Identity theft is on the rise as mass consumerism and technology combined open the floodgates to a wealth of information being transmitted on a daily basis. Building a credit worthy reputation takes some consumers a lifetime. Everything from mortgage’s to credit cards, auto loans to car title loans and the like, require us to give pertinent personal information including our social security number, driver’s license and mother’s maiden name. As much as we want to believe that our personal information is safe and secure, falling victim to identity theft is something most of us worry about. Once a criminal has obtained a person’s license and social security number, along with a few other pieces of information like date of birth and mother’s maiden name, a path of destruction has been laid out in the way of identity theft/fraud.
The Federal Trade Commission’s Theft Identity Clearinghouse has reported the most common types of identity theft. The thief will open a checking or saving account in the victim’s name with the information they have stolen or, after stealing the victim’s checks, will write checks on the account. More than half of all identity theft victims have reported that the thief has either opened a title loans miami account in the person’s name or has used stolen credit cards. Stolen information is used by the thief to apply for and obtain loans for automobiles purchases and other items requiring installment payments. About 1/4 of victim’s report that the thief used their information to open a utility account such as Internet or phone services.
Thieves who get your information from hacking into websites, stealing your wallet or rummaging through your trash are not the only ones who may take your information and use it to steal your identity. Car dealers, credit cards companies and online car title loan lenders are all privy to your personal information. You may not have the choice to withhold information from these companies when you are applying with them but you can be proactive about protecting yourself information and yourself and avoid becoming a victim of identity theft. If you choose not to apply for a pre-approved card, shred all material sent to you with the offer along with any other paperwork that has your social security number, driver’s license number, date of birth and personal information. Your trash may be one of the first and best places a thief can find your information.