Identity Theft – The Quiet Crime

Identity theft has exploded in recent years into a type of crime epidemic. According to the united states department of justice, identity theft has officially surpassed drug trafficking as the number one crime in america.

Identity thieves do not need to break into your home or vehicle. They do not need to reside in the same state or country as you do. Many of the identity thieves who have been caught have been technology savvy teenagers using their home computers. Some of the most profitable thieves have ties to organized crime group located outside of the united states. They easily have a global reach.

Sophisticated identity theft rings have been formed because thieves and con artists have found the crime to be extremely easy and highly lucrative. An identity thief or identity thief ring can easily steal information of several victims at once. They do this without a gun, and with minimal risk.

You can hardly open a newspaper without finding a new story about such rings, often cleverly disguised as a janitorial company or some other routine service. Most consumers do not give a second glance at these types of companies. They recruit low paid employees to steal sensitive consumer information from the workplace.

Five to ten dollars per name and social security number can quickly add up to a very lucrative source of income, especially if the employee has access to a large database. A CD-Rom or small USB drive can hold a large amount of information and is easy to conceal.

Because the crimes often involve technology, there are many opportunities for the thief to hide or conceal his/her activity. Identity theft has become high tech. During a recent united states senate subcommittee hearing, senators were told how easy it is to get a fake driver’s license, social security card, or birth certificate from the internet. They were told that nearly thirty percent (30%) of all fake identification documents now come from the internet.

Law officials say that identity theft is easy, and that an identity can be stolen with a computer in an hour. All that is required are snippets of information. With the growing demand for stolen data, there is a vast virtual black market on the web where individuals buy and sell stolen credit cards and social security numbers.

There are data brokers that have collected information about individuals for decades. They use public records as a source of information. Data brokers are willing to sell even your most sensitive information to paying customers, and some of them are crooks.

Identity theft is a crime that cannot be completely prevented, regardless of how cautious you are. This is obvious because of the hundreds of reported serious data breaches. These breaches are at major financial institutions, corporations, universities and retailers. Breaches have also come from government agencies such as, state division of motor vehicles (dmv), internal revenue service, social security administration, veterans administration, and the military.

As a consumer today, our personal information is readily accessible and available from countless sources, and is contained within thousands of databases. Some of these databases are within our control, but most of them are beyond our control. Thieves employ new tricks and strategies to steal the information of consumers, wherever and however it may be available, for their own personal gain.

For any consumer who hopes to protect himself/herself from becoming a victim, it is imperative that you become educated, vigilant, proactive, and an effective personal risk manager. To find out how to minimize your risk of becoming a victim of identity theft, visit http://www.Margiewrobinson.Com.

There is an excessive amount of traffic coming from your Region.

Junk Mail and Identity Theft

Every year up to 3 million Americans find out that credit accounts have been opened under their name with their permission. About 400,000 of this is due to stolen mail. These are usually mail sent to you by various companies that you most often ignore. The best way to prevent these from being stolen is to prevent them from coming. Here are a few things you can do to stop junk mail from ever getting to your mailbox.

Contact the Credit Bureaus Opt-out line. You may reach them at 888-567-8688 (888-5-OPT-OUT). You can tell them that you opt out of pre approved insurance and credit cards. These may get stolen from your mail and get activated giving an identity thief access to an account without your knowledge that he may use and you will billed for his purchases.

Register with the National Do Not Call Register. If you still haven’t done this, make sure your do it as soon as possible. You can do this by visiting their website or by dialing toll-free number 888-382-1222. This database is maintained by the Federal Trade Commission. Having your number listed here prevents most telemarketers from contacting you for any promos or offers. This also tells you not to entertain telemarketers as you know you opted to never be contacted. Be very wary of telemarketers asking for your personal information. This also prevents their company or the company they represent from sending you anything via the mail.

Contact List Brokers. List Brokers are entities that pool information from phonebooks, public records, etc. These companies pool this information and prepare mailing lists and phone lists to companies and businesses. You can ask them to remove you from their lists but you will have to contact them individually.

Get in touch with the DMA or Direct Marketing Association. This is a trade group with 5200 member businesses. These businesses use direct mail, phone calls, or the internet to directly pitch their products to us consumers. These businesses bypass the traditional store and allows for cost savings which allow them to sell products at a lower price. You may ask them to provide you a list of their members so you can limit your interaction with businesses that are DMA member of good standing. Or you may ask the DMA for ways you can opt out of their member’s services.

These are just 4 relatively simple ways to prevent receiving junk mail and ultimately prevent them from being stolen. Do not forget that identity theft may only be avoided through diligence and caution.