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Thursday, June 13, 2024

You Can Be the Next Victim of Identity Theft! Warning Signs

Likely that you’ve heard the concept of identity theft if you’ve ever been on social media regularly. Usually, thieves will use your personal information without your consent for a myriad of reasons. Not only can it leave you without any money and cause you credit history issues, but it can also pose you as a potential criminal even when you’ve been a good citizen.

Thankfully, there is plenty of information you can study and an array of measures that can save you from falling victim to this crime. If you’d like to know the important signs of identity theft as well as how to prevent it; keep on reading.

Don’t Ignore These Identity Theft Signs

  1. Strange charges related to your credit card or bank account. 

Any time you receive your bank and credit card statements, read them thoroughly and point out any weird charges you didn’t authorize. It’s possible that your data or card was stolen, giving the criminal a chance to verify that it’s active.

  1. Sudden calls from debt collectors.

If you’re receiving calls from debt-collecting companies and haven’t received a loan from them, your financial information was most likely stolen. Some criminals get away with taking huge sums of money under a false name. 

  1. Unexpectedly low credit score.

Have you opened new credit cards and ended up not paying them off? Are you in debt? If these are not the case and you still suffer from a low credit score, it’s a red flag. That means someone is actively using your identity to receive money and never pay it back.

  1. 2FA verification codes coming to your devices.

When a thief is trying to enter your account, and you have a two-factor authentication function turned on, they will likely try to get the code and still log in. Receiving verification codes to your mobile phone or email signifies that it’s time to update your password to a more secure one. 

  1. Inability to sign into your accounts.

Let’s imagine you don’t have 2FA turned on. Then, the criminal might be able to get access to your accounts right away. In the blink of an eye, these malicious actors will change your password and prevent you from signing in.

Preventing Identity Theft

As scary as identity theft sounds, preventing it from happening is possible. Initially, try to be careful on social media. Avoid responding to people you don’t know. Additionally, don’t share any of your personal information with anyone.

Opt for a VPN when browsing the internet, especially in public spaces. This software will encrypt the information and protect your device from unauthorized access. So, your data will stay safeguarded even if you’re connected to the public Wi-Fi network.

When your bank, social media representatives, or any other personnel contacts you via phone or email, check their number and email address first. If they are not correct or not included on the official website, someone might be trying to phish your personal and bank information. Do not respond and report it to the business through the official channels. 

Regularly review your credit card and bank account statements. Contact your bank for further assistance if it looks inaccurate or transactions don’t match your purchase history. 

Be aware of your password usage and instill more control over your password security. Turn on two-factor authentication on all important accounts or opt for a Face ID on a mobile device. When we talk about strong passwords, it often means using lower and upper case letters, symbols and numbers. If you don’t want to bother with it, investing in a password manager would be ideal. It’s software that generates unique and hard-to-hack passwords and secures them all in the system. All you have to do is remember a master password, and then the software pastes all essential information into the form for you, minimizing your password hassle. 

Importance Of Being Aware

It takes a few steps to be more careful about the usual signs of identity theft. Yet, it can prevent you from losing money, getting in trouble with debt collectors, and even failing to keep your actual selfhood.

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