What is Identity Theft?

Understanding Identity Theft

In the case of identity theft, what you don’t know can hurt you. If you’ve heard of identity theft but you’re not sure what it is, you’re going to want to read this. After all, there’s a legion of identity thieves just waiting to steal your information and your identity. Shouldn’t you know what they intend to do with it and how to protect yourself?

Identity Theft Basics

First things first, let’s discuss what identity theft is. Identity theft occurs when a criminal uses your personal information to steal your identity. They’ll use your identity to apply for credit and open bank accounts. Then they won’t pay the bills, they’ll bounce checks, they’ll ruin your credit and your good name and they’ll be laughing all the way to the bank while you sit there shell shocked, wondering what just happened.

How They Do It

Identity thieves conduct identity theft by getting your personal information. How they get it differs from one identity theft case to the next, but in cases of identity theft, they always manage to get it. Once they get your personal information, they apply for credit using that information. Then they use that credit to make purchases and then they never pay for them, leaving you with the bill.

Why They Do It

Why an identity theft thieve steals someone’s identity is a mystery. Usually it’s just a criminal mind doing what they can to take advantage of unsuspecting victims. Whatever the reason, identity theft is wrong and it’s a crime. Unfortunately, it’s a commonly increasing crime at that. Because of that, it’s important that you protect yourself from identity theft.

How to Prevent It

In order to prevent identity theft, you’re going to need to keep your personal information safe. That means being careful and taking a number of preventative steps to ensure the safety of your identity. Don’t give out your personal information over the phone unless you’ve initiated the call and definitely don’t give your personal information via email or on an unsecured website. These are common ways that identity thieves steal your identity.

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