How Safe Is Your Identity?

July 27th, 2009

indetity_theftIdentity theft has become one of the most common crimes in the United States. According to the Federal Trade Commission, up to 9 million people are victimized by identity theft every year, and that number continues to grow.

It’s a difficult crime to track because it’s not something you can actually see happen. Thieves don’t need to be near you to steal your identity; the perpetrators are often far away and working behind closed doors. Most people don’t even know they were victims of identity theft until several weeks after it happens.

You might be surprised to find out how easily your identity can be stolen. Criminals have a variety of sneaky methods to get your personal information and use it against you. They can intercept your mail, steal your credit card information at a retail location or, perhaps most commonly, find a way to get it online.

Savvy criminals can hack into unprotected databases to get your personal information, or use a trick called phishing to get it from you. This involves sending out emails that appear to be from a valid website, like a web based retailer or bank, and claim that you need to log in to your account immediately. The message includes a convenient link for you to click on, but that takes you to a replica site the scammer created. After you log in the thief has your user name and password, and they can use it to log in as you on the real website where they will find your credit card number and other private details.

There are many ways for a thief to steal your identity and run up a massive debt in your name, but what can you do to stop them? The best way to avoid credit fraud is to never let it happen, so PeopleFinders.com is proud to announce Identity Protection. It’s our latest product, and it will help protect you from even the most clever identity thieves.

Identity Protection works by placing a Fraud Alert in your name with the top 3 credit bureaus: Experian, Equifax and TransUnion. These Alerts notify potential lenders – any company that might offer a loan, credit card or other form of credit – that they should contact you directly to verify every credit request in your name. When a lender contacts you to confirm that you actually asked for credit, you’ll know you are well protected.

credit_fraud_pfPeopleFinders.com will then maintain a Fraud Alert in your account to give you an ongoing source of protection from identity thieves. We will also show you how to get a free copy of your credit report so you can check your current rating, make sure it doesn’t have any errors and find out if someone has already requested credit in your name. You are entitled to one free credit report annually, and we’ll show you the easiest way to get it.

If you are victimized by credit fraud, reclaiming your identity can be a long and difficult process. Identity thieves will charge as much as they can in your name, and that can destroy your credit rating, ruin your chances for receiving future credit and keep you from getting a job. It is possible to salvage your identity, but the process can take months or even years, so why go through all that trouble if you don’t have to?

Beat the thieves at their own game with help from Identity Protection. Stay safe, and thank-you for reading the PeopleFinders.com People Search blog.

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