Identity Theft: The Most Common Consumer Complaint

June 7th, 2012

When we hear about crime, it’s easy to think that it could never happen to us. We sympathize with people who are affected by crime, but we never expect to be the next victim.

The truth is we are all at risk for certain types of crime. And the number one crime these days is identity theft. According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), identity theft has been the most common consumer complaint for 12 consecutive years.

How Does Identity Theft Happen?

Thieves use a variety of tricks to steal your identity. Some use phishing scams, where they send you an email that seems to be from a reputable company. This email contains a link, and asks you to login to your account to resolve some serious issue. If you click their link and log in, however, the thieves get your user name and password.

Some criminals will dig through your garbage looking for documents that contain bank account numbers or other personal information. They may also steal your mail or issue change-of-address forms in your name so the mail goes directly to them.

Criminals are always thinking of new ways to steal your identity. It’s up to you to stop them.

The Impact Of Identity Theft

People are often surprised to learn how much damage identity theft can do to their lives. Identity thieves use stolen information to obtain credit cards and run up huge bills. They may pay for utilities, such as phones or cable, using someone else’s name. They might also gain access to your bank account and walk away with your life savings.

Sometimes victims experience more than financial troubles. Criminals have been known to acquire a driver’s license using their victim’s name. Thieves have stolen Social Security Numbers and used them to get a job, request government benefits or file phony tax returns.

There are an endless number of ways criminals can cause you trouble if they steal your identity. It’s imperative to protect your good name.

Dealing With The Effects Of Identity Theft

If you are victimized by identity theft, it might take months or even years to repair the damage. Identity thieves are merciless. People have been left penniless. People have lost jobs. People have been arrested for crimes that they didn’t commit.

You may have to spend months dealing with the police, consumer reporting agencies and financial institutions if your identity is stolen. While it is possible to recover, the process is long, difficult and painful. That’s why it’s essential to do everything possible to prevent identity theft.

Help Prevent Identity Theft With PeopleFinders Protect

According to the FTC, one of the best tools to fight against identity theft is awareness. Start by knowing how to stop criminals from stealing your identity. Watch for online scams. Shred personal documents before throwing them away. Pick up your email each day. If you don’t receive a bill or statement on time, find out why.

Monitoring your credit history is another important tool in the fight against identity theft. When you regularly monitor your credit information and score, you’ll know if someone is opening a line of credit in your name. Knowledge is power, and you can use this knowledge to stop identity thieves before they cause you serious damage.

PeopleFinders Protect empowers you to remain aware of your credit history and score. This service provides a detailed credit report and constant access to your current credit information so you can be better protected. The next time you run a people search, choose the PeopleFinders Membership Trial. As a member, you’ll enjoy unlimited people, email and social profile searches, plus the power of PeopleFinders Protect.

Fighting Identity Theft Together

Identity theft has been the top consumer complaint for 12 consecutive years. Let’s work together to change that now.

Do you have another tip on how to avoid identity theft? Leave a comment below to share your thoughts, and thank you for reading the PeopleFinders people search blog.

 

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