Identity fraud is using someone else's personal information without their consent for criminal purposes. Personal information can include a person's name, date of birth, social security number or bank account details. Criminals may use this information to obtain the victim's name, credit cards, or other financial products. They may also try to empty the victim's bank accounts or steal their identity to commit other crimes.
You can take several steps to protect yourself from identity fraud. First, be careful who you share your personal information with. Only give out your details when necessary, and make sure that any websites or online services you use are secure (look for a padlock icon in your browser).
When it comes to personal information, a few items are most at risk from identity theft. The first is your name and contact information – this is what scammers will use to try and impersonate you or scam you out of money. Another piece of information that can be targeted is your social security number – companies use this number to verify your identity. If someone has access to it, they can easily fraudulently open accounts in your name. Lastly, credit card numbers and bank account details can also be stolen and used illegally.
So how can you protect yourself from identity theft? The best thing you can do is be vigilant about who you share your personal information with and make sure all websites and online services are secure before entering any sensitive data.
In the unfortunate event that you become a victim of identity theft, there are several things you can do to protect yourself and minimize the damage. Below are some steps to take if this happens to you:
- File a police report - this is the first step in resolving the issue and may help with any legal proceedings.
- Dispute any unauthorized charges made on existing accounts - if someone has stolen your credit card information and charged purchases or made cash advances, contact the credit card company and issuing bank immediately to dispute these transactions. In many cases, fraudulent charges will be reversed, but it's important to act quickly before too much damage is done!