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How does Identity Theft Happen at Home?

– Posted in: Everything Home, Identity Theft- Series, life, Loss Exposure Management, Risk Management
This is the second post from a series exclusively on Identity Theft. As mindless crimes are committed to steal identities from unsuspecting victims around the world, watching your bearings at all times (even at home!) could go a long way in protecting your identity from perpetrators. Interested in reading the previous post from the series? Find it here!

How does Identity Theft Happen at Home?

Your emails are encrypted, your online profiles are fake, and you don’t buy anything online, but you are the perfect target for identity theft. Identity theft at home is a growing problem today. While criminals are capable of stealing this online, it is easier when they have the right victim in person. They can steal your information right in your own home.

How does Identity Theft Happen at Home?

You want your home to be the kind of place where you can feel secure. Leaving your cash and information laying around could be a huge mistake.

If someone comes to your home and they have the intention of stealing your identity, they generally don’t want your cash or jewels. They want your trust and information. The more you trust them, the more information they can get from you. Most people have the things a criminal would need all over their homes. If you are in doubt, see if you can answer all of the questions below with a “no’.

  • Does the front of your computer screen face an open area?

  • Look around the room right now. Do you see any mail?

  • Is your purse or wallet in an area where it can be seen by visitors?

  • Is there any mail in the garbage?

  • Are there prescription drugs in the bathroom or anywhere else people might go?

If you answered yes to even one of these questions, you could be putting yourself at risk for identity theft. Yes, people really will dig through your garbage to get information off of your mail. Even a glance in your wallet or purse can give them identifying numbers. People who can see what’s on your computer can see things that you would rather keep private. When it comes to your prescriptions, just about everything an identity thief needs is listed on that bottle.

These are just some of the basic issues. It doesn’t mean that you need to be a recluse who never allows visitors, but be smart about what’s available to them. Keep your personal items in a room no one else is allowed in. Put your bills in a locked drawer until you are done with them, or scan them into your computer before you destroy them. Never let anyone borrow your computer. Be sure to keep the screen visible to you alone.

Identity theft at home is a growing problem that can best be dealt with by using some preventative maintenance. This means keeping your personal information private and being careful about what you leave out. Naturally, you should also be careful about who has access to your home at all.


11 Comments… add one
Jamie March 25, 2014, 10:53 pm

I’ve answered yes to all of these, oh my goodness…I do think about this from time to time and this is a great reminder to watch a little more carefully!

Michele March 26, 2014, 3:22 am

Pretty sad state of affairs when you have to worry about people you know stealing your identity. It is bad enough that there are a slew of others who would love to get it. This is very good advise!

Robin (Masshole Mommy) March 26, 2014, 7:42 am

You just gave me a lot to think about. Wow. I don’t leave cash laying around, but I have left my computer open many times without a thought. I am locking it from now on, though.

Yona March 26, 2014, 11:06 am

Great insight. I have always been paranoid about the information found on my prescription medication bottles.

Kristal March 26, 2014, 2:38 pm

I actually would have never thought to take those precautions. I usually shred anything with my information but sometimes I forget about magazines or even receipts from online purchases. Thanks for the extra info!

Kristen from The Road to Domestication March 26, 2014, 2:57 pm

These are all great points, Vinma! I’ve got a few things to rearrange now!

Chrysa March 26, 2014, 3:51 pm

Identity Theft is so scary. My husband has always been super strict about security, but I have been struggling to get better about it.

Jenn March 26, 2014, 6:52 pm

Great points! I would have never thought about those! Its really scary what people can do with your information!

becca March 27, 2014, 2:29 pm

I had my identity comprised a few years back just now getting it back to normal.

April @ My Real Food Family March 27, 2014, 8:08 pm

That’s some scary stuff! I don’t ever think about items within my home that are available to other people. I definitely need to be more careful about throwing mail in the trash.

Angel March 28, 2014, 2:05 am

Thank you for this post to help us all be more aware about identity theft. You definitely helped me to be more aware about it!

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