How to Protect Yourself from Identity Theft

Identity theft is a broad term that refers to the use of someone’s personal information, without permission, to commit fraud or a crime. That often involves impersonating you to open accounts in your name, take control of your financial accounts, or access other information that should only be available to you. The consequences for you can range from fraudulent credit card charges to stolen tax returns (and refunds) to loans taken out in your name. It’s become a fact of life for pretty much everyone; no one is immune. More recently, there have been numerous reports of a new type of fraud related to the Coronavirus crisis. Individuals who can’t get unemployment information over the phone look for it on the internet. They find what they thought was a legitimate website to file for benefits, shared their personal information and found their identity stolen a few days later. 

So what can you do to protect yourself? We recommend a dual approach.

1) Protect your personal information to make identity theft more difficult. In most cases you aren’t being targeted specifically. The harder you can make it to steal your identity, the more likely you are to be passed over for an easy target. 

2) Monitor your information to identify suspicious activity quickly and report it. You should check your credit report several times a year to make sure everything is accurate.

More questions about how to keep your identity safe? Read the full article here.