When it comes to stealing your identity, perpetrators can be very creative. Educate yourself about different types of identity theft in order to better protect yourself.
One dangerous type of ID theft is child ID theft. Sadly, the offenders in child identity theft are often family members, but information can also be obtained from schools, daycares, or any number of other sources. Parents may not even know that their child’s identity has been stolen until the child applies for their first loan or credit card. Fraudulent accounts that have gone delinquent for years can ruin a credit score and stunt financial growth before it has even really begun. Parents can help with protection from theft by checking their children’s credit reports on a regular basis and disputing and closing any unauthorized accounts.
Medical ID theft is also dangerous. Healthcare companies have been reporting data breaches and this could result in your medical information being use by thieves to take advantage of medical services. If the culprit’s medical information gets mixed with your own, it could result in deadly medical mistakes. Your medical records are also likely to contain payment and billing information; as well as your social security number. If you believe that you have been a victim of a healthcare company data breach, consider signing up for an identity theft monitoring service. When someone has your social security number and name, they can try to open accounts in your name. A fraud protection service would monitor your credit report and can alert you to certain changes.
A third type of ID theft is tax ID theft. Perpetrators file fraudulent tax returns with false information in order to maximize the fake refund. They file early in tax season and the victim only learns what has happened when they go to file their own return. File your taxes as early in the season as possible, and be careful with your personal information.
The threat of ID theft comes from many different sources. Be aware and don’t leave yourself and your family vulnerable.