Identity theft can affect anyone. Some statistics indicate that identity theft occurs every 22 seconds and is three times more common in the U.S. than in other countries. Learn about the types of theft and the steps to help safeguard your family.
Identity Theft Types
It is considered identity theft when someone uses another person’s financial or personal data for monetary gain. Financial theft is the most common form of identity theft and includes fraud with credit cards and bank accounts. Synthetic theft is a financial theft where false identities are made using real people’s information to create a fake profile. Then that new profile is used to apply for loans, credit cards and other crimes.
Child identity theft occurs when a minor’s information is used to open a new adult account or line of credit under the child’s name or to get a driver’s license. Medical theft is when a criminal poses as another person to obtain health care services, including prescription drugs, annual exams or equipment like hearing aids and wheelchairs.
Safeguarding Your Personal Data
Take these actions to keep your personal information safe from predators.
- Use a password manager or multi-factor authentication on your passwords
- Keep official documents secure in a safe or locked storage
- Never give out personal information over the phone
- Check your credit reports often to watch for unusual activity
- Safely destroy private records and statements
- Label your child’s items on the inside of their belongings, not on the outside
- Closely monitor your child’s online and social media activity
- Keep your devices updated and anti-virus software current
Schedule an appointment with a Mel Foster Insurance agent to keep your identity theft coverage current. An agent can discuss policies and coverage that makes sense for your family. Many insurance carriers have a department that specializes in managing identity theft and can offer guidance when needed.
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