What is identity theft?
Identity theft is the illegal and fraudulent acquisition and also use of another person’s identity. Often these individuals will choose to take this information to give themselves their own gain, such as using your credit card to make big purchases or using your name and social security in order to purchase a home or take out another loan in your name.
Identity theft, if you don’t keep up on your credit score, can go on for a long time. Some people find that there is a loan or more in their name that they never knew about until they needed to apply for a loan on their own. This can lead to a lot of issues because when an identity thief takes your information (especially if it is for a long period of time), they are not likely to pay off the debts that they are taking out.
This can lead to a big mess for you. You will need to try and prove that these loans and applications are not yours, which can be hard if they went on for a long time. Your credit score could be ruined, which makes it hard to turn around and get the funding that you were looking for in the first place. In many cases, it can take years to get the stuff figured out rom identity theft and often you never find the culprit.
There are many ways that an identity thief is able to get your information. many times they will try to get your passwords and information online, which leads them to being able to get social security numbers and banking information. some will get ahold of your credit card information and can take out big loans with that. Leaving paper lying around with personal information, including your bank statements, credit card statements, birth certificate, or tax records leaves you way open to having issues with identity theft.
The penalties for someone who commits identity theft are pretty high, but the issue here is that they need to be caught. It is often hard to find someone who commits this crime, especially if it is something that the victim didn’t notice for a long time, and it is likely that you will have to deal with the issues on your own without catching the person responsible. Being careful wit your records, protecting your passwords, and checking up on your credit report on a regular basis is one of the best ways to ensure that your credit stays safe.
One of the best ways that you will be able to deal with identity theft and make sure that it doesn’t happen to you is to shred important documents and papers that you are not using any longer. Some of these could be old tax statements, and any paperwork that would include personal information that is outdated. Shredding bank statements and credit card bills can be helpful as well. If you keep these around or throw them away in the trash, it leaves them open for someone else to get the information and use it how they want.