How to Combat becoming a Victim of Identity Theft

Identity theft is all too common in today’s computer-driven modern world.  There are steps you can take to combat this from happening to you.

Do not give out your personal information to people who contact you, no matter what they say

Imagine that you receive an e-mail from your credit card company asking you to verify your account information.  Only in reality it is not your credit card company, and before you know it, you can be the target of identity theft.  Most credit card companies and banks do not send unsecured e-mail asking for account information, yet many people have been taken in by such scams.  No matter what convincing story they give you, you should never give out this information to someone who sends you some sort of e-mail.  If you think that it may be legitimate, then call the bank or credit card at the phone number you know is accurate such as the one on the back of your card (not one they give to you).  You should also protect other sensitive information such as your social security number.

Another very common way that people get information for identity theft is to try to tempt you with the potential to earn money.  They may say that they are from a foreign country and need your information so that they can give you money to hold for them.  Do not fall for this scam.

Unfortunately, people you know in real life can steal your information to perpetrate identity theft as well.  If someone calls you, do not give your information to them.  Again, you can call the institution back at its published business number.  Make sure that you always keep your wallet or purse within your sight. 

Make sure that your e-mail accounts are protected

If you are using a public computer, then make sure to always sign out of every e-mail account, social networking account or other website that people can use to garner information for identity theft.  Make sure that you have as secure an e-mail account as possible. 

Another common scam is that someone will steal a purse but then return it with the cards still in it.  They will have written the numbers down.  You may not stop the accounts because you get it back, but it is important to freeze them because they still might perform identity theft even without the actual cards.

Identity theft can happen to anyone, but you can take steps to combat it.  The above measure may provide some protection.  It is also very important to constantly check your bank account and credit card statements so that you can immediately ascertain if your information has been compromised and start repairing the damage.