connect

Image Map

Image Map

Image Map

Identity Theft- What Criminals are Looking For in a Victim

– Posted in: Identity Theft- Series, Insurance and Risk Management, Loss Exposure Management, Managing Your Finances, Money Management, Risk Management
This is the first post in a new series I am writing about on Identity Theft, a popular crime in the world these days. I will touch upon on the topics ranging from but not limited to how does Identity theft happen and the ‘usual’ victims profile to taking care of your identity while shopping at the malls and online and also protecting it even while at home! I might not be talking about all aspects of Identity theft as you can appreciate since this is a HUGE topic. But I will try my best to show some justice to our subject and hopefully you will be able to glean some valuable insights about appropriately protecting your identity in today’s world by the end of this series. So without further adieu, may I present to you the first post in the Identity Theft series…

Identity Theft- What Criminals are Looking For in a Victim

Identity theft has shed more negative light on the virtual world than perhaps any other issue. Today, people don’t have to rob you face to face or go to the bank to steal money. They don’t just want your money these days…they want your very existence.

How does Identity Theft happen and its definition

Identity thieves are a whole new breed of remorseless criminals. They hunt for opportunities, but they also hunt for specific types of victims. You need to be aware of the types of victims they are looking for.

Criminals are known to “case a joint” before they ever make a move on it. Identity theft is no different. Criminals are looking for specific traits for a few different reasons.

Credit Matters

Have you ever noticed that people in mansions and nicer homes are not robbed nearly as often as the upper middle class types? Why? There are two reasons: high profile and security. A mansion is far more likely to have a sound security system simply because the owners can afford it. The people and items in the mansion have a much higher profile that the guy in the suburbs too, so they are more likely to stand out. It is much easier to find a crooked buyer for a Toyota than a Mercedes.

Your credit works the same way. If you have perfect credit, you are probably on top of your financial situation and have plenty of safeguards in place to secure it. If you are just in the “good” zone, you are likely an Average Joe that won’t have extended protection on your credit profile. To a criminal, you are low profile with minimal security. In that situation, you are a prime target for identity theft.

You Simply Weren’t Looking

Privacy today means something completely different than it used to. In the past, you kept family matters at home, went through your bills on a regular basis, and you only kept your birthday to yourself because you were modest. Today privacy means keeping all of your personal information offline, shredding or burning the bills when you are done with them, and using encrypted emails. Today you almost have to be paranoid or you become exactly what an identity thief is looking for.

Identity thieves want low profile people who make it easy to gain access to their personal information. The easy targets are the ones who love to discuss their latest shopping spree, announce when they are going on vacation, and have no idea that they are almost begging to be robbed in some way or other.

What criminals are looking for is unprotected data. If you want to keep your identity safe, you need to keep your information safe. Don’t share personal information online and always safeguard your personal documents, right down to shredding the electric bill. Make sure your credit accounts have safety precautions in place. Change your passwords frequently and don’t use things like birthdays and other obvious passwords. In short, don’t become the perfect identity theft victim.

 

7 Comments… add one
becca March 22, 2014, 5:43 pm

I’ve had my identity compromised it is not fun.

AnitaB March 22, 2014, 5:54 pm

My boss just had her credit card compromised and they stole her 200,000 points! They managed to cash them in for online Best Buy Gift certificates. This sort of thing is getting pretty scary!

Michele March 22, 2014, 6:26 pm

It truly is a new and terrible world we live in today as compared to when I was growing up. Credit card companies are getting better at knowing what you would purchase and what you would not purchase thankfully. As for truly personal info——my gut tells me it is taken from banks and government sites more so then via social media. Being ultra careful is about all you can do.

lawna March 23, 2014, 12:17 am

I have never had my identity stolen, but my mom. It took her forever to get out of all the bad credit caused from it and it was such a pain to have to try to fix. It’s always good to know what to look out for so you don’t become the next victim.

Robin (Masshole Mommy) March 23, 2014, 8:09 am

Identity theft scares me. Although I do try to be vigilant, I feel like if someone really wants to steal my identity – they will. These are great tips that will definitley help!

Carla March 23, 2014, 9:48 am

Identify theft is truly scary! II like the point above how credit companies are getting better at knowing who you are and your shopping habits! They are working har dto protect our identies as well

Kristal March 25, 2014, 12:10 pm

I’m really hoping I’ll never have to experience this. Identity theft is no joke and can even ruin lives. Thanks for the extra tips and info.

Leave a Comment