Identity theft is a devastating crime that can leave victims facing years of financial hardships, but there are steps people can take to protect their sensitive financial and medical information. That is why this week, I released my Identity Theft Consumer Resource Guide.
Identity theft occurs when someone uses the private personal information of another person to commit fraud, typically for their own economic gain. Criminals will often target people’s Social Security numbers, bank accounts, credit card information or their medical records. They will then use this information to take out large loans, open new lines of credit or make major purchases. Criminals will even use stolen medical information to commit Medicaid fraud. Tax season is an especially dangerous time for your personal information. Thieves can steal tax returns using stolen information or filers’ Social Security numbers through public Wi-Fi or by taking tax forms straight out of a filer’s mailbox.
Children are also targets because they have no other credit history associated with their Social Security number. A child’s stolen identity may not be discovered for years until they turn 18 and apply for an apartment, student loan or their first credit card.
Fortunately, there are steps to take to prevent these crimes.
Download our free guide here to learn more about preventing identity theft and protecting your family’s personal and financial information.
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