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What is Identity Theft?

Fraudulent activity where a person unlawfully obtains someone else's personal info

What is Identity Theft?

This is a fraudulent activity where a person unlawfully obtains and uses another individual's personal information, usually for financial gain. This information could include details like names, social security numbers, credit card numbers, or bank account information. When utilized, these details can often permit the thief to make purchases, open new accounts, or even secure loans under the stolen identity, affecting the victim's credit score and financial status. It's crucial to take steps to protect your personal information to prevent identity theft.

3 things to know about Identity Theft

1. Increased Risk Online: The advent of online transactions has significantly increased the risk of identity theft. Cyber criminals often use phishing, malware, and hacking techniques to steal personal information.

2. Long-Term Impact: The impact of identity theft can be long-term, affecting a person's credit score and financial health for years. It can take a significant amount of time, effort, and money to resolve, often involving legal action.

3. Frequency: According to a 2021 online survey by The Harris Poll, nearly 1 in 5 Americans (18%) have experienced identity theft, highlighting the widespread nature of this problem.

Ideas for preventing identity theft

1. Safe Internet Use: Always ensure the security of your personal information online. Use strong, unique passwords for each online platform, maintain up-to-date software, enable two-factor authentication on all available accounts, and refrain from sharing sensitive information over unsecured networks.

2. Shred Important Documents: Don't just throw away documents that contain personal information; shred them. This includes financial statements, medical records, credit card applications, and old IDs.

3. Regular Credit Reviews: Regularly review your credit reports to spot unusual activity or discrepancies. This can alert you quickly if your personal information has been misused.

Disclaimer: Yendo is not a provider of financial advice. The material presented on this page constitutes general consumer information and should not be regarded as legal, financial, or regulatory guidance. While this content may contain references to third-party resources or materials, Yendo does not guarantee the accuracy or endorse these external sources.