The summer season is a pretty active time of the year with vacation trips and so forth. As you make your plans, also make your plan to protect your identity. News 13 has details on steps to take to keep your information safe is this Problem Solver report.
Identity theft. There's a good chance it has happened to you or someone you know. And, law officers say it can happen when you least expect it. Thieves try to compromise your personal information like your name, social security number or even credit card information.
According to the Federal Trade Commission as many as nine million Americans have their identities stolen each year. The FTC says you may not even find out about the theft until you review your credit report or a credit card statement and realize someone is stealing from you taking your money.
It is serious. You could be denied a job opportunity…even a loan for education assistance due to your credit being compromised.
So how do the thieves steal your identity? The FTC says they can find your information while "Dumpster Diving"…looking for bills or other paper with your info on it. Skimming is another way…stealing your credit/debit card numbers by using a storage device when processing your card. Then, there is Phishing…the kind on your computer...sending pop up messages wanting you to respond. Even changing your address. The federal agency says there have been cases where thieves fill out a change of address form to divert your billing statements to another location.
So what can you do? The National Foundation for Credit Counseling suggests: