While many people in the US still consider identity theft and credit card theft a casual problem, you have to be more vigilant. This is because identity theft and credit card fraud can lead to serious problems.
Did you know that the effects or consequences of identity theft may last anywhere from a couple of days to several years? This depends on the specific type of theft as well as how soon you notice it and take measures to minimize the financial repercussions.
There are many reasons you need protection from identity theft. For example, if an identity thief opened a new account or, worse, committed a serious crime in your name, correcting public records and your credit can be an overwhelming and long process. Identity theft can also hurt your credit reports.
Did you know that fraudsters and thieves can access your personal information in different ways? You should know that sometimes it can be quite simple, such as fishing your confidential bank statements and other sensitive documents out of the trash. On the other hand, it may be as sophisticated or complicated as extracting your personal financial information, such as your credit card number, from a hacked site.
There is no doubt that identity thieves and fraudsters can access your sensitive information in many ways. Also, although there are many ways to lower your financial exposure, it is often very difficult to completely immunize yourself against identity theft and credit card fraud. This is why you should understand exactly how identity theft may affect you and some reasons why you need protection.
What are Identity Theft Protection Services?
We can define identity theft protection services as specific services that give you some degree of protection against the risk of identity theft as well as fraud. Did you know that identity theft protection may include ID theft monitoring and credit monitoring? It also includes other services, such as identity recovery services, to help you respond suitably if you’re targeted. However, keep in mind that these services are quite different from identity theft insurance.
Note that you should pay for identity theft protection services in the following cases:
You don’t want to or can’t freeze your credit reports
You are either a victim of identity theft or are at a high risk of it
You don’t want to go through the hassle of actively and regularly monitoring your credit
Reasons You need Protection against Identity Theft
Keep in mind that if an identity thief or fraudster steals your confidential Social Security number and then opens one or more accounts in your name and does not pay, this could hurt your credit history. This can cause serious problems. Not only will this affect your ability to avail credit, it may also end up hurting your job prospects. Also, it can increase your homeowners and auto insurance premiums.
Another impact of identity theft is usually the emotional toll and psychological issues that may accompany it. As identity theft and credit card fraud are often faceless crimes, they can trigger many emotional reactions. Note that the first feeling you might experience is anger.
However, after this initial shock, many other long-term and challenging emotions, such as fear, may also come into play. Here is an example. If somebody steals your identity and commits crimes in your name, it will likely tarnish your reputation, which can be stressful and difficult to fix.
And if you have applied for a new job and a serious criminal record shows up in a background check, this may impact not just your potential employment but your feelings of self-respect and self-worth as well.
Note that if somebody assumes your identity by using your Social Security Number on a job application and does not pay their taxes, then you will likely end up with a huge bill. Keep in mind that fraudsters can file a tax return in your name and submit erroneous information in order to obtain a tax refund, leaving you to handle or deal with all the consequences.
Preventing Identity Theft in the Future
Whether someone has already victimized you or you simply would like to be prepared, note that it is crucial to do everything you can in order to minimize the risk of any potential identity theft. You can use GuardCard to secure your credit card information. It is the premier RFID and NFC blocking card that will fit easily in your wallet.
Some other ways to protect and safeguard your confidential information are:
Refrain from giving out your personal information, such as bank statements, to anyone
Regularly check your credit reports and credit score
Shred your sensitive documents
Consider using a reliable identity theft protection service
Although these measures will not eliminate the risk of identity theft, note that they will help limit your financial exposure.