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Spotting Identity Theft Traps before They Catch You

Identity theft is one of the most common crimes in the world today and identity thieves use many different tricks to get your information. If you are not careful, you can easily fall into a trap that is set up to steal your personal information and your identity. Watching out for these potential traps can help you save your information and your credit history.

Suspicious Emails

One of the most common tricks that identity thieves use to get your information is to send you fake emails. For example, you might get an email from your bank stating that you need to login and change your password information. The email appears to be legitimate and you enter your login and password information into the email form. Once you’ve done this, the identity thief has your information and can use it to login to your account.
As a general rule, you should avoid entering your information into emails or following links in suspicious emails. If you did not solicit the communication from your bank or from another entity, you should not pay attention to the email. Legitimate companies will not contact you and ask you to provide your information.

Accessing Your Trash

Another way that identity thieves get access your information is to dig in your dumpster or trash receptacle. If you are in the habit of throwing out important documents without first destroying them, you are asking for trouble. Before you throw out financial records, bills, or even junk mail, you should shred it or destroy it first.
If you don’t take the time to destroy your mail, an identity thief could simply take an empty credit card application and fill it out with his own address with your name. This information could be used to damage your credit history. If you don’t have a shredder, at least rip up your mail before you throw it in the trash can.

Protecting Your Credit

One of the best ways to avoid identity theft is to sign-up for a credit monitoring service. For example, LifeLock is one of the most popular providers of the service and it can really help protect your credit profile. When someone tries to sign-up for credit in your name, the LifeLock service will check with you to see if it’s you opening the account. If it’s not, they will prevent anyone else from accessing your credit for you.

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