Credit identity theft, the unauthorized use of your identifying information to open new financial accounts or use existing accounts to steal money or make purchases, has become one of the fastest growing crimes in America
Even though there are laws prohibiting this type of activity, you should take care to avoid becoming a victim.
Identity thieves are most interested in the personal information that would enable them pass as you, either online or in person. This includes Social Security numbers, date of birth, mother's maiden name and account numbers at your financial institutions.
Identity thieves will try to get this information in many ways:
To keep your information private, here are some of the steps to consider:
You should also restrict online purchases to reputable sites with established track records, and make sure your browser window indicates you are conducting a secure transaction (signified by a closed-lock icon). Using an established site reduces the risk that you’re transacting with a site set up by hackers to steal your credit information, or that you’re dealing with a site that hasn’t invested in effective security measures.
While there are no guarantees that these steps will prevent credit identity thieves from attacking you, the harder you make it for them to steal your identity, the less likely you are to become a credit identity theft victim.
The information provided is not intended to be legal, tax, or financial advice or recommendations for any specific individual, business, or circumstance. TowneBank cannot guarantee that it is accurate, up to date, or appropriate for your situation. Financial calculators are provided for illustrative purposes only. You are encouraged to consult with a qualified attorney or financial advisor to understand how the law applies to your particular circumstances or for financial information specific to your personal or business situation.