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Everyone loves shopping online, you save time, not exactly money, but who cares when its holiday time, at least you won’t need to fight for a parking spot in the hectic malls. Growing up in America’s technological day and age, almost everyone has a computer or at least knows how to operate one. People like the easy way out, and it has its benefits. Year by year, things seem to get easier and easier. Therefore, people are getting lazier. Well, I say, goodbye “laziness”, and hello “being aware of where you place those important documents”.
There’s very little you can do to prevent it, and you won’t know it’s happened to you until it’s too late. Identity theft is currently the fastest growing type of robbery in the United States. When a person steals someone’s identification documents without them knowing, and uses their information, the crime is called “Identity Theft”. “About one in five victims knows the identity thief as a relative, roommate, neighbor, or coworker, according to the FTC ID Theft Data Clearinghouse report, says reporter Isham Jones for Realtor Magazine Online.
There are two main types of identity fraud that enables people to steal your identity. They are financial fraud, being the most widespread including credit card, bank, telecommunications, tax refund, and several other types of scams. Criminal activity is the other type fraud that involves taking someone’s identity and using it to commit heinous crimes. “Identity theft accounted for 42 percent of the thousands of consumer complaints reported to the FTC in 2001. The FTC processes these complaints through Consumer Sentinel, an electronic clearinghouse available to investigative groups such as the FBI and the U.S. Secret Service as well as to similar groups in other countries”, reports Waterline reporter Carole W. Butler.
There are many laws that lash out against identity theft and help protect you against it, but it doesn’t seem like its scaring any of the criminals. ID theft is still the number one crime in America!!!
Identity theft can happen to anyone, and to avoid being put in a situation like this one you have to review your Credit report at least once a year. Purchase a shredder to shred all documents with personal information before throwing them away. Be responsible over every bank statement, and keep them under close watch. Don’t send mail using your unsecured mailbox. Have your social security number changed if it is the same as your driver’s license number.
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Butler, Carole W. “ ‘ Identity Theft: anyone can become a victim’: The Waterline: DC Military.” 19 Nov. 2004
Frank, Mari J. “ Starling Facts about Identity Theft”: 19 Nov. 2004
Jones, Isham. “ ‘The ID Snatchers’: Realtor Magazine.” 1Nov. 2003