Many Americans have taken steps in recent years to protect their identity. According to one report, published in 2020, total dollars lost due to identity theft was $16.90亿年. If you haven’t taken measures to protect yourself, it may be a good idea to consider your options.1
Identity theft is a crime in which an individual illegally obtains and wrongfully uses another person’s personal information, 比如一个社会安全号码, 银行账户号码, 或信用卡号码, 一般, 为经济利益. Once a thief has possession of your personal information, 它可以用来获得贷款, 透支信用卡债务, 或者其他犯罪.
Individuals can take four steps to help protect themselves against identity theft. These steps are represented by the acronym S.C.A.M.
S - Be 小气的 when it comes to giving out your personal information. Make sure the person requesting the information is on a “need-to-know” basis. 例如, someone who claims to be calling from your bank does not need to know your mother’s maiden name if it’s already on file with the bank.
C -检查 定期提供您的财务信息. If you get a hardcopy of your credit card and bank statements mailed to you, consider keeping these documents in a safe, 安全的地方. Be skeptical if it appears the financial institution missed a month. Identity thieves may try to change the address on your accounts to keep their actions hidden from you for as long as possible.
A -不时地， 问 索取一份您的信用报告. This report shows bank and financial accounts in your name and may help provide evidence if someone has used your name to open another account. To obtain a report, contact any of the three major credit bureaus: Equifax, Experian, or Transunion.
M -维护 good records of your financial accounts and obligations. Experts recommend that you keep hardcopies or electronic versions of monthly bank and credit card statements. Easy access to this information may make it easier to dispute a transaction, especially if your signature has been forged.
政府机构, 信用卡公司, and individuals have become smarter about protecting data and identifying perpetrators. But identity thieves consistently devise new strategies to obtain personal information.
Having your identity stolen may result in out-of-pocket financial loss, plus the additional cost of trying to restore your good name. Help protect yourself by using caution when sharing your personal information and keeping an eye out for warning signs.
Instances of identity theft are more frequent among individuals aged 60 to 69.
Chart Source: Federal Trade Commission, 2019
1. 标枪战略 & 研究,2020
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