Identity theft is one of the fastest growing crimes in America today and Social Security fraud is the fastest growing sector of identity fraud. This type of crime is also one of the most tragic because it usually targets those who are already vulnerable. A victim’s whole life can be uprooted and destroyed in the process all because the cyber-thief has been able to get a glimpse of one little piece of information. With your social security number, a thief can create fake bank accounts, open up numerous credit cards and max them out, and empty out your life’s savings in one fell swoop. It’s no wonder that many people are deeply concerned about how to protect themselves from social security identity theft.
Basic Tips on Social Security Identity Theft Protection
The first thing you should do to avoid social security theft is to take the card out of your wallet and keep it in a secure location. Keep in mind that your social security number is a key identification tool, much more important than your driver’s license, or passport. Always keep it separate from your other pieces of identification.
If you lose your wallet or purse, other identification papers can easily be replaced without too much damage to your identity. However, your social security number in the wrong hands can open doors to your bank accounts, credit cards, financial records, medical insurance, and a host of other treasures that a criminal can take advantage of. Remember that there is nothing a cyber criminal wants more than to make you a victim of social security identity theft.
Use Common Sense
When it comes to protecting your identity, try to use some good old common sense. Just like you would not freely give out the keys to your home, you should view your social security number as the keys to your life. Computer-hackers, cyber-thieves and even dumpster divers are all looking for that one golden ticket to open the door to everything you’ve worked for your entire life. Be aware of your surroundings and make sure that anytime you need to enter your number in a computer or in a public place that there are no prying eyes nearby.
Better yet, avoid using public areas like Internet cafes, coffee shops, and other places when you need to input your number. To minimize your risks of falling victim to social security identity theft you also want to make sure the sites you’re using are legitimate and have encrypted security measures in place before you decide to deal with them.
The real lesson here is that we’re all living in a world of unscrupulous people that want to take a piece of you and what you’ve worked so hard to accumulate. Treat your social security number like the valuable treasure that it is. Once stolen, a thief can come after you again and again and again, and very few of them are actually caught. If someone asks you for your Social Security number in any form, never give it out without first finding out if you’re dealing with a legitimate and authorized entity that truly needs it. Here is the best identity theft guide to keep you protected from internet thieves.
Be Alert and Be Protected!