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Have you ever been a victim of identity theft? take these simple steps to avoid it

Identity theft is a process in which crime is performed with help of someone else’s wrongfully obtain personal data in some way that involves fraud, to get an economic benefit. It became an increasingly common problem, as performers discover new and unique paths to get hold of the required information to steal someone’s identity.

Criminals use your personal information such as date of birth, health insurance number, bank details, credit card details, driver’s licence number, permanent address number(pan), etc. Stolen information can be used to obtain merchandise, credits, services in the name of a victim, running up debt, might be used to provide a false identification to police.

Your personal information can able them to perform different types of crime that includes financial fraud, credit card fraud, bank fraud, tax rebates, and telecommunications fraud.

How do they do this:

  • Shoulder surfing – thieves can steal information by simply standing next to you in public places such as government offices and watch you filling up form or listen up while you convey it on phone.

  • Phishing and Spam – is a method used to trick people into offering up their information to identity thieves masquerading as legitimate financial entities, a colleague the recipient trusts or an individual who makes monetary promises in exchange for information, email may contain attachments having malware which can be design to steal personal information.

Types of identity theft:

  • True-name identity theft – thief uses personal information to open new accounts, may use to open credit card account, establish cellular phone service or open a new checking account in order to obtain blank checks.

  • Account takeover identity theft – criminal uses personal information to gain access to the person’s existing accounts. typically, the thief will change the mailing address on an account and run up a huge bill before the person whose identity has been stolen realizes there is a problem.

If you get victimise do certain things:

  • Place a fraud alert and get your credit reports.

  • Report identity theft to nearest police station or cyber crime department.

  • Call the companies where you know the fraud has occurred.

  • Block or secure your accounts or credit cards.

Complete prevention of identity theft is not possible, however, it can be reduced by taking some precautions:

  • Beware of spam emails which may be phishing for data.

  • Do not forget to completely destroy your all documents containing your sensitive data, rather than just discarding them.

  • Take care to protect your data by being aware of your privacy setting on social media.

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