It’s shocking, but more than 21,917 people per day are reporting known cases of Identity Theft, and that’s only the ones that are discovered and reported..
The scary thing is that most people only find out once the damage (Defaults and judgments from loans they know nothing about) is done.
It’s a funny thing, it even took my wife some time to fully understand the ramifications of identity theft.
Studies show that if you have been targeted for identity theft, the individuals or gang targeting you will come back to your rubbish bin over and over again until they get all the information they need.
The first time, they might only get, say, a phone bill. The phone bill will have your name, your address, and of course your phone number.
The next time, it might be an electricity bill. This again will have your name, your home address, and your e
lectricity account number.
The next time they might get a credit card bill. The credit card bill will most likely have your credit card number and your customer ID number.
Let’s quickly review what they have so far:
- your name
- your address
- your telephone number
- your electricity account number
- your credit card number
- your credit card customer reference ID
And if you’re unlucky, your telephone bill will give them a list of all the people you like to call.
Do you feel violated yet?
Now they know a little bit about you, and now it’s time to look you up on the Internet. The first three places they will look are:
Let’s look at Facebook.
Because they have your basic details, it’s not hard to do a search on Facebook to see if you are a registered Facebook user.
If they find you there, they can usually see quite quickly where you are from, any relatives, if you or any of your family have used any of the ‘friends’ or ‘family’ or ‘family tree’ type apps, they might get to see other identifying information like your Mums maiden name (which is one of the key ID requests for the banks) or they can get your Date of birth, your first school etc. etc. etc.
Before too long, these people have a full list of all of your identifying information that will allow them to open bank accounts in your name, get a ‘replacement’ copy of your drivers license, get a new medicare card and so much more.
If you have a facebook account, you should now be very scared, especially if you have your date of birth displayed.
So, what are the 7 things to avoid becoming the victim of Identity Theft?
- Buy a cross cut shredder
- Shred every bit of information with your details on it.
- DO NOT put personal Information on social networking sites
- Do not click on links in emails from ‘banks’ saying you have to log in
- Always log in to your banks website by typing the address into the web browser.
- Always insist on Identifying the person on the phone who ‘claims’ to be from the bank
- Dont leave indentity type documents in your car (cars get broken in to every day)
I know it is scary but with more than $3,000,000,000.00 (Thats 3 Billion) in lost revenue from Identuity theft every year in Australia alone, its too big a risk.
Go and buy a cheap shredder, you can even get hand operated ones from the $2 shops, just get one and never throw out anything that can identify you again.
For more information on coming back from Identity Theft or removing defaults from your credit file, visit www.mycra.com.au/repair or call (Austraila) 07 3613 9709
This has been Graham Doessel and this is my comment