Top 7 Myths About Identity Theft

ElitePersonalFinance
Last Update: February 12, 2021 Identity Theft

Every new information phishing and rupture scam alert is followed by a series of commentary and blog articles regarding cybersecurity. It’s impossible to ignore the facts: ID theft is rife in the US. According to TransUnion, every minute, 15 people become victims of ID theft.

Undoubtedly, we can’t stop hackers from invading technology, but we can then equip ourselves with proper knowledge and practices to 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.

According to a study by TransUnion, it will cost about 30 hours and $500 to an ordinary victim to settle an ID theft. Additionally, the FBI claims that just a single crime can terminate a company or even wipe out an entire family’s life savings.

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

Myth 2. ID Theft is Just a Financial Crime

Whilst a good number of criminals are after your money, and 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 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.

Every piece of your private information can be used against you in a wide range of crimes. It would help if you got to 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 away from misusing your personal information at their disposal. Information that is mainly 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 a user name? And if yes, how many? You have to know that when a thief pairs your email address with other pieces of your information, he can end up accessing the most vital information. It is relatively easy for a phone number to be used to accelerate phishing scams.

For anyone to be safe, keeping sensitive information secure 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 help define our online personalities, but what many people don’t know is that thieves could actually put together this carefree information to affect their real lives negatively.

Holiday photos and Check-ins are what most criminals use to monitor your movements. Also, the maiden name can assist criminals in cracking account questions. Statistics released recently reveal that more than half of the young adults and teenagers admit they 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

Most credit theft cases are a result of a huge, exposed information breach. But also there are several other types that coworkers and even family usually cause.

It is easy for medical ID theft to occur, especially when family members share one insurance account. And a child’s ID theft can be found by the negligence of the parents. Other people typically 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 monthly 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 you will be given a free credit report for about a year after the department store’s recent breach. Meaning that they will patiently wait for the 365 days to elapse before misusing your personal information.

The best thing to do is remain careful and always request credit reports annually from all 3 credit bureaus. However, the center advises that an individual should request 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 reported 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 cybercriminals are aware that many small businesses don’t have enough resources or even time to enhance their cybersecurity. And this is the main reason why ID thieves regularly attack small businesses.

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

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

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