Identity theft is global. There are major identity theft problems in America, but thieves also commit identity theft in high numbers in Great Britain, Nigeria, Canada, China and South Africa. ID theft cases are happening and being reported wherever there are hardworking people and a criminal element. The following are a few ID theft cases that have happened in the United States, where 66% of identity theft crimes occur.
Out of Touch
Recently, a gentleman spent 4 years outside of the United States. While he was gone, he learned his house had been rented by complete strangers. In addition, an individual using his identity created a power of attorney, was granted loans and purchased a business all in his name. To this day, the victim has no idea how his identity was stolen. Even if you are out of the country, it is still important to keep up with your credit at home. Had the victim requested a yearly copy of his credit report he would have seen the loans attributed to his name. Remember to stay vigilant at all times.
The Cell Phone Clue
This is one of the most common ID theft cases. A victim receives a phone call from a cell phone company because his social security number did not match the city or date of birth on the application. Apparently the criminal had been using his social security number for quite some time. There were civil judgments, loans, leases and debt all in his name. This victim had no idea how his identity was stolen but he said he was not cautious about giving out his personal information.
The Employer Did It
A company, that was selling one of its departments, provided a list of its current employees to the purchaser. This list included names, addresses, and phone numbers. A few months later, two criminals were arrested with the list including 60 names of employees as well as their addresses and social security numbers. The criminals had been issued credit cards in the names of some of the employees. Apparently when the employee list transfer took place through email, the list was stolen and the company hacked for the social security numbers. Verify with your employer whether or not they share your personal information and who, within the company, has access to your personal information.
So Simple A Child Can Do It
Identity theft is not limited to adults. Children these days are much more technologically savvy and are able to manipulate and hack computer programs and secure Internet sites. It is no surprise our next victim fell prey to a 17-year-old. When our victim received a Sprint phone bill in his name, he called Sprint and found out a 17-year-old had stolen his social security number. After some investigative research, our victim found out the juvenile had sold his personal information to other people who had also taken out credit accounts in his name.
If you find you have been a victim of identity theft, remember that more than one person will probably have access to your information. Therefore, it is vital to stay vigilant, especially if you have been a victim of identity theft. Freeze your credit report, cancel your credit cards and have new ones issued. Also, change all your passwords and change your bank accounts. And check your credit report regularly.
These few ID theft cases are but a very limited example of what can happen to innocent people who are trying their best to make an honest living. It is up to you to stay vigilant and keep an eye on your credit to prevent identity theft from getting out of hand.