Identity theft is a terrifying concept. The fact that someone can impersonate you makes us feel violated. However, there are steps we can all take to mitigate the lasting effect of identity theft.
While keeping your information private may seem like an undeniable solution to reducing identity theft, it is often the most overlooked. We live an increasingly public life, and it is tough for us to imagine not sharing our lives with our followers on social media. This, however, opens us up to predators and makes us perfect targets for identity theft. So, be cautious of strangers that approach you online, shred any documents that might contain personal information, and if it makes you uncomfortable, stay away from it.
Another thing you can do to prevent identity theft is to be aware of your bank account and transaction statements. Indicators of fraud could be as subtle as changes in your credit score or as obvious as unknown accounts or transactions.
When it comes to paying bills and bank statements, try to handle these things yourself. Look for random changes in property taxes, utility bills, or your mortgage statements. If you are expecting a bill and it never arrives, call the company and make sure that there was no foul play involved. This may seem exhaustive, but it could be the difference between preventing theft and being a target.
Above all, be aware of your surroundings in both a physical and digital sense. In the real world, ask questions if you think something is amiss because if it makes you uncomfortable, you are probably right about it. In the digital sphere, use common sense; if you wouldn’t talk to them in-person, don’t talk to them online. Doing this can help you better prepare yourself against home title fraud or identity theft.
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