Identity Theft: An Ever-Increasing Threat
With nearly 15 million victims each year, and losses totaling close to $50 billion, the level of sophistication in Identity Theft is increasing. As if these numbers are not astounding enough, there are an additional 100 million Americans whose personal information is obtained each year due to database errors or computer hacking. Without a doubt—Identify Theft is the most costly and prevalent crime in the United States. Thus, as the holiday season approaches, there is an ever-increasing threat, especially for those using credit cards. Here are a few simple reminders that may safeguard your information:
- On the back of your credit or debit card, print PHOTO ID REQUIRED. Do not provide your signature.
- When writing a check, only put the last four digits of your account number on the “for” line.
- When your phone number is requested, provide your work number, instead of your home number. In the same way, list your P.O. Box (if you have one) in place of your home address.
- Never list or print your Social Security Number.
- Make photocopies of the contents of your wallet, including the front and back of your driver’s license and credit cards.
- Do not wait to file a police report if your wallet or information is stolen. This becomes very important, in the event that an investigation ensues.
- In addition to filing a criminal report, it is wise to contact credit-reporting organizations such as Equifax, Experian, Trans Union, and the Social Security Administration Fraud Department, so that an alert may be attached to your name.
When it comes to your personal information, be sure that those requesting it have a legitimate reason. In the event that your social security number is requested, you may demand that they make the request in writing, as a legal standard.
At Shepard, Plunkett, & Hamilton, LLP, you will find attorneys that are active and diligent when it comes to your case. If you are a victim of Identity Theft, we understand how stressful and overwhelmed you may feel. That’s why we take pride in providing honest, professional, and effective representation that you can feel confident about. We welcome your call today for a free consultation.
Posted on behalf of Shepard, Plunkett and Hamilton, LLP