BKMSH - Protecting Yourself From Identity Theft

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  • 7/26/2019 BKMSH - Protecting Yourself From Identity Theft

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    Protecting Yourself from Identity

    Theft

    Product of BKMSH

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    15301 Dallas Parkway, Suite 960 Addison, Texas 75001 Phone: 214.545.3965 Fax: 214.545.3966 www.bkmsh.com

    Not long ago, thieves had to actually go out to steal things. But with the advances in technology, thieves

    and criminals have found a new way to make a living without much risk of getting caught by stealing

    someone's identity.

    According to consumer.gov, identity theft transpires when someone obtains your personal information

    and uses it in the absence of your knowledge for their own gain. Identity theft is a very serious crime.

    However, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network described identity theft as a crime that is rarely

    committed as an end in itself. Simply put, identity thieves use their victims information name, Social

    Security number, bank account and credit card numbers, etc. to commit crimes.

    Identity Theft or Identity FraudThe terms identity theft and identity fraud can be used interchangeably. But the Federation of

    American Scientists characterized identity theft as a type of identity fraud in which the victims personal

    information is being used, while identity fraud relates to the crimes regarding the use of false

    identification. Whether theft or fraud, a stolen identity will certainly affect your finances and reputation.

    As reported by the Federal Trade Commission, around nine million Americans have their identities take

    from them every year without their consent. According to the National Science Foundation, identity

    thieves use your personal information to apply for auto loans, to open bank and credit card accounts,

    and to get access to utility services.

    Types of Identity Theft Based on Motives:The National Criminal Justice Reference Service classified identity theft by the thieves motives.

    -Stealing someones identity, and then taking advantage of the weaknesses in certain

    technologies and information systems.The best example of this is credit card fraud. Fraudsters

    tamper with the victims credit card or make a counterfeit using the victims identity.

    -Stealing someones identity through online scams.Scammers trick their victims by putting up storfronts on the web and then asking them for their personal and financial information.

    -Stealing someones identity as the motive in committing a crime.Extortion, burglary, robbery, andbribery are carried out in order to gain access to the victims personal and financial information.

    -Stealing someones identity to facilitate other crimes. Examples are documented theft or fraud. Th

    illegally acquired personal information is used to make new documents such as counterfeit cards.

    - Stealing someones identity to avoid getting arrested. Identity thieves commit crimes using

    someone elses identity. That way the victim will get caught, not the thief.

    Protecting Yourself from Identity

    Theft

    https://www.consumer.gov/https://www.consumer.gov/
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    15301 Dallas Parkway, Suite 960 Addison, Texas 75001 Phone: 214.545.3965 Fax: 214.545.3966 www.bkmsh.com

    How Can Identity Thieves Access Your Personal Information?In 2001, a help desk worker named Philip Cummings sold private passwords that belonged to 30,000customers of his company, Teledata Communications. Around 2.7 million dollars was stolen from the

    victims.

    Today your identity can be taken from you either directly or indirectly through:

    Your mail

    Your ID cards, credit cards, and bank information from stolen wallets and purses

    Dumpster diving or combing through your trash for discarded personal data

    Filling out change of address forms

    Phishing or fake emails Your personal information that you share publicly on the Internet

    Clicking onto a bogus site and then sharing your personal information for a so-called gift or

    reward

    Spywares, viruses, and hackers

    Tips on How You Will Know if youre a Victim of Identity Theft Listed here are ways on how to detect identity theft according to the Financial Crimes Enforcement

    Network.

    -At least once a week, check your account balances electronically. If you do not have access to theInternet, go over your credit card and bank paper statements.

    -Observe if there are suspicious transactions.

    -Subscribe to services that will monitor your online transactions. You will be alerted when changes in

    your credits and finances occur, or if there are new addresses and phone numbers listed under your

    name.

    -Keep an eye on the time when your billing statement should arrive. Ensure that you receive your paper

    statements on schedule and that nothing is missing.

    Protecting Yourself from Identity

    Theft

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    15301 Dallas Parkway, Suite 960 Addison, Texas 75001 Phone: 214.545.3965 Fax: 214.545.3966 www.bkmsh.com

    -Keep tabs on phone calls from collection agencies regarding unpaid bills you know nothing about. This

    is an indication that you are a victim of identity theft.

    Tips on How to Keep Your Identity from Being StolenPrevention is always better than the cure. The Federal Reserve Bank of Boston shared different ways

    on how you can avoid identity theft.

    - Always keep your personal information safe. Do not write your PINs on your checkbook, ATM card, or

    debit card. Before disposing of papers containing any confidential information, shred them first.

    - Do not put too many cards that contain your identification and personal information into your purses or

    wallets.

    - Be cautious in giving out your information through the mail, telephone, and Internet requests.

    - Review your credit reports regularly.

    - At work, ensure that your employer is very strict in giving out your personal information.

    - Apply for identity theft insurance policies. This will ensure that you wont be paying for fraudulent bills.

    - Secure your computer from identity theft. Update and upgrade your computers virus protection. Do nodownload files if you are unsure of its origin. Never click hyperlinks shared by strangers.

    Tips on What to Do if You Become a Victim of Identity TheftThe Federal Trade Commission issued guidelines on what to do in case someone steals your personal

    information.

    -Contact your credit company immediately. Flag and request for a fraud alert on your credit report.

    -Keep everything that is connected to the theft.

    -File an Identity Theft Report.

    The Government on Identity TheftDue to increasing cases of identity frauds and the use of the Internet as a tool in committing these

    crimes, legislators have passed laws that will help combat identity theft.

    Protecting Yourself from Identity

    Theft

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    15301 Dallas Parkway, Suite 960 Addison, Texas 75001 Phone: 214.545.3965 Fax: 214.545.3966 www.bkmsh.com

    -Identity Theft Deterrence Act. This made identity theft a federal crime. Anyone who commits or

    attempts identity theft will be given penalties. In addition, the properties used or set to be used in

    executing the crime are subjected to forfeiture. The law also gives the Federal Trade Commission the

    authority to record complaints related to identity theft and to redirect these concerns to proper bureaus.

    -Identity Theft Penalty Enhancement Act. This act further enhanced the ability of the federal

    government to indict identity theft. If convicted, an additional two to five years imprisonment will be given

    in addition to other federal crimes a person has committed.

    -Identity Theft Enforcement Restitution Act. This allows indemnities to identity theft victims.

    -Formation of Identity Theft Task Force. This task force was created to help federal agencies in their

    campaign against identity theft.

    Protecting Yourself from Identity

    Theft