Identity Theft

Top 7 Myths About Identity Theft

EPF Last Update: May 23, 2020

Every new information phishing and rupture scam alert is followed by a series of commentary and blog articles regarding cyber security. A majority of these articles could range from apathetically to frightening. However, it is impossible to ignore the facts: ID theft is a rife in the US. According to the information released by TransUnion, an average of 17 people become victim of ID theft every sixty seconds.

Well, no doubt that we can’t really stop hackers from invading technology, but then again we can equip ourselves with proper knowledge and practices to assist keep our private data safe from these criminals. In this article, I am going to outline to you the facts. Below are the top 10 myths about ID theft and vitally, the accurate truth.

Myth 1: ID Theft is a Victimless Crime

A good number of people always think that companies that issue them with credit cards can quickly and easily compensate them for the losses they incur, making or an effortless and pain-free process.

Again, referring to the information released by TransUnion, it will cost an ordinary victim roughly 30 hours and 500 dollars just to settle an ID theft crime. Additionally, the FBI claims that just a single crime is capable of terminating a company or even wipe out the life savings of an entire family.

Sometimes it takes more than 30 days for a credit card firm to put a disputed charge and longer to solve it. At that time, the ID theft victim can receive several calls from various collection agencies. Trust me, the entire process can be extremely slow and traumatic. Only few people survive the ordeal caused by an ID attack.

Myth 2. ID Theft is Just a Financial Crime

Whilst a good number for criminals are after your money, several others have extra hidden intentions.

  • Unlawful ID theft takes place when an individual misuses defective or even stolen credentials to dodge the law.
  • Medical identity theft – an increasingly prevalent crime today, involves a dishonest criminal deceiving the medics just to receive insurance reimbursements and medical treatment.
  • Employment fraud – this basically involves an individual using a stolen (SSN) Social Security Number to get a job and related benefits.

Each and every piece of your private information can be used against you in a wide range of crimes. It is crucial that you get understand all the risks.

Myth 3: My Personal Information i.e. Phone Number, email address etc. is Less Valuable to a Thief

Thieves will always try to get a way to misuse your personal information at their disposal particularly information that is mostly shared or probably considered public.

Simply sharing on social media about your next trip would prompt thieves with your physical address to go into your house or maybe steal your personal mail, while you have traveled. Do you have any accounts that use your personal email as user name? And if yes, how many? Yo have to know that when a thief pairs your email address with other pieces of your information he can end up accessing the mist vital information. It is quite easy for a phone number to be used to accelerate phishing scams.

For anyone to be safe, keeping sensitive information safe and developing a culture of only giving out your personal information on a need-to-know-basis is the way to go. Today, most businesses ask for info they actually really don’t need. So be careful, stop oversharing.

Myth 4: Social Networking is Very Safe

Talking of oversharing, in this era, social networks have become a part of our daily life. New friends, selfies and even “likes” all assist in defining our online personalities, but what many people don’t know is that these carefree information could actually be put together by thieves to negatively affect their real lives.

Holiday photos and Check-ins are what most criminals use to monitor your movements. In addition, the maiden name can also assist criminals in cracking account questions. Statistics released recently reveal that more than half of the young adults and teenagers admit to have been bullied at one point in their lives.

To say safe from such incidents, desist from making sensitive information public however much it may seem harmless.

Myth 5: ID Theft Criminals Don’t Know Their Targets

Whilst most credit theft cases are as a result of huge, exposed information breach, several other types are normally caused by coworkers and even family.

It is easy for a medical ID theft to take place especially when family members tend to share one insurance account. And a child’s ID theft can be found about by the negligence of the parents. As for other people, they normally fall victims to friends and caregivers who turn out to abuse trust bestowed upon them.

This means that you have to be extra careful with the people around you otherwise they might end up messing up your life.

Myth 6: If My Identity is Stolen, I Would Know Immediately

Are you aware that monitoring your statement on a monthly basis is not enough to keep you safe from ID theft? Most criminals always want to create new accounts that will never appear on your existing statements.

Cyber crooks are very smart. They know that after the recent breach of the department store, you will be given a free credit reporting for about a year. Meaning that they will patiently wait for the 365 days to elapse before misusing your personal information.

The best thing to do is stay watchful and always request credit reports for the 3 major credit agencies at least annually although the center advice that an individual should request for a credit report after every 4 months.

Myth 7: My Business is Too Small for ID Thieves

Of course for hundreds of information breaches reported, most of the small businesses involved never make headlines.

Trend Micro released a report sighting that about 65% of small businesses know that their sensitive data is not safely kept. Additionally, the same study revealed that roughly 62% of these small businesses do not regularly back up information.

Most cyber criminals are aware that a good number of these small businesses don’t actually have enough resources or even time to enhance their cyber security. And this is the main reason why small businesses are regularly attacked by ID thieves.

If you own a business, be it small or big, take time to always make sure that it’s secure both from the inside and outside.

And as a shopper, take your time to research about a particular company to know there cyber practices before committing to sharing your sensitive information.

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