Protecting Yourself from Identity TheftPart 9 by Michelle Black

As I begin to wind down this informative blog series (just 1 more tip to go!) I would like to share one of the more alarming statistics I came across during my research. According to the ITRC Aftermath Study, over 43% of identity theft victims know the person who stole their identity! Unsurprisingly, it is not uncommon for a child to steal a parent’s identity to open utilities accounts, apply for credit cards or other loans, or even use a parent’s already established credit card or checking account to make unauthorized purchases.  However, believe it or not, it is also a very common phenomenon for parents to steal the identities of their children, especially in the case of underage minors with clean or un-established credit reports. Roommates are another common source of identity theft.

Since credit card theft makes up a whopping 26% of identity theft here is another tip to help you:

#9:  Monitor Your Statements Every Month.

It is extremely important to monitor all of your bank statements and credit card statements every single month.  You should read through your statements, line by line, to check for any unauthorized or suspicious charges.  If you find anything that looks "fishy" you can contact your bank or credit card company directly to investigate the charges further.  This proactive step could potentially help to keep you from paying someone else’s bill!

Be sure to check back this week for my final tip on how to avoid identity fraud.  If you haven’t done so already, please check out parts 1-8 of the Protecting Yourself from Identity Theft blog series.  Learning the tactics used by identity thieves can help you to protect yourself from becoming victimized!  Have you already become a victim of identity theft?  HOPE is here to help! Please give us a call at 704-499-9696 to learn how the HOPE Program can help you to reclaim your good name.  No credit problem is too big!

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