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Identity theft has gained significant momentum over the last several years. With the quick availability of sensitive, private information over the Internet, those who are not savvy about protecting themselves may be in danger of identity theft. Far too many Americans hold firm a belief that identity theft “won’t happen to me”. Not only does that thought process put these people at risk, it opens the doors for these thieves to find new and creative ways to capture private information.
Recent statistics have unveiled a massive number of identity theft reports, highlighting the fact that this is still a persistent threat throughout the nation. The majority of the burden regarding identity theft falls on the banks and credit issuers. These institutions are responsible for fraudulent debt; however, those who have their identity stolen will certainly have to deal with a portion of the burden, even if that portion is not financial. The time that is takes to handle identity theft is incredible. In fact, a survey conducted reports that about 200 million hours are spent each year by those recovering from identity theft.
Some of the most recent “tricks” being utilized by identity thieves is in emails. Americans are advised to never click on a link that is sent by an unknown person. These links are often embedded in emails that come from “organizations” posing as another entity. For instance, your bank will never ask you via email for personal information. They have this information on file and a bank clerk would contact you directly for this type of thing, never in an email.
Unfortunately, there are also ways for identity theft to take place even when an email is not opened or a link is not clicked. With the variety of advancements online, hackers are able to “phish” for enormous amounts of data, particularly from personal computers. Therefore, every American should be running a yearly credit report to ensure that no suspicious activities are present.
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