prevent identity theft identity theft identity theft protection
About Identity Theft
Identity Theft Statistics
Identity Theft Protection
Identity Theft Alerts
Child Identity Theft
Fraud Alert
Credit Freeze
Credit Card Theft
Identity Theft Insurance
Info by State (U.S.)
Computer Security
Report Identity Theft
Identity Theft Victims
Free Credit Report
About I T Portal
Site Map
Identity Theft Home



Identity Theft Prevention
-- Credit Card Theft


identity theft protectionIdentity theft prevention includes stopping credit card theft, which is the most common form of identity theft, according to the U.S Federal Trade Commission1.

Here are some ways someone can steal your credit card information, including some provided by the United States Department of Justice:

  • Many people do not realize how easily criminals can obtain our personal data without having to break into our homes. In public places, for example, criminals may engage in "shoulder surfing" ­ watching you from a nearby location as you punch in your telephone calling card number or credit card number ­ or listen in on your conversation if you give your credit-card number over the telephone to a hotel or rental car company.
  • A newer method is to submit a change of address which reroutes a person's mail to another address used by the scammer, who then retrieves the mail, including credit card, bank and other important financial information. If you don't receive mail for more than one day, contact the Post Office immediately. Consider changing to online statements and stop having credit card, bank and other important statements mailed to your home.
  • Even the area near your home or office may not be secure. Some criminals engage in "dumpster diving" ­ going through your garbage cans or a communal dumpster or trash bin -- to steal copies of your checks, credit cards or bank statements, or other records that typically bear your name, address, and even your telephone number. These types of records make it easier for criminals to get control over accounts in your name and assume your identity.
  • Credit Card Number Theft can happen almost anywhere you use you credit cards. Many merchants do not adequately protect your information.
  • If you receive applications for "preapproved" credit cards in the mail, but discard them without tearing up the enclosed materials, criminals may retrieve them and try to activate the cards for their use without your knowledge. (Some credit card companies, when sending credit cards, have adopted security measures that allow a card recipient to activate the card only from his or her home telephone number but this is not yet a universal practice.) Also, if your mail is delivered to a place where others have ready access to it, criminals may simply intercept and redirect your mail to another location.
  • In recent years, the Internet has become an appealing place for credti card theft, enabling criminals to obtain identifying data, such as passwords or even banking information. In their haste to explore the exciting features of the Internet, many people respond to "spam" ­ unsolicited E-mail ­ that promises them some benefit but requests identifying data, without realizing that in many cases, the requester has no intention of keeping his promise. In some cases, criminals reportedly have used computer technology to obtain large amounts of personal data.
  • With enough identifying information about an individual, a criminal can take over that individual's identity to conduct a wide range of crimes: for example, credit cards theft, false applications for loans and credit cards, fraudulent withdrawals from bank accounts, fraudulent use of telephone calling cards, or obtaining other goods or privileges which the criminal might be denied if he were to use his real name. If the criminal takes steps to ensure that bills for the falsely obtained credit cards, or bank statements showing the unauthorized withdrawals, are sent to an address other than the victim's, the victim may not become aware of what is happing until the criminal has already inflicted substantial damage on the victim's assets, credit, and reputation.

1 http://www.consumer.gov/sentinel/pubs/Top10Fraud2005.pdf

Recommended by ITP:

identity theft insurance

 

Copyright © 2014 Identity Theft Portal. All Rights Reserved.