Many people fail to realize identity theft comes in various forms. You’ll be surprised to learn how easily your personal information can be accessed by hackers, and in how many different ways. There are steps to protect yourself from falling victim to identity theft, but first, you should know the common types of theft or fraud.
Insurance Identity Theft
This type of fraud occurs, for example, when someone uses another person’s information to receive medical treatment. It can have a serious impact and leave victims with higher insurance premiums and huge medical bills.
Child Identity Theft
This type of identity theft occurs when a child is the victim of the crime. Criminals will use a child’s social security number to access loans or even open accounts to commit fraud. It is important to protect your children identities, using the same measures you would to protect your own personal information. Falling victim to identity theft at such a young age could follow them through their entire lives, and affect them when they go off to college and apply for student loans or a car.
Tax Identity Theft
Tax ID theft is formed through fraudulent tax refund claims. Criminals send claims to the IRS using stolen information such as social security numbers and names. If you fall victim to this crime, it can significantly delay your ability to access legitimate tax refunds. You can protect yourself by practicing safe internet habits and avoiding opening and responding to strange emails about your personal information. Be very cautious when giving out your social security number over the phone and make sure the numbers you are calling (or calling you) are legitimate.
Synthetic Identity Theft
This is one of the most sophisticated kinds of identity fraud, in which criminals use a social security number in combination with fake information such as names and addresses, resulting in the creation of a completely new identity.
Criminal Identity Theft
This is a very common form of ID theft in America, where an individual commits a crime under someone else’s name. During the process of being arrested, the criminal will at times use a fraudulent ID with your name and other details, in order to keep a clean record for themselves. There are identity monitoring services you could use from reputable identity protection agencies to protect yourself, along with practicing safe habits online and even around ATM’s and public spaces.
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