How Your Personal Information Can Lead to Identity Theft

Identity Theft: Your Personal Information Used Against You

It’s important to be careful who you give information to these days in order to reduce your risk of identity theft. This information could be just enough to help an identity crook. This article will look at certain situations where you may want to pass on giving away your personal info. The end result will be a lower risk of identity theft.

Who Wants To Know?

It seems likes every retailer wants information when you make even the smallest purchases. How annoying is it when you try to buy a pair socks and the clerk asks you for your phone number or zip code?

In my opinion, you should not give this information away. The last time I checked, my credit card company always wanted to know my mailing zip code before they gave automated account information over the phone.

Although the companies primarily use this information for marketing purposes, inevitably one or two customers in line always overhears this personal information.

Assessing the Situation

What do you do when you are in a situation where you do want to give away personal information? First of all, you need to think whether this information is required.

Your employer is required by law to have your social security number for tax reasons. You cannot fight that unless you are not interested in getting a paycheck. But a retail store requiring information for their marketing studies is not required. In order to reduce your risk of identity theft, only give out personal information when necessary.

How about when you are shopping for a new car? Car dealers love to have your personal information in their address books. They are using this information to call you back a few days later and give their sales pitch again. Or, they will send a tremendous amount of new junk mail to your home address hoping you’ll buy a car.

So, what does one do when a car salesman wants your personal information? Just decline and say that you will provide that information at the end of the sale if you are still interested in buying.

Don’t increase your risk of identity theft by putting your information out there unnecessarily simply because you were taught to be polite.

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