Javelin Strategies, a research company specializing on providing information about payment industry and financial services, said that 11.1 million citizens of America were victimized by identity theft last year. With the numerous transactions people are making online, the risk of being a victim of identity theft has increased. People receive text messages and e-mails that look so convincing making them exposed more to this kind of attacks. Customers who were victims have certainly lost a lot but maybe losing more if they won`t be doing about it soon. Customers who are not victims yet due to their powerful identity theft guard applications aren`t losing cash from their accounts but are still paying off monthly fees for the application.
Experts have outlined methods for people to protect themselves without paying too much or without paying any cash at all.
Customers who check their mail regularly may notice that they have mails from their credit card companies. They may helpful actually since customers will be updated with the packages and promotions from their credit card companies. But opting out of the mailing list won`t hurt their credit cards. Furthermore, it can help them detect if they are victims of identity theft. Customers will be able to do this by calling up their credit card companies and requesting for an opt-out. Customers might also want to not receive offers for new credit in their e-mail to protect themselves. There is a solution. OptOutPrescreen.com is a website that would let customers be opt out from receiving company offers of credit firms. Customers signing up with this website won`t be receiving unsolicited offers for new credit cards.
Customers should also regularly check their Credit reports at least annually. The government is concerned about the increasing cases of identity theft and erroneous scores and that is why they allow customers to have an annual check on their credit report for free every twelve months. Errors in their reports can be fixed in a shorter time than the damages that can happen to them because of reporting delays.
Fraud alerts can also help customers protect themselves with identity theft. Fraud alerts warn potential creditors and insurers to make more efforts to find out about the worthiness of the customers. And if proven, customers can still apply new credit. Though it may not allow some customers to have credit for a while, it would give them a temporary period of protection. They can have it lifted later if they want.
Identity theft can is not limited to cyber world only. Even with the itchy hands of thieves in the real world, people are still exposed to this crime. Customers must protect their personal belongings and be cautious about people asking for your credit cards, even employees can be perpetrators. Locking mailboxes with high quality locks and using a Post office or PO Box for higher animosity are very effective security methods. Customers must also shred the relevant documents before discarding them. Customers who cancel their credit accounts should cut their credit cards. With all of these methods in mind, customers will be preventing themselves in becoming one of the victims, thus eliminating the risk of having their credit reports damaged.