, driver's license number, and any other vital information be shredded and thereby not being able to be read by any criminals. That means that you should be as responsible as possible with your personal information. If you sense that your personal information has been compromised, then you should change your PIN numbers and passwords as a preventative measure. In addition to that, you should never enter personal information or credit card information in online unsecured places.

If you believe someone was trying to steal your personal information, it's important that you act quickly. For starters, contact the company they claim to be associated with, if that is the case. Additionally, you should report everything to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). They take things very seriously when comes to identity fraud. Filing a complaint with the FTC, they will work together with you by taking down the pertinent information and perform an investigation.

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